Vienna, VA, June 19, 2012 – Greenloons, which guides travelers to sustainable vacations, roams the world in quest of eco-travel opportunities, unearthing along the way four fungi, farm or vineyard-based vacations rife with food and wine experiences.
Irene Lane, Greenloons founder, is always on the lookout for exceptional ecotourism operators who can meet the demand for green travel estimated to be growing 5% annually worldwide. The following tours went through an extensive process of certification and third-party vetting before Lane added them to the Greenloons culinary collection.
Croatia Truffle Festival (5 Days/4 Nights; Oct. 24-28, 2012; $849 per person): Prized by epicureans for their flavor and scarcity, the elusive truffle is the rock star of the fungus world. Nobody celebrates this most exalted of tubers quite like Croatia, home to the annual Truffle Days Festival and the site of the largest truffle ever found (2.8 lbs). Beginning on the island of Cres, a home stay provides the opportunity to participate in the olive harvest as well as taste extra virgin oil direct from the source. Continuing on to the seaside village of Beli, guests walk along the local eco-center’s wildlife trails and in the ancient village of Motovun join a professional “tartufalo” and his dog as they search for truffles in the woods. The piece de resistance is the famous Truffle Days festival in Livade offering samples of dishes prepared from freshly picked truffles.
Argentina – Patagonia Local Living (8 Days/7 Nights; Oct. 14-21, Nov. 11-18, Dec. 9-16, 2012; $1,999 per person): Fostering friendships in this ruggedly beautiful region comes easily as guests lodge at an organic local farm, participate in daily farm chores such as harvesting and planting, learn about sustainable farming and its benefits to the local community, bake traditional breads and sweets and explore phytotherapy (the study of natural plant extracts for health benefits) while hiking, biking and dining on regional cuisine.
USA – Bike the Napa Valley (6 Days/5 Nights; Departures September, October 2012; $1,999 per person): A great combination of activity and leisure, this adventure takes participants biking through the rolling hills of California to wine tastings at a trio of renowned vineyards, exploring small-town markets in search of delicious locally grown produce and spending evenings enjoying a bottle of a favorite vintage. This trip includes bike rentals, lunches at local wineries and wine tastings at family-owned and operated wineries in Coombsville and the biodynamic winery of Quivira Vineyards (with 200 solar panels on the roof).
Italy – Northern Tuscany Local Living (8 Days/ 7 nights; Sept. 1-8, Sept. 15-22, Sept. 29-Oct. 6, Oct. 13-20, 2012; $1,299 per person): This journey into the Garfagnana region of Italy offers a transformative experience with daily hikes to stunning Tuscan scenery, local tastings, home-cooked meals and countryside accommodations. Over eight days guests visit traditional produce suppliers with the possibility of helping harvest porcini mushrooms or black currants, harvest grapes, make pecorino cheese and wild boar sausage and harvest farro, the local grain. Guests participate in cooking demonstrations and live as the locals do.
Greenloons makes it easy to connect adults and families to meaningful and unique nature-based travel experiences all over the world. Because Greenloons only works with third-party eco-certified tour operators and sustainable tourism accommodation providers, the company provides a level of assurance to eco-conscious travelers that these small group vacations not only offer distinction and quality in pristine natural surroundings, but they have also been independently verified as emphasizing conservation education, respecting local cultural traditions and supporting local communities.