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5 of the World's Greatest Ecovillages

 I bet almost anyone can relate to the thought of wanting to get out of the rat race, doing away with the 9-5, the commute and all the stress that comes with it. Many of us have fleeting moments when we think “there’s got to be more to life than this”, but very few, if any of us, actually have the gusto to leave our comfort zone and say “enough is enough”.

 

Nevertheless, people around the world are packing up their lives and moving to ecovillages, which are usually self-sufficient and completely cut off from national power grids. In addition to being good for the environment, many people moving to ecovillages are feeling a strong sense of community with their neighbors, as well as oneness with the nature. Here are 5 breath-taking ecovillages from around the world:

1. Matavenero

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Location: Province of León, Spain
Nestled deep in the mountains of northern Spain, Matavenero is somewhat otherworldly. It began as a handful of yurts erected in the ruins of an abandoned village three decades ago, and has since blossomed into a stunning patchwork of colorful domes, self-built homes and caravans. Residents benefit from a free school, a bakery and a bar. They’re also known for giving a very warm welcome to those who are committed to discovering what living in harmony with nature is truly about.  

2. Ängsbacka

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Location: Near Molkom, Sweden
This Swedish haven is home to picture-perfect snowy winters and very long and light summer nights. Ängsbacka looks like it fell out of a Scandinavian fairy-tale, and only has 20 full-time residents. During the summer months, the residents host a whole range of festivals, opening their doors to thousands of people from all over the world. Activities include tantra, meditation and dance among others, whereas the community focus is one of personal growth, honest communication and respect for life.

3. Damanhur

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Location: Chiusella Valley, Piedmonte, Italy
Founded in the 1970s, Damanhur is like something out of a dream. Some 600 residents adhere to their very own constitution and use their very own currency. The ecovillage also boasts a series of extensive underground excavations that are called the Temples of Humankind. They are dedicated to New Age and neo-pagan beliefs. Citizens of Damanhur participate at one of four different levels, ranging from full-time, on-site living, to spending one or two nights a week in the ecovillage.

4. Sunseed

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Location: Province of Almería, Spain
This place defines off-the-grid living. Sunseed was founded in a gorgeous abandoned village, and its residents exclusively use solar, wind and water power. They get to enjoy spectacular sunrises over the mountains of southern Spain as they start their days with a communal game. When the work starts, they cultivate permaculture gardens, cook in natural kitchens and give alternative technology workshops. There’s even an oasis with a natural pool to cool off in.  

5. Tamera

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Location: Alentejo region, Portugal
Tamera has been a great reference point for the ecovillage movement for well over 20 years. It is a community of people that inspires those who seek a more loving and communal lifestyles, and is styled as a “School and Research Station for a Realistic Utopia”. There are a whole multitude of projects underway in Tamera, from a solar village, to a Love School, and that’s without mentioning the astonishing work conducted to regenerate previously arid land into a green, permacultural oasis.

Content source: The Plaid Zebra
Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
 
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