The mainstream lifestyle is not for everyone, and there are those who take steps to live an alternative lifestyle that better suits them and their beliefs. Those who want to live off the land and avoid connecting to national sources of power and water live an off-grid lifestyle, and this is becoming an increasingly popular way of life. There are many locations around the globe where it is possible to live off-the-grid, including destinations in Europe. If this lifestyle appeals to you, then the following are the 20 best places in Europe to live off-grid.
20. Likatier Tribe, Germany
Not a tribe in the traditional sense, the Likatier tribe is an off-grid community in Fussen in the south of Germany. It is one of the most established off-grid communities in Germany, as it was founded in 1974. The founder, Wolfgang Wankmiller, began building the community when he was just 17, and he remains the community's leader. Those who live there follow an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, using their own produce. The aim is to have a minimal environmental impact, so they use natural energy sources. Although this is one of the most famous off-grid communities in Germany, they have sometimes received criticism from the German press for their alternative lifestyle.
19. Tamera, Portugal
If you are new to off-grid living, you may find it useful to start this lifestyle within an established community so that you have the support of those with experience. Tamera is a community in Portugal that aims to live a sustainable lifestyle by growing their own food and using natural power sources. A secondary aim of the community is to live within a non-violent community. Portugal has year-round good weather, so it is a good option if you wish to use solar power as your electricity source.
18. Hameau des Buis, France
Located in the Ardeche region of France, Hameau des Buis is an eco-hamlet that is part of the Oasis de Colibris network, which was founded by Pierre Rabhi. Volunteers from around the world helped to construct the hamlet, which has 20 large bioclimatic houses, along with multiple huts and yurts. The hamlet has its own school that educates approximately 80 children of all ages, including 15 of the village's residents. The school aims to introduce a sustainable lifestyle to children from a young age. Residents of the village live off the land and produce their own power from the elements.
17. Suderbyn, Sweden
For those who dream of living an island lifestyle, then a fantastic off-the-grid location is Suderbyn Eco Village. It is an internationally recognized community that is located on the Swedish island of Gotland. Permaculture is a vital element of the residents' lifestyle, as is the production of their own power sources. The village is home to a small, international community that enjoys a sustainable lifestyle and adopts a holistic and regenerative approach. If you want to get away from the modern life's hustle and bustle, this island is an ideal remote location in the Baltic Sea.
16. Cloughjordan Eco Village, Ireland
Suppose you want to start your off-grid lifestyle with the support of an established community, rather than going it alone. In that case, one location to consider is the Cloughjordan Eco Village in County Tipperary, Ireland. Cloughjordan Eco Village is the only established off-grid community in Ireland, and there are currently more than 100 permanent residents in the community. They have the largest renewable energy system in Ireland, and the community has planted over 20,000 trees. There are plans to extend the community so that there are 130 homes within the village. They offer opportunities to volunteer and learn about their lifestyle.
15. Vaike Jalajag, Estonia
A well-established off-grid community in Estonia is Vaike Jalajag. It is a small eco-village in Moisamaa that has an international community. They live off the land using their permaculture inspired kitchen garden, and they create their own power sources. In addition to the permanent residents in this community, many transient residents come to volunteer on the land and to learn how to live an off-the-grid, sustainable lifestyle.
14. Arterra Bizimodu, Spain
Founded in 2012, Arterra Bizimodu is a community in northern Spain in the midst of the Basque country's mountains. The community aims to live a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with nature. A former secondary school is used as the main residence, and there are two green spaces on the 17-acre site that are used for permaculture. They hope to encourage others to use their practices and to expand their community to a larger scale.
13. Rural Areas, Romania
Romanian agriculture is privatized, and agricultural land is divided into smallholdings. According to Off-grid.net, only around half of the land is currently used. Therefore, there is a lot of land available for those who want to live a self-sufficient lifestyle, living off the land and producing their own power. Furthermore, Romania is one of the cheapest places to buy land in Europe.
12. Fertile Soils, Denmark
Motivated by a desire to live a simpler life, a group of people in Denmark decided to set up their own community. Located close to Ebeltoft in eastern Jutland, the village was the first of its kind in Denmark, and it is an example of how the off-grid movement is sweeping across Europe. The community live off the land, collect rainwater, and produce their own electricity and heat.
11. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
On the outskirts of Amsterdam, there is a movement towards sustainable living in integrated communities, says Science Alert. There are modern farming villages where the residents grow their own food, handle their own waste, and use natural and sustainable energy sources.
