by: José Berrocoso
Looking for a unique place to feed the goats – quite literally – on your next getaway? Consider a farm stay, a type of property whose farms, gardens and down-home ambiance are a main draw for guests. The trend, which has been popular in Europe for years, has finally gone mainstream.
There is no better way for travellers to connect with a place and its people than by rolling up their sleeves and joining in some of the daily duties. It´s not all about getting your hands dirty, many farm stays are turning into a luxury holiday.
THE DANDELION HIDEAWAY
WHERE: OSBASTON, UNITED KINGDOM
You are guaranteed a warm welcome, not only from the much-loved resident farm animals, but also from Farmer John and his wife Sharon. Set within two hundred acres of Leicestershire countryside and close to The National Forest, The Dandelion Hideaway boasts a hamlet of six canvas lodge cottages, each complete with country house design and nostalgic touches.
Farmer John and Sharon are always happy to share their experience and knowledge. You are very welcome to help look after the hens, milk the goats, groom the Shetland ponies or collect some fresh eggs throughout your stay. There is also a farm shop in the Old Cow Shed, selling sausages, eggs and goat’s cheese.
THE PLANTATION HOUSE
WHERE: SALENTO, COLOMBIA.
Perhaps the most beautiful place to start your exploration of the Colombian coffee region is Salento. With several coffee farms within walking distance of town, well-preserved and brightly coloured architecture, and the Cocora Valley with the world´s tallest palm trees nearby, Salento makes a great place to spend a few days.
And by far, The Plantation House, a 100 year-old traditional building that was originally a Plantation House, is the best choice to stay in the area. The farm grows four different kinds of Arabica beans, two of which are traditional plants and two of which are modern hybrids.
Their Coffee Roasting Experience is a must for coffee lovers. You take some of their top grade coffee. You roast it. You bag it. And then, you leave with a bag of their top grade coffee that you roasted yourself.
SÃO LOURENÇO DO BARROCAL
WHERE: MONSARAZ, PORTUGAL.
São Lourenço do Barrocal is a hotel and monte alentejano, located in a wild corner of the Alentejo, Portugal, in the foothills of medieval Monsaraz and near the Alqueva lake.
Within a 780-hectare estate that has been in the same family for over 200 years, it has its heart at an ancient small farming village, which has been brought back to the rhythms of rural daily life as a remarkable hotel of understated luxury, set amidst ancient holm oaks, olive groves and vineyards.
All the comforts of a contemporary lifestyle are cultivated so guests can have the utmost experience while staying on a working farm, in communion with nature, heritage and people of all ages.
The horse stables with eight boxes and a 600 sq. m. riding ring are a great place for a horse riding lesson.
EUMELIA ORGANIC AGROTURISM FARM & GUESTHOUSE
WHERE: GOUVES, GREECE.
Located near the breath-taking Lakonikus Gulf, in the Peloponnese, this ecological cottage is at the heart of a beatuiful organic farm. Built in traditional Greek farmouse architecture with modern elegance, each of the houses has its own private garden and a large veranda with a great view of the farm and the surrounding mountains.
You can enjoy beautiful walks around the farm and pick fruits directly from the fruit trees, hop on a mountain bike and visit the hills, work with their lovely staff and pick olives and make olive oil, collect almonds or pick salads, herbs and tomatoes for a barbecue.
THE ORGANIC FARM
WHERE: BALI, INDONESIA
Former advertising executive Marjan van Ravenzwaaij from The Netherlands and her Balinese husband, Wayan Sukerta, opened The Organic Farm to show tourists a more authentic side of Bali.
It is located at the traditional village Munduk Lumbang, in Central Bali. This farm is not just a farm for planting organic food, it’s an education center for the local farmers to learn about Western organics.
Get close to nature, discover exotic produce and learn about the local culture. Staying on a farm in Bali is not just a fun way to learn about eco-tourism on the island, you are also helping local farmers!