Which are the best slow travel destinations in 2018?


On Saturday I was invited to Inntravel’s Discover Day 2017, at Cheltenham Racecourse, where I got the chance to learn more about their slow walking holidays and also have a chat first hand with the hoteliers and tourism boards who’ve attended the event.


As you know, my blog is focused on non-touristy experiences, so this event was very interesting for me as I got to discover less known places from very touristic countries, like Italy, Spain or Germany. The entire day was very inspiring because of the passion these people talked about what makes their destinations special. Each of them brought a little bit of a taster from their home countries, so each stall greeted its visitors with local drinks and delicacies to taste).



The special guest of the event was Kate Humble, the BBC presenter of the popular wildlife series Springwatch and Autumnwatch, currently exploring Wales off the beaten track on BBC 3 (you can watch it on the Iplayer). I enjoyed a lot Kate’s presentation, she has a great skill of storytelling and capturing the audience’s attention with her delightful sense of humour.



Which are the best slow travel destinations in 2018?

Normandy, France


I was pleased to know that Normandy is one of the new cycling holidays that Inntravel is offering next year. As I live by the harbour, on the UK’s South Coast, I have travelled to Normandy several times exploring the beautiful countryside and eating my way through Cherbourg. Inntravel’s cycle route through Normandy focuses on the history, from the 1066 Norman invasion to England, to the D-Day landings. The route, starting in Crepon and finishing in Bayeux, leads to the famous Omaha Beach, Juno Beach and Gold Beach, allowing plenty of time to visit the dedicated World War II museums and memorials in each location.


By adding an extra day to the trip, you can also include a visit to Mont Saint-Michel, one of France’s most beautiful sights. In the summer months, if you climb to the monastery on top in the afternoon, you can explore it without other people around, as that is the time when the majority leaves.

A highlight of the trip is the delicious local cuisine based on seafood, accompanied by apple cider or calvados. Even if you would think that wine is France’s national drink, Normandy is actually famous for its high-quality cider. The harsh weather conditions and the colder climate are great for growing apples and not suited at all for grapes.

The local Normand cuisine includes the Camembert cheese, creamy galettes, oysters and mussels, and calvados infused veal.

Cycling in Normandy is quite easy due to the flat terrain and the route follows secondary roads and tracks through the lush coastal countryside. If you don’t fancy pedalling for 5 days, you can always opt for an electric bicycle.


La Gomera and El Hierro, Canary Islands

Canary Islands are almost synonym with Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, which are beautiful but maybe a little bit too touristy, especially with everyone going there searching for some winter sun. However, the two smallest islands, La Gomera and El Hierro receive barely any tourists and are perfect if you are looking for sun but also for some peace and quiet.


El Hierro is the smallest and the least developed of the islands. Regardless, due to the building of a hydroelectric plant, El Hierro is the first island in the world to be self-sufficient using only renewable energy. So, don’t worry, there is electricity and even WiFi on the island. What makes El Hierro special is the unique natural landscape formed by the volcanic activity over the years. In fact, El Hierro has the largest number of volcanos in the Canaries, with over 500 visible cones and 300 covered by the recent eruptions. You will find here sharp mountains covered in thick juniper and pine forests and an incredible marine life. No wonder that Unesco has declared El Hierro a World Biosphere Reserve.


Life on the island goes slow as well, with small finishing villages and locals who probably don’t speak English, but they would be more than happy to invite you to a glass of locally made wine, at their house.

La Gomera is another must visit slow travel destination. Compared to El Hierro, La Gomera is a bit livelier, but not by much. The town of Valle Gran Rey is charming and laid-back, with plenty of cafes from where you can admire the beautiful ocean in front or the volcanic mountains in the back. Valle Gran Rey is colourful, inspiring a peculiar South American vibe rather than Spanish.


Fjaerland and Sognefjord, Norway

Isn’t Norway on everyone’s travel bucket list? I know it was on mine and after visiting the country twice, it still is. I don’t think I have ever seen a more impressive landscape in my entire life. And I mean gazing at the window for an entire 8 hours train journey because I couldn’t get enough of the mountains and fjords and snow-covered glaciers, all more beautiful than the other.


Norway is without a doubt a country where you must slow travel and one of the most accessible parts of it stands between Oslo and Bergen, making it convenient for tourists willing to fly into any of the two airports.


Fjaerland is a tiny village also known by the locals as the Glacier Village because of its privileged location, close to the largest icecap in mainland Europe, Jostedalsbreen. Another thing that makes Fjaerland special for a slow traveller is the number of second-hand bookshops in the village: 14, serving a population of only 300 people!

