Catalonia: An Eco-friendly Playground
Catalonia is an ecological paradise that beckons travellers to immerse themselves in the sustainable enjoyment of nature, offering a wide range of activities that allow visitors to connect with the environment and engage in responsible travel practices. The region’s commitment to preserving its natural treasures while sharing them with the world makes it an ideal destination for those who wish to explore, appreciate, and protect the wonders of our planet.
From birdwatching in the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park to hiking through the ancient beech forests of Montseny, Catalonia presents a cornucopia of opportunities for nature enthusiasts. For sustainable water-based experiences, the picturesque Costa Brava invites travellers to explore its marine biodiversity through activities such as kayaking, snorkelling, and fishing. The vineyard-covered landscapes of Catalonia’s wine regions offer eco-friendly wine tours and tastings, where visitors can learn about the sustainable practices employed in viticulture and gastronomy.
With a commitment to environmental conservation, this region offers a plethora of ecotourism activities that beckon those who seek a deeper connection with the planet and a more responsible way to explore it.
Read on to discover five handpicked ecotourism activities in Catalonia, all bookable with crypto on Travala.com.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Catalonia is home to a remarkable collection of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites being preserved for future generations, each bearing witness to the region’s rich history and cultural significance. Among these are the architectural “Works of Antoni Gaudí” and “Works of Domènech i Montaner” in Barcelona, Tarragona’s “Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco”, the “Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí”, the “Poblet Monastery”, and the “The Mediterranean Arc Rock Paintings”. These UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Catalonia collectively narrate the region’s intricate cultural and historical legacy, making them a must-visit for travellers seeking to delve into Catalonia’s rich past.
Explore the important architectural works of both Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner on this walking tour through several distinct neighbourhoods of Barcelona. Discover the history behind the Recinte Modernista Sant Pau (once a hospital, now the world’s largest art nouveau complex); marvel at the monumental Sagrada Familia, a steadfast symbol of Barcelona; and admire beautiful homes at the Passeig de Gràcia, including Casa Lleo i Morera, Casa Mila, and Casa Batlló.
The Green Ways in Catalonia, also known as “Vies Verdes,” are a network of picturesque, eco-friendly cycling and walking trails that follow disused railway lines. These pathways offer a unique way to explore Catalonia’s stunning countryside, meandering through forests, vineyards, and charming villages while promoting sustainable and active tourism.
This cycling tour features a variety of options to explore the Catalan countryside by bike. Cycle along the Green Ways to the lake of Banyoles or to Medieval Besalu, or on quiet country roads into the La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park or to the ancient villages in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Enjoy medieval Besalu, ancient towns and villages, including a chance to cool off either in the lake of Banyoles or in the pool at hotel Mas Pelegri at the end of your bike tour. The tour accommodates all levels and offers different routes for different abilities, from 10 kms to 200 kms.
Catalonia is home to a wealth of natural parks, including the Terres de l’Ebre Biosphere Reserve, Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park and Cap de Creus Natural Park, where outdoor enthusiasts can immerse themselves in pristine wilderness, hike through lush forests, and savour breathtaking views. These parks provide a haven for wildlife and a sanctuary for visitors seeking a deeper connection with Catalonia’s unspoiled landscapes, creating a perfect rural getaway.
One of the most well-known parks is the Terres de l’Ebre Biosphere Reserve, home to beautiful lagoons, majestic flamingos, and several rock art sites included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. On this tour, you’ll discover the great contrast of landscapes of the Delta, lagoon, rice fields, bay, mussels and many birds. Follow the guide to viewpoints that are located around the Les Olles lagoon to see mallards, egrets, kingfishers and stilts, as well as the majestic flamingos. Take the opportunity to also learn about the vegetation of the region, as well as about the rice fields that surround the reserve.
Catalonia’s eco-gastronomy is a culinary journey rooted in sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients, offering a delectable blend of traditional Catalan flavours with a commitment to ethical and environmentally-friendly dining. Visitors can delight in farm-to-table dishes, explore organic wineries, and dine in restaurants dedicated to minimising their ecological footprint, ensuring that each meal is a celebration of both taste and responsible dining. The scene flourishes with restaurants like “Can Roca,” which champions sustainability in its Michelin-starred cuisine, and wineries such as “Clos Mogador” in Priorat, where visitors can experience organic and biodynamic viticulture practices.
Enjoy an exclusive luxury catamaran cruise along the coast of Barcelona to the coastal town of Badalona before embarking on a private bus to Alta Alella winery. A sommelier will welcome you and offer a guided tour through the vineyards and winery, where you’ll discover the organic wine and cava production process of a winery family. After the tasting of 3 D.O. wines, you will return to the city in the private bus, finishing in the famous Arc de Triomf area.
Segway & E-bike Tours
Segway and e-bike tours provide eco-conscious travellers with a sustainable, fun, and exciting way to discover the region’s natural beauty and cultural gems while minimising their environmental impact. These tours align perfectly with the principles of ecotourism, allowing you to explore Catalonia’s diverse landscapes, historical sites, and charming villages in an environmentally responsible manner.
Hop on an electric, self-balancing Segway and explore Barcelona’s Parc de la Ciutadella plus the historical harbour Port Vell. Choose from a 2- or 3-hour tour to suit your schedule, and follow a local guide on an exciting route that traces Barcelona’s history. From the Arc de Triomf and the Parc de la Ciutadella, continue around the old harbour at Port Vell in La Barceloneta, then take in more modern sights such as the Olympic Port, or the landmarks on the Montjuïc hill in the extended 3-hour experience.