The combination of agriculture and tourism might seem like an odd mix at first. But the lure of open skies, rolling meadows, and encountering food at its source is appealing to many travelers. These days, anyone interested in learning where their food comes from, tasting organic, fresh fare, or exploring a different way of living, has plenty of options. From farm stays in the lush mountains of Taiwan to wine-tasting in South Africa, here are the 10 best agritourism experiences to have around the world in 2020.
Learn Beekeeping in Kentucky
Did the highly-acclaimed Sundance film winner "Honeyland" leave a lasting impact you? If so, maybe you’re curious about how beekeeping and honey production works in the modern world. Several establishments in Kentucky offer introductory courses on all things beekeeping. Class dates vary between schools, but we suggest checking out Shaker Village, Louisville Bee School, or Bluegrass Beekeeper School. You’ll learn about the honeybee lifecycle, how to choose and assemble hive equipment, hive site selection, pest management, costs, and most importantly, how to establish your very first hive!
Experience a Farm Stay in Taiwan
Farm stays are gaining popularity among travelers, so why not make your way to Taiwan for an authentic rural escape? A stay at Tou-Cheng Leisure Farm Hotel — an eco-friendly, organic fruit and vegetable farm in Yilan County — promises to be a peaceful and educational experience. Activities include farm tours, cooking lessons with farm-grown produce, and live demonstrations that guests are welcome to participate in as well (like planting rice).
Sip Kona Coffee in Hawaii
Discover the island-state’s Kona coffee industry on the Big Island during your next tropical getaway. The nearly 600 working coffee plantations clustered around the west coast village of Kailua-Kona are all open to the public, which means that visitors face an endless slew of coffee tour options. Opt for the tour and tasting at Greenwell Farms to learn about the great efforts Hula Daddy Coffee takes to reduce their carbon footprint. If you visit in November, you’ll be able to attend the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival held in Kailua Village. It's a must for coffee lovers.
Dine Farm-to-Table in Italy
Italy’s premier agritourism destination Tuscany bubbles over with boutique accommodations. Perched upon traditional vineyards and farms, these hotels provide the perfect combination of Tuscan food and refined Italian culture. Located in the heart of Chianti’s vineyards, Agriturismo Podere Campriano is a family-owned farm stay that produces wine and olive oil and offers cooking classes and winery tours. If you’re more interested in venturing off on your own, check out the number of enotecas in Greve. Staffed with friendly personnel eager to share their knowledge on the farm-to-table and grape-to-bottle processes, these small shops sell some of the best homegrown food and wine in the region.
Live the Good Life in Greece
Meet The Good Life, a collection of renovated old stone houses set among the olive groves and vineyards on the peaceful Cyclades island of Syros. This corner of the Aegean Sea has yet to welcome package holiday-makers and cruise ships. Meet owner Nick Geronimos and his team who keep guests’ fridges stocked with fresh bread, local wine, and organic meats from the local butcher in order to ensure the island lives up to its reputation as a “blue zone” (a rare place in the world where residents live up to 15% longer than average).
Visitors are encouraged to help themselves to fresh produce from the vegetable garden and eggs from the chicken coup. There’s even an on-site yoga center and painting platform perched upon the concrete top of the guest house’s biological water system. All this is sustained by off-grid energy and water, which gives The Good Life a “humble luxury” stamp of approval. When you’re ready to tear yourself away from the peaceful grounds, staff are waiting to assist visitors in enjoying Syros’ pristine nature whether it’s swimming, sailing, hiking or cycling.
Explore Québec's Countryside
It’s wise to work up a serious appetite before launching yourself through Québec's most famous foodie circuit. Roughly 23 miles northwest of Québec City, Île d’Orléans beckons travelers away from the commotion and into the romantic countryside. Although the beautiful landscape is an attraction in its own right, it’s the combination of Île d’Orléans’ natural resources and award-winning local cuisine that earns it a spot on this list.
The region's family-produced blackcurrant liqueur has risen to international fame, so a stop at Cassis Monna and Filles to sample the goods is mandatory. Fertile soils produce bountiful harvests of divine fruit, vegetables, honey, maple, wine, and cider — cementing Île d’Orléans’ reputation as one of the best agritourism destinations in the world. Plan a visit to the Panache Mobile restaurant, which boasts dramatic views over Montmorency Falls, Jean-Pierre Plante Farm to taste organic berries, and the countless taverns and vineyards serving the region’s finest wines, microbrews, and homegrown pub fare.
Go Wine-Tasting in South Africa
Rent a car and leave Cape Town behind to discover the largest wine-making region in all of South Africa. Stellenbosch is South Africa’s most established wine village and a prime place to kick-off a wine-tasting tour. The 18th-century wine estate, Meerlust, ranks at the top when it comes to South African wine, and you'll want to start with the Rubicon, the estate’s iconic red blend.
Solms-Delta Wine Estate — a sprawling 320-acre vineyard and onsite restaurant that shares ownership and profits with its farmers — makes for a relaxing stop between Stellenbosch and the next big name in South African wine, Franschhoek. Once in Franschhoek, a bundle of superb wineries all vie to be chosen. Tastes at Chamonix and Mont Rochelle won’t disappoint.
Experience Alternative Island Life on Mallorca
Most visitors flock to this Spanish island to enjoy its beaches and parties. While it’s fair to say the coast is overrun with tourists, the heart of Mallorca offers an alternative atmosphere. Centuries-old farms tucked between fruit groves on the hilly inlands offer a rare peek into what island life is really like for most locals. Ranging from rustic to regal, a finca (farm) stay in Mallorca can be as luxurious or laidback as you desire.
Finca Can Guilló features a 400-year old farmhouse surrounded by blooming gardens and citrus trees to entice guests. The family-run luxury estate, Ca’s Sant Soller, stuns the senses with its lush, garden-centric theme and the ever-present citrus scent wafting through the air from orange orchards. Here, guests can feast on local fish and fresh fruit before burning it all off on long walks along the UNESCO-recognized "Dry Stone Route."
Visit Pineapple Plantations in the Philippines
With over 64,000 acres, 4,400 employees, and 90 years of experience, Del Monte Philippines, Inc. holds the top spot as the biggest pineapple plantation in the world. For travelers looking to explore, Camp Philips is the gateway into the expansive fruit fields and once inside, you’ll find it's much more than a simple farm. It’s an empire employing thousands of locals — all of whom support one of the Philippines' most profitable natural resources. Guests can relax and refuel at the on-site Clubhouse after a day of wandering the grounds, viewing the manufacturing plant, picking their very own pineapple, and buying pineapple products.
Become a Rancher in California
Sustaining three generations from its thriving operation, V6 Ranch in Parkfield, California not only demonstrates a day in the life of a cattle rancher, but also allows visitors to get in on the action too. In operation since 1961, V6 now runs three-day cattle drives — allowing tourists to get a real feel for cowboy life. First-time cowboys receive lessons on how to gather, sort, and move cattle and develop or practice riding techniques — all while enjoying the amber landscape and rounded mountains of central California. That’s not all — V6 also offers Dude Ranch Weekends and Cowboy Academies.