How about spending your next holidays in the countryside and in the sun? Discover agrotourism, farm holidays… on the south side!
We don’t teach you anything: the return to the land is in the air. More and more city-dwellers are taking advantage of the joys of rural calm for the holidays and while some are content to stay in a gite or in a house to rent, others are experimenting with agrotourism, a good way to discover life. at the farm. Or even, who knows, to consider a new life far from the city?
We introduce you to this innovative concept and offer you six of the best rural destinations in southern Europe. Follow the guide, let’s go!
What is agrotourism?
Agrotourism tends to introduce the agricultural world to a wide audience, especially city dwellers. Visitors stay on a family farm or large farm to learn about country life. They can participate in daily tasks and work, take part in the development of farm products and enjoy an exceptional living environment.
A thousand miles from impersonal tourist circuits, agrotourism has many advantages:
- enjoy charming accommodation,
- taste authentic dishes cooked from fresh and local products,
- immerse yourself in a real haven of rural peace…
In addition, this alternative tourism is beneficial for farmers who can showcase their trade. The latter can generate more income and participate in the revitalization of their campaigns. A win-win concept!
The recent boom in agrotourism is accompanied by a diversification of the activities offered on the farm. Permaculture workshops, (a)typical accommodation, direct sales, catering, equestrian sports or educational visits take on their full meaning here.
Moreover, some farms have leisure facilities similar to those of conventional hotels or campsites. They sometimes even enjoy a climate conducive to dream vacations! Precisely, rural tourism being very widespread in the south of Europe, we have selected six holiday resorts in the countryside to convince you to try the adventure!
Relax in Menorca
Menorca is part of the Balearic archipelago, known for its seaside resorts, crowded beaches and nightlife. It is the wildest island and the best preserved from mass tourism. Classified as a biosphere reserve by Unesco, its coastline is dotted with fishing villages and bathed in turquoise water.
The interior of the land is not to be outdone: vineyards, olive groves and green forests make up a sumptuous landscape appreciated by visitors. The relaxed atmosphere of the small picturesque towns scattered throughout Menorcan territory will certainly seduce you. Finally, its capital, Mahon, has the most beautiful natural port in the Mediterranean. A dream destination for a holiday!
In this peaceful island, we recommend the Llucasaldent estate, spearhead of agrotourism in Menorca. It is located right in the center of the island in the middle of 100 hectares of land with vineyards and olive trees. This rural farmhouse is an authentic finca overlooking a sumptuous panorama.
Equipped with an infinity pool, a sauna and twelve cozy rooms, you can enjoy various themed workshops. Yoga, painting, make-up, photography, aromatherapy, ceramics, cooking… Meals are seasonal and prepared with products from the farm. Four bicycles, one of which is electric, are available free of charge to explore the surroundings. Son Bou beach, En Xoroi caves and the small village of Alaior are waiting for you!
Walk in the middle of the orange trees, in Sicily
Ah, Sicily… It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, located off the tip of the Italian “boot”. Known for its Valley of the Temples and its volcano, Etna, it has many major archaeological and cultural sites. This pearl of the Mediterranean is also a famous agricultural land which benefits from a natural fertilizer: volcanic lava. Rich in nutritious minerals for plants, it allows vineyards and citrus fields to prosper… and visitors to feast on their holidays. Gourmands, greedy, you are here at home.
We have unearthed a luxury boutique hotel for you, the Zash Country Hotel, on the east coast of the island. This former winery holds its winemaking heritage high with its lava stone walls, vaults and cellars. The lounge bar and the restaurant are located in the old wine press. A spa, a sauna, a swimming pool and 13 hectares of land are available to customers who will choose from 17 luxurious accommodations.
You can participate in the picking of citrus fruits or enjoy tasting workshops. Take advantage of the free bicycles to explore the surroundings! The beaches of Isola Bella and Mazzaro or the ancient theater of Taormina, for example. For the less sporty, the little Etna wine route train will take you to the heart of the local wine estates. Health !
Savor the charm of the old, in Tuscany
Tuscany is this region of central Italy which was a major place during the Renaissance period. The cities of Florence and Siena then experienced major cultural influence on a European scale. Tuscany is also a pretty rural region.
