Nordic Slow Adventure: Explorations in Time and Nature

Peter Varley*, Tristan Semple

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The potentially paradoxical concept of “slow adventure” is offered here as having a particularly North European potential and a peculiarly Nordic orientation towards outdoor tourism activity. An overview of the relationship between the slow movements and the frenetically paced, technologically wired lived experience of hypermodernity is considered in the light of the rise of the adventure tourism “industry”. We contrast the slow movement principles with mainstream, risk managed and rationalised “fast” adventure tourism products, which focus predominantly on thrill and rush. The concept of slow adventure, as distinct from slow tourism or slow travel per se is then further developed to include time, passage, comfort and nature, aligned with Scandinavian concepts of friluftsliv, as determining elements in what have become highly regarded tourist experiences. We conclude that there cannot be an essentialist separation of “slow” and “fast” adventure (or travel, or tourism, or food …) per se. Rather, that these qualitative aspects of self-supported adventurous journeys illustrate significant, and hitherto largely ignored aspects in the analysis of adventure tourism, and point toward opportunities for well-trained outdoor professionals who can make the most of the Nordic great outdoors for small numbers of clients, enabling inclusive, environmentally responsible, high-value, place-specific experiences, all year round.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-90
Number of pages18
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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