Welcome to the wonderful world of farm stays and agriturismos – a place where mud-splattered boots are the new Jimmy Choos and the only rush hour is the trotting of cows from pasture to pasture.

The agriturismo movement was born in Italy, but it now spreads its seed far and wide across Europe, from the frosty nooks of Iceland to the sun-soaked pastures of Greece and even on home turf in the UK. Originally started as a means to reduce rural poverty by allowing farmers to diversify their business, many still operate as working farms with the chance to get stuck into everything from olive harvesting and winemaking to beekeeping and cow milking.

These holidays have soared in popularity in recent years as travellers swap generic hotels for intimate, rustic idyls in the pursuit of a more authentic holiday experience. Often locking in swoonsome landscapes, tranquil settings and a healthy dose of much-needed off-grid, it’s no wonder why the size of the global agriturismo market was valued at a whopping £4.75 billion.

With any farm stay or agriturismo, it's certainly not one size fits all – and they can be anything from remote mountainous ranches and working farms with animals to wellness-focused retreats and vast stately homes with luxury lodgings. Whatever route you go down, it's time to dig out your dungarees, don your Craghoppers and check out these 13 unforgettable agriturismos and farm stays across the UK and Europe. 

13 agriturismos and farm stays in the UK and Europe

1. Yeo Valley

Bristol, UK

For an udderly unforgettable farmstay why not head westwards to The Mendips in Somerset to stay at the birthplace of your favourite yoghurt brand, Yeo Valley. There are three different rural stays to choose from, all of which are charming. However, if we had to choose, our favourite is the Wills Barn – a cosy 250-year-old limestone building that sleeps two, with the options to bring two pooches if they’re well-behaved. When you’re not warming your cockles by the log fire or soaking up the sweeping vistas of Blagdon Lake, head down to the Dairy HQ to tour the farm, check out the organic garden or, if you’re lucky enough to visit in August, shake a leg at Yeo’s own festival called ValleyFest. Legendairy.

From £170 per night; yeovalley.co.uk/rural-stays

2. Coombeshead Farm

Cornwall, UK

Any epicure heading to Cornwall will have their eyes (and stomach) firmly set on a stay at Coombeshead. Started by farm-to-fork trailblazers Tom Adams and April Bloomfield of London’s cult Pitt Cue and Spotted Pig, Coombeshead sits among 66 acres of farmland, offering guests a place to stay in rooms spread across the 18th-century farmhouse and converted grain store. Aside from frolicking among the resident cows pigs and chickens that roam the nearby fields, you’ll enjoy a glut of homemade farm produce from dawn until dusk in the Coombeshead restaurant. With an on-site smokehouse, bakery, curing and pickling rooms, a trip to Coombeshead Farm is a foodie pilgrimage of dangerously buckle-loosening proportions.

From £150 per night; coombesheadfarm.co.uk

3. Masseria Uccio

Tricase, Italy

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Italy’s Puglia is the land of burrata, sun-drenched lidos and cold Nastro Azzurros, and there’s no better place to stay in the region than Masseria Uccio. Set among orchards and olive groves in Bosco di Tricase, this rustic hilltop farm has been lovingly refurbished as a guesthouse with unfussy rooms around a central courtyard. Breakfast here makes you question morning cereal fare – think heaps of stracciatella doused in olive oil, salt-flecked focaccia and tomatoes that have lived a life rich in vitamin D. Aside from spending time chomping on cheese, there are hammocks to kip in, feral felines to pet and bikes to rent. Puglian perfection.

From £65 per night; masseriauccio.com

4. Pieve Marsina

Chianti, Italy

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Ditch your friends for the company of cicadas, cypress trees and a bottle of chianti at Pieve Marsina. This is an agriturismo that leans luxury with lavish lodgings set among several Tuscan stone buildings that were once (ironically) peasant dwellings many moons ago. Start the day with a bounty of pastries delivered to your door before taking a plunge in the pool and frolicking through the nearby pastures. Beyond Pieve Marsina’s boundaries is a world of wine country to explore. Head to your nearest vineyard and sample as much chianti as you can. F

rom £55 per night; borgoargenina.it

5. Feather Down Farm Stays

Various locations

Ready to get your glamp on? Your first port of call should be Feather Down Farm Stays, which works with various farms, campgrounds and glamp-grounds to offer guests the opportunity to reconnect with the fields and forest. It’s especially suited to families with children, offering the little ones the opportunity to kick up their feet and get familiar with Mother Nature. With over 30 sites to choose from, you might be surprised to find out just how accessible these escapes are.

