Responsible tourism: Road cycling holiday in Spain, Costa Blanca
The holiday is centre based and we do not use cars to transport you around during the week apart from one 30 minute drive to the coast (optional).
We visit some of the Vias Verdes (Green Ways) near Alcoy. Cycle routes that are being develop encourage cycling and eco friendly tourism. Each holiday sees a combined mileage of around 1,500 miles cycled, that's a lot of carbon neutral sight seeing!
Everything that is possible to recycle we do recycle, glass, plastic, tins, tetra packs, paper and card are all recycled, and of course we make sure our visitors are involved in this process.
Much of our cooking is done with free range and organic produce, some of it grown in the valley such as almonds and olives. We encourage people to take an interest in this aspect of the holiday.
The main source of heating is biomass fuel - wood pellet stoves – which we had installed by the local supplier. We have had the houses checked and certified for energy efficiency. This is something we will be investing more in. We run a paper free office – no brochures or printed matter. Toilets are fitted with reduce flush systems, and we encourage use of showers rather than baths. We have recently changed all lights to LED bulbs to reduce electricity consumption. We have looked into solar panels but being in a central location in the village this is not a realistic option.
We have designed our holidays to make use public transport for airport collection and drop off, so we only have to make a short journey to collect our guests.
During our cycling weeks we visit rural villages and use local cafes that would otherwise get little trade during the week. Our favourite stops are those well of the normal tourist routes in tiny settlements such as Alcoleja, Tolles, Val de Ebo and Beniai
If our visitors require the use of a hire bike we use a small local company to provide these.
We don't have a swimming pool but in warmer weather we make use of the local community swimming pools.
Our visitors often interact with the locals in the village, for instance on our rides we visit the shop in Confrides and buy some local artisan sausages for one of the evening meals. Our cyclists are quite hungry so it is quite a large order!
We are also hoping to arrange visits to the local olive co-operative in Confrides, although this is only open a few weeks each year.
We employ local tradesmen and women to maintain the house and do the preparation and cleaning of the house.
We have at least one meal in the local bar/restaurant and also purchase lots of local produce for use in the meals we prepare, and we also make available local produce such as honey and nuts available for our guests to purchase.