Destinations to Unplug and Unwind in Nature - TravelMole


Destinations to Unplug and Unwind in Nature

Thursday, Jun 27, 2024 0

 

Digital detoxes have been proven to improve mental health, productivity, sleep quality and stress, and coupled with  immersion in nature, have significantly positive benefits on both mental and physical health. With a recent survey from British Airways Holidays and YouGov Plc reporting that 37% of working consumers agree they struggle to switch off from the day-to-day and 37% confess they have felt stressed about work while on holiday, here are 11 destinations where travellers can set aside their devices to rejuvenate amidst natural beauty.

 

MOUNTAINS ESCAPES

 

 

Spend summer in the Rockies in Aspen and Snowmass Village, Colorado

 

The scenic mountain towns of Aspen and Snowmass Village provide an idyllic setting to unplug and immerse in the great outdoors. Once the snow melts in spring, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails can be discovered, as well as watersports, Jeep tours and mountaintop yoga. Over 90 miles of hiking trails can be accessed from Snowmass Village alone which range from relaxing strolls to epic multi-day adventures, through wildflowers, over streaming rivers and deep into dense forests. Set off paddleboarding in tranquillity through the North Star Preserve in Aspen, or go horseback riding to the Maroon Bells Wilderness for breathtaking views of alpine lakes and the iconic Maroon Bells. www.aspenchamber.org / www.gosnowmass.com

 

Enjoy internet-free relaxation in the Zemplén Mountains, Hungary

 

Nestled in a beautiful, leafy valley, the “Kőkapu Vadászkastély és Hotel & Apartments” (Stone Gate Hunting Castle and Hotel & Apartments) in Zemplén offers a tranquil no Wi-Fi, no phone signal, silent getaway. In addition to relaxation, there are many activities for visitors. The picturesque lake, with the hunting lodge on its shores, is a great place for boating or fishing for those who like active recreation, but bicycles can also be hired for those who prefer to explore the countryside on two wheels. The hotel’s restaurant also offers genuine regional cuisine, prepared by local chefs according to a seasonal tradition. Rooms available from £43 per night. www.visithungary.com

 

Explore the hidden gem of Trinity County, California

 

The natural beauty and tranquillity of Trinity County offers ample opportunities to reconnect with oneself, family and the healing powers of nature. Located four hours north of San Francisco, Trinity County remains one of northern California’s peaceful escapes and lesser-known gems. Visitors can get an adrenaline-hit whitewater rafting down the Trinity River or opt for a slower pace by trying a spot of fishing. At night, enjoy counting stars and spotting constellations in the evening’s dark sky thanks to the low levels of light pollution. 90% of Trinity County is disconnected from the Information Superhighway which means the chance to detox from digital devices is pretty much guaranteed. www.visitcalifornia.com

 

Immerse in the rich natural environment of Karuizawa, Japan

 

Nestled in the picturesque countryside just an hour by train from Tokyo, HOSHINOYA Karuizawa offers a ‘Digital Detox Stay’ package, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the tranquil surrounding environment for a one-night, two-day stay. The curated experience blends traditional Japanese hospitality with innovative wellness practices, designed to promote relaxation and mindfulness. Guests can engage in activities such as forest horse riding, onsen mindwork and nature watching. The stay package must be booked at least seven days in advance for £199 per person not inclusive of room rates. Room rates from £134 per person per night. www.japan.travel/en/uk

 

‘Get away’ and soak up nature views at Getaway Skagit Valley Cabins, Washington State

 

‘Get away’ from it all at Getaway Skagit Valley and soak up nature views from the comfort of a plush bed. Getaway is a unique glamping experience comprising 36 cabins that are basically tiny homes with kitchenettes, private bathrooms, hot running water and a fire pit with a grill grate. Each cabin has a lockbox to store your mobile, perfect for those looking for a digital detox. Situated on 69 private acres of protected wetlands, guests can enjoy the nearby walking trails and scenic waterfall views. Prices start from £110 per night. www.stateofwatourism.com

 

Unplug and reconnect in Kii Peninsula, Japan

 

For a rejuvenating digital detox in Kii Peninsula, immerse in the region’s serene natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Explore the ancient pilgrimage routes of the Kumano Kodo – which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year since being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and reconnect with nature through the practice of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku). Enhance the experience with an off-grid stay at a traditional temple (shukubo), spending time with monks, participating in meditation sessions and engaging in temple rituals. These experiences not only promote mental clarity and peace but also offer insight into the monastic lifestyle and the spiritual heritage of Japan. Visit Wakayama | Visit Mie | Visit Nara

 

ISLAND GETAWAYS

 

 

Go phone free on Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, Australia

 

