Luxury Eco Holidays: 8 Villas with Sustainable Interiors
Becoming more environmentally friendly is a concern for many of us, particularly when we travel abroad and consider issues such as our carbon footprints. To make your next Mediterranean holiday that much greener, we have compiled a selection of villas that support the cause in ways you might not expect. Each villa harnesses natural resources, sustainable materials and reclaimed furniture, blending luxury with sustainable interior design.
Eight villas with sustainable interior design
Although increased energy consumption is often unavoidable when we travel, there are steps you can take to offset that impact. From choosing car-free escapes on islands like Corsica and nature holidays in Greece to staying in green villas in Sicily or other villas in nature, there are so many small actions that can help cut back on your negative environmental impact — and eventually all those tiny bids for good start to add up. For more inspiration, explore these eight gorgeous villas, all of which share a focus on sustainable interior design.
If you’d like to take more steps towards energy waste reduction, consider offsetting your flight directly via your airline, or by calculating your emissions and donating to organisations such as Atmosfair.
Set in Sicily’s Val di Noto, this nineteenth-century five-bedroom farmhouse can accommodate 10 guests, and is the perfect spot for relaxation in the heart of the peaceful countryside. A stone’s throw from some of Sicily’s finest Bandiere Blu beaches, Masseria d’Estia features a wine cellar, gym and many other special touches.
When it comes to sustainable interior designs, Masseria d’Estia is one of our favourite properties. Centred around the idea of al fresco living, this rustic countryside villa honours the untouched beauty of the environment it calls home by blending thoughtful reconstruction and sustainable architecture materials with contemporary luxuries.
The property has been lovingly reconstructed using many reclaimed, sustainable materials, carefully collected through local sourcing. Its ancient oak roof, for example, was sourced from the nearby stables of an old abandoned barracks. Furniture within the masseria has also been upcycled, including a bed made from pieces of ancient doors, placing a focus on sustainable interior design. The overall effect is one of immersion into the surrounding Sicilian countryside. The loving three-year restoration of Masseria d’Estia has curated a space that feels at one with its natural environment and attuned to its history.
Casa di Macine
This magnificent mountain retreat in Corsica draws from the area’s ancient landscapes. The contemporary Casa di Macine uses local granite and wood from the mountains, and its architecture is inspired by local traditions.
Sitting some 300m above sea level on Corsica's unspoilt east coast, Casa di Macine's open-spaced interiors flow onto spectacular sea and mountain views. Straight on from the entrance, following the line of a feature wall clad in stone quarried on site, is a sunken living area with contemporary furnishings. Next to this is the extremely well-equipped kitchen. The kitchen cabinetry, the dining table and the A-frame beams above are all in locally sourced chestnut wood, a material that holds special significance in Corsica’s architectural, gastronomic and cultural traditions.
Baglio della Luce
With accommodation for 12 guests across a collection of traditional Sicilian farm buildings, Baglio della Luce’s focus on sustainability in interior design and use of natural materials has kept the property true to its rustic roots. Set in 30 unblemished acres of countryside, the villa offers the perfect retreat for those who love to recharge in the heart of nature — and it’s just a 15-minute drive from some of Sicily’s most beautiful beaches.
Restored with care and respect for the region’s history, the renovation of Baglio della Luce drew on traditional techniques and local sourcing to preserve the property’s original magic, while integrating some contemporary luxuries including a one-of-a-kind swimming pool, plunge pool Jacuzzi, wine cellar and gym.
Dating back to 1600, this breathtaking masseria is a traditional fortified farmhouse that has been gracefully restored by its current owners. They sought to treat the farm not as a simple country house, but as a monument to be respected. Once the heart of a busy agricultural estate, the masseria is now surrounded by tranquil olive groves and beautiful Puglian countryside.
Offering accommodation for up to 17 guests, Masseria Mangiamuso features a secluded pool, intimate al fresco areas and truly gorgeous seventeenth-century Puglian architecture, lovingly renovated using a variety of natural resources, like tuff stone and wood, and sustainable materials, including the property’s original wooden doors, which have been salvaged and restored. All in all, the restoration aimed to treat the farm not as just a simple country house, but as a monument that should be respected.
Masseria Mangiamuso features a vegetable garden and gorgeous green lawns, overflowing with mature trees, prickly pears and flowering shrubs. Here al fresco living is made easy, from days spent wandering through the property’s olive groves and relaxing in the secluded courtyard to enjoying the delicacies of the vegetable garden, which the optional in-villa chef would be happy to prepare for you.
The romance of Linera is impossible to capture with just words. This jumble of ivy-clad farmhouse buildings is set in verdant grounds that hold the property in a magical embrace. Once a noble Etnan winery, this 10-person villa sits on a Sicilian hillside, with views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea.
Restored by its owners with reverence for its roots, Linera is a treasure trove of locally sourced vintage treasures and sustainable interior design features. Many of the property’s sustainable features were sourced from its own garden and grounds, including furniture crafted from a dead mandarin tree.
Carla, one of the owners, has a passionate ‘reuse and recycle’ ethos that can be found throughout the property, from a table made from an old garage door to an upcycled curved sofa which was found discarded by the roadside. As she explains:
“The mentality towards secondhand has definitely changed and today this look is not so surprising - but back in the day, I was a kind of an ‘explorer’ of a new way of interior design.”
This six-bedroom, sea view Sicilian villa sits above the beautiful Belice Nature Reserve, boasting views across the landscape and the glittering sea. Its airy terraces and pretty courtyards accommodate an infinity pool, gym and many other little luxuries. Inside, this gorgeous villa has been furnished using vintage Sicilian furniture, upcycled and painted in bright colours, offering guests the best of sustainable interior design. Amongst the carefully curated collection, you will find many historic objects handcrafted by local artisans that have since been reclaimed and adapted for more contemporary purposes.
Discover more of the local art, including Sicilian ceramics.
Set a short distance from Puglia’s unmatched sandy coastline, this seventeenth-century Italian farmhouse has been restored to an exceptional standard, offering truly luxurious rest and relaxation in the perfect Puglian countryside. This is a fully staffed villa, offering guests access to a yoga room, a gym, a cinema room and a fascinating maze of shady walled courtyards, one of which accommodates a 25-metre swimming pool.
Inside the masseria, perfectly poised interior design blends contemporary pieces with reclaimed, recycled and vintage treasures. The villa’s refurbishment drew heavily on the region’s natural materials, to ensure the fidelity of its renovation. Its environmentally-friendly credentials even extend to groves of fruit trees, which are harvested and prepared by the staff, as well as free range hens that lay eggs for the kitchen.
This truly one of a kind, 12-person villa was once a tobacco factory in the heart of the Puglian countryside. The architect and owner shared a vision in renovating this unique site, which was to modify the original structure as minimally as possible.
Recycling was not just a feature of the project, but became a powerful aesthetic principle, resulting in a property that prioritises sustainable interior design. Many objects found a new life at Il Tabacchificio, including doors and building planks, which have been repurposed throughout the villa. The industrial interiors feature locally sourced upcycled pieces, contemporary furniture made of reclaimed wood, natural materials such as local stone and sustainable materials including vintage plastics.
Discover sustainable interiors with The Thinking Traveller
From historic properties renovated using local materials sourced on site to inspiring villas furnished with upcycled, recycled and vintage treasures, our collection of villas features inspiring retreats that prioritise sustainable interior design. Speak with our Villa Specialists to learn about how we are contributing to sustainable travel, and discover the breathtaking, environmentally conscious villas in our collection.