We’re probably all thinking about planning some kind of holiday right now. Sometimes its obvious where you’d like to go. And other times, a little inspiration is really useful – especially if you really want get away from it all, or want to try somewhere that’s eco-friendlier.
Have a look at my pick of eco retreats below – I’ve tried to make sure there’s something for everyone. Of course, if you try any of them, let us know what you think.
Eco retreats for planet-friendly travel
1 / For simplicity and reflection
Wood Hermitage, Ur Natur, Ödeshög (Sweden)
This wonderful back-to-basics camp features three treehouses (one for families). There’s also an assortment of huts, some with turf roofs, that look almost as if they’re straight out of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination.
There's no electricity or Wi-Fi, leaving you with time on your hands to make campfires, follow Moose prints, and pick wild strawberries. You can also forage for mushrooms, take a rowing boat or canoe out, relax in the lakeside sauna, or join in a morning yoga session.
The most common comment the hermitage gets from visitors is, “You can’t describe it in words. You have to see it and experience it”. It certainly looks like absolute bliss.
2 / For action and adventure
La Source, Green Adventure Retreats, French Alps
This place has a wonderful philosophy: “Founded on the magic of community, sustainability, inter-connection, personal growth, and a Joie de Vivre, La Source Holidays and Eco Retreats are designed to enable you to tune into your own beat and just 'be'.” – Saskia, Founder of La Source.
It’s a luxury eco lodge high in the Samoëns mountains. During February half-term there’s family ski, yoga, and circus camps. In summer, there are family adventure holidays with yoga, and other activities including rock-climbing, white-water rafting and overnight hikes to a mountain refuge. Organic home-cooked meals give you the all-important energy needed.
3 / For wildlife and wandering
Wheatland Farm, Devon, England
Set across a sprawling 21 acres of farmland, the award-winning Wheatland Farm is the perfect place for families, long walks and wild swimming if you’re feeling brave. There’s an emphasis on going ‘car free’ too – with a page on the farm’s site dedicated to how to easily do it and with lots of ‘what to see’ ideas.
As for accommodation, the four eco lodges and pond-side Otter Cottage are rented on a self-catering basis. This makes for a wonderful opportunity to try some new recipes and spend some quality time together over meals. You can even pre-order local produce ahead of arrival.
4 / For bikers and hikers
Eco Camp, Glenshee Scotland
If you fancy some Llama trekking, star-gazing or even ‘Haggis hunting’, this is the eco retreat for you. It’s set in the Cairngorms National Park (not far from Aviemore, where some of the best snow-drenched pistes in Scotland lie). Its wild beauty really makes it the perfect place for those looking to explore the outdoors on foot or bicycle.
You have an amazing choice of yurts, pods and shepherd’s huts to choose from too – most with breath-taking views stretching out over Glenshee. And like Wheatland Farm in Devon, you can order local produce ahead of arrival. You’re welcome to take your own supplies, and there’s a village style shop on-site should you need it. Brilliant for little and large explorers, you may not want to come back home!