A holiday trend that is here to stay, slow travel has experienced an unprecedented rise over recent years. But are you still finding yourself asking what slow travel is? Don’t worry, because you’re in luck: we’re sharing our top tips and places to stay for embracing this slower, more relaxing and sustainable method of exploration.

What is Slow Travel?

Couple with a dog hiking in forest stock photo - slow travel
Slow travel involves taking a more meaningful approach to planning your holiday. Whether that’s ditching the plane when travelling to your chosen destination, or embracing tech-free activities during your trip, it’s all about immersing yourself in an area and developing a deeper connection to the place as a result.

These actions are not only more eco-friendly and beneficial for local communities, but they also allow you to experience a unique and memorable holiday as you stay away from the top tourist spots and Instagram-worthy photo ops. So, forget the bucket list – embrace the slow travel mindset and get ready to break out of your comfort zone.

How to Have a Slow Travel Trip

Green canoe rest on a lake wooden pier stock photo - slow travel
Don’t make a to-do list – The best experiences in life are often unplanned or unexpected, and the same applies to slow travel. Wait until you get to your villa before deciding how to spend your holiday, waking up each day and letting the environment, people and place determine your itinerary.

Ask locals – Ask around for the best places to eat, shop, drink, and any other under the radar activities to make your trip even more authentic and memorable. If combining your slow travel experience with an Oliver’s Travels villa holiday, our concierge team are a great resource to provide information about authentic experiences, as recommended by our knowledgable property owners. Have a read of our in-depth local travel guides before your holiday too.

Take a break from social media – The likes of Instagram have put pressure on people to document the ‘perfect holiday’, with tourist-free images and carefully edited videos promising an unrealistic experience. Take a break from the apps and become a traveller, not a tourist. Bring a notebook instead!

Ditch the plane – One of the most rewarding aspects of slow travel is the journey it takes to get to your destination. Instead of flying, take a slower route via car, boat, train, or another mode of transport, exploring the area around you from a different angle.

So, how can you embrace the slow travel trend during your Oliver’s Travels villa holiday? Many of our villas to rent offer meaningful experiences for curious travellers, ranging from authentic activities to beautiful, natural surroundings.

Here’s our pick of where to stay on your slow travel holiday. 

Villa Du Fleuve, Emillion

Villa Du Fleuve, Emillion
Slow travel for the active traveller

This centuries-old stone villa is located in a romantic setting, surrounded by Bordeaux vineyards and on the banks of the Dordogne River. It’s also just moments away from a gorgeous, tiny village – head to the boulangerie to pick up your daily fresh bread. Experience the local environment from the tranquil water, making use of the villa’s onsite canoes and kayaks. There’s no need for a car either – bikes are available for guests to use, and there are plenty of cycling routes around Aquitaine too.

Sleeps 10 | Price from £47pppn

La Ferme Gourmande, Burgundy 

La Ferme Gourmande
Slow travel for the ultimate foodie

Did you know the concept of slow travel originated from an Italian idea of ‘slow food’? It only seems right then, that we highlight one of our favourite foodie villas that slow travellers with a culinary passion will love.

La Ferme Gourmande is owned by a fantastic chef, who is more than happy to show guests the shining stars of the local cuisine. Take part in hands-on cooking classes using fresh, local ingredients from the nearby market, croissant making, mushroom foraging, vineyard picnics, private wine tastings at world-class vineyards, and more. You’ll leave suitably stuffed and with a greater knowledge of French food than ever before.

Sleeps 12 | Price from £17pppn

Villa Regina, Lake Garda

Villa Regina (1)
Slow travel for eco-conscious travellers

Sustainability is one of the core ideals of slow travel, and our range of sustainable villas ensures that you can have an eco-friendly holiday wherever your destination is.

One of our favourite ‘green’ villas is Villa Regina, located above Lake Garda in a 21-acre private estate. Most of the building materials for the house’s furniture has been locally sourced, including bedroom pieces built from olive and oak trees by the lake. The spring water has been sourced from the villa’s own deep well, giving a refreshing mountain taste. The inviting natural swimming pool contains no chemicals, while the exotic garden is home to everything from banana trees to pineapple guava – no pesticides are used whatsoever. Got a sweet tooth? Beehives on the property produce the most delicious local honey, the perfect organic gift to take home. The perfect place to reconnect to nature during your slow travel journey.

Sleeps 8 | Price from £52pppn

Snow Goose, Sussex

Snow Goose, Sussex
Slow travel for an aeroplane-free holiday 

Opt for a slow-travel stay in the UK and avoid busy airport queues while minimising your carbon footprint. Remotely located, Snow Goose sits right on the waterfront and is also within walking distance to Bosham, considered to be one of the most charming villages on the South Coast and Sussex area. You could easily spend a week just in and around this wonderful home, reconnecting with nature and getting to know the local delights of the village.  Pick up a new hobby during your trip: the high tide covers the mudflats, making Snow Goose an ideal choice for birdwatchers. Keep your eyes peeled for the lesser spotted red-breasted merganser.

Sleeps 9 | Price from £31pppn

Trulli La Pietrina, Puglia

Trulli La Pietrina, Puglia
Slow travel for a traditional way of living

Trulli are a traditional-style home that are unique to this area of Italy.  A short drive through Puglia will have you greeted with a delightful variety of cute properties, which were once used by farmers in the region. A stay in a Trullo will have you reconnecting to a simpler, slower pace of life, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of this stunning architecture. Trulli La Pietrina has been expertly renovated to blend both the traditional and modern, featuring an ancient stone fireplace and rooftop terrace that is ideal for stargazing. Take some time to explore the two hectares of rich Italian soil the Trullo is set in – the 110 olive trees are still harvested by hand every November.

Sleeps 6 | Price from £33pppn

Ready to explore the world of slow travel?

For further inspiration, have a browse of our sustainable villa collection to rent and read more about our favourite eco-friendly villas now.

We can’t think of a better way to unwind, relax and truly enjoy your trip. When it comes to your next Oliver’s Travels villa holiday, slow travel could win the race.

Chat to our expert concierge team now to discover ways of making your trip even more authentic, embracing the true concept of slow travel.

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