Travelling, as a trend, has caught the fancy of many. Several tourist spots that were frequented by only a few, have increased manifold! Even under-the-radar destinations have started seeing huge inflow of tourist traffic. Having said that, mass tourism has left numerous beautiful places rendered dirty and damaged.
In order to have a stress-free vacation in the most unspoiled environment – sans noisy tourists, head to these 7 feel-good greenest destinations and enjoy nature’s bounty – to the fullest!
As we begin the new year, let us all take a conscious effort to keep our planet clean and green, and let these awesome destinations lead by example.
1. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Winner of the European Green Capital Award 2016, Ljubljana is a true green destination! This green city is stunning in many ways than one. Sprawling gardens, green walkways, and clean and clear water flowing through the fountains around the city – Ljubljana is rightfully one of the greenest cities in the world! The residents are equally conscious to keep it clean and tidy; they use more of cycles and go around town by foot. The transport system is also eco-friendly, buses and electric trains run on natural gas. Take a walk on the city bridges, enjoy a meal or two in the quaint cafes, or hike in the picturesque mountains, Ljubljana is sure to win your heart!
2. County Kerry, Ireland
Drop-dead gorgeous! This word aptly defines County Kerry. Lush green mountains, dramatic Atlantic Coast, and emerald farmlands – this is the picture-perfect view that was always on your wish list. The Killarney National Park is a darling of many avid travelers; Torc Waterfall, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks Mountain Range, and Innisfallen Island are other breath-taking gems of Kerry. County Kerry is by far the greenest place in Ireland and the best place for a feel-good factor.
3. Black Forest, Germany
Forests so dense and thick that the locals call them black. Yes, you have arrived at the most scenic region of Germany, the Black Forest. Stretching from the spa town of Baden-Baden to the borders of Switzerland, traveling through the Black Forest is nothing short of a magical journey. Traditional old villages, scenic wellness retreats, the upbeat town of Freiburg, and the picturesque Gutach Valley, it is hard not to fall in love with Schwarzwald! Crystal-clear rivers, verdant mountains, pristine lakes, and cascading waterfalls – experience nature at its best! Hike, ski, shop, eat, and relax – there is so much to discover in the Black Forest.
4. Oslo, Norway
Oslo is named Europe’s Green Capital 2019 for its efforts in sustainable living and green initiative. You might come across streets that are completely car-free; the city has an abundance of open areas, beautiful, clean lakes, and tons of natural beauty. The air quality is good, locals prefer using their bikes or walking, or opt for efficient public transport instead of using their own cars. The restaurants of this green city take the eco-friendly tag to a another level – they are known to use local produce for their meals – even the hotels contribute in keeping the city clean and sustainable. The capital city of Norway is undoubtedly the greenest, and is equally captivating!
5. Dominica, Caribbean Islands
Immerse yourself in the nature of Dominica. Covered in dense forest with lush, staggering mountains, long stretches of golden sand, a boiling lake, thermal springs, and majestic waterfalls, this country will leave you in awe with its breath-taking natural beauty. This eco-friendly destination in the Caribbean is a haven for adventure enthusiasts. Hike through the 115 miles long Waitukubuli National Trail or take on the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, or enjoy scuba diving in Cabrits National Park – there is no shortage of activities on this ‘Nature Island.’
6. Stockholm, Sweden
Imagine travelling to a destination that has ample of green cover, well, that’s Stockholm for you! One-third of this beautiful city is covered with greenery; it has 12 sprawling parks and is surrounded with woodlands and clear running canals. This vibrant, lively Scandinavian city is a breathe of fresh air for tourists. The efficient and reasonable public transport keeps private vehicles at bay; there are bicycle paths spanning over 750 km, and people prefer to walk around in the clean, healthy environment. Enjoy the coffee culture, savour a meal at the best of restaurants, relax in the sauna, and bask in the nature of this Swedish capital.
7. Curitiba, Brazil
Enormous green parks, well-laid pedestrian paths, and maintained cycling tracks, this Brazilian city has many path-breaking initiatives to its name. Developing cities in the world can easily take a cue from Curitiba about urban planning. The famous botanical garden of Curitiba is home to over 3,50,000 plant species. Known as the ecological capital of Brazil, residents proudly use produce that are fresh and locally-grown; Curitiba is also one of the best cities to live in Brazil. Great infrastructure with easy commute, and plenty of tourist attractions, you ought to feel good in this green city!