Visiteurope.com signed a partnership with TouringNature.com to enable you to freely discover the multifaceted cultural and natural aspects of Europe.
The 5 Ecotourism Pan-European Routes are the Top 5 itineraries crossing Europe. Discover the iconic heritage sights in the European regions along those routes and the must-see natural sites -biosphere reserves of UNESCO (MAB), national parks (NP), regional parks (RP).
The Atlantic Pan-European Route will give North and South Americans the opportunity to immerse themselves into their history, experiencing their antecedent land and culture. Here is the best way to explore in a few times the diversity of European ways of life: the typical Anglo Saxon life of the Irish, the Scottish, the Welsh and the English, a zest for life and gastronomy in Sweet-France, and late nights and lively streets in Southern Europe villages, Spanish and Portuguese.
The Central Pan-European Route crosses countries where historical events are still deeply rooted in people's mind. Now, it's time to re-discover those countries with their incredible natural and cultural heritage: from the Carpathian Mountains, the Great Plain in Hungary to Danube River that flows into Black Sea, landscapes change quite fast.
The Mediterranean Pan-European Route (in pink) is a real patchwork of colours with azure-blue and blue waters, marine coasts and creeks, silky beaches, markets in the South… Explore the vibrant mix of warm and merry atmosphere in the lively streets where festivals and traditional fetes take place and sweet spices scents. For centuries, Mediterranean Europe has attracted Greek and Roman civilizations birthplace and mythology lovers.
The Nordic Pan-European Route will enthral nature defenders and lovers, whatever their level of sensibility or commitment in such a great cause. These vast spaces allow you to explore a great number of lakes -Finland, fjords -Norway, grand forests -Sweden. They are also crossed by the most beautiful railroad circuits or ferries on earth. Then, you could come back to the heart of Europe passing through Baltic Countries, cosmopolitan and lively, which are full of history, architecture, culture and nightlife.
The Western Pan-European Route crosses the Northern Great Plains with vast forests to bring you then to the Czech mountain ranges with their lively folklore, guide you along the Danube River with its cultural treasures, make you discover the Alps with the Mont Blanc, make you cross the Massif Central till the Pyrenees and lastly make you go down to the heart of Spain.
Every European country has protected areas to protect and conserve, such as national parks and reserves, wetlands, and bird sanctuaries.
The guides and interpretive centers at nature centers can really enhance your visit. Get acquainted with the national parks of Europe for destination ideas. The Bird Life International Partnership links to country-specific sites with extensive information on endangered species, habitats, and conservation efforts.
As ecotourism increases in popularity, destinations are seeking ways to encourage responsible travel that promotes their natural areas and preserves local ways of life.
The International Ecotourism Society defines this sustainable travel as "tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future."
Spain, Portugal and Italy are ahead of the curve in offering agritourism experiences, where visitors stay in rural homes, farms, wine estates and ranches, dining on locally grown foods, horseback riding in the countryside, walking and hiking – and in some even learning to cook with local products or lending a hand in harvesting.
Whether a tourist is taking part in the work of a farm or simply staying there as a base for touring local sights, by choosing the agritourism option they are supporting a way of life and a local community. And best of all, by doing the right thing, they are also enriching their own travel experience. Farm vacations are especially rewarding for families travelling with children, offering outdoor activities, interaction with animals and often contact with local children.
Wildlife and nature experiences are no longer limited to big game safaris, either. Natural areas in Europe are becoming more popular as tourists discover the joys of hiking in the Dolomites, Pyrennes or Portugal’s Serra da’Estrela. Visitors find that the sight of a wild chamois while hiking on the slopes of Italy’s Gran Paradisio is every bit as exciting as the thrill of a lion seen from a jeep in the savannah.
Finland’s northerly location and vast wilderness shelter forest owls, woodpeckers, and grouse in forested areas, while the lakes host magnificent whooper swans (the national bird), black-throated divers, red-necked grebes and little gulls.