From £159 per night; featherdown.co.uk

6. Vogafjos Farm Resort

Myvatn, Iceland

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Vogafjos is as close as it gets to a bucket list agriturismo experience. Perched on the shoreline of Lake Mývatn in the magma-shaped landscape of Iceland, travellers will have the chance to work with 120 sheep and 40 head of cattle on a farm that’s been owned by the same family for 120 years. Picture this: waking up for a breakfast of lava bread, smoked fish, fresh milk and cheese; spending a day outside in the brisk air; then unwinding in a burbling hot spring, watching the aurora borealis dance across the evening sky. We’re sold.

From £108 per night; vogafjosfarmresort.is

7. Anes-de-Vassivière

Peyrat-le-Chateau, France

How about an agriturismo with a great ass? Well, donkeys to be exact. Nestled in the Creuse department of France, Anes-de-Vassivière is a donkey farm that offers families the chance to integrate with various free-ranging quadrupeds, accompanying them on hikes along well-marked trails into the stunning Gallic countryside. Guests can opt for a range of lodging options including yurts, caravans and traditional gîtes. Yee-haw! (although hee-haw might be more apt).

From £50 per night; anes-de-vassiviere.com

8. Nordelaia

Cremolino, Italy

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If your favourite part of a holiday is lounging in a chair with a crisp glass of wine in hand, Nordelaia is going to be a shoo-in. Sitting pretty on a working vineyard, the hotel is a bastion of bucolic bliss. Wake up to the sun bouncing off hills patchworked by uniform lines of vines and finish it at one of the hotel’s two restaurants – the more casual Bistrot or fine dining L’Orto – sipping a glass made from grapes off those very vines. If you fancy immersing yourself wholly in the hotel’s viticultural side, tours of the vineyards and sessions with local winemakers can be organised. Otherwise, simply lean into the peace of it all and embrace the slow life, making your way from pool to terrace and back again, stopping only to eat and drink or soak up the view.

From £250 per night; nordelaia.com

10. Il Cellese

Chianti, Italy

For almost £50,000 per week, Il Cellese is a reminder of how far agriturismo has come, or more to the point, how its demographic has changed. Here in the Tuscan hills, a helipad can save guests the hour’s drive from Florence, but it also allows for helicopter transfers to and from the winery, a few minutes down the road in Poggibonsi. The villa itself, which received a five-star renovation last year, is fully serviced and can cater for groups of up to 19 people. Nowadays, it’s primarily reserved for members of the exclusive Il Cellese wine club, but you can get lucky with dates.

From £47,800 per week; theluxurytravelbook.com

11. Mrizi i Zanave

Lezhë, Albania

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Rather than restore the rambling old farmhouse that is home to Mrizi i Zanave with the stones that make up the rest of the structure, the team opted to fill in the gaping chasms with glass, creating a contrast between old and new that seems to serve as a perfect metaphor for this agriturismo secreted at the crest of a hill in northern Albania. At Mrizi i Zanave, chef Altin Prenga is part of a new generation of Albanians utilising the country’s reputation for local farming and production who are carving out a modern definition of Albanian cuisine. Settle in for a few days, hike the surrounding hills and come home for a Dua Lipa-approved feast cooked by Prenga – the world-famous pop star visited just a few months ago and apparently adored it.

From £50 per night; mrizizanave.al

12. The Hop Store

The Cotswolds, UK

Hop to it: this brew-tiful house is a pint-sized little wonder on the Cotswolds border. The Hop Store is a magnificent getaway in more ways than one – not least because it sits on one of the last remaining hop farms in the UK, making it an authentic slice of history. Being a working farm, the hubbub of hop harvesting, blooming orchards and a few four-legged pets will ensure you’re fully immersed in rural life. Grab a glass of local beer, soak into the hot tub and try not to feel too disconcerted when on-site donkeys Herby and Teddy pop in to say hello.

From £1,795 per week; uniquehomestays.com

13. Vila il Prato

Chianti, Italy

Patrice Taravella, the architect and landscape designer behind the gardens at South African wine estate Babylonstoren and The Newt in Somerset, bought Vignamaggio in 2015. Since then, he and his wife, interior designer Emmanuelle Sebillet, have transformed the 400-hectare Renaissance-era Chianti Classico wine estate. The work is ongoing (the main attraction, the 15th-century Villa Vignamaggio, won’t be open until next year) but a charming hotel and wedding venue are up and running, as well as a number of beautifully restored farmhouses – all just a short, dusty lurch from the estate’s historic winery.

From £18,170 per week; theluxurytravelbook.com