These awards, which highlight the efforts of the different territories of the world to be more sustainable, began to be awarded in 2014 and, since then, Spain has always managed to sneak into the top 100 of Green Destinations with some destinations of great beauty. This time there are five points –El Berguedà, Menorca, Noja, Las Terres de l’Ebre and Torroella de Montgrí– They have demonstrated their efforts to preserve the natural environment by offering a tourist proposal that is respectful of the environment and the local population. These are some of its essentials to organize a route.
El Berguedà, Catalonia
Located in the extreme north of the province of Barcelona, El Berguedà stretches between the mountains of the Pre-Pyrenees and the Pyrenees. Among its many tourist claims, one stands out above the rest, that is the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, a place where, in addition, one of the most emblematic mountains of the community is located, Pedraforca. For a nice excursion it is also the birth of the Llobregat, a simple and short route that allows you to enjoy the famous Fonts del Lloregat. The towns of Castellar de n’Hug, Berga and its Queralt Sanctuary –located 1,200 meters high–, Gironella and Bagà are other essential stops.
The natural wealth of this Catalan corner, which has led it to be part of this classification for three years in a row, makes it a perfect destination for those looking to go hiking and other activities, as well as for those looking for peace and quiet. It also has a network of 2,000 kilometers of public roads to walk between all the municipalities of Berguedà.
Menorca, Balearic Islands
Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993, Menorca has a very rich traditional rural landscape and a destination that is more than exemplary in terms of sustainability. Despite receiving thousands of tourists each year, the island has managed to conserve its natural heritage in which many species of animals and plants live, some of them in danger of extinction.
Those who are looking for beaches and coves with crystal clear waters and fine white sand should not miss those located to the south of the island, like Macarella and Macarelleta, Mitjana, Cala Turqueta and Cala Galdana, one of the best known. In addition, you can take a boat trip to appreciate its waters in all its splendor. Other sites of interest are: Mahón, the capital of the island, which has one of the most beautiful ports in the world; Naveta Des Tudons, the best known prehistoric monument in Menorca used for collective burials between 1200 and 750 BC, Ciutadella and its beautiful old town, Monte Toro, the highest mountain with more than 358 meters, Cova d’en Xoroi, where you can enjoy the best sunset in the territory, and the towns of Binibeca and Fornells.
Known for its beaches and natural spaces –has 75% of protected territory-, Noja has become in recent years a highly relevant tourist center with a high concentration of visitors in the summer months. Located between the Quejo estuary and the Brusco point, this Cantabrian town has wetlands of great ecological value that justify its inclusion in the Natural Park of the Santoña, Victoria and Joyel Marshes.
In addition to taking a bath in the beaches of Tregandín and Ris, Do not miss the Venero house-palace, the Garnica and Velascos mansions, great exponents of civil architecture. Travel the Cape of Ajo allows the visitor to get the best views of the town and its natural wonders. The Santa Olaja Mill, a tidal mill that is part of the Trasmiera Ecopark, the Garlic Lighthouse, the Palace of the Marquis of Albaicín, built in 1916 with a neomontañez style and the church of San Pedro de Noja, with a Gothic tower from the late 18th century, are other stops to point out on a route through the area.
Ebro lands, Catalonia
Listed in 2013 as Unesco World Biose Reserve, the Ebro Lands are a natural paradise that is well worth a visit. This territory, where one of the largest rivers in the Iberian Peninsula creates the great Ebro Delta and where the mountains of the Els Ports Natural Park meet the sea, encompasses the 4 southernmost regions of Catalonia: Ribera d’Ebre, Terra Alta, Baix Ebre and Montsià.
Of natural interest are The Pots of the Canaletes River, pot-shaped pools, The Glass Pool, a pool located 7 kilometers from Arnes, the lagoon of the Encanyissada, perfect place for bird watching, the Ebro Delta Natural Park and the greenway of 49 kilometers that connects the towns of Arnes and Tortosa.
Besides this, not to be missed the Cuevas Meravelles de Benifallet, the set of Cuevas Rupestres de Ulldecona, included in the list of World Heritage Sites along with other Mediterranean arc sites, and the town of Miravet, which stands out for its castle, its medieval town and its location among rocks on the edge of the Ebro. And, of course, taste its rich gastronomy.
Torroella de Montgrí-L’Estartit, Catalonia
Located in Baix Empordà, Torroella de Montgrí and L’Estartit is a mixture of natural contrasts of great beauty. Thanks to the large number and variety of habitats, both marine and terrestrial, in 2010, the category of Natural Park was won.
For its part, Torroella, located at the foot of the Montgrí Massif and on the banks of the river Ter, it offers a medieval center with narrow streets perfect for walking. Do not forget to stand in the Mediterranean Museum, one of its main cultural attractions, and go up to the castle of Montgrí to contemplate the views it offers to the natural space of the massif. L’Estartit, a fishermen’s settlement, offers kilometers of beaches and incredible coves, among which it is worth noting the Gran de l’Estartit beach, the Pletera beach and Mas Pinell. To top it all off, there is nothing like an excursion to the Medes Islands, a rich marine reserve where scuba diving is a delight.