There are also plenty of activities to do here: mountain hiking, glacier walking, fjord kayaking, cycling or river fishing.  In summer there are two buses a day going to two of the outlet glaciers, Bøyabreen and Supphellebreen, stopping at the interactive Norwegian Glacier Museum.


By choosing an Inntravel tour you will stay at the Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel & Restaurant which is opened from May until September. The owner, Bård Huseby, is passionate about the environment and the local landscape, talking with enthusiasm about his research on the glacier. When staying at his hotel you can be sure that your dinners will be prepared with fish from the fjord, deer from the woods nearby, local beef and lamb, all cooked with the herbs from the hotel’s own garden.  Bård also makes his own craft beer so make sure to ask him for a taster. The hotel is situated on the shore of the fjord with a direct view over the glacier, offering you always a meal with a view.


The Minho, Portugal

What do you think of when I say Portugal? The dramatic coast of the Algarve? The charismatic and colourful city of Porto? The yellow trams of Lisbon making their way up the hills, on narrow streets? What if I told you that in the North of the country stands the most beautiful part of the country, the greenest corner of Portugal: Minho.

All the way from Portugal, we had the pleasure of listening to Francisco, the Count of Calheiros (yes, an actual Count!), telling us about the charm of Minho. Francisco is the owner of the Manor House, which is not a hotel nor a guesthouse. The Manor House is Francisco’s home, a traditional 17th century historical building standing on top of a hill, with surreal views over the Lima valley on one side and the ocean on the other. The Manor House is the Count’s home and he opened it to the guests of Inntravel. Here you will be received as family and not as tourists. The Manor House is surrounded by 13 acres of orchid gardens and vineyards and you never know when the Count will invite you for a wine tasting evening or a horse riding day.


The Count himself is a slow travel lover, as he confessed to us, walking the Camino de Santiago three times, the first time over 20 years ago, when him and his friends painted the yellow arrows on the Portuguese route. Back then, he told us, there was almost nobody doing the Camino.

Walking in Minho you will encounter the Caminho de Santiago, which starts in front of the cathedral in Lisbon and crosses into Spain through Valenca, in Galicia, being the second most popular route to Santiago de Compostela. You will also pass through Ponte de Lima, Portugal’s oldest town. If you happen to be here on a Monday, don’t miss one of the largest country markets in Portugal which takes place every second week.

Regarding the typical cuisine, in this trip you can enjoy the Bacalhau à Brás (cod with onions, olives, parsley, eggs and chips), the Francesinha (a sausage, steak, ham and chorizo covered in melted cheese and drizzled with spicy tomato sauce, topped with an egg), or the caldo verde (an onion, potatoes and kale soup often served with a traditional smoked sausage called “lingurica”). As for drinks, you can’t miss the Vinho Verde (Green Wine), a type of lightly sparkling wine produced only in Minho. The name doesn’t mean that the wine is green but that it should be drank while it’s still young.



So, where are you going to slow travel to in 2018?







Disclaimer: Please note that this post has been written in collaboration with Inntravel and I was invited to attend the Discovery Day 2017 event.  

Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and do a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. This helps me keep my website running and continue to share my traveling knowledge with you. I thank you for booking your flights or hotels using the links on my website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.


  1. These are some great destinations! Most are not very popular, which makes them even better! I’d love to visit the Canary Islands. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few weeks of nature!

  2. I am a big fan of slow travel. It is more important to absorb and enjoy the place than run from pillar to post. Of all the places listed by you, I am most attracted by Norway. There is something about Scandinavian nations which appeal to me.

  3. I love all these suggestions, particularly the Alto Minho in Portugal as I’ve been 2 times, and move there tomorrow if I could. The Vinho Verder wines, the food and the location makes it ideal for me. I’d like to explore Slovenia next year, so I don’t know if it’s slow, but it looks incredible.

  4. Every time I come visit your blog Joanna I learn something amazing. Our favorite holidays have always been to little towns that aren’t on the big map of tourist hot spots. The people are so much more real and you get to see the most amazingly beautiful sites without having to deal with crowds of people. I’ve pinned the post because I would love to explore some of these places real soon

  5. It will be helpful for me whenever I will decide the places to visit in 2018. The places you have talked over here as the slow travel destination are really fascinating.. I loved the your experiences of Inntravel’s Discover day..

  6. These all sound and look like wonderful places to visit. I would love to visit each one, as I like to go off the beaten path so to speak and check out places like these.

