Seven great stays for agritourists

Agroturismo Can Pere Sord in Spain. Photo / Supplied
Agroturismo Can Pere Sord in Spain. Photo / Supplied

Since the 'agritourism' trend kicked off in Italy, the demand for authentic, homegrown food-centred travel experiences has spread all around the world.

In line with this trend, the number of properties offering heartwarming hospitality, experiential stays and locally-grown produce is on the rise.

In a survey of 34,000 respondents across 18 different global markets, Booking.com found that when it comes to food and travel, the Chinese and Brazilians were the most likely to go on a farm or agricultural trip in 2016, followed by the Italians and Spaniards.

Almost half (45 per cent) of global travellers also believed that "experiencing local cuisine" was a very important factor in feeling connected to the local culture.

Using review score data, Booking.com has selected six of its most fulfilling farm stay accommodations, many with unusual and delightful stories behind them including our very own Mad Cow Manor in New Zealand.

Agroturismo Can Pere Sord, Spain

This beautiful Balearic retreat, with its own vegetable garden and orchard, places great importance on local, homegrown food. In an irresistible rustic setting, the house dates back to the 19th century, with typical Ibizan stone floors and thick, whitewashed walls which stand out beautifully against the dark green hills.

The surrounding countryside is covered with ancient twisted olive, almond and fig trees, while the property's garden is a vibrant oasis, fragrant from the many herbs grown here to garnish the home-cooked meals. Expect fresh, homemade bread and smoothies at breakfast alongside many other traditional local goods.

Mad Cow Manor, New Zealand

Mad Cow Manor is a truly remote rural property 7km from Hanmer Springs, a town built around a hot spring discovered in the 19th century. The Manor itself has a cosy, farm-like feel with its fireplace, cows roaming around the paddocks and a large 10-seater table to encourage socialising.

Madcow Manor in Hamner Springs. Photo / Supplied
Madcow Manor in Hamner Springs. Photo / Supplied

Though the majestic mountain views are a major attraction, the manor also excels in local food and drink, offering freshly-baked goods, home-brewed beer and locally-grown wines to guests.

New House Farm Bed & Breakfast, UK

There's nothing quite like a full English breakfast cooked on an Aga. And staying in the splendid Georgian farmhouse of New House Farm Bed & Breakfast you'll get just that, with home reared sausages, bacon and free-range eggs. It's located on the rural border between Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

New House Farm Bed and Breakfast. Photo / Supplied
New House Farm Bed and Breakfast. Photo / Supplied

A visit here is a real English countryside experience, with log fires, on-site clay pigeon shooting and a multitude of walking trails nearby, taking in the nearby Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley. But it's the little touches that make it so authentic - like the homemade biscuits left by your four-poster bed.

Casa de la Pradera, US

A low-key accommodation on a 15-acre farm in Fiddletown, California, Casa de la Pradera offers an authentic local food experience.

Casa de la Pradera in Fiddletown, California. Photo / Supplied
Casa de la Pradera in Fiddletown, California. Photo / Supplied

Guests are welcome to feed the chickens, help collect eggs and pull vegetables from the gardens, where afternoon tea is also served. Even the bedrooms are decorated with fresh flowers and seasonal fruit, while the linen is scented with the farm's own sun-dried lavender and herbs.

Arco di Sole, Italy

This charmingly converted farmhouse deep in the Apulian countryside still produces olives and wheat, while now inviting guests to stay in its beautiful vaulted ceiling rooms.

Acro di Sole in Italy. Photo / Supplied
Acro di Sole in Italy. Photo / Supplied

Many of Italy's most famous foods come from the sunny Apulia region, such as Orecchiette (ear-shaped) pasta, and it is still revered all over the world for its culinary offering. Breakfast at Arco di Sole is served in the hall, which was once an olive mill, and the beautiful gardens are peppered with olive trees.

Les Framboiselles, France

Sitting pretty in the gorgeous Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region of Southern France with astonishing mountain views, you can't miss farm stay Les Framboiseilles. Painted in stripes of pastel hues, this traditional farm house dates back to the 17th century and still grows its own fruit.

Les Framboiseilles in Southern France. Photo / Supplied
Les Framboiseilles in Southern France. Photo / Supplied

Offering guests the chance to taste and buy produce grown on site, the accommodation shows an appreciation for good, honest food and is also perfectly located for a spot of fishing in the turquoise Provencal waters.

- nzherald.co.nz

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