Slow Travel Experiences
Inspiring slow travel destinations
While the concept of ‘slow travel’ has been around for a while, it is re-emerging now more than ever. Instead of rushing around the country to tick off its highlights, travelling ‘slow’ is all about travelling in a serene and thoughtful manner. Stay in a place for a longer period of time. Get to know the local people. Opt for a scenic train journey instead of a quick flight. Spend a morning just enjoying your coffee overlooking and appreciating the landscape around you.
There are slow travel destinations which are becoming more popular for 2021/22. Some of these destinations surprise you. For example, although Japan is renowned for its futuristic technology and fast-paced cities, there are areas in Japan covered in snow-capped mountains, ice blue rivers and ancient pilgrimage paths. These areas of the Japanese Alps should be enjoyed slowly, making every second count.
There are also slow travel experiences to enjoy. These can be specific journeys or modes of travel, like luxury train journeys or river cruises. We have put together some of our most recommended slow travel experiences across the world. These can all be tied in with other experiences and destinations within that country – all of our sample tours are examples but we can customize them to build your perfect trip.
Image credit: The Rocky Mountaineer
Ravos Rail, South Africa
You can cover a long distance in a luxurious way by hopping aboard the restored Edwardian-era Rovos Rail train. Its principal route runs between Cape Town and Pretoria, providing one of the world’s greatest train journeys. Dating back to the 1920s, the heritage rail line with lavishly enhanced historic cabins and coaches provides old-world charm, elegance, and spectacular views of the South African countryside. One of the highlights of the trip is the Big Hole at Kimberley, the world’s largest excavation site measuring 580-foot- deep and a mile-wide. A viewing platform juts out over it for viewing, and there’s a Diamond Mine Museum to explore too.
The Rocky Mountaineer, Canada
The Rocky Mountaineer travels through some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, running from Banff National Park and through Jasper National Park along the Yellowhead route to the city of Vancouver on Canada’s west coast. The dramatic peaks of the Rockies come into view much of the way, including the most prominent, Mount Robson, which soars over the landscape at nearly 13,000 feet. Watch for countless waterfalls and the region’s abundant wildlife too, including bear, moose, bighorn sheep, elk, and wolves. The train continues into Fraser Canyon and Hells Gate, where the rushing waters wind through a narrow passage, before reaching its final destination.
Image Credit: The Rocky Mountaineer
The Glacier Express, Switzerland
The Glacier Express offers a panoramic rail journey covering nearly 200 miles through the heart of the Swiss Alps. This incredibly scenic ride features towering craggy peaks that are even more stunning against the contrast of the nearly always bright blue skies. It chugs through nearly 100 tunnels and 300 bridges on a seven-hour trip, passing deep gorges, through cow- and chalet-dotted lush green valleys, and up to Oberalp Pass which sits at over 6600 feet above sea level. As it travels at a slow pace, you’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of photo-ops or simply enjoy the impressive views.
Croatia – small ship cruise
Croatia is fast-becoming one of the world’s top cruising destinations, offering something for everyone from honeymooners and foodies to history buffs, wine connoisseurs, outdoor adventurers, and more. While there are a wide range of itineraries to choose from, when you book a small-ship cruise, you’ll visit popular cities like Dubrovnik and island favorites such as Hvar, along with more hidden gems that those big vessels can’t access. Spend more of your days exploring the destinations too, often led by local guides through historic walled centers and ancient palaces. Breakfast and lunch are typically provided, with evenings spent sampling the delicious eats in port.
The Maldives is made up of over 1,100 islands, 200 of which are inhabited (including 80 private island resorts), with 26 atolls that are home to some of the most vibrant coral reefs on the planet. All are stunning, encircled by unspoiled white sandy beaches and strikingly clear turquoise water. While you could visit just one, to make the most out of a visit to this remote paradise, you’ll want to take a cruise. There are many options that depart from the capital city of Malé, sailing round-trip while featuring opportunities to dive among everything from colorful fish to rays and sharks.
Vietnam – Mekong Delta cruise
The Mekong Delta stretches from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, down to the border with Vietnam, then spilling over into dozens of tributaries and canals in the far south of Vietnam. Spending time on and around the river is essential to understanding this fascinating and scenically stunning region. River cruises have become increasingly popular, rightly so, with several well-established operators offering an enticing mix of immersive experience and high service. Some specific Mekong Delta cruises we would recommend include the Heritage Line, Pandaw, and the Victoria Mekong. To find out more about individual cruises, or to combine it in a Vietnam itinerary, please get in touch with our Asia specialists.
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