Ikaria Island holiday, organic farmstay villas in Greece

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Responsible tourism: Ikaria Island holiday, organic farmstay villas in Greece

Our aim is to operate the unit with the minimum possible impact on the environment.

Waste reduction: We compost all our organic waste. There is a recycle bin for small batteries. We try to reuse anything. We participate (if not lead) the local movement for recycling.

Conserving water: We clean and use for watering plants (fruit trees and small vines) almost all water from the houses. We collect rain water in tanks and use in the vegetable and fruit gardens. We have our own springs which we use to water our organic gardens.

Conserving electricity: We use energy-saving electrical items (light bulbs, refrigerator etc). We do not use air conditioners as the stone houses have very good bioclimatic behaviour. A hybrid heating system (solar panels/wood) provides warm water all the year. It also provides heating (for the rooms ) in the winter. We use gas and wood in cooking instead of electricity.

Encouraging wildlife: We support several initiatives against hunting. We do not allow hunting on our property.

Organic gardening practices: We use 100% organic practices in our farm.

Environmental cleaning products: We use only 100% biodegradable cleaning products as we are reusing the water to water plants .

Building materials: All our buildings are mainly made from local materials (stones, wood, canes, sand etc). We also use cork and latex (in beds and floors). We also use copper (mainly pipes), bronze (mainly in doors and windows) and iron (in locally made things). We do not use plastic, aluminium, or other artificial materials (except for some pipes for watering).

Conservation projects/charities you support & volunteering opportunities/donations from guests We collect wood from dry forest trees, as this is reducing the fire risk in all kind of forests, mainly those with pine trees.

Our number one priority is to employ the members of the family (currently 7 in number), then the near relatives and our neighbours, keeping employment local.

We buy locally whatever meets our standards. We buy from outside the island market things we cannot find or produce ourselves. We often organise visits to local fiestas.

Reviews of Ikaria Island holiday, organic farmstay villas in Greece

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 17 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


First of all, the place where we stayed: Karimalis' winery. It's a wonderful location and the people who run it are just great: generous, hospitable, warm and lively. They offer also unique home made food and wine!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make this place your head quarters to discover this beautiful island.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we did. We promoted sustainable infrastructures and consumed local products.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The best experience!

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks a lot Estefania. It is a great honor to have such an amazing review of your holiday with us.

Reviewed on 10 Oct 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The vineyard is one of the nicest places we have stayed - just what we needed after a stressful year in our business. Wonderful views from our lovely private terrace, of the sea and forest not to mention the vineyard itself, with its own fruit trees and vegetable gardens - all organically produced.

The accommodation is in attractive traditional buildings converted to a good standard whilst maintaining a traditional feel, with hot water from solar panels and carbon filtered drinking water on tap. Giorgos and Eleni are wonderful hosts, good humoured and informative, and generous with their time and hospitality. The food is exceptional - all cooked by Eleni from traditional recipes using produce from their own gardens. The wine is equally wonderful! Lovely forest walks start a few minutes away from the vineyard, with lush vegetation even in late September after a very dry summer, making it easy to spend an enjoyable week without a car - bliss! We can't stop thinking about it, and telling friends.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't go if you want lively entertainment and shopping opportunities every day! If you like peace and tranquility in a lovely setting then this is the place for you. If you want to explore the island purchase a good map in advance showing the walking routes as well as the roads.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Giorgos and Eleni employ members of their family and other local people and live and work on the vinyard that has been in the family for 500 years. They are located in a small village and are helping to keep the community alive. They use solar heating and recycle all their water, using it to irrigate the vinyard, and cultivate both vines and veg crops organically.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Overall we would rate our holiday 10 out of 10 and fully intend to visit again in the spring, when the wild flowers are blooming.

Read the operator's response here:

We really want to thank Helen Maggs for her very kind and generous comments.
We definitely feel much honored and look forward to see her and Dave back to our place again.

Reviewed on 06 Oct 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The highlight was the welcoming nature of our host family who shared with us not only their beautifully and painstakingly restored property with its breathtaking view of their terraced vineyard, but also their time, thoughts, knowledge, skills and family fun. Our hostess, Eleni, offered me cooking lessons. After picking wild herbs with her during our morning mountain walk, I would help her prepare the wonderful recipes for the day.

The ease with which she incorporated environmentally conscious principles into her daily life has carried over into mine at home. My college age daughter would go on exhilarating walks to see a waterfall or ancient monastery with our hosts' teenage daughters. Our host, Giorgos, had a wealth of knowledge in many areas, which made mealtime conversation very interesting. He also went out of his way to make our vacation memorable, even coming to get us from our second host's accommodation, so that we could go to a very special concert before we left the island.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We stayed at the beginning of April, and it was a little cooler than expected. We were happy to have our polar fleece jackets. The 500 year old villa where we stayed is a set of tastefully restored and decorated immaculate rooms with much character. Each room has its only door leading to the open stone terrace that overlooks the terraced vineyard. Stunningly beautiful! Take a reliable camera with plenty of space on the card!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Absolutely. It also served to inspire environmentally friendly methods at home.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. Very special. One of the best.

Reviewed on 03 Sep 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We were attentively looked after by our hosts, Giorgos & Eleni. They took us to a village festival on the island, Ikaria, and our 17 year old daughter joined the dancing in the village square until 6 in the morning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


There is only one flight a day to Ikaria from Athens. However, there is a daily Hellenic ferry from Piraeus (except Mondays). If all else fails there is a small local ferry between Ikaria and Samos, Samos Spirit, where there is a much bigger airport.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Our hosts are committed organic farmers. Giorgos also has local and nation political aspirations on the Greek Green Party platform.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Read the operator's response here:

Another tip for the traveller can be that they can also fly to the near island of Mykonos (that is a third choice) and then get the ferry to Ikaria. Thanks very much to Gabriel Irwin for his encouraging comments.

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