At the World Travel Awards this year, a Greek lodge was revealed as the greenest on the planet. Taking place on Friday in Lisbon, the Grand Final showcased the very best of the travel industry and for the second year in a row, Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas was named World’s leading Eco-Lodge. This win highlights Greece’s efforts to develop sustainability within the hospitality industry.
Situated in the northwestern region of Zagori in Greece, the resort blends with its natural highland surroundings. The architectural design is in keeping with the classical aesthetic of the surrounding villages. The exterior is grey and brown stone with natural slate and wood roofing. As expected from the world’s number one eco-lodge despite, despite its simple exterior, it is advanced in its sustainability efforts.
Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas reduces its use of plastic by purchasing products with little or no packaging and is aiming to eradicate single-use straw and plastic water bottles. It also boasts a high-tech system that filters and cleans wastewater and also has heat pumps getting rid of the use of heating oils.
The resort has its own greenhouse and garden which ingredients are sourced for its Epirote dishes served in the restaurant. It offers hiking trails and spa facilities also with a number of unique excursions.
Vasilis Iosifidis, the resort’s owner is also the founder of ZEN (the Zagori Excellence Network), which promotes tourism in Zagori, whilst preserving the region’s environment through green practices. He stated last year that he was “proud to represent the Greek mountains,” an aspect often overlooked, instead its beaches and runs are often focused on.
The owner said: “I felt the beauty of this place needed to be shared, and for this reason, I made the decision to build a hotel, so people can come and enjoy the same views and landscape that I was so fortunate to have encountered.
“Before the construction was complete, I was already visualizing the future guests of the hotel: people from all over the world who would visit the place, discover and explore it, while experiencing the beautiful nature, climb up to the 2.500m of the Gamila summit as well as to numerous other peaks of the region, and experience true serenity.
“Visitors who would discover the clean flowing river of Voidomatis, with its monuments and picturesque trails and visit the numerous beautiful villages of the area. My most favourite ones are Dilofo, Kapesovo, Kato Pedina ,Koukouli and Dikorfo,” he added.
Here it is:
What is an eco-lodge?
With tourists becoming more and more aware of their impact on the earth, ‘green’ credentials are becoming more and more popular with PR/marketing for tourism. In a survey taken in 2012, The Travel Foundation found that 66% of travellers surveyed would like to be able to identify a greener holiday.
Eco-lodges are usually found in remote locations such as beaches, mountains, jungles etc. They tend to display environmental responsibilities, making sure they limit their impact on the surrounding area. The best ones offer renewable energy sources, recycling, eco-friendly toiletries, energy efficient lighting, locally sourced food, organic linens and towels, non-toxic cleaning supplies, non-disposable dishes, water conservation methods and various other sustainability-aimed initiatives.