It is assumed that “green travel” is reserved for those with long, unwashed hair and a penchant for combat trousers and cork sandals. On the contrary, green travel is arguably the next big concept in responsible tourism and is something families are seeking in order to extend their commitment to the environment when they travel. With today being Earth Day, a worldwide initiative dedicated to raising global awareness of the environment and sustainability, we’re proud to turn the solar powered spotlight on five of HouseTrip’s most impressive eco-friendly properties that offer great self-catering holidays for couples, families and even those who seek a little luxury.
A rural retreat in Lanzarote
Kicking off our list is a rural retreat ideal for relaxing family holidays on the island of Lanzarote, one of the Spanish Canary Islands. A short distance from the beach and with room for up to six people, this is an ideal holiday home for families or a couple who want a lot of privacy and a little luxury. Finca Natura gains its green credentials thanks to the solar panels that power the property and heat the water. This is also the perfect spot for a green holiday in the literal sense of the word as you’ll be surrounded by a tropical garden full of indigenous species of plants, palms and cacti in which you are invited to relax. Inside, the villa is well equipped and stylishly decorated and one of the best features of this lovingly converted farmhouse is the surprisingly affordable price tag it comes with.
A green Greek experience
Over on the other side of southern Europe is one of Greece’s most iconic and picturesque islands, Santorini, which has experienced a boom in tourism since the film Mamma Mia was shot there. Away from the bustling hotels and guesthouses is a unique self-catering villa waiting to offer you a truly special and sustainable experience. The owners of Aegagros are open about why their holiday villas are eco-conscious; it is because there is a limited water supply on the island. They also believe that eating local produce should be part of their guests’ experience and so also run cooking courses. When you read about the organic breakfasts and the fruit and vegetables growing in the gardens, it’s clear that being environmentally friendly in Santorini is no hardship at all, especially when it is accompanied with stunning ocean views.
A luxurious Alpine chalet in France
From the Aegen Sea to the French Alps, Chalet Châtelet was purpose built with natural materials throughout from the insulation to the wooden structure and the solar panels on the roof providing the traditional alpine chalet with electricity and hot water. In winter months the property is kept toasty and warm by a specially designed efficient log-burning stove. It’s not just the foundations of this ideal winter or summer retreat that are eco-friendly, the owners also offer an optional breakfast and dinner service which is made from locally grown and organic produce. While the chalet’s surroundings will change with the seasons bringing skiing opportunities in winter and hiking and mountain biking during warmer months, the comfort and style inside this eco-friendly chalet is an all year feature.
Eco-friendly city slicking in New York
While these idyllic holiday homes are perfect for escaping it all some of us actually embrace the opportunity to get involved with it all in a new city. The good news is that urban apartments in some of the world’s best cities can be eco-conscious too. In the most up and coming of New York‘s suburbs there is a slick designer apartment that is as committed to being environmentally friendly as any rural retreat. This three bedroom holiday apartment in Brooklyn is managed by a company that pride themselves on being the only eco-focused apartment management company in New York City. This means that the apartment’s electricity supply is generated from renewable sources (wind and water), recyclable materials are used as much as possible and all cleaning products are biodegradable and environmentally safe. The host is also happy to provide special tips on how you can be a greener traveller in New York and beyond.
Luxury and sustainability in Malaysia
You could say that we’ve saved the most luxurious for last, but no compromises have been made on the focus of this property which is a spacious, 5 star, eco-friendly sea villa atop the Strait of Melacca in Sepang, Malaysia. When built – in the shape of a palm tree stretching out over the sea – this collection of luxury sea villas were reported to be one of the world’s first eco-resorts. The villa’s 5 star luxury is designed to have a minimal impact on the environment that so beautifully surrounds it. While this means you may have to adapt your ideas of what makes for a luxury beach holiday – for example water sports are non-motorised – it does mean your experience of a tropical paradise is as literally green and genuine as you could imagine.
So tell us, which green property would you and your family like to escape to?
Featured image by impicard.