Top 8 Agritourism Destinations in the World

Scenic view of agricultural fields in Volterra, Tuscany
Tuscany's picturesque farmhouses make it one of the top agritourism destinations in the world.

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Agritourism is a subsector of the ecotourism industry in which tourists visit farms, ranches, or other agricultural businesses, whether for the purpose of education or entertainment. These vacations can be either an experience—say, for fishing, horseback riding, or touring a tea plantation—or a full-on immersive stay in which guests participate in regular upkeep of crops and livestock for several days.

There's nothing new about this form of travel—people have been working on farms in exchange for accommodation for decades, heading to Italian vineyards or Rocky Mountain dude ranches for what's become known as "WWOOFing" (worldwide opportunities on organic farms). Beyond the beautiful scenery and camaraderie, agritourism helps foster a deeper understanding of global farming processes through hands-on experience.

Here are eight destinations for agritourism around the world.

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Workers working at Ba gua tea garden in rural Taiwan
The Ba gua tea garden in rural Taiwan is a lush spot to spend agritourism time.

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A couple of things make Taiwan an ideal spot for an in-depth agritourism vacation: Many smaller farms offer homestay accommodation, so guests can mingle with the locals as opposed to staying in hotel rooms, and because the food served and sold is grown locally, this option makes it easier to support sustainable agriculture and lower your carbon footprint while traveling.

Lush, rugged Taiwan is an ideal environment for growing sugar, pineapples and citrus fruits, crude tea, and asparagus—the country's principal cash and export crops. Around 200 “leisure farms” spread across 31 designated rural areas offer tours of the fields and facilities for these crops. They also, of course, provide ample chances to sample the products.

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Traditional Tuscan farmhouse against a summer sunset
Tuscan farmhouses make for great accommodations.

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Tuscany was one of the first destinations to really coin the concept of farm stays, thanks to its atmospheric agriturismos, old farmhouses that were turned into inns when agriculture in Italy was suffering during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Now, there are an estimated 20,000 of them around the country, offering an authentic and quaint Italian pastoral experience to people who would otherwise only be able to see this region on a group tour.

While a few of the estates in Tuscany offer a more educational focus, the attraction of staying in a farmhouse in this region can mostly be attributed to the views, the laidback ambiance, and the locally grown olives, grapes, and other fruits. From wine-soaked stays in the Chianti area to farmhouses that create magic out of homegrown tomatoes, herbs, and cheeses, this sun-drenched region is widely celebrated for its agriculture, provisions, and unmatched scenery.

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Drone view of almond trees blooming in springtime orchard
Farmhouses tucked into the fields of Mallorca and the other Balearic islands of Spain make for tranquil getaways.

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On the popular Spanish island of Mallorca, farmhouse inns focus more on providing isolation and solitude than offering hands-on farming experience. With millions of visitors descending on the beaches of Mallorca and other Balearic Islands each summer, peace and quiet is rare and coveted.

Mainly located in the hills of inland Mallorca, away from coastal crowds, these inns range from rustic century-old farmhouses to luxury bed-and-breakfasts with spas and swimming pools. Some sit in the middle of orange or fig groves and serve dishes made from ingredients grown on-site.

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Corn, soy, and sugarcane crops in Brazilian Savannah

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Brazil is a vast country, 86% of the size of the U.S., with abounding natural resources and a vibrant, diverse agricultural industry. The South American nation is one of the world's largest producers of soy, maize, sugarcane, and rice, and an average supplier of fruit, coffee, eucalyptus, and tropical flowers. While agriculture isn't the bulk of the country's economy, Brazil's innovative and sustainable practices really attract farm-minded travelers.

Brazil provides a global example of regenerating and restoring degraded pastures. According to the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock, a third of rural private properties is dedicated just to preserving native vegetation. Each farm sets aside a minimum of 20% of land for this purpose.

Tourists can experience the rich pastoral culture by embarking on farm tours or opting for an immersive, participatory stay.

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Hawaii pineapple field at sunset
Agritourism opportunities in Hawaii range from pineapple farms to coffee plantations.

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The Hawaii Agritourism Association offers resources for tourists who want to have a tropical farm experience, or who simply want to learn about and taste the state's best farm fare. Agritourism options range from visiting coffee plantations in the Big Island's Kona region to exploring the tropical plantations on Maui to staying at organic farms on Oahu.

The vast range of farm tour options caters to both beachgoers and adventure tourists, and can be included briefly in the itinerary so guests don't have to center their whole trip around the state's agriculture (although that would be possible, too).

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Cocoa beans drying at a plantation on Grenada
Grenada has plenty of agritourism opportunities, starting with its cocoa plantations.

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Tourism is now the largest foreign exchange earner for Grenada, but agriculture is not far behind. This Caribbean country is packed with cocoa plantations, spice farms, and fruit farms. Nutmeg, mace, cloves, cinnamon, and turmeric are grown in higher quantities here than almost anywhere else in the world.

One of the Caribbean's best agritourism resorts, the Belmont Estates, is located in Grenada. This three-century-old estate has a thriving nutmeg and cocoa business, an organic farm, and a restaurant that serves traditional Grenadian food made with ingredients grown on-site. Any tourist keen to see exotic edibles at their source should consider Grenada a top choice for a Caribbean-based farm experience.

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Napa Valley vineyard with mountains in background
An abundance of vineyards and organic farms makes California a top agritourism destination.

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More than a third of the vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts grown in the U.S. come from California. The Golden State is home to a world-famous Wine Country, century-old orchards, avocado farms, fisheries, and more. Naturally, it's an agritourism utopia, and many of the smaller family farms in this West Coast state rely on agritourism to supplement their income.

Besides staying in the wineries and vineyards of the Central Coast and Sonoma areas, family farms and large ranches also offer a more hands-on approach. Many teach small-scale farming techniques and even offer strategies for organic growing. The University of California system, one of the largest state-run higher education systems in the U.S., has a small-farm program that helps growers create education-oriented agritourism businesses.

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Papaya plantation in the Philippines
Exotic fruit farms like papaya plantations make the Philippines a good choice for agritourism.

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With its more than 7,000 islands exhibiting a diverse range of conditions, the Philippines is an ideal place for visiting several varying agritourism sites or focusing on a niche product. Tourists can visit a vast pineapple plantation—like the country's largest, the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation—for a taste of large-scale agriculture, or instead focus on smaller operations like orchid farms, bee farms, and those focusing on exotic fruits like dragon fruit and papaya.

The Philippines government is looking to actively bolster what is already a successful niche for tour companies and farmers, and travelers from the U.S. don't have to worry too much about language barriers because English is widely spoken.

View Article Sources
  1. Nelson, Velvet (2013) "Tourism, Agriculture, and Identity: Comparing Grenada and Dominica," Journal of Tourism Insights: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 3. :