10 eco-friendly hotels to discover in Portugal

If you’re environmentally friendly and want to discover Portugal’s greener side, you’ll be happy to know that from north to south of the country, you’ll find numerous hotels that promote ecological stays, without compromising the comfort and well-being of its guests. Perfect for those who love ecology, a sustainable way of life and slow travel…

1. Quinta da Bouça d’Arques – Vila de Punhe, Viana do Castelo

In Northern Portugal, you’ll find a marvelous property where sustainability and love for mother nature are present in each detail, big or small: the water comes from natural mines and wells and is reutilized whenever possible; the wonderful and extensive gardens flourish thanks to a compost system; bugs and mosquitoes are “led away” with pulverizations of vinegar and water; the pool is chlorine-free; and outdoor life is encouraged, whether it’s with bicycles that guests can borrow or the tiny wood house where kids can have some fun. The hard part will be deciding in which of the 7 houses (6 1-bedroom, 1 2-bedroom) to stay in – and with such appealing names as Casa da Lavanda (Lavender House), Casa do Ácer (Maple House) or Casa da Magnólia (Magnolia House), you’ll be coming back many times, just to get to know them all…

More information: www.boucadarques.com

2. Casas do Côro – Marialva, Meda

Although there are many wonderful country houses to choose from in the historical village of Marialva, if you’re a fan of a greener lifestyle, you’ll immediately want to reserve the Eco Sustainable Bogalhais Suite. Built exclusively with recycled and sustainable material, it is located in the heart of this region’s natural beauty. Here, the consumption of energy resources was lowered thanks to the use of solar panels; rain water is collected and reused; recycling is crucial and all the food that is served is organic. For a little fun, discover local treasures: visit the surrounding historical villages, the Coa Valley Archaeological Park (located only 20 km away) and other green activities such as nature walks, bike rides or gourmet picnics. Here, all environmental impact has been reduced to a minimum in order to promote a maximum ecological stay…

More information: www.casasdocoro.com.pt

3. Casa das Penhas Douradas – Penhas Douradas, Manteigas

Nestled into the Serra da Estrela mountains, this charming boutique hotel has, along with its privileged location, a very appealing and modern design… which cleverly hides a very green personality. Lined with birch wood and cork, equipped with solar panels and a natural shade and ventilation system that foregoes the use of air conditioning, this hotel is so ecological it has its own treatment plant, used for separating garbage and other residues. Being eco-friendly is prolonged from inside the hotel’s beautiful walls to its outside where, besides contemplating and enjoying mother nature’s company, guests are also encouraged to keep the forests and mountains clean during their nature hikes. Green footsteps… literally!

More information: www.casadaspenhasdouradas.pt

4. Casa da Cisterna – Castelo Rodrigo, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo

A country hotel that was intelligently constructed over an old water reservoir that used to supply the entire village, this place is an invitation to the past, with a look to the future… that must be sustainable! With various and delightful rooms to choose from, all are equipped with thermal insulation, in order to reduce the consumption of energy resources. The hotel is heated with recuperators that are fired up with wood that is collected from forest clean-ups and all water is heated with solar panels. With a well defined recycling system, everything is separated and, in terms of food, whatever is left over is given to the animals, including the Mirandese donkeys, a species that is trying to be preserved. On donkey, on foot or on bicycle, enjoy the beautiful landscapes, accompanied by a delicious picnic. A very unique and ecological way of entertaining, that is worth discovering…

More information: www.wonderfulland.com/cisterna/

5. Areias do Seixo – Póvoa de Penafirme, Torres Vedras

Surrounded by the crispness of the beach and a pine forest, this environmentally friendly hotel will convert even the most skeptic ecologist, because it is living proof that ecology and style can clearly hold hands! The concern with the environment began during the construction phase and continued during the hotel decoration, where recycled and reused materials were chosen (in the hotel, there are many elements and furniture that was created with natural material, collected after a severe local storm); cork was used for thermal insulation of the double walls; the hotel water and atmosphere has geothermal heating (an ecological system that uses the soil’s interior temperature); rain and residual water is reused; a compost system and organic farm that serves the hotel and much more…including an “ecological clock” that measures, in real time, everything the hotel consumes and produces. Here, you’ll live and breathe sustainable tourism in its most pure state, as well as in its most luxurious…

More information: www.areiasdoseixo.com

6. Inspira Santa Marta Hotel – Lisbon

Right in the heart of the city of Lisbon, it is possible to find a green hotel that eliminates waste, but does not compromise the well-being or the comfort of its guests. A true ecological inspiration, here, every step is environmentally friendly: ecological lighting, water flow reducers, thermal accumulators, energy efficient appliances, recycling systems and ecological cleaning supplies, among other daily green gestures that work to minimize environmental impact. At this hotel, besides feeling at home, you’ll feel you’re making a difference… and the planet thanks you for it!

More information: www.inspirahotels.com

7. Cocoon Eco Design Lodges – Comporta, Alcácer do Sal

Environmentally responsible tourism – that is the definition of this hotel’s concept where, between mobile homes and Moroccan tents, each type of accommodation was designed with recycled material, besides being completely movable, which significantly reduces the impact on the environment. With this type of tourism, the impermeabilization of the soil is avoided and the replantation of local species is guaranteed. The daily management of this space is equally ecological, namely in what concerns energy resources and residues. Once you’re settled in, enjoy the zen lounges and the biological lake, and don’t forget to visit the organic farm and the tree house. Comporta keeps getting greener and greener…

More information: www.cocoonlodges.com

8. L’AND Vineyards – Montemor, Alentejo

In a luxurious resort where wine and gourmet flavors have the spotlight, there is also room for a 100% ecological lifestyle. With stunning landscapes (bounded by vineyards) and exclusive infrastructures, the main goal is to preserve the surrounding natural beauty. How? By choosing sustainable farming, energy efficiency, environmental qualification, products that are organic and in season, and preferably local. To assure 24 hour contact with the beauty of mother nature, each room has a retracting roof that lets guests sleep under the stars. Who says being green isn’t cool?

More information: www.l-andvineyards.com

9. Imani Country House – Évora, Alentejo

In Swahili, “imani” means “believe” and you’ll have to see this country house to believe it! A stunning 32 acre property whose entire construction was based on recycling and reusing… ecological gestures that continue in the day-to-day life of this very cozy place, where 95% of the lighting is ecological and water is pre-heated via solar panels. In the winter, comfort is guaranteed with fire wood that comes from forest clean ups and 80% of the house’s residues are recycled. Here, no pesticides are used and, both inside and outside the house, only fresh air is breathed…

More information: www.imani.pt

10. Zmar – Eco Camping Resort & Spa – Zambujeira do Mar, Alentejo

“Green it to believe it” is the motto of this Eco Camping Resort & Spa, located on Alentejo’s coast, and it’s taken very seriously! All the wood used to build the resort came for certified forests; the outside furniture and signs are all made of recycled plastic; the layout of the different buildings has been done so as to take advantage of the shade and all windows allow good air circulation, minimizing the use of air conditioners; numerous solar panels capture solar energy that is then used to illuminate the resort’s social areas; automobile circulation is limited and, when needed, there are electrical cars for transportation; here only recycled paper and ecological bulbs are used; the oil from kitchen cooking is later recycled; the soaps are of vegetal origin and cleaning supplies are natural and biodegradable…  a 100% eco-friendly stay, in a hotel filled with fun and relaxation!

More information: www.zmar.eu


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