  7. These are our kind of destinations which are off beat and not the regular holiday spots as there is so much to explore and experience.

  8. What great travel picks! Norway looks awesome and so do the Canary Islands! Would be a hard decision but than again I wouldn’t be picky for either beautiful destination !

  9. I love these destinations. I plan on taking a trip overseas next summer and I always prefer to stay away from the super tourist-y spots! So thank you for the tips. Normandy looks lovely.

  10. This event seems to have been so cool! Wish I could attend a similar one!
    I’m planning for a long time to go to French countryside, and your post inspired me so much to go to Normandy and cycleeeee! Hope to realize my dream soon, as I’m leaving now even closer to it!

  11. I like the sound of these slow holidays and I love walking! This event looks like it was great and awesome that Kate was there! I’ve always wanted to visit Norway, it looks so beautiful!

  12. I especially love your Portugal and Canary island suggestions. Have you covered places in India before? That would be interesting to know about!

  13. I’ve not really consider a slow travel destination but reading your post, I realise I must have been caught in so much frenzy that leaving 2018 to slow travel destinations would feel so great and much more than the touristy destinations. I’d make a list starting from your post. Thanks for the insights.

  14. by the looks of these pictures i would definitely choose Norway. I like to visit big cities but have also enjoyed other towns which are not that touristy.


  15. I would love to visit La Gomera and El Hierro! You had me at the fact that they barely get any tourists. Quiet places I can have to myself, a laid back atmosphere and mountains sounds like a perfect travel destination

  16. All of those destinations look amazing! Norway would probably be my pick between them, if I had to choose one. I haven’t been able to justify the high cost of the country yet (besides a one day layover in Oslo), but it looks so beautiful! I would love to see those fjords.

  17. I’m not sure which of these to visit first, but I do know I must add them ALL to my list. My husband is from Sweden and that’s only one of the two countries I’ve traveled to and experienced outside of the US. I can’t get over how stunning the Norway photo is!

  18. All these destinations look so beautiful and inviting, I think Normandy in France and The Minho in Portugal seem so relaxing and good fit for me though.

  19. I’m so glad Normandy made it onto your list of slow travel destinations in 2018! It was one of my favourite parts of my trip back in 2015. The D-Day beaches are certainly something to see, and I was also fortunate enough to see Juneau Beach, which is where the Canadian soldiers landed. It’s good to know that Mont St-Michel is nearby because that would make an incredible day trip for sure! I haven’t been to any of the other destinations mentioned, but I will for sure be referring back to this post when planning future Europe trips! Thanks for the incredible round-up!

  20. Although I have travelled a lot, never to these places. I love reading articles like this one, recommeding travel destinations that are not super popular but so worth seeing

  21. Norway truly looks so beautiful! I’ve always wanted to visit, the photographs I’ve seen are incredible! Really interesting post, thank you for sharing!

  22. I personally have never traveled on a destination such as this. One day…. One day,,, it will happen I will see some of these beautiful sites like the ones you share

  23. These are some great destinations! I haven’t ever heard of slow travel before, it is a good concept. I’d love to visit the Normandy, France, it has been on my travel wishlist since some time. I am bookmarking this page, love all the destinations you mentioned.

  24. This is a very good read. I will be travelling Norway at some point, however I would like to drive and camp all the way through Norway. Normandy would be excellant as I love history so to be on that beach would be amazing. Portugal is somewhere I have been unsure about going but after reading this it seems like a nice place to visit.

  25. I’ve been interested in Normandy so I’m glad to see it on the list. Also, I wasn’t familiar with El Hierro, but it looks so beautiful and a place I need to see!

  26. This is refreshing to see. A travel site that doesn’t tell me to visit Paris, New York or London 🙂 Love these suggestions and the fact that these places are quiet and away from the rift raft of tourism. Great ideas for a vacation Thank you.

  27. Good photography and great article! I loved travelling and France and Norway are on my first 5 wishlist to go to. Im not really familiar with the places you mentioned here but from your words I found it very inviting!

  28. Good photography and great article! I loved travelling and France and Norway are on my first 5 wishlist to go to. Im not really familiar with the places you mentioned here but from your words I found it very inviting!

  29. I love to slowly travel around beautiful places. Traveling quickly from one place to another doesn’t make any sense to me. I loved your post. Will love to make a visit to some of these places in future.

