At the beginning of the year, most of us start planning where to vacation. Of course, the ideal climate plays an important role, but other factors can also influence the decision for a destination. Sustainability, according to a 2017 study conducted by the TUI group, is becoming more and more important. Travelling sustainably does not only mean choosing green destinations but also respecting the local culture and nature. After all, in another survey conducted by Topdeck Travel in 2015, 86% of travelers between ages 18 and 30 stated that they wanted to discover the culture of their destination during their vacation. So if you are a lover of sustainability, then the folks over at Green Pearls® have shared with us some top green destinations you should consider visiting for the first half of the year.
Green Destinations for Sustainable Travel
The Exotic Colors of the Tropics
Deep blue sea, soft white beaches, and sunshine throughout the whole year: this list of green destinations would never be complete without including the beautiful Maldives. After all, Maldives is the perfect spot for sun-seekers – and for discovering a breathtaking underwater world with colorful tropical fish and coral reefs. Reethi Beach Resort welcomes its guests in villas built traditionally in a typical Maldivian style using local materials. With its numerous green initiatives, the resort has been committed to the protection of the delicate ecosystem for a long time. Reethi Faru Resort, which has just recently opened, additionally uses the latest technology to reduce its impact on the environment, including a photovoltaic or biogas plant that transforms food waste into gas for cooking.
Carnival on Curaçao
Carnival on Curaçao, held in February, is one of the biggest and longest Carnival events in the Caribbean. Its colorful activities last almost a whole month. Bands and dancing carnival groups fill the streets and the crowd is dazzled by the fanciful parades and costumes. The final parade is the absolute highlight of this event and charms spectators with its illuminated wagons rolling through the evening streets. If you are keen on joining the crowd, staying at Morena Eco Resort would be a great idea. Situated right at Jan Thiel beach, the resort is the perfect starting point and an oasis for gathering new energy due to its furnishing with environmentally friendly fair-trade-materials and its tropical garden.
A Trip Through the Atlas Mountains
Rugged peaks, spectacular canyons, and bright green fields come to life in spring, which is the perfect season for discovering the wild beauty of the Atlas Mountains through hiking or biking tours. The Kasbah du Toubkal is located in a former Berber fortress at the heart of the national park Toubkal, at the foot of the highest peak of the Atlas Mountains (4.167 meters). Get acquainted with the local community as well as with the Berber’s culture and lifestyle – and experience their famous hospitality enjoying a glass of sweet peppermint tea. The idea is that the Kasbah du Toubkal equally benefits guests and local people. Therefore, the staff consists almost exclusively of local people and a part of the hotel’s income is invested in projects for nearby villages.
Celebrating Thai New Year
Songkran is the name of the Thai New Year festival when the whole country is out and about on the streets and beaches. On this particular day, water plays an important role. Originally, the water used to clean Buddha statues in temples was collected and sprinkled over family members as a symbol of spiritual purity and luck. Due to the Thai’s party spirit and the warm temperatures, this custom has developed into high-spirited water fights involving everyone present. The perfect place to recover after this spectacle is at Tongsai Bay on Koh Samui. Sipping a cocktail from a drinking straw made of lemongrass and enjoying an impressive sea view is a wonderful way to start the Thai New Year.
Spring Cleaning for Body and Soul
In spring, people not only get their houses in shipshape-condition but also feel the need to rejuvenate their body and soul. Located in a peaceful area on the shores of Lake Senftenberg, the wellness hotel Seeschlößchen is the perfect place for relaxation. Due to its focus on Ayurveda, a holistic health concept and sustainability play an important role. The hotel mainly uses regional ingredients for its Ayurveda food, natural products and oil for its spa treatments, and herbs from its own garden for the herbal sauna infusion. After a vacation here, you will be officially prepared for summer.
Sunny and green destinations are not only found at Southern latitudes but also in the South of Germany. For example, Freiburg is said to be the German city with the most hours of sunshine per year. Green City Hotel Vauban is located in the heart of Vauban, Freiburg’s greenest district with car-free zones, roof gardens and passive houses. Due to the hotel’s architectural concept – which includes the latest technology, and climbing plants at the facades – it is highly energy-efficient. Food and beverages originate, whenever possible, from the region or from integrational businesses. It also has 20 employees with or without handicap who dedicatedly work together. A relaxed and friendly atmosphere is the reward for this concept.