Family holiday cottages in Andalucia, Spain

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Responsible tourism: Family holiday cottages in Andalucia, Spain

Community
We are very much a contributor to the local community employing only local people. We either grow our own organic produce (including figs, oranges, lemons, olives, tomatoes, peaches, squash and many other vegetables) or buy from local sources wherever possible. We are one of 80 families that are members of the local olive oil cooperative producing a well known brand. We encourage visitors to take a tour of the olive oil factory and to buy the local products there.

Our restaurant has, as you would expect, a menu featuring the best of Spanish and local recipes always using seasonal crops. Our staff who have been educated locally, normally come to us with a minimum of skills, and we provide on the job training and will also pay for any relevant courses they may wish to take.

Periana our local village has a population of about 3500 and apart from growing olives relies on travellers. Our guests normally shop, eat and drink in the village, and of course make use of local services such as taxis. The villagers are having a particularly dificult time due to olive prices dropping by 25% last year and of course it is a once a year pay day for them. For many years unemployment in Axarquia has been near 20% and now with the recession even worse, therefore every visitor to this region does make a major contribution.

Environment
We have extensively renovated the cluster of cottages since taking over four years ago and employ local craftsmen and always use local stone from our own resources. We have continued to make them more environmentally friendly with low energy lighting, reverse cycle airconditioning, on site recycling facilities, and we also recycle used vegetable oils from our restaurant into biodiesel. In winter we supply our own olive wood for the log burning stoves.

The swimming pool uses a “soft” water system which reduces the need for chemicals and is fenced to the highest EU standards for child safety. All grey water is filtered and used to irrigate the olive groves and shortly we will be installing the latest technology from Denmark to make it possible to recycle 100% of our waste water. This water will be invaluable to our extensive gardens where we use non chemical pest control wherever possible.

To prevent inconsiderate use of airconditioning we have installed meters and this has totally eliminated waste. We also encourage guests to switch off all equipment with standby modes and have notices reminding them about wasting water and electricity. Wherever possible lighting is controlled by time clocks.

Being green in Spain is not always easy and it took over three years to obtain a bottle bank, and then only after a letter to the Mayor! We also separate our other waste such as cardboard and take to a recycling point. We produce no brochures and rely on the Internet for publicity. Computer cartridges are recycled and mobile phones and old computers are donated to charity.

Reviews of Family holiday cottages in Andalucia, Spain

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 21 Sep 2015 by

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


Nicky and her father were very hospitable, extremely kind and went out of their way to help us in our first few days when we had forgotten our driving license at home by mistake.
The restaurant has a beautiful view, the service is excellent and the food is very good. The paella is well worth ordering, the best I've tasted. The kids menu was great and all the kids facilities excellent. Our children loved the swimming pool
and trampoline, it was hard to get them away from there. It was also great that they met other children to play with.
We enjoyed relaxing, reading, swimming and sitting by the pool. Our kids were happy hence so were we!

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


You definitely need a car. Its quite remote. The closest good beach is about 45 mins away but the location is fabulous, great view so in the end you are quite satisfied to stay there. Ideal for families with small kids. The pool is secured.

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


I have no idea. I met the cleaning lady who was spanish.

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


Very good. We enjoyed discovering that part of Spain and we would definitely recommend it.

Reviewed on 15 Apr 2014 by

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


Our visit to Alhambra (4pm tour, not busy at all). The beautiful holiday house with amazing views and great for children.

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


Visit the Alhambra late afternoon for fewer crowds. My 3 year old managed to do the 5km tour around it. Definitely worth doing a tour rather than your own visit. Takes about 2 hours to get there. Great around Easter time as to too hot and lots of lovely flowers.

Pool too cold for little children around Easter time, but trampoline a big hit and swings/slides etc.

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


Only glass recycling on site. Would be good to also have paper/card and plastics.


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


Great. Beautiful place. V. Quiet and peaceful.

Reviewed on 08 Jun 2013 by

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


Visiting the Alhambra.

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


You have to have a car as it is not really possible to walk to any of the local villages as the roads are so bendy that it would be dangerous.

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


Yes

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


This is a really beautiful part of Spain as its all hills and valleys, but this means that it is windy and often drizzly/ misty. So the water in the swimming pool did not warm up at all during the week we were there. I think it is a resort that relies on the weather being hot, so that being up high would be pleasant. Really good quality accommodation.

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2011 by

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


The beautiful views from the apartment and balcony

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


It's a long drive to anywhere from this accommodation, so it's a perfect choice for families wanting to relax round the pool and enjoy the views and the weather; less ideal if you plan to do lots of sightseeing.

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


Hard to say. Not obviously so, other than that it brings income to the area in the form of tourist cash.

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


An excellent family holiday in a beautiful location.

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2011 by

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


Being able to sit on the look out enjoying the marvellous view down across Lake Vinuela to the sea.

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


Make the most of the great restaurant at the accommodation.

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


Little need to leave such a beautiful setting so fuel reduced usage. Took home locally grown olive oil.

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


We really had a memorable and fantastic break. Opportunity to relax completely and to enjoy the pool, view and good balance of self catering and using the excellent restaurant. Nicky and her staff were very welcoming.

I have recommended it to several people already and have regularly checked the web cam.

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