- 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
- 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:
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
Dyfi Valley, Powys - http://www.ecoretreats.co.uk
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
baita Bed and Breakfast
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).
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.
Eco 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.
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.
- Retreat -http://www.retreat.es
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
- 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
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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