Monaco has long been a European leader when it comes to protecting and promoting its natural assets. Natasha Dragun discovers the top 10 ways to see this glam city-state while ensuring you contribute to the principality’s green future.
1. See the sights on an e-bike
Forget pedalling – the best way to explore Monaco is on an e-bike. The city has an extensive sharing network, with 10 stations to pick up and drop off your chariot. Or, book a 3.5-hour e-bike excursion with Monaco Bike Tours, taking you from Prince Albert’s Palace to the superyacht marina.
2. Go on a sustainability drive
In a bid to reduce pollution, Monaco’s car-sharing system includes tiny tandem-seat electric Renault Mobees. There are 25 across town, with availability and location shown on a nifty app. As an added bonus, Mobee parking and recharging is free.
3. Get back to nature
It’s easy to feel the grass between your toes; more than 20 per cent of the principality is parkland, including the Princess Grace Rose Gardens and the Exotic Garden of Monaco. In fact, the city’s green space has grown from 50,000 square metres to 270,000 square metres over the last 60 years.
4. Enjoy flower power
The city’s booming organic rooftop garden scene comes courtesy of Terre de Monaco, one of the largest private city farms in the world. Visitors can book the group’s edible flower and herb tastings to learn about sustainable agriculture.
5. Watch (fuel-free) motor racing
Held on a shortened version of Monaco’s Formula 1 Grand Prix track, the Formula E Grand Prix (11 May 2019) runs entirely on electricity, demonstrating the incredible potential of sustainable mobility to help create a cleaner, better planet.
6. Check in to a green hotel
Look into the environmental efforts of your accommodation; many of Monaco’s luxury lodgings unite sustainability and style. Among trendsetters are the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Monte-Carlo Beach Relais, both of which have Green Globe certification for initiatives to improve biodiversity and reduce CO2.
7. Dive into a marine reserve
Come flipper-to-fin with gorgonia, grouper and diadema sea urchins when you snorkel or scuba in the city-state’s protected marine reserves, Larvotto and Spelugues, covered by active biodiversity preservation laws.
8. Adopt a fish
Oceanographic Institute – headed up for 30 years by French conservationist Jacques Cousteau – the Oceanographic Museum’s adopt-a-fish initiative means you can contribute to the daily needs of the aquarium’s sea creatures while helping to preserve global marine environments.
9. Take a hike
Protected by a “tree code” – classifying fauna according to age, height and species rarity – plants on the Heritage Trees Trail offer fascinating insights into the city-state’s green history. The trail currently covers more than 1,000 trees in the east of the principality, with expansion plans currently underway.
10. Indulge in an organic Michelin meal
There are plenty of stars floating around dining rooms in Monaco, but none quite as impressive as that awarded to Elsa: the world’s only 100 per cent organic, Ecocert-certified Michelin restaurant. Everything on your plate is sourced within a 150-kilometre radius of where you sit.