Europe is one of the best places in the world for ecotourism, as it is home to so many incredible natural wonders and attractions. But not just that. Europe stands at the forefront of ecotourism.
Across the continent’s countries and cities, travelers with sustainable minds will be delighted to find many of the most eco-friendly destinations in the world, providing greener to other destinations around the world.
From the beautiful Nordic country of Iceland to the gorgeous Italian region of Tuscany (and beyond), here are some of the most beautiful destinations in Europe to visit that are also eco-friendly for an unforgettable and sustainable ecotourism experience.
10Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Lake Bohinj is one of the most beautiful places in Europe for ecotourism; it is the largest natural lake in Slovenia, and it is located in Bohinj Valley, where it radiates incredible scenery to visitors year-round. While it may not be as popular as Lake Bled, it is far less crowded and still offers opportunities for a wide range of activities like hiking, kayaking, and sunbathing.
A visit to this lake is perhaps the best ecotourism experience in Slovenia. This is because Bohinj has introduced a sustainable tourism approach to its area – the Bohinj Green Movement, which encourages environmentally friendly practices and ecotourism awareness-raising initiatives and is thus helping in the grand-scale effort toward sustainable tourism in Europe.
- Location: Municipality of Bohinj, Triglav National Park
Sweden is a gorgeous European gem that is at the forefront of sustainable travel. The country is among the most beautiful sustainable destinations in Europe because it promotes ecotourism and conscious exploration by creating the Nature’s Best label for tour operators and hotels in Sweden. This makes it easy for visitors to identify eco-certified operators in Sweden, so they can get the best of an ecotourism vacation in Europe here.
In addition, Sweden is home to many incredible natural attractions that offer opportunities for adventures like kayaking and hiking. Sweden is also one of the best places to see the northern lights, and these are just a few eco-friendly experiences Sweden has to offer.
- Top eco-friendly attractions in Sweden: Northern Lights, Sarek National Park, Lake Vanern
Iceland is among the most beautiful eco-friendly destinations in Europe; everything in the country is suited for an unforgettable, environmentally-focused experience. The country is incredibly clean and green-oriented, the air is fresh, and there are so many natural endowments begging to be explored here.
While the list is endless, some of the best ways to enjoy ecotourism in Iceland include:
- Soaking in the Blue Lagoon
- Going on a whale-watching tour with companies that respect the environment and the animals
- Visiting some of the best waterfalls in Iceland
- Exploring some of Iceland’s best national parks
7Lagoa De Fogo (Lake Of Fire), Azores
Tourists looking to enjoy a sustainable vacation in Europe should check out the Lake of Fire. This is a natural jewel in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores and the ideal spot to admire nature’s beauty when in the country. The lake was formed more than 15,000 years ago on a volcanic crater, and today, it offers incredible scenery that changes according to the seasons.
In addition to its scenery, the lake is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and, above all, a perfect place for ecotourism.
While swimming in the lake is not allowed to help protect the delicate natural environment and its ecosystems, hiking is an exciting and sustainable thing to do here (keeping on the trails so as not to disrupt wildlife), as it is the best way to capture the spectacular views the natural landscape kept pristine through the ages.
- Location: Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Tuscany is known for many things, from being one of Italy’s most renowned wine regions to being the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It is also among the best places in Europe for ecotourism and offers incredible natural scenery.
The region is made up of rolling hills covered in vineyards, gorgeous beaches, and jaw-dropping islands. Enjoy an unforgettable ecotourism experience in this region by visiting its numerous vineyards and then proceed to visit one of its parks to spend more time in nature – but be sure to stick to paths and trails to avoid impacting the delicate environment and ecosystems.
Also, if opting for a tour with an excursion company, be sure to select a provider that showcases respect and care for the area and the environment.
- Top eco-friendly attractions in Tuscany: Poggio Neri Forest Park, Maremma Regional Park
5Connemara National Park, Ireland
The Connemara National Park is an amazing place in Ireland to enjoy ecotourism. The park boasts magnificent scenery, diverse wildlife, and a wide variety of plant species. Hiking is particularly enjoyable here, but visitors can also camp.
There are so many amazing gems to be seen while engaging in some of these adventures, from gorgeous beaches to rivers, woodlands, lakes, and more. It would be a mistake not to come with a camera.
- Location: Letterfrack, Ireland
4Lahti Region, Finland
The Lahti Region of Finland may be lesser known in Europe’s tourism landscape, but it is, by far, a remarkable European ecotourism destination. A former recipient of the Green Capital award in 2021, the city is earnestly working toward a carbon-neutral lifestyle by 2025, among other efforts to reduce climate change.
Lahti is also beautiful; surprisingly, it does not get all the attention among sustainable travelers. The landscape here combines lush forests and enchanting lakes waiting to be explored. Check out the lakes in the Lahti Region, including Lake Päijänne (the second-largest lake in Finland and the Asikkalanselkä section of the lake, a major clean water source for over a million Finnish people). This lake also offers plenty of activities on its shores.
Don’t forget to visit Lanu Park and see gorgeous sculptures while the renovated harbor area commands a scenic stroll.
- Top attractions: Lanu Park, Lake Päijänne
3Nera Gorge-Beusnita National Park, Romania
The Nera Gorge-Beusnita National Park is a place of indescribable beauty and natural splendor in Romania. The park is home to gorgeous turquoise lakes, refreshing waterfalls, and beautiful trees.
The best way to enjoy an unforgettable ecotourism adventure here is by hiking, as it takes one through all the natural gems here, including the interesting wildlife and unique plant species. As usual, stick to paths to avoid affecting the park’s delicate terrain and ecosystems while trekking.
- Location: Near Anina city
Set at the foot of the towering French Alps, Grenoble is yet another one of the most sustainable vacation destinations in Europe; it’s a beautiful city that offers amazing opportunities for ecotourism. It’s one of the best cities in Europe for ecotourism; here, visitors will be met with so many natural attractions, from snow-capped mountains to picturesque lakes and beautiful gardens. But that’s not all.
But what makes this French city stand out in terms of green labels? Well, Grenoble is committed to eco-tourism and is even one of the greenest cities in France. Visitors here can begin a fun ecotourism experience by taking a zero-carbon trip on a cable car to enjoy charming mountain views and then proceed to visit one of the city’s archeological museum to learn more about its history.
- Eco-friendly attractions to visit in Grenoble: Ovalie Park, Fiancey Park, Parc Paul Mistral
For quite some time, Tallinn has remained one of the greenest places in Europe to visit; it has been involved in several initiatives to promote a sustainable green environment.
To prove why it’s one of the most sustainable cities in Europe to visit, know that Tallinn has undertaken profound efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, improve the sanity of its climate, sustain the health of citizens, and is still driving towards ultra-green status by 2035.
The city was even awarded the European Green Capital of 2023 as a reward for its efforts, and that’s more than enough to make it perhaps the best destination for ecotourism in Europe.
There are many ways to enjoy an eco-friendly here, but one can start by visiting the Tallinn Zoo to see more than 350 species and also check out Kadriorg Park to see some beautiful flowers. Admiring its historic streets and Tallinn’s old town on foot is also a fantastic experience.
Source : The Travel