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January, 4th 2021

Mother earth, this enormous place we are so lucky to call home, is full of hidden spots and hectic locations to visit. From short trips to full-length journeys, Eleonora Recchi, sustainability professional at Eco-Age, is here to share her secret tips for a guilt-free, hectic tourist, starting from the five must-see destinations.

Words By Alessandra Di Perna

“While until a few years ago the concept of holidays was still linked to extravagance, relaxation and careless times, nowadays more and more travellers understand the importance of making responsible choices when it comes to travel, whether it’s a work or a fun trip. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council, GSTC, listed out all the certifications for accommodations that travellers may seek when booking a place. Whether in the wildest nature or in the metropolitan city, the accommodation is what makes the difference, as it will be your place for the whole staying” says Eleonora Recchi, sustainability professional at Eco-age. Her work experience and her private life brought her all over the world and made her realize that sustainable tourism is possible, and maybe funnier than a mere superficial experience.

According to travelpulse, when booking a trip 86% of millennials would rather consider a travel agency which is willing to offer more sustainable options. Among those, Book Different, GreenPearls and Ecobnb are alternative platforms where accommodations, from luxury hotels to hostels and private houses, are sourced and ranked in terms of the least consumption, environmental impact and other eco-friendly criteria. 

Here Recchi gives us some inspiration for when we will go back to normality. With a list of 5 must see places and multiple experiences, these countries will soon occupy the first spots on your bucket list for sustainable tourism.

Luxury stay in the nature, Tierra Patagonia, Chile

Chile, South America. Outside Torres del Paine National Park, Tierra Patagonia Adventure & Spa Hotel is a sustainable and luxury eco-lodge which blends its modernist essential architecture into the wild and natural landscape. Tierra Patagonia resembles the perfect spot to relax in between an excursion at the Paine Massif to a horse ride at Entre Lago, while respecting the environment. Tierra Patagonia in fact uses LED lighting and controls its thermal efficiency to reduce the cost of energy. They are also evaluating future renewable energy projects and plan to incorporate a kitchen-garden to enable “farm-to-table” dining. Additionally, in association with the Chilean Tourist Board and Forestry Association, Tierra Patagonia supports the ambitious reforestation project which aims to plant one million trees across Chilean Patagonia’s national parks. The eco-lodge is not a mere touristic spot, as it has also raised awareness among Tierra’s residents and guests, helping to promote the reforestation of this region.


A night under the stars, Messina, Italy

Sicily, Italy. Surrounded by the Mediterranen sea and known all over the world as the inspiration for designers and architects who love the scents from orange and lemon trees and the beautiful colors of nature. Sicily offers unique possibilities for tourists to explore the island in its purest soul. In the city of Messina, located in the North East of the island, there is the possibility to spend a night in a sphere made entirely of recyclable materials, to respect the environment. Here, there will be a variety of experiences to choose from: whether having lunch or dinner, this will be “a zero metri”, prepared with organic products from the local garden according to the typical recipes of the island. If you’d rather spend hours in the company of bees, there’s the option to become a “beekeeper for a day”. Moreover, every morning there is the possibility to taste seasonal fruits along with bread made with Tuminia flour, one of the most ancient Sicilian wheat, with honey from the bees that accompanied you during the day.

 Albergo Diffuso, “Trullidea” 

Apulia, South Italy. Albergo diffuso – literally “widespread hotel” – is a new Italian concept for authentic, slow and sustainable hotels. Born from an idea of Dino and Antonella, Trullidea is located in Alberobello, Apulia, and is a new model for alternative hospitality. The scattered hotel is born, rather than built, from care and respect of the already existing housing structures. By de-structuring the 15th Century infamous trulli white tiny houses and enhancing their typical characteristics, which rendered these places authentic, Trullidea offers plenty of opportunities to explore Alberobello and the nearby villages by bikes, e-bikes, segways all year round. All the products are hand made by the host or local artisans. 


Trail Trip with Arena Rail Experience

Whether on the Pyrenees with the traditional yellow and red railways, among the castles of Transylvania, or on iconic routes such as the Glacier Express and the Mont Blanc Express, a trail trip is everything but expected. By combining the uniqueness of the typical train journeys with the enchanting European landscapes, a trail trip is the perfect option to explore a region without polluting and moving around with your own car. The lasting relationship built with local tour guides and small restaurants and shops ensures a magical atmosphere and a 100% authentic stay.

Embracing nature from a tree house, Costa Rica, South America

Listed in the top five world leaders in renewable solutions, the entire energy supply of Costa Rica comes from renewable sources. In 2017, the leadership of the county made a promise for eradicating single-use plastic by 2021. They had topped this idea in the summer of 2018 when the new government announced even bigger plans. They also strive to be completely carbon-neutral by 2021. While travelling in Costa Rica there are also plenty of opportunities for sustainable tourism from which to choose from. From hiking in a coffee plantation to planning a visit to a local farm, where it is often possible to taste organic products. Costa Rica offers plenty of opportunities for sustainable stays, such as the Macaw Lodge situated on the Pacific Ocean, a lodge which is self-sustained through the creation of solar power panel energy. Alternatively, the Tree House Lodge is the perfect location for travel groups, offerings a wide range of activities from relaxing activities such as yoga or massages at the spa to breathtaking hikings and gym sessions in the wildest nature.