/ The Madrid Guide
Madrid — By Nellie Huang on April 9, 2010 at 6:14 am
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EcoCentro Takes the Stage

‘In harmony with yourself and your environment‘ – the slogan of the one and only eco-living establishment in Madrid tells us all that it represents.

Amidst the bustling metropolis, Ecocentro seeks to provide a respite for urban dwellers. Especially for those in search of an alternative and natural way of life, the center hopes to promote health and quality of life.

Whenever I feel unhealthy and need a change in lifestyle, I head down to the center and sift through its organic products on offer. The center focuses on several principles: biological foods, protection of the environment and promotion of the vegetarian diet. Ecocentro is made up of several sections – each for a different purpose.

A Vegetarian Restaurant

The Restaurante a la Carta de Ecocentro serves up vegetarian delights that are nutritious and natural (not harmful to the environment). Despite the nutritional value, taste is not compromised. Expect to find delicious and creative concoctions as well as typical home-made dishes and international flavors. Some of my personal favorites are the baked rice with vegetables (9.99euros) and tofu fettucini with oriental sauce (9.99euros).

The Spaniards are generally carnivorous and don’t particularly warm up to the idea of vegetarian meals. But once you’re here at Ecocentro’s restaurant, you’ll be surprised to find that the Spanish culinary preferences might have been altered. The restaurant is quite popular with the young, health-conscious generation.

Opening hours: Everyday except Sunday nights; Lunch hours 1 – 5pm and dinner hours 9pm – 12am.

*Check out the restaurant website for a full menu. (only in Spanish)

A Multi-purpose Shop

This medium-sized store has everything that an organic lover would need. Various types of organic products such as fruits, seeds, cereals and beans are available. A special herb section also caters to professionals and public who are interested in herbal alimentation. There are plenty of surprises for you – new-age music, quirky gift ideas and natural cosmetics for those seeking something alternative.

Opening hours: Everyday of the year; 10am – 10pm.

A Health School

This school focuses on holistic medicinal therapies and conducts seminars and workshops that help to improve your internal wellbeing. At Ecocentro Salud, you can sign up for yoga and reiki courses, as well as physiotherapy, massage and rehabilitation (against smoking, weight-loss and fear) sessions.

For the therapy sessions, members can reserve in advance and pay voluntarily (no fixed payment). A new promotion allows you to sign up for unlimited number of yoga classes for only 50euros a month.

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 12 – 3.30pm; 6 – 9.30pm.

A Rural Retreat

The Ecocentro has also recently opened a new guesthouse in the outskirts of León, northern Spain. La Ecoposada is a countryside house perfect for rural tourism, with 9 rooms, biological and vegetarian food and a chance to get in touch with nature. Guests can go on hikes, horse rides and bicycle routes.

Pobladura de las Regueras, El Bierzo (León)
Tel: +34 987 530 000 / +34 617 898 100

Information on Ecocentro:

Location: Ecocentro

Address: Calle Esquilache 2, 4 and 6,  Madrid 28003

Metro stations: Ríos Rosas, Canal, Cuatro Caminos

Tel: +34 915 535 502

Website: http://www.ecocentro.es/ (only in Spanish)

*Details of Ecocentro obtained from its official website.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by artcode.

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