10 eco-friendly holiday spots

EnvironmentSlovenia

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Exploring other cultures is a window to the world, but mass tourism and unsustainable travel often come as a package deal along with it. As we are constantly growing ever-more conscious of the importance of ecology and preservation, green travel is on the rise. Here are our top 10 eco-friendly travel destinations.

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  • Costa Rica
    © Wollertz 2016/123RF
    Costa Rica

    Arguably the birthplace of eco-tourism in Latin America, Costa Rica boasts unrivalled biological diversity. With 20 protected national parks and eight biological reserves, it is a mecca for eco-conscious travelers. From the lush green rainforest in Monteverde to sloth-spotting in Manuel Antonio, nature and sustainability are at the heart of the national Pura Vida mantra.

  • Yorkshire Dales
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    Yorkshire Dales

    A national park, the Yorkshire Dales attracts visitors from all over the world not only fellow Brits. Offering endless swathes of green studded with craggy castles, the rolling hills offer many boutique eco-hotels, and are an obvious choice for a sustainable travel destination, especially if you want to avoid any emission-releasing flights.

  • Norwegian Fjords
    © Andrey Armyagov/123RF
    Norwegian Fjords

    When you see the jaw-dropping beauty of the Norwegian Fjords, you will see why they are one of the world's top eco-tourism destinations. Artfully preserved, this pocket of paradise in Western Norway is famed for its snow-capped mountains, flowing waterfalls and transparent waters. Eco-tourism activities include hiking, cycling, river-rafting and dog sledding.

  • Kerala, India
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    Kerala, India

    Eco-tourism and nature-appreciating travel are inextricably intertwined, and Kerala in India embodies this complimentary relationship. Carpeted by emerald paddy fields and punctuated with coconut palms, the region is home to some of India's best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

  • Kenya
    © photopiano/123RF
    Kenya

    Offering numerous eco-certified camps, lodges and hotels, Kenya is one of Africa's top spots for eco-tourism. Fueled by public and private initiatives, Kenya's eco-tourism industry revolved around its rich wildlife which includes the Big Five - elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and leopard.

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Travelling eco-friendly doesn't necessarily mean back to basics - it's all about balance. The most obvious option for green travel is opting for a 'staycation' - sticking close to home for your holiday. Avoiding long-haul flights does wonders both for the environment and the wallet, and given that the UK boasts achingly beautiful landscapes and splendid sandy shores, it's definitely an option worth considering.

Long-haul travel is by no means something to feel guilty about, as delving into other cultures opens our eyes to the rest of the world. However, it is no secret that plane emissions aren't the environment's best friend, and it is important to remain mindful of their negative ecological effects. Many holidays support sustainable development, with ecological preservation at the centre of their ethos, and money generated often goes towards helping the local community.

From countries like Costa Rica, a nation running entirely on renewable energy, to protected national parks at the end of the Earth in Patagonia, we've lined up our top 10 eco-friendly destinations.

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