Slow travel in the age of COVID-19

In countries that are enjoying low levels of coronavirus cases, ‘slow travel’ is more popular than ever. Rushing around on a tight schedule does not fit the travel landscape in this moment in time where most of us are considering what makes life – and travel – more connected and meaningful yet also safe.

What the coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to do is slow down our pace of life. It has been a wakeup call for many, a moment of reflection, where we stop and reconsider which parts of our lives are not actually serving our highest good. Being ultra-busy is, for many, one of the things that we would rather live without. And although slow travel is not a new phenomenon, this slowing down of everyday life is certainly increasing its appeal and popularity.

What is slow travel?

At 50 Degrees North, slow travel means exploring another part of the world in a relaxed, unrushed pace, soaking in your new environment and locality. It means feeling stress-free as well as more connected and mindful of the food you eat, the locals you meet and the nature that surrounds you.

It can mean renting a cottage in the green heart of Scandinavia and enjoying the simple things: Swimming, reading a book, riding a bike to the local shop or market with no guarantee that anyone else will speak English. It can mean taking time for yourself, perhaps unplugging from Wi-Fi, or it can mean immersing yourself into another culture, living as the locals do. Below are some of our example tours that we see as embodying the concept of slow travel.

Slow travel tour example 1: Endless Summer Days by Lake Saimaa

The Endless Summer Days by Lake Saimaa is a 5-day stay in the heart of the Finnish lake district, at the Wellness Village of Anttolanhovi. Stay in your own beautiful villa while indulging in relaxing treatments at the day spa and enjoying delicious food made from wholesome local produce. You can also ride a bike to the nearby village, explore the forest trails all around and pick some berries, or simply relax on your private verandah with a good book.

Endless summer days in Finland

Slow travel tour example 2: The Lapland Autumn Retreat

The Lapland Autumn Retreat is a 4-day trip to northern Finland, 230kms north of the Arctic Circle. Autumn is the most underestimated season for Nordic travel, however the colourful, crisp autumn months provide a much gentler and authentic Scandinavian experience and are a great time to visit the region. Also, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! This trip includes guided Northern Lights activities on two evenings, but the rest of the time is free for relaxing at the lake, discovering the nature and wilderness all around, and talking to the friendly local family who is looking after your needs.

Autumn Northern Lights Harriniva

Slow travel tour example 3: Arctic Sanctuary by the Sea

The Arctic Sanctuary by the Sea is a 3-day stay in architecturally unique designer accommodation in a remote location in northern Norway. This is a relaxing and unique island experience with magnificent scenery, rich birdlife and tranquil silence. There is no Wi-Fi and no distractions during your short escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Fordypningsrommet  5

Slow travel tour example 4: Private Island Retreat in Sweden

Our Private Island Retreat in Sweden is a 5-day stay on a tranquil island in rural Sweden. It gives a glimpse into lives of the locals: Most Swedes own a summer cottage somewhere close to water and use it as a place to relax and recharge. You can swim and canoe in the lake, enjoy the lakeside sauna, explore the tiny nearby town, or just sit back and enjoy the view and the sounds of nature all around.

Midsummer Sweden Anna Hållams/

Image Credits: Anna Hållams/ and Visit Finland.