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Plan your office escape: 7 relaxing destinations for the weary traveller

The year’s just a few months deep and you might already be feeling exhausted — so why not plan your mid-year escape to some of the most relaxing destinations on earth? Here are some of the top trending holiday spots to kick-start your dreaming.

Plus: want a stress-free role in the planning process? Let Sure Travel’s helpful agents match you with the perfect destinations, flights and resorts — including 4- and 5-star half-board and all-inclusive options with savings of up to 40%. More details below.

Take a holiday — BEFORE you burn out. Stock image.

ALSO READ: In praise of holidays: avoiding burnout before it starts


1. Best adventure: Iceland

While a holiday to “the land of fire and ice” might not sound relaxing at first pass, we guarantee you’ll find quiet moments of respite in Europe’s least populated country. 

Peaceful scenes in Iceland. Stock image.

This is a nature enthusiast’s dream: black sand beaches, towering glaciers, thermal hot springs, echoing ice caves, thundering waterfalls and rocky coastlines. 

The majesty of Iceland will leave you breathless. Stock image.

And it’s got more than its fair share of noteworthy activities: scuba dive between two continents, soak in the steaming Blue Lagoon, Viking-age history, and the eery beauty of the Northern Lights. This Nordic country may be small but it’ll leave a huge impression if you visit.

Experience the Northern Lights — a once in a lifetime experience! Stock image.

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2. Best romance: Greece 

Blame Mamma Mia! and The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants for immortalising Greece — and its idyllic islands — in every girl’s mind as one of the world’s most romantic and relaxing destinations. Or perhaps it’s because the country was the mythical birthplace to the winged god Eros, son of Aphrodite? 

Greece is better enjoyed with that special someone. Stock image.

Beat the traffic on Hydra. The only rush hour you’ll encounter is the odd donkey making its way up twisted lanes, since cars aren’t allowed on the island. It’s also relatively close to Athens’ port of Piraeus (about an hour by ferry). 

Or — if you’re happy to brave the crowds or book outside peak season — visit one of Greece’s most beloved isles: Santorini. Think sunset cruises, private candlelit dinners with views over the caldera, stunning walks and some of the best wine tastings in Greece.

Santorini's sunsets are unparalleled. Stock image.

. . .

3. Best food: Italy

Pesto, pizza, pasta, wine, gelato, espresso and tiramisu. If that’s not your idea of comfort food, we don’t know what is! 

Italy, the land of all things delicious. Stock image.

Indulge at every stop on a foodie tour of Italy: spaghetti in Rome, limoncello along the Amalfi Coast, gnocchi in Verona, cannoli in Sicily, or a massive “bistecca” steak in Florence. Your taste buds will thank you.

Savour every moment in Italy. Stock image.

. . .

4. Best road trip: New Zealand

A self-drive tour in a camper van in New Zealand could be just what the doctor ordered if you’re not a fan of escorted tours. Travel at your own pace with some of the most scenic landscapes in the world as your backdrop. 

Enjoy New Zealand — on the road. Stock image.

Looking for chilled vibes? Try a round of golfing, wine tasting or a day hopping from one of the Coromandel Peninsula’s plentiful beaches to the next. 

Relax in nature. Stock image.

Want the feel-good effects of endorphins to do their magic? Opt for an adrenaline-inducing activity such as bungee jumps, challenging hikes (which Kiwis call “tramps”) or white-water rafting.

Take a walk on the wild side in New Zealand. Stock image.

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5. Best spas: India

India and relaxation don’t always intrinsically seem to go hand in hand — after all, you’ll probably be treated to the chaotic hustle and bustle of hawkers, wandering cows and sizzling street food as soon as you step out of the airport. 

India — the cultural traveller's paradise. Stock image.

This is perhaps why there is no shortage of spiritual and wellness retreats in India — from Ayurvedic and yoga retreats in the Himalayas to lakeside luxury tented spas. 

Slow down in India. Stock image.

