Pick a group holiday based on… happiness

Date Posted: 18/01/2017

The World Happiness Report for 2016 has recently been released, and provides plenty of inspiration if you’re looking to book a future holiday based on positive vibes.

Here, Group Leisure picks a few great things to do in the ten happiest countries in the world, from discovering natural landscapes to exploring Medieval provinces.

Party poppers at the ready: in first place on the list of the world’s happiest countries is… Denmark. It might be the smallest of the Nordic countries but it offers a gargantuan sized collection of exciting things to do. 

Look no further than the Tivoli Gardens – an amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen – for a joyous group outing, or alternatively, head to the many museums, take a foodie-themed walking tour, or visit a fairytale-esque castle for a taste of Denmark’s culture and history.

In second place is Switzerland – perhaps unsurprisingly, given the abundance of jaw-dropping natural scenery, the many cities crammed with culture, and of course, its world-famous chocolate.

Groups should make time for capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The Swiss national parks, Lake Geneva, the picturesque beauty of the Alps and the peak of the Matterhorn are also bound to please visitors. Remember to pack your camera.

lucerne, Switzerland

Pictured: Lucerne, Switzerland.

The land of ice and fire – better known to most as Iceland – scooped third place in the World Happiness Report. This country of extremes, where glaciers and volcanic springs are located next to each other, is littered with forests, fjords, lava fields, farmland, fishing villages and everything in between.

Groups on a whistle-stop trip should make time to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, the Gulfoss waterfall, and the capital of Reykjavik. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Northern Lights, too.

Reykjavik

Pictured: Reykjavik, Iceland.

Norway and Finland took fourth and fifth place respectively in the report. Norway offers a plethora of natural wonders and spellbinding landscapes, from towering cliff faces, rugged rocky ledges and waterfalls that drop straight into the sea, to the Norwegian fjords and cities like Bergen and Stavanger.

And in Finland, discover the contrasting cultures of the Baltic region, from Helsinki’s 18th-century sea fortress Suomenlinna to the fashionable Design District and diverse museums. The Northern Lights can be seen from Finland’s Arctic Lapland province, a vast wilderness with national parks and ski resorts.

Alternatively, why not consider a group holiday to Canada? The country came sixth in the World Happiness Report, and with its bustling cities, seemingly infinitive stretches of rugged wilderness, plus its claim to Niagara Falls, there’s no doubt as to why.

Banff National Park

Pictured: Banff National Park, Canada.

Major Canadian cities include Toronto, Vancouver, French-speaking Montréal and Québec City, and the capital city of Ottawa – so there’s plenty to entertain the city dweller in your group. Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies, meanwhile, await those looking for an outdoor adventure.

The Netherlands, in seventh place, combines all things arty, and makes for a great short break for groups flying over from the UK. The capital of Amsterdam is definitely worth a stopover; it’s home to the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the house where Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid during World War Two.

Canals, tulip fields, windmills and cycling routes are some of the staple features of the country – and don’t miss out on visiting the famous Keukenhof Gardens, or the Royal Delft Porcelain factory, either.

With New Zealand in eighth happiest place and Australia in ninth, why not take an extended trip to the other side of the world to experience both countries on one long holiday?

Milford Sound

Pictured: Milford Sound, New Zealand.

Steaming geysers, picturesque mountains, flat fjords and lush forests await visitors in New Zealand on both islands, while in Australia you can take your pick of varying environments, from beach to jungle to tiny rural town.

The metropolitan cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney have plenty to attract those with a passion for the concrete jungle, while places like Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests provide more than enough for thrill seekers.

And in tenth place, it’s Sweden, a land of myths, legends and natural light displays. Swedish Lapland, the eastern capital of Stockholm (built on 14 islands) and southwestern cities Gothenburg and Malmö are all must-visits for visitors, as are the Medieval old town, Gamla Stan, and royal palaces and museums such as open-air Skansen.

For more on the World Happiness Report visit www.worldhappiness.report.

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