*This post sustainable holidays post is a collaboration, all pics supplied by nature.house
All of us are looking at ways of living more sustainably – whether we're changing our diet, habits or lifestyle. But did you know that changing the way you travel can have a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint? It can be difficult if you're planning to travel long-haul to offset the carbon emissions from flying, but since the you-know-what, many of us are choosing to stay closer to home.
For my UK readers, that might mean planning staycations in the UK, or popping over to Europe for your summer holidays. Instead of jet-setting and city-hopping, you might prefer a more remote location with less people. If the last few years have shown us anything, it's a renewed love of the great outdoors and exploring nature. That feeling of being cooped up inside was what inspired me to buy my camper van and start exploring the UK, and the first place I went was the forest, beaches, moors and anywhere wild and untouched.
Escape into nature in the Netherlands
If you're looking for inspiration for next year's trips, I've discovered the secret to avoiding mass tourism, busy cities and crowds. Escape into nature and stay in quirky and unique accommodations while using a platform that supports local wildlife and nature projects. nature.house support a range of projects that focus on improving habitats, restoring recreational facilities, rejuvenating forests, boosting diversity and climate adaptation. In July 2020, they reached the goal of 1 million trees planted in Africa. Currently they are working with Rewilding Europe to support the recovery of the endangered Marsican brown bear population. This project is centred around restoring and boosting biodiversity in The Central Apennines, a wilderness at the heart of Italy.
Sustainable holidays in the Netherlands
Sounds too good to be true right? Well it's not, nature.house provide opportunities to stay in unusual Dutch cottages while supporting the local environment. You could wake up to the sound of birdsong, the wind in the trees and the smell of fresh coffee brewing as you start your morning relaxing in nature. Even better, sustainable holidays with nature.house are not just in the Netherlands, they currently offer more than 18,000 nature houses worldwide! From off-grid hiker's cabins, to idyllic cottages by the water, sustainable tiny houses and even luxury camping among many other options. I've picked out some of my favourite unique and quirky stays in the Netherlands.
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Relax in a riverside cottage in Lekkerkerk
Dreaming of the perfect secluded spa weekend? If you fancy a touch of luxury but without leaving the walls of your nature house, this is the place for you. Relax into your stay with an infrared sauna, Turkish steam shower and a bubble bath in front of the floor-to-ceiling patio doors overlooking the river. On the banks of the River Lek, this riverside cottage is based in the green heart of the Krimpenerwaard in Lekkerkerk. Just across the river, you will find Rotterdam and the world-famous windmills of Kinderdijk. Watch the boats, geese and swans passing from your bed, or head out on a bike ride across the area. Visitors can enjoy added benefits during their sustainable holidays such as solar energy and even the use of home-grown herbs. (House ID: 47909)
Luxury glamping in Ven-zelderheide
Who says escaping into nature has to mean muddy campsites? Luxury glamping is a great compromise for those who prefer those extra home comforts during their stay. You could stay in this beautiful, spacious, boho tipi located in Parc Extraordinary, with spectacular views. It's your choice whether you want to relax at the tipi or you prefer outdoor adventures such as canoeing on the Niers or mountain biking in the Reichswald. (House ID: 55379)
Treehouse in Dwingelderveld National Park, Ansen
Watch the sunrise over Dwingelderveld National Park from the comfort of your treehouse escape as birds and squirrels scamper across the terrace. Sleeping a family of six, there is a double bed with views of the stars and sunrise, with comfy box beds for the rest of the family. From the terrace you can enjoy views of the sunset from the wooden treehouse, complete with heather on the roof and a wood-burning stove to keep you cosy. Best of all, you have 3,500 acres of national park as your backyard, just waiting to be explored. The height of sustainable holidays, this property uses 50% green energy, hot water, insulation and heating, plus natural cleaning products and honey from the garden. (House ID: 36430)
Sailing boat in the port of Makkum
Rent a floating holiday home with your family and friends to experience the peaceful port of Makkum. Part of the IJsselmeer Natura 2000 area, the port is protected which means it is a haven for wildlife. From nesting birds in the spring, to foraging swans and even the odd spoonbill. There's plenty for the avid bird-watcher to spot. The spacious ship accommodates a group of eight. Close by, there are lots of nature reserves including the Wadden Sea seal paradise. There are also lots of beautiful walks and cycle routes available from the harbour. This accommodation uses 50% green energy during your sustainable holidays which will help reduce your carbon footprint further. (House ID: 52311)
Beautiful bohemian wagon in Haaren
Want to upgrade your outdoor experience? Why not stay in a stunning caravan or wagon inspired by traditional traveller or Romani vardo? This nature house has everything you need, from a cosy bed and living room, bathroom and even a fire pit. Engulfed in ferns and rhododendrons, the caravan sits on the edge of the most beautiful nature reserve in Brabant. A welcome hamper includes locally sourced wine, coffee, tea, herbs and oil. Nearby, you can explore Loonse and Drunense Duinen National Park, lots of nature and forest areas plus even the many islands in the Biesbosch. (House ID: 35417)
Sleep in a sustainable sod house in Roswinkel
Once upon a time, sod huts were inhabited by the poorest workers of the 19th century. But now, you can enjoy a night of nostalgia and fairytales as you stay in this cosy little home. Dine on a homemade stew from the witches' cauldron by a crackling fire, or enjoy a glass of wine. For a cosy night, pre-book the wood-fired hot tub and sauna. If you don't feel like cooking you can also book the Finnish grill hut with a complete barbecue package. Just a few kilometres from Groningen in Germany, the sod house is located in beautiful Drenthe village Roswinkel. (House ID: 28310)
What's the most unusual accommodation you've stayed in? Have you visited the Netherlands before? Would you like to visit any of these quirky stays?