Sustainability is a good excuse to choose your next destination. Many times we decide to take a trip because we have seen it in a movie, a friend has recommended it, or we have been impressed by a video we have seen on social networks.
These are great ways to inspire us to travel and, if the destination is also sustainable, it will give us that extra to enjoy both the landscapes and the people of the place and to know that we are taking care of the environment as best as possible.
In Spain there are many sustainable places to travel. Many of them are Biosphere, so you can be sure that they will be careful with the local culture as well as with the workers and the environment. This way, it is a pleasure to travel.
In this article we will go through the most desirable places to visit this year. Let's start in the north of the peninsula, right on the border with France.
The great mountain range of the Pyrenees is a great destination if you like nature, hiking in the mountains and enjoying some of the most impressive peaks in Europe.
There are routes, such as the famous Cola de Caballo waterfall, or Ordesa and Monte Perdido, that sometimes you have to pinch yourself to see if you are awake or dreaming. The mountain lakes, the mountains with snow all year round, the luck of being able to see the edelweiss flower (yes, the same one they sing about in the movie Sound of Music), are just some of the attractions of coming to the Pyrenees.
The best time of the year to visit this area is spring and summer, as this is when there is more vegetation and better weather, which allows you to do more outdoor activities.
This small valley of the Pyrenees is a great surprise for the visitor, because in addition to the pre-Romanesque churches, and the landscape (which is to be expected, we are in the Pyrenees), you find that there are several unique routes in the world, such as the circular route of Carros de Foc, a path that runs through the mountains of the valley and you will need several days to walk it.
Throughout the route there are mountain lodges, so you can walk the 65 kilometers in about five to seven days.
This green capital is a city that the visitor likes a lot, because in addition to attractive monuments such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria (in which the writer Ken Follet was inspired to write one of his books of the trilogy The Pillars of the Earth), or the well-kept old town, Vitoria is a city with many green areas.
All avenues have large trees and grassy areas, parks every few blocks, and plenty of space between houses, giving the city a very human aspect and in which, in addition to traveling, you feel like living.
There is a song by Joaquín Sabina that talks about a town with the sea, and Gijón is that town with the sea. This city of Asturias is becoming a tourist destination highly appreciated by the thousands of visitors who visit it every year.
An excellent gastronomy, a quality of life that mixes the best of living in a town with the best of living in a city, and being close to the most beautiful places in Asturias, such as the Picos de Europa, Cudillero or Oviedo, make Gijón a great destination to enjoy your vacations in contact with nature.
We continue north to visit a city that dazzles anyone for its excellent gastronomy and beautiful monuments to visit. Places like the Tower of Hercules, the oldest lighthouse still in operation, or places like the Plaza de María Pita or Mount San Pedro, make A Coruña a city to visit calmly for several days.
In addition to the city itself, which deserves a visit by itself, a step away you find the Costa da Morte, Betanzos, or the beautiful beaches of Ferrol. Undoubtedly, one of the best options to start getting to know Galicia.
Huelva and the Sierra de Aracena
In southern Spain there are also many Biosphere places, such as the province of Huelva. This area, bordering Portugal, is a delight for the senses.
The touch enjoys the sun that accompanies throughout the year, with wonderful sunsets in which the sun says goodbye to the sea, which delight our eyes. The taste is more than satisfied by the excellent gastronomy, such as Huelva prawns, Iberian ham and other local dishes that taste best here. For the ear, nothing better than the silence of the Doñana National Park, where the wind whispers through the pines or the sea gently caresses the sand. And our sense of smell will love the variety of environments, as well as the wines of the land of Huelva.
Undoubtedly, a land that is all enjoyment, both on the coast and in the mountains, being the Sierra de Aracena a good starting point to begin to know this province.
This is the autonomous community with the most Biosphere sites, and the fact is that in Catalonia they know how to preserve traditions while taking advantage of all the benefits of innovation.
Thus, vibrant cities like Barcelona, where you always want to go, whatever the time of year, is the first step to immerse yourself in the Mediterranean culture. Excellent museums such as the MNAC, the Picasso Museum, the Museu d'Art Contemporani or the Fundació Joan Miró give us the most cultural touch, without forgetting to visit the modernist art of Gaudí, always up to date.
Very close to Barcelona is Sitges, a place to enjoy the authentic Mediterranean spirit of quiet days and good life. The Fantastic and Horror Film Festival is a revolution every year, with dozens of actors, actresses and directors from all over the world coming to Sitges to show the films of the year.
Continuing south along the coast we reach Calafell, a tourist destination where you can enjoy the beach and the Mediterranean Sea in an environment that minimizes the negative impact to the maximum. The tourist reconversion can be seen both here and in Tossa de Mar, the charming village on the Costa Brava where thousands of tourists come every year to see what a Catalan village is like.
And finally we have Lleida, the city that is the anteroom to the Pyrenees, where we must not miss the cathedral of La Seu Vella, the King's castle and a walk through the city center.
The Canary Islands are a miniature continent, seven islands where each has its own ecosystem and way of life. Of all of them, four are Biosphere destinations, so you can be sure that special care is taken to protect the environment and local culture.
Of these Biosphere islands, La Palma is the most exuberant in terms of plant life, and even has some waterfalls, something unique in an island with hardly any rainfall. Undoubtedly, La Palma is a paradise to enjoy the stars and the vegetation, as you can read in this other article.
Lanzarote is the opposite. Here there are no rivers of water, only rivers of solidified magma that give the island that lunar aspect. What stands out most about Lanzarote is that everything is impregnated with art, whether it is the houses of the peasants or a viewpoint on the coast.
Finally, there are the most inhabited islands of the archipelago, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, which in addition to the volcanic landscape and the Canarian atmosphere, have cities where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle, such as Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
In this blog you have several articles with more information about these islands, so now is the time to prepare your suitcase and start the adventure to visit some of these recommended Biosphere places.