Sustainable travel company, Slow Adventure, helps explorers choose how to give back to both people and planet. Rose Dykins reports
Offering mindful, low-impact travel itineraries, Slow Adventure has entered the adventure travel market.
Slow Adventure’s immersive, mindful journeys maximise time spent outdoors and enable adventurers to reconnect with the natural environment and the people who live there.
Centred around community-led tourism, each slow adventure is designed by local people who are passionate about conserving the environment and their unique culture, and local suppliers are used in each destination.
Slow Adventure launches with itineraries in two destinations: Scotland and Sweden. More destinations will be added in 2022, including Finland, Iceland, Ireland and Italy. After initially launching in Europe, the company expects to expand to new regions of the world later down the line.Each adventure includes nature-based accommodation, with local, slow, foraged, caught, grown or hunted food on the menu. They are based around “human or nature-powered outdoor activities” with elements such as wildlife interpretation, storytelling and wellness activities, and outdoor pursuits including foraging, sailing, kayaking, ice fishing, ski-touring and wild camping.
In Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden, adventurers can hike on snowshoes to a mountain lodge and feast on lunch cooked over a campfire. This experience is then followed by activities such as ice fishing, relaxing in a wood-fired sauna and hot tub, and a chance to see the northern lights. Guests also learn about the Sami culture, one of Sweden’s official national minorities and reindeer herders.
In Lochaber, Scotland, adventurers can learn to forage and survive on an expedition into wilderness, guided by an experienced ecologist and bushcraft expert. They canoe to a remote peninsula and get the chance to put their new foraging skills to the test as part of an overnight stay in a bothy.
Through the company’s Slow Adventure Impact Fund, 5 per cent of each Slow Adventure booking goes directly back to the destinations’ communities to support conservation and regeneration projects – chosen by local members and partners based on their expertise and quality. Customers can choose which project they wish to support at the point of booking their trip.
Co-founded by Sara Mair Bellshaw and Jane Stuart Smith to continue the good work started by those involved in a European-funded project called SAINT, Slow Adventure’s model creates positive change and a positive impact that is clear for everyone involved.
Co-founder and managing director, Sara Mair Bellshaw says: “I am determined to continue to help small businesses in rural areas and encourage visitors to slow down to connect more with nature and local culture. We’re building a global movement of people who understand that it’s no longer possible to adventure without giving back.”
Co-founder Jane Stuart Smith says: “Slow Adventure makes responsible visiting of remote and beautiful places easier and actively supports these communities and sustainable, good quality local jobs.”
Slow adventures start from £190 per person per night including accommodation, food and activities.