Anyone who lives in the city (or really anyone, full stop) knows that life can wear you down, and sometimes you just need an escape! If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday, or just to get back to nature, what you need is a few days in one of these beautiful countryside regions.

Take a relaxing holiday in one of these countryside regions:

Midi-Pyrenees, France

CountrysideThe Pyrenees
There’s nothing better than fresh air and sun, and this region of Southern France has enough of both to cheer up the grumpiest traveller. From cultural heritage sites to wonders of nature, the Midi-Pyrenees have something for everyone. The Pyrenees themselves boast a national park, multiple ski resorts, and nature walks/hikes for all ability levels. And for something a little different, you can test the natural hot springs! The people of this region are known for their love of good food and their “bon-vivant” attitude; Roquefort cheese, excellent wines, black truffles, foie gras, and duck are among the specialties you might sample in the Midi-Pyrenees…

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Galicia, Spain

A trip to Galicia is a great way to visit Spain away from the heavily trafficked cities and Mediterranean coast. Residents are proud to be “Gallego”, and they have reason to be! As yet unspoiled by tourism, the Galician countryside spans lush inland hills to the Atlantic coast, where sheltered bays create warm pools for beach-goers in the summer. Galicia is also home to the end of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, and visitors can walk part of the pilgrim trail. For nature lovers, Galicia’s national parks provide beautiful green spaces to explore. And for the foodie, Galicia offers some promising young wines and a variety of fresh seafood.

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Umbria, Italy

CountrysideUmbrian Countryside
Green valleys and hills mark this quiet region of central Italy. Less than a million residents live scattered across the mostly rural region, making it the ideal vacation destination for travellers seeking respite from the bustle of the city. Between quaint hill towns nestled among the countryside of woodland and olive groves, travellers can enjoy a number of activities. You can wander the well-curated network of hiking and biking trails, visit the Marmore Falls, or follow one of Umbria’s four “wine routes”.

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Otago, New Zealand

This verdent region of the South Island borders a national park on one side, and the South Pacific on the other. And it offers a range of stunning scenery to match! Beautiful clear lakes and gorgeous mountains mark the countryside. The adventurous/sporty can enjoy watersports and hiking in the summer, and skiing in the winter, or even the Queenstown Winter Festival. The less adventurous can spend a quiet holiday appreciating the scenery. No matter your style of travel, Otago has something to offer; its relaxed and welcoming vibe makes it one of the most attractive destinations in New Zealand.

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Vestlandet, Norway

CountrysideA National Tourist Route in Vestlandet, NorwayOne of Norway’s five major geographical regions, Vestlandet is located along the Atlantic coast of southern Norway. It offers visitors spectacular scenery. A generally mountainous region, Vestlandet also boasts fjords along its coast, the largest glacier in Europe, and breathtaking waterfalls throughout the region. A fun activity for travellers is to follow one of Norway’s national tourist routes. Developed by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the majority of these routes are found in Vestlandet. They offer travellers a magnificent view of the natural beauty of the countryside.

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