Slow travel is the answer to the hectic tourism that leaves travellers exhausted. We tell you everything about it and give examples for slow-travel-destinations.
Ever heard of slow travel? It is a travel philosophy that emphasizes connection, relaxation, and immersion in the local culture over fast-paced sightseeing and ticking off the usual tourist boxes. It’s about taking the time to savour the journey as much as the destination. Slow travel is the answer to the hectic, checklist-driven tourism that leaves travellers exhausted rather than revitalized.
The concept of slow travel emerged from the slow food movement, which advocates for locally grown, sustainable foods, savoured in a leisurely manner. The fundamental idea is to slow down, becoming more mindful and conscious of the environment and community around us. In the context of travel, this translates to longer stays, fewer destinations, and engagement with local cultures, foods, and traditions.
Trains, buses, cycling
This concept encourages travelling overland rather than by air whenever possible, using modes of transportation such as trains, buses, cycling, or even walking. This not only reduces the environmental impact of travel but also provides an opportunity to experience the landscape more intimately.
Destinations for slow travel
Italy, the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement, is a perfect destination for slow travel. One could spend weeks exploring Tuscany’s vineyards and hilltop towns, taking leisurely bike rides through the countryside, or enjoying long meals prepared with locally-sourced ingredients.
Japan is another excellent example of a destination. Instead of rushing from Tokyo to Kyoto to Hiroshima, one could spend a few weeks in a single location, such as the peaceful mountain town of Takayama, exploring the rural lifestyle, traditional crafts, and local cuisine.
Similarly, in the United States, instead of the classic whirlwind tour of the national parks, slow travelers might choose to spend a season in a single location. For example, a month in the autumn colors of Vermont, exploring small towns, hiking, and enjoying local farmers‘ markets.
New Zealand’s South Island, known for its stunning natural landscapes, is also an excellent slow travel destination. Rather than trying to visit every famous spot, one might choose to rent a cottage in a small town like Wanaka or Akaroa, and enjoy hiking, boating, and becoming part of the local community.
Another ideal destination for slow travel is the Greek Islands. Instead of island-hopping, consider choosing one island, such as Paros or Naxos, and taking the time to explore its beaches, villages, and ancient ruins at your own pace.
In a fast-paced world where the breadth of experiences often overshadows their depth, slow travel is a way to reclaim the depth and richness of those experiences. It’s about quality over quantity, about connection over observation. By taking the time to engage deeply with a single place and its culture, slow travelers often find that they gain a more profound understanding and appreciation of the world around them.