The city slicker cowboy is a bit of a cliché, but it’s still great fun.
A farm vacation may sound like a contradiction in terms, but all over the world agriculture is turning to tourism to boost the coffers — often with amazing success.
Whether you crave a real taste of the country or a peaceful getaway with a rural backdrop, a farm break can be a real bargain.
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So we’ve scoured the world and here’s our pick of the best …
THE V6 RANCH
It’s impossible to resist the City Slickers tag on this 20,000 acre cattle ranch between San Francisco and Los Angeles. On spring and fall cattle drives, you saddle-up and pitch-in much as cowboys and cowgirls have done for centuries. The ranch also offers hiking, photography, wildlife, bird watching, fishing, all against a backdrop of breathtaking beauty.
Yes I know. Ibiza … a farm. Who knew? But Can Marti is, of course, organic and solar-powered and has been a working farm for about 400 years. Guests are free to roam and help out. Can Marti has no air conditioning and no pool, but manages to remain one of the coolest farms on the planet.
LOCANADA DELLA VALLA NUEVO?LE?MARCHE
Blissfully charming 200 acres of super-organic crops, cattle, pigs and poultry close to Urbino. Delicious home cooking and truffles in the woods. Stables, a pool, gorgeous rooms and lovely staff who live by the farm motto “one should tread lightly on the earth.”
Modern, comfy farmhouse just north of Gothenburg with an adjoining four-bed cabin. Guests are encouraged to help out on the farm which grows cereals, potatoes and carrots on 300 hectares. Pigs are a big deal here, too, and about 700 piglets are born every year — which means meals are, slightly unsentimentally, rather pork-based.