Most Beautiful Car-Free Destinations in The World

9 Most Beautiful Car-Free Destinations in The World

From Venice to Hydra, these are the most beautiful car-free destinations in the world.

Most of the time, streets of big cities are wedged solid with a traffic gridlock. Getting caught in a snarl-up with strident horns blaring can be a traveller’s worst nightmare. But, it is almost inevitable as cars are still the most common mode of transportation till date. Enter car-free destinations.

What if we tell you that you can enjoy a vacation sans massive traffic jams and road rages that are sure to put off even the most equanimous tourist. While the thought of a car-free destination is astonishing given the absurd dominance of automobiles, they exist much to the delight of many. 

These beautiful car-free destinations scattered all over the globe are either being redesigned to espouse sustainability or are such as a result of their natural landscapes. The outcome – a peaceful environment where the air is always crisp and clean and life comes to a standstill. 

If you are yearning for a respite away from the hustle and bustle of city life and the air pollution that comes with it, bookmark this list of beautiful car-free destinations for when you can travel again! 

1. Venice, Italy

Image credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel

Often cited as the largest and most prominent car-free destination, Venice is built on 118 islands in the middle of a salt-water lagoon. It possesses the name ‘City of Canals’ for a striking reason. There are no roads accessible by cars on this prepossessing archipelago – only meandering canals and extensive footpaths. 

Take a serenaded gondola ride on the narrow canals and the sights of Venice’s elegant facades and impressive bridges will take your breath away. According to Venetian lore, couples that kiss under the Bridge of Sighs will enjoy eternal love.

2. Zermatt, Switzerland

 Zermatt is surrounded by the highest peaks of Switzerland including the jewel of the Swiss Alps. To ensure that the dramatic backdrop of the symmetrical pyramid-shaped mountain is clearly visible to the naked eye, this idyllic village is combustion-free. 

An unparalleled view of the Matterhorn will greet you once you arrive in Zermatt by train, taxi or helicopter. It is a paradise for peripatetics. There are 400 kilometres of walking trails offering stunning panoramas of the majestic peaks towering over the area. You can also experience the charm of riding a horse-drawn carriage through this picturesque town. 

3. Avoriaz, France

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the heart of Portes du Solei, Avoriaz is an enchanting ski resort that looks straight out of a storybook. Ice-white dust will crunch under your feet as you wend your way around the pedestrianised snow-clad streets. Occasionally, you will bump into cyclists, horse-riders and skaters.

If skiing on the French Alps is not your thing, there are other alternatives you can enjoy. Outdoor ice rinks, full-fledged cinema, bakeries and spas are all within walking distance from one another. Thus, this car-free destination is truly a paradise for anyone looking to leave it all behind. 

4. Fes-el-Bali, Morocco 

Image credit: just_a_cheeseburger

Thousands of tapering alleyways make up this ancient medieval city – far too narrow even for cars. Not only that, the passageways of this archaic district brim with shops and stalls, palaces and mosques so much so that making your way around by foot, carts, donkeys, and bicycles are the only feasible options.

Do not be afraid to lose yourself in the labyrinth of cobbled streets. That way, you will be able to soak up the unique cultural experience and discover hidden treasures. Ambling around the crumbling walls of this precinct will take you back in time – before the advent of automobiles.  

5. Halibut Cove, Alaska

Image credit: Andrew Russell

Tucked away in Kachemak Bay State Park, Halibut Cove is a charming town that is sparsely populated. The rustic buildings perched on stilts offer a glimpse into its yesteryear as a sleepy fishing village. It is also home to the only floating post office in the United States of America.

With no paved roads in sight, transportation in this secluded area entails walking, boating, seaplane, and ATVs. But, it makes for the perfect way to take in the vistas of mountains, forests, glaciers, coastline and oceans surrounding this little slice of paradise.

Also read: Top 10 Beautiful Streets In The World To Fill Your Instagram Grid!

6. Hydra, Greece

Image credit: Greeka

Hydra may be an offbeat sand-fringed Greek destination, but this exquisite Saronic island is a beach haven in its own rights. Plus, it radiates with an old-world appeal thanks to its undertaking to avoid overdevelopment so that visitors will feel nostalgic for simpler times. 

On Hydra, you won’t see any roads, cars, or bikes. Instead, donkeys and mules will transport you to secluded beaches with waters gently lapping on golden sands and hilltops boasting panoramic views of the glistening turquoise ocean. With a vast network of cobbled paths traversing the compact island, the best way to get around is by foot nonetheless. 

7. Giethoorn, Netherlands

Image credit: Bob Denaro

Giethoorn is the epitome of a postcard-perfect village that has retained its rustic charm. Here, you will be able to get an inkling on the Dutch’s fascination with living on and around water. It is not surprising given the fact that Netherlands is permeated by it. 

At this car-free destination that has been dubbed as ‘Little Venice’, the quietude is almost surreal. Drift along winding canals and under wooden bridges in a whisper-boat to admire thatched-roof farm houses lining the waterways. The sound of leaves rustling gently in the trees will pick up on your ears.

8. La Cumbrecita, Argentina

Image credit: Wallpaper Flare

La Cumbrecita is an alpine village lodged in the mountains of the Grand Sierras of Córdoba. Looking closer, it is reminiscent of a 15th century German town. Some locals even speak German and German dishes are aplenty. 

Embark on a guided hike to witness the stream, languid in pace, cascading down a series of rocky outcrops. The twisting climb constantly offers changing vistas of the natural scenery. Also, the charm of this place has gained traction with many visitors making their way to this alluring hamlet. But, they can only enter by foot thanks to the pedestrian-only policy.

9. Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

Image credit: Etnoy

Civita di Bagnoregio sits gloriously upon a hill. It has earned the name ‘small town in the sky’ thanks to its unique position. No cars are allowed in this ancient suburb as it is inexorably losing ground. The sand base which it sits upon is constantly eroding. 

To catch a glimpse of this otherworldly beauty, you must cross a narrow 366-meter pedestrian-only footbridge – every step is sure to take your breath away. A huge stone passageway will welcome you to explore the Renaissance buildings, old chamber tombs and trattorias in this sublime village. 

These car-free destinations are ideal for you to get away and break out from the busy trap. Just remember to bring along a comfortable pair of walking shoes to get started!


About Author

Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


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