Six global tourist destinations that won’t allow cars

Cars are banned in these spots to save them from pollution. Photo: Shutterstock/Maridav/Aleoli Photography

Much has been said about the environmental impacts of tourism. Often, it's not just about pollutants the tourists leave behind. Even vehicles, that transport them to these scenic spots, can damage the fragile ecosystem of tourist spots. Therefore, there are quite a few locations in the world that do not allow cars to enter. If you fancy visiting them, you will have to take a walk and savour the sights on the foot. 

Let's take a look at some global cities and villages around the world where cars don’t have access as part of preserving natural beauty.

Halibut Cove, Alaska
Halibut Cove is a village in Alaska that cannot be reached by road. Cars are not permitted here to protect the natural beauty of the place. The village has the only floating post office in America. It is a traditional fishing village where people generally depend on boats for their journeys.

Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is a Swiss town located close to the Alps. The place is famous for skiing and mountaineering. Zermatt in Switzerland, which is generally high in cost of living, is the most expensive town in Europe. The pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak is here. Only electric cars are allowed here. This restriction is part of reducing noise pollution and air pollution.

Cies Islands
The Cies Islands are beautiful islands in Spain. It is a group of three small islands. During the high tide, the sea overwhelms the land between the islands. Then, it will withdraw. The speciality of Cies is the white sand beaches shaded by pine forests. Cars have no entry to Cies, which can only be accessed by boats and country crafts. In 2022, the New York Times selected the Cies Islands as one of 52 places that do not promote excessive tourism and protect the environment.

Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
This place in Italy is described as a dying city. You can reach this village only on foot. That, too, through the foot over-bridge. The village is located in the mountains, about 120 km from Rome. It has a history dating back to 2500 years. With medieval buildings, streets, and structures, Civita is also a slowly decaying village. Due to the absence of cars and ancient constructions, tourists get the experience of reaching a place belonging to centuries ago.

Giethoorn in the Netherlands
Giethoorn in the Netherlands is called Venice of the North. Giethoorn got such a nickname because there are more canals and water bodies than roads. Boats are the main mode of transport here. There are 176 bridges to connect Giethoorn, which does not have cars.

Lamu, Kenya
Lamu is a small coastal town in Kenya with a rich history and narrow lanes and it follows the Swahili culture. It has a history dating back to 1370. This is a town with a lot of Arab influence. There are no cars in Lamu, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Donkeys and boats are mainly used for travel. There's also a shelter for donkeys here.

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