Sunday, March 3, 2024

What are Europe’s Most Sustainable Travel Destinations? 4 Must-Visit Countries

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Travel Europe sustainably no matter where you go. But if you’re looking for the most sustainable destinations across the region, put these countries on your list.

Sustainable travel is increasingly popular in line with wider efforts to protect our planet. The travel industry is a significant carbon emitter, releasing roughly ten percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. As such, eco-tourism is coming into the limelight as an alternative for environmentally conscious tourists.

The choice of location, transport, accommodation, and activities are important to consider. If you’re looking for sustainable destinations on your next European tour, here are a few countries that should be on your shortlist.

northern lights finland
Photo courtesy Lucas Marcomini | Unsplash

1. Finland

This country has taken environmentally friendly tourism to the next level. The government and tourist board have invested heavily in the Sustainable Finland program to encourage and support travelers to make more eco-conscious decisions. It focuses on ecological, sociocultural, and financial perspectives to minimize the impact of tourism on the beautiful country.

As a holiday location, it boasts some of the cleanest air and water in the world. Seasonal, local produce is a central part of the cuisine, so you can expect outstanding food without the air miles. With a diverse range of locations and experiences, you can have a sensational trip around every part of Finland. 

slovenia
Photo courtesy Arnaud STECKLE | Unsplash

2. Slovenia

A little off the beaten path, Slovenia is finding its place in the eco-tourism space. The country is in a wonderful and often underappreciated location sitting between Italy, Croatia, Austria, and Hungary, offering as much as any of those nations. 

It has a stunningly natural and largely untouched landscape, with Alpine peaks and ancient forests making for exceptional backdrops. Lake Bled is one of its most popular tourist locations, but the tourism board has made big steps in supporting local economies and making other parts of the country more accessible. 

castle in dunrobin
Dunrobin castle, Scotland. Courtesy Colin Horn | Unsplash

3. Scotland

The heart of sustainable tourism in the U.K., Scotland is a great choice for eco-minded travellers. It was the first country to sign up for an initiative called “Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency” and hosted COP26, which was one of the most significant climate conferences yet. 

The Scottish Highlands is a gorgeous area of rugged wilderness, protected to preserve the habitats and wildlife that so beautifully thrive in that part of the world. You can venture to the stunning islands off the coast or explore the heritage and outstanding natural beauty of the mainland.

iceland puffins
Photo courtesy Yves Alarie | Unsplash

4. Iceland

One of the most fascinating destinations in Europe is Iceland. Its geothermal activity provides enough energy to power most of the country, meaning it’s one of the lowest carbon emitters in the world. Tourists can explore the city of Reykjavik, take in the spectacular waterfalls, enjoy the naturally heated pools, and potentially see the Northern Lights with a bit of luck.

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