Best eco-friendly destinations 2018

best eco-friendly destinations

It’s that time of the year, where you start thinking of your next holidays. Here is a selection of some  eco-friendly destinations that have great features and that could be a good pick for your next trip if you are looking for nature and wildlife.

This is our 2018 eco-friendly destination selection. Need more travel ideas? Discover our selection of eco-friendly destinations for 2020

Iceland

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Picture copyright: Iceland Tourism –  Northern lights at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, South-East Iceland

Known as the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is the territory of Europe’s largest glaciers, worlds most active volcanoes (you might remember a famous airport #shutdown) and one of the countries in the world where renewable energy is the most used for energy and heating.

The country also has a great reputation for spectacular skies with its renown Aurora Borealis. Between rafting, diving, hiking, snowboarding or surfing, you’ll have the choice for your next adventure travel.

Sustainable tourism is at the heart of the country’s development strategy, not only has the First Lady been named special ambassador for sustainable tourism of the World Tourism Organization end of 2017, but the country also invites its visitors to take the Icelandic pledge of responsible tourism before visiting the island.

Bhutan

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You probably knew about the country’s reputation of being the happiest country in the world with its renown Gross National Happiness Index. Did you know there’s another major reason it might be your next eco-friendly travel choice: Bhutan is the world’s only carbon negative country.

Between spirituality, nature, meditation and adventure, the country has a lot to offer for responsible travellers from around the world.

Sustainability is in the fundamentals of the country’s development and at the heart of it’s tourism policy. Open to tourism since 1974 only, Buthan asks visitors to pay a minimum daily package fee of around 200-250$ a day for their lodging, meal and activities. The package includes 60$ for sustainable development.

Costa Rica

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It certainly is the world’s most famous eco-tourism destination. With the largest percentage of protected areas in the world, Costa Rica is certainly a great choice for nature lovers. 26% of the territory is devoted to national parks, wildlife reserves and protected lands.

Whether you are a beach lover, a forest enthusiast, or a birdwatcher, Costa Rica, namely the “rich land” has got you covered. THE land of Biodiversity, Costa Rica is known to be the home of 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Just one example could be that 1,200 species of orchards can be observed throughout the country, and for bird lovers, there’s “only” 850 species of birds to watch.

Costa Rica already produces most of its electricity from renewable resources (98% in 2017) and is willing to be carbon neutral by 2020. A darker side is that the dependence on fossil fuel is still very important for transport, and the capital city was ranked among the most congested ones according to Waze’s drivers index. You might want to stay in the nature side.

France

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Ranked in the top sustainable countries of the Sustainable Tourism Index, France has set clear objectives on sustainability in its tourism development strategy. French regions are very active in promoting green tourism. Just a few examples: Brittany promotes the fact that the region can be visited without a car, Corsica has implemented a responsible travel strategy and a green label of its own, Provence is also a region where nature conservation is a major theme.

The country has a lot of green labelled hospitality businesses, whether restaurants, hotels or bed and breakfasts and camping’s. Whether you’re an ocean lover, a mountain fan or a countryside maniac, you’ll have a wide choice among the different eco-friendly destinations the country has to offer.

Slovenia

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It’s capital Ljubljana was elected European Green Capital in 2016, the country has set its green scheme named Slovenia Green for tourism destinations, parks, accommodations and travel agencies.

In Slovenia, you’ll be surrounded by nature, 35% of the country are classified Natura 2000 areas (Europe’s classification of special areas of conservation of biodiversity, flora and animals). The country also counts numerous forests, lakes and rivers and water springs and caves: A perfect destination for nature enthusiasts.

Norway

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They claim it themselves, Norway is “powered by nature”.  Between its fjords, mountains, glaciers, nature is constantly present in Norway and being outdoors is the country’s national pastime.

Nature conservation is a Norwegian philosophy. Most of the territory consists of national parks and protected areas and the countries official site encourages an easy access of nature to all it’s visitors.

San Francisco

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Planning a road trip to the United States, make sure you visit San Francisco, which can claim to be the USA’s greenest city.

First city to ban single-use plastic bags in 2007, the city is all about sustainability. It also targets to be waste-free by 2020 and is already 78% from the objective.

From restaurants, that maintain the farm to table movement, to eco friendly buildings, companies and hotels, environment preservation is at the hear of the strategy of the country’s most eco-friendly city.

New Zealand

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Of course  we rank New Zealand in our top eco-friendly destinations!  Famous for its beautiful landscapes and nature conservancy, New Zealand is a destination of choice for eco-friendly travel enthusiasts. After your #verylonglongflight, you’ll obviously be rewarded by the tremendous nature activities the islands have to offer.

Forests, Gardens, Volcanoes, Beaches, Whale watching, Bird Watching, Penguins, ….The choice is yours to make the best of your trip to world’s number one destination for nature and wildlife observation.

Oman

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With mountains, beaches and desert, the diversity of landscapes in Oman makes it a great destination for eco-friendly travellers heading to the middle-east. The sultanate has put sustainable tourism at the heart of its tourism development strategy. The projects will encourage responsible tourism activities, preservation of natural areas throughout the sultanate as well as the cultural heritage. Don’t miss the green mountain where roses are in full blossom in May.

Of course, we could have added, Portugal, Italy, Sout East Asian countries, but we had to make a choice.

What about you, what’s your favorite ecofriendly destination for 2018? Tell us in the comments.

Holiable
Holiable is an eco-friendly travel planner helping you find sustainable hotels, green restaurants and ethical tourism activities around the world. Holiable was developed to share experiences, advice and reviews on sustainable travel, making it easier to prepare your next eco-friendly holiday.
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