Top Destinations Perfect For A Slow Travel Experience

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Mar. 14 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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As an avid traveler, the possibility of deeply connecting with a place while recharging is hard for me to pass up.  Traveling at a break-neck speed to see as much as possible just isn’t as tempting anymore. Just the thought of it is exhausting! 

With slow travel as the travel theme of 2024, it’s difficult to deny the appeal of a vacation that’s all about less is more: relaxing while also immersing yourself in experiences and interesting locations. The key is choosing a destination that strikes the right balance between relaxation, adventure, and accessibility.

Consider adding a few of these great international destinations to your list for an unforgettable slow travel experience:

Glasgow, Scotland

According to the 2023 Matador Network Travel Awards, Scotland is a top destination for slow sustainable travel. Glasgow offers travelers a little bit of everything: culture, history, and nature. It is a perfect destination for wandering the streets, where you’ll come across museums (many of which are free to visit), art galleries, and creative murals.

If you crave some time in nature but don’t want to venture too far, the city is also home to over 90 parks and gardens, making it effortless to find peace and solitude or relax with a picnic lunch. Best of all, Glasgow offers multiple accommodation, transportation, and culinary options, making it convenient and easy to explore.

Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

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If you’re looking for a slow travel experience that’s a little closer to the U.S. and more laid-back, consider Travel Lemmings‘s 2024 top destination. West of Quintana Roo (where you’ll find tourist favorites Cancún and Playa del Carmen), the Yucatán offers miles of beautiful beaches, ancient ruins (Uxmal and Chichen Itza), and cenotes (underground swimming holes).

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Merida, the capital city of the province, is well-connected (they have an international airport and will be part of the Maya train route) and conveniently located to nearby attractions. The city is charming, with historic streets for wandering and many restaurants for those who enjoy connecting to culture through food. You can step back into history by staying in one of the many hotels housed in 19th and 20th-century mansions (while enjoying modern-day amenities).  Spend your days swimming in different cenotes or wandering through the ruins of Chichen Itza before relaxing over drinks and local cuisine.

Essaouira, Morocco

For those looking for more of an off-the-beaten-path adventure, avid travelers have noted that the seaside Moroccan city of Essaouira is perfect.  It offers a slower, more relaxed vibe than Marrakesh, while still providing the cultural flair (the city medina is a UNESCO world heritage site). Wander the local markets and port where you can buy fresh seafood directly off the boats and have it cooked at nearby restaurants.

Get an adrenaline rush by windsurfing on the beach, take a camel ride, visit a local hammam, or walk the city’s ramparts (if they look familiar, it’s because Game of Thrones filmed there). Consider staying at riad, a traditional Moroccan bed and breakfast, for a more immersive experience.

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Genoa, Italy

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It should come as no surprise that Italy has been named a top international destination for U.S. travelers in 2024 by not one, but two, travel surveys. As the birthplace of both the slow food and slow travel movements, Italy offers travelers “la dolce vita”: more than an experience, it is a way of life.

Genoa, often overlooked for cities like Rome, is a fascinating maze of winding cobblestone streets, perfect for exploring at a leisurely pace. Turn the corner and discover an artisan shop or medieval palazzo; the city is full of them. Hungry? Forbes reports that Genoa has some of the tastiest food in Italy, and you can try seafood straight from the port, sample local pasta dishes, and indulge in street food. The city also has a seaside esplanade perfect for walking along the coast and visiting different neighborhoods. For those inspired to go a bit further afield, the esplanade will take you to quaint fishing villages on the outskirts of the city.

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Yamaguchi, Japan

Japan, a popular bucket list destination, is known for its ancient traditions, modern cities, and breathtaking nature. Yamaguchi, per The New York Times, offers travelers the best of Japan without the stress of overtourism but with the benefit of being well-connected and easily accessible.

Nurture your inner peace at the Rurikoji Temple before enjoying a coffee and trying one of the local dishes (the area is known for blowfish, a Yamaguchi delicacy). Learn about samurai history in the town of Hagi, where you can also take a Hagi pottery class.

Visit the hot springs for total body relaxation or immerse yourself in other activities that Yamaguchi has to offer.  If you enjoy cultural festivals, consider visiting in the summer to take in the Yamaguchi Gion Festival as part of your slow travels.

These destinations, while unique in their own ways, all offer a refreshing break from the stresses of everyday life, allowing us to unwind, explore, and relax at our own pace.

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Marta Kargol
By: Marta Kargol

Marta Kargol is a former educator turned freelance copywriter who brings a unique blend of storytelling and clarity to her writing. She believes effective communication shapes ideas and focuses her efforts on finding creative ways to simplify complex topics. Marta uses her writing skills to help small businesses and solopreneurs share their purpose with authenticity. She is passionate about education, self-improvement, work-life balance, and wellness, all aspects of a holistic approach to success in life. When she isn’t writing, Marta enjoys traveling the world to experience new cultures. Learn more at or reach out directly to Marta at

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