Many other of our holidays are ‘responsible’ in other ways:
Holidays in India and Holidays in Nepal
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.
The High Route, Bernese Oberland, Lake Lucerne & Villages of the Engadine walks
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.
Beneath Mont Lozère walk, France
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.
Rugged hills & coast of Asturias walk, 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 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.
Life in an Alpujarran village walk, 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.