We visit a wide range of eco villages, sustainability centres and intentional communities on our pedal powered adventures across Europe. Here are a few of our favourites, in no particular order.
1. Findhorn (Scotland)
One of the largest eco-villages in Europe, Findhorn grew from humble beginnings. Started in the 1960s in a caravan park on a strip of coastline in Scotland known as the Scottish riviera. It has since grown to be home to hundreds of people with thousands passing through it's doors each year on various courses and workshops.
We stay at Findhorn on our LEJOG tour
2. Centre for Alternative Technology (Wales)
The Center for Alternative Technology (CAT) was started in the 1970’s transforming a disused mine into a school for sustainability. Experimentation hangs in the air at this place. They offer short courses and masters degrees in a variety of environmental design programs.
We stay at CAT on our Dragon Dreaming cycle of Wales
3. Arterra Bizimodu (Spain)
Arterra Bizimodu is situated in the Basque area of northern Spain very close to Pamplona. An old hotel now turned community, they are home to a number of social enterprises included being home to the European Ecovillage Network.
We stay at Arterra on our Bilbao to Barcelona tour
4. Free and Real (Greece)
Free and Real is a pioneering project in Greece. Faced with economic crisis a group of young Greeks decided to take their collective destinies into their own
hands. Moving from Athens to the beautifully biodiverse island of Evia they started Free and Real, experimenting in alternative living and sustainable agricultural. This project has been a real mecca for young Greeks looking to get back to the land and make a living, working land-based livelihood.
We stay with Free and Real on our Greek Island Odyssey
Tamera is one of the largest alternative communities in Europe. With over 200 permanent residents they have transformed a dry and arid landscape into an oasis of diversity. With the help of esteemed permaculture stalwart Sepp Holzer, they dug a large number of lakes to naturally capture rainfall and allow the water to percolate into the soil throughout the driest months. Tamera describes itself as a ‘healing biotope’ and experiments in a large number of things, from free love to its solar village. A fascinating place.
We’ve stayed at Tamera on our Lisbon to Seville ride
6. Sieben Linden (Germany)
German eco-villages — you just know they’ll be good! Sieben Linden does not disappoint. As you’d imagine everything is run efficiently and effectively. They have built a large number of strawbale building. Sieben Linden were the first ones to build with strawbale in Germany. They worked with the local planners and set the precedent for all future strawbale builds in Germany. They also have the largest strawbale building in Europe, three floors high.
We’ve stayed with Sieben Linden on our Amsterdam to Berlin ride
7. Lakabe (Spain)
An abandoned village repopulated into the Basque mountains, Lakabe is one of the oldest eco-villages in Spain. There are a large number of abandoned villages in Spain and communities such as Lakabe really show how beauty can be restored, and how we can choose to live simply.
We spend the night at Lakabe on our Bilbao to Barcelona adventure
8. Damanhur (Italy)
Damanhur is a strange and fascinating place. With around 500 permanent residents, this place is big. More than any other community we have visited, they really have worked hard to develop their own culture, from artworks to money, even to language. They have build some incredible underground caves they call the Temples of Humankind. Completely out there but very interesting place.
We stayed at Damanhur on our Milan to Barcelona ride
9. Embercombe (UK)
Started by a life coach/gardener who wanted to ‘grow people’, Embercombe has emerged as an incredible space in rural England for personal transformation. The building and grounds are wondrous and expansive, as are the personal development courses they run. They focus on social entrepreneurship and helping find your authentic voice to be a servant of the earth.
We have stayed at Embercombe on our LEJOG ride
10. Schloss Blumenthal (Germany)
An old castle turned eco-community Schloss Blumenthal house a number of creative businesses. These include hotel, hostel, restaurant and pub, as well and a large number of co-work spaces and workshop units. A real rural co-live, co-work space.
We stayed at Schloss Blumenthal on our Berlin to Munich tour
We stay these places and many more incredible spaces, projects and communities that haven't been mention here. Check out our tours we're running this year and join us in an adventure into sustainable living.