Kerala, in particular, is known for the Niraamaya spa and its “bespoke transformational experiences”. There’s even a spa doctor who customises treatments (combining yoga, Ayurveda, reflexology, European, Chinese and Thai treatments) based on travellers’ individual needs. Whatever it takes to relax, we say!

Renew the mind, body and soul in India. Stock image.

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6. Best snow-cation: Canada 

There’s something about freshly-falling snow that makes the world feel quieter. Get out of mobile range with a trip to Canada’s top ski resorts in Whistler, British Columbia (Whistler Blackcomb) or Banff, Alberta (Lake Louise).

The mountains are calling! Stock image.

While there are plenty of other worthy Canadian ski hills (ie. Panorama Ridge, Big White or Sun Peaks), these two traveller favourites have plenty else to see and do in the area if you’re with a diverse group (who don’t all ski or snowboard). 

Try your hand at Canada's favourite sport — ice hockey. Stock image.

Snowshoe or toboggan, relax in an outdoor hot tub, rub shoulders with adventure-junkies from all over the world, and explore the best apres-ski spots in the village.

. . . 

7. Best value (especially when it comes to kids!): Mauritius

Save time and money by sticking close to home. Thankfully for South Africans, Mauritius is just one direct flight from Johannesburg, making it an enticing honeymoon destination or family-friendly beach break. 

This could be you. Sugar Beach, Mauritius. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.

If sipping cocktails under a palm tree in 4- or 5-star luxury is your idea of a relaxing vacation (especially while the kids are entertained with fun activities such as water sports, teen programmes or tennis lessons), Mauritius is fantastic value for money. There will be no fighting about where to dine or what to do — because you truly can have it all!

Doesn't this look like a heavenly place to escape the office? Sugar Beach Golf Resort + Spa Resort, Mauritius. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.

Moreover, travel companies like World Leisure Holidays have sweetened the deal with unbeatable 4- and 5-star resort options, where kids stay free and parents save up to 40% on half board and all-inclusive options — right in time for the June/July school holidays. So get planning your mid-year escape now! 


Leave the stress behind with Sure Travel

Wave winter’s chill goodbye when you book one of World Leisure Holiday’s luxury Sun Resorts with Sure Travel — and take advantage of family-friendly savings:

5-star Sugar Beach Golf + Spa Resort

7 nights from R21,380* per person sharing (includes 40% + renovation discount)
Garden Manor House Room; half board

These Sugar Beach Golf Resort + Spa Resort views can't be beat. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.

 . . .

5-star Long Beach Resort

7 nights from R24,120* per person sharing (includes 40% discount)
Junior Suite; half board

Poolside relaxation starts as soon as you arrive at Long Beach Resort. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.

 . . .

4-star Ambre Resort + Spa (adults only)

7 nights from R22,910* per person sharing (includes 35% discount)
Superior Garden Room; all inclusive

No littles in sight at the adults-only Ambre Resort + Spa. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.

. . .

5-star La Pirogue Resort + Spa

7 nights from R24,280* per person sharing (includes 35% discount)
Garden Bungalow; half board

Soak up the good life at La Pirogue Resort + Spa. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.
All packages include:
  • return airfare Johannesburg to Mauritius + all coach transfers
  • half board = breakfast + dinner daily
  • all inclusive = breakfast, lunch + dinner daily, selected drinks while bars are open
  • kids under 12 stay and play free when sharing with adults (not applicable at Ambre)
  • all land and non-motorised water sports as per brochure
  • daily entertainment
  • approximate taxes, levies and surcharges
Breathe deeply at La Pirogue Resort + Spa. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.

Valid for travel from 15 June to 7 July 2019 (set departures weekly). Contact your nearest agency to enquire or book, or call +27 (0)861 47 48 49. 

Embrace the tranquility of La Pirogue Resort + Spa. Photo courtesy of Sun Resorts.

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*Please note: all rates quoted are per adult sharing and subject to availability at time of booking. Airfares and taxes are subject to change within the specified season and are carrier specific, which could impact the rate quoted. Rates are subject to currency fluctuations, which are subject to change without prior notification and exclude any administration fees. Standard Ts&Cs apply

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