The heat wave has already started to creep in and has dampened our outdoor entertainment during weekends. Residents prefer to stay at the cool confines of their homes or pack to air-conditioned resorts abandoning wadi bashing, boat trips or a desert camp during weekends.
Gone are the outdoor barbecue days, it is so humid and hot outside, say many revellers who want to be with nature for a weekend day trip. Many are staying indoors glued to PS4s or TV sets. Farm stay is a perfect remedy to this summer blues. And Oman’s Batinah region is peppered with lot of farm houses that fits to any budget.
Though, agricultural tourism is a popular form of tourist activity in many countries around the world, it has not made a fillip in a big way in the tourism marketing scene of Oman. But the fact is that many domestic as well as tourists from the neighbouring UAE states are flocking to the farm houses in the Batinah region during the weekends. These farms are so overbooked that you will have to dial them days in advance to book one. The farm houses combine a rural world of farming with modern amenities to create a unique stay experience.
Guests have the opportunity to even experience the daily farming activities. “One of the best things about these farm stay is that children enjoy it very much with family members and friends. For the children, who have been growing in an apartment culture, the farm life is a sort of going back to nature and learning some of the basics of our life,” says Shabu Thampy, who is an ardent lover of farm stays. Children can enjoy everything that they miss in their city life.
“I always advise farm stays, because some farms are like mini-zoos and their owners take a special interest in raising animals and rare birds. Visiting families can learn many skills and gain much knowledge during the stay, such as how to grow and care for plants and trees, how to pick and store fruits and vegetables, as well as taking care of the birds and animals. We can also purchase some of the best farm fresh vegetables and fruits and dairy products from these farms,” he said.
In the Batinah region, you can also indulge in activities outside the farm, like visiting nearby farms, forts or castles and beaches, fish markets, wander through seasonal markets, or just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. The region is famous for its greenery serenity.
The very first moment you enter a farm house, you will get to know the welcoming cool climate of the place which will soothe your body and soul. Lush greenery is abundant around you with different kinds of trees and vegetables farmed and you will be amazed by the amount of hard work that has gone into the making of this farm from a desert land. You can join the farm workers in plucking mangoes, and fresh vegetables like long beans, bitter gourds, pumpkins, watermelons, tomatoes and curry leaves from the field. If you are done with the field activities, it is time to cool off yourself in the swimming pools. Many of the farm houses have indoor and outdoor pools of various size and depth.
The evenings are for you to enjoy the chirping of birds or to have a game of football or cricket with your loved ones. At night the area will be transformed into a vast open air party lawn where you can prepare barbecue, engage in games with kids, sing to karaoke music or dance to your favourite peppy beats. There are a lot of farms that you will find it difficult to choose from. Some of the high-end farms offer luxury facilities like plush accommodation with private temperature controlled pools, quality food with bbq parties, while mid-range farms offer the facilities for your stay. You can even set up your tents inside the farms and sleep there. Another attraction is that you can take 20 to 25 people to a farm for overnight stay, which compared to hotel stay is much cheaper.
The farms are a best place for activities like educational trips for the students, company meetings, team building, and family get-togethers, birthday parties, first Holy Communion and any function of your choice. These farms are situated close to the main town and all facilities like shopping malls, hospitals, supermarkets are just 5 or 10 minutes drive away. Many of the top-end farmhouses can be booked through websites such as Tripadvisor or Booking.com. Take a break, go away for a weekend and discover one of the farms available. Planning a trip like this will definitely clear your head by taking you away from the toil and stress of the daily life. It is an experience unlike any other. –[email protected] Al Harthy Palms, Barka +968 9932 1332