The year 2019 is the year of sustainable tourism! Traveling and sustainability doesn’t seem to go together. Off all things, moving from one place to the other is terribly polluting. This is true. However, realizing this probably won’t keep us from traveling, exploring and discovering. There are solutions to travel more sustainable. What influence does your traveling has on the environment, and on the environment of the locals you visit?
Easy actions can have a positive effect. For example: Take the shortest route, go on vacation close to home, reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, don’t travel by plane, etc. Do you want more inspiration? We have listed 6 sustainable travel destinations in Europe. Add them to you bucket list, and have great experience!
Sustainable travel in France
Going on vacation by car, bus or train is way more sustainable than taking an airplane. There is one more sustainable way to travel, though: go by foot. Discover beautiful France by foot, famous for fashion, baguette, wine and French cuisine. Pass historic towns, picturesque castles and chateaux by hiking though the countryside. You can picnic in open fields, at water streams and small rivers. Or along vineyards.
Especially Brittany, at the sea side of France, is presenting itself as a sustainable holiday destination. They’ve developed a vast cycle network, improved water quality, protect their heritage and history and stimulate companies to be more sustainable. By foot, or by bike, you can truly discover France on a micro level.
Travel through Germany by electric car
Travel through the Black Forest, along deep valleys and high mountain peaks, or pass the seaside villages. Discover different cultures, breweries and German cities. Traveling sustainable by electric car is not as difficult in Germany. You can charge your electric car along the way and at different hotels. Also, in the countryside many charging stations can be found.
You only need to download an App to find charging stations on your way. For example Chargemap. This will help you to charge in time, without having an empty battery in the middle of nowhere. Nothing to keep you from exploring Germany with an eco-friendly electric car.
And Germany is lovely. Enjoy the German tradition, its cuisine, hotels, restaurants and local produce.
Tip: Visit the last primeval forest of Europe, Bialowieza in Poland.
Sustainable traveling through Italy
Next to walking and using an electric car, of course cycling is also a very eco-friendly way of traveling. It saves you renting a car or worrying about the CO2 emissions you cause with your car. Just imagine a cycling vacation in Italy. Cycling through the wide fields, olive farms, vineyards, historic Italian villages and eating pasta and pizza every day. Cycling is a great idea!
A very popular way of traveling in Italy is walking pilgrim routes. You’ll pass quiet villages where you can still taste the Italian culture. And you’ll pass monasteries, castles and beautiful views.
Scotland is one of the most green countries of Europe. In Scotland you’ll find breathtaking wilderness and Scotisch highlands wherever you’ll go. Scots have a natural thing for having a sustainable, eco-friendly life. An eco-friendly holiday in Scotland is always a great idea. You can easily discover Scotland by electric car. There are charging station along the way. But there are also other ways or discovering Scotland. For example by going horseback riding. Or hiking, following the rough coastline of Scotland. You’ll travel through picturesque landscapes, with fantastic views. Of course you can’t visit Scotland without visiting its two major cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Another sustainable way to discover Scotland and its fantastic landscapes, is by train. Take the train from Inverness to Kyle. You’ll pass some extraordinary views and landscapes. A great way to discover Scottish culture beyond Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Sustainable traveling to Norway
On a European level, Norway is pretty sustainable. Norway is doing a great job in generating green energy, mainly through hydroelectric plants. Norway is also a great destination for a sustainable vacation. It’s a huge country, and not so populated. There are vast amount of natural areas, protected natural reserves and national parks. These are the places you should visit to experience the real nature of Norway.
A great way to explore Norway is by electric car. As Norway is so advanced in using renewable energy, the network of charging stations for electric cars in Norway is very extended across the country. Traveling by (electric) car allows you to truly enjoy the impressive nature, like fjords, mountains, snow and glaciers.
Sustainable traveling through The Netherlands
Being a small country, The Netherlands is a great vacation destination to explore sustainably. You’ll have different options:
- Bike – Cities and villages are on a short distance. By bike you can easily travel around the country to truly experience small, historic, traditionally Dutch villages. Take for example a bike tour around the IJsselmeer. This is a former sea, but currently a big lake in the middle of the country. The villages around this lake are typically fisherman villages. And of course you’ll pass Amsterdam.
- Electric car – The Netherlands has a big network of charging stations, making it easy to charge your electric car wherever it is needed.
- Public transport – The public transport system is The Netherlands is perfect. By train you’re able to visit every big city and small village. Distances are low. A bus will take your further. The bus and train routes are generally being served multiple times an hour.
This allows you to fully explore the country in a sustainable way. Nothing to keep you from visiting the touristic highlights in the country. Although I also recommend you to visit the lesser known destinations. Go for example to the island Schouwen-Duiveland in the southern coastal province of Zeeland, which is named one of the best sustainable coastal destinations in the world. Or go up north to the islands in the Wadden Sea, which is UNESCO World Heritage due to its vulnerable and unique natural system.
Nothing to keep you from exploring Europe, while limiting CO2 emission and still having a great vacation.