With no mobile phone coverage on this pristine island – situated 700 km northeast of Sydney – visitors can switch off in this tropical paradise, home to the world’s southernmost coral reef. With just 400 visitors allowed on the island at a time, the beaches remain pristine and the wildlife untouched. Travellers can explore the island’s marine park, home to over 450 species of fish and 90 species of coral, many of which are unique to the area. Embark on a challenging guided hike up the Island’s highest mountain, Mount Gower, or spend the day on a glass bottom boat gliding through the crystal clear waters. Stay at the Capella Lodge for the best views of the island over the infinity swimming pool, with prices from £995 per night with a minimum two-night stay. www.sydney.com

 

Uncover an off-grid escape in The Islands of Tahiti, French Polynesia

 

Located in the heart of The Islands of Tahiti, Niu Shack offers an unparalleled off-grid escape that seamlessly blends natural beauty with holistic wellness. Surrounded by lush tropical landscapes and pristine beaches, this eco-friendly retreat invites guests to indulge in traditional Polynesian beauty and wellness rituals, including soothing massages using local oils, invigorating body scrubs with natural ingredients and calming yoga sessions set against the backdrop of serene ocean views. Whether lounging in a hammock, exploring nearby coral reefs or participating in cultural workshops, every moment at Niu Sack promises a rejuvenating experience that reconnects the soul with nature. www.tahititourisme.uk

 

NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS

 

 

Retreat to Tierra Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

 

Tierra Patagonia is an ideal destination for a digital detox due to its intentional disconnection from modern technology, with no TVs, phone reception, or Wi-Fi beyond the common areas. Overlooking Lake Sarmiento within the Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the hotel offers breathtaking natural beauty as a refreshing alternative to screen time. Guests can immerse themselves in activities like horseback riding, glacier hiking, catch-and-cook fishing and mountain biking, fully embracing the pristine landscapes and abundant wildlife. www.chile.travel/en

 

Go camping in the Everglades in Florida’s Paradise Coast, Florida

 

In Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, travellers can set aside all devices and fully immerse themselves in nature. Set up camp at the 7,200-acre Collier-Seminole State Park located on the western edge of the Everglades and explore the various park trails. From December to March, local park rangers host educational programmes for travellers, covering various topics including native plants, animals and history. The more adventurous can opt for a remote camping experience at the Grocery Place Campground. Accessible only by water, the campground is best reached by boat from the town of Goodland. The campground serves as a good base for exploring the waterways of the Ten Thousand Islands. www.paradisecoast.com

 

Hike amongst the tall evergreens of the Sierra Nevada in Yosemite Mariposa, California 

 

Disconnect with a digital detoxing hike with White Wolf, a private tour company located in Yosemite. Hike amongst the tall evergreens of the Sierra Nevada, swim in the pristine waters of alpine lakes and share time with family and friends after a rewarding day of hiking without the internet. White Wolf excursions help to boost the physical and mental health of those on the tour, enabling them to connect with friends and family whilst seeing Yosemite’s iconic spots including El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall. Contact White Wolf for dates and prices of their private digital detox Yosemite treks here. yosemite.com

 

Great Lakeside summer breaks

 

 

EUROPE

 

 

Immerse yourself in nature at Lac de Tueda, Meribel 

 

Embark on a family adventure with a leisurely stroll around the picturesque Lac de Tueda in Méribel. Nestled amidst the breathtaking French Alps, this tranquil lake offers a perfect setting for a relaxing walk suitable for all ages. Meander along the serene shores, surrounded by lush greenery and towering peaks, as you soak in the surrounding nature. Keep an eye out for native wildlife and colourful flora along the way. The loop trail around the lake is approximately 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) long, making it an ideal outing for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Stay at the 4-star Savoy Hotel located in Méribel centre. Family rooms start at £261 per night. meribel.net/en

 

Combine watersports and thermal spas on Lake Balaton, Hungary

 

Lake Balaton, often referred to as the “Hungarian Sea,” is the largest lake in Central Europe and a popular tourist destination in Hungary. Lovers of sun and water sports can indulge themselves to the utmost here. The lake’s calm waters make it ideal for various water sports activities such as sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and kayaking, with many towns around the lake offering equipment rentals and lessons for beginners. The region around Lake Balaton is also rich in thermal springs and there are several thermal spas where visitors can relax and unwind – a classic Hungarian pastime. Popular thermal spas include Hévíz, Zalakaros and Keszthely, offering a range of indoor and outdoor thermal pools, saunas and wellness treatments. The 4* Residence Hotel Balaton offers rooms from £92 per night for a standard double room. visithungary.com

 

Be mesmerised by Lake Skadar, Montenegro 

 

