In a fast-paced world where everything is constantly on the move, slowing down can be a breath of fresh air. Slow travel is all about immersing yourself in a destination and taking the time to appreciate the culture, the people, and the scenery. It is a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of your daily life and embrace a more relaxed way of exploring the world. From charming small towns to breathtaking natural wonders, there are countless destinations that offer the perfect opportunity to slow down and savor every moment. In this article, I share some slow travel destinations to rediscover the joys of taking it slow. Let’s embark on a relaxing journey to some amazing places.
What you will find in this blog post:
What is Slow Travel?
Slow travel is a way of traveling that encourages you to take things slow to truly enjoy the journey and immerse yourself in the destination. It is about being meaningful and taking the time to appreciate the local culture, food, and people. Contrary to traditional travel that focuses on visiting as many tourist attractions as possible in a short amount of time, slow travel is about quality over quantity.
Slow traveling can take many forms: visiting le Bassin d’Archachon by bike, experimenting with train journeys in India, or exploring each village of Tuscany. The key is to take the time to explore the place, connect with the locals, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Authenticity and mindfulness are the two main watchwords.
Benefits of Slow Travel
There are many benefits to slow travel for the traveler, the planet, and the local communities.
As a tourist, you can experience a more relaxed and stress-free experience. You also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the destination to connect better with the local culture and discover off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Slow travel is the best-traveling modality for the planet since it decreases the traveler’s carbon footprint. As you don’t move from one place to another, you reduce it drastically. Plus, you have time to focus on less-contaminated transportation modes, like trains or ferries.
For the local communities, slow travel can have a positive impact on the local economy. By staying in locally owned accommodations, eating at local restaurants, and shopping at local markets, you are supporting the local economy and helping the people to preserve their way of life.
Slow Travel Trend
The environmental issue is no anymore a concern shared by a few. On a bigger scale, many travelers are making efforts in their daily life by taking measures to decrease their environmental impact. This trend is here for good and affects every aspect, including tourism.
One of the most efficient ways of continuing to travel and taking care of the planet at the time is opting for slow travel, a travel style that is gaining a lot of popularity lately. More than a trend, it is a new way of embracing tourism for more people every year.
Top Slow Travel Destinations in Europe
Europe is home to some of the most charming destinations in the world. Not only you can enjoy breathtaking cities but also astonishing villages, making it the perfect place to slow down. Here are some slow travel destinations in Europe:
Italy is the home of the slow food movement: a movement that was born to prevent the disappearance of local food traditions and cultures and also counteract the rise of fast food and fast life. So, as a matter of fact, Italy is also a great place for slow travel.
When tourists visit the Netherlands, they usually go to Amsterdam, but rarely think of visiting the rest of the country. It is a shame since it is well-connected by train and has many lovely cities and villages.
This sunny country is ideal to wander in its colorful and singular streets, enjoy food in small restaurants while listening fado, and spend time on its beautiful beaches.
Top Slow Travel Destinations in Asia
Asia is a vast and diverse continent, with plenty of destinations that offer the perfect opportunity to slow down. Here are some of the slow-travel destinations in Asia:
Thailand has one of the best gastronomy in the world, astonishing temples everywhere you go, and a beautiful and varied nature to explore at your own pace.
India can seem a very bustling destination, not really a good fit for slow travel. Well, it depends on you. The country offers many options to escape the big cities, withdraw yourself to a meditation center, and learn how to really practice yoga.
With lush rice fields, stunning temples, and vibrant culture, it is impossible to get bored while visiting the country formed by 5 main islands and some 30 smaller archipelagoes.
Top Slow Travel Destinations in America
From North America to South America, passing by Central America, there are an extraordinary quantity of places where you can enjoy the beauty and diversity of the continent while practicing slow travel. Here are some of the top slow travel destinations in America.
With wineries, stunning countryside, and gourmet cuisine, you can find gems to slow travel outside the big bustling cities.
Mexico will surprise you with all the different facets you can find in only one country: quiet volcanos, impressive mountains, paradisiacal beaches… There is one Mexico for you. And I won’t speak about the food, that could make your trip even slower if you want to enjoy all the delicious specialties.
A vibrant music scene, welcoming local people, and amazing beaches will invite you to slow down to really soak in the culture and enjoy every small moment.
Top Slow Travel Destinations in AFRICA
Most of the time, travelers skip Africa, but the continent offer so many destinations where to take time to feel the atmosphere and get stunned by the beauty of the nature. Here are some of the top slow travel destinations in Africa.
1. CAPE VERDE
Formed by several islands, Cape Verde is a unique country that offers many landscapes and a vibrant musical scene. If you like spending time on the beach, you will love sunbathing on the beautiful beaches of the country.
Morocco is a country that is so different! Cities, villages, waterfalls, desert, crafts… There are so many things to discover that you will need time. Plus, the kindness of the inhabitants and the delicious food will push you to stay longer than planned.
Dreamy beaches and national parks, this African country invites you to take the time to discover its unique beauty.
Slow travel TIPS
Starting to slow travel is not easy. But, no worries, I will share with you some tips to make the most of your slow travel experience:
- Plan your trip with plenty of time to spare, so you don’t feel rushed. I personally try to do one thing a day, no more. It can be visiting a local market or trying new specialties. I also allow myself not to do anything for one day or focus on doing the groceries, washing my clothes, and nothing else.
- Choose locally-owned accommodations so you can support the local community. Airbnb is a good option, but it also can be the worst in some cases and increase gentrification, so properly pick your neighborhood and owner.
- Use public transportation or walk and bike whenever it is possible to reduce your impact on the environment.
- Take the time to connect with the locals and learn about their culture and way of life. It is way easier than you can think: you can join a movie club or just go every day to the same coffee place.
- Try local cuisine in markets to get a taste of the local flavor, but also to have a glimpse of how people live and interact.
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Slow Travel Accommodation Options
When it comes to slow travel, accommodation options can make a big difference in your experience. Here are some options to consider:
Bed and Breakfasts: These small, locally owned accommodations are perfect for a more personalized and authentic experience.
Vacation Rentals: Rent a local home or apartment for a more homey and comfortable stay. It is also a great way to save money, since it can be cheaper than Airbnb.
Eco-Lodges: These accommodations are designed to have a low impact on the environment and can provide a unique and peaceful experience.
Slow travel is all about taking the time to appreciate the place, the culture, the people, and the scenery. You take time to reconnect with yourself, enjoy yourself, and deeply and truly discover a new place. There is so much to explore in this world, and looking a bit closer, you will find gems to slow travel.
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