Ecotourism: Exploring Attica the “green” way

Poros-Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Activities

Taking care of the environment without being deprived of the joy of traveling is not just wishful thinking. Attica as a whole, with its small towns and big cities, villages and islands, embraces the philosophy of ecological sustainability. Attica offers a galore of choices which respect the environment, for its residents and tourists alike, who want to spend their holidays in an ecologically ethical way.

The concept of ecological sustainability aligns with ecotourism and the Region of Attica is truly proud of its strategy and innovation in this kind of tourism. A year after the INCIRCLE European Project, the Region of Attica has excelled in Tourism Awards 2023, winning the Bronze prize in the category “Sustainable Tourism Development” for its Circular Tourism Strategy developed for the Islands Regional Unit of Attica!

Ecotourism is not just an occasional trend; is rather a way of living that is here to stay. According to the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), ecotourism has been officially defined as “a type of nature-based tourism activity in which the visitor’s essential motivation is to observe, learn, discover, experience and appreciate biological and cultural diversity with a responsible attitude to protect the integrity of the ecosystem and enhance the well-being of the local community”. In other words, ecotourism means responsible tourism in terms of environment and of the local communities that live and develop there within.

Enjoy ecotourism excursions

Excursions to the astonishing nature of Attica may vary a lot. The National Park of Parnitha, with its countless trekking paths, wild flora and fauna, is the ideal place for reconnecting with nature. At Sounion National Park, visitors will become mesmerized by the scenery and get to know the history of Attica, whereas at Schinias-Marathon National Park they will combine recreational activities with the exploration of a unique natural reserve. At eastern Attica, “Mesogeia”, as called in Greece, the fertile land is cultivated with great respect to the environment and humans and local wineries offer great wine tourism experiences (“enotourism”).

Support local markets, enjoy plant-based traditional dishes

Another way to spend your holidays in Attica in an ecologically responsible manner is to look for its traditional local products. Handmade art, clothing and decorative items created by locals; the options are countless and contribute to decreased mass production that adversely affects the environment. Food is no exception. Enjoying your meal at local restaurants is not only a way to boost local economy, but can also get you to taste the authentic flavors of each area.

Many of the delights served by old traditional tavernas are great vegan and vegetarian options, whilst the contemporary gastronomy of Attica offers multiple plant-based creations. Whatever your nutritional profile, the raw materials of the dishes are often selected on the basis of sustainability, that is the use of natural ecosystems and energy sources in a way which safeguards their future quality and balance. Also, along with the open markets that are rich in local products, each neighborhood hosts biological markets of small-scale farmers.

Move ecologically

Extension of the metro network and the connection possibilities offered by the Suburban Railway towards the urban and exurban areas of Attica have made it easy to move fast and avoid extensive use of cars. This gets even better by the multiple spots where you can pick-up bicycles and electric scooters. Finally, the islands of Spetses and Hydra are car-free and visitors may enjoy the pure and traditional life of islanders.

Choose ecological accommodation

Accommodation may also be an ecotourism-based choice. A lot of big hotels, but also smaller ones, are redesigned to monitor, limit and effectively manage their environmental impact. The new prevailing philosophy of construction materials and the concepts of reducing environmental footprint, using non-toxic detergents and cooperating with local food producers aim at accommodation solutions whose operation preserves the balance between the local natural – residential environment and the quality of tourism services provided. Attica offers a wide range of choices to visitors seeking such a combination, which is actually acknowledged through certifications of sustainable practices, such as the “Green Key”.

The land of Attica and its surrounding islands keep evolving their ecotourism-driven infrastructure and set the ideal framework for their visitors, protecting, at the same time, their vulnerable natural reserves. By investing on energy, circular waste management, sustainable mobility and circular management of water resources, they have created the ideal conditions for ecotourism and unique holidays to remember!

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