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Ecotourism & Sustainable Travel

How Spain Is Setting the Bar on Sustainable Tourism

Spain is an excellent travel destination for those who enjoy spending time in nature, exploring historical and cultural treasures, and delectable cuisine.

Increasingly, people are seeking unique and sustainable travel destinations. Spain needs to be top on your list. Europe’s fourth-largest country is a haven for lovers of sustainable tourism, and there’s no shortage of one-of-a-kind experiences.

Boasting 8,000 kilometres of coastline and an abundance of year-round sunshine, Spain has long been known for its stunning beaches, but this diverse country, with mountain peaks that touch the sky, out-of-this-world archipelagos, and cities overflowing with culture and heritage, is so much more.

A nature lover’s dream

More than a quarter of the country is dedicated to the preservation of nature, which includes 16 national parks. UNESCO recognized Spain as the country with the most biosphere reserves in the world and the second highest number of geoparks. But Spain’s investment in sustainable tourism isn’t just about the responsible use of nature, but also the preservation of its historical and cultural treasures and increased socioeconomic benefits for the inhabitants of rural communities and Spain’s vibrant cities.

There are surprises waiting in every corner of the country, but getting around one of Europe’s largest countries with minimal impact is easy thanks to the extensive national railway network, with high-speed trains powered by electricity — much of it from renewable sources. You can rent an electric car or bicycle or explore walkable cities. You can also enjoy the more than 60,000 kilometres of official footpaths, many of which will take you through and across jaw-dropping mountain landscapes.

Planning a sustainable vacation in Spain isn’t hard, because pioneering non-profit organizations, such as the Ecotourism Club in Spain, help guarantee your visit will contribute to the preservation of the country’s biodiversity.

Four unique experiences 

When the accommodation is the destination 

Ever fancied staying in a historical building, convent, or palace? Through the Paradores de Turismo, your one-of-a-kind overnight stay is waiting. Spain has nearly 100 of these hotel alternatives, which combine cultural and natural experiences with sustainable practices that preserve the heritage, environment, and economics of their surroundings.

Green winemaking  

Spain’s Canary Islands offer unrivalled experiences. One example is on the island of Lanzarote, where they’ve perfected sustainable winemaking. Visitors will notice the stunning visual contrast of the green vines and black volcanic soil, which creates a natural thermal mulch that conserves the nutrients and moisture to grow grapes. And because of the planting system that doesn’t allow for mechanization, all the grapes are harvested by hand.

Foodie Paradise 

Spanish cuisine is known for its regional diversity and reflects the principles of the Mediterranean diet with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, nuts, seafood, and, of course, wine. While Michelin Green Star restaurants, with their commitment to sustainable practices, abound, you can also enjoy the unique tastes and flavours of local markets in Spanish cities and rural communities. 

Explore cities aged in history  

Spain’s cities are renowned for their culture and history. Fifteen of them have been designated World Heritage cities, each with their own unique and exceptional sites. Journey back in time and witness age-old customs, indulge in the finest cuisine, and create lasting memories, while enjoying the comfort and convenience of contemporary amenities. 

There’s so much to experience in Spain that one visit won’t be enough. Start planning your trip today at

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