  30. I got intrigued when I read the title about Slow Travel and had to search online on what “Slow traveling” is.. Interestingly, I never had a slow travel experience before.. most of my travels are in fast pace and I had this habit of utilizing my time of stay by visiting as many places as possible… but it seems like I am doing it the wrong way and forgetting the real essence of traveling which is to enjoy… These places are truly magnificent and you can never really go wrong with places like France and Norway… they are truly picture perfect destinations with rich culture, food, and tradition to embrace to make your trip even more rewarding.
    thanks for sharing

  31. These are great destinations which I really wish to visit someday. I actually started making my 2018 travel plans and booked a couple of flights already. Thank you for the inspiration to continue exploring the world and just travel.

  32. Wow these are all places worth visiting! These destinations seem peaceful and refreshing to crowded cities such as Paris or New York. Love your photos! Thanks for sharing!

  33. I absolutely love this concept of slow travel! We are always encouraged to pack so much in so little time, that to take our time and really savour a place really appeals to me. I’d love to visit all these places!

  34. Such lovely destinations I heard Lanzaroti is beautiful and I would love to visit Portugal this post makes me want to go on holiday.

  35. Norway is high on my list, it looks like an absolutely breath taking country. I’d never really travelled at a slow pace or had a relaxing holiday in many ways, I’ve always had so many things planned which although fun, you sometimes forgot to appreciate the little things that make each place unique.

  36. remote parts of Wales and Scotland are ideal places to slow travel. I went Scotland on my honeymoon in September and some of the beaches on the north coast were so isolated and we were the only people on them

  37. I have never heard of slow travel before, but it makes so much sense! I always feel like I’m rushing around – maybe I’m just hyperactive, but this is something I could definitely do! I could stand to slow down a little just to enjoy the surroundings. I love cider and would like to go to that place to try some. I’ve never seen how they carve cheese out of a wheel like that before, I really like these photos!

  38. What an amazing event with some fab destinations mentioned. Food, drink and travel yes please. Fjaerland and Sognefjord in Norway would be my pick of hotspots. Also, Normandy in France is lovely 🙂 x

  39. The concept of slow travel is new to me. I take it that this is the form of travel where one goes to a destination by cycling as opposed to trains, planes, and automobiles? If that is so, that is so cool. Unfortunately, that is not a great option in my country. But seeing how it can be done in Europe, more specifically, the places you included here, I can only wish it were the same here.

    Nonetheless, that does not stop me from enjoying the read. It is fascinating, as it always is when seeing unfamiliar yet beautiful places. When I was a kid, the only thing we had were a set of encyclopedia. The few pictures and the words were my windows to the world. Today, you are one of my eyes, and through your posts, I keep discovering new places (and culture too).

  40. I haven’t slow traveled before but seeing this, it seems amazing and interesting. I love all the destinations you shared but I like to visit Normandy in France and The Minho in Portugal. Bookmarking this right away!

  41. These destination looks awesome and interesting to visit. I will definitely share this with my husband coz’ we are planning to have a family trip this 2018.

  42. omg, I would go to Normandy just to see that sculpture up close! And I agree about Portugal, it is definitely a place to be in 2018 cause its freaking aaaamaaazing!!! Not just the places lost in time but also the cheese and wine which are deliiish. You should go to all those places you learned about.

  43. I’ m now in love with your article. You have listed such masterpieces of nature, which i’m still unaware until now. I just a small question, is slow travel supposed to be to somewhere that’s local or has an average population, and not deserted like these places?

  44. Timely, I just renewed my passport! However, my bank account is not cooperating yet not to mention visa application. But really, these destinations are so alluring since I also love slow travel. These off the beat destinations allow travelers to truly immerse oneself in local culture and cuisine. Thus for me, slow travel is the best way to travel.

  45. You’ve definitely uncovered some hidden gems that I’ll be adding to my must-visit list! It’s so lovely to discover destinations that are slightly off the beaten track and less touristy.

  46. Makes me want to see, feel, and witness El Hierro. I agree that though life on the island can be somehow slow, it is the neigborhood that will make it a beautiful memory worth remembering. I could also imagine the small fishing village wirh locals who probably don’t speak English, but then again, the hospitable and warm people are what makes the place a real beauty.

  47. I have never heard of slow travel but I love the concept. I really need to plan some time away next year and slow travel sounds perfect!

  48. I think Normandy is one of the good places to travel. I also learned about it from a Korean movie I’ve watched recently, Normandy have this beautiful cliff and the way they described it, its majestic!

  49. So glad that Normandy is on the slow travel list because being a WWII buff, it is something I want to do in the coming year. I will be excited to visit those war museums and luckily I have recently read about Mont Saint-Michel in one of the novels and that place got my heart and now a place in my bucket list too 🙂 I’m planning to visit the colorful Porto next year, and now I know what to add in my Portugal itinerary!! Thanks for these awesome recommendations.

