Technology is an almost unavoidable part of life in the 21st century.
Between the draw of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and endless work emails, many of us spend the majority of our waking hours staring at a screen. Studies have shown nearly 60 per cent of smartphone users check a social media platform five minutes before they go to bed and within 30 minutes of waking up.
It’s no surprise then that many of us are now looking to break the internet habit by disconnecting when we travel. So much so that the search term “digital detox” is ten times more popular than it was 15 years ago.
But where should you go to make the most of life away from your phone screen?
A study by Uswitch took a look at the top destinations for a digital detox using factors including internet speed and connectivity, things to do, places to stay and the travel time to the nearest city.
With little to tempt you back online, these locations are the best places in the world to switch off.
10. The Pitons, St Lucia
These twin volcanic peaks rise up more than 700m above St Lucia in the Caribbean. They are surrounded by hot springs, mineral-rich mud baths and lush forest. There are a number of ways to see these famous landmarks including hiking through the flora and fauna or sailing through the turquoise waters that surround the island.
Coral reefs cover almost 60 per cent of the region’s marine area offering watersports enthusiasts the chance to see more than 200 species of sea creatures.
With the slowest internet speed on this list, you’ll have no choice but to go off-grid and enjoy the scenery. Plan your visit here.
9. Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is almost four hours from the nearest city of Cusco – the longest journey on this list.
This 15th century Inca citadel can be found 2,430 m above sea level in the middle of a tropical mountain forest. On the eastern slopes of the Andes in the upper Amazon Basin, it is surrounded by a rich diversity of plants and wildlife.
With plenty of natural and historic attractions, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied while you switch off. Find out more here.
8. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Aran Islands make the Cliffs of Moher one of Ireland’s favourite tourist destinations. Their natural beauty has long provided inspiration for musicians, artists and poets alike.
They are also a good place for a digital detox if you want to stay close to civilisation – at just 18 minutes from the nearest city of Lahinch. Start planning your trip here.
7. Banff National Park, Canada
Banff National Park is home to 1,600 km of maintained hiking trails which are best explored from July through to mid-September.
If walking isn’t for you, this destination has a whole host of other activities available to visitors including cross country skiing, fishing, ice skating, horseback riding and wildlife watching.
Find out what Banff National Park has to offer here.
6. Pamukkale, Turkey
The thermal pools in Pamukkale are considered one of the most beautiful places in the world. The name translates to ‘cotton castle’ as there are plenty of bright white limestone terraces which have been drawing visitors for thousands of years.
The region also has a temperate climate for the majority of the year making this a good choice for digital detoxers looking to escape the cold. Find out how to book your trip here.
5. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This group of 19 islands can be found 1000km off the coast of South America. To get to the nearest city, Guayaquil, you’ll have to travel nearly three hours – all the way back to mainland Ecuador.
The extremely isolated location isn’t just good for switching off, it has also led to the evolution of unusual animal life. Wildlife watchers can see giant tortoises, iguanas and penguins. You can find more information here.
4. Cappadocia, Turkey
This central Turkish region is famous for its fairytale scenery, underground cities and unusual geology.
That isn’t all there is to see either. Hundreds of hot air balloons take off at sunrise every morning offering visitors the chance to appreciate this network of valleys from above.
A lack of wildlife in this rocky landscape means the balloons are allowed to descend and skim the tops of Cappadocia’s “fairy chimney” rock formations. Plan your off-grid adventure here.
3. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Tiny islands and towering limestone pillars rise out of the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin to create the unique landscape of Halong Bay. Best seen from the water, a majority of visitors to the area arrive aboard cruises that often stop for passengers to swim in the bay’s emerald waters.
For the more adventurous, kayak tours offer a different perspective and a way to escape from the crowds of tourists. Find out more here.
2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
With nearly an hour-long journey to the nearest city, staying in Cabo San Lucas offers an opportunity to go off-grid. At the most southern point of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, this holiday spot has some beautiful coastal scenery to enjoy.
Many visitors come here for boat trips out into the Pacific Ocean to spot humpback whales and dolphins in the wild. Quadbiking routes, snorkelling and scuba diving can also be found nearby if you’re more athletic. Start planning your trip here.
1. Provence, France
Filled with botanical delights including lavender fields, sunflowers and olive trees, Provence is known for its slower pace of life. What puts this region at the top of the list is its incredible choice of places to stay.
There are more than 14,000 accommodation options across Provence.
There’s plenty to do while off the grid too with more than 2,000 attractions to visit in the region. You won’t be tempted to jump back into the fast pace of everyday life either with internet speeds that are lower than average and a half an hour journey to the nearest city.
Find out more about a trip to Provence here.