It’s not exactly an under-the-radar tourism destination, nor is it somewhere you haven’t read about a million times before – particularly within the pages of this magazine.

But in Spain, as with every destination and every travel experience, there’s always a new story to uncover, a new thread to unravel, and a new side of the place to immerse yourself in. And for this quintessential European destination, usually associated with fiery sunshine, all-night parties and Brits Abroad, it’s sustainability.

In an attempt to make its visitors better informed about what it can offer tourists beyond food and drink, city breaks and beachside party destinations, Spain is taking the time to higlight its glorious undicscovered corners, and how travelling here can do good things for your carbon footprint (even when you factor in a few jugs of sangria for good measure). Take, for example, the sustainable tourism tax, brought in by the government of the Balearic Islands (which include Mallorca and Ibiza) in 2016. In the six years since – and keeping in mind the steep decline in visitors over the two years of the pandemic – the money raised has funded the completion of a whopping 16 cultural and conservation projects this year alone.

A hiker tackles the Picos de Europa mountain range in the Asturias region
Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote

The developments range from the high-art, such as the new headquarters for the Balearic Islands’ Symphonic Orchestra in Palma, to the fast-paced, like Formentera’s new multi-disciplinary watersports centre that aims to promote sustainable travel and encourage off-season visitors. And that’s just the beginning – there are currently 108 projects ongoing across the four islands, with a budget of €52m. Other additions set to finish this year include new hiking trails that work in harmony with the local environment, and three new bird sanctuaries within the bountiful Nature Parks of S’Albufera, S’Albufera d’Es Grau, and Ses Salines.

It’s safe to say, you’ll be so busy engaging with the country’s real wild side, you might not even have time for any dance floors...

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