Amazing Secluded Vacation Spots to Visit this Year
Discover the peace and quiet you've been craving
If that morning commute, those traffic jams, and memories of crowded cities all are fostering a yearning for some peace and quiet, a secluded vacation is just what you need. Here at Plum Guide, our finger on the pulse of travel trends is unique and unrivalled, which is why we’ve put together an expert list of vacation spots where your chances of running into other people are low - very low. Whether you’re a loved up couple looking for a spot of serenity, or you just need to escape the crowds, here are the best secluded vacation spots around the world.
Set between the Pyrenees mountains and the Loire Valley, Dordogne is one of the finest regions if you want to experience the best of rural France. With its beautiful château-studded countryside, charming villages, and delicious food, it’s one of those places you can escape to for a bit of R&R. The region is also known for having some of France’s most well-preserved prehistoric cave paintings, so discover these in the caverns of the Vézère Valley.
Tuvalu has previously been known as the least popular vacation spot in the world, but that's not the damning statement it may seem to be - the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is among the least visited countries in the world, but that is simply due to its tiny land area. It’s certainly not lacking in views - in fact, you’ll find empty beaches, clear turquoise waters, and swaying palm trees. Your days will be made up of lazy afternoons swinging in a hammock or snorkelling pristine coral reefs - without a single tourist in sight. Now that's paradise.
If you’re really sick of crowds, head to Greenland. It’s the least densely populated country in the world, so it’s possible to completely avoid other people (if you want to). Greenland offers spectacular scenery, including breathtaking fjords, green mountains covered in wildflowers, rocky cliffs, and colossal icebergs. Be sure to enjoy whale watching, discover Viking ruins, or simply relax in the natural hot springs.
Looking for remote vacation spots in the middle of unspoiled nature? Then trip to Lapland is calling your name. In the summer months, explore the vast expanses of forest, sail out on the many lakes, or relax on the beaches while you enjoy phenomena including the Midnight Sun. In the winter, try cross-country skiing, embark on a husky safari, or admire the Northern Lights from your cosy cabin.
This town in western Uruguay has been described as the country’s best kept secret (so let’s try to keep it that way). Located along the shores of the Río de la Plata, Carmelo offers golden riverfront beaches, a rich culture, and a thriving food and wine scene. There are also numerous outdoor pursuits such as horseback riding, canoeing, and fishing. It’s the ideal spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle that many South American destinations are known for.
Norfolk, England, UK
Norfolk is one of the least populated counties in England, making it easy to spend a secluded getaway peacefully exploring the coastline - deemed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Away from the coast, Norfolk’s countryside is equally as beautiful. Explore Dunwich Heath (with its pink and purple heather), the nature reserves in the Broads National Park, and Thetford forest, with its patchwork of pines and heathland.
Bhutan’s visitor requirements means that few tourists head this way, purely due to logistics - making it a great place to visit if you want to avoid large crowds. Trekking in the Himalayas is the main draw, but you can also get acquainted with local culture by diving into an abundance of activities. Visit temples, attend festivals, enjoy nature by kayaking and mountain biking, or simply take it easy in the hot springs.
Joshua Tree, USA
With its incredible desert landscapes, hiking trails, rock climbing trails, secret oases, and scenic drives, there’s more than enough to keep you busy (and away from other people) in Joshua Tree National Park. Come nightfall, it’s the perfect location for a getaway with your other half. Joshua Tree is one of the best places for stargazing in the US, so cosy up around the campfire and admire the endless skies late into the night.
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
This volcanic archipelago is one of the most remote vacation spots in the world. In fact, only one of the islands is inhabited by around 5,000 people, and the rest are home to wildlife. The number of visitors is limited, so you’ll get the islands’ tropical beaches, rugged cliffs, sand dunes, and secret coves all to yourself. Be sure to try snorkelling or scuba diving to get up close and personal with turtles, rays, dolphins, and reef sharks.