Lake Skadar – also called Lake Scutari, Lake Shkodër and Lake Shkodra – lies on the border of Albania and Montenegro, and is the largest lake in Southern Europe. On the Montenegro side, the area has been protected by a national park since 1983. The picturesque lake is renowned as one of Europe’s top bird habitats, with crystal clear waters, floating water lillies, island monasteries and world-class mountain ranges. A night’s stay at Hotel Pelikan starts from £35 per night. montenegro.travel

 

AUSTRALASIA

 

 

Explore the largest saltwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere, New South Wales

 

Bordered by Newcastle and the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie is only 90 minutes from Sydney. Named after its main attraction — a 110-square-kilometre body of water and the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere — it’s the ideal base for all kinds of water sports, from kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding to jet boating. Positioned between national parks and forests, it’s also a great spot for mountain biking, hiking and 4WD touring. Stay at Caves Coastal Bar and Bungalows for a sea-view off the iconic Caves beach. Bungalows start at £113 per night. sydney.com

 

Explore the Fuji Five Lakes, Japan 

 

Made up of five lakes which surround Mt Fuji, the Fuji Five Lakes, known locally as Fujigoko, offer some of the best views of the majestic mountain. While all spectacular in every season, the summer is special as the lakes offer reprieve from the heat. Make a stop at Yamanakako or Saiko, both great for a variety of watersports and lakeside camping, or Shojiko – the smallest of the five lakes – for a magical “upside down” view of Mt Fuji. Motosuko – the deepest of the five – offers views of Mt Fuji as printed on Japan’s 1,000 yen bill and those looking for easy access can explore Kawaguchiko where visitors can opt to stay at the nearby Glamping Villa Hanz Kawaguchiko. Room rates from £202 based on a 2 night stay for 2 pax. japan.travel/en/uk

 

NORTH AMERICA

 

 

Stay on a houseboat on Lake Powell, Arizona

 

Cruising on a spacious houseboat exploring the coves, side canyons and 2,000 miles of shoreline of the breathtaking Lake Powell within Glen Canyon Recreation Area in Page is the ultimate lake getaway. From cosy to luxurious, visitors can rent a dream houseboat at Lake Powell Marinas and learn to become the captain after a quick driving lesson. Enjoy cruising along the lake, sliding into the water to go swimming, and stopping on the beach for a picnic or to launch a kayak expedition. Houseboat rentals require a minimum of 5-nights during peak season with rates from £2,039 based on a 46 ft. Expedition Houseboat. visitarizona.com

 

Head out on the lakes of Tuolumne County, California 

 

Home to 135 lakes, including Pinecrest Lake, Hetch Hetchy and the Don Pedro Reservoir – which spans a whopping 11,000+ acres – Tuolumne County is the perfect destination for outdoor adventure on the water. At Pinecrest Lake, visitors can hire boats and kayaks, set out on a hike to Cleo’s Bath, and spend the evening at Pinecrest Theater, an outdoor cinema overlooking the lake amid the pines. Nearby, Lake Don Pedro invites travellers to bask in the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. Stay at Pinecrest Lake Resort in a cosy hotel room, or book out an entire cabin for a holiday by the lakeside. Standard rooms start at £180 per night.  visittuolumne.com

 

Visit the lake beaches of Lake Tahoe, California

 

Located 1,897 metres atop the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Outdoor adventure enthusiasts should head to the lake’s southern shore to make the most of the golden beaches and get out on the water, with the choice of renting kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis or a pontoon boat. There are also loads of incredible hikes which provide amazing views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and also of the lake. Stay at Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa which has its own private beach. Rooms at the lodge start from £120 per night. visitcalifornia.com

 

Relax and rejuvenate on Lake Washington, Seattle, Washington

 

A great spot for watersports due to the calmness of the water, travellers can learn to paddleboard, kayak or even boat on Lake Washington, whilst admiring the Seattle skyline. Not to mention the opportunities for swimming and picnicking. Other attractions include the Kurt Cobain bench, a cultural memorial that pays homage both to the Nirvana legend and the vibrant music scene in Seattle. Located on the peaceful shores of Lake Washington, The Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa is a relaxing yet adventurous escape that surrounds visitors with the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Rooms start from £191 per night. visitseattle.org

 

SOUTH AMERICA

 

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Enjoy volcanic views at Lake Llanquihue, Chile

 

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Chile’s southern Lake District, Lake Llanquihue is known for its expansive waters and black-sand shores. A picturesque haven for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike with its crystal-clear waters mirroring the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, visitors are treated to stunning vistas at every turn. Whether it’s hiking along the shoreline, taking a leisurely boat ride to explore the surrounding quaint towns like Puerto Varas or Frutillar, or simply basking in the tranquillity of its shores, Lake Llanquihue captivates the senses and rejuvenates the soul. Stay at Hotel AWA, offering incredible lake views with a stylish interior. Standard rooms start at £279 per night. chile.travel/en



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