Slow Travel 2023: 5 Destinations for your journey

Posted on 27 July 2023 By Tsoku Maela

Explore the top destinations for Slow Travel in 2023 and discover how these visionary communities, spanning from Laos to Greece, are creating more opportunities for meaningful and mindful travel experiences.

In the wake of the pandemic-driven rush to travel, many travellers are seeking destinations that offer a chance to relish the joys of exploration without the overwhelming crowds. Here are our top five picks for 2023, places that stand out for their commitment to community-led conservation efforts, groundbreaking work in ecotourism, sustainability, and inclusive travel, as well as meaningful ways for travellers to give back.

1. Laos – Embrace Accessibility with a Bullet Train

The COVID-19 pandemic may have temporarily closed Laos’ borders, but in December 2021, the country experienced a boost in domestic travel with the introduction of the Lane Xang, a Chinese-financed bullet train.

Aerial photograph of UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos, South-East Asia.

The train, named after the ancient Laotian Kingdom of a Million Elephants, covers a 260-mile route within Laos, connecting the border town of Boten to the capital, Vientiane, and passing through 75 tunnels and 167 bridges along the way. This high-speed train has made it easier for local Lao people to explore their own country, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Louangphabang, the former imperial capital. With faster and more scenic travel options, the Lane Xang is supporting sustainable tourism by encouraging locals to embrace and protect their multifaceted heritage.

2. Dodecanese Islands, Greece – Balancing Tradition and Popularity

The Dodecanese Islands, situated off the Turkish coast, have long been captivating visitors with their rugged beauty and storied history influenced by various conquerors.

Symi town cityscape, Dodecanese islands, Greece

While well-known islands like Leros, Patmos, and Kos attract more tourists, lesser-known islands like Karpathos are striving to balance economic growth from tourism with the preservation of their environment and traditions. In this hilly region, where locals engage in beekeeping and produce their own butter and cheese, sustainable tourism initiatives are vital. Organizations like Ecotourism Karpathos are involving locals in activities like traditional winemaking demonstrations and night fishing excursions, fostering a deeper connection between visitors and the community’s rich heritage.

3. Ghana – A Journey into West Africa’s Black Heritage

With COVID restrictions eased, many travellers are accepting Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo’s invitation to people of African heritage to explore their roots in West Africa.

View of the Kejetia market in Kumasi, Ghana, the biggest market in West African

Ghana offers a powerful and emotional journey for those seeking a connection to their ancestral past, as they confront the remnants of the slave trade along the country’s coast. Ghana boasts a vibrant pan-African spirit, with music such as Afrobeats, reggae, Haitian zouk, and American hip-hop permeating the air. For design enthusiasts, Accra serves as the centre of fashion in Ghana, with its bold and colourful creations leaving a lasting impression. The return to Ghana is not just a trip; it’s a meaningful remembrance of heritage and a chance to forge new connections.

4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin – A Rising Gem on the Great Lakes Milwaukee

Wisconsin’s biggest city combines a blue-collar spirit with a thriving creative community that’s gaining attention beyond the Great Lakes region.

Downtown skyline with Buildings in Milwaukee at twilight, in Wisconsin USA

In 2023, the city is undergoing exciting developments, with new riverside promenades being built and the revitalization of the Historic Third Ward, which now houses attractions like the Milwaukee Public Market. Traditional neighbourhoods are getting fresh development projects, including an arts and cultural centre focused on African American art in Bronzeville. Embracing its brewing legacy, Milwaukee boasts numerous breweries, offering visitors an opportunity to witness the evolution of the city’s craft beer scene. Beyond beer, the city also dazzles with its folk art and striking architecture.

5. Alberta, Canada – Leading the Way in Indigenous Tourism

Alberta, Canada, is renowned for its natural wonders, from the majestic Athabasca Glacier to the pristine Banff National Park. However, this province is also leading the way in redefining how Indigenous stories are told throughout North America.

Canada, Alberta, Jasper National Park, Columbia Icefield, Athabasca Glacier.

Indigenous tourism experiences in Alberta offer travellers a chance to reconnect with nature and explore the province’s pre-European history. Guided hikes, interpretive programs featuring prehistoric tools, and Cree crafting workshops at Elk Island National Park offer touchstones into the region’s rich heritage. Additionally, the rock carvings and paintings at Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai’pi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, provide a glimpse into the captivating visions and myths of the Milk River Valley’s high grassland prairies.


Pictures: Getty Images


Follow us on social media for more travel news, inspiration, and guides. You can also tag us to be featured. 

TikTok | Instagram Facebook Twitter

ALSO READ: 10 magnificent African hiking trails

yoast-primary - 1004429
tcat - Destinations
tcat_slug - destinations
tcat2 - Travel ideas
tcat2_slug - travel-ideas
tcat_final - travel