2018 Top Sustainable Travel Destinations Revealed

Share Article

Whether travelers seek extreme sports, hiking, unique experiences or just sublime views, 2018 is the year for a green vacation. Ecophiles.com reveals the best sustainable travel destinations to clock those ecomiles in 2018.

From Africa’s sun-soaked prairies to Japan’s magical Alpine vistas, here are 2018’s top destinations for sustainable travel, as chosen by the green travel and lifestyle experts at Ecophiles.

From Africa’s sun-soaked prairies to Japan’s magical Alpine vistas, here are 2018’s top destinations for sustainable travel, as chosen by the green travel and lifestyle experts at Ecophiles.

Japanese Alps, Japan

For fans of European Alps’ gorgeousness, here’s a worthy contender. An easy getaway from Tokyo, the Japanese Alps or the ‘roof of Japan’, offers an array of unique experiences. Here, one can visit a ninja theme park or a wasabi farm!

On the outskirts of Matsumoto, learn the technicalities of Wasabi cultivation at the Daio Wasabi Farm. Water is fed directly from the melting snowbanks of the Japanese Alps, via a network of streams. The farm´s old-fashioned beauty features photogenic wooden waterwheels. The fresh wasabi here is simply a treat, and the farm offers unique fusion food with extraordinary flavoring, such as wasabi-flavored ice cream, chocolate and beer!

Hangzhou, China

Hangzhou, tipped as ‘Paradise on Earth’, is China’s top ecotourism destination. It is one of the few places in China where people can watch wild birds chirping in the downtown area. The wooded hills encircling the Hangzhou’s West Lake are studded with pavilions, towers, pagodas, and caves.

The Xixi National Wetland Park in Hangzhou is teeming with biodiversity and over 180 bird species. It allows visitors an intimate glance at the Underwater Ecological Observation Corridor. The Bamboo-lined Path at Yunqi is a serene escape for hikers. In winter, the plum blossoms add a splash of color to the dull, cold days. Hangzhou, with its flourishing legacy of tea and silk, World Heritage sites, scenic natural vistas and profound Chinese culture, is a must-do day trip from Shanghai.

Inuvik, Canada

A new highway, starting from Inuvik, will take travelers to the Beaufort Sea Shore. The 137-kilometer Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway, that opened in November 2017, winds through a mostly frozen landscape of lakes and rivers. Perfect for adventure travel and a great opportunity to spot wild caribou, beluga whales and reindeer. To celebrate the opening of the highway, the community of Tuktoyaktuk decided it was time for a facelift. 400 gallons of donated paint, stain and trim later, the town is awash with new color with a ‘jelly bean’ color scheme, courtesy of the recycled materials. Visitors can appreciate Arctic nature, wildlife and cultures, and provide additional income to local communities and traditional lifestyles.

Leeuwarden, Netherlands

The city of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Interestingly, one historian has observed that there are almost 200 spellings of Leeuwarden, thanks to the different dialects and languages. Leeuwarden is also home to the stunning Froskepolemolen windmill, the last of its kind in the region where 130 windmills once stood proudly.

A curiosity at the Fries Natuurmuseum is, well, a ditch. This one has an exhibition called Friesland under water where visitors can spot a huge whale skeleton discovered in the 1990s. Leeuwarden’s streets are lined with beautiful shops hidden in small alleyways. In fact, Klein Kerkstraat, Leeuwarden’s main shopping street, was voted as the best shopping street of the Netherlands. The city, rich in architecture, is an easy getaway from Amsterdam.

Kerala, India

Kerala’s spellbinding backwaters have made it a bucket list destination. A perfect slow travel location -- Kerala Tourism has won the award for world’s best responsible tourism project at the World Travel Market London. Kerala’s landscape is as fragrant as it is beautiful, with its hills covered in sweet-smelling spices and gorgeous tea plantations. Travelers can slowly take in and admire Kerala whilst traveling by kettu vallam (tied boats) along glimmering backwaters or take to the road to enjoy delicious cuisine and coffee in the urban areas of the state. Round off the trip with an Ayurvedic massage to relax and rejuvenate.

