Low-impact holidays

 

Travel that is local and ethical

Our holidays are all about taking the time to appreciate your surroundings. The views. The colours. The birdsong. The rustling of leaves in the breeze or the crunch of snow underfoot. The wildlife. Local flavours. The people you encounter.

Whichever type of holiday you choose – we offer self-guided walking, cycling, journeys by rail, car or boat as well as holidays in the snow – you will have the opportunity to experience your destination 'up close'. The vast majority of our breaks explore little-known regions that are far away from the beaten track, but even in Europe's more popular corners we have sought out the most characterful accommodation and can recommend authentic places to visit and to dine at – for an unforgettable holiday experience that directly benefits the local community.
 
Travellers needed
Many of our holidays take place in remote, rural areas where depopulation is a threat to the local economy. By holidaying in these regions, you help to bring employment and regeneration – giving our hoteliers and taxi drivers an additional incentive to stay in the towns and villages in which they were brought up, as well as helping to maintain and improve local services – for example, our walking routes help to keep open traditional drovers’ roads and other ancient paths.
 
Family-run businesses
The hotels and taxi companies we use are, almost without exception, local and family-run businesses. The fact that our holidays are for individuals rather than groups also allows us to work in very quiet villages with small hotels and guesthouses offering as few as two or three rooms. Some of our other accommodation is larger, but with an inspiring backstory – in Portugal's north, we work with historic manor houses which have opened their doors to visitors in order to preserve their splendour, while in Cyprus we offer charming stone-built homes whose sensitive restoration has revived a once-abandoned mountain village.
Using the local grapevine
Our hoteliers are often very enterprising, incorporating local produce on their menus whenever possible and implementing their own environmental policies, relating for example to laundry, energy conservation and resource use. Their methods serve to enhance your holiday, and the same network of local sources allows us to provide you with detailed background information, giving you tips on where the locals eat and the most scenic picnic spots along the route.
 

Some of our highlights

The Tweed & the Scottish Borders walking holiday, UK
Many visitors pass through the Scottish Borders, but few linger to appreciate the area’s beguiling blend of tradition and beauty. Our leisurely walking break in this often-overlooked region made Inntravel history in 2021, when it became our best-selling holiday ever in one year. A pleasing statistic in itself of course, but what we’re really happy about is the boost we’ve been able to give to the local economy: we work exclusively with family-run businesses, who, in turn, employ locally-based staff. Our walking routes also give numerous opportunities to visit local attractions, to dine at local restaurants and to patronise independent local shops.
The High Route walking holiday, Switzerland
It's possible to travel all the way from the UK to Switzerland by rail for this hotel-to-hotel Swiss walking holiday.But even if you fly, once you’ve touched down in Zürich, Geneva or Basel, you can rely on the highly efficient Swiss public transport system to take you the rest of the way. The holiday makes use of public transport on the walking routes, too: from scenic gondolas to narrow-gorge cog railways and electrically powered locomotives. Your luggage is transported between the hotels using the transport system, and – in a further bonus – two of the mountain villages where you stay are completely car-free.
Pedalling through Puglia cycling holiday, Italy
Travelling to Italy’s secluded south for our Puglian cycling holiday reveals a deeply rural and half-forgotten landscape that is characterised by rich red earth, carefully tended olive groves and a simple-yet-mouthwatering cuisine. Another of the region’s distinguishing features is its traditional working masserie: Roman villa estates that have been converted into stylish and comfortable ‘farmhouse hotels’ – each quite unique, but united in their commitment to offering a warm welcome and authentic local produce. Our cycling holiday gives you the opportunity to experience all this, and as a result provides an important support to one of Italy’s most rural economies.
Life in an Alpujarran Village walking holiday, Spain
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.
The Best of Slovenia rail journey, Slovenia
Although Slovenia is a nation with an impressive array of green initiatives, many locals prefer to travel by car – which makes it all the more important to support the country’s railways. Our three-centre rail journey begins amid the peaks of the Julian Alps, where you’ll find both the iconic glacial lakes of Bled and Bohinj and your first hotel: Sunrose 7. The current hotel opened its doors in 2019 following a highly sensitive restoration process, during which much thought was given to the products and materials used. Sunrose 7 ensures its day-to-day practices incorporate a strong cincern for the environment, and also plays a vital role in the local economy through employment and food provision. Another of the holiday’s stops is Ljubljana, a one-time European Green Capital and a city with an extraordinary amount of green space, as well as a culinary offering that revolves around ingredients that are both seasonal and local.
A winter holiday at Norway’s Hindsæter Hotel
From its tranquil location in the mountains of central Norway, the Hindsæter Hotel offers the perfect introduction to a Nordic winter holiday: cross-country trails lead direct from the hotel door, and there are opportunities to head out on snowshoes to fully experience the silence of the surrounding valley. The hotel has been awarded the Olavsrosa seal of quality in acknowledgement of its work to protect Norwegian cultural heritage, as well as the Norwegian Foodprints badge for its use of regional produce – no small feat considering the rather remote location of Hindsæter. Its speciality is reindeer, with the meat coming from the local herd. The hotel has also invested in a private power plant, which uses water from the nearby Sjoa river to provide power for both itself and the wider local area.
Rugged Hills & Coast of Asturias walking holiday, Spain
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 given over to traditional hay and wild meadows where grazing is carefully controlled so as to encourage the appearance of a wide range of wild flowers. In the hotel itself, steps are taken to reduce energy, water consumption and waste production. To support the local community, the restaurant uses local produce whenever possible.
 
 

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