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Our responsible holidays

green holidays and responsible holidays from Inntravel

The good news is that taking ‘travelling responsibly’ seriously doesn’t mean you have to compromise the quality or enjoyment of your precious time away, as the fantastic holidays below prove.

Take the train

Rail travel is by far the most environmentally friendly way of reaching your destination. 90% less CO2 per passenger is emitted than during the equivalent journey by air, and by taking the train you also leave a fainter individual carbon footprint than if you were to drive. All this means that you can sit back and appreciate the scenery, knowing that you have not only avoided the stress of the airport or navigating on foreign roads, but you’ve also gone a long way to minimising the environmental impact of your holiday.

All of the following holidays are accessible by rail in a day from London St Pancras:

 

France: Walking Holidays Châteaux & Vineyards
Alps to the Mediterranean Scents & Flavours of Provence
Hill-Top Villages of the Luberon Provence Long Trail
Colours of Provence To the Pont du Gard
Beneath Mont Lozère Mountains of the Auvergne
Villages of the Dordogne Paths to Rocamadour
Long Trail to Rocamadour Land of the Crusades
Landscapes of the Tarn Long Tarn Trail
Castles, Vines & Forests of Alsace Pyrenees to the Atlantic
Along the Cote d'Azur Collioure to Cadaquès
Granite Coast of Brittany  
   
France: Cycling Holidays Bordeaux & St Emilion
Brittany's Land's End Châteaux of the Loire
The Land of Kings Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
Impressions of the Camargue Canal du Midi
Dordogne Valley The Timeless Tarn
Treasures of Southern Burgundy  
   
France: Short Breaks Alps to the Riviera Walk
Loire Highlights Cycle Best of Roman Provence Walk
   
Spain: Walking Holidays From the Pyrenees to the Sea
Foothills of the Pyrenees Flavours of Catalonia
Along the Catalan Coast Catalan Coast with 5* option
   
Spain: Cycling Holidays Catalan Coast & Villages
Freewheeling in Catalonia  
   
Spain: Family Holidays Coast of Catalonia Walk
   
Spain: Short Breaks A Taste of the Catalan Coast
   
Holland: Cycling Holidays Dutch Discovery
A Taste of Holland cycle  
   
Switzerland: Walking Holidays Around the Vaudoise Alps
Alpine Experience Walking & Flowers in Engadine
The High Route Lake Lucerne
The Bernese Oberland Lake Oeschinensee & Beyond
Victoria Alpine Park From the Eiger to the Matterhorn
Villages of the Engadine  
   
Switzerland: Short Breaks Zermatt & the Mighty Matterhorn
In the Shadow of the Eiger The Swiss Alps
   
Switzerland: Family Holidays Swiss Mountain Trails
   
Switzerland: Journeys Across the Roof of Europe
Glacier Express in Winter  
   
Switzerland: Snow Holidays Hotel Victoria, Kandersteg
Hotel Meisser, Guarda Hotel Bella Tola, St-Luc
Hotel Castle, Blitzingen  
   
Germany: Walking Holidays Beneath the Zugspitze
Where Eagles Soar A Walk in the Black Forest
Meanders of the Moselle Valley The Harz Mountains
   
Germany: Cycling Holidays Bavarian Castles & Villages
   


Other ‘responsible’ holidays

Many other of our holidays are ‘responsible’ in other ways:

These are without doubt the most sustainable holidays that we offer, as they explore remote rural communities in need of new income streams to stop the migration of workers. The village guesthouses in which you stay are owned and run by the community, and you are accompanied by local guides as you walk and/or explore. Thus, the villages benefit directly from your visit, and you in turn gain privileged insights into village life and local traditions by staying in the heart of the community.

Your luggage is transported between the hotels along the walking route using the highly efficient Swiss public transport system. If you take the train too (which is an option for all four holidays), you will thereby remove the need for car journeys completely on your holiday.

You spend two nights of the holiday at the Ferme Auberge le Merlet, a charming 16th-century working farm owned and run by Philippe and Catherine Galzin. So sympathetic was the conversion of the farm to the local culture and environment that the guesthouse has won a number of awards, including one from WWF. The various agricultural enterprises around the guesthouse (bee-keeping, orchard, herb garden) mean that home-grown produce features on the menu all year round, along with other local ingredients such as mushrooms, sausages, and strawberries. They have a flock of local sheep that live outside all summer but for the rest of the year they are called home to the bergerie every evening.

On this holiday you have the pleasure of staying at the Auberge de Reillanne, run by Monique Balmand. A keen walker and traveller, she has been particularly touched by the plight of the rural poor in Nepal. She visits the country each winter, working to build a local school and raise money to bring electricity into the villages. The wonderful photographs which line the walls of the Auberge have been taken by Monique during her travels. Many of these have been made into postcards, and a book of her photos will be published soon. The proceeds from these – and the jewellery made by Nepalese villagers which she sells – all go back to Nepal.

Your base for this holiday, the Posada del Valle, is located in its own 18-acre organic farm which is managed so as to maintain and increase the diversity of flora and fauna and preserve traditional farming practices. Part of the farm is devoted to apple orchards planted with traditional Asturian varieties (the apples are sold to local cider producers), while the rest is dedicated to traditional hay meadows and wild meadows in which grazing is carefully controlled so as to encourage the appearance of a wide range of wild flowers. The farm owns a flock of Xalda sheep, an indigenous Asturian breed that nearly became extinct in the 1980s. To ensure a mixed grazing system, in keeping with the principles of organic farming, there are also a couple of Asturcon ponies (another indigenous breed) on the farm. There are free-range hens roaming the meadows, including an Asturian breed known as Pita Pinta.

In the hotel itself, energy consumption is reduced through the use of energy-saving light bulbs, lighting systems operated by a timer or sensor, and individual temperature controls in each bedroom. Waste is reduced through the recycling of paper, glass and plastic, and the avoidance of disposable items or items with excessive packaging. As for water consumption, every bathroom has a low-flushing toilet, and the water flow on showers and hand basins is limited. To support the local community, the restaurant uses local produce whenever possible, and guests are given a list of establishments which sell local crafts and foodstuffs.

Your first hotel on this walk is the Tamahuche in Vallehermoso, a tastefully restored manor house that harnesses the plentiful sun in the Canary Islands by using solar panels to provide most of its energy. They also recycle ‘grey’ water (eg water used for baths or washing clothes), by cleaning it and then using it to water the garden.

Hosts David and Emma Illsley care deeply about the long-term sustainability of the Alpujarras region and a few days at the delightful Casa las Chimeneas will give you a real insight into some of the ongoing projects on their organic farm. From the start they have used traditional farming methods, learning from the locals, working in tune with nature and the seasons, and eschewing herbicides and pesticides. The result is a variety of delicious organic produce that is used by the hotel kitchen, and an abundance of wild flowers, which in turn allow insects and birdlife to flourish.