Formentera, Balearic Islands

Formentera is less famous than its flashy sibling Ibiza, but it’s truly glorious. An eco-conscious destination, it is made up of glistening sandy beaches, breathtaking cliffs, historic villages and scented pine and juniper forests. In October 2017 Formentera launched its first ‘Save Posidonia Festival’ to raise awareness about sustainable tourism and the environment. Posidonia, endemic to the Mediterranean, is a marine plant that forms extensive meadows covering the seabed. The meadows at the Park Natural de Ses Salines has been a World Heritage Site since 1999. The Posidonia project has been supported by the Sustainable Tourist Tax with investments of approximately €520,000. Protecting Posidonia is not just helpful for marine life, but it makes Formentera a one of the best destinations for snorkelling and diving.


Namibia’s name is derived from the world’s oldest desert, the Namib. With its golden grass and singing rivers, Namibia easily gathers the most awe-inspiring characteristics of Africa in one stunning destination. Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution.

With poaching on the decline and 43 % of the nation under conservation -- it is the is the only African country where wildlife numbers are actually growing. Its large free roaming population of of elephants, rhinos, lions make it the best wildlife watching location in Africa. Namibia offers excellent value for money since camps are priced in Namibian dollars, rather than the U.S. dollar, which means a luxury trip is affordable at a 2-star price.

St Kitts and Nevis

Though beaches are usually the Caribbean attraction, St. Kitts and Nevis’s natural wonders are equally awe-inspiring. To explore, take the St. Kitts and Nevis’ scenic railway tour, offering three hours’ worth of birds’ eye view sightseeing. Visit the Eco-Park - an agro-tourism facility built by the governments of Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis that has now gained significant attention. The Project combines tourism with agricultural and educational components. Find an unforgettable view of the highest mountain Liamuiga here, and the Dutch islands, St Eustatius and Saba on the other side.

Western Cape, South Africa

As if Africa’s breathtaking landscape, wine routes and sea views weren’t enough, the Western Cape an ideal trip to experience natural beauty. Grootbos private nature reserve, a luxury eco-reserve located close to the southern African tip, recently won the award for Best Accommodation from the World Travel Market London´s Responsible Tourism Awards. The lodge is home to 791 plant species (100 of them endangered) and three Milkwood Forest which are over 100 years old. Grootbos private reserve has also been named as one of National Geographic´s Unique Lodges of the World. Adventurous travelers can also get on a Cape Canopy Tour and zip across the Hottentots Holland nature reserve, imitating the majestic eagles in all but sharpness of eyesight.

Bariloche, Argentina

Daredevils looking for extreme sports will find Bariloche a thrill seeker’s paradise. Bariloche boasts of an incredibly vast ecosystem - from snowy Andean mountains to thick green forests and glimmering lakes.
Kayak across crystal blue waters on a guided tour. Bariloche´s winds are perfect for paragliding, offering breathtaking views of the mountain ranges from far above. With plenty of trekking trails on offer, there is no shortage of mountain paths and vistas to admire.

https://Ecophiles.com is brimming with guides, tips and fun ideas for Sustainable Travel and Adventures. Travel far, travel light in 2018.


Hi-res images can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kvlfopyx5igbnnn/AAAG9owLveh6FHI4py3aj7-Ja?dl=0

For further press information please contact:
Jenna Seyer | media(at)ecophiles.com

About Ecophiles

Ecophiles is a green travel blog that drives the emerging movement of conscious travel and living into the mainstream. Co-founded by friends of 20 plus years — the Ecophiles are London-based writer and editor Namrata Bhawnani, and New York-based banker turned writer Mitali Mahajani — pursuing their passions of conscious travel, writing, and all things green with a unique partnership across the pond.

About the selection

The green travel and lifestyle experts at Ecophiles have compiled the best sustainable travel destinations for 2018. These destinations have been nominated for their efforts towards protection of natural sites, wildlife and ecosystems, preserving the authenticity of cultural heritage and providing a unique experience to visitors.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jenna Seyer
Ecophiles Media
+1 (917) 410-0280
Email >
since: 08/2015
Follow >

Visit website