5x staying with the farmer: the finest farmstays, farm campsites and country houses in Europe

1. Good farmers in Iceland
On the many remote farms in Iceland you will still come into contact with the life of ‘then’. Through Hey Iceland, several families welcome outsiders to their yard. Sölvanes is a traditional Icelandic sheep and horse farm at the foot of Mælifellshnjúkur Mountain. Together with farmer Eydís you can go into the mountains to locate his herd. Hestheimar and Mið-Hvoll are located on the south coast and are a great base for the many attractions in the area. It’s great to return to the calm of a farm after a day of impressions.

At the Icelandic huts of Mið-Hvoll you can enjoy nature and fresh sea air.

2. Good farmers in Italy
In South Tyrol, italy’s northernmost province, there are thousands of farms that are still run in a traditional way. For an overview of holiday farms, farmers’ cafés, Buschenschanken (wine rooms) and other farmer activities, visit the Roter Hahn website. Bacherhof proves that farm life does not always go hand in hand with overalls and muddy boots. This herb and Kneipp farm is located in the heart of the Etschtal and has been completely converted into a spa. In the swimming pools, nature pond and herb rooms you can relax completely. As a guest you can let yourself be guided around the farm and through the monsoon and herb garden.

In the natural ponds and herb rooms of Bacherhof, a farm in South Tyrol, you can relax completely.

3. Good farmers in France
Bienvenue à la Ferme is a national network of rural food and sleeping places and the way to experience French farm life. In the north-eastern Grand Est, the Miclo family has been welcoming guests to her Farm Ferme de Reherrey for two generations. Dozens of cows, calves and pigs roam on a huge patch of pasture. Further south, half an hour’s drive from the Mediterranean coast, is Olives and Provence. Here you can see up close how extra virgin olive oil is made. Many gîtes (holiday homes) used to serve as farms. Our favourite is Domaine de Royères in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. You sleep in a former milking parlor or on the farmer’s campsite next door, and can help with hay, harvesting, gardening, animal feeding and more. Take a look at this website to rent a holiday home in France.

In France you can experience the real farm life and spend the night in a cozy gîte.

4. Good farmers in the Netherlands
The whole family to the campsite on the côte or costa is not on the agenda for a while. BoerenBed offers a solution. The camping spots, decorated on the heirs of farms, keep the middle between a farmer’s campsite and a glamping — the atmosphere is cosy and the shelters luxurious. Camping tents are equipped with a toilet, kitchen and comfortable beds, and possibly a shower. In the Netherlands you can choose from twenty farm farmers. We caught our eye on Hoeve De Pippert in De Betuwe. This charming farm from 1840 is now a dairy farm. Children can have fun in the Pendulum barn, a barn with straw and play equipment, or help with the feeding of calves. BoerenBed is also active in other countries.

Hoeve De Pippert in De Betuwe is a charming farm where even the little ones can enjoy themselves

 

5. Good farmers in Switzerland
When the cows are in the Alpine meadows, their stables are abandoned. To combat this temporary vacancy, a number of Swiss farmers came up with Schlafen im Stroh. In the meantime, as a traveller, you can visit about 100 farms for an overnight stay in the straw. For adventurous types, this is the perfect opportunity to penetrate remote mountain villages and close-knit communities, often keeping cattle and making cheese on a small scale. Elsewhere in Switzerland you can spend the night on a bed of straw for a small price. A good example is Eselhof Säge, a donkey farm near the German border. During the day you help with the ‘exhausting’ of the donkeys and then you enjoy outdoor fondue. Sleeping in the straw is possible between May and October.

In Switzerland, as a traveller, you can spend the night with local farmers in the straw at a low price

Do you want to discover more nice place to stay in the countryside? Take a look at wwoof network (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), rural tourism in its purest form. You work four to six hours a day on the farm in exchange for a living and accommodation. This way of travelling is ideal for people who want to contribute or clear their heads.

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