It’s easy to want to go, go, go the entire time you’re on tour—especially when you’re visiting a destination for the very first time. After all, there’s so much to see! But when you take the time to slow down and enjoy the surrounding scenery—whether that’s poolside or in a local park—you’ll discover new aspects of the local culture while gaining a deeper appreciation for those quiet moments. When you’re ready to soak up some special moments on tour, check out this list for our favorite places to do just that.
If you like the beach…
Kamari Beach in Santorini, Greece
Kamari Beach is the largest beach in Santorini and is noted for its unique black sand, a result of the volcanic nature of the island. Beach umbrella and chair rentals are included with the price of lunch. You can enjoy a leisurely meal before relaxing on the beach or swimming in the crystal blue water.
See it for yourself: Kamari 847 00
Barceloneta in Barcelona, Spain
At the most popular beach in Barcelona, enjoy an expansive stretch of white sand and Mediterranean waters. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants featuring fresh seafood and tapas to try, or you can simply sit and watch the locals play volleyball and stroll by.
See it for yourself: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 16, 08003
Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is not the place for a quiet beach day, but if you want to indulge the senses while savoring the moment, Ipanema Beach is where to go. Here, you’ll find the beautiful people of Rio playing volleyball or soccer, surfing, or lounging on the sand. It’s a great place for people-watching—enjoy the sun and the bustle of activity while nursing a cold beer or coconut from one of the many vendors walking the beach.
See it for yourself: Av Vieira Souto, Rio de Janeiro
Spiaggia Grande in Positano, Italy
The main beach of Positano, Spiaggia Grande is perfect for long walks. You’ll find an impressive collection of sea glass and smooth, colorful pieces of pottery as you stroll, all while taking in the views of the colorful cliffside homes. But be warned, this beach is not for the faint of heart—it’s one of the more popular nudist beaches in Italy.
See if for yourself: Piazza Flavio Gioia, Positano, Italy
If you like the spa…
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland
This is the perfect spot for rejuvenating, no matter what temperature it is outside. The Blue Lagoon, a steamy outdoor hot tub that has been created naturally, is the largest of Iceland’s many geothermal pools. The waters of the Blue Lagoon are said to have healing properties, so treat yourself to a mud mask or massage while enjoying the soothing heat of the water and a drink at the swim-up bar.
See it for yourself: 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary
Built in 1913, this thermal bath is one of the largest spa complexes in all of Europe. With a mix of indoor and outdoor baths in a variety of temperatures, the sulfur water of the thermal pools will leave you feeling completely refreshed. The top floor even features a full spa, complete with hammocks, a juice bar and an area for massages. No need to worry about bringing along a towel, either: you can rent them at the bath along with a locker to store valuables, all for just a few Hungarian forints.
See it for yourself: Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
If you like green spaces…
The Esplanade in Boston, Massachusetts
One of our favorite things about the Esplanade is the hub of activity you can find there at all hours of the day. Featuring parks, green space and bike/running paths that surround the Charles River, the Esplanade is ideal for kayaking, sailing, bike rides, picnics or yoga—made even better when timed with one of the city’s stunning pink sunsets.
See it for yourself: 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108
Jingshan Park in Beijing, China
Formerly a private imperial garden, Jingshan Park features a large hill that offers stunning 360º views of surrounding Beijing and the Forbidden City. In the morning, you’ll often find the locals exercising and socializing.
See it for yourself: No.44 Jingshanxi Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100009, China
Villa Carlotta in Como, Italy
Nestled right on the front of Lake Como, these Italian gardens are lush and pristine—you could spend hours sitting among the beautiful flowers and manicured topiaries while enjoying Lake Como’s sparkling water. If the weather is questionable, visit the museum and view an impressive collection of 18th century Italian art.
See it for yourself: Via Regina, 2 – 22019 Tremezzo, Como
Regent’s Park in London, England
This 395-acre park has something for everyone (in every season). In the summer there’s an open-air theater with evening performances, or you can rent paddle and row boats at the lake. In the spring, the rose garden in Queen Mary’s Gardens is beautiful. You can also visit the London Zoo—featuring 755 animal species—and rent lawn chairs for a small fee to just sit and relax for a quiet moment.
See it for yourself: Chester Rd, London NW1 4NR
Where are your favorite places to savor the moment? Tell us in the comments below!