European Holiday Retreats for Better Personal Wellbeing

Cefalu in Sicily

Times are hard at present, and undeniably so for practically all walks of life in the UK. With living costs higher than ever, wages more stagnant than ever, and even retirement finances on the chopping block, it can feel like there is little to celebrate. The stress can mount and does even for those of us on the other side of our careers!

There are many ways to tackle the stresses of everyday life, but there are few better than taking the opportunity to get away. A quieter pace of life for a few weeks somewhere warm never hurt anyway – and indeed is linked to improved mental health on many fronts. But, as someone looking for a relaxing holiday retreat to recharge your batteries, where should you consider travelling to?

Southern Italy

When thinking about sun-baked afternoons abroad, one of the first places that will come to mind is the Mediterranean. This region is chock-full of phenomenal destinations, each of which could command a travel piece in its own right. There’s an argument to be made, even, that the best possible holiday would be to take them all in as part of a quiet and comfortable Mediterranean cruise. But when looking at single-destination holidays, for accessibility, affordability, and breadth of experience, there are few better places to consider than the south of Italy.

Isola Bella in Taormina Sicily
Isola Bella in Taormina Sicily

Italy’s southern reaches truly contain multitudes. Puglia is one standout location, found at the ‘heel’ of Italy. It is a peninsular region, with a great deal of stunning coast to explore and relax around. Meanwhile, on the other end of the foot, the island of Sicily offers some simply stunning opportunities to chill out and recuperate. If you haven’t eaten seafood on the southern coast of Sicily, you haven’t lived.


Island living is the absolute dream for later-life holiday retreats. Cruising between the islands in the lap of luxury, spending your days staring out to azure blue oceans and taking in the coastal majesty before you, spending your evenings eating the best local fare you’ve ever tried… All of this and more is made real in Greece.

Santorini island in Greece
Santorini island in Greece

Greece is practically a nation of islands, possessing literally thousands for you to bounce between as you wish. There are, naturally, many tourist favourites; Santorini is one, with its trademark black sands and volcanic hills. Another is Folegandros, which has a much statelier pace than other, partier isles in the Cyclades.


The final destination suggestion on our list has grown significantly in popularity in recent months, with many travel writers catching on to the quiet thrills that can be found on its warm Adriatic beaches and isles. Come for the invigorating hikes around Plitvice lakes, and stay for the incomparable culture of the southern Dalmatian islands.

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