Eco-friendly experiences around the country

Greece is a country with many a charm: its long and winding coastline, the numerous islands, and its Mediterranean climate can provide you with generous helpings of beaches to enjoy and sun to bask in. Its forests harbor rich biodiversity. Greece has made great strides in sustainability, and some of the features that make it a hit with ecotourists are inherent in its culture.

Explore the Greek mainland and islands that offer a greener and closer-to-nature holiday experience. Visit the Achaia and Ileia regions in W. Peloponnese: there are beautiful and diverse landscapes, picturesque villages, and rich culture & history. If you prefer the quiet life, head to Mt. Chelmos, Lake Tsivlou, the Cave of the Lakes, and the Strofylia forest wetland to explore their natural beauty. Go for a swim at the Blue Flag beaches of Lakopetra and Kalogria.

Zagorochoria, in the Epirus region, is on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites. Here, local produce is grown the traditional way and used to create delicious dishes. The Vikos Gorge is in Vikos-Aoos National Park and is listed in the Guinness World Records as the world’s deepest canyon in relation to its width. You will enjoy rafting, kayaking, hiking and climbing in the area, and you can also go mushrooming in the woods. Live the adventure!

A group of friends enjoying the view on Vikos Gorge. ©GNTO/ P. Merakos.

In the Thessaly region, Trikala is Greece’s first smart city. To reduce traffic, pollution and CO2 emissions, the city offers its citizens the Smarta 2 app, which allows users to request on-demand bus and taxi service. Green transport options include two driverless electric buses. The city also runs a smart system that uses sensors to inform the waste collection center about waste levels in rubbish bins.

If you are an island lover, Crete can offer you a host of experiences: stroll in the old town of Chania to discover the town’s Venetian past or go hiking at popular Samaria Gorge in the south. In the Rethymno region, visit Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark, and enjoy your hiking, caving, or rock-climbing trips. In the Lasithi region don’t miss out on going to the area of Vai; the beaches are amazing, with warm, crystal-clear waters and a palm tree forest nearby.

One of the Cyclades Islands, tiny Donousa, has taken part in the Sea Change program, banning all plastic bags, straws, cups, plates, and cutlery. Amorgos island is a popular destination nearby for activities such as hiking and especially diving, as there are plenty of shipwrecks and reefs to explore off its coastline.

In the Dodecanese Islands (the SE part of the Aegean Sea), Astypalaia island has implemented an ambitious six-year plan to transition to renewable power generation and the use of electric vehicles, e-bikes and e-scooters. Astypalaia uses energy produced mainly from wind and solar panels. Last but not least, Tilos Island is a leader in recycling: Just Go Zero Tilos is a new zero-waste program, recently launched on the island, for recycling hazardous and non-hazardous material, with great success so far!

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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