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 relaxing things to do in Tonga!
Plus, for some similar activities, be sure to check out the 10 Best 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 have in-resort therapists where you can enjoy treatments in private fales (Tongan-style huts) on the beach. Compare spas and massage parlours in the 5 Best Spas in Tonga.
2. Do an Island Yoga Session
While yoga classes are becoming increasingly popular, you’ll find that simply the setting of Tonga’s pristine islands provides the perfect place for self-guided yoga. In Ha’apai and Vava’u, there are resorts with their gorgeous yoga pavilions either nestled in coconut trees or hanging over the beach. 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 accommodations in Tonga have 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 places to do just that in the 10 Best Beach Resorts in Tonga.
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 or join a three-hour handicraft workshop complete with an umu lunch at Tina’s Workshop – both on Tongatapu. Find out more about Tongan crafts in Where to Learn Tongan Handicrafts.
5. Stay at an Adults-Only Resort
The adults-only getaway, escaping your own or other people’s kids, is becoming more and more of an idyllic way to experience the South Pacific. Although only a small selection, Tonga has some adult-only options to enjoy, from remote island resorts in Vava’u to more budget-friendly beachfront cabins in Ha’apai. 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 your options in the 5 Best Adults-Only Resorts in Tonga.
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 or Paddleboarding on a Tranquil Lagoon
Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding don’t have to be activities 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 and/or SUP boards for guests to explore the waters independently, where you can watch fish and coral through the crystal clear waters. Ensure you choose a resort with this service by checking out the 10 Best Resorts for Kayaking in Tonga and the 10 Best Resorts for Paddleboarding 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 a lounger while feeling a warm tropical breeze is all the more blissful. With only one library in the whole country and very limited book exchanges at resorts, it’s best to bring your own reads.
10. Drink Kava
Finally, something that will certainly make you feel relaxed is the calming effect of kava. In all seriousness, the amount of kava visitors usually try when trying kava at a resort or joining a local kava circle will not get you intoxicated. But there’s no denying the soothing effect of the ritual when passing around the coconut shell of infused water and listening to the harmonious singing of the locals that usually accompanies this tradition. Learn more about the experience in Where to Try Kava in Tonga.
More Ways to Relax in Tonga
That’s it for the most relaxing things to do in Tonga. For similar experiences, take a look at the following guides:
- 10 Health & Wellness Experiences in Tonga
- 15 Best Foodie Experiences in Tonga
- 10 Most Luxurious Experiences in Tonga