Located in a small Hungarian village, on the edge of a forest and surrounded by soothing green hills, Hunza Ecolodge feels like a refreshing new world.
Family-run and instantly welcoming, everything here is done with pleasure and purpose, from the freshly made bread and organic produce you'll eat, to the cosy accommodation you'll stay in.
Choose from a 20-metre furnished bell tent, each sleeping up to four people, a family treehouse, a cabin in the woods, or simply pick your own camping spot under the whispering trees.
Each bell tent is equipped with comfy beds and bedding, and a barbecue area complete with a swaying hammock. Meanwhile, the hand-built treehouse looks out over the valley beyond, and the charming cabin is nestled in woodland. You'll find both furnished with a lounge, kitchenette, and a private shower with dry toilet.
You'll be given a friendly tour of the site on arrival, so you'll know exactly which of the home-grown herbs, fruits and vegetables are at their seasonal best, and you'll even have the opportunity to learn more about eco-gardening, herbal medicine, and vegetarian cooking during your stay.
Make new friends at the communal outdoor kitchen, which you'll find fully equipped, and bursting with plenty of fresh organic vegetables to buy. Though you'll enjoy whipping up your own creations, joining everybody on one of the owners' regular ‘home cooking' nights, on which everybody gathers together at the large dining table to enjoy a delicious feast, will almost certainly be a highlight of your stay (along with one of the regular local wine-tasting events!)
What to do after you've devoured your delicious, organic breakfast in the outdoors? You'll find plenty of hiking maps, together with a booklet filled with local travel tips, all on hand to help you explore the local area.
The forest is filled with invigorating walking and cycling routes (you can borrow some bikes on site), dotted with prime picnic spots by scenic swimming and fishing lakes. There are medicinal thermal baths close by too, for those in the mood for a little extra pampering.
Meanwhile, if you prefer a buzzing city vibe, head into nearby Pecs, a UNESCO World Heritage site that's filled with culture.
You may find, however, that the lure of slowed-down life at Hunza is far too strong to be resisted. In that case, simply pour a glass of local wine and relax outside with a good book, with the fresh sights, sounds and smells of nature all around.
Things to note
Check in on Mondays, between 3 - 8pm, check out by 10am. The entire site can be booked for large group stays, with on-site workshops tailored by request.
Region: Bodolyaber, Baranya
Cost (from): £46 per night
Sleeps: 4-5 per unit
Minimum stay: 3 nights (7 in Jul/Aug)
Property ref: 1237
3 x 20m bell tents, each sleeping up to 4 guests. Seating, cupboards, beds, bedding, towels, outdoor area with barbecue spot, table and chairs, hammock.
Eco-build Family Treehouse, sleeping up to 5 guests. Seating, beds and bedding, kitchenette, bathroom with dry toilet.
Cabin in the Woods, sleeping up to 5 guests. Seating, beds and bedding, kitchenette, bathroom with dry toilet.
5 x camping pitches for tents and one for a campervan, with electricity and water supply.
Communal: three equipped outdoor kitchens (to cook by either gas, electricity or firewood), communal converted natural stone barn with huge dining area, toilets, library, play corner for children, table games and small shop.
Walking, hiking, cycling, World Heritage sites, wildlife-watching, fishing, swimming, thermal baths, gardening, cooking, creative pursuits.
At a glance
- Family-run, five-acre eco-tourism site in Baranya, Hungary, with organic produce gardens and an eclectic range of family and group accommodation.
- Fly to Budapest, and arrange transport to the site. There are good local transport links if you prefer a greener method of travel.
- Choose your furnished accommodation from a family treehouse, a woodland cabin or a 20-metre bell tent sleeping up to four guests. There are also five camping pitches for tents, and one for a campervan.
- The site regularly organises gardening, herbal medicine and culinary workshops, with communal ‘home cooking' evenings held twice a week. Local wine tastings can also be organised.
- The UNESCO World city of Pecs is close by, and there are hiking maps available on site. Bicycles can be borrowed if you prefer two wheels.