Agritourism has become a buzzword of sorts — in this day and age, travelers are increasingly more interested in where their food is grown and connecting with the land that provides it. Perhaps this reflects a need to unplug and enjoy a simpler way of life, but farm stays are globally on the rise.
What is agritourism?
Whether it is experiencing life on a working farm or ranch, mingling with animals or assisting with a wine harvest, agritourism is the chance to escape your daily routine and immerse yourself in the world of a local farming experience.
VIK Hotel & Winery in Chile
A stunning boutique hotel with 22 uniquely-themed rooms, VIK Hotel & Winery is located in Chile’s Millahue Valley only two hours south of Santiago. Not only do you have access to the surrounding wine country, but there is also an on-site vineyard and winery, Vina VIK. And you don’t need to limit yourself to just imbibing the wine when you can also assist in winemaking from beginning to end – from harvesting the grapes to participating in the fermentation process. Meals are prepared with local ingredients whenever possible and reflect the luxurious experience of this eco-conscious property.
Willow-Witt Ranch in Ashland, Oregon
If you’ve ever entertained a fantasy of living off the grid, the Willow-Witt Ranch outside of Ashland is a good place for a test run. Located in the foothills of Southern Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, this rustic ranch and sustainable farm offers guests the opportunity to participate in all aspects of farm life, including gathering eggs from the chickens and tending to the garden.
For a more in-depth understanding of the area’s history, guided tours of the farm are available. Meander through the hiking trails that surround the ranch, and stop to bottle-feed the baby goats. This is glamping at its finest – and a great spot for families or a romantic adventure for couples.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Imagine walking through fields of lavender, pausing to inhale the fresh scent and admire the giant cottonwood trees that surround them. This is the setting at Los Poblanos, an inn and organic farm in Albuquerque. This inn is steeped in history, and you can immerse yourself in its environment by volunteering to tend the lavender fields or with workshops on aromatherapy and herb cultivation. Although it is an incredibly busy time of the year, try to snag a reservation during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in early October.
Plantation Jan Thiel Lodge in Curaçao
At this guest house on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, guests are invited to roam the lush grounds of Landhuis Jan Thiel and to indulge in homemade breakfasts of omelet that are seasoned with herbs grown in the garden. Take a dip in one of the property’s two pools, and don’t be surprised if Olivia, the owner’s pet sheep, strolls by with one of its canine siblings in tow. This is island living at its best, so relax in the hammock and enjoy the ocean breeze. Or, take a morning stroll to the Salt Lakes, a nearby nature reserve and breeding ground for flamingos.
Laucala Island in Fiji
Fiji’s Laucala Island offers high-end luxury in arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. With its crystal-clear blue waters that are surrounded by over 3000 acres of mountainous land, a wilderness of rainforest and coconut plantations, this is paradise personified. A private island refuge in the South Pacific, it is owned by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz. The island is almost fully self-sustainable and the on-site farm provides organic fruits and vegetables as well as free-range poultry and Wagyu cows. Stay in one of the island’s 25 villas and celebrate their “farm to fork” philosophy that is integrated in each of their meals.
Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Georgia, USA
From the moment you drive through the ornate gates of the Barnsley Resort in northwest Georgia, you will feel like you have stepped back in time. Located on 3000 acres in a woodland setting surrounded by elaborate gardens, this resort offers all of the luxuries of a Southern estate with the amenities that accompany them, such as a Fazio-designed golf course, shooting grounds and a spa. Enjoy their outdoor “garden-to-table” forest dinners featuring ingredients like farm-grazed beef and locally-foraged mushrooms. While exploring the grounds, you can spend time with a whole range of animals including horses, pigs, sheep, chickens and donkeys.
Fattoria Barbialla Nuova in Tuscany, Italy
As you make your way up the winding roads to Fattoria Barbialla Nuova in Tuscany, you will discover a world of charm and tranquility that exists among apricot orchards and a large bio-sensitive farm that is known for Chianina cattle and white truffles. Their attention to sustainability and eco-conscious practices is evident with thermal solar panels, composting and use of rainwater for both the livestock and watering of the garden. Hunt for truffles, learn the fundamentals of Italian cooking, fish, bike, and hike through the oak and poplar forests. Or, venture through the woods – the area is a refuge for deer, wild boars, hedgehogs and badgers.
The Farmer's Inn in Viroqua, Wisconsin
Life tends to move at a slower pace in Wisconsin, and the day-to-day at The Farmer’s Inn reflects that. This small dairy farm in the Ocooch area is as bucolic as they come, and when you stay at the two-story, fully-equipped pine log cabin, you will be treated to picturesque views from every angle. Visit the property’s horses, gather eggs from the chicken coop or venture over to one of the area’s many trout streams where you can fly-fish to your heart’s content. Fancy a hayride? Or roasting marshmallows around the open fire pit? You can do all of this and more at The Farmer’s Inn.
Babylonstoren in South Africa
Often referred to as a Garden of Eden in the Cape Winelands of South Africa, Babylonstoren has roots that date as far back as 1692. It is also home to a historic hotel and a majestic garden that was modeled after the renowned Company’s Garden in Cape Town. Tours of this garden are available, or you can get your hands dirty by volunteering to plant, harvest, prune and mulch the land. After a hard day’s work, reward yourself with a glass of wine at the on-site tasting room, or dine at one of the property’s three restaurants. We recommend Greenhouse, which serves its food picnic-style in wooden crates.
Our Heritage Guest Ranch in Crawford, Nebraska
In the pine-covered hills of northwest Nebraska is Our Heritage Guest Ranch, which was first farmsteaded in 1887. The owners invite guests to immerse themselves in ranch life by assisting with ranch tasks such as fixing fences, feeding livestock and helping to move cattle to different parts of the land. Indulge your inner cowgirl or cowboy by riding the surrounding trails on horseback, and take in the spectacular sunsets which make a daily appearance here. A National Natural Landmark, it is surrounded by the Oglala National Grasslands and next to Toadstool Park— two areas that are ripe for exploration.
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