Pardon, a sublime rural region, incomparable with its fields, its vineyards and its hills topped with cypresses. Agrotourism in Tuscany was established very early on, long before other European regions followed suit. And if you came to find out why? Andiamo!
Because we love finding little havens of peace all over the world, here is Agroturismo Biologico Sant’Egle. At the heart of a 3-hectare organic garden with olive trees, saffron fields, fruit trees and hundred-year-old oaks, this 17th century farmhouse is a real marvel.
You can opt for comfortable rooms or “glamping” tents at the bottom of the garden. The establishment offers guided tours, wild plant picking workshops or an introduction to olive harvesting. Yoga classes, Ayurvedic massages or a year-round wood-heated hot tub are available. In summer, a saltwater swimming pool will allow you to refresh yourself at will. Unless you prefer the thermal baths of Saturnia, a stone’s throw away?
In the shade of olive trees, in Puglia
Are you still in Italy? Direction Puglia, the region in the south of the country which forms the heel of the “boot”. Renowned for its picturesque towns with whitewashed walls, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of coastline, the territory of Puglia is a real gem. Its capital Bari, Lecce and its Baroque architecture or the Itria Valley are clearly worth a visit. Moreover, some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy are on the Salento side. The nickname of Italy, the Bel paese , definitely suits it so well…
To convince yourself of this, head to the AgriResort Masseria Muntibianchi. This establishment perfectly reconciles top-of-the-range hotels and love of the region. The Muntibianchi estate has an organic production label, affixed to a succulent oil produced on site. To reach this emblematic establishment of agrotourism in Puglia, head towards Otranto, the easternmost city in Italy. The Balkans are just across the Adriatic…
The estate is all white walls contrasting with an almost always blue sky and a green garden. You will enjoy two salt water swimming pools, meals prepared with produce from the vegetable garden and the possibility of attending the grape harvest or the oil press. Want to score? For an exceptional stay, a suite with private pool in a 250 m² garden is available.
Educate your palate in Madeira
Famous for its eponymous beverage, Madeira is above all a Portuguese island located off the northwest African coast. Its southern and oceanic location gives it a pleasant tropical climate. Particularly wild and resolutely preserved from urbanization, Madeira is an ideal base for holidays in the great outdoors.
Those who appreciate the fine sandy beaches, which are rare on the island, will head to Praia da Calheta, on the south coast. This is precisely where we found the Socalco Nature Hotel, a key player in agritourism in Madeira.
It is a former convent from the 19th century, comfortable and perfectly integrated into the landscape. From the outset, the location amazes with its breathtaking panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean. The rooms, facing the sea, seem to blend into the luxuriant nature specific to this pearl of Portugal. The accommodations are cozy and varied in terms of design and identity. You can even book individual casas for maximum privacy!
Here, we savor succulent products from a vegetable garden cultivated in permaculture. Vines surround the property: they produce an exquisite white wine that will sublimate the gourmet dishes prepared by the chef. Particularly focused on oenology, the establishment offers many fascinating workshops on this theme. Madeira will no longer hold any secrets for you!
In the middle of the vineyards, in Crete
Ridge ? It is the largest of the Greek islands. Crossed from one end to the other by a chain of mountains, it is located in the south of the Aegean Sea. The island is distinguished by the great variety of its typically Mediterranean landscapes. It has beautiful stretches of white sand, wet with turquoise water. Instagram filters are superfluous here! Visitors will enjoy crossing its pretty typical villages and discovering Heraklion, Chania and Rethymno. Tourist and archaeological sites punctuate the Cretan territory as well as agricultural plots. By the way, why not come and experience agritourism in Crete at Dalabelos Estate?
Located at the top of a hill in the north of the island, the place faces the Aegean Sea. Note its freestone buildings taking place in the middle of the olive trees. The accommodations are charming 25 m² cottages in a contemporary style. Each of them has a balcony or terrace with a view. An infinity pool also offers a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding hills and the sea.
With the chirping of crickets and the sound of the wind as a background sound, you can take part in the usual activities of the inhabitants: collecting olives, harvesting grapes, but also cooking (does the Cretan diet and its benefits speak to you?) or a cooking workshop? ceramic. Finally, traditional musical evenings are organized regularly to the delight of lovers of exoticism. Your next vacation is looking good!