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Off the Beaten Track - Downtime Destinations

There’s nothing like some geographical remoteness to help you really switch off. Here’s our round up of the best off-beat destinations for downtime solitude.

We guarantee you won’t run into anyone you know.

Archipelagic islands, Sweden.

Once the summer arrives, so do endless days where the sun never sets. Head to the 200,000 islands that dot the water off the mainland are a haven for a weekend escape. Start your trip in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm and head to one of the 1,000 inhabited islands. Our favourites are closeby, Fjäderholmarna or slightly further afield, Visby, Öland and Fåröthe.

Scotland, North Coast 500.

“Scotland’s answer to Route 66” filled with fairytale castles, beaches and ruins. The circular route takes you around the very top of the United Kingdom offering you the chance to see rugged landscapes, sandy beaches, wildlife, visit museums and heritage sites, stay in castles, drink whisky and taste the local produce. All amongst rolling hills and breathtaking views.

St Moritz.

Although people flock to the alpine resort, St Moritz in winter, it’s just as wonderful during the summer months, especially thanks to the natural beauty that is St Moritz lake, which the luxurious Badrutt’s Hotel overlooks. Great for hiking, picnics and even swimming, the mountains provide a peaceful, active break from the crowded winter slopes.

Essaouira, Morocco.

Taking surfspot status after the summer of 1969 when Jimi Hendrix visited, Essaouira is also a painter's dream with a bright blue and white medina, which also extends to the rolling waves surrounding the city. A laid-back alternative to the bustling Marrakech, Essaouira offers cafes and beaches stretching far and wide, inviting a host of kite-surfing enthusiasts.

Malta, Gozo Island.

Greener, more rural and a lifestyle that is dictated by seasons, fishing and agriculture, Gozo is Malta’s tranquil sister island that is steeped in grecian myths, rugged landscape and coastline. Offering unparalleled diving spots as well as historical sites and picturesque lunch spots, it even upholds a reputable night scene.

Faroe Islands.

The Faore Islands is an archipelago between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, about halfway between Norway and Iceland, 320 kilometres (200 miles) north-northwest of Scotland. An alternative to the over popular Iceland, the Faroe Islands have a sense of being unspoiled and unexplored, offering a unique and adventurous experience. Get there before everyone else does!

Portugal - Cascais or Ericeira.

Although Lisbon is still on our list, Portugal has many other alternatives to explore. Head 20 miles west of Lisbon, to the coastal town of Cascais. Once a small fishing village, its idyllic scenery has attracted the attention of artists and writers to visit their gorgeous beaches to surf and sail. If you’re looking for more powerful surf, head further north to the surfing mecca, that is Ericeira.

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