July 21, 2023
Kim Ngan Van

Sustainable vacation getaways 2023

According to the ANWB The Netherlands is the most popular holiday destination for the Dutch this year, followed by Germany, Spain, France and Belgium. We have listed a number of nice sustainable tips for each of these countries, so that you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest!

The Netherlands

  • Visit a local farmers market: Visit a nearby farmer's market and enjoy fresh, seasonal, and local produce. Bring your own reusable bag and bags to put your purchases in and avoid unnecessary plastic waste. Take a look at Awkward Duckling's blog to find out all (organic) farmers markets in the Netherlands.

  • Cycling or walking tours: The Netherlands is known for beautiful cycling and hiking trails. Explore nature and sights in an environmentally friendly way. Take a reusable water bottle and a lunch box with you on the go so you don't have to use disposable items.

  • Sustainable outdoor activities: Go camping and turn your camping experience into an opportunity to enjoy sustainable outdoor activities. Go hiking, cycling or canoeing in the natural environment around your camping spot. Respect the trails and conservation rules to protect the fragile ecosystems.

  • Visit windmills: Visit a local windmill and learn more about traditional Dutch craft and sustainable energy production. Many mills have visitor centers where you can learn how they work and the history of these iconic buildingscan to discover. At some mills you can even buy locally produced flour and other grain products!

  • Nature reserves and bird watching: The Netherlands has a number of beautiful nature reserves and bird-rich areas. Visit these areas and enjoy the diverse flora and fauna. Bring your binoculars and go bird watching to observe different bird species and learn about their habitat.


  • Nature reserves and national parks: Visit Germany's beautiful nature reserves and national parks. Please respect the natural environment by not leaving the trails, disposing of rubbish properly and leaving wild animals alone. Enjoy walking, cycling and bird watching in these beautiful areas.

  • Eco accommodations: Choose to stay in an eco-friendly hotel, an environmentally friendly holiday home or a sustainable campsite. These accommodations are committed to reducing waste, saving energy and using renewable resources.

  • Discover the local cuisine: Taste the local German cuisine and avoid unnecessary waste by choosing restaurants that work with organic, local and seasonal ingredients. Also ask for reusable crockery and cutlery instead of disposable items.

  • Drink without waste: Germany is known for its beer, but have you ever heard about zero-waste beer? Knärzje is the first organic zero-waste beer in Germany, and is available in special beer shops.


  • Beach Cleanups: Keep the beaches clean by participating in beach cleanups. Bring a reusable bag and gloves and collect any litter you come across. This way you help to keep the beautiful Spanish beaches clean.

  • Tapas and local markets: Enjoy the delicious Spanish tapas and visit local markets to buy fresh and local products. Bring your own reusable containers and bags to reduce food waste and unnecessary plastic packaging.

  • Ecotourism:Discover Spain's beautiful natural landscapes and take part in ecotourism activities. Go hiking, cycling or kayaking in national parks such as the Picos de Europa, Sierra Nevada or Doñana. Respect the flora and fauna, follow the designated paths and avoid littering.

  • Sustainable transport: Make use of sustainable transport options during your trip in Spain. Take the train or bus instead of the plane if you want to visit different cities. If you rent a car, consider renting an electric or hybrid car. Opt for carpooling to reduce your environmental impact.

  • Visit organic farms: Discover the flavors of Spain by visiting organic farms. Learn about sustainable farming practices and enjoy organic products straight from the source. Buy local and seasonal products every other day to reduce your ecological footprint.


  • Explore the local markets: France is known for its fresh produce markets. Go to the local markets and buy your groceries directly from the producers. Bring reusable bags, pouches and containers to put your purchases in.

  • Sustainable wine tours: France is a paradise for wine lovers. Choose for sustainable wine tours with an emphasis on organic and biodynamic vineyards. Taste the delicious wines and learn more about sustainable wine production.

  • Go camping: Sustainable campsites in France offer a great opportunity to enjoy an environmentally friendly holiday. Through the search function of La Clef Verte you can easily find sustainable campsites across the country. These campsites use sustainable practices, such as saving water, generating energy using the forces of nature and selling local products in the restaurant and supermarket.

  • Get on a mountain bike: If you're looking for an adventurous and eco-friendly way to explore France, mountain biking is a great option. The country offers beautiful mountain bike trails that take you through breathtaking landscapes. An example is the Grande Traversee du Jura, a 380 kilometer long route through the beautiful Jura mountains. On the ListNRide website you can find an overview of their selection of bike rental in France.


  • Visit community gardens: Community gardens and rooftop gardens are used to grow food in urban environments. You can visit these projects, buy local products and even participate in workshops about sustainable gardening.

  • Zero waste picknick: Enjoy a zero waste picnic in one of the beautiful parks in Belgium. Bring reusable plates, cutlery, cups and a picnic blanket. Choose local and seasonal products and avoid packaging waste.

  • Choose a holiday home: By choosing a holiday home at these special locations in Belgium, you will experience the beauty of the country and discover new places without traveling far. Moreover, with your stay in Belgium you support the local economy and you contribute to the preservation of the country's natural and cultural heritage.

  • Explore Medieval Towns: Exploring medieval towns in Belgium while following zero waste principles is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in history and culture while minimizing your carbon footprint. For example, visit the beautiful Gravensteen in Ghent. This medieval castle is one of the most iconic sights in Belgium.

Whether you enjoy nature, discover the local cuisine or explore sustainable initiatives, there are plenty of options to make your holiday eco-friendly. Enjoy your holiday and contribute to a cleaner planet!

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