Puertas, Asturias // Photo Credit: José Miguel

The following article is sponsored by Tourist Office of Spain

When most people think of Spain, sun-kissed regions like the Costa del Sol - and bustling cities like Barcelona and Madrid - spring to mind. Sure, there’s plenty of fun in the sun and cultural enrichment to be had, but what about eco-friendly travel? These days, being green is an important issue. By its nature, travel involves heavy carbon outputs. In response, many travelers are looking to experience the world while minimizing their impact on the environment. Happily, Spain abounds in eco-friendly travel options, simply read on to learn more.

San Jaime de Rigolisa, Catalonia // Photo Credit: Aleix Cortés

Skip the Rental Car

Although it may be tempting to rent a car while visiting Spain, the truth is that public transportation is extremely streamlined and easy to use. Spain’s train system, Renfe, crisscrosses the country and long-distance trains are exceptionally punctual and an eco-friendly way to get around. Similarly, buses in Spain are clean, environmentally conscious and convenient. When planning a visit, make sure to prioritize public transportation.

A scene from Jaen // Photo Credit: Trevor Huxham

Traverse the Olive Oil Route

Olive groves proliferate in Spain, especially near Andalucia. Indeed, you’ll find more than 60 million groves in the region around Jaen. Needless to say, the scenery here is positively breathtaking - and there is one especially unique way to explore it. The Via Verde del Aceite - the Olive Oil Green Route - is a series of walking and cycle trails that have been created out of unused railways. Approximately forty miles of paths connect Jaen and Alcaudete, allowing you to immerse yourself in the grandeur of the region in a green way.

Riding through Navarre // Photo Credit: Mikel Ortega

Cycle the Alpujarras

Approximately two hours outside of Granada, you can book a stay at a remote farmhouse near the village of Berchules. From here, cycling excursions into the nearby Sierra Nevadas are easily accessible. Enjoyable for both novice and expert bikers, you can picnic by burbling brooks, explore winding trails and see breathtaking peaks - all without emitting a single exhaust fume.

Inside the Yurt Hotel // Photo Credit: Lea Ann Belter

Bunk Up in Yurts or Eco-Farms

In Andalucia, you can book a stay in a traditional, Mongolian-style yurt. These intriguing tents are set up in olive and cork tree groves and include wells where you can draw your own natural spring water. Relax in the breathtaking private gardens and you'll feel your cares slip away. Eco-farms are also popular in Spain, and on Ibiza, the Can Marti is a great place to get in touch with nature and sample local produce.

Landscape in Galicia // Photo Credit: Feans

Explore España Verde

Northern Spain is nicknamed España Verde - or Green Spain - and it’s easy to see why. The area is resplendent in mile after mile of rolling hills and awe-inspiring peaks. Due to the pristine nature of this region, eco-tourism is heavily promoted. Rural sections like Galicia and Asturias, are great for getting a real feel for the region. Once you connect with the land, you'll want to do everything in your power to ensure Spain remains breathtaking for generations to come.