Have you heard of slow travel or are you curious to know if it’s the type of travel experience you’d enjoy?
Chances are you have heard of the slow food movement; sparked by the Italian who was outraged at McDonald’s opening yet another fast food outlet in Rome’s Piazza de Spagna.
Slow used to be a bad thing didn’t it. After all who wants slow service or a slow internet connection? But in this fast paced hectic 21st century sometimes slowing down is the perfect antidote.
While the slow food movement celebrated the art of picking, preparing and enjoying food in a relaxed environment, slow travel aims for a similar relaxed approach.
Remember that old satire from the late 60’s, “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium”? It skewered packaged tours which focused on the maximum number of countries in the minimum amount of days. The phrase lived on to describe any frantic dash to see all of Europe in the shortest amount of time.
Slow travel on the other hand is about allowing the necessary time to fully savor your destination. It’s not about how much you can cram into a two week vacation, but how slow you can go while you’re there. Sound like your cup of tea?
Does the idea of cruising down a canal on a leisurely tour of France a la Great Canal Journeys with Prunella Scales and Timothy West appeal? How about soaking up some local wineries along the way.
The upside of midlife and retirement is having more time to do the things we love. Travel doesn’t have to be a manic dash from historic site to museum to landmark and back to be enjoyable. In fact if you’re not quite as fit as you used to be, slow travel may also be a practical alternative.
The following tour companies specialize in slow travel experiences. Not all slow travel is geared to a lower activity level. Check to see which tours match up to your personal stamina level.
From walking the Prosecco route in Italy to learning how to bake Finnish style these travel experiences all offer a chance to immerse yourself in local culture, food and wine.
Here’s some slow travel options you may like to explore:
- Inntravel specializes in “slow” holidays
- Cycling, hiking, cooking traditional Finnish food plus a sauna. Sounds divine!
- Explore the backroads and old towns of France. How about Classic Cognac Cycling?
- Stay in an historic villa and experience authentic Italian bubbles and local producers
- Walk the famous Camino de Santiago. Graded medium-hard, long days on well marked paths
- 5 Days of walking and wine in Italy’s Piedmont district
- 10 more slow travel experiences to try
Is it time for you to live like a local and feel relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed? Doesn’t your inner soul deserve some downtime?
Give yourself time to get out of the mindset of rushing to get it all done and into the vibe of relaxing. Embracing the culture you’re visiting is what slow travel is all about. I’d love to hear about your experience!