Here are our top 10 good practices to take on, covering every aspect of your stay, to make sure your break in Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a sustainable one.
1. Getting information before your trip
To travel in a sustainable way, it's vital to get information when you prepare your trip. Get in touch with the Tourist Office in your chosen destination: as regional experts, they'll be able to give you all the information you need about the local sustainable tourism offer and about good practices to take on. Around 150 Tourist Offices across the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region are on hand to help you!
2. Favouring committed players
Various labels exist to guide you and help you choose the accommodation, restaurants, activities, etc. that are perfectly in line with your wishes and values. Nouvelle-Aquitaine totals over 2,000 labelled players, committed to sustainable, responsible tourism, waiting for you!
If you wish to find out more, then check out our selection of main labels related to sustainable tourism in Nouvelle-Aquitaine (add link).
3. Travelling "greener"
Whether you're travelling to Nouvelle-Aquitaine or weaving your way across our region, alternatives to the most CO2-intensive modes of transport (plane, private car, etc.) exist:
- Train: a regional network covering some 3,600 kilometres,
- Bike: 4,200 kilometres of cycle paths,
- Walking: 51,000 kilometres of waymarked trails
- as well as car-sharing...you'll be spoilt for choice!
Check out our "Biking and Hiking" articles
4. Going for "locally-made" gastronomy
When it's time for a delicious meal with the family or friends, reasoned, fair-trade and minimally-packaged Nouvelle-Aquitaine specialities, prepared with local produce, are the best way to indulge whilst promoting local know-how and doing your bit for the environment. Around 295 Nouvelle-Aquitaine products bear a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), a Red Label, a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and/or a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG): definitely something to satisfy all your desires!
So, are you more of a Marennes Oléron oyster lover, an Ossau-Iraty fan or a "Le Creusois" cake nibbler?
5. Heading off the beaten track
A host of opportunities for unexpected experiences and one-of-a-kind getaways await you in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Just what you need to quench your thirst for adventure, far from traditional itineraries, with total peace of mind, season-in, season-out. To discover the region's most iconic sites, why don't you plan your visits at different times? As dawn breaks and the sun rises, or during a wonderful autumn day, Nouvelle-Aquitaine's landscapes take on an array of new colours, ensuring you'll have magical moments and an intimate bond with nature.
6. Respecting the environment to better protect it
Even though the landscapes and biodiversity of our region are treasures made for discovering and sharing, they are also fragile resources that need to be preserved. Acting in an eco-friendly manner is a must and is easy to do, whether you're at home or on holidays: sorting your waste (and producing as little as possible), paying attention to how much water and energy you use, reducing noise pollution to a minimum and staying on waymarked trails to better protect wild fauna and flora… A host of attitudes that make all the difference!
7. Meeting and discussing with the locals
Travelling in a sustainable way also means sharing with the region's inhabitants and learning about their culture and traditions. There are opportunities galore to meet the locals: listening to an artisan from La Creuse revealing the secrets of how he makes wool yarn, sharing incredible experiences with local tour guides who can't wait to help you discover their region, joining in local festivities… Go on, give it a go!
8. Shopping in local stores
Tourism is vital for the development of lots of small local shops and independent producers, who make a host of regional markets charming and delicious. Don't forget them when you fill up on everyday essentials and on souvenirs and treats to give as gifts (or to gift yourself)!
9. Offsetting all or some of the footprint from your journey
A great way to travel in an eco-friendly manner is to calculate and offset the carbon footprint you couldn't avoid during your break. Some NGOs like the GoodPlanet Foundation help you do this by letting you calculate, reduce and offset in just a few clicks!
10. Sharing your experience and making other travellers aware
Once your trip's over, remember you still have a role to play in making your family, friends and social media contacts aware: talk about your experience and make those around you aware of doing their bit to preserve the natural and cultural treasures that you discovered. Now, it's their turn to start using these tips and to travel in a sustainable, responsible way across Nouvelle-Aquitaine!