Hands up if you need a holiday. After a rough few years most of us are itching to tick off those bucket list locations.
But with a global pandemic came a deeper awareness of the damage we were doing to the planet before planes were grounded and Netflix subscriptions skyrocketed.
If you want to travel right in 2022 it’s important to choose your destination and experience carefully. The environment and local communities need protection… and we’re not just talking a generous splash of SPF.
So dust off your passport, here are eight of the hottest eco-conscious holidays right now.
Zipline into eco luxury
This luxury tented camp will take your breath away, quite literally, as you’ll arrive to check in via a 320 metre zipline over the Cambodia jungle canopy. And as if that isn’t enough action you’ll be provided with an ‘Adventure Butler’ who will introduce you to activities including trekking, kayaking and river safaris. You can also forage for local ingredients as well as assist the rangers with checking their camera traps. While you stay in opulence, the money generated goes towards preserving the surrounding nature sanctuary from poaching, mining and logging, as well as protecting some of the world’s most unique and endangered species. So you can feel like an eco-warrior, while filling up your gram with the stunning backdrop.
Get far out with the fishes
Misool Island Resort is so remote it takes two full days to get to from Singapore or Jakarta. But as one of the most biodiverse and unspoilt places on the planet you’ll be glad you made the journey. Dive into its pristine reefs and swim with manta rays, nesting turtles and even baby sharks. Preserving this 300,000 acre stretch of marine life is paramount to Misool who work in partnership with local communities on conservation projects and have local rangers on hand at all times to protect against shark and bomb fishermen and the live fish trade. So you can be sure the marine life is having as good a time as you are.
Release anteaters in Argentina
A great way to undo some of the damage humans have wreaked on the planet is to take a holiday aimed at restoring it. Journeys With Purpose is offering “rewilding journeys” at Iberá National Park in Argentina, which lost much of its wildlife in the 20th century due to hunting and habitat loss. World famous environmentalist Kristine Tompkins will personally introduce you to conservation projects, including releasing ant-eaters, macaws, giant otters and jaguars back into the wild. And after making sure the critters are looked after it’s imperative to treat yourself to a sundowner in the wilderness. You’ll have earned it!
Burn rubber not the planet
Fancy an environmentally friendly break on four wheels? Then this one’s for you. The seven day Drive the Fjords supercar adventure will put you behind the wheel of an emission-free electric Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. Then you’ll wind around the Norwegian fjords, taking in breath-taking views and stopping off at deluxe accommodation. The car has 283 miles of charge and a built-in “charging planner” that calculates the optimum route based on your charge status. Think James Bond, but with a clear conscience.
Wrap yourself around a tree
It would be hard to get closer to nature than staying in the Main Lodge at the centre of Tarangire Treetops, which literally encases a 1000 year old baobab tree. All guests stay in luxury bedrooms crafted by local communities high up in the treetops with epic views of Tanzania. Visitors are greeted by local Masaai tribesmen on arrival and can enjoy walking safaris and candlelit dinners. Every stay supports the local conservation efforts and community through sponsoring local schools and medical clinics. It’s literally a tree hugger’s dream.
A very fancy farm
A converted sheep farm might not sound very glam… but trust us this one is cool AF. Deplar Farm is an off the grid, luxury eco lodge in the north Icelandic wilderness. With its grass roof and black timber cladding it blends into the surrounding remote farmland, which it also brings to your plate in the form of locally sourced food. It offers thrill seeking adventures from skiing to sea kayaking and luxury wellness in the form of customised spa therapies. And thanks to the lack of light pollution, you stand a better chance of seeing the northern lights. Ideally while floating in their geothermally-heated pool with a G&T in hand.
One of the buzzwords in ecotourism right now is slow travel, which means taking a longer but often more picturesque route to avoid cranking up your CO2 footprint. The Glacier Express is the world’s slowest express train, covering 300km across the Swiss Alps. Take its five day, no-fly, eco holiday from Zermatt to St Moritz and marvel at pretty villages and snow-capped peaks through the train’s panoramic windows. You’ll stop off for lake cruises and sightseeing before jumping back on board for three course lunches and champagne. And at a trundling 24mph there’s unlikely to be any spillage.
Do an eco-house swap
Fancy a longer stay or just pretending you live in a groovy eco home – then do a house swap with someone who owns one. Companies like Home Exchange offer them in countries across the globe. Home swapping is a more sustainable tourism option as it relies on utilising existing homes rather than new developments, plus it creates far lower emissions than hotels or large resorts. Check out “Stephanie’s Green Home” in Normandy and others through their website, then get swapping.
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