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Top 10 Ecotourism Experiences in Europe

Ecotourism in Europe is unrivalled when it comes to the diversity of the landscapes. The continent is home to vast expanses, dramatic mountains, heart-stopping beauty, and breath-taking experiences. You can do it all in Europe, from cycling to hiking, in the snow or in the hot, hot heat, from the Arctic Circle to the shores of the Mediterranean, ecotourism in Europe will keep you exploring forever.

10. Hiking in Andorra

Small, but mighty, ecotourism in Andorra often comes down to skiing and hiking. While most adventurers head to the landlocked tax haven between Spain and France to hit the slopes, experiencing hiking season in Andorra is incredibly rewarding. Between the valley trails, nature reserves, and designated ecotourism routes, a hiking holiday in Andorra is fit for anyone.

9. Hitting the Slopes in the Alps

Between Switzerland, France, Italy, and Slovenia the Alps are Europe's best spot for skiing, snowboarding, and other alpine adventures. There is a growing development in eco resorts for snow bunnies, including the traditional chalets many visitors long to stay in, and active plans to combat the effects of climate change on the mountains. Even if you're not a snow traveller, the Alps are a year-round destination, with endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, spelunking, and more.

8. Albania's Caves of Pellumbas

Considered to be one of Europe's most underestimated countries in terms of ecotourism, Albania is in fact one of the continent's most surprising ecotourism destinations. Through the Outdoor Association of Albania, many sustainable tourism initiatives are developed and managed, including the infrastructure of one of the most valuable archaeological sites in the country, the Caves of Pellumbas.

7. Hiking the Samaria Gorge in Greece

Known for its ancient man-made wonders, Greece is still home to some equally impressive natural spectacles. For one of the best glimpses of ecotourism in Greece, head to the island of Crete, where the Samaria Gorge, one of Europe's longest, beckons travellers and adventurers to hike through its exceptionally unique ecosystem.

6. Soomaa National Park, Estonia

Experiencing ecotourism in Estonia can mean many things to many people, but often the country's impressive national parks are part of the equation. In particular, Soomaa National Park, which transforms into an ethereal place during the "fifth season" spring floods. Visiting during that time is an ecotourism experience that will stay with you for a very long time.

5. The Calm Beauty of Finland's Lapland

An exceptionally eco-conscious country, Finland is a haven for ecotourism experiences, including its region of Lapland, one of Europe's greatest unspoiled wildernesses. In the far north of Finland, beyond the Arctic Circle, sits one of the most peaceful landscapes you can find. In the land of the midnight sun and the Aurora Borealis, ecotourism in Finland's Lapland is a calm and impressive experience.

4. The Inspiring Landscapes of Scotland's Western Islands

Looking for an ecotourism experience at the end of the earth? Head to Scotland's Western Islands, where the landscapes are dramatic and captivating, and the experiences available are about as remote as you can get in the UK. With renewable energies, sustainable mindsets, and ecotourism experiences aplenty, Scotland's Western Islands are an ideal setting for an unforgettable journey.

3. Whitewater Rafting in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Before the war that ripped through the region in the 1990s, Bosnia-Herzegovina was a thriving tourist destination. Now, the country is regaining its momentum as one of the emerging ecotourism destinations in Europe. With several significant rivers meandering and churning their way through the country, it's no wonder whitewater rafting has emerged as the activity of choice. Take your pick of the rivers, and let that adrenaline start pumping.

2. Cycling Through Norway

Ecotourism in Norway is exciting, dramatic, surprising, and completely awe-inspiring. Norway is a country blessed with an incredible landscape including vast, open wilderness, rugged fjords, snow-capped mountains, and pristine bodies of water. To truly grasp the magnitude of the impressive landscapes of Norway, head out for a challenging and rewarding cycle through this beautiful country.

1. Iceland. Naturally.

The inherent sustainability of Iceland is one of the things that make it a truly remarkable destination. Ecotourism in Iceland is feasible through the country's strong commitment to sustainability, use of clean energy, conservation, and educating travellers on the importance and means towards a sustainable ecotourism industry. A visit to the island wouldn't be complete without being unequivocally impressed by magnificent natural wonders like the Blue Lagoon, Gulfoss, and the hauntingly beautiful Aurora Borealis.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

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