The two Spanish islands that can change the world for ‘The New York Times’

Every year New York Times publishes a list of the best destinations to visit around the world. Appearing in this ranking has a particular value due to the prestige that gives you the fact of being chosen by this American newspaper, but this year being included in it is even more relevant, because to prepare the list they have not only taken into account the beauty of the place, but they bet on enclaves that strive to combat climate change, preserve natural space, native flora and fauna and regional culture.

It’s obvious that excess tourism has caused overcrowding in some places which has been accompanied by contamination, destruction of natural environments and even loss of quality of life for the inhabitants of the area. For it New York Times has joined the green wave necessary to save the planet and offers destinations that are an example to face the future with sustainable tourism. “These are places around the world where travelers can be part of the solution”says the newspaper.

The ranking is led by Chioggia, a small Italian town of 46,000 inhabitants very close to Venice. Like her, she has navigable canals, as well as interesting historical buildings and beaches. In fact, it is known as little venice and attracts a good number of tourists, mainly French and German, unloading a bit on the crowded neighboring town.

View of the Italian city of Chioggia, the best destination for 2022 according to ‘The New York Times’. Photo: Freepik

Second, they chose the Chimanimani National Reserve, Mozambique, and third, to neighborhood of Queens, New York. And among the 49 other destinations there are two Spaniards, Curiously, two islands bathed by the Atlantic Ocean but very far from each other: Cíes, in Galicia, and El Hierro, in the Canary Islands.

El Hierro, leader in renewable energies

El Hierro, in 23rd place in the standings, is a small island in the Canary Islands, and from it New York Times calls himself “a small leader in renewable energies”. The 2014 construction of Gorona del Viento stands out, a power station that uses a system of reservoirs and wind to provide electricity to the island. Recently, this factory has reached supply the 11,000 inhabitants of the island with 100% renewable energy for 25 consecutive days.

The hydro-wind power plant of Gorona del Viento, in El Hierro.

In addition, the newspaper points out that the island was able maintain its cultural identity by safeguarding the whistle of El Hierro, one of the last whistled languages ​​in the world. “When the elders of the island noticed that the whistle of El Hierro was going out, the cultural association of El Hierro began to offer free lessons after school, at the weekend markets and to the island’s shepherds (who traditionally communicate by whistle),” he explains.

The Cíes Islands, paradise of biodiversity

And in position 47 are the Cíes Islands, a natural paradise located in front of the Vigo estuary. “In this lush archipelago, keeping overtourism at a distance is part of the charm,” he says. New York Timeswhich highlights the fact that, even before the pandemic, the islands limited the maximum number of daily visitors (1,800 in high season) “to protect their environment and guard against excessive tourism”.

Beach of the Cíes Islands, in Pontevedra.

This verdant archipelago, which is part of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia (together with the islands of Ons, Sálvora and Cortegada), is, for this newspaper, “A Vision of Protected Biodiversity: thriving nature reserves, abundant marine life and robust colonies of seabirds. Strict conservation efforts include restrictions against cars, hotels and noise, and they ensure visitors can explore long, curving beaches, snorkel in crystal clear waters, and hike hiking trails that wind their way to scenic lighthouses only in designated areas. The fun continues into the night: the inky starry sky has earned a Starlight designation for limited light pollution.”

The most famous beach of the Cíes Islands, Rhodes Beachhas already received the title of The best beach in the world by the British newspaper Guardian.

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