  50. The idea of “slow travel” sounds promising. Based on experience, traveling usually means rushing to pack, rushing to the sights to check off all the stuff in the itinerary, then rushing some more to pack bags and go home. Quite exhausting when you see it that way. Anyway, the places you mentioned here seem to be perfect for slow traveling. There seems so much to each place that full immersion seems the only way to really optimize your stay.

  51. I am also a fan of non-touristy destinations! I don’t like that much people appearing with me on photos of picturesque locations. lol Sorry if we differ when it comes to reasons, but I don’t really like to go in places with a lot of people. Norway is on my list too so I am glad that you were able to provide me with information.

  52. What a pity I haven’t been to any of these gorgeous destinations. Nearest I have been to is Minho in Portugal. I drove through Normandy region but hardly got the flavor of the place. Slow travel actually helps get the essence of the place. Lucky of you to have attended this travel event.

  53. I have to be honest, places you have mentioned here are unfamiliar to me. However, what I love about this post is that it gives your readers a wide array of places to include in their travel bucket list. If I will take your question literally, I’d travel slow going home (to our province). Nowadays, I feel like a tourist whenever I’m there so it’s nice to just go around slowly and continue immersing myself to the place. But, if referring to a foreign place, I think I might not be traveling around on 2018. I’ll just be saving first so that when I embark on a journey, it would be for quite a while.

  54. I love that the places here aren’t generally locations people would think to visit, it gave me a lot more to look into! I also haven’t heard of slow travel before this, so it gave me a great idea as to what exactly it was and how much fun it sounds! Fjaerland sounds like a really nice quaint village in Norway that I would absolutely love to visit, and your photos of the landscape are so beautiful! The food sounds so good too, I am definitely adding Francesinha to my foodie bucket list. That sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the read and opening my eyes to a peaceful way to travel!

  55. These all sound like amazing places to travel to in 2018. I’m hoping to go to Portugal and Iceland next year, and the kids want to go to Benidorm because they’ve heard there’s an amazing theme park there! LOL

    Louise x

  56. You intrigued me with your post title. I hadn’t heard of slow travel before. Now I can appreciate the concept. I think this kind of travel is more for me. Maybe it’s my age… lol I think these are all interesting places to go but would firstly go to Normandy.

  57. Now that you have popped the question, let me tell you that I intend travelling to a place where time has frozen over the past 5000 years. This place is 80 kilometres from Delhi and is haunted. Need I say more?

  58. I am so looking forward to slow travel once the children have all left home! We have visited the Canary Islands, but I imagine it would be a very different holiday just the two of us!

  59. In the last few years I have travelled much more than ever! I am currently in Slovenia and it is so beautiful and a really unhurried way of life. I think Finland is fast becoming somewhere I need to go soon x

  60. This was really interesting – I’m planning on doing lots more travelling over the next couple of years and I’ve got some great ideas for my list now!

  61. Slow travelling has also been a trend in travelling. I’m not sure if people just travel like that or one has been influenced by the other. But any other way, I support it because one way or another, it helps the nature. Cars will take a break and water or cycling do not emit polution. I hope even if it not a trend, people will consider doing it.

  62. Each destination you mentioned is just absolutely amazing! They sure give a pure sense of calm and tranquility. I wish I was filthy rich so I can visit them all next year with my boys! 😀

    Whilst some people clamor for adrenalin rush and heart-stopping adventure whilst on vacation, there are still a lot who would like to take things slow and truly relax and unwind whilst taking a break from the regular drone of life. These places are the best for those who plan to de-stress and take their minds off their concerns even for a short while. I hope to visit them all one day soon

  63. I love the travel ideas you have here! They are just the kind of travels I would want to have. I will dig deeper about all that you listed here and find out more!

  64. Such an interesting compilation of destinations this is. Though I have never been able to take out time for slow travel, I would definitely love ot explore some of the excellent destinations mentioned here at leisure. The Portugese Minho really intrigued me.

  65. We would really love to do some slow travel in 2018. Actually this is how travel should actually be, slow, immersive and enliightening. It is heartening to note a company is promoting the concept of slow travel. The destinations outlined by you all seem magical and ideal for slow travel.

  66. Curious to know – was this focused only on Europe? Among the ones mentioned, Normandy and Portugal definitely appeal to me. Portugual has been on my list for a long time and the only reason I haven’t rushed into it is coz I really want to explore it. Guess it makes sense to slow travel here 🙂

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