It’s the start of a New Year, and although travel is still looking difficult as the pandemic continues, we will one day be able to resume our holidays. With this in mind, it’s a good opportunity to take some time to think about how we can travel sustainably and responsibly in 2021, so here are some suggestions of sustainable holidays to get your imaginations going.
1. Learn to fish in Lastovo
Whether you’re a bit of a foodie, interested in learning more about where our food comes from, or you just love the sea, Intrepid Travel’s holiday to the small remote island of Lastovo in Croatia is the ideal sustainable break away. One of the world’s most idyllic locations, Lastovo is a throwback to simpler times, where the inhabitants still catch fresh seafood for dinner and make their own wine using locally grown grapes. With beautiful beaches to relax on and the sparkling waters of the Adriatic sea to swim in, this holiday is the perfect escape. Explore the stunning Venetian architecture left by the Venetians who once occupied the island, take in the beautiful scenery and learn the island’s interesting history and culture. See what a self-sustaining lifestyle looks by spending a day at sea with a local fisherman and his wife, where you’ll help out with fishing, enjoy a freshly made seafood lunch on board the boat and learn about sustainable fishing and the journey from sea to table. Your trip helps to preserve the island’s culture and identity, as the money earned from your stay enables the fishermen to take fewer fish from the sea, helping to preserve the ecosystem which suffers from overfishing. Activities such as wine and cheese tasting at a local winery are also designed to help support local producers. Enjoy an incredible holiday whilst making the money you spend count in helping to preserve the island of Lastovo and it’s unique identity.
2. Kayaking the Camino de Santiago route in Spain
The original responsible tourism company, Responsible Travel offers an alternative way to explore the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Kayak the Camino de Santiago Sea Route between San Vincente do Grove and Padrón, said to have been the route taken by disciples returning the remains of the Apostle Saint James, to be laid to rest at the site of now famous Santiago de Compostela cathedral. On this holiday, you’ll spend a week kayaking along the stunning shores of the Galicia regions of Spain, with its crystal clear waters and clean sands. Along with a small group, enjoy the views from a different perspective in your kayak, before completina 25km hike to Santiago de Compostela, the end of the pilgrimage. Experience camping in the beautiful scenery and know that your holiday is planned and carried out responsibly by professionals passionate about their field.
3. The wonders of walking in the UK
If you’re looking to get out in the fresh country air and experience the wonders of the beautiful British countryside on foot, but the idea of organising it all yourself puts you off, then take a look at Wilderness England. A new tour operator offering adventure holidays in England’s national parks and wild areas, they offer guided and self-guided trips, both on foot and on bike. Their 12 day coast-to-coast holiday leads walkers from St Bee’s Head on the shores of the Irish Sea to Robin Hood’s Bay, criss-crossing three of northern England’s wonderful national parks and covering 128 miles by foot. From the Lake District, walkers proceed to the vast Yorkshire Dales before crossing the North York Moors and finishing at the North Sea. The tour includes 12 nights’ accommodation, all meals, guiding and transfers, so all you need to do is walk, and enjoy the scenery!
4. Skiing at Valsana Hotel Arosa
Valsana Hotel in the Swiss ski resort of Arosa, offers guests the chance to ‘Experience nature actively and intentionally’. Located in the untouched landscape of the mountains of Graubünden, the hotel prides itself on being modern, sustainable and chic. It has been awarded the Green Globe Certification, a worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. It also recently won Best Green Ski Hotel at the World Ski Awards for the second year running. The hotel has sustainable architecture and design, high tech energy solutions and offsetting carbon emissions programmes which help to reduce the negative environmental impacts of your holiday. The resort, along with the neighbouring Lenzerheide resort, has 225 slopes with a mixture of red and blue runs for intermediates. Arosa is accessible by train in a day, and B&B rooms include access to the spa. Everything you need for a sustainable, snowy winter escape.
5. Yoga retreats in Valencia
If you want a holiday to just get away, find some peace and quiet and relax, the yoga retreats in Valencia, Spain, organised by Responsible Travel, are the obvious solution. Based in mountainous southeast Spain between Alicante and Valencia, absorb yourself in twice daily Hatha & Vinyasa yoga classes, and select which other classes you wish to attend. On this retreat you can practice at your own pace, and everyone from beginners to expert yogis are welcome. Activities include yoga classes, guided meditation sessions, workshops and nature walks and hikes, as well as massages from skilled therapists. With nothing but olive and orange groves to surround you, the retreat centre, located in a beautifully restored Arabic farmhouse with a swimming pool, offers everything necessary to truly relax, whilst delicious, organic, plant-based meals, lovingly prepared using produce sourced from farms around the Valencian region, will nourish your body and soul.