Die Einwohner der Blue Zones leben länger, gesünder und glücklicher: Wo diese einzigartigen Destinationen liegen und warum auch Reisende mal "blau" machen sollten, verraten wir.

Healthy Getaway: Vacation in the 5 Blue Zones

The inhabitants of the Blue Zones live longer, healthier and happier lives: We reveal where these unique destinations are located and why travelers can recharge.

February 21, 2023

The so-called Blue Zones describe certain regions whose inhabitants live significantly longer and healthier lives than people do elsewhere. The creator of the concept called Blue Zones is author, educator, and producer Dan Buettner. In his article "The Secrets of a Long Life" (National Geographic), he named five such zones. 

There are five Blue Zones worldwide, including the Japanese island of Okinawa. © Christian Burri 

For travelers who want to focus on their health, the Blue Zones are a great place to visit. Get inspired by the lifestyle of the locals, and enjoy some great sights all around while you are at it.

What distinguishes the Blue Zones?

According to Buettner, the longer lifespan and better health depend on a wide variety of factors. All Blue Zone people live in close family relationships and maintain active social lives. They abstain from cigarettes, live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, and a primarily plant-based diet. Low stress, a goal in life to work toward, and fulfilling work are important as well.

The 5 Blue Zones:

Sardinia, Italy

Die 5 Blue Zones der Welt: Sardinien

Sardinia was the world's first official Blue Zone in 2004. © Shutterstock

In villages in the mountains of Sardinia, particularly in certain provinces such as Ogliastra and Barbagia, people live longer than elsewhere. The village of Seulo, for instance, held the record for twenty centenarians for an entire decade. According to studies, this is due to a genetic characteristic, the M26 marker.

What to do?

Long beach days are truly wonderful in Sardinia. For a more active lifestyle, there are wonderful hiking areas, such as the Gennargentu National Park, which rewards strenuous climbs with magnificent views. To round off the vacation, trips to Nuoro or Cagliari should be on every bucket list as well.

Related: Island happiness: The 10 most beautiful luxury hotels in Sardinia

Ikaria, Greece

Seychelles Beach is the most beautiful beach of the Aegean island. © Shutterstock

Almost unbelievable - almost one third of all inhabitants of this Greek island lived to the age of 90. The island in the northern Aegean has lower rates of cancer, heart disease and dementia as well.

What to do?

Just sit back and relax with a glass of Greek wine in your hand. Ikaria is a wonderful place to spend balmy days by the sea. If you are looking to explore the local culture, visit Nas. Worth a visit as well: the lively Christos Raches with its menhir arches.

Related: From Milos to Mykonos: Which Cyclades island is the right one for me?

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Urlaub in den Blue Zones: Nicoya Halbinsel

The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is one of the world's five Blue Zones. © Shutterstock

Nicoya Peninsula with its length of 130 kilometers is a gorgeous place place to enjoy dream beaches and the wild and beautiful jungle. The residents here live according to the "plan de vida": the lifestyle is characterized by a strong sense of purpose, frequent laughter with the close social network of friends, family, and neighbors.

What to do?

From dolphin tours in the Atlantic to kayak tours through the mangroves to relaxing beach days, lovers of both sports and relaxation alike can experience their individual dream vacations on the Nicoya Peninsula. 

Related: Best of Costa Rica: the best hotels, restaurants and souvenirs

Loma Linda, California

Die fünf Blue Zones: Loma Linda in Kalifornien

Loma Linda is located in the San Bernardino Valley in California. © Shutterstock

Loma Linda's Seventh-day Adventists, a religious congregation founded in the 1840s, live about ten years longer than the rest of the world, due to their healthy lifestyle.

What to do?

Loma Linda itself may not look very impressive; the region around the town, which is part of the San Bernardino Valley, certainly is. Whether you're hiking in the San Bernardino Mountains, visiting the world's first McDonald's, or taking a little trip to Los Angeles , it's up to you.

Okinawa, Japan

Die 5 Blue Zones der Welt: Okinawa

Okinawa, island idyll between nature, culture and long life expectancy. © Susann Schuster

Okinawa is not called the island of the immortals for nothing. The female population in particular lives longer here than anywhere else in the world. Japan itself is one of the countries with the highest life expectancy. The islanders also rely on the nutritional philosophy "Hara hachi bu" - so they eat only so much until they are 80 percent full.

What to do?

Culture, nature, and island idyll: It is hardly surprising that the diverse Okinawa is a Blue Zone. Gorgeous nature such as Gyokusendo Cave or Cape Manzamō are juxtaposed with countless cultural attractions. These include the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park and the magnificent Shuri Castle.

Related: Finally, long-distance travel again: Japan

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