It’s undeniable that the travel industry plays a significant role in creating economic stability and driving growth in different locations worldwide. However, the downsides are clear… Environmental damage, overcrowding, and strain on resources are just a few ways increased tourism can adversely impact a destination.

Because of this, many ecotourism destinations are taking crucial steps to reverse course and save fragile ecosystems. From visitor limitations to bans on megaships and vacation rentals, governments are taking drastic measures.

Want to take care of the world and still see it? Learn about the top 10 sustainable destinations in the world.

Check out sustainable travel tips to start reducing your impact and traveling greener.

#1 Costa Rica

Costa Rica under clouds

Boosting biodiversity has been cited as one of the largest priorities in restoring equilibrium for the sea, land, and atmosphere. Costa Rica is one of our ecotourism destinations and a world-leading cultivator of biodiversity, with almost 6% of the world’s species living here. From Corcovado National Park to Puerto Viejo, you can indulge in green activities in Costa Rica for as little as $70 a day. Here, parks are UNESCO-protected to safeguard them against deforestation and help guarantee that tourists encounter a dazzling cast of wildlife at every turn. 

#2 The Green Island of Eigg: Scotland

A view of Eigg over blue water

Scotland is one of the most sustainable countries in the world. But having disconnected from the mainland electricity supply in 2008, Eigg is the first island in the UK to be self-sufficient in renewable energy. It balances water, solar, and wind power. This offers enough power for the 10,000 tourists who visit every summer, earning its place as an eco-friendly destination. 

Despite Eigg’s modest size, it has several places to visit – the climb up An Sgurr can be rewarded with the best views of the Highlands. You can also walk around Laig Bay, taking in the views of Muck and mighty Rum while being mesmerized by the ethereal interplay of sea, sand, and sky. From at least $100 a day, you can enjoy the aesthetics and ethics of the Island. 

#3 Wilson Island: Australia

White sand on a beach on Austria

Wilson Island is committed to maintaining sustainability, which earns a rank among the top 100 green destinations. It has 100% solar and battery power and a ban on single-use plastic. The adult-only island is the ideal place to relax and disconnect. And with just $80 a day, you can completely indulge in green activities including nature walks, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking. 

#4 Norwegian Fjords: Norway

A fjord in Norway, one of the most sustainable destinations in the world

Norway has been cited as one of the top eco-friendly destinations in the world due to its minimal carbon footprint. The pristine fjords are a prime example of the nation’s dedication to preservation. It has strict regulations on petroleum production and hunting, which ensures it has crystalline waters, cascading waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains. Today, you can explore the fjords by kayak or enjoy views of some of the bluest water in the world on abundant hiking trails. The country strives to have the world’s first liquid hydrogen fuel cell ship by 2023. 

#5 Grenoble: France

Grenoble in France is one of the most sustainable destinations worldwide

Situated in South-East France, the city of Grenoble has been named Green Capital of Europe, 2022. It sits where three valleys meet and is surrounded by the Vercors, Belledonne, and Chartreuse mountains. Getting around is easy and eco-friendly. You can board a train or use the city’s cycle-share scheme Metrovelo, with 7,000 bikes and 200 miles of cycling routes. Hikers can enjoy the nature trails zigzagging around the mountains. Moreover, the food scene has embraced sustainability, with several restaurants like the Jeanette using only local produce. 

#6 Stockholm: Sweden

Stockholm under sunset skies

Euromonitor International has named Sweden number one on its Sustainable Travel Index. Most tourists visiting Sweden often start their adventure in Stockholm, the capital city. Public transportation in Stockholm has achieved its goal of 100% renewable energy on trains, metro, and buses. Also, Stockholm is a compact city, a delight to explore, with some truly excellent museums, making it a top ecotourism destination. 

#7 Amsterdam: The Netherlands

A row of colourful houses in Amsterdam

For over two decades, the Netherlands has had a national environmental policy plan. It has been able to successfully meet 70% of its goal to lower air pollution and carbon emissions. In fact, Amsterdam has been voted one of the most sustainable destinations in Europe. Also, the Netherlands has over 15,000 km of bike paths, making it one of the most bike-friendly nations in the world. 

#8 Montevideo: Uruguay

A view of Montevideo, one of the world's green destinations

More than 95% of Uruguay’s energy is supplied by renewable energy sources, that you can easily recognize upon seeing the solar panels in Montevideo’s airport. It has clean air, luscious forests, and waters teeming with innumerable wildlife. It’s no wonder Uruguay is one of the most sustainable countries and has been named the third-best country in environmental sustainability.

For $70 a day, you can enjoy the rich history and a jumble of attractive landmarks in Montevideo. Don’t miss the eye-catching part art-deco, part gothic Palacio salvo and the 18th –century mansions and churches adorning the cobbled streets of its historic center. 

#9 Azores Islands: Portugal

Azores islands viewing distant mountains

The private oasis in the Atlantic Ocean is known to preserve its marine life and landscapes while promoting green tourism. The islands are proof that countries can accomplish sustainable tourism by reserving locations for travel and supporting it with completely renewable energy. Some of the initiatives being taken include rainwater harvesting and using renewable energies like solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric. This is done to help lower energy consumption and protect its natural resources and landscapes. 

#10 Helsinki: Finland

A church rising up in Helsinki, currently the 5th most sustainable of travel destinations in the world.

Finland ranks very high on its societal commitment to attaining carbon neutrality by 2050 according to the Environmental Performance Index. It has also continued focusing on water and sanitation, habitat conservation, and biodiversity, and is now among the greenest vacation destinations in the world. 

Consequently, Helsinki has been named the fifth most sustainable destination in the world. While in Helsinki, you can visit the Nuuksio National park, which offers nice restaurants, information centers, and well-maintained trails. The city is relatively affordable, and you’ll just need $117 a day to enjoy the green ambiance. 

The takeaway – summer 2022 sustainable destinations

As an eco-friendly traveler, you can travel in a greener, cleaner way. It all starts with selecting destinations that champion ecotourism and sustainability. These sustainable destinations are making the planet a better place while inviting tourists to explore them in an eco-friendly way. 

Follow these green travel influencers to discover more tips and tricks on travelling sustainably.

Author

Hiya, I’m Maud. I’m an English girl who's moved to Berlin - because who wouldn’t fall in love with a country which has words like ‘Kummerspeck’ hidden around every corner... I love traveling and finding out the quirks of each country - and what better way to remember them than on a postcard?

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