If you’re tired of trips that leave you feeling stressed and exhausted, these destinations for mindful travel in Europe are the answer. Read on if you want your travels to be truly transformational!
This is a guest post from blogger and translator Rebecca Brown of Rough Draft.
What’s in our guide to Mindful Travel in Europe?
Mindful travellers are not the same as tourists. We don’t visit places only to take pictures and post them on Instagram (though that can be fun, too). We are looking for experiences, adventures, and life-changing moments — and that is why we sometimes even forget to take out our cameras.
Mindful travellers are interested in the soul of a place, in its people and their culture. We don’t only go to busy capitals, but also to hidden places that can enhance our extraordinary journey.
If this sounds like you, or something you aspire to, keep reading to discover some of the best destinations for mindful travel in Europe.
Best Destinations for Mindful Travel in Europe
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There are a few European countries that have something magical, and Croatia is one of them. Most travellers who set foot here end up dreaming about never leaving. Some fall in love with Croatia’s spectacular coastline, exquisite wine and mouth-watering food. Others are taken by the friendliness of the Croatian people.
But most travellers are completely converted when they visit the country’s spectacular islands.
The Dalmatian Islands are a mesmerising island group located just off the coast of bustling Split. With a great range of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking and surfing, this is heaven for active travellers. There are also many yoga retreat centres where you can unwind and forget all about the daily routine.
Besides yoga, what relaxed me most during my vacation in Croatia, was snorkelling. The crystal-clear waters that surround the Dalmatian Islands are a paradise for anyone interested in the underwater world.
Activities in Croatia for Mindful Travellers
With beautiful beaches, a multitude of historical towns and villages, delicious dishes, and amazing wines, Portugal is a great destination for mindful travellers.
Whether you choose to explore charming medieval villages or you want to relax in one of the less touristy areas of the Algarve, your vacation will be restorative and very far from expensive.
If you want a truly memorable trip, spend part of it exploring the streets of alluring small towns, and part of it surfing or relaxing in one of the many Algarve yoga retreats.
I was fascinated by the landscapes of this area. My favourite spot was Boca do Rio, a charming little bay located on the western coast of Algarve, between the beaches of Burgau and Salema.
Wherever you go, you will be welcomed by warm locals and have a chance to indulge in incredible foods. And if you are a real foodie, don’t miss tasting the famous Port wine and the sweet Pasteis de Nata.
Activities in Portugal for Mindful Travellers
Are you a mindful traveller whose favourite colour is green? In this case, hiking in the Scottish Highlands should be on your must-explore list. This mountainous region attracts nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts from all over the world.
If you are passionate about myths, you might want to know that right at the centre of the Scottish Highlands you will find Loch Ness, overlooked by the Urquhart Castle’s ruins. You will not see Nessie, of course, but you will love the view. To make sure you have the best weather, travel between May and September, but try to avoid the busy months of July and August.
Activities in Scotland for Mindful Travellers
If relaxing on a warm beach isn’t your cup of tea, consider exploring Iceland and its magnificent wilderness. Not only is this charming country filled with spectacular landscapes, but it also offers your choice of yoga retreats and hot springs.
What can be more life-affirming than walking on a glacier, doing yoga, and relaxing in a natural hot spring afterwards? And depending on when you plan your escape, besides geysers, glaciers and impressive waterfalls, you can also see the northern lights.
Activities in Iceland for Mindful Travellers
No matter which part of Spain you decide to visit, you will encounter the peace you are seeking. The country is known for its natural beauty, relaxed people, diverse food, and, of course, its great local celebrations.
For a truly transformational trip, you might want to avoid Barcelona and Madrid and go to lesser-known places such as Cuenca, Ronda, or Vigo. And if you want to disconnect from your daily stress completely, travel to a Spanish island.
La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands, is a great option for hikers and yoga aficionados.
The Canaries offer the perfect weather during the whole year, lots of water sports and your chance to explore amazing natural spots. Plus, the locals are very friendly, the food is delicious, and everything is affordable.
Activities in Spain for Mindful Travellers
With so many islands, Greece is heaven for mindful travellers who love spending time on the beach and in the water, but who are also passionate about history and culture.
Greek people are famous all over the world for their love of life and for how warmly they treat their visitors. Go to one of the smaller islands such as Anafi or Ithaca to experience life like the locals. Expect spectacular views, clear waters, archaeological sites and, of course, top-notch food and wines.
Activities in Greece for Mindful Travellers
Though Romania is not so famous among mindful travellers, this European gem is filled with small towns and villages perfect for slowing down and restoring your balance.
Visit Maramures, the Land of Wood if you want to explore old villages where centuries-old traditions are still kept. The wooden churches, captivating landscapes, and mythological richness will conquer your heart instantly, making you feel like you have travelled back in time.
Winter is my favourite season in Maramures. People in this area remember their past, and during Christmastime, you can catch a glimpse of some of their most interesting traditions.
If you want travel to be transformational, try one of these European destinations, perfect for mindful travel. Whether you are interested in beach destinations, exploring villages, or spending time in the mountains, these destinations offer plenty of places and activities to feed your soul. Bon voyage!
Activities in Romania for Mindful Travellers
About the Author
Rebecca is a freelance translator passionate about her work, and grateful for the travels it has taken her on. When she is not travelling around the world, she is writing about it at RoughDraft. You can follow her on Twitter.
♥ Happy transformational travels, Jane & Stephen
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This post was written by a guest author or staff writer for My Five Acres.