Travel With Respect for the Environment

Environmental consciousness is the new way to travel and will not stop you from enjoying your experiences while on holiday. On the contrary, it will give you a sense of meaning and purpose.

If you reached Crete by plane, you did not opt for the most environmentally friendly transportation. But you rarely find a way around it. Even “the most efficient cruise ships emit 3 to 4 times more carbon dioxide per passenger-mile than a jet,” according to Bryan Comer, a researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation, cited by The New York Times.

So, environmental consciousness does not apply to transportation unless you travel by sailboat, using only the power of the wind and sea currents to reach the island.

However, there are other ways to show your environmental support once you are on Crete.

Book an Environmentally Friendly Hotel

The Syntopia is an eco-friendly hotel focusing on sustainability in everything from decor to the food we serve, despite offering our services in an all-inclusive regime. We managed to remain sustainable without compromising on luxury and atmosphere.

Our guests appreciate the subtle sophistication of our rooms and public areas as much as they enjoy knowing that they lay on all-organic bed linens, eat food sourced locally, and give back to the local community.

In addition to this information, here are other things you may want to know about The Syntopia. The hotel has ISO 14001:2015, ISO 9000:2015, and ISO 22000:2018 certifications which offer you peace of mind knowing that we always strive to deliver the best service and products while caring for the environment, our suppliers, and your health and safety.

Rent a Bike to Explore Crete

There are many companies offering bicycle rentals close to The Syntopia. Therefore, cycling is one of the best travel methods to reach nearby attractions or discover the Cretan countryside while respecting the environment.

The closest bike rental facility close to The Syntopia is Olympic Bike (Nikeas 48, Rethymno) – you will reach it in about 15-20 minutes on foot, depending on your pace.

If you can carpool with someone, here are other bike rental facilities:

  • Rethymno Bike Rent (Ari Velouchioti 40, Rethymno) – about an hour on foot from The Syntopia and only 10 minutes by car;
  • Crete Bikes (Asteri Village, Rethymno) – more than one hour on foot and only 11 minutes by car;
  • eBikes Rethymno (Panepistimiou 1, Rethymno) – 1 hour and 6 minutes on foot, 12 minutes by car;
  • Best Ride (Sofokli Venizelou 4, Rethymno) – about 1 hour and 20 minutes on foot, less than 15 minutes by car.

Eat Locally Sourced Food and Produce

The Syntopia offers locally sourced food, but outside our doors, you can still stick to this practice and eat in local tavernas.

Eat out at a local taverna: fish tavernas serve the “catch of the day” option, which comes, naturally, from the Cretan Sea. It will be more expensive than other dishes on the menu but tastier, and you will give back to the taverna and the fisher who went to sea to catch the fish.

Ask what type of greens are in season: order horta. Horta is a simple dish with a taste reminding of spinach: boiled or steamed and seasoned with salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Since it is a Cretan staple, you will enjoy eating like a local.

Look out for seasonal fruit grown on Crete: bananas, avocado, watermelon, peaches, grapes, etc. Ask which Cretan region they come from, and you will appreciate a taste free of pesticides while supporting the Cretan farmers.

Buy products from local bakeries: Cretan bread, seasonal cookies, pies, and pastries. These show the talent and artistry of the local bakers while giving you another authentic taste of the island.

What Else Can You Do to Respect the Environment?
Things like “do not litter” and “leave only footprints” are common sense. But here are other ideas:

  • When you are at the hotel, use the towels as often as possible – do not ask for fresh towels every day;
  • Take quick showers: soap first, then use the water only to rinse;
  • Try to make it without using the air-conditioning unit in your room: Cretan nights are bearably warm and during the day, take a splash in the pool to cool off;
  • Only consume what you need: despite offering food in a buffet style, we recommend that you do not fill your plate with more than you can eat. We will have to discard the food you do not consume, which will be a waste.

These, of course, are also just common-sense guidelines. You will find other ways to travel with respect for the environment, including how you pack your luggage, your booking process, and much more.

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