If you want to experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps without the crowds, skip the resorts of Zermatt and Grindelwald and head to the quieter village of Zinal. There are still plenty of outdoor activities to get involved in, with several cross-country ski routes starting from the village. Cyclists will love Zinal, with its 150 kilometres of marked routes, and everyone else will do well to explore the hiking trails - boasting views of the magnificent surrounding Grande Couronne mountain range.
Sao Tome and Principe
Just off the west coast of Africa is the tiny island nation of Sao Tome and Principe. Defined by lush tropical forests, sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and striking coral formations, this is one of the most underrated travel destinations in the world. Head to the northwest tip of the island of Principe, and lose all sense of time and place while you spot turtles, whales, and dolphins.
Fort Augustus, Scotland, UK
One of the last great wildernesses in Europe, the Scottish Highlands are an idyllic place for a secluded holiday amongst rugged mountains and peaceful lochs. Fort Augustus is a small, pretty village at the south-west end of Loch Ness, and is perfect for a quiet getaway amongst nature. Whether you fancy walking, cycling, wild swimming in the loch, or visiting romantic castles, there’s nowhere quite like it.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
For those looking to escape into nature, there’s no better place than the remote fjords of Norway. The Lofoten archipelago is a haven for active outdoor adventures, as it is for simply relaxing and disconnecting from the world. Explore the majestic mountains by foot, or ski down to the water’s edge - sail or kayak on the arctic waters. Unwind in a cosy cabin, and look up at the Northern Lights dancing on the water.
Gwynedd, Wales, UK
The county of Gwynedd offers plenty of secluded vacation spots for those looking to spend time immersed in nature. Home to the scenic Llŷn Peninsula (and most of Snowdonia National Park), the county is dotted with rugged mountains, idyllic beaches, sapphire blue lakes, and quintessential Welsh villages. You can get as active or as sedentary as you like - there’s no right or wrong way to experience one of Wales’ prettiest counties.
Located between Scotland and Iceland, this is a different kind of island retreat. This archipelago is home to raw and rugged natural landscapes straight out of a fantasy novel, from rocky coastlines and windswept mountains, to magnificent waterfalls and emerald green hills. The best part? You won’t have to worry about bumping into crowds here - in fact, sheep outnumber humans nearly 2:1.
As the least populous province of the Netherlands, Zeeland is a paradise for those seeking solitude. All kinds of travellers are welcome here, whether you’re a water sport enthusiast, nature lover, sun-worshipper, or gourmand. With a coastline of over 650 kilometres, there’s more than enough space for sunbathing, swimming, wildlife watching, or even hiding away in hidden coves and secluded beaches.
The region of Salta is known for its spectacular, out of this world scenery - think richly coloured landscapes of red rock valleys, multicoloured hills, and miles of cacti. Naturally, this is a haven for outdoor lovers wanting to get off the beaten track, with activities like trekking, horseback riding, rafting, and 4x4 adventures. If you do choose to return to civilisation, the city of Salta boasts eye-catching architecture, as well as mouthwatering cuisine.
Although it may be one of the best-known regions of Italy, Tuscany remains a delightful spot to isolate yourself from the world. With its rolling green hills, sunflower fields, medieval hilltop towns, and romantic vineyards, it’s hard to think of anywhere more beautiful than the Tuscan countryside. If you fancy a change in scenery, head to the coast for secluded coves, sheltered bays, and azure waters.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
When it comes to secluded vacation spots, where better than the desert? Also known as the Valley of the Moon, the dramatic and desolate Wadi Rum is home to intriguing rock paintings, red sand dunes, sandstone mountains, and the nomadic Bedouin tribe. Explore the desert on a Jeep tour, and try sand-boarding, camel riding, and rock climbing. Be sure to visit Bedouin communities along the way, where traditional meals are served around the fire.
Away from the crowds of Mykonos and Santorini, the island of Lefkada is calm and quiet, making it an excellent spot for an island escape. You’ll likely be spending most of your time on the coast, where you’ll find sleepy fishing villages and beautiful beaches - such as Porto Katsiki, and Milos Beach (one of the quietest around). Inland, there are hiking and cycling trails, historic ruins, and the picturesque Dimosari Waterfalls - a lovely spot to cool off.