Saturday 15 June 2019

These 5 farming holidays let you experience a new country with an agricultural twist

From a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cuba to a tour of India’s rural delights, an agricultural holiday is a perfect option for anyone who wants to combine travel with their love of farming.

You can see all the famous tourist spots while also discovering more about farming techniques and traditions in other countries. Guided tours are a great way to see a new country and get a real insight into how the locals live and work.

It’s a chance to join like-minded people on an amazing adventure with an agriculture twist.

As Ireland’s leading agricultural tour specialists, GTI offer trips to a variety of incredible destinations. Here are just five of the great guided tours that you could try in 2019.

Cuba

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This unique Cuban tour gives you the chance to explore the island and its history, meet the people, and sample the culture and traditions of Cuba. You’ll enjoy guided tours around tourist hotspots like Havana while also taking a deep dive into Cuba’s state-run agricultural system. Take in the research and development centres of Cuban agriculture and see the "finca", on which bananas, avocados, lettuce, mint and much more are grown.

The tour also features a trip to a tobacco farm, a visit to the infamous Bay of Pigs, the Ché Guevara museum and much more. The tour runs from November 18-28 and costs €2,999pps.

The Baltics

This tour of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia takes you through some of the region’s most breathtaking landscapes and lets you dip your toe in the local culture and traditions. You’ll visit the historical cities of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, with their countless tourist attractions, famous old towns and impressive architectural delights.

Agricultural highlights will include a trip to agri firm Tervete to find out about Latvian milk and crop production and a visit to a Lithuanian ecological dairy farm. You will also take in iconic locations like the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania and the beautiful Gauja National Park. The tour runs from October 1-9 an costs €1,399pps.

South Africa

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Imagine taking a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, visiting the Cape of Good Hope, and seeing where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island. If that sounds good, this South African tour is for you. You’ll also travel to a penguin colony, go looking for humpback whales at Hermanus, do a tour of the famed Cango, and enjoy morning and evening safaris.

Get up close to some ostriches at the High Gate Ostrich Show Farm and see cauliflower and broccoli production on a local farm. Another farm visit takes in local dairy farms and there’s the chance to see a mixed farm that includes a flock of commercial ostriches, Dohne Merino sheep, Nguni beef cattle and crops. That’s just the tip of the iceberg on this packed tour, which runs from 29 November to December 12 and costs from €3,385pps.

India

Starting in Dehli, this tour of the India’s farms and villages will immerse you in the cultural, architectural and natural beauty of Delhi, Agra, Karauli, Ranthambore and Jaipur. Day trips will include the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), which is dedicated to developing higher crop yields and new hybrid varieties of seeds and plants. You’ll also visit farmlands near Karauli to meet farmers and try out traditional ploughing techniques, and see how a dairy farm works in India.

This is a rare chance to explore India’s rich culture and history with a guide and to see famous tourist sites like the India Gate, Agra Fort, the City Palace, Ganesh Temple and more. You could get up close to a live tiger on the tiger reserve at Ranthambhore National Park, ride an elephant and go out into smaller villages to meet the locals and see how they live. The tour runs from November 19-December 3 and it costs from €2,469pps.

New Zealand and Australia

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This trip of a lifetime will take you to New Zealand to see its sweeping scenery, rugged coastlines, vast beaches and dramatic mountains. You’ll experience Maori culture and see how beef, dairy and tillage farms operate in the Land of the Long Cloud. Then it’s on to Sydney and a tour of its spectacular harbour.

The tour includes visits to dairy, beef and tillage farms that use innovative methods to deal with the heat and other adverse conditions. It’s also a chance to see how they run huge farms like a 4,300ha property overlooking Lake Taupo in New Zealand, which has 2,500ha of effective grazing land. This extensive tour runs from November 24 to December 13 and costs from €5,099pps.

For more information or to book a holiday, call (01) 843 4734 or visit the GTI website.

Sponsored by: GTI

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