Are you a responsible traveler? We make it easy for you in Sitges
The term 'responsible traveler' may even sound boring and out of line with what most distinguishes Sitges, which is its atmosphere and its pulse. But the concept of 'responsible' doesn't imply immobility, quite the contrary: what it proposes is that everything you do should help even more people to enjoy it afterwards. How? By reducing any negative footprint during your trip, both environmentally, culturally, socially and economically.
To raise awareness, first you have to set an example. And in Sitges we do it under the endorsement of the 'Biosphere Destination' certification that recognizes those municipalities whose governments and companies promote sustainable tourism initiatives. In fact, Sitges was the second town to achieve this honor, in 2016, following Barcelona. Attaining it places a seal on natural and cultural heritage conservation policies, as well as the commitment to local commerce and the preservation of the town's own identity and traditions, among others. And the most important thing: 32 companies and tourism assets -for example our beaches, the Garraf Park or the Port d'Aiguadolç Marina- subscribe to this 'Biosphere' commitment. The result of this shared commitment is that Sitges has just been upgraded and is now a 'Biosphere Gold' destination.
Well alright, having outlined the context, we are going to try to define a responsible traveler's manifesto in Sitges. It's very simple and has a common thread: keeping Sitges' heartbeat alive.
- Come to Sitges using public transport. This way you reduce your carbon footprint, the main driving force of climate change. Sitges is also a very well connected town and it's extremely easy to get there by train or bus.
- Move around on foot or by bike. Sitges makes it easy for you, because the distances are short and the views... well what can we! If you're into pedaling, our seafront promenade has a bike lane that allows you to go from one end (Fragata Beach) to the other (Terramar Beach). And you also have an urban bike lane that starts near the entrance to Sitges center by the highway, crosses the Oasis and runs along different streets until you reach the Passeig de la Ribera promenade.
- Enjoy our gastronomy with local products. Yes, what we call 'Km 0 products', grown in Sitges and surroundings and also organically grown. Enjoy seasonal products from our vegetable gardens and vineyards, including espigalls (green cabbage shoots), the golden delight that is Sitges Malvasia wine, or local dishes like Xató, a traditional winter salad.
- Fair trade and local trade. In Sitges we boast a wide and varied network of local stores, with a limited presence of international chains, and take note, open from Monday to Sunday all year round. Shopping in our town is a unique experience that, in addition, is an essential supporting factor to continue to maintain this unique personality. Another must-see is Sciències Can Girona, a farmhouse open to the public that offers local cultural experiences, ranging from purchasing Km 0 seasonal products to participating in activities in their vegetable gardens or learning about the rural world.
- Join in sustainable activities. Yes, if you want to go a step further in your responsible traveler mindset, we invite you to discover two proposals. One, the activities for all ages organized by the CEM, the Centre d'Estudis del Mar (Center for Marine Studies) whose mission is to promote the conservation and protection of the Garraf region's coastline and the marine world. Its agenda includes beach cleanups, scientific illustration workshops, underwater adventures... And two, the Miranda Foundation. Located in the Garraf Park, its function is the reintroduction of horses in their natural natural environment, and this year they have rescued and freed no less than 27 abandoned horses in the Park. Their function is essential for maintaining the coastal forests and they also offer activities like spending a day among free horses in the Park or movement coaching.
- Visit organizations and venues like the Sitges Fishermen's Association, one of the few artisanal fishing guilds in Catalonia, or the Sitges Malvasia Interpretation Center (CIM), which helps to keep Sitges' natural, social, cultural and gastronomic legacy alive. Beyond the quality of the products they offer, these entities are particularly interesting because all of the revenue they generate is reinvested in recovering traditional professions like fishing and the care of the elderly in the case of the CIM. We also invite you to get to know the companies that subscribe to the Biosphere commitment.
- Get to know our culture and traditions. You only have to browse the activities calendar and make your choice. Museums, exhibitions, guided tours, concerts, wine tastings, movies... everything for everyone. In addition, many of our festivals like the Sant Bartomeu Festa Major, Corpus Christi or the Barcelona - Sitges International Vintage Car Rally are protected and have been declared Festivals of National Interest.
- Respect and protect the environment. Whether you are by the sea or in the mountains, always collect your garbage. On the beach, try to use chemical-free sun creams and if you smoke, ask at our tourist offices for a biodegradable ashtray.
- Separate waste and minimize water consumption. In Sitges we like quick showers. If you are staying in a holiday home, ask your host about how the selective garbage collection system works and the collection schedules.
- Respect diversity: in Sitges we are colorful. Yes, Sitges is a very open town, committed to personal freedom, with an important international community that makes up 30% of its registered residents. A good example of this multiculturalism and colorfulness is, for example, Sitges Pride, a party where thousands of people participate, and which has a very interesting parallel cultural agenda.
Everyone is welcome in Sitges. And you first, of course;)