Definitions: what is slow travel? The micro-adventure? or even the staycation?
You may have already heard of “slow travel”, “micro-adventure” or even “staycation” but you don’t really know what What do these terms mean? At a time when more and more people want to slow down, reconnect with nature and consume better, these more responsible modes of travel resonate with the majority of us. We explain to you what they consist of and how you can apply them during your next escapades.
The slow travel is a mode of travel that invites us to slow down, savor the present moment and go to the meeting people. It's a way for ultra-connected city dwellers to cut themselves off from their stressful daily lives and their days that go by at a thousand miles an hour.
Slow travel is a return to simple things, and this fact, to trips that are more respectful of the environment and the people around us. We take the time to really discover the places we go, without making a list of things to see that we tick off frantically, without taking the time to immerse ourselves in the places and the life that comes alive around them...
We wrongly think that slow travel is reserved for travelers who have the time to travel for long periods, but in fact it is a mode of travel open to everyone. Whether you are going away for a week, a month or a year, you can take the time! And when you have time you can use modes of transport with low environmental impact such as: train, bus, bicycle or even walking... And generally this benefits the local economy as much as your wallet.
The term micro-adventure was coined by British adventurer Alastair Humphrey. Voted adventurer of the year in 2012 by National Geographic magazine, Alastair has cycled 74,000 km around the world.
By creating the term “micro-adventure”, he wanted to democratize a short, accessible and local adventure. The concept is therefore:
- leave for a short period of two to five days
- favor one or more means of transport accessible to all, with little or no impact on environment, such as hiking, cycling or canoeing
- and above all to travel close to home
And finally the staycation it's a way to travel while staying close to home. You can explore the surroundings while coming back to sleep at home every night or you can stay close to home. We then have several options: bivouac, camping, accommodation with locals, lodge or even hotel.
This is what the site offers Staycation thanks to whom you can re-enchant your Sunday evening by enjoying a hotel room and above all unusual experiences such as the Japanese bath or the private swimming pool.
The objective is to experience a local change of scenery and it is a great way to discover or rediscover your city, your department and your region!
Some ideas for weekends and trips near major cities in France
This summer, why not tour the Île de France on foot following the GR1? This is what Candice Poitrey last year. In 24 days she traveled the 550 km loop that encircles Paris, returning each evening to sleep at home. A great idea for a staycation around Paris!
©Audrey Embarek Rollin from travel blog Refuse to Hibernate
There is no shortage of beautiful places around Marseille. One of our favorites: the Calanques national park where you have multiple hiking possibilities and even climbing routes for the more experienced... 1h30 drive from Marseille, you can also get a change of scenery at Colorado Provençal from Rustrel. The atmosphere of the great parks of the American West is within reach...
About an hour by train from Lyon you can embark on the Traversée de la Chartreuse. We advise you to plan between 2 to 5 days depending on your level... Please note that this hike is intended for experienced hikers because it requires very good physical condition. You have a little over 4,000 m of D+ and D- waiting for you, and certain passages can be dangerous if you are prone to vertigo.
If there is one place that makes French people, as well as foreign tourists who visit the south of France, dream, it is the Verdon gorges. But we all know that during the summer season, Lake Sainte-Croix is taken by storm... We advise you to do the 3-day hike from Carajuan to Moustier-Saint-Marie instead. .
If you like white water sports, you can kayak down the Tarn gorges: 32 km from Montbrun to Cirque des Baumes .
Would you like to explore the Alsace wine route by bike? It extends over more than 170 km, and covers around 15,000 hectares of vineyards, a great opportunity to meet local winegrowers.
For those who have a little time and want to discover the French west coast, we suggest you take aroad trip in a van from Bordeaux to Bayonne . Don't hesitate to bring your surfboard or rent one on site... No need to go to California to get some rollers!
Practical information: rental of a campervan or minibus on the site WeVan.
Resources to prepare your future weekends and stays in slow travel, micro-adventure or staycation mode
We advise you to listen to episodes 07 and 08 of the podcast Les Coulisses du Voyage which deals with traveling close to home and micro-adventures.
2 days to live: the book to learn how to build your micro-adventures.
Chilowé Paris: the guide that will put everyone out!
1 year of micro -adventures in France: The Others have created a free e-book which gives you 52 ideas for weekends in France.
randonneeautourdeparis.com is Candice Poitrey's great site which lists all the stages of the GR1 from station to station.
helloways.com: Helloways is “streaming hiking”. With more than 1,000 hiking routes on their (paid) platform, you have everything you need to plan your next outings in the great outdoors everywhere in France.
We hope you enjoyed this article and gave you some ideas for micro-adventures and slow-travel in our beautiful France! For 100% responsible getaways you can take with you our royal kit which contains all the essentials for zero waste adventures.
Photo of the kit Royale Sloe by ©Margot and Julien from the very nice travel blog Hello Travelers
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