9 Places Where You Can Really Escape from the Daily Grind ...

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I’m quite happy to go on a resort/beach holiday but they aren’t really an escape from everyday life.

I’ve heard “I need another holiday to get over my holiday” more times than I can remember.

If you really do want to get respite and experience some R&R – even for just a day - from the rat race here are some places to visit.2

1. Monkey Business in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan

Monkey Business in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan

Jigokudami Monkey Park, one of the most memorable and eerie places to escape the stress of our modern world, is a natural spa that has formed through hot volcanic springs.

For millennia Japanese Macaques or snow monkeys have used these hot springs to warm up their frozen toes and exchange gossip.

Occasionally, there's some monkey business going on, which is probably why they all have such red faces.

2. Visit the Elves' Retreat of Hallstatt, Austria

Visit the Elves' Retreat of Hallstatt, Austria

Looking like a background to J.R.R.

Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" novels, where hobbits and elves frolic among waterfalls and forests, Hallstatt in Austria dreams of swashbuckling adventures and faster Internet connections.

Boasting just 1,000 inhabitants, the little town sits on the banks of a fast-flowing river, overshadowed by snow-capped peaks and dramatic cloud cover.2

3. Snuggle into Your Tiger's Nest at Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan

Snuggle into Your Tiger's Nest at Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan

Clinging to the side of a mountain some 3,000 feet above sea level, the Paro Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan is also known as the Tiger's Nest - which is strange, because it's more likely eagles will regard this as a desirable place to escape.

Surrounded by lush vegetation and overlooking a sheer vertical drop on one side, the monastery is famously difficult to reach.

Meditate vigorously and hope you'll achieve sufficient enlightenment to levitate down this mountain, when you're done!2

4. Contemplate History in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Contemplate History in Dubrovnik, Croatia

The historic city of Dubrovnik looks like the background to an epic Hollywood movie - think "Troy" or "Clash of the Titans" and you're nearly there.

Used as location for scenes featuring in the hit TV show "Game of Thrones", this Croatian city enjoys a stunning natural cliff setting.2

Dubrovnik's gorgeous old mansions and palaces seem to be dozing under azure skies, waiting to be kissed back to life, as they sleep through historic changes, framed by dazzling Mediterranean waters.

Magic Glow Worm Lantern at Waitomo Glowing Caves, New Zealand
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