Many readers of Blue and Green Tomorrow are interested in our advice on eco-tourism. There are a number of great places to travel if you want to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle.
It is October now, so we decided to rate the best environmentally friendly travel destination for the year. We rated it as Portugal.
We don’t just rate countries for being the greenest. We also rate them for their progress on environmentalism. Our goal is to reward countries that take efforts to fix the environment, so they have the incentive to keep doing so.
Why is Portugal the Top Eco-Tourist Destination?
Everyone wants to visit Portugal. Why? They have the same reason they choose other European countries. It’s affordable, beautiful and you can taste some exceptional food and wine. Small European countries like Portugal are perfect for the people who want to explore an entire country in a single trip. You can drive north to south in no more than a day, and you can watch the sunrise in the north, and the sunset in the south without hurrying to get there.
Many people consider Portugal’s beaches its most gorgeous tourist attractions, because they are a great part of its culture. Portuguese have an interesting habit. They visit a different beach every weekend. If you want to have a glimpse of their traditional lifestyle, you should visit as many beaches as you can, while being there. Every one of them is unique, some would say they are more beautiful than Mexican or Caribbean sands.
But why do we rate it as a top eco-tourist destination? They have made environmentalism a huge focus for over 20 years. The European Environmental Agency says that Portugal has made a lot of progress in that time.
You don’t need a car if you stay in Lisbon
Eco-tourists should try to avoid using a car if at all possible. They can find that this will drastically lower their carbon footprint.
If you choose to book accommodation in Lisbon and you are worried that you cannot visit the most beautiful beaches in Portugal you are wrong. You can take the train to Cascais and in no more than a half of an hour, you will arrive at Carcavelos beach. This is a more environmentally friendly option than having everyone take a car.
On your route to this destination, you will see many other beaches, so you can stop at any station you find pleasing. We recommend Carcavelos because it’s easily accessible to public transport, and it has some of the most beautiful sands in Europe. And if you don’t trust us you should ask Brazilian tourists why they choose it when they visit Lisbon.
You will find that one of the many reasons people prefer Lisbon is that it is becoming a very green city. It actually won the European Green City Award of 2020.
If you are a surfer then you should take the same train and check Guincho. Stop at the end of the line in Cascais and take a car to Guincho, you’ll spend no more than a few euros.
Porto is the home of rocky beaches
Porto may not be famous for its sands, but it definitely is for its rocky landscape. If you prefer to book accommodation in this dreamy town you should take dinner at the Praia da Luz restaurant because they have some of the most delicious seafood dishes. From Porto you can easily arrive at the Atlantic with a bus. Expats prefer Porto because it allows them to connect with the culture of Portugal and have a glimpse of its natural beauty.
Algarve or Island Hopping are also amazing destinations for green tourists
You should not leave Portugal before visiting some of its coolest corners. We recommend beach lovers to book accommodation in Madeira, Azores or Algarve because they provide access to golden beaches where you can swim in blue sparkling water. They are an example of the types of beaches you can enjoy in a community that prides itself on environmentalism.
Algarve is the most southern region of the country and its famous for the rock formations that burst directly from the ocean. The towns in this region have a resort vibe so you’ll feel like experiencing a luxurious trip.
And we should not forget to mention Ilhéu de Vila Franca, the archipelago that makes you feel like visiting Hawaii. The landscape is jaw-dropping, including forests, green fields and praias.
Portugal is a Great Country for Eco-Tourists
We are pleased to share our editor’s rating of the greenest country to visit for 2019. We chose to rate Portugal because of the great progress it has made.