Anyone who lives in a noisy, congested big city knows that feeling for sure: On holiday, what we look for most is relaxation in untouched nature. We hike through green-covered mountains and valleys, observe native plant and animal species that we have never seen before, enjoy the view over the bright blue sea and reward ourselves with a large ice cream on the beach promenade.
To ensure that generations after us can still experience this regenerating holiday feeling, it is becoming more and more important to protect our environment and to pay attention to sustainability when travelling. Fortunately, there are already many environmentally friendly hotels all over the world that implement an eco-friendly concept and thus contribute to the preservation of our nature (Have a look at our collection of environmentally friendly accommodations!).
In this blog article, we invite you to discover the Greek island of Astypalaia in the southern Aegean Sea, which goes one step further in terms of sustainability - it has set itself the goal of becoming the first smart and sustainable Mediterranean island by 2025 and thus one of the most sustainable holiday destinations in Europe.
Astypalaia is part of the Dodecanese archipelago and has always been a beautiful destination for nature lovers, not least because it has so far been spared from mass tourism and surprises with incomparably beautiful mountains and beaches. With a population of 1300 inhabitants, the island welcomes 72000 tourists a year! The new sustainability concept "Smart & Sustainable Island" is intended to provide both groups with an optimal quality of life and holiday.
The current project of the Greek government was launched in summer 2020 and has been running since then with the friendly support of the German Volkswagen AG. It pursues the goal of achieving completely emission-free mobility by 2030 and is based on four pillars that are intended to complete the island's sustainability concept:
- Gradual switch to electric cars throughout the island and reduction of vehicles on the island by one third.
- Smart mobility through on-demand shuttle buses instead of traditional bus services
- Energy generation (especially for charging stations) from renewable energy sources to achieve energy autonomy
- Test island for autonomous driving
Greece is implementing a groundbreaking project to make the island a model location for e-mobility, on-demand mobility and renewable energy. Astypalaia is seen as a "future laboratory for Europe" and is to become a model for climate-neutral mobility for other islands in the long term.
If you want to experience the modern and sustainable face of Astypalaia just now and be part of this unique transformation, we highly recommend a holiday at the beautiful boutique hotel Saluti Da Stampalia Suites in Livadia. It is a true insider tip for your eco-friendly holiday in Greece and captures the island’s exceptional beauty. Enjoy the fantastic sea views and large windows that allow natural sunlight to flood the interior of each room. Saluti Da Stampalia combines style and elegance with the highest standards of comfort in an authentic setting.
Without a doubt, the landscape and coastline of Astypalaia are fascinating and timeless - but like all natural environments, also fragile and threatened. In line with the Greek government's sustainability project, Saluti Da Stampalia Suites is passionate about protecting the environment and preserving the island's natural and cultural heritage. The family-run hotel has integrated its initiatives into three priority areas: Protecting the environment, supporting and strengthening the local economy, and preserving and disseminating Astypalaia's unique cultural heritage.
These areas include the following sustainability projects, for example:
- The architectural design of the building follows bioclimatic principles to facilitate natural ventilation from summer breezes, deflect strong winds and provide sufficient daylight.
- Efficient energy management through the use of automatic outdoor lighting, energy-saving lamps and appliances, and smart climate controls.
- Acquisition of an electric car, which will be used from this summer for VIP transfers for guests arriving and departing. A charging station for electric vehicles was also installed for this purpose.
- Efficient water management through a central water filter system to ensure the quality of the water and the longevity of the water-consuming equipment.
- Sustainable waste management through waste separation, alternative use of coffee waste, use of recycled coffee capsules, recycling of food scraps and replacement of plastic packaging with reusable and biodegradable materials.
- Introduction of sustainable food practices by focusing on local sourcing of ingredients and products according to season, making homemade products and organising a breakfast menu according to the principles of astypal cuisine.
- Promotion of the recognition of local gastronomy as cultural heritage by integrating local food and culinary traditions into the guests' island experience: breakfast is regionally inspired and thematic dinners are regularly organised to showcase local tastes and flavours and their connection to Astypalaia's history.
- Promoting social responsibility and responsible employment by working with local craftsmen and technicians and employing local staff.
... and much more!
All in all, the sustainable boutique hotel Saluti Da Stampalia Suites is an ideal destination for all those who care about environmental protection on holiday and who are interested in getting to know the lesser-known destinations of Greece. In the five elegant suites, you will find the peace and relaxation you deserve. Thanks to the small size of Astypalaia, all sights and highlights are within easy reach.
Make sure to visit the castle which is enthroned above the houses of the town of Chora on the highest mountain and offers a dreamlike view over the island. This is also one of the best places to admire the sunset! Another tip are the traditional windmills, which you will notice again and again as you stroll through Astypalaia's alleyways.
For those who think of Greece as the ideal destination for a beach holiday, there are numerous beautiful sandy beaches, such as Schinontas Beach or Plakes Beach, where you can also go snorkelling and diving. The turquoise blue water is simply enchanting! Exciting hiking trails through the untouched nature await all nature lovers, which also offer the opportunity for thrilling climbing tours here and there. The team at Saluti Da Stampalia Suites will certainly have more good excursion tips for you!
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and discover Astypalaia!
All photos by Giorgos Sfakianakis.
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