Sistelo, walking landscape promoted by Peneda ecofarm

Sustainable tourism

We follow UNWTO guidelines for sustainable tourism. We promote climate and people friendly mobility. We are a bike friendly accommodation.

«Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.»

Embrace responsible sustainable rural tourism by choosing Peneda ecofarm, committed to

1. Producing sustainable organic healthy food

… and much more than that! Find out more here.

2. Ecological footprint of the farmhouse rebuilding solutions

farmhouse at sunrise: granite walls restoration works

Concerning the restoration and expansion of the farmhouse, we were concerned from the beginning about which materials to adopt, finding out the best way to integrate concepts of bioclimatic and passive solar architecture, how to carry out an ecologically sustainable work and obtain a durable and very comfortable home with minimal energy and maintenance inputs.

It took a lot of study and dedication and several reformulations throughout the process, because often the most ecological solution was also financially unsustainable for us, or doubts remained – for example it was difficult to decide on the complementary energy for backing up the water heating solar system, and we ended up deciding on wood because here in the conditions in which we live and work we can actually generate wood for this purpose. We believe that solutions must also make sense in the context in which they are applied.

Thus, the main materials are stone, ceramic tile and certified wood from sustainable forests. We have as solutions, among others, ventilated facade and decks in moso bamboo (without plastic derivatives, resistant and durable, non-toxic, negative CO2 throughout its life cycle), fiberglass windows (material that does not release any gases neither chemicals, so it does not harm the environment nor the indoor air quality of buildings, Zero Carbon certification), green roof on the buried house, sun tubes for natural lighting, green cladding with vines and a pergola with a deciduous plant, a salt water pool that also serves to absorb the excess heat generated by solar panels in the summer.

These are just some of the solutions being implemented. Soon we will publish details of the entire work!

Prefer sustainable tourism, choosing a destination truly committed to human and environmental ethics.

3. Energy efficiency at Peneda ecofarm

Energy efficiency was possibly the main concern that led the entire design process of the farmhouse recovery and expansion project. With the help of a thermal engineer, all solutions were constantly reviewed, as our goal was very ambitious: to have a very comfortable house in the four seasons of the year with minimal energy inputs and with fixed costs as low as possible. The heating and energy production solutions are based on the use of renewable energies, and we foresee redundancy in the systems, that is, for example, in the main house we will install controlled mechanical ventilation (cross-flow) (CMV), but we have skylights and doors with shutters and windows that allow to strategically ventilate naturally whenever the outside temperature is not excessively hot or cold; likewise, the bathrooms have direct exhaustion, in addition to the possible reinforcement through the CMV. Regarding the heating of water for the bathrooms and kitchen and for the central heating (water radiators), we have solar panels to heat the water (our exposure is perfect: east-south) supported by the wood stove. We are installing photovoltaic panels for generating energy for self-consumption.

These are just some of the solutions being implemented. Soon we will publish details of the entire work!

Prefer sustainable tourism, choosing a destination truly committed to human and environmental ethics.

4. Water use and water quality

We take advantage of rainwater for irrigation, leading it to the irrigation tank. In our agricultural project in Vale we have built a large pond for the accumulation of rainwater for gravity irrigation purposes, using EPDM screen (ethylene propylene diene methylene rubber), totally inert, without solvents or plasticizers, without changes in membrane characteristics, not releasing toxic chemicals, safe for plants and fish.

Regarding wastewater, we are very proud to state that this water is treated at the farm itself, in a domestic WWTP (wastewater treatment plant) approved by the Portuguese Environment Agency. Our WWTP treats and infiltrates our wastewater into the land, with irrigation quality, under our hazel orchard. It works by directing the water to vats full of coconut fiber and microorganisms that treat it. After 10 to 12 years, these vats are emptied and this material serves as compost to fertilize the farm’s orchards. And new coconut fiber and microorganisms are placed in the vats.

Prefer sustainable tourism, choosing a destination truly committed to human and environmental ethics.

ECOFLO® – Compact coconut filter. Find out more here.

5. Garbage & Recycling

It is incredible that Portugal has closed its open dumps about 20 years ago and since then the percentage of recyclable materials placed sorted for recycling in the proper containers is still so low. In the Porto region, this king of sorted waste received by Lipor accounted for 12.83% of the total waste received. Lipor also collects organic waste, and in 2019 bio waste recovery reached 10.69% of the received waste. Using these numbers as a reference, we are talking about 23.5% of the global waste produced. 74.3% of the total waste, which represents mixed waste in such a way that it is not possible to send it for recycling, was treated at the waste incineration unit. So there is still a lot to improve.

Peneda ecofarm is primarily concerned with avoid producing waste in the first place. We make an effort towards voluntary simplicity and non-accumulation, trying to acquire only the essential, observing the social and ecological footprint of the products, and looking at their duration and final destination after their useful life. We have adopted a policy of abolishing single-use plastic and strive to reduce the remaining plastic. We organize our garbage into distinct materials so we correctly delivery them to Eco bins or at the drop-off Site. Off course we compost all our green «waste» and food scraps from the kitchen by composting them and using this compost to improve our soil fertility.

Prefer sustainable tourism, choosing a destination truly committed to human and environmental ethics.

6. Accommodation B&B

Peneda ecofarm will soon be offering accommodation in rooms with private bathroom. There will be a salted water pool in the grounds, to cool off and sunbathe. The farmhouse´s balcony and gardens have a magnificent view over the mountains and the valley. In your free time you can walk in the orchards, aromatic herbs and vegetable gardens, and participate in the life at the farm, if you wish.

If you wish you can have your meals with us, and enjoy delicious homemade food, made with some of our own organic products – rural tourism at its best!

7. Smooth and hybrid mobility

Smooth mobility is usually active. We are talking about walking, cycling, rollerblading, skating, kayaking,…, means of locomotion that imply a degree of physical effort on the part of the person. The electric bicycle, on the other hand, can be considered a type of hybrid mobility, as there are times when the electric part of the bicycle complements the person’s effort.

Smooth and hybrid mobility offer great benefits for our health and the environment. Peneda ecofarm offers specific amenities to answer the needs of cyclists.

⦁ Bike parking lot
⦁ Bike washing facility
⦁ Cyclist menu
⦁ Overnight cycling clothes laundry
⦁ Mini bike repair station with basic tools and pump
⦁ Bike routes for road and/or mountain biking (with maps technical data and GPS tracks)
⦁ Specialized bike guides
⦁ Phone support line with emergency
⦁ Associated bike shop for repair
⦁ Meteo forecast
⦁ Transfer service
⦁ Cyclist massage (on demand)

Prefer sustainable tourism, choosing a destination truly committed to human and environmental ethics.