France Verte: Huts, Birdspotting and Laundry

Ecotourism and green living in France is constantly evolving – our regular column brings you the latest tourism news and developments. In this article, we cover car-free rides, zero-waste picnics, an idyllic holiday village, and more.

Without gasoline in the Dordogne

Drive through the French countryside, spot pretty villages and marvel at the unfolding landscapes is the vacation dream of many Francophiles. And yet, as ecological imperatives impose themselves, tourist organizations and local authorities are adopting more environmentally friendly travel alternatives while keeping the beauties of France perfectly accessible.

Getting around by bike, bus, train, kayak or on horseback in the Dordogne © Shutterstock

Such innovation is underway in the Dordogne, where the department wants to develop tourism on foot, by bike, by bus, by train, by kayak or on horseback – especially without a car. The Dordogne Departmental Council and the SNCF rail network have just signed a five-year partnership to offer car-free travel in Périgord, promising visitors the possibility of visiting its most touristic sites (such as Saint-Jean-de-Côle , in photo ) simply by getting on a train and/or riding a bike – cyclists will be able to take their bikes on board the local TER for free. The Bordeaux-Brive link can now run at 110 km/h instead of 40 km/h, while the TER Limousin-Périgord also support the project.

21 ideas for the Dordogne without oil:

Neutral needs

From January 1, 2023, advertisements will no longer be able to boast of the “carbon neutrality” of a product if they are not able to produce data on the carbon footprint and possible offsetting measures. A new law will require a “balance sheet of greenhouse gas emissions of the product or service concerned covering its entire life cycle”.

Virtuous bike

In Lyon, a new app turns green trips into discount vouchers. The Vazy application rewards users who travel by bicycle, on foot or by scooter, with each kilometer traveled being converted into points that can be used at local merchants, of which there are already 107.

Laundry is over

Throughout France, hotels are reassessing their ecological approach. The Hotel Almanarre Plage in Hyères presents itself as environmentally friendly: it offers zero waste picnics to guests and even uses natural, local products laundry (detergent) for laundry. As well as being delicious, the breakfast is, of course, locally sourced and organic.

A true “back to nature” escape © Domaine Natureza

cabin fever

Fancy a true “back to nature” getaway in the north of France? Domaine Natureza is located in RœuxRœux, in the Pays d’Artois of Pas-de-Calais, and offers luxury chalet accommodation in a “disconnected” environment of lakes and forests. All this, still within easy reach of Louvre Lens and the region’s key sites of the Great War.

Sit on the terrace and listen to the birdsong in the morning

watch the bird

The motto “location, location, location” should be the banner of Residence Le Village des Oiseaux, an idyllic holiday village designed with an innovative and eco-responsible approach on the edge of a natural and protected area (Natura 2000 area).

Located in Motz, in Savoie (in Rhône-Alpes), this unique site has two types of outside accommodation available – ‘Belvedere’ and ‘Observatory’, some with balconies perfect for bird watching or just enjoying the morning and evening birdsong.

Children can swim in the supervised lake or slide down the zip line, while the whole family can enjoy hiking and cycling on nature trails or try canoeing on the nearby river.

Half an hour away is Domaine Monin, an AOC Bugey label – one of the oldest and smallest wine estates in all of France. It is directed by Charles Varin-Bernier, not only a winemaker but also master cheese maker!

Go down the Seine and admire the landscapes from the river © Vedettes du Pont-Neuf

Speed ​​regulator

The conversion of Parisian cruise ships to electric continues apace, with the tourist barge Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf embarking on a gradual modification of its fleet. Rocca II, his oldest boat, built in 1963, will see its diesel engines replaced by two 55 kW electric motors, in time for the summer season. Private cruise line Green River Cruises plans to go fully electric in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Find hosts in lodges and bed and breakfasts committed to the ecological approach via the We Go Greenr site © We Go Greenr

Change for the Better: Portals to the Future

If you want to adopt a greener approach when visiting France, online booking platforms are multiplying and bringing together the best ecological accommodation offers. Here are four to get you started…

We go green

It is not only green holidays, but also “authentic” experiences that this site highlights, by choosing lodges and bed and breakfasts committed to ecological change, as well as an overview of hotels and lodges to message.

green travel

Based on a double commitment to sustainable and fair tourism, this site takes half the commission of the usual booking platforms, with the aim of helping both the traveler and the host.


Portal launched in 2018, Vaovert sets up its own rigorous internal index to evaluate the references of each of the hosting offers on its site. The search is simple, by theme or by location.


Loganto’s idea is to offer vacationers real, local and human ideas of escape that allow them to slow down and relax. Each reservation is accompanied by a “Loganto Horizons” booklet of must-see visits nearby.

Excerpt from France Today magazine

Main photo credit: The Village des Oiseaux is the ideal place to relax.

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