Eco-tourism is an alternative type of tourism focused on nature. It focuses on low-impact behavior in both the environment and the culture of the local community, and its followers take care to reduce their impact on the environment during their trips. Most of the time, eco-tourism trips have an educational character with a final goal, the experience gained during the trip to sensitize the participants and apply those habits in their daily lives. Activities carried out by eco-tourism visitors are hiking, cycling, diving, exploring forests, agricultural production, learning local cuisine and landscaping; activities that have little or no impact on the environment.
Eco-tourism accommodations also have ecological features, so they have facilities that try to be ecological friendly. A common eco-tourism accommodation are farms as it favors activities near the countryside. Eco-tourism is also developing in ecologically aware areas of institutionalized environmental protection, such as Natura areas.
First time eco-tourist! What do we need to do?
- The most important thing in eco-tourism is respect for the environment and the destination so the first thing we need to do is to protect the space we are in.
- Support the local economy. The use of local products and services is essential. For example, staying in a local accommodation but also eating the local products.
- Willingness to participate in eco-tourism habits, such as the use of public transport, overnight stay in environmentally friendly accommodation and the proper management of our waste.
- Participation in environmental protection. This is followed by corresponding actions (with or without financial burden) that are organized worldwide, respecting the biodiversity of nature.
Where can we find eco-tourist places in Greece?
Greece is famous for its unparalleled wealth of natural environment. It has about 50,000 species of animals and over 10,000 caves, gorges, age-old forests, lakeside areas and fertile river deltas. Of these, about 700 species of animals and 900 species of Greek plants are protected due to their rarity. Therefore, there are dozens of eco-tourist areas and below we will list the most famous.
- Wetlands: The lagoon of Messolonghi, the lake of Mikri Prespa, the lake Ismarida, the lake Kerkini and the delta of the Axios river.
- Monuments of Nature: The forest of the Tree Cedars in Kynouria, the virgin forest of central Rodopi, the watery forest of Evia, the fossilized forest of Lesvos, the evergreen deciduous forest of the island of Sapienza Messinia, the forest of Lailias of Serres, Kefalanthiro and the beech forest in Pella
- Preserved Monuments of Nature: The gorges of Olympus, Samaria and Parnassos, the suburban forest of Ioannina, the National Park of Sounio, the aesthetic forest of Skiathos, the forest of Nikopolis-Mytika, the National Forest of Aimos, the forest of Kouri Almyros, the forest of Oxia Haidou and Mount Athos peninsula.
After all, we do not have to go far from our place of residence to become eco-tourists, but neither do we need complicated procedures to be eco-tourists. It is worth doing eco-tourism once in our lives because the benefits seem to be many!