'Fresh air getaways': The best holiday destinations to give your lungs a break
While we love the hustle and bustle of it all, living in large, urban cities has its health drawbacks. The World Health Organization recently announced that air pollution is the greatest environmental risk to human health, in a report stating that 9 out of 10 people in the world breathe in polluted air. Yes, that's 92 percent of the entire world population. So, instead of travelling to yet another crowded city, why not take a different kind of adventure down National Parks and fjords? Your lungs will thank you later.
1. Trekking the South Island of New Zealand
New Zealand's National Parks are unprecedented in their glory, beauty, and atmosphere. Walk through the famous Milford Track to feast your eyes on some of the most stunning scenery in nature and breathe in air that is crisp, clean and uninhabited. Additionally, take a trip through the Routeburn Track and inhale the fresh scent of beech trees as you make your way through native forests located next to gin-coloured streams.
For more information, visit New Zealand Walking Tours.
2. Stay in a safari style camp in Greenland
Staying in a safari style camp at the edge of Greenland's ice sheet is a once in a lifetime experience, and the perfect solution for those that really want to disconnect from urban life. Experience the local people and culture of East Greenland, while exploring the pristine wilderness of the country. The best part? The proximity of icebergs floating by the safari camp conjures a fresh blast of Nordic air so pure that your lungs will thank you.
For more information, visit Natural Habitat Adventures.
3. Hike the Burren and Aran Islands
Just recently, Ireland voted to become the first country to completely remove public funding for fossil fuel use — in our opinion, a great reason to visit the Emerald Isle soon. To get the most of the natural air flowing right off the Atlantic, consider hiking the Burren and Aran Islands. The combination of rocky limestone sights and untainted ocean breeze will do wonders for the mind, body and soul.
For more information, visit Wilderness Ireland.
4. Travel the routes of Polar Canada
Northern Canada is home to many beautiful sights of nature, especially of ancient fjords as old as the dawn of men. Sail down Sondre Stromfjord, which has 168 kilometres of dramatic scenery, and inhale its pristine Arctic air. Visit the UNESCO site of Ilulissat — which literally translates into "iceberg" — and the site of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, the 'mother' of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic.
For more information, visit Adventure Canada.
5. Explore the forests of Finland
The World Health Organization recently declared that Finland has one of the cleanest air in the world. So do your lungs a favor and explore the Finnish wilderness on a journey through Oulanka National Park, a trail filled with fresh spruce forests, cascading waterfalls, and white-water rivers. Inhale the natural forest air and marvel at 136,000 hectares of startling landscape, while keeping your eye out for a brown bear or two.
For more information, visit Exodus Travels.