10 Destinations for Sustainable Travel in 2020

Best places to travel in 2020
Already planning your 2020 summer holiday and need some travel ideas ?

To enter the new decade, we’ve selected ten destinations, packed with green features to help you travel more sustainably this year.

Urban travel, nature lovers, hiker’s paradise, all the destinations we picked have a green touch, and some of them may even be accessible without flying*

Gothenburg, Sweden

Sustainable Travel Gothenburg

Ranked Best European Capital for Smart Tourism in 2020 along with Malaga, Gothenburg is an excellent mix between urban and nature holidays.

After strolling in the streets of the city or visiting its parks and museums don’t miss some island hoping in one of Gothenburg’s archipelago 20 islands. The southern part of the archipelago is a car-free area, ideal for walking or cycling breaks.

Located on the west coast of Sweden, the city is accessible by train from Copenhagen in a little less than 4 hours. A sceninc train-ride along the coast! Count a full day from Berlin, 24h hours from Paris and 25 from London.

Asturias, Spain

Ecotourism spain asturias
Forget the overtouristy Costa Del Sol and head to Spain’s greenest holiday destination.

Between Galicia and Cantabria, Asturias principality in Northern Spain has all the features you could dream of. Between mountain and sea, you’ll probably have a hard time picking what you want to see first.

The region counts seven biosphere reserves, 200 beaches, and many hiking routes among which the GR109 that crosses the interior of the province in 27 stages. The area counts three major cities to visit and countless fishing villages along the coast.

Azores, Portugal

sustainable tourism in azores
Composed of 9 volcanic islands, the Azores are a bucket list destination for any conscious travellers. Pioneering in the field of sustainable Travel, the Azores were the very first to create a marine reserve in the Atlantic ocean. An initiative  since then awared Gift Of the Earth by WWF.

The Azores were certified sustainable tourism destination by EarthCheck in 2017. 95% of the archipelago’s land is composed of protected areas and most of the territory’s energy is produced from renewable resources.

It’s a destination of choice for hiking or a beach holiday, or to enjoy an ethical whale watching experience.

New Brunswick

Ecofriendly holidays in Canada

Bordered by the St Laurent Gulf and New Scotland, New Brunswick is the most significant maritime province of Canada.

Forests cover 80% of the territory, but it is also renown for the Bay of Fundy where the tides are the highest in the world (up to 16 meters high).

Whether you’re in the mood for a beach trip, a hike in one of its nine provincial parks, whale watching or some culture in Fredericton, the state’s capital, you’ll undoubtedly make plenty of discoveries. New Brunswick seems to be one of the most exciting Canadian provinces to visit, and many travellers put it on their bucket list for a road trip holiday.

Nouvelle Aquitaine, France

Sustainable travel in France
If you fancy a holiday combining lush forests, charming villages and cities, magnificent coastlines and mountains, Nouvelle Aquitaine is an ideal playground.

It is also a fabulous territory for all those who want to discover the French Art de Vivre and Gastronomy. It’s the region with the most important number of EU Ecolabelled accommodations. The region counts numerous cycling routes and is easily accessible by train. Bordeaux is only a 2-hour train ride from Paris.


ecotourism tasmania
If you’re looking for wilderness and have the time to travel to the other side of the planet, head to Tasmania. This island state South of Australia is a true nature and wildlife paradise inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list.

Around 40% of Tasmania is protected in national parks and reserves. The island also has a significant number of marine reserves. Get ready for magnificent scenery anywhere you go. Tasmania is also great for bird and wildlife watching, as well as sailing or river cruising.

Combining a road trip and hiking is a great way to experience this land. Hikes can be as long as a week or only a few hours short. A very useful free guide lists the 60 great short walks of Tasmania, read it online or download it on your phone to have it handy while you’re there.

Useful tip: Tasmania has biosecurity laws to preserve it’s biodiversity that are among the strictest in the world. Make sure you are aware of them before you go and also read the good practices you should adopt while hiking on the Discover Tasmania website.


Adventure holidays in Romania
The central region of Romania is one where you’ll be able to visit Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns. Add to that, magnificent castles, fortified churches and century-old traditions and Transylvania will end on your bucket list for 2020.

Adventure holiday enthusiasts will adore the region for the Apuseni Mountain Range, the Scarisoara glacier, or it’s 4000 caves, many of which can be explored. An excellent choice for those who want to combine adventure & culture on their holiday.


Scotland by Rail
Looking for some greenery? Scotland is a land with a variety of landscapes and is great choice for those who fancy nature, adventure and history. Ranked #12 out of 50 nations for its richness in cultural heritage.

It is also famous among cycling and hiking fans and offers a variety of trails and cycling routes, whatever your level.

If you’re on a car-free holiday mood, the ScotRail Highland Rover ticket, gives you unlimited rail travel during 4 days and can take you to the North and West regions, includes ferries and buses, making it possible to visit the renown Isle of Skye without a car.
Water fans might like the Great Glen Canoe Trail, a 96km stretch in the Caledonia Canal to paddle or kayak from Fort William to Inverness.

Also, in 2020 Scotland is celebrating the year of coasts and water, and plenty of events and exhibitions will be organized. Find out more on the Visit Scotland Website

Ghent, Belgium

What to do in Ghent
If you’re planning a road trip through Europe’s cities or want to do a short city break, Ghent should be on your bucket list. Far less crowded than it’s little sister Bruges, you’ll have stars in your eyes, whatever the season you choose to visit it.
Its historical city centre is delightful to walk through, and the charm of its canals will remind you of other famous European cities.

Ghent counts numerous historical landmarks to visit, countless markets and is best visited on foot or by bike. It’s very easy to get there by train, from most European capitals.

For those still willing to drive there, a low emission zone is in place in the city centre since the 1st of January 2020 and your car will need to be registered on the city’s website to access the area.


sustainable tourism in Uruguay
Smallest country of South America, Uruguay may not be the first that comes to travellers’ minds planning a trip in that part of the world. The list of reasons that make it an eco-friendly destination is long.

95% of the country’s energy is from renewable resources, the country has the most progressive societies of South America and is committed to sustainable tourism since many years.

Strolling in the Art-Deco streets of Montevideo, beach hoping on the coast, visiting its natural parks, its wine region, cruising its rivers, or simply enjoying the Uruguayan way of life, culture and traditions, Uruguay is undoubtebly worth visiting and suitable for all travel styles.

Our list is not in order of preference and limited to only 10 places in the world. Need more travel ideas for 2020? Our previous selections of eco-friendly destinations for 2018 and 2019 can also help.

* Our travel list 2020 features destinations worldwide, some of which cannot be reached without flying. To reduce the carbon footprint of your flight, prefer the most direct flight to your destination, look at what your airline proposes for carbon compensation and what sustainability practices they have committed to, stay longer and opt for green transport once you’re there.

Need other easy tips on how to be a sustainable traveller, read our 10 tips to be a sustainable traveler

How about you? What’s on your bucket list for eco-friendly travel in 2020? Come tell us in the comments.

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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