Get Some R&R in Tonga
Tonga doesn’t have a strong reputation as a destination for rest and relaxation. When you hear “whale swimming”, “scuba diving”, and “fishing” it doesn’t fill you with confidence that you’re going to have time to relax. If you’re reading this, chances are someone is taking you to Tonga so they can do a number of active experiences, while all you want to do is soak in the sun! Don’t worry, Tonga is such a relaxed country that the phrase “Tonga time” is coined to describe the pace of life here. If your kind of getaway is going somewhere to unwind and escape the stresses of everyday life, then Tonga will certainly provide. See how in this list of the ways to relax in Tonga!
Plus, for some similar activities, be sure to check out 10 Health & Wellness Experiences in Tonga.
1. Indulge in an Island Massage
Let’s start with the most obvious way to relax in Tonga, with a massage! Indulge in a spa day at one of the glorious spas in Nuku’alofa. Some spas specialise in Pacific-style treatments, such as banana and papaya body wraps or massages with coconut oil. Alternatively, some resorts in the Ha’apai and Vava’u groups have their own in-resort therapists where you can enjoy treatments in private fales (Tongan-style huts) on the beach. Compare spas and massage parlours in the 6 Best Spas in Tonga.
2. Do an Island Yoga Session
Yoga classes are becoming increasingly popular in Tonga, where you’ll struggle to find yoga sessions taking place on more pristine islands! In Ha’apai and Vava’u, there are resorts with their own gorgeous yoga pavilions either nestled in coconut trees or hanging over the beach, providing perfects surroundings to find your zen. Learn more about yoga in Tonga in the 5 Beautiful Places to Experience Yoga in Tonga.
3. Find a Secluded Hammock on the Beach
It’s simple, but there’s a reason why almost all beach accommodation in Tonga has at least one hammock set up. Get cocooned between two coconut palms and enjoy listening to the waves rolling in while feeling the balmy island breeze run over you. Check out some of the best beach resorts in Tonga here.
4. Learn How to Make Tongan Crafts
Just like knitting, crochet or beadwork, making Tongan crafts is a soothing process. There are many opportunities in Tonga to learn how to weave, make tapa cloth, jewellery and much more with a Tongan handicraft lesson. Learn how to paint tapa cloth at Ancient Tonga in Tongatapu (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Stay with Langi Langi at the Fonongava’inga Guesthouse in Ha’apai and she’ll teach you some handicrafts for an incredibly small fee. You can also learn an array of skills with a handicraft lesson with the locals in ‘Eua. Find out more about Tongan crafts in Where to Learn Tongan Handicrafts.
5. Stay at an Adult-Only Resort/Apartment
The adult-only getaway, escaping your own or other people’s kids, is becoming more and more of an idyllic way to experience the South Pacific. Tonga certainly has some exclusively adult-only options to enjoy, from tranquil adult-only island resorts in Vava’u to adult-only luxury apartments in Nuku’alofa. The whole ambience of this style of accommodation, exclusively for guests aged either 12 or 16 and above, is designed with relaxation in mind. Check out some of the adult-only resorts in Tonga here.
6. Join a Wellness Retreat
Yoga, art, writing, meditation, dance, cooking, wellness, church groups, business… There are all kinds of retreats happening in Tonga. The retreats are enhanced further with their beautiful resort environments on stunning islands. Retreats typically take place at resorts in Vava’u and Ha’apai. Take a look at the guide to Wellness & Yoga Retreats in Tonga for more information.
7. Go Kayaking on a Tranquil Lagoon
Kayaking doesn’t have to be an activity where you overexert yourself. In fact, you often achieve the complete opposite while you’re silently gliding over a sheltered lagoon in Tonga! Many of the island resorts in Tonga are fringed with reefs sheltering water that is often unbelievably clear. Almost all of them offer complimentary use of kayaks for guests to explore the waters independently, where you can watch fish and coral through the crystal clear waters. We definitely consider this a relaxing activity in Tonga!
8. Float Over Tonga’s Colourful Marine Life
If you’re not watching the fish because you are kayaking, then it will probably be when you’re snorkelling. Again, because of the sheltered lagoons found off Tonga’s shores, snorkelling is usually a case of casually floating on the water’s surface and watching the life of colourful fish and shapely coral doing their thing below you. Getting in the water also provides welcome relief from the warm Tongan sun, offering yet another way to relax in Tonga!
9. Read a Good Book
It’s a way most of us choose to relax but somehow, reading a book on the beach or on a lounger while feeling a warm tropical breeze is all the more blissful. With one library in the whole country and very limited book exchanges at resorts, it’s best to bring your own reads.
10. Relax in Your Beachfront Fale
Finally, just getting a taste of the island life is relaxing enough in itself. Many of the resorts in Tonga have guests staying in traditional-style “fales”, which are made of local materials, thatched rooves and often decorated with tapa or woven panels. Sometimes even the simplest things will make you appreciate the world more and give you inner peace. Relaxing, right?