Whether you travel for relaxation, inspiration or adventure, holidays should be about happiness and feeling reinvigorated. But what makes a country a happy place? The United Nations World Happiness Report could put some new travel destinations on your must-see list.
The Report ranks 156 countries on factors such as longer healthy years of life, social support, trust in government, higher GDP per capita and generosity. These combine to give a country an overall sense of satisfaction with life, which in turn makes them a great place to visit.
So who’s top of the charts on happiness?
No wonder Finns have smiles all round. The country’s 40 national parks are packed with beautiful forests, islands and lakes and the air quality is among the cleanest in the world. The celebrated sauna culture makes Finland the perfect place for a little R&R - try the Löyly Design Sauna, just a short trip from Helsinki. Or why not take the grandchildren to meet Santa and his reindeer friends in their homeland, and see the unforgettable Northern Lights at the same time?
Norway’s Scenic Routes take the stress out of sightseeing. Stretching over 1,300 miles, the 18 different routes provide a ready-made itinerary of natural, architectural and artistic highlights. Take your pick of fjords, glaciers, mountains and waterfalls and make sure you stock up on delicious local produce as you go: beer, cheese, fish, meat and pastries offer unending variety and flavour.
In recent years the Danish concept of Hygge has caught on. It’s that glowy, cosy feeling you get when surrounded by family and friends in comfortable surroundings. In winter there are gorgeous markets lit by fairy lights and stalls serving mulled wine, while warmer weather is perfect for finding a spot in a street cafe and watching the world go by. If you’re looking for adventure, try Legoland, the fairytale-like Tivoli Gardens, or simply exploring Denmark’s cute and colourful towns.
Geothermal pools are a key source of Iceland’s happiness. In stunning surroundings, the naturally hot bathing spots are a perfect place to let go of life’s stresses as snowflakes drift down around you. The nation’s simple road system makes exploring easy, so you can go whale-watching one day, check out museums the next and fit in some chilling in capital city Reykjavik, too.
Switzerland has it all, from modern cities to breaktaking mountain scenery and some of the world’s best chocolate. The Swiss know how to enjoy the best of everything, from landscapes to cheese to watches and jewellery. You’ll love exploring the Alps then tucking into a hearty fondue with the wafting sound of cow bells. Don’t forget to stock up on chocolate - Lindt, Toblerone, Cailler and Milka are all based in Switzerland.
Wherever you decide to have your next adventure, Medical Travel Compared can provide the right insurance for your needs.