Eight Of The Best Car-Free Destinations

Eight Of The Best Car-Free Destinations

those big-city traffic jams and make a move for one of
these car-free destinations.



Famed for its waterways,
is the ultimate car-free destination. Composed of 150
canals, the
is more water than land and, while you’ll find 400
bridges, walking isn’t always on the cards. Travel by way of
gondola (or water taxi) and scout out your evening plans from the
comfort of your boat – the gondoliers often have the best tips.

Rottnest Island


While “Rotto” (as it’s known to locals) has 63 beaches, 20 bays
and 135 species of fish, the figures go down when it comes to car
count. Swap your wheels for rollerblades and zip from beach to
or get a bike and bus pass if you rate ease over exercise. Just
like much of Australia,
Rottnest’s prime offerings come in the form sun, sea and sand. Head
to Salmon Bay for a spot of swimming or Geordie’s Café and Gallery to
check out the local art scene.



A jewel in the Saronic
, Hydra is
a piece of Greece
that appears to be frozen in time. Instead of Ford Fiestas zooming
along winding roads, you’ll find donkeys clip-clopping on marble
pavements. As a listed architectural reserve, new construction is
illegal, meaning Hydra’s
and white vista is safeguarded for years to come.
Wander around the island and you’ll find that slow transportation
translates to an equally slow-paced way of life. Languid lunches
are spent at seaside tavernas and sunset dips in the island’s
deep-blue sea extend into moonlight.

Caye Caulker


The definition of “island vibes”, Caye Caulker ticks all the
boxes: sparkling waters, rugged coastlines, an incredible reef,
lush jungles and a “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” policy.
Naturally, cars are a no-go on this tropical idyll, but being only
five-miles long and one-mile wide you won’t feel inconvenienced.
Snorkel or scuba-dive until your heart’s content and when you’re
tired out by watersports, head into the tiny town to check out the
handful of colour-washed boutiques. Then it’s time to kick back at
a beachside bar.



In an effort to eradicate traffic and improve air quality, Ghent
has been car-free since 1996 – and the city’s penchant for bicycles
complements its make-up. Whizz down cobblestone paths and along
winding canals until you reach St Bavos, the city’s first cathedral
and home to the epic altarpiece, The Adoration of The Mystic Lamb.
For an altogether different art scene, make tracks to Graffiti
Street where bold graphics in bolder colours are juxtaposed with
the city’s historical architecture.

Fire Island

New York, US

If you’re a native
New Yorker
and not holidaying in the Hamptons, chances are you
hit up Fire Island when the summer smog gets too much. Just 40km
from the concrete and skyscrapers, it’s a haven of good,
old-fashioned American fun. With no cars allowed, it’s all bicycles
on boardwalks and bare feet on beaches. On the western tip (just
off the south shore of Long Island) you’ll find Robert Moses State
Park, an 875-acre stretch of immaculate beach punctuated by
picturesque lighthouses.



Nothing quite compares to crisp mountain air, and as the highest
village in the Swiss Alps (that is also combustion-free), Zermatt
boasts some of the freshest. With private cars banned in favour of
electric taxis, your best bet for reaching this
haven is by way of the Glacier Express Train, which
grants non-stop views of snow-capped mountains, deep gorges and
running waters. Once you’ve arrived, switch to cable cars,
horse-drawn carriages or your own two feet. Visit in summer for
mountain walks in the shadow of the Matterhorn.



This Swahili island offers everything you want from a beach
escape. As well as being home to spectacular nature, Lamu’s
cultural scene differentiates it from your standard beach holiday.
Founded in the 14th century, a long history of trade between

, the
Middle East
has produced a unique coastal culture that manifests in
crumbling Portuguese forts, medieval towns, Arab mosques and
Swahili settlements. Lamu’s town square is a hub of activity,
filled with market stalls and school children playing football on
their lunch break. Catch the sunset with a dhow boat ride from
Shela Beach.