The following is a list of places where there exists a sizable hippy population, where there is tolerance towards hippies, where hippies are free to pursue their lifestyle with community support. Whether you’re looking to visit or relocate, you can be sure there’ll be places to stay, interesting things to see and do, and lots of other hippies in these places. Please note, most of these were reader contributions! If you know of any other places to add to this list please write to us.
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Montreal as many know is a MAJOR hippie mecca of Canada with enormous urban counterculture activity. For those of you who love nature, mountains and forest, and more organic, health-oriented back-to-the-land hippie havens, a short trip just north of Montreal will find you in the Laurentian Mountains which is one of the most beautiful places on the planet in the Canadian summer. Loads of organic outdoorsy hippies from Montreal and other parts of Canada hang out in the Laurentians to commune with the shimmering lakes, birds, beautiful bright green trees, and the bluest of skies around for the months of May-October.
If you want to live in the Laurentian mountains, the cost of living is next to nothing – you can find a small cottage for a very cheap/good price. Americans can buy cheap, cheap land/cottages, and take up residence in the Laurentians for up to six months a year. You might bring a English/French dictionary and compliment the passionate french locals – since it’s mostly a french-speaking area. However, there’s about 25% English speaking people in the Laurentians and so you can easily get by with just English particularly on the edge of the resort areas where many Americans travel from i.e., New York to vacation. People flock to the area from all over the world (mostly northern Europe). And, it has a very left-wing, progressive European feel about it.
Loads of free, peace-loving hippies in and around the Laurentians. Communes, yoga and artist studios, an incredible bike path (use to be a train line) that goes to Montreal, and endless nature/recreation!
“If you’re looking for hippies South Africa has got them. Cape Town especially hosts a large hippy community, here we have the famous Green Market Square where hippies sell their creation from clothes to paintings. Every year from late June into early July thousands of people make their way to Grahmstown, a small town in the middle of nowhere, for the Grahmstown festival. Every hippy in the country winds up there sometime time during the 2-week festival. The festival is actually an arts festival where plays of all kinds (from miming to Shakespeare) can be seen, but along with the abundant actors come the hippies, hoping to make a profit off the large crowds of tourists and catch a few laughs at one of the many comedy plays. The entire town consists of two main streets and several theatre houses, what space is not being used for makeshift stages is a hippy market the size of a football field. All those who have been to one of the annual Grahmstown festivals agree on one thing; it gets better every year. As more and more people come and the hordes of hippies become uncountable the atmosphere seems to grow in a unique feeling of appreciation for the newfound peace in this unstable country. As I returned home to Cape Town after the latest festival I realized that I met more humane people from all over South Africa than I had in years of travel. It’s an experience of a lifetime not to be missed.”
Hobart, Tasmania has to be the most hippiest haven in Australia. LOADS of counterculture activity. Organic food markets are everywhere in the weekly Salamanca market. Lots of wild, beautiful, free-loving, organic environmentalists.
Hobart is the home of the world’s first left-leaning Green Party. Lots of old, character homes in Hobart. And, Tassie (as the locals affectionately call it) is such a dreamy place with turquoise waters, and eucalypt forests. It’s a utopia or the closest to one in the world. And, I’ve travelled to almost every corner of the globe seeking out hippie havens and like-minded eco-subcultural back-to-the-landers. Dudes, bring your berks, dreds, and peaceful thoughts to this totally chilled place downunder.
“This is a place where people come together in peace and celebrate life, arts and music. There is also a permanent community there. They have recently had a disaster. A fire destroyed most of their infrastructure, but they are rebuilding.
Rustlers Valley is undergoing a fundamental transformation, watch this space for updates.
With so much attention being given to the “free city” community of Christiania in Copenhagen at the moment, I wanted to shed light on a fascinating alternative-living project near Hundested in North Denmark.
Dyssekilde is a community of houses in an idyllic rural setting, built using alternative and environmentally-friendly methods. People have come from as far away as Australia and Mexico to buy plots here and as I write, several new projects are in the making and the village is full of people roughing it in caravans, wagons and tents as they build their homes.
People are using strawbale techniques, solar- and wind-power, recycled timber, bricks etc, permaculture and “living roofs” covered in grass among many others. Its an expanding community with organic food shop and bakery, craft shop and several artists (see www.livstrae.dk) and any interested visitors will receive a warm welcome.
If you want to really integrate and learn about the community you can stay and work on a nearby, closely-connected organic farm (www.roejle.dk) by joining WWOOF (www.wwoof.org).
My photos of Dyssekilde can be seen at:
The former capital – very beautiful city-garden,lots of nice heaven-like places, mountains, and good people. I can’t promise they’re true hippy, but they look like hippy, behave like hippy and call themselves hippy, so if that’s what you’re looking for you’re welcome (well, you’re welcome anyway of course). Often you can see them singing in the streets or hiking.
La Semilla “the seed” is a little hippy haven tucked away in stunning mountains on the coast of Andalucia, with views to Morocco. It is a cultural association hosting several music/art workshops throughout the year, as well as being open at weekends in the summer as a vegetarian and organic restaurant. Prices are moderate, but if you love quality vegetarian food you may just find the meal and the views over the mountains and ocean to Morocco an overwhelmingly wonderful experience.
Wagons or a tipi in the surrounding land can be rented very cheaply per night, but also people from all walks of life come to volunteer at La Semilla for months at a time helping with building, vegetable growing, cooking, artistic contribution etc etc. If you are in the area of Tarifa on a summer weekend make it your mission to come here ; follow signs to Playa de Bolonia, follow the road up past the beach into the mountains, take the right at the fork, and follow the little signs, some on the road itself.
See my Semilla photos:
Located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, elevation 8,000 feet. .Talk about a hippie haven, you will not find another town like this one. I think the term “far out” describes this place the best. Besides lots of hippies, Crestone has many Spiritual and Healing centers, Environmental activities, Human potential organizations and the annual Crestone Music Festival is held every August. Located nearby is Valley View Hot Springs, another hippie haven of it’s own!
A haven for people of all kinds especially the counterculture, artists, gay people and anyone else you can think of. In the heart of the Ozark Mts, it makes it living off of the tourists that come to see the Victorian houses and shop in historical downtown. Not your typical Arkansas community. Fresh air and water. Eureka is known for it “healing springs”. There are 90 or so in the city limits. Pop. aprox. 2000
Situated at the intersection of the Susquehanna river and the top of the Chesapeake Bay, the self-proclaimed “Decoy Capitol of the World” was burned to the ground in 1812 and is now rich in American history and once lured many visitors to it’s famed horse racing track.
Today the old town has a very relaxed atmosphere and is home to many nice restaurants, coffee shops, old book stores antique shops, Bed and Breakfasts, and a natural products market. Oh, can’t I can’t leave out all the friendly open minded intellectuals that live here.
The lovely promanade adjacent to the lighthouse is perfect for a summer evening stroll.
The week of the 4th of July the town holds a huge carnival with fireworks on saturday in Tydings Park by the water.
A lovely place to visit or take residence if you like small town living by the water.