Journey to Joy How to Explore the World's Happiest Countries Without Flying

Journey to Joy: How to Explore the World’s Happiest Countries Without Flying

Explore the World Happiness Report’s top countries without flying. Discover sustainable travel tips for eco-friendly joy in Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden.

In an era where the pursuit of happiness is more critical than ever, the latest World Happiness Report offers intriguing insights. 

With Finland clinching the top spot for the seventh consecutive year, it is clear that there is something special about the Nordic approach to wellbeing. 

Join us as we explore not just the findings of this comprehensive report but also a unique travel guide to experiencing these bastions of bliss without the carbon footprint of air travel.

The Happiest Nations Unveiled

The World Happiness Report, a collaborative effort by the Gallup World Poll, Oxford University’s Wellbeing Research Centre, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, shines a light on where joy thrives globally.

Utilizing data from over 140 countries, the report evaluates six key variables that contribute to happiness: income (GDP per capita), healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption.

Here is a snapshot of the top performers:


Nordic countries dominate the list, suggesting that their success is defined by a robust blend of economic wellbeing, strong social networks, and individual freedoms.

Also Read: 20 Best Places To Visit In Netherlands In 2023: Discover the Magic of the Netherlands

A Journey to Joy: Exploring Happiness Without Flying

Given the modern stressors, especially the environmental guilt associated with air travel, there is a growing appeal to seeking happiness more sustainably.

You can visit the top four happiest countries — Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden — without setting foot on a plane.

Step 1: Embracing the Sea and Untrodden Paths

The adventure begins in Iceland with a ferry ride on the M/S Norröna, taking you to Denmark via the Faroe Islands. This journey offers a slower pace and a chance to lessen your carbon footprint. Key points include:

  • The ferry operates year-round, with varying travel times based on the season.
  • Opportunity to explore Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands during a six-hour layover.
  • Accommodations range from basic to luxurious, with the cheapest cabin priced at €565.

Step 2: The Danish Landscape by Rail

Upon reaching Denmark, a train journey from Hirtshals to Copenhagen offers stunning views of the Danish countryside, far removed from the impersonal flyover experience. The train journey, priced at €72 one-way, is both sustainable and scenic.

Step 3: Bridging Denmark and Sweden

Copenhagen, rich in history and beauty, serves as the gateway to Sweden. The Øresund Bridge facilitates this transition, offering a short but memorable train ride to Malmö. With tickets starting from €18, it is an eco-friendly way to cross national borders.

Step 4: The Swedish Scenery in Finland

The final leg involves a train journey from Malmö to Stockholm, showcasing Sweden’s picturesque landscapes. From Stockholm, an overnight ferry takes you to Helsinki, Finland. This portion combines cultural immersion with sustainable travel, with ferry tickets priced from €96.

Also Read: Ultimate Guide to Business Travel Credit Cards for Digital Nomads

Embracing Happiness, the Sustainable Way

This journey exemplifies how travel can be a source of joy and a step towards more sustainable living. 

By choosing land and sea over the air, travellers contribute to reducing their environmental impact and gain a deeper appreciation for the journey itself. 

The destinations reflect the world’s happiest countries and offer a glimpse into societies where happiness is cultivated through a balance of well-being-being, community, and freedom.

As the world grapples with the complexities of happiness in the 21st century, the journey to these Nordic countries serves as a reminder of the joy that can be found in simpler, slower, and more sustainable modes of travel.

Also Read: Is Mexico Safe to Visit in 2024? Your Comprehensive Guide

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