If mass tourism is left aside, these countries hide many surprises. You can discover a much closer new way of travel that allows you to get to know the environment, the culture, and the locals.
The Cook Islands
Welcome to one of the most isolated and scattered countries’ travel spots in the world!
Proud of their independence, they combine authentic Polynesian traditions with a bold and innovative approach to the challenges facing the countries of the South Pacific.
Remote in the South Pacific
Welcome to one of the most isolated and scattered countries in the world. 15 volcanic islands totaling just 240 km2 spread over 200,000,000 Ha of Polynesia. Rarotonga is the largest and most populous of the archipelago, and the most cosmopolitan. Here, especially in the laid-back capital, Avarua, tradition blends harmoniously with an emerging range of artisanal and organic cuisine.
A roadmap to sustainability
The Cook Islands have been taking important steps for some years to develop sustainable tourism. Created in mid-2017, Marae Moana (“Sacred Ocean”) is a multiple-use marine park that covers the entire exclusive economic zone of the country which, with its more than 1,976,000 km2, is the largest protected area on the planet. The legislation creates specific marine reserves, stretching 93 km around each of the 15 Cook Islands.
Cook Islands Culture
To discover the local culture and try its cuisine. In addition, local cultural associations offer music and dance performances there. Ngametua Mamanu, from Tumutoa Tours, is a regular at the market who, together with his wife Mania, proposes activities on the island of Rarotonga. He encourages visitors to help prepare the food.
Those who want to contribute directly to the local community can support the environmental work of these Ipukarea societies.
In one of the smallest countries in the world, in the middle of the largest ocean on the planet, it’s easy to join the locals in making things better.
A word to define Slovenia? Green
Literally and metaphorically the ecological certificate “Green Slovenia”, granted to almost 60 places in the country, is among the most rigorous on the continent. In addition to these credentials, it is also a recommended destination as a travel spot also for its wine and gastronomic offer. Along with hiking and cycling routes between the Alps and the Adriatic.
The crystal ball of responsible travel
Perhaps the Slovenians can see the future. Although they most likely care more about building their own path. Regardless of the reason, and with a methodical approach. This small, mountainous land, is hemmed in by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. Was busy becoming the forefront of the responsible travel industry long before the word “sustainability” was put around. Fashion.
The European Commission awarded the title of European Green Capital 2016 to Ljubljana. In 2017, the Dutch foundation Green Destinations awarded the green certificate to the entire country considering it “the most sustainable in the world”.
By developing a tourism strategy that places quality over quantity and communities over consumerism, the country has gone its own way to become a model of what many travelers ask for and rarely find: authenticity.
If you cycle along the new Bike Slovenia Green Gourmet Route, opened in June 2021, to the top town of Šmartno in the Goriška Brda region, Slovenia unfolds as few other countries can. If you look back to the north to see the covered road, the snow-capped Julian Alps fill the horizon. To the south, the Adriatic is getting closer, and it shows. In all directions the vineyards cover the landscape, receding until they disappear on the horizon.
In recent years, Slovenia has reasserted its position as a role model by creating many such routes. The objective of providing information and free route maps is to encourage self-locomotion. Discourage the use of the car and, incidentally, avoid traffic jams in popular tourist areas.
For example, there is a path, the Walk of Peace, which follows the front lines of World War I. There is the 267 km Juliana Trail, a loop around Mount Triglav (2,864 m), the highest in Slovenia.
Slovenia is that rare combination of an affordable, beautiful, ancient, and nature-oriented destination. Their sensibilities and their traditions assume the role of hostesses, but they put their citizens first. And if you add to this its location in the heart of Europe, it is an easily accessible destination for travelers who want to go on the green side.
You may also be interested in Do you like Thai cuisine? Meet the essential restaurants