From yoga to hiking retreats, silent to meditation retreats, cleansing to healing retreats, you name it and there is likely a so-called off-the-grid haven eagerly waiting to make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. But what if you don’t want to go as far as paying out of your pocket for an off-grid resort when there are a whole host of destinations just waiting to help you unwind? Sometimes it can be as simple as switching off your technology and immersing yourself in the moment. We have compiled a list of our top destinations for your (I don’t need a retreat!) digital detox where you can relax and unwind in some spectacular locations around the world.
Torres del Paine National Park – Patagonia
Nestled in the heart of Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park is the perfect destination to go off-grid and enjoy what mother nature has blessed us with. Located in Chilean Patagonia, the park covers an area of over 598 acres and is home to the iconic three granite peaks as well as numerous hiking trails that provide fantastic views of the landscape. For the most authentic experience, either camp in the heart of the national park or stay in eco-domes. With limited electricity, no WIFI and some of the most breathtaking views in the world, you are sure to leave feeling rejuvenated and stress-free. Now breathe in that fresh mountain air!
Masai Mara National Park – Kenya
There is nothing like a safari to make you forget about the world for a day and feel like you are in the heart of nature. The Masai Mara National Park is one of the best in Africa, covering over 1,500 square kilometres. The famous big five can be seen here – lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos as well as numerous other animals and bird species. The reserve is also home to the mighty Mara River, where during the Great Migration thousands of wildebeest thrash through the river on their journey to the Serengeti plains. There are various camps in the Masai Mara giving lots of accommodation options, and while many do now offer electricity and WIFI, choose to stay disconnected and simply enjoy the blissful atmosphere.
Sneafellsjökull National Park – Iceland
Iceland is one of those countries where mother nature is simply showing off. Small enough to travel most of the country in about a week, you won’t even look at your phone once you realise how much Iceland has to offer, including the breathtaking northern lights. You could be standing beneath powerful waterfalls, witnessing spouting geysers, learning about eco-farming or walking along the unique and eerie black lava beach. Sneafellsökull National Park is one of the best places to explore the caves, craters and canyons that are scattered along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Walk the shores of Djúpalónssandur, with its black sands and jagged coastline, or venture to the nearby town of Grundarfjörður for spectacular views of Kirkjufell mountain.
Kazbegi & The Caucasus Mountains – Georgia
Chances are you haven’t heard of Kazbegi, now known as the town of Stepantsminda. Located in Northern Georgia, close to the Russian border, Stepantsminda is encompassed by the Caucasus mountains and offers fantastic scenery – from verdant rolling hills to snow- capped craggy peaks. The tiny mountain village is the perfect destination to unwind and enjoy the various adventure activities on offer. From kayaking along the Tergi River, horseback riding through the mountains or bathing in the mineral springs, the options are endless. Hike to the famous Gergeti Trinity Church, built in the 14th century, it stands before a stunning panoramic of the mountains and is a truly unique sight in Georgia. Spend a few days enjoying Georgian hospitality and trekking in the mountains and you will forget to check your emails, we promise.
The Galapagos Islands – Ecuador
Can it get more off-grid than cruising miles from the mainland in the Pacific Ocean? Maybe, but the Galapagos Islands are a great place to start. This collection of islands are home to an abundance of wildlife which are known as being some of the most bio-diverse areas on earth. Only four of the islands are inhabited by people and offer onshore accommodation, ensuring all the other islands remain inhabited and therefore preserved and largely untouched. Boats will take you between each island, where you can walk amongst animals such as seals, blue-footed boobies, iguanas and giant tortoises. Walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and soak up the rugged nature that surrounds you, switch off your technology and enjoy the moment!
Disconnect the WIFI and challenge yourself at the same time on the most iconic hike in Africa. With various routes to choose from, you could be camping or staying in basic huts along the way. But one thing is for sure, you won’t have any electricity and you’re time will be spent enjoying the landscape around you and bonding with your trekking group. It takes around 6 days to reach the summit, depending on your route and pace, but the feeling of reaching the top is like no other.
Tucan Travel offer a range of destinations that tick off the highlights as well as visiting lesser known and remote locations. Visit www.tucantravel.com for more information.
Emma is on the marketing team at Tucan Travel. She has travelled solo and on group tours through Europe, Southeast Asia and New Zealand.