15 Idyllic Places to Escape the Stress of Today’s Hectic World

MAY 06, 2020 AT 05:52 AM


Whether it’s stress at work, family troubles, or financial worries, at some point, everyone needs to take a break from it all. If you dream of escaping to someplace far from the crowds, check out these exotic locations that are sure to make amazing travel memories.


1. The Lonely Castle

Lonely castle


Carved into an enormous boulder in Saudi Arabia, a remote tomb known as Qasr al-Farid stands in isolation among many ruins located in the archeological hub of Mada’in Saleh. Qasr al-Farid, known as “The Lonely Castle,” is a magnificent piece of architecture rivaling any the world.


2. Nagano's Darkroom

Nagano's darkroom


For these seeking inner enlightenment, a visit to Japan’s Zenkoji Temple located in the Winter Olympics city of Nagano is the ultimate representation of a Japanese temple or shrine. Explore a beautiful 1400-year-old building swathed in incense clouds and visited by 8 million worshippers a year seeking love and luck.


3. Just Room Enough Island

Just Room Enough Island


Wellesley Island


This tiny island barely large enough to hold a single house was meant to be a peaceful family getaway when purchased in the 1950s. Instead, it became its own tourist attraction. This idyllic charmer is located on Wellesley Island, New York, in the Thousand Island chain.


4. Big Lonely Doug

Lonely doug


Saved by a logger in 2012, this solitary Douglas fir can be found in Port Renfrew, British Columbia, and is one of the last great old-growth trees in Canada. Located in a valley on Vancouver Island’s western coast, this majestic tree stands like a lonely sentinel.


5. Robinson Crusoe Island

Robinson Crusoe island


Located in Juan Fernández, Chile, this exotic island renowned for its beauty and rare flora, was the inspiration for the DeFoe novel. Unfortunately, a tsunami struck the island in February 2010 after a major earthquake hit Chile, destroying much of the island.


6. Arciconfraternita Santa Maria dell'Orazione e Morte

Crypt with skulls


Crypt of St. Mary


Not for the faint-hearted, the crypt of St. Mary of Eulogies and the Dead is located in Rome, Italy. To see the crypt, make a donation to the church and a nun will guide you there. Surrounded by skeletons and bones, you can ponder the meaning of mortality.


7. Buford, Wyoming: Population 1

Population 1, Buford


Buford, Wyoming


It’s hard to believe that 2000 railroad workers lived Buford, Wyoming in the late 19th century. But as the railroad continued to move west, the workers followed and Buford slowly withered away. Today, the mountain town has only 1 permanent resident.


8. Point Sur Lightstation

Point Sur lightstation


For over a century, the isolated Point Sur Lightstation, perched on a rock overlooking the California coast, has warned off boats. It may look like a sailor’s fantasy, but it was also a lonely life for the lighthouse keeper.


9. Strofades Monastery

Strofades monastery


Located on the tiny, uninhabited island of Moni Strofadon, Greece, this isolated, fortress-like medieval monastery is home to one monk.


10. Selárdalur Valley

Selárdalur valley


An isolated Icelandic valley is home to "simple-hearted artist" Samuel Jonsson. Set against the stark beauty of the surrounding scenery, he built a chapel and museum to showcase his art.


11. That Wanaka Tree

Wanaka tree


Set against the stunning backdrop of the Southern Alps, a solitary tree emerges on Lake Wanaka. The famous “lone tree of Lake Wanaka” is considered one of the most photographed trees in New Zealand.


12. Kallur Lighthouse

Kallur lighthouse

Wojciech Kruczynski/Alamy

Faroe Islands


Nestled among the striking beauty of the Faroe Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the rustic red and white Kallur Lighthouse guides ships from its perch at the northern tip of Kalsoy Island.


13. Tanah Lot

Tanah lot


Ocean temple


Located on the magical coast of Bali, Pura Tanah Lot is one of seven ocean temples built to honor guardian sea spirits. The island it sits on, Tanah Lot, is said to be guarded from evil spirits by snakes, both small and monstrous.


14. Fanjingshan (Mount Fanjing)

Mount Fanjing

Barcroft Media/Getty



The stunning Fanjingshan (Mount Fanjing) in the Guizhou province of China soars over 8000’ into the sky. This UNESCO World Heritage site houses a pair of ancient Buddhist temples at the peak.


15. Cross Island Chapel

Cross Island chapel


World’s smallest church


Cross Island Chapel holds two unique distinctions: it’s not only the smallest church and just under 30 sq ft, but it’s also built in the middle of a pond. A cross rises from a cluster of nearby rocks.