Are you planning a relaxing getaway? A slow travel holiday in Europe might be the perfect fit for you.
Slow travel is a new trend where visitors focus their holiday on one or two key locations rather than hopping between tourist hotspots. Scaling back the itinerary like this allows you to move at a more relaxed pace and gain an in-depth insight into the culture and landscape of your chosen destination. It is also a more eco-friendly way to travel, minimising reliance on road and air transport.
Europe is a slow travel dream. Pretty cities surrounded by idyllic countryside offer a ‘best of both worlds’ holiday experience that can be enjoyed at leisure, while the continent’s hills, mountains, and waterways are a spectacular setting in which to explore local treasures away from the tourist trail.
Discover four slow travel styles that are a wonderful way to frame your holiday in Europe.
Walking holidays in Europe are hugely rewarding, with options to suit all fitness levels.
Italy is a favourite destination because of the variety of hiking options, which range from romps through the rolling hills of the Dolomites to breath-taking strolls along the alluring Amalfi Coast.
For more of a challenge, consider more mountainous areas in central Europe like the French Alps. Further afield but equally spectacular are the unique Norwegian Fjords and volcanos of Iceland.
If you prefer the smooth speed of two wheels rather than the rhythmic footfall of walking, make your slow travel choice cycling.
A favourite destination for cycling holidays in Europe is Austria, thanks to its relatively flat but utterly breath-taking Lake District that sits in the foothills of the Swiss Alps. This area can get reasonably busy, especially in the summer. Those seeking peace and privacy should try Slovenia as an equally beautiful but quieter alternative.
Not in the mood for so much physical activity? Sit back and relax as you sail down some of the continent’s main waterways.
There are several options for river cruises in Europe, from sailing the Seine through Paris to longer journeys like the multi-country trip down the Danube. Watching the scenery from the water is incredibly peaceful, and you also have access to some of Europe’s most glorious cities.
Last but not least, the region’s fantastic rail network means that train journeys are an obvious choice for slow travel in Europe.
You might want to explore the mainland with no itinerary or time pressures, moving between cities as the mood takes you. Alternatively, you could do one of Europe’s greatest railway journeys such as the track between Fort William and Mallaig in the stunning Scottish Highlands.