Arbois in Montagnes du Jura - het Franse Juragebergte - enkele fraaie streetviews

De provincie Gerona is de eerste Spaanse provincie bij de passage van de grens met Frankrijk.

Booking.com heeft een aanbod van meer dan 1.300.000 accommodaties over de hele wereld.

Brussels Airlines en Club Med hebben samenwerkings overeenkomst twee jaar verlengd.

With around 50 percent of the city accounted for by green spaces, Vienna is one of the world’s greenest major capitals. The outskirts are defined by a belt of woodland, meadows, gardens and arable land.

But the heart of the city too is dotted with pockets of green, such as the elegant parks on the Ringstrasse boulevard, the Prater park, and the Baroque formal gardens of Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere. The Parks and Gardens department is responsible for 850 parks and the 100,000 trees that line the city’s avenues, as well as planting around 2.5 million flowers each year. Large parts of the Danube Island are in fact a large-scale biotope, while the Vienna Woods are a biosphere park where environmental protection and public access go hand in hand. And one of the last unspoilt wetlands in Europe – the Lobau, which forms part of the Donau-Auen National Park – also falls within the city limits.

When it comes to supplying the city with fresh drinking water, the Viennese take their cue from the Romans who redirected spring water from the hinterland to their camp at Vindobona. Since 1873 Vienna’s potable water has been supplied by 30 mountain springs. The water is carried to the capital from the Lower Austrian and Styrian Limestone Alps by two pipelines measuring 150 and 180 kilometers – and thanks to the natural difference in height not a single pump is required. The gradient is also used to generate electricity, making Viennese spring water a healthy and eco-friendly pleasure. There are also 700 drinking water fountains in Vienna where parched visitors can quench their thirst.

Healthy vegetables

In Vienna the great outdoors are valued and protected. Rare flora and fauna and natural habitats are cultivated and promoted all over the city. There is a special program to protect the 21 species of bat living in built up areas of the capital. And then there is the Tree Protection Act (Wiener Baumschutzgesetz), which stipulates that a new tree must be planted for each one felled. The City of Vienna is also one of Austria’s largest organic farmers. It cultivates 1,000 hectares of organic farmland (in addition to its non-organic crops) that each year produce 2,300 metric tons of vegetables and 1,000 metric tons of grain.

Overall, some 18 percent of Vienna’s arable land is accounted for by organic crops. Fruits and vegetables from Vienna’s organic farmers are available at the city’s many markets such as the Naschmarkt in the sixth district and the Karmelitermarkt in the second district. There is also a large organic farmers’ market every two weeks in the Freyung district in the heart of the old town. Special corners of the Karmelitermarkt and the Kutschkermarkt (18th district) are reserved for Slow Food Vienna, where selected products such as organic vegetables, Alpine salmon, rustic bread, cheese and marmalade go on sale each Saturday. The Slow Food movement works to promote local food traditions and quality, fresh, and fair produce.

Organic trends are already part and parcel of the city’s wine industry. Vienna is also the only major capital with a significant winegrowing industry within the city limits. In 2011 Vienna’s vintners produce 2.4 million liters of wine. About 10 percent of the capital’s 700 hectares under vines is cultivated organically, or in the process of switching over to organic production methods. The Gemischter Satz was admitted to the Slow Food Foundation’s Ark of Taste and declared a Presidio product by the organization. This uniquely Viennese variety is a blend of up to 20 different varieties of grape, but unlike a cuvee, they are planted, pressed and fermented together. One of the city’s districts even produces its own organic and fair-trade coffee.

Fair trade

A number of the capital’s fashion boutiques answer increasing calls for environmentally and socially responsible shopping, with Göttin des Glücks at the vanguard of this new movement. This Viennese fashion label has been flying the fair-trade flag for years, and only uses certified organic cotton in its designs. Bijou concept store ebenBERG also carries eco-friendly labels, while Buntwäsche stocks a full range of toxin-free textiles. Green Ground is the place for organic fabrics, many of which are sourced from fair trade suppliers. At Guter Stoff customers can have custom designs printed onto organic fair trade t-shirts. Anukoo refuses to stock anything but organic cottonwear with an internationally recognized quality seal.

The shelves at Saint Charles Cosmothecary in Gumpendorfer Strasse are lined with natural skincare and hair products. Here, shoppers can choose between well-known international products and the Saint Charles house brand. Hairdresser “Less is more” also produces its very own care products. Just a little further on towards town, stattGarten in the fourth district offers a broad range of lotions, scents and accessories that unite an eye for the latest fashions with a commitment to sustainable lifestyle choices. The products on sale at the StoBa soap emporium are absolutely free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. These fabulously aromatic 100% biodegradable soaps are on sale in StoBa’s third district shop.

Anyone on the lookout for environmentally-friendly hotels and restaurants in Vienna should keep their eyes open for the “Umweltzeichen Tourismus” logo. This seal is awarded to accommodations and tourism operations that are energy efficient, cut waste, source produce responsibly and use eco-friendly cleaning products. Many of the capital’s restaurants and other eateries cater to organic tastes, and a pioneering new project also shows that green approaches can also apply to urban accommodations. The Boutique Hotel Stadthalle generates as much energy as it consumes. The upgraded three-star hotel in the 15th district became Vienna’s first urban hotel with a zero-energy balance when it opened in 2009. The hotel's electricity and warm water are supplied by groundwater pumps, a photovoltaic array, and solar panels.

Long known by the local population, Vienna’s status as a byword for quality of life has now been confirmed by an international study. In 2011 Vienna was named the world’s most livable city for the third time in a row by Mercer. Each year the international consultants conduct a quality-of-life survey in 221 major towns and cities. Criteria include the political, social and economic climate, medical services, education, and infrastructure including public transportation, power and water utilities. Leisure facilities such as restaurants, theaters, cinemas and sports facilities, as well as the availability of consumer goods ranging from food to automobiles, and environmental factors including green space and air quality were also taken into consideration.

Addresses

Anukoo Fair Fashion, Gumpendorfer Strasse 28, 1060 Vienna, www.anukoo.com

Biobauernmarkt, Freyung, 1010 Vienna, www.biobauernmarkt-freyung.at

Buntwäsche, Lindengasse 31-33, 1070 Vienna, www.buntwaesche.at

ebenBERG, Neubaugasse 4, 1070 Vienna, www.ebenberg.at

Göttin des Glücks, Operngasse 32, 1040 Vienna, www.goettindesgluecks.at

Green Ground, Servitengasse 11, 1090 Vienna, www.greenground.at

Guter Stoff, Glockengasse 8 a, 1020 Vienna, www.guterstoff.com

Hotel Stadthalle, Hackengasse 20, 1150 Vienna, www.hotelstadthalle.at

Karmelitermarkt, Im Werd, Krummbaumgasse, Leopoldsgasse, Haidgasse, 1020 Vienna

Kutschkermarkt, Kutschkergasse, Währinger Strasse, Schulgasse, 1180 Vienna

Less is more, Gumpendorfer Strasse 20, 1060 Vienna, www.lessismore.at

Naschmarkt, Rechte Wienzeile, Linke Wienzeile, Kettenbrückengasse, 1060 Vienna

Saint Charles Cosmothecary, Gumpendorfer Strasse 33, 1060 Vienna, www.saint.info

stattGarten, Kettenbrückengasse 14, 1040 Vienna, www.stattgarten.at

StoBa Seifenmanufaktur, Hintzerstrasse 6, 1030 Vienna, www.stobaseife.at

Slow Food Wien, www.slowfood-wien.at

Last minute hotel offer in Vienna - Wien - Wenen
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