Seven of the Best Farmstays Around the World
Encompassing a 9,200-acre estate in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee, the farm produces artisan cheeses, beer, eggs, heirloom vegetables, and wildflower honey. There’s no roughing it here: There are 68 plush rooms, plus three- and four-bedroom homes. Most accommodations include a fireplace, and all have feather bedding.
Grow some produce: Spend time with master gardener John Coykendall as he takes you through sowing, harvesting, and seed-saving techniques (from $250). You can work the fields, take the crop to the kitchen, and shell some seeds.
Drive a hog: Rent a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (from $180.45) to explore the scenic back roads of Tennessee, including the Dragon’s Tail, which has more than 300 hairpin curves. From $795 per night, all-inclusive; blackberryfarm.com
Boucan Hotel & Restaurant
The 14-room lodge sits high above the rain forest in a 140-acre plantation where the owners are trying to revive the island’s cacao industry. Most rooms have views of volcanic Petit Piton and sun-dappled cocoa groves.
Harvest chocolate: In the three-hour Tree to Bar experience ($61), guests tour the orchards with farmers and make candy by hand. After, eat at the hotel restaurant, where every dish, including gazpacho and snapper, is prepared with cocoa.
Just relax: Book some time at the Cocoa Juvenate spa, which uses cacao oil in massages, scrubs, wraps, and facials (from $66). The open-air treatment rooms face the gorgeous landscape. From $288 per night, including breakfast; hotelchocolat.com/uk/boucan
Liberty Hill Farm & Inn
As you arrive, you get a perfect view of a working dairy farm, complete with a red barn and cows grazing in a pasture. The main farmhouse has seven country-style guest rooms, which fill up well in advance.
Help raise the animals: Depending on the season, you can feed baby calves, milk cows, or harvest vegetables. Participate in as much—or as little—as you’d like. But don’t miss co-owner Beth Kennett’s legendary cooking, including her blueberry cream cheese coffeecake at breakfast and carrot soufflé at dinner.
Cool off: Borrow free inner tubes and head down the road to the White River for a relaxing two-hour float. From $126 per night, including breakfast and dinner; libertyhillfarm.com
Only 20 minutes by car from the chaos of Marrakech rests the tranquil Berber village of Tassoultante. Spread over 27 acres of cacti-covered slopes, the resort has 60 rooms, each with a view of the Atlas Mountains. It’s appropriately rustic, with décor that’s eco-chic-meets-Moroccan. An educational farm is on-site, and the Touco cafe serves traditional street food by the pool. Proceeds from your visit go to Dar al-Ma’mûn, a Unesco-recognized art center that benefits the community.
Do your part: Groom donkeys, feed goats, and collect eggs to be used for meals on the property.
Head into town: Drive into Marrakech’s main square, and explore the old town’s labyrinthine alleyways. You’ll dodge snake charmers, jugglers, and belly dancers. From $187 per night, including breakfast; fellah-hotel.com
North Country Farms
Many people think of beaches and lava-gushing volcanoes when they hear Hawaii, but the islands are also lush with agriculture. The growers of fruit, flowers, and veggies at North Country Farms offer a cottage for guests at the edge of the property overlooking the colorful grounds.
Pick some lunch: Visitors can snag produce from the market garden, including beets, carrots, cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi, lettuces, and fresh fruit such as litchi and pomelo to take back to their cottage and enjoy free of charge.
Exert yourself: Hikers should brave the famed Kalalau Trail, which hugs the NaPali Coast and offers dramatic vistas of waterfalls, 300-foot cliffs, and crashing waves before ending at Kalalau, one of the world’s most pristine beaches. From $160 per night; northcountryfarms.com
Estancia Nipebo Aike
El Calafate, Argentina
Gauchos on horseback still herd sheep on the family-owned Estancia Nipebo Aike, nestled in a verdant Patagonian valley ringed by the snowcapped mountains of Los Glaciares National Park.
Train livestock: Participate in cattle branding, horse dressage, and sheep shearing. Prefer to observe? Some sheep are always at the estancia for daily shearing demonstrations, and cowboys show off riding skills on criollo horses.
Caravan by stallion: Book a five-day horseback excursion ($800) to the Hidden Glaciers, and gallop through river crossings and valleys. Sleep at outposts, then dismount on the last day to enter a remote portion of Los Glaciares, where you’ll gaze at giant rocks and the calming Frias Lake. From $180 per night, all-inclusive; nibepoaike.com.ar
Wild Thyme Eco Retreat
Fly into Bucharest and rent a car to drive two and a half hours across the border to this sleepy Balkan village, where you wake up to the sound of the village shepherd taking his flock out to pasture. Guests stay in a solar-powered cabin surrounded by rolling hills dotted with ancient ruins. Freshly baked bread and homemade jam are delivered every morning.
Get your hands dirty: There are butchering workshops, or you can learn how to make the sausages served at breakfast. No slaughtering necessary.
Explore the terrain: Owner Chris Fenton-Thomas, an archaeologist, offers tours (from $23) to medieval monasteries and fortresses in northeastern Bulgaria. Nearby is Kovachevsko Kale, a late-Roman fortified town. From $20 per person per night, including breakfast; wildthymefarm.org