From farm to workshop and retreat centers, with some even serving as backpackers hubs, there are a number of great farms that you can visit or even volunteer at this summer in Turkey. Some are chic and more upscale than others, which are more laidback and traditional, however the following five farms all offer a unique opportunity to experience nature, enjoy a special region in Turkey and should you choose, to get your hands dirty.
Narköy Ecological Hotel
Located just 3 kilometers away from the seaside town of Kerpe on the Black Sea in Kocaeli is Narköy, a modern and stylish organic farm and restaurant, ecological hotel and education center. Situated inland in a forested are with paths for nature walks and space to relax outdoors, Narköy offers a variety of comfortable accommodation options in sleek unique lodging blocks that provide full hotel amenities. The organic restaurant serves produce from their own farm and there are a variety of education workshops and training that are offered on site such as on being alone in nature, making bread, jam, rocket stoves and permaculture camps for adults and kids to name a few. Getting to Narköy is easy from Istanbul too, as it is just an approximately two and a half hour bus ride from the city proper. Narköy is also listed on Tatuta as being a farm that accepts volunteers.
Belentepe Permaculture Farm
Located in the heart of the forest of the village of Belentepe, which is located in Bursa’s Osmangazi region, the Belentepe Permaculture Farm regularly offers a variety of courses and training and also has a range of accommodation options for guests. Spanning from rooms in a stone village home to staying in domes or even a hobbit house, Belentepe is able to accommodate a total of 18 people for overnight stays and also regularly has volunteers from all over the world. In August, they will be hosting two special workshop retreats, the first being on Using Nature to Design, which will be a three-day workshop taking place from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4 and will include gardening landscaping and building skills. Then later in the month, there will be a 12-day Permaculture Design Certificate Course held from Aug. 19 to Aug. 31 that will take place in English and will grant participants an international recognized certificate in the practice of permaculture.
Herbafarm Academy and Ecological Farm
Situated at the top of a village above Bodrum’s popular Yalikavak region, Herbafarm is a wonderful place to visit, vacation in or take part in some of the wonderful training and workshops they offer all while being based in the most in demand summed destination in Turkey. Started by a woman who used to serve as the chairman of the executive board of Otacı, which is Turkey’s most well-known brand for natural beauty products, Herbafarm also offers a wide variety of courses and training from their farm located in the hills of Gökçebel. Coming up this summer season will be training in homeopathy, aromatherapy, phytotherapy, Feng Shui, mindfulness, I Ching, Ayurveda, detox and natural cosmetics to name just a few and many of which will be offered in English. Herbafarm’s comfortable accommodation is set in wooden bungalows that were designed by Austrian architects and were built using permaculture building principles.
Pastoral Vadi Ecological Life Farm
Situated in a valley surrounded by pine forests in Fethiye’s village of Yanıklar, Pastoral Vadi is an authentic Anatolian farm that utilizes ecological methods in their farming and architecture. There are a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from stone and adobe homes to wooden cabins and bungalows as well the possibility to pitch your own tent, albeit the accommodation and facilities are basic. While this farm also hosts a variety of workshops and retreats, such as last month’s Eco-Yoga Festival, it is the farm itself and surrounding nature is the highlight. Open year-round and welcoming volunteers, to many; Pastoral Vadi is considered magical, embedded in nature with mountain streams and pools to enjoy, while also being in close proximity to Fethiye’s spectacular coastline.
Bodrum Ecofarm Camping & Hostel
Last, but certainly not least is Bodrum Ecofarm Camping & Hostel, which has become a hub for international backpackers and is situated in an orange grove in a central location between Turgutreis and Gümüşlük in Bodrum. While the site is also an organic farm, it is the relaxing spots to chill out, young and social atmosphere and proximity to some of the best beaches and towns in Bodrum that makes it an indispensable spot for many. There is hostel-style dorm accommodation and the option to camp out and the farm hosts guests and volunteers from around the world.