12 Tips for Responsible Eco-Friendly Travel in Spain & Portugal.
Home | 12 Tips for Responsible Eco-Friendly Travel in Spain & Portugal.
While it is not perfect, Eco-friendly tourism is a growing travel niche in Spain and Portugal because it focuses on leaving as little impact on those stunning places you visit as possible. It’s the idea that the best way to preserve such rare sights, cultures, and natural locations is to stay without harming them from an increase in global attraction. One of the best examples of this new type of journey is visiting the mystical lands of Iberia where private, custom, luxury tours are available on a limited basis. Contact our Iberia travel experts for more info.
Both Spain and Portugal are diverse countries, rich in cultural UNESCO treasures, history, delicious natural food, savory wines and natural beauty. From the stunning beaches of the Mediterranean and Atalntic to the rugged mountains of the Pyrenees, there is something for every traveler to enjoy. However, as more and more people flock to this popular destination, it’s essential to consider the impact our travels can have on the environment. That’s where luxury eco tours come in.
This type of luxury eco tourism offers the opportunity to experience the best of what any country offers while minimizing our carbon footprint and supporting local communities. These tours prioritize responsible travel and sustainability, ensuring travelers enjoy an incredible journey without compromising the planet’s health.
The point is to create an experience unique to your travel that doesn’t harm the destinations you wish to visit. This type of responsible travel is best achieved through our top tips for leaving a low carbon footprint behind.
12 Tips for Responsible & Eco-Friendly Travel
1 – Lean into the Local Culture
Embracing the local culture is a crucial aspect of sustainable travel in Spain. By immersing yourself in the customs, traditions, and way of life of the people who live in the areas you visit, you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the culture. This not only enriches your travel experience but also helps to support local communities and preserve cultural traditions.
2 – Conserve the Wildlife
Conserving wildlife is an essential aspect of responsible travel. With a diverse range of ecosystems and over 60 protected natural areas, Spain is home to incredible plant and animal species. These ecosystems and species are vital to the health and beauty of the country, and it’s important to do our part to protect them.
When you’re on the road, it’s easy to forget that you’re a part of this planet and its ecosystem. Unfortunately, when we travel, we often become disconnected from our surroundings and the people who inhabit them. To reconnect with nature and the locals, try making an effort to conserve wildlife when you’re in Spain.
3 – Invest in Local Commerce
Sustainable travel isn’t just about being environmentally conscious: it also includes supporting local communities by supporting their businesses and culture. This can be done through shopping in farmers markets, buying locally produced goods from artisans and craftspeople, dining at local restaurants or wineries, and visiting local breweries.
By supporting locally owned businesses, you can help to boost the local economy and reduce the environmental impact of tourism. This not only helps to create a more sustainable destination, but it also provides an opportunity to connect with the local community and gain a deeper understanding of the culture.
4 – Embrace “Slow Travel”
Slow travel in Spain and Portugal is all about taking the time to fully immerse oneself in the destination and experience it in a more authentic and meaningful way. This approach to travel prioritizes quality over quantity, and it often involves staying in one place for a longer period and engaging in activities that allow you to really get to know the local community and culture.
This also means choosing transportation that emphasizes more people per vehicle unit. For example, Spain has buses, trains, and other forms of transportation that allow you to maintain a low carbon footprint rather than flying a small private jet or renting a gas-guzzling vehicle.
5 – Seek Inclusive, Ethical, and Sustainable Accommodations
Seeking inclusive, ethical, and sustainable accommodations is an important aspect of luxury eco travel. By choosing accommodations that prioritize sustainability and social responsibility, you can help to reduce your environmental impact and support local communities.
You want to find hotels or local housing that utilize sustainable practices as part of their accommodations and support a diverse clientele. In addition, they should celebrate an inclusive nature by not turning away patrons based on their gender, sexual orientation, or race.
6 – Skip the Plastic
Plastic is everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If you want to minimize your environmental impact, consider avoiding single-use plastics whenever possible—at least while you are traveling!
