Europe's 10 Best Cities for an Eco-Friendly Vacation

CC BY 2.0. chensiyuan

Of course many will say that the greenest travel is not traveling at all. But unless one is exceedingly devoted to their armchair, travel is probably going to happen; wanderlust can be a hard beast to tame. But there are definitely ways to make hitting the road (and skies) have less of an impact on the planet.

The graphic below was compiled by Travel Supermarket and was compiled using thousands of customer reviews from Trip Advisor, ranking the top 10 eco-friendly cities in Europe, and the best eco-friendly hotels in which to stay. The hotels listed here engage in a variety of planet-loving practices, from water saving initiatives and recycling furniture to installing rooftop beehives and avoiding palm oil.

Eco cites

© Travel SupermarketThe site also offers a collection of travel tips that are all good reminders of the ways in which our decisions can make a difference:

1. Book non-stop flights – take-off requires the most fuel, as much as 25% for short flights, so when planning the most fuel-efficient route, go straight from A to B wherever possible.

2. Rent a hybrid or electric vehicle – this is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint on holiday, especially if you’re planning a road trip.

3. Ask your hotel about their sustainability programmes and if they use local resources – the more that guests demand this kind of information, the higher a priority it will be.

4. Turn off the AC – air conditioning units tend to consume huge amounts of electricity and in some countries cooling units still use HCFCs which deplete the ozone layer.

5. Does your room really need to be cleaned every day? Ask your hotel to skip a few days to reduce chemical and energy usage, better yet, leave your do not disturb sign out for your entire stay!

6. Buy locally made products – compared to those which have been imported, local products have a much lower carbon footprint and help to support local economies. You’ll also be far more likely to find something unique when purchasing local wares.

7. Take a re-usable bag – single-use plastic bags are still in common use around the world and they contribute significantly to non-biodegradable waste. Carry your own re-useable bag and help the world cut down on its one-trillion-bags-a-year habit[2].

8. Don’t touch the coral reefs – coral are fragile animals and even the slightest touch can cause irreparable harm or even death. Watch out for your fins and other dive equipment and never be tempted to break off a piece – the damage you do could take decades to repair. [3]

9. Never feed the wildlife – feeding local wildlife can make them dependent on humans and may even lead animals to attack in search of food.

10. Transport yourself – for short journeys why not walk, cycle or row rather than taking motorised transport.