Away from the excitement of cities like Paris, Barcelona and Florence is a place a little quieter. It’s somewhere you can stretch out your legs and breathe in the freshest air in Europe. It’s the European countryside and farms. Nearly every country is speckled with picturesque fields, bountiful farmlands and sweet serenity. Whether your heart and soul is drawn to farmlands or you want your vacation to go beyond the tourist cities, the European countryside is where you belong.
Start your rural adventure in Serbia. The quiet country is at it’s quaintest in the tiny villages peppered in the middle of nowhere known as Ethnic Villages. Step into one of the small cottages and smell the hand carved wooden features throughout. Then indulge in a feast of locally grown strawberries, mushrooms and more. And wash it all down with fresh milk from the farm. Don’t worry about having to find a nearby hotel. You can stay right on the farm in one of the cottages.
If the tiny Ethnic Villages of Serbia aren’t vibrant enough, go next door to Montenegro. Throughout the country you’ll find villages tucked away next to lakes, rivers and lush forests. In the village of Lipovo, you can pick wild berries in the morning, spend the afternoon fishing at a nearby lake, learn to make homemade cheese and end the night sipping locally made (and very strong) brandy. Then, retreat to a room in a bed and breakfast to ensure you have everything you need for a quaint, quiet stay under the starry skies.
Of course, if you’re looking for a place more secluded, your next stop is Hungary. The country’s folksy countryside is best explored in multiple stops. Go horseback riding at the farmland of Ecopark Bükkösd. You can also go hunting for deer and wild boar if you’re feeling adventurous. Other stops include Felsőszenterzsébet and Hollókő. Hollókő being the place where you can truly sit back in awe of the beauty found in the European countryside.
Then, it’s off to Poland, where you can learn more about the natural countryside living in Europe. Spend the day picking berries, sampling local honey and even trying your hand at cheese making. Sheep’s milk is the main ingredient for many of the local cheeses, an important part of the country’s cuisine. If you want a more relaxing experience, try fishing at a nearby lake or river. It’s a great place to pitch a tent and take in the great outdoors. But there are plenty of hotels, cottages and bed and breakfasts for a more pampered stay.
Finally, be sure to stop in Romania, where centuries-old customs are still the standard of doing things. Wherever you stop, the friendly locals welcome you with open arms and bountiful farms. With over 2,500 boarding houses, there’s always room to stay. You can learn the ways of the generational families by woodcarving, haymaking, and working the land alongside locals. It’s a place where your vacation gets hands-on and becomes a one-of-a-kind experience for any visitor. Stay in one of the boarding houses for an authentic European stay.
All along the way, you’ll see wild horses, local flora, and small farms sprawling across the hills. Take a road trip or backpack your way through it all to make your own adventure. You can stay in bed and breakfasts, camp nearby farm villages or stay right inside a local cottage. You never know what new surprise awaits you over the next hill or around the next bend. Enjoy the land. Relax in the countryside. And, wherever you stop along the way on your rural trip, take it all in.