- Ecofriendly hotels in Europe
Here below is a list of ecological hotels around Europe
Okura Hotel in Amsterdam http://www.okura.nl/
Mamaison in Prague http://www.mamaison.com/
The Zetter in london http://www.thezetter.com/
Villa Casanova in Venise http://www.casanovavenise.com/
Casa camper in Barcelona http://www.casanovavenise.com/
- Surfcastle-The lost paradise in Portugal
written by João Sepúlveda Castanheira
Co-founder of the Surfcastle
Let me introduce you to the Surfcastle… a vintage house located just by the edge of Baleal beach. This beach is described by the famous poet Raul Brandão as being “the most beautiful beach in Portugal”… and truly, the geographical shape of this coastline is quite unique ! Imagine three beautiful bays with miles of sandy beaches and countless surf spots… well this is reality in Portugal and the Surfcastle is located right in the center of it all…
The village of Baleal is amazing with the peculiar houses surrounded by the Ocean… it almost feels like you are living in a big boat ! Peniche is the main town which lies just 3 Km. south… a city that is literally focused towards the sea. We are working together with the city hall of Peniche and with several ecofriendly organizations in order to create a cleaner and greener environment in this region ( you can follow their work on the following websites:
http://www.cm-peniche.pt/he.pt/ ; http://associacaoarmeria.blogspot.com/ ; http://www.geota.pt/coastwatch/cw_portugal/index.html ). There is also the medieval town of Óbidos just 20 min away, a fascinating place lost in time… like a fortified town inside the city walls !
Our house was built in 1921 just after the first World War by an eccentric millionaire… he wanted to build a mansion in a very remote and beautiful place… the location of the house is perfect because Baleal beach is one of the few spots that has sea on both sides (North & South)… all the rooms in the main house of the Surfcastle are located in the first floor of the house and offer a panoramic view over this unique beach. The interiors are mostly made of wood and we try to use natural fabrics as much as possible.
Photo by Laura Putter
In October 2006, the owners decided to transform this amazing property in to a bed & breakfast guest house with a Surf school… this was the only way to give maintenance to such an amazing house in a eco friendly environment… our goal is to allow our guests to have contact with this amazing sport called Surfing… we help them learn to Surf, and more important than that… we share our peculiar beach life style in harmony with the nature, the waves and the Ocean itself !
Surfers are responsible for rescuing many swimmers in our coastline and even animals. Our students generate a great bond with the sea just by having surf lessons with us… they immediately fall in love with the waves, and the beach… a deep sense of respect and caring by the Nature develops and this is very visible specially with the kids !
Come & visit us anytime, for more information please visit: http://www.surfcastle.pt/ing/index.html
Photos by Arthur Lavooy