Agriturismi in Europe

How to find agriturism opportunities—the chance to stay on a working farm—in Europe, from Provence and Tuscany to Ireland and Spain

The stone farmhouse of Il Poderuccio, an agriturismo near Montalcino in Tuscany.
The stone farmhouse of Il Poderuccio, an agriturismo near Montalcino in Tuscany.

Even if you can't afford your own farmhouse in Italy—or Provence, or Ireland, or Andalusia, or wherever your dream countryside resides—staying on a working farm, or agriturism, gets you up close with the rural heart of a destination.

You don’t even have to milk the buffalo for mozzarella or stomp the grapes for wine (though sometimes being a temporary farm hand for fun is an option).

What is a farm stay?

A country-comfy room at La Rignana, an agriturismo in Tuscany's Chianti region.
A country-comfy room at La Rignana, an agriturismo in Tuscany's Chianti region.

The concept behind agritourism (or rural tourism, or farm stays, or dude ranches, or farmhouse B&Bs, or whatever you want to call it) is simple: you spend the night as a guest on a working farm. From there, though, the concept flies off in many directions.

Sometimes you just hole up for the night in a B&B converted from a farmhouse.

Sometimes you actually stick around to do volunteer work for a few days (a week, two months, a year), as with the worldwide WWOOF network.

Sometimes, just renting a cottage in a rural area where sheep wander past your window is enough to count.

Ideally, the property's owners live on-site and are farmers who derive the bulk of their income from agriculture, using this newfangled form of tourism merely to help make ends meet.

In some countries, the practice of agritourism is highly regulated; in others, it’s a wild west of opportunities, and you have to pick carefully to avoid spending the night in a barn atop a pile of hay (unless that's what you want—I've done it, and it's great).

How to find Agriturism farm stays

Every local tourist office in agriturism-packed countries like Italy, France, and Ireland has lists of local farm stays.

Sadly, few are listed in English-language guidebooks—but there are often agriturismo guides available in local bookshops—in Italian, French, or whatever the local lingo is, of course, but the important bits are easy enough: addresses, prices, and phone numbers, photographs, and icons for private baths, swimming pools, etc.

You can always just look for agriturismo signs on country roads, pointing down rutted dirt tracks toward a farmhouse set among the vineyards.

If you want to find and book a few before you leave, here are the best online resources for finding farm stays all across Europe. Not all sites are available in English, but the pertinent details are usually pretty easy to figure out:

Resources by destination

» Agriturisms in Austria
» Agriturisms in Belgium
» Agriturisms in The Baltics
» Agriturisms in Bulgaria
» Agriturisms in Croatia
» Agriturisms in the Czech Republic
» Agriturisms in Denmark
» Agriturisms in England
» Agriturisms in Finland
» Agriturisms in France
» Agriturisms in Germany
» Agriturisms in Greece
» Agriturisms in Hungary
» Agriturisms in Iceland
» Agriturisms in Ireland

» Agriturisms in Italy
» Agriturisms in Luxembourg
» Agriturisms in the Netherlands
» Agriturisms in Norway
» Agriturisms in Poland
» Agriturisms in Portugal
» Agriturisms in Romania
» Agriturisms in Scotland
» Agriturisms in Slovakia
» Agriturisms in Slovenia
» Agriturisms in Spain
» Agriturisms in Sweden
» Agriturisms in Switzerland
» Agriturisms in The U.K.

Europe-wide resources

EuroGites ( - The European Federation for Farm and Village Tourism is a links page to the biggest and, more shall we say, "official" farm stay organizations in 27 European countries (most have Web site links, a few just contact info and email).

ECEAT ( - The European Center for Eco Agro Tourism is a Dutch concern selling guidebooks to agritourism establishments across Europe. Its sister site (all in Dutch, but the details are easy enough to savvy) lists more than 1,000 agriturisms in 24 European countries.

Rural Tourism International Training Network ( - Aimed at helping European farmers set up agriturism operations, but since it lists local resources in each country, also useful for we potential guests as well.

General/global resources

Agrisport ( - It's very much a homemade site, and far from the best organized around, but it's loaded with links once you drill down. These are not only to specific guest farms and dude ranches, but to other outdoors and agritourism links as well, all grouped by country or state. One annoying factor: you have to open a site in a new window to see what its actual url is (otherwise every page is masked as "").

Organic Places to Stay ( - OK, nearly two-thirds of the listings here are lodgings that happen to offer organic food. The other third, however, are B&Bs, rental cottages, or homestays on working organic farms. The bonus is that there are tons of listings ranging all over the world (Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania).

Agritourism World ( - Ladies and gentlemen, behold: a list of thousands of farm stays around the world... in alphabetical order by name. Not even sure why I bother including this sits, since the results are nearly random—a farm B&B in rural Pennsylvania wedged between one in Italy and another in Belize. How useful is that? Still, if you just want to roll the virtual dice when it comes to location, you'll find plenty of agriturismi here.

Become a farmhand; sleep for free - If you really want to get your hands dirty, sign up to become a temporary farmhand through one of two volunteer organizations: WWOOF ( and Helpx ( Full Story

How much does a farm stay cost?

Double rooms at an agriturismo run anywhere from $7 to $200, but usually around $40 to $70 in Western Europe, around $12 to $50 in Eastern Europe.

What is an agriturismo like?

I've stayed at loads of agriturismi: vineyards and dairy farms, barns amid olive groves and frescoed villas next to horse stables.

Each stay has offered me a different experience of farm life for a fraction the cost of a hotel.

Many agriturisms require a two- or three-night minimum stay (for some, a week).

Roughly half accept credit cards.

Sometimes you get four-star luxury and satellite TV. Sometimes you’re a straw's-width from sleeping in a stall.

Most, though, are just what you'd expect from a farmhouse B&B: simple comforts, solid country furnishings, and rural tranquility—barnyard noises excepted.

The hosts tend to be a sight friendlier than your average hotel desk clerk. Some invite guests to dine with them, family-style, in the farmhouse. One shepherd let me stir a bubbling pot of sheep's milk to help it on its way to becoming pecorino cheese. Vineyard owners love to crack open bottles of their best to guide you through the finer points of wine tasting.

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in April 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.