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A walk in the woods and the sounds of Mediterranean wildlife – these are just two of the reasons why Cabañeros Ecolodge, belonging to Responsible Hotels, is such an attractive destination for nature-loving ecotourists. Here, visitors are treated to log cabins, rustic stone paths and a wide range of Iberian wildlife, visible through an array of activities, including stargazing, horseback tours and rutting deer watching. Situated in the Cabañeros National Park,this locale owes its name to the huts traditionally used by shepherds and coal merchants as temporary shelter while they were out working. This is nature and culture coming together in the heart of the Castilla la Mancha.













We at Responsible Hotels have been in contact with the project manager, José Ignacio Vega, to give us first-hand details on this ecolodge.

  • There are a number of factors that make the Ecolodge Cabañeros special, but in your opinion, what is the main attraction?  

Of course, much of the attention goes to the location of the huts above the trees, perfectly integrated into the wild Mediterranean forest. We currently have five, of which three are high in the trees. Besides an obvious charm, these wood accommodations offer many of the amenities that ensure their sustainability, including waste water management, responsible insulation and energy efficient lighting through the use of LEDs.

  • The ecolodge is located in the National Park Cabañeros – what are the most notable features of the natural environment?

The area boasts a shady, wild, Mediterranean forest with some humidity from the local reservoir, making it one of the most important forests in Europe, with three levels of oaks. The area also has a marine past, providing it with some of the most unique fossils in the world, dating back 500 million years. Its landscape is also known as “Rana” for the area connecting Africa and Europe, home to some of the most genetically pure examples of Iberian red deer.

  • How can ecotourists get the purest experience in the wild? What activities are available?

To begin with, the housing already acts as a living nature lesson, putting visitors in direct contact with fauna and flora. For example, each autumn, travellers can observe the rutting deer. During the spring, birds and insects are the most common and accessible. For the most part, the kinds of animals on display around the ecolodge are those most commonly found in Mediterranean forests, including different birds, wild boars and mustelids at night. From there, visitors can find national park information, programmes about the forest or astroturismo in the Cabaneros.

  • One of the most characteristic animals in the area is the deer. What activities are available to become more familiar with it?  

Chief among these events is the Deer Festival, held on the 4th, 4th and 6th of October, where the ecolodge collaborates with the sustainable tourism association in order to promote the richness of these animals. The festival, now in its second year, offers a number of activities, including a seminar on ecotourism and larges animals, craft exhibits and a photography exhibit showcasing the wilds of the area. There are also 4×4 safaris available to tour the area.

  • Could you also expand on the safaris and horseback riding?  

Of course. The safaris allow a glimpse at the local landscape and fauna, as well as the Iberian red deer and the horseback riding offers the chance to follow routes through the Montes de Toledo as only the animal would allow.

  • Are there any specific conservation projects for this area?  

These projects are developed within the National Park. At the ecolodge, we manage and care for the stream during the winter, mushrooms, pruning and thinning the forest. We are also now in the process of studying local insects and birds.

Log cabins above the trees, wide open space to gaze at the stars, deer watching, watching birds and insects, horseback riding and safaris – all hosted in a truly privileged setting. The Ecolodge Cabañeros is a respectful and responsible escape, situated in the middle of the Cabañeros Park. This is a wonderful escape for ecotourists who want to enjoy intimate contact with nature and unwind from the stress of everyday life.

 El blog de Responsible Hotels sobre la gestión ética y responsables de establecimientos hoteleros. Nos preocupa el medio ambiente y la biodiversidad. Nos encantan los viajes, investigar sobre sostenibilidad y los fines de semana largos. Leer más de este autor

Este artículo está también disponible en: Spanish

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