Responsible Travel Policy
Our goal is to create a sustainable tourism business. Our holidays range from Special Interest and Activity Holidays, to B&B and Self Catering accommodation.
No matter what the holiday, we want all our guests to enjoy the natural beauty of the Spanish Pyrenees, whilst respecting the environment, local culture, and supporting local initiatives.
We live within and collaborate with the Pyrenees Geopark, a UNESCO site of particular geological importance. Lucy, co-founder of Aragon Active, is a qualified Geopark guide, with the aim to both promote the Geopark and educate visitors how we can best protect the landscape.
For more information about the Pyrenees Geopark click the logo.
There are also well over 100 species of butterflies in our area, and countless more moths, including the rare and beautiful Isabelina Moth (Actias Isabellae) and the Giant Peacock Moth (Saturnia Pyri). We have been successful in hatching the eggs and releasing the caterpillars for the Giant Peacock moth.
Through several of our holidays we promote and support the local foundation for the protection of the rare Lammergeier (FCQ), or bearded vulture. This in turn helps funding with the breeding programme of this magnificent bird, here, in our valleys. For more information about the conservation of this rare bird, click the logo (at the present time this site is only available in Spanish).
Within the farmhouse we recycle our rainwater using a 10,000 litre tank and plan to install a separate 3,000 litre rainwater tank purely for our washing machine. The bathrooms are fitted with water saving devices on the taps, and have modern thermostatic eco-showers. All toilets are fitted with dual flush to save water.
The house is heated using a geothermal heat source pump, generating 4kw in heating and hot water for every 1kw of electricity used.
We separate, recycle or reuse as much waste as possible: All vegetable matter is composted, most protein waste is used as pet food, and all inorganic waste is taken to the local recycling bins (card, paper- once used on both sides, plastics, tins, glass, ink cartridges).
Our philosophy of recycling includes building materials and furniture. For example all the vanity units in the luxury bathrooms are unique secondhand pieces of furniture, adapted with a granite top and basin. All the furniture in the house is antique or secondhand and has been or is in the process of being restored by Simon, your host. Many of the external doors are secondhand and have been adapted.
The beams and stone from the four year renovation of the property have been reused throughout the building process. We continue to reuse this material now as we landscape the garden.
We minimize paper consumption and postal air miles. Our publicity is internet based. We do not have a paper brochure and do not send out an information pack to our guests. We have created a comprehensive website with detailed information.
We have made a huge investment in the village, restoring an historic building which had fallen into disrepair, like so many of the buildings in the local villages. The entire valley has suffered from economic migration and depopulation since the 1960’s. A handful of farming families have stayed on and tourism is slowly growing. We aim to help sustain the life in our village and region, encouraging people from overseas to come all year round and not just during the peak Spanish holiday season.
Our Learn Spanish week focuses on Village culture of Alto Aragon, allowing a privileged insight into remote mountain villages where traditions and crafts have changed little over the centuries. Other weeks include visits to local vineyards, a cheese producer, honey farm, and even a local brewery.
We employ local guides and specialists, offering them English classes where needed.
On a village level, we actively campaign for the preservation of the area both from a natural and cultural point of view. We have successfully campaigned for the preservation of our church, which in 2015 had a new roof on the bell tower.
We will continue to campaign with the village, to transform the church into a village meeting hall/community centre.
We include guided visits to the village chapel of San Urbez, the focal point of the village. Those visiting the chapel are encouraged to leave a donation, for the ongoing restoration work of this historic building and its contents.
We actively support the recuperation of the pilgrim route of our local village saint “San Urbez”. The ancient “Camino de San Urbez” runs past our house and land.
Each winter we help with the clearing of footpaths, in so doing helping maintain these ancient mountain pathways.
For more information about the chapel of San Urbez and the Camino of San Urbez, click the photo opposite (at the present time this site is only available in Spanish).
Since 2011 we have employed between 3 and 4 local builders for the restoration of our farmhouse. All the carpentry has been done by local artisans in traditional designs. We currently still employ 2 builders full time for landscaping of the grounds, and the building of our underground garage and store, complete with vegetable garden roof! We have contracted local teachers, biologists and guides for our excursions, and use local minibus hire for our excursions and airport transfers. Produce is either grown in our garden or sourced locally. During the week, guests have the opportunity to try local restaurants and buy in the small village shops.