Petting animals, playing in the hay and riding along on the tractor: holidays on the farm are a paradise for children. Adults enjoy nothing but relaxation on a 'haycation'. Choose an organic farm, stud farm or orchard to suit your fancy.

Fresh country air and secluded nature, flowering meadows and vast fields, traditional specialities and a great big adventure playground for children – that's what holidays on the farm are all about. Lovingly-arranged offers for this kind of holiday are available all across Germany, where country living has a long tradition.

Sunday morning in the barn: kids snuggle with bunnies and pet the sheep. Later they get to feed the calves, then groom the horses. Many holiday farms allow guests to experience farm life and sometimes even get involved themselves, letting children get up close with the animal kingdom.

Relaxing refuges

Old farmhouse Old farmhouse ©Adobe Stock (Christian Schwier)

Stressed city dwellers who don't have children find quiet refuges for relaxation on a 'haycation' too – sometimes even combined with wellness. Lovers of the alpine mountains in Bavaria, featuring the 'Blue Rooster' seal of approval for holiday farms, can combine the benefits of country living with the pleasures of hiking and bathing.

Accommodation ranges from rustic rooms in farmhouses to holiday homes and exclusive, contemporary apartments with all modern conveniences. In the Chiemgau, for example, around 200 farmers have specialised in farm holidays. For water lovers, the Chiemsee is always nearby – or the Alz river with its crystal-clear waters.

Freshly-baked cake and homemade jam

Baden-Württemberg: Girl harvests pears with grandparents on organic farm Baden-Württemberg: Girl harvests pears with grandparents on organic farm ©Westend61 (Sebastian Dorn)

Farms in fruit-growing regions offer special experiences as well – from spring, when apple and peach trees flower in a pink and white sea of blossoms, to autumn, when you can witness or help with the harvest. In the Altes Land region, for example, whose apple orchards sit outside the gates of Hamburg, or in Baden-Württemberg on Lake Constance. Snacking is permitted, of course!

Many farms operate according to recognised ecological standards. Farm cafes often offer freshly-baked cake with apples harvested on site. Buy local products such as fresh milk, homemade jam and free-range meat and eggs at the farm store.

Horseback riding on the Baltic and North Sea

Cuxhaven: Rider on the beach Cuxhaven: Rider on the beach ©DZT (Florian Trykowski)

"All you need for happiness is a good horse" – words to live by for holidays at the stables. Around a dozen farms in the Black Forest alone offer pony rides or trail rides through nature, including grooming and hoof care. Or you can explore the beaches of the Baltic and North Sea on longer coastal rides.

'Muggelich' is what locals in Schleswig-Holstein call their holiday farms, a charming term for a farm's cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Holiday farms are romantic refuges where traditions and values are still going strong today.