For example, if you are visiting a place that serves coffee or tea with disposable cups, bring your own reusable cup instead of asking for one every time. Many hotels will offer complimentary water bottles, but you can get your own reusable bottle instead. When shopping at local markets and boutiques, ask if they have reusable bags or plastic bags made from recycled materials. It’s all about being proactive with your responsible travel options.
7 – Try Volunteer Work while Traveling
Volunteer work is a great way to create a more meaningful and impactful travel experience in Spain. By volunteering, you can give back to the local community and contribute to important causes while also immersing yourself in the culture and way of life of the people you visit.
Volunteer work is a great way to make a difference in the world, meet people, and learn about new cultures. It can also be an incredible way to get out of your comfort zone. So if you’re looking for something different from the usual tourist experience, then volunteering may be just what you need!
8 – Leave No Waste Behind
It’s an old adage that is as true today as it was when the phrase was coined—reduce, reuse, and recycle. As sustainable travelers, we are committed to reducing the waste our travels produce. But how can this be done? The key to reducing waste comes from your attitude toward what you consume and how you consume it.
If you are unsure about how to best practice this luxury eco travel law, then simply think about visiting your grandmother’s house. You would never toss trash on her floor or fill her sink with plastic bottles. You would do your best to leave her home as good, if not better, than when you first arrived for a visit.
9 – Be Mindful of Your Impact
It’s not just about being environmentally conscious, though. You should also be mindful of your impact in terms of culture. The Spanish have a rich history and culture, so it’s important to respect that while you’re traveling.
No one is expecting you to become a native Spaniard overnight, but putting in a little effort to acknowledge their cultural traditions goes a long way.
10 – Avoid Overly Touristed Areas
While it’s natural to want to visit popular destinations, it’s important to consider the environmental and social impact of tourism on these areas. Overly touristed areas can often suffer from overcrowding, environmental degradation, and a lack of support for the local community.
The goal should be to balance your Spain luxury eco tours. Maybe you have one popular destination during your trip, and the rest of the time, you journey to “off the beaten path” destinations around the country where you will get a much richer experience and see natural spaces untouched by the massive, Instagram-known crowds.
11 – Respect Nature
Traveling in Spain is a great way to explore the country’s natural beauty and cultural landscapes, but it’s important to respect nature while you do so. It’s vital that you do not disturb wildlife or pick plants, and even more important, that you don’t litter. This can be difficult when there are so many beautiful things to see along your journey, but remember: if we don’t treat nature with respect now, it will become harder and harder for others in future generations to do so too!
We’re sure you’ll be eating well on your travels, and it’s no secret that Spanish cuisine is one of the world’s great cuisines. Make sure you’re eating locally sourced fare when possible—it helps shift your carbon footprint from jet setter to local citizen.
This is especially true if wine is your thing. Try to get in on some winemaking. Many small producers offer tastings and tours of their vineyards in exchange for a donation or some other small fee, so don’t forget that glass or two of vino with dinner!
Luxury Eco Travel is Quality Over Quantity
When you travel, it’s important to ensure that your experience is authentic and meaningful. That way, you’re not just going through the motions of sightseeing. Instead, you’re actually experiencing something new and exciting. This is especially important for sustainable travelers because we know firsthand how our actions affect the planet. Therefore, we want to be responsible for our impact on the environment and choose ethical, sustainable experiences with a low carbon footprint.
As a traveler, do yourself a favor by finding those experiences that offer longevity over flashiness. When someone sees your Instagram photos from Spain or Italy or wherever else you’ve been traveling lately…what will they say? “Wow! You were there!” Or will they say what every other person who has been there also says: “I wish I had seen this place before…”
Spain luxury eco tours offer you the peace of mind that you are not causing any additional harm to a culture and environment while you fulfill your dreams of visiting far away, exotic destinations. We hope these tips empower your next adventure!
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