Eco Lodges

lodges, cabins and rural retreats.

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Eco-lodges:

eco lodge eco retreat eco cabin
 
So, what is an eco-lodge + what features should you look for in choosing one?
 
Eco-lodges are generally rural based centres that offer an educational and participatory experience that supports the local envirronment. They will not generally offer the same levels of comfort to be found in an urban hotel, although some we have found are pretty luxurious. Ideally they will:
  • Work with local community and support the local economy
  • Work towards conservation of local environment and wildlife
  • Offer activities that physical wellbeing and spritual enrichment -yoga to tai'chi.
  • Aid development of education and skills -workshops in conservation, environment, alternative technologies -spread the word.
The list below is organised by continent, but we start closer to home with the UK:


United Kingdom

Arle Lodge, Mull -http://www.arlelodge.co.uk
Self catering lodge accommodation on the Isle of Mull for couples and groups.

Ecocabin, Shropshire, UK -http://www.ecocabin.co.uk

Purpose-built self-catering holiday cabins in a secluded valley, constructed from locally sourced natural materials, with solar powered hot water and heating from wood pellet fuelled stoves. The entire ethos of the centre is based around ethical principles from encouraging visitors to arrive by bike to support of the local economy.=

Eco Retreats, Dyfi Valley, Powys - http://www.ecoretreats.co.uk
Individually designed Yurts or Tipis in a beautiful location on a 1,300 acre organic farm in the heart of the Welsh mountains. The retreat combines the luxury of a hotel with the excitement of living deep in the natural world, including the benefits of holistic therapy. It is located just seven miles from the Centre for Alternative Energy.

Fishing Hideaway, Cumbria -http://www.fishinghideaway.co.uk
Timber eco cabin set in 140 acres of picturesque privately owned ancient woodland sited in the middle of a 2 mile beat of the River Lyne.


Europe

France

Ensarnaut -http://www.ensarnaut.com
Ecolodges and gite at the foothills of the Pyrenees, 75km from Toulouse. Set in 65 acres with a herd of ponies in a semi wild situation, they offer two gites in renovated barn, restored using natural materials (raw clay, wood and terracotta).

Finland

Kakslautten -http://www.kakslauttanen.fi

A stunning hotel, igloo village and cabins complex in Lapland. Especially notable are their stunning glass igloos from which you can watch the Aurora Borealis -they say they use specially insulated glass. Snow restaurant, smoke saunas and wilderness exploration completes the experience.

 

Greece

Milia Cretan Settlement, Crete -http://www.milia.gr
Mountain retreat and community built on the side of a valley in the province of Kissamos. They follow a traditional lifestyle and farm using traditional methods. They offer thirteen simple guesthouses and a variety of ways to enjoy the local environment -from walking to local cookery and wine tasting sessions.

Ireland

Gyreum Ecolodge, County Sligo -http://www.gyreum.com
Finalist of the 2007 LAMA awards for best ecological building, this retreat and weekend workshop offers indoor tent capsules under a large domed roof with open fire -looking for all the world like a prehistoric UFO, an ideal spot for walking in the Bricklieve Mountains or exploring the local archaeology.

Hagal Healing Farm, West Cork -http://www.hagalhealingfarm.com

Nestled on the south slope of the Maughnaclea mountains, with breath-taking views over the Mealagh valley and Bantry Bay, in a traditional farmhouse, renovated using natural materials. They offer natural, relaxing therapies, with the aim of nourishing the 'self', and also offer training in Holistic Health Therapies.

Italy

Bella baita Bed and Breakfast -http://www.bellabaita.com
Mountain House -unique "off the beaten path", homestay accommodation, located between Briancon, France and Turin, Italy, offering a balance between complete independence and being a part of the family. Easy access to walking, trekking, cycling, rock climbing, wildflower, and wildlife spotting all in our tranquil setting. Spectacular panoramic views. Specialise in offering cookery courses in association with "TEM" (Ecologically Sustainable Mountain Tourism).

Norway

Ongajok mountain Farm http://www.ongajok.no

This exclusive farm is host to only one set of guests at a time, so you can be sure of exclusivity. It is located in the Lapland wilderness, but still only 25 km from Alta Airport -the last 4km must be traversed by 4WD or sleigh in winter. The traditional log cabins can accommodate up to 35 guests who will feast on outstanding local produce. Activities include snowmobile safari, outdoor heated tub and ice fishing.

Portugal

eco living portugalEco Living Portugal -http://www.ecolivingportugal.org

Supports and promotes sustainable living projects and courses in central Portugal -projects range from restoring an abandoned quinta for self-sufficiency using special irrigation systems and alternative technology to rebuilding earth-houses in Quinta Arco-Iris.

Pure Portugal -http://www.pureportugalholidays.com
A directory of unique holiday accommodation, largely in the unspoilt Beiras region of Central Portugal. The places on offer range from a vegetarian quinta set in an olive grove, to tipis in the Gois valley, to self-catering apartments in an historic watermill on the River Alvoço.

Spain

Retreat -http://www.retreat.es
Mountain retreat nestling amongst fig, palm, pomegranate and olive trees in Andalucia. It offers the opportunity to enjoy solitude or company, beautiful walks, contact with nature, relaxation by the pool, good food and daily group activities. Simple accommodation, where all the tasks are carried out by the guests.
 
Cortijada Los Gazquez, Andalucia -http://www.losgazquez.com/en
Creative Retreat / Eco-Guest House in the natural park of Sierra Maria-Los Velez in the mountains of Andalucia. As a guest house they are completely 'off-grid' making electricity from the sun and wind, harvesting rain water, recycling grey water, treating waste water with reed beds. They also offer artists residencies, creative courses and ecology holidays.
 

Turkey

Yuva -http://www.yuvaholidays.com
an eco-holiday retreat secluded deep in natural surroundings, in the mountains, right by the Aegean sea. Accommodation is in rustic traditional Anatolian style houses, built of natural materials such as cedar wood, stone, mud and straw. Bedding is of pure Turkish cotton. Hot water is supplied by Solar Energy.


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Featured books:
Green Travel: The World's Best Eco-Lodges & Earth-Friendly Hotels
Fodor's Travel Publications
Paperback - 29 April 2008
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

Green Places to Stay: Eco-lodges and Other Green Places to Stay
(Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay)
Paperback
by Richard Hammond
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars


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