Schmilka: an organic concept for sustainable holidaymaking
Organic, sustainable, fair and local – the trend for healthy, mindful living is becoming ever more popular. In a world that is increasingly complex and digitised, people crave a holiday that really allows them to switch off from everyday life. Sven-Erik Hitzer recognised this need and set about converting an entire village to an organic way of life. Schmilka is located in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, immediately adjoining the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. Hitzer gives guests here the chance to enjoy a truly sustainable holiday. “At a certain point, I’d had enough of hotel rooms with cheap plywood furniture reeking of formaldehyde and restaurants that serve up boring dishes crammed with flavour enhancers and E-numbers,” he recalls. In the late 1990s, he decided to go completely green, even though everyone dismissed him as crazy.
Slow down and relax
Named “Best Village in Saxony” in 2017, this community now offers a whole host of rooms and holiday apartments upgraded according to green standards, while the cosy restaurants and cafés serve plenty of fresh and organic local cuisine featuring lots of goodies made right here, including bread and beer.
This former fishing village on the Elbe has retained its unique and authentic character to this day, with gloriously colourful half-timbered houses in rich shades of yellow, green and red, and a mill wheel that turns leisurely under the force of the flowing water. From there, you can gaze out over the green forests and the rugged crags of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Slowing down is taken very seriously here.
There’s no wi-fi in the entire village, so as to cut down on electromagnetic pollution. Life here is almost like stepping back in time. Of course, there’s also a consistent emphasis on all things organic and sustainable, from fresh, health-conscious meals made from organically grown and preferably local ingredients to the use of green electricity from renewable sources, such as solar power and waste heat, all the way through to electric cars and the village’s own herb and tomato garden.
Experience Germany's green side
Germany has an astonishing array of landscapes: two seas, countless rivers, lowlands, uplands, and, of course, the Alps, offer endless opportunities for exploration.