10. Findhorn Eco Village, Scotland
The Findhorn Eco-Village was established in 1962. The hippie movement of the 1960s inspired it, and residents of the village during the early days were considered eccentric. However, there has been a significant increase in the number of people interested in living an off-the-grid lifestyle in the UK, and changing attitudes mean these people are now considered environmentally aware rather than eccentric. An interesting feature of the Findhorn Eco-Village is that the properties are made from recycled whiskey barrels.
9. Leitrim, Northern Ireland
The Irish Times notes that 20 percent of households in Northern Ireland did not have electricity in 1965. Now, many people want to revert to that simplistic lifestyle. One area that his home to many off-gridders is Leitrim, Ireland. However, many of these do not consider themselves as living an alternative lifestyle. Some people living in this area want to live a simple and affordable life, while others are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint.
8. Mid-Pyrenees, France
Governments across the globe have different policies relating to eco-lifestyles. The French government has embraced the move towards environmentally-friendly lifestyles. There are various things in place that help those in mainstream society make eco-friendly improvements to their homes and other policies that support people who want to start living off-grid. Environmental concerns and the cost of many power sources have encouraged many people to consider alternatives. Residents in the Mid-Pyrenees are offered 50 percent back from the government if they invest in solar panels or wood burners. There are also grants to support those who want to build an eco-home from scratch.
7. Abruzzo, Italy
One area of Italy that is ideal for those who want to live off-grid is Abruzzo, says Live and Invest Overseas. One reason for this is that the weather is temperate year-round, which offers opportunities for using natural power sources. There is also sufficient annual rainfall for rain harvesting. Due to the region's fertile soil, Abruzzo is great for those who want to live off the land.
6. Korlarbyn Eco-Lodge, Sweden
Sweden is a country that is up-and-coming in terms of off-the-grid living. One of the best places to live the lifestyle in this country is Kolarbyn Eco Lodges in Skinnskatteberg. It is a very primitive lifestyle, as they do not use any electricity at all. There are 12 charcoal huts, and the residents live off the land and cook their food over an open fire. Due to the primitive nature of the lifestyle, it is ideal for those who already experience living off-grid. Otherwise, the extreme lifestyle changes are potentially too much. However, some may find that the surroundings make up for the sacrifices. The community lives in a dense forest on the shores of a lake.
5. Matavenero, Spain
Located in El Bierzo, Spain, Matavenero is a former ghost town. It has now been repopulated by people who dreamed of living a self-sufficient lifestyle. The residents have created a village of tents, huts, and yurts. They have also built pathways and dug themselves a canal. While many eco-villages consist of only residential buildings, Matavenero is a real village with its own amenities, all of which have been built by the residents. Some of these include a sauna, a village bar, a library, a bakery, and a free school for the community's younger residents. The village was established more than three decades ago, and the established community now consists of more than 60 residents. There is a lot of support for those new to the lifestyle. It is also worth noting that this village is not entirely disconnected from modern life as they have a community social media account.
4. Scoraig, Scotland
Fodors says that Scoraig is a remote settlement on a peninsula in West Barrow, Scotland. It is only possible to access the village by either taking a ferry or by walking five miles from the nearest road. Scoraig has received plenty of press coverage, and it is one of the most famous off-grid locations in the UK. Residents live a self-sufficient life achieved through the use of wind turbines and from living off the land. It is a wonderful place to feel close to nature, as it has stunning views of the Summer Isles and Little Loch Broom. There are just 40 croft houses on the settlement, and there is a strong sense of community.
3. Tinker's Bubble, England
Tinker's Bubble is considered the best and most-established off-grid community in England. Those who live there do not use fossil fuels, and they live off the land. They use wind turbines and solar panels as their main sources of energy. Using two energy sources means that they have power year-round, despite the unpredictable UK weather. They also grow trees to produce their own timber to build houses and craft tools, implements, and vessels. Everyone within the community pulls together, and they are happy to teach new residents what they need to know to successfully live an off-grid lifestyle. The residents of Tinker's Bubble call themselves Bubbleites, and they share the duties between them.
2. Lammas Ecovillage, Wales
The top UK destination for living off-grid is Lammas Ecovillage in Wales. Everything in the village focuses on the community, so it is a great place to live if you need a community's support to begin your off-grid lifestyle. Everyone lives a self-sufficient lifestyle, and you will find that everyone helps and is willing to share their produce. The village consists of various smallholdings where residents can produce their own power and live off their land.
1. Torri Superiore, Italy
According to The Travel, the best place to live off-grid in Europe is Torri Superiore in Italy. Surrounded by stunning countryside, Torri Superiore is the perfect place to get away from the stresses and strains of the modern lifestyle and live a peaceful and sustainable existence. The community works well together, but there are also opportunities to have privacy and spend time alone. Torri Superiore has received praise for its original and eco-friendly architecture.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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