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Review of Himalayan Homestays, India

Posted by Richard Hammond at 05:54 on Saturday 14 October 2006

There are plenty of places in India that bandy around the words "eco" and "responsible", but you have to look carefully to find those places that offer an authentic green holiday rather than a greenwash. Himalayan Homestays is the real deal. You stay in traditional Ladakhi working farms (on a rotational basis to share the income around), where it costs just US$10 a night half-board, yet the villagers still manage to give 10% to the Snow Leopard Conservancy and the rest is distributed among the community.

The rooms couldn't be more basic - a mattress on the floor and a hole in the ground - and at an altitude of 5,000m there isn't exactly much air to go round, but it's worth every breathless step of the way to get to see the stunning mountain scenery in this remote part of the world.

You're invited to eat meals in the kitchen with the family who make delicious curries from local ingredients, and there are plenty of local trekking guides to take you to see ancient monasteries and wildlife, including blue sheep, eagles and marmots. And best of all, you'll not have to endure anyone flying the green flag; the local thing is just what it is, not what it pretends to be.

· himalayan-homestays.com 0091 1982 250953.

Greentraveller provides information on a range of homestays around Europe, offering a truly unique, authentic experience within many of the most popular cities. The Mountainside Homestay in Novaci offers a comfortable double room up in the snow-capped mountains of Romania. Ideally situated close to the slopes of the Parang Mountains, this homestay is perfect for ski enthusiasts.

This article, by Richard Hammond, was first published in the Guardian.

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