It's easy to be green when visiting Croatia.
In an ideal world, we all want to be sustainable while travelling, to limit our carbon footprint, but still experience all we can.
And though the flight to Croatia will dent your carbon emissions tally, it doesn't mean you can't keep your environmental footprint small when you are there. Here are four sustainable ideas for your next trip:
Leave the car, take a seat
Croatia's terrain might be a bit up and down, but that doesn't mean cycling is off the table. Travelling by bike is easily the best way to really see a destination. And with EuroVelo, one of the world's largest cycling tourism networks, starting to spread its way throughout Europe, it's getting easier to use pedal power. Currently there are four routes planned to run through Croatia, including the Mediterranean route, which will follow the length of the coast.
Cadmos Village is a bit of everything: adventure park, restaurant, the site of 12th century artefacts, the home of Croatia's first treehouse (that you can sleep in), and it's all powered by solar panels - and even a windmill. Just 30 minutes from Dubrovnik, the village is tucked away in oak woodland, and is serious about respecting nature and heritage. Though the adventure park is high-adrenalin, the restaurant is calm, keeping the cuisine and many of the cooking methods traditional and using organic ingredients from its own gardens.
Sail on the big, green sea
Seeing the Croatian coast by sea is hardly a new idea, but the industry's growing commitment to sustainability is. Dubrovnik, hit hard by a Game Of Thrones tourism boom, has chosen to limit the number of cruise ship tourists to 8000 passengers a day to protect the city's cultural and historical heritage, and limit overcrowding. Now some independent operators are jumping on board. Unforgettable Croatia has pledged to be the world's most environmentally friendly cruise line by 2020. Meanwhile, Green Sail is a growing movement to develop policies and projects that have a positive impact on the environment, combining local beach clean-up operations with a relaxing holiday. It now stretches to more than 1300 vessels, with each skipper trained to be a sustainable sailor and a reduction of single-use plastics on board.
A night at the museum
Speaking of the seas, the Batana Eco-museum is dedicated to protecting and recovering culture in the form of a traditional wooden boat known as the batana. It recently won a sustainable tourism award for its troubles. Located in the town of Rovinj, on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula, the open air, permanent exhibition is a working pier, with fishermen using the boats daily, just as the generations before them. At sunset, tourists can ride on the unique vessels, and as night falls, the lights are turned on, the boats travel around the harbour, and passengers can enjoy traditional Rovinj food and music in an authentic tavern to get a real sense of the culture.