Calmest Places in the World
Moorea is precisely what “picture yourself” meditations are made of: silky-soft sand between your toes, sun glittering on sea so calm it barely laps the shore, and a color too turquoise to be true. (But it is.)
Adventure Peru, but also stand still for a moment: 2.7 million square miles of rainforest surround you. At the same time, find microscopic marvels at your feet—like perfectly symmetrical plants and frogs smaller than your thumb.
Words and pictures don’t do justice to Denali National Park. They can’t capture the sheer silence, spanning all six million acres. The tremendous wildness of Alaska‘s tundra. Or the monolithic presence of North America’s tallest peak, which Native Athabascans perfectly named “Great One”. You have to be there. To feel it.
The utter silence and beauty of the big blue that wraps around the Galapagos islands. Mimic the movements of the rays and turtles with your flippers as you glide, stopping to see seal pups up close in this underwater wonderland.
La Fortuna Waterfall, Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
Being in the presence of Costa Rica’s La Fortuna brings an undeniable sense of bliss. Clean jungle air fills every breath, and the white noise of cascading water washes away all thoughts. Whether for seconds or hours, you stand spellbound by the majesty of Mother Nature.
Flathead Lake, Montana
Sculpted by glaciers, Montana’s Flathead lake is where you’ll find some of the freshest water and freshest air on the planet. Stay a while—amble around, swim, sketch the scene, picnic on the shore…
Mount Desert Island, Maine
The national park on Maine‘s Mount Desert Island takes its name from Ancient Greek Arcadia, meaning “idyllic place”. Find solace on silent lakesides, breathe deep in birdsong-filled forest, and while away hours watching wild Atlantic waves wallop the cliffs.
Orcas Island, Puget Sound
Every time we’re here, we start thinking about very early retirement. Named for the whales that grace its waters, Orca is one of the jewels of the San Juan islands – just remote enough, and restoratively gorgeous, from its mountainous heart to its photogenic shorelines.
Wander through Croatia dreamland, real as can be—brimming with flora and fauna, where a single wooden pathway winds its way among waterfall after waterfall, plunging into pools of every blue imaginable.
Listen out for the silence of the Smokies. It seems to echo, off every fallen leaf, every forest tree and every mountain peak for miles and miles around.
Sit. Sip steaming coffee. Soak up the silence as the sun creeps higher and higher to ring in the new day. Watch golden rays dance on the desert wilderness, bouncing off boulders and Joshua Trees, branches raised in still salute.
Wine country: spend a morning strolling in sunny hills that might as well be in Tuscany. Just over the next crest, you’ll find yourself in a quiet redwood grove…or walking the Pacific headlands where the surf is thunderous and the views are thrilling.
Oxbow Bend, Wyoming
Find our secret spot–perfectly positioned so that you can see Mount Moran reflected in the waters of Grand Teton‘s Snake River–and stay a while, watching adorable otters as they play in the shallows.
Lake Louise, Canada
Whisper-quiet groves of lodgepole pines guard the shores of this mesmerizing lake. Nourished by a classic Canadian breakfast, slice into the water with your paddle as your canoe skims across it on a quiet morning.
Kyoto bamboo forest, Japan
Worth waking early; as you step along a winding walkway through swaying bamboo in the first light of day, the sun breaks through the canopy above you like a gazillion sparkling stars. And as the breeze dances through, the rustle of leaves and bending and nudging of shoots create such an auditory calm, the forest has been named an official ‘Sandscape of Japan’.
Tuscany is a feast for the senses and treat for the soul. Take an afternoon walk across the rolling Tuscan hills, vivid green in spring and summer, warming gold come fall. Meet shepherds, olive growers, and Chianti winemakers.
Provence lavender fields, France
Purple ribbons of soothing lavender pour over Provence’s hills. Enjoy nature’s aromatherapy and lap up the legendary sunlight, in the very landscapes Cezanne and van Gogh painted.
Rice fields, Vietnam
Take a misty morning walk in the highlands of Vietnam, surrounded by the soothing geometry of the terraced rice fields, while farmers tend to their crops.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Guarded by Slovenian forest and mountains, a glassy lake stretches around you, rippled by your row boat. That fairytale island just might fill your mind with childhood daydreams.
Tiled courtyard in Fes, Morocco
The captivating chaos of Fes Medina—a kaleidoscope of colors and clamor of sounds—suddenly stops. With delicious symmetry in tranquil tones, the fractal geometry of ancient Moroccan mosaics instills an instant calm.
A traditional ‘Ploughman’s’ picnic in pastoral English countryside. Undulating hills as far as the eye can see, with grazing cattle and cozy thatched cottages.
In wild, wonderful western Norway, the landscape takes on an awesome beauty, with iridescent glaciers, deep fjords, and secluded valleys that rest at the end of twisting paths.
Mekong River, Cambodia
Spend dawn floating on the Mekong River, lost in wonder at how it flows through Laos into Cambodia, thene Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar, and watching fishermen fling nets into the sun dappled water—like they have for hundreds of years.
Lava fields, Iceland
What must the first Vikings have thought of Iceland, when they found great lava fields doused in the greenest moss? A solitude that must have made the fjords of home feel crowded by comparison.
Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont
Walk along a beautiful passageway of warming fall foliage, and along the quiet, awe-inspiring Vermont route. Feel free to absorb every shade of red and gold fluttering in the birch and maple forest.