L'Avenc > The origins

  • The main House, 199

  • THE TEAM

  • LA CASTANYADA

  • NEW YEAR

  • La Castanyada

  • Main house, 1997

  • The main House, 1997

  • Kitchen of the main House, 1935

  • Noble dining-room of the main House, 1997

  • Walkers in front of main building ,1975

The old

Fundadors de l'Avenc Our story started more than 15 years ago in a corner of Catalonia, El Collsacabra, little visited except by the Catalans.  L’Avenc, a fortified masia, had a much longer story dating back to the 13th century, with a beautiful 16th century extension and unique rural Catalan facade that captivated anyone passing by. This is when our two stories converged, when in November, 1997 we were brave or foolish enough to fall in love with it, buy it to restore and hoped to find a new use for it. 
   
It had stood abandoned and lonely on the cliffs for more than 50 years between the historic villages of Rupit and Tavertet.  Little did we know it proved a long and difficult adventure and involved years of trials and tribulations, as well as joy and satisfaction.  Presently, l’Avenc is thankfully no longer a dream or a “castle in Spain”, but a masia in Catalonia, now firmly grounded, fully functioning and our family home, central to our project: L’Avenc de Tavertet. Familia Propietèria de l'Avenc
 

 

Family Project

In 1997, as an Anglo-Catalan family, we rather naively opted to restore this ruin and thus, our dream, and sometimes nightmare, began. We chose both traditional building materials, local workers, and disappearing skills when restoring the house, decided on the use of renewable energy for heating, hot water and electricity for the house and cottages, took an active interest in acquiring and using fair trade, local and organic products, and became engrossed in sustainable management of water and electricity. Above all, we’ve always been concerned with animal welfare, local or fair trade produce and wanted l’Avenc to reflect this which we do through a food-hamper and breakfast options. L’Avenc de Tavertet is now fully aimed at being a working example of responsible tourism, and without wanting to stay only in the theory we’ve gone and done something about it!

Values

  • We are a wonderful team of 7, some local, some family, most of which are woman. We make sure that as a team we are constantly developing skills and knowledge through different educational programs, and that thoroughly understand, put into practice and transmit our philosophy.
  • We’ve created an important synergy with local stakeholders, that lies on the understanding and respect towards our values. The products we use must be ecologically certified, local and/or fair-trade. We avoid all tested-on-animals products and  in the case of animal-derived products, they must all come with a guarantee of animal welfare. As animal welfare is a broad concept, understood differently amongst cultures, we’ve had to toughen our policy and if we don’t trust we’ve appointed one of our staff (Adam) with the responsibility of  going to check before buying.
  • We are committed to building visitor’s interested for off-season stays, which is one of the area’s main issues. Through offers and campaigns you’ll find in our website we’re determined to show people how wonderful this place is on a daily-basis.
  • We don’t only recycle! We’ve invested in renewable energies such as; solar tubs, solar tubes, a wind turbine and a biomass boiler. We’ve built our new accommodation under bioclimatic criteria, equipped our accommodation facilities with low consuming appliances...amongst many other little details that we can explain if you’re interested. Our objective is to use natural resources in a more rational manner and minimise our environmental impact.
  • We work hand-in-hand with Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation in order to improve the 300 hectares we co-manage. We are aware that there is an urgent need to protect these areas, habitats and species that are most vulnerable. There is a lot to do here and little resources at the moment, but is it going to be one of our main objectives for the following five years, as well as improving signage and paths to improve our visitor’s experience.

Further than promoting a more responsible form of tourism, calling our rooms by the Catalan names of trees to enhance respect and love for nature and language, we promote and disseminate the local area’s culture by talking with our guests and keeping in touch and promoting with the 3 nearest villages: Tavertet, Rupit and Cantonigrós, as well as the two nearest market towns: Olot and Vic.


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