Be My Guest Experiences

Iv Nona Be My Guest Pizza

What is a Be My Guest Experience?

Leave your guidebooks at home and dive into the local cultures that make each destination so special. Years ago, visiting a foreign place and being invited into a local’s home for a lovingly-prepared meal – an exchange of conversation and a first-hand look into the local life – was a revolutionary concept. Then came Be My Guest, the original local travel experience born from enabling human connections between locals of the destinations we visit and our guests.

You'll connect with locals who are proud to welcome you into their community and share their stories through food – to experience the region’s delicacies and the way of life. From secret restaurants to Trafalgar exclusive Be My Guest experiences with local families, you’ll gain a glimpse into the lives of the people who call these places ‘home’.

The hosts make Be My Guest experiences so special and memorable. No matter where you are in the world, every host has a unique story, whether it’s the noble keeper of a rural French farm or the friendly Scotsman who shares his legendary tales of ancient Scotland.

The First Be My Guest Experience: Sorrento, Italy

Be My Guest began in 2009 at the Esposito family lemon farm in Sorrento, Italy. The Esposito sisters welcomed guests into their home for an evening of talking and learning over a home-cooked meal and the taste of the homegrown limoncello. With the scent of lemons hanging heavy in the air, they ate, drank, laughed, and both hosts and guests loved it.

The Esposito sisters very quickly became the highlight of the entire trip, with guests raving about the experience and buying bottles of the homegrown limoncello to take home with them. Speaking of her experience as a Be My Guest host, Mamma Esposito said, “It was the finest achievement of my life.”

The Esposito sisters have since passed on, but they leave us with traditions and moments we’ll remember forever....

Bringing A Human Touch to Guided Travel

After the success of the first Be My Guest in Italy, the search began for more memorable hosts and exclusive local experiences across Europe and beyond. Like the first experience at the Esposito family farm, many Be My Guest experiences have been created from personal relationships and local connections in each country.

Sustaining Local Communities Through Be My Guest

Be My Guest experiences have been as much about enriching the hosts' lives as they are about entertaining the guests. With 81% of Be My Guest experiences being family-run and multi-generational, guests will directly make a difference to these people by providing a source of income and preserving the local customs and heritage.

Additionally, most Be My Guest experiences take place outside the major cities in small, regional communities – spreading tourism out of the hubs and combatting over-tourism.

Be My Guest Experiences We Love

France: Chateau L’Etape Gourmand

“In France, we always welcome our guests with a glass of wine in hand and say ‘sante’!”

France Villandry Be My Guest Chateau L Etape Gourmand Beatrice Alexandra Expert (1)

Italy: Villa Il Leccio, Tuscany

"I asked Giada for her chicken recipe to make at home, it was that wonderful!"

Giada Landa Florence Tuscany

Scotland: Ledard Hill Farm

The farm dates back to 1474 and is home to three Wood family generations.

Scotland Wood Farm Ledard Be My Guest Expert

Norway: Øvre-Eide Gård Farm

Immerse yourself in what it’s like to live in Norway’s enchanting countryside

Norway Scandinavia Be My Guest Bergen Tt (1)

Not only are you viewing a destination from a local’s lens, but you also learn about their craft, way of life, and family heritage. After a Be My Guest experience, you’re guaranteed to take home powerful memories of the sights, scents, tastes, and stories you heard while sharing laughs with your host and fellow guests.

Experience the timeless charms of Croatian village life as you Connect with Locals on the island of Hvar. Arriving at the hamlet of Humac, you’ll be greeted with characteristic Croatian warmth - your hosts Jacov Francicevic and his wife Keti, are ready and eager to share their enchanting tales of the family’s 100-year-old ties to this farm. You’ll walk along a pathway lit by candles, settling into the cozy restaurant for a mouth-watering dinner of lamb, fresh octopus, and delicious sides where everything is sourced locally and cooked in clay pots without electricity, a method unique to this farm, which needs to be seen to be believed. After dinner, you’ll explore the once-abandoned but now revived village, soaking up its stunning views and learning all about its local history. 

The trips to take

Pearls of The Adriatic Croatian Cruising, Highlights of Austria, Slovenia Croatia

Connect with locals in their village home in Egypt’s Valley of Kings. Enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest encounter on the banks of the Nile, where you’ll meet your hosts, the wonderful El Boerey family, who’ll share their stories about family life in a typical Luxor village. Savor a local culinary tradition of warm mint tea and freshly baked local bread with honey, learning about the region’s culture and the fascinating history seen in the temples and tombs of the dynasties of Ancient Egypt.

The trip to take

Wonders of Ancient Egypt

Connect With Locals Ian and Ann Dyer, an English Lord and Lady, at their home Blackmore Farm, a 15th-century dairy farm located at the foot of the stunning Quantock Hills in Somerset. Your hosts for the day, who come from old farming families, first met through the Young Farmers Club and married in their twenties. You'll follow Ian on a fun and fascinating introduction to the ancient manor, complete with suits of armor and ancient weapons hanging from its ancient walls - the building has seen plenty of history, having been mentioned in the Domesday book of 1085. While you’ll want to spend forever imagining the tales of knights and nobility who spent time here, don’t miss out on the sweet treats at the local farm shop, which serves up delicious ice cream courtesy of Ian and Ann’s dairy cows. After you’ve wandered around the property, you’ll sit down to a delicious Be My Guest lunch prepared by Ann, a keen cook who always prefers to use local produce. After spending quality time with this charismatic pair, you'll feel like you’ve had a real insight into an old rural English family and their beautiful home and farm.

The trips to take

Amazing Britain, Best of Britain, Best of Devon and Cornwall, Britain and Ireland Highlights, Castles and Kilts, European Whirl, London and Paris Explorer, London Explorer, Real Britain, Wonders of Britain and Ireland, WW1 and WW2 Battlefields

This is one memory that will last a lifetime as you escape to Christine’s cozy farmhouse in Cumbria, an unforgettable highlight on your journey. Beyond exploring the irresistible beauty of the Lake District, you’ll Connect With Locals and gain a real understanding of what life is like in this little corner of rural England, with your host warmly welcoming you to their sheep farm for an exclusive Be My Guest experience. You’ll learn how they’ve farmed this land for generations and hear all their family stories before exploring the property to meet their extended family of horses, cattle, rabbits, and alpacas. All that fresh Cumbrian air will give you an appetite, and Christine’s homemade regional feast of Cumberland sausage, hot pot, and steaming cottage pie will fill you right up, but be sure to leave space for dessert as her famous dessert trolley is the star of the show. 

The trips to take

Amazing Britain, Best of Britain, Best of Devon and Cornwall, Britain and Ireland Highlights, Britain and Ireland Panorama, Castles and Kilts, European Whirl, London and Paris Explorer, London Explorer, Real Britain, Wonders of Britain and Ireland, WW1 and WW2 Battlefields

Meet Madame Beatrice de Monferrier, the owner of the farm-to-table restaurant and estate Chateau L’Etape Gourmand, on a Be My Guest experience that will take you back in time to 17th-century France.

As you walk down the country lane toward the famous Chateau L’Etape Gourmade, you’ll hear a melodious voice call out, “Bonjour. Bienvenue dans ma maison et ma ferme” (“Hello and welcome to my house and my farm”). You can feel you’re about to experience a real hidden treasure.

As she asks everyone to call her, Beatrice is the gracious and welcoming owner of a magnificent 17th-century estate in Villandry, France.

Visiting Chateau L’Etape Gourmade and meeting Beatrice is one of the exclusive Be My Guest experiences on our Best of France trip.

“This is a farm and our buildings are very old. From the 17th century. I think it’s a joy for everyone to forget big towns,” Beatrice says. “Together with my daughter Alexandra, we work the land. We have 17 hectares. We have animals; many boarders like our chickens, goats, sheep, and ducks. And, of course, the restaurant. When you visit, I think what is very special is you arrive into a very rural atmosphere of France. You will see our everyday life. I think that is very important because it’s very rare.”

“I make my own cheese. But as you know I am getting younger and younger every year and I can’t make as much cheese. Now I just make my cheese only for Trafalgar guests,” laughs Beatrice.

During your visit to Chateau L’Etape Gourmand, you’ll enjoy a three-course Tourangelle dinner accompanied by local wines. “In France, we always welcome our guests with a glass of wine in hand and say ‘sante’!”

But perhaps the most memorable part of your experience is getting to know Beatrice herself. “I think the experience you will like is that we treat you like friends. We talk together. We explain
what is important for you to understand when you come here,” Beatrice says. “It’s a very friendly atmosphere. I really feel happy because you arrive and you give life to those buildings which I love. This is very important for me.”

“I think our visitors are happy when they come because they talk a lot. And they give me lots of kisses,” she adds with a smile.

The trips to take

European Highlights, European Whirl, London and Paris Explorer, Mediterranean Highlights, Paris Explorer, Riviera Explorer, Treasures of France including Normandy, Wonderful France, WW1 and WW2 Battlefields

Spend quality time with genuine aristocrats from a 17th-century Northern French family in their home, the Château d’Eporcé. At this exclusive Be My Guest experience, you'll be warmly greeted by hosts Count Remy de Scitvaux and his talented wife Lydia, who’ll take you on a tour of their family mansion, sharing stories about its fascinating history. You’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a painting, with the grand château sitting in its landscaped parklands, the estate cattle grazing in the shadow of centuries-old trees, and a silvery moat protecting the property. Enjoy a quiet stroll around its idyllic gardens, and if your visit coincides with spring, you’ll be just in time to see and smell the exquisite blooming hyacinths. Your hosts will join you for a light lunch in one of their château's richly decorated rooms, featuring the best of Sarthe regional produce. As you sip local wines and sample mouth-watering cheeses and patés, you’ll have a chance to ask them about the French nobility, deepening your experience and understanding of Northern France.

The trip to take

Treasures of France including Normandy

Travel to the island of Haapasaari, a protected natural reserve at the heart of Lake Päijänne in Finland, where you’ll enjoy an unforgettable Be My Guest experience and all the local flavors in beautiful natural surroundings. You'll Connect With Locals and gain a deep appreciation for what it’s like to live in this part of Finland, away from the busy life in the city. Spending quality time with new friends, you’ll begin the evening with a welcome drink of apples harvested from Apaja’s apple trees, perhaps choosing to stretch your legs on a guided walk on which you‘ll learn about the areas captivating history. Your host Jemina Kyyrö will be on hand to share stories about the region. You’ll settle in for a meal of typical Finnish dishes like smoked bread cheese with cloudberry jam, oven-baked salmon, and rye-blueberry bake with whipped vanilla dressing. Savoring the local organic produce grown here in this area, you'll gain a deep appreciation for the fruits of the land that have formed the heart of the farm-to-table ethos fostered by Savutuvan Apaja.

The trips to take

Best of Germany, Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, European Highlights, European Whirl, German Christmas Markets, Imperial Europe, Sound of Music

Experience the best of Greece and travel back to an ancient time on a special olive oil and wine-tasting Be My Guest experience with the Karambellas family in the birthplace of the Olympic Games. You’ll be greeted with a warm smile by your host, Dimitris Karambellas, the restaurant and mill owner. Enjoy a freshly baked local pie and a glass of ouzo. Walk the beautiful grounds of the 30-acre property, nestled among olive trees and vineyards, and discover how olive oil and wines are traditionally made, tasting the wine straight from the barrel before sitting down to a dinner of hearty Greek fare. You’ll end the day feeling like you’ve had a true encounter with rural Greece, especially as you jump up and join in the fun with some traditional dancing after dinner.

The trips to take

Best of Greece, Greek Island Hopper, Best of Italy and Greece, Secrets of Greece including Corfu

Your hosts, the warm Schieszl family, welcome you in true Hungarian fashion. Join the friendly family patriarch, Konrad, for a tour of the family restaurant and wine cellars. Konrad is an exceptional storyteller, and you’ll hear all about the harsh realities of life during World War II and a fascinating family story of tragedy and triumph that will leave you thoroughly captivated. Enlightened by the colorful stories, you’ll settle in for a cozy three-course meal featuring Hungarian favorites with hints of Swabian influencers, in keeping with the family’s cultural lineage. After saying your goodbyes, you’ll leave feeling closer to Hungarian history and having gained a unique insight into Hungarian family life.

The trips to take

Imperial Europe, Prague, Vienna and Budapest 

Visit Selfoss and meet a master storyteller and her husband, a famous songwriter, who'll share their rich Icelandic traditions through songs and stories. Enjoy the warm hospitality of Valgeir and Àsta, who will greet you with a welcome drink and friendly smile on arrival. You'll learn how renowned author Àsta established the Bakkastofa Culture Center, where her 19th-century ancestors grew up and shared their ancient stories of the Icelandic people. Together the couple will share unique insights into life here, and you’ll love hearing first-hand how this special place fuelled her imagination and inspired her passion for sharing historic tales from a very early age. After a short walk to a local restaurant, Valgeir will sing songs that take you deep into Iceland’s mythical past before they both join you for dinner featuring timeless Icelandic dishes.

The trip to take

Iