Responsible tourism: Costa Blanca walking vacation in Spain
The following walks start from the village so no vehicle transport is used, Snow Traders Route, Confrides Castle & The Hidden Canyon, Introductory Walk, Guadalest Castle and Moorish Villages. Of the three other walks only one involves a drive of longer than 4 miles.
Everything that is possible to recycle we do recycle, glass, plastic, tins, tetra packs, paper and card are all recycled.
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. Wherever possible we use fair trade products and also free range produce, and of course produce that is grown in the valley such as Almonds.
We have designed our vacations 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 walking & running weeks we visit several habitat reserves that have been set up on the high mountains in the area, and look at how climate change has affected the valley over the last 100 years, and continues to have an affect, eg water levels in local reservoirs are currently very low, although Abdet itself has a local spring as it's source of water.
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 introductory walk we visit the butchers shop in Confrides and buy some local artisan sausages for one of the evening meals.
On our walks and runs we look at how the forests and wildlife is returning to the area, and the risks of forest fires which can be devastating if they get out of control.
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 are continually improving the footpaths in the area to encourage their use. On the return from the Serrella walk we will spend an hour clearing fallen trees and improving the footpath.
We have also arranged to sell local organic products such as olive oil, honey and almonds.