With the arrival of the summer season, everyone thinks about taking a vacation and enjoy the summer to the maximum, so we came to help you and suggest some sustainable destinations for your next trip.
As you can read in our previous article, sustainable tourism is a concept that emerged due to environmental and social concerns that mass tourism causes. At a time when sustainability is a theme of concern, it is important that tourism adapts to new realities in order to preserve the planet and not only it.
One of the concerns of sustainable tourism is precisely the choice of destinations. In this sense, we will present you some destinations that try hard to promote a sustainable and responsible tourism. In this article we will focus on Portugal, because it is a very touristic country, it has already been elected the most sustainable destination in Europe at the Berlin tourism fair in 2019 and of course, because we are a Portuguese brand, and we like to show the best of the country.
Sustainable destinations in Portugal
The Alto Minho region is considered a sustainable destination thanks to its energy reduction measures. In fact, this region was the first Portuguese sub-region fully certified with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism.
This region includes the Peneda-Gerês National Park, a protected area in Portugal and considered by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve. This National Park is a major natural attraction due to its beautiful scenery and its variety of fauna and flora.
The Alto Minho Region also includes the Litoral Norte Natural Park and the Minho and Coura estuaries, which represent a safe refuge for several species.
Finally, in this region you can find several trails and routes that encourage the discovery of nature and culture of the region.
The Region of Oeste
The Oeste Region is characterized by the fact that a large part of the territory is protected natural area and that building is prohibited in about 87% of the region.
There is also a great effort for the beaches to be clean, thus obtaining the status of 'Excellent' according to the directives of the European Union.
In this region is the town of Nazaré, known for the largest underwater reef in Europe, but also for the wonderful waves that conquer surfers. For this reason, the city has become the host of the biggest international surf championships.
We should add that the Oeste Region has a great cultural heritage, having several museums and historical buildings to visit. Among the historical buildings you can find the Alcobaça Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located near Lisbon, Torres Vedras is distinguished for promoting and protecting biodiversity.
It was exactly for this purpose that the city inaugurated the Centro de Educação Ambiental, a place destined to increase the environmental awareness of the residents and non-residents alike. The local hosts exhibitions, competitions or even debates that aim to educate citizens about environmental and sustainable aspects, such as the reduction of water consumption, the reuse of treated wastewater or even the use of rainwater for irrigation.
In addition, Torres Vedras has a large coastal area that offers wonderful beaches and landscapes, as well as a great gastronomic heritage, perfect for enjoying the best of the region.
Cascais is another sustainable destination that you can visit, right next to Lisbon. In fact, it can be said that it is one of the perfect cities to escape the mass tourism that is mainly present in Lisbon.
The city has several action plans to meet certain goals, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions. To this end, the city promotes, for example, sustainable mobility, providing free bicycles in various parts of the city.
Another initiative of Cascais are the guided tours that aim to promote and show the local culture, the coastal biodiversity, and the historical heritage of the town, such as the Pisão Natural Park.
Finally, the Azores Island is one of Portugal's greatest treasures, in terms of both biodiversity and unique landscapes.
As the island has great biodiversity and marine life, sustainability is one of the main focuses, in order to protect this wealth to the maximum.
For this, several sustainable practices have been developed in different areas, such as energy production and management, improvement of air and water quality, promotion of environmental education and awareness, appreciation of the Azorean heritage and culture, and even sustainable tourism.
The Azores also offers several activities such as trails, golf, natural pools, whale watching, and canoeing.
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