Which takes your fancy; beach, mountains or the countryside? All are great but to make your choice easier, we have pieced together a study to reveal the very best European hotspots for escaping the bustle of the crowds.
To help you choose the ideal tranquil destination, we considered the following key factors: the number of hotels, spa access, population density, online popularity and air quality. Our accompanying tool allows tranquil holiday lovers to visualise where in Europe ranks the best for the factors you value above all else.
Zahara de la Sierra ranks as the most tranquil place in Europe for holidaymakers looking to escape and switch off. The town in southern Spain has breathtaking views and sits as the only Spanish town in the top 25. Gruyeres, Hvar, Le Bois Plage En Re and Eguisheim make up the top five with some of the most breathtaking landscapes with access to peaceful amenities – more on those later.
Best Tranquil Destination By The Mountains
Zahara de la Sierra in Spain ranks as the most tranquil destination in Europe. Its mountain location with views over valleys and lakes offers idyllic viewpoints for those priceless mindless moments. The Spanish town boasts great access to spas per capita and has a low population density to help you enjoy the peace and quiet. The town is currently left untouched by tourists with a low number of Google Searches compared to other places in the study.
Other places worth visiting for a peaceful holiday in the mountains holidays include Gruyeres in Switzerland, and Bled, in Slovenia, which rank 2nd and 3rd respectively. The two towns seem to be unknown gems of Europe. Gruyeres is famous for the cheese of the same name and Bled is perched around a glacial lake.
Best Tranquil Destination By The Sea
Our research also shows that the best seafront location in Europe for tranquility is Hvar, a charming island in Croatia right on the Adriatic Sea. Hvar offers better access to hotels than any other area in the study and has the fewest people per km2. Le Bois Plage En Re in France on the Atlantic Ocean ranks in second place for seafront tranquility after being named as one of the quietest spots.
Best Countryside Retreat in Europe
Eguisheim in France ranks as the best countryside retreat in Europe, making it the perfect place to escape the city whilst maintaining a local vibrancy. The medieval village in France’s Alsace wine region has the joint-second cleanest air in Europe.
The second best rural place for a tranquil escape is Riquewihr. This French town, also in the Alsace region of eastern France, ranks towards the top thanks to a low population density, charming street backdrops and alluring places for wine tasting.
Top UK Tranquil Escape
There is good news for UK residents who want to stay close to home without dealing with unclear travel restrictions. Chipping Campden, in the Cotswold county of Gloucestershire, ranks as the UK’s most tranquil escape with the best air quality, good access to spas and very few online searches.
If you’re looking for a tranquil UK seafront adventure then Whitby is the place to be with its Gothic Abbey and quality access to both peaceful countryside and seafront locations.
With this tool OVO Network set out to discover which European cities offer the most tranquil surroundings for holiday goers.
In order to put this together OVO Network analysed a wide range of data sources including:
- Google Maps API to collect the number of spas and hotels within a locality
- Google Keyword Planner to get search popularity and trends data over the past few years
- Air Quality to estimate how untouched by tourism a locality is
- Density of people per km2 which was calculated by taking the population and dividing it by the size of the relevant city or area
Once all the metrics were collected, a ranking system was put together in order to score these cities and an overall ranking column was created to rank from the best to the worst performer.
If you happen to be a fan of mountainous surroundings, hiking and love to ski in your spare time, why not look into our selection of high end mountain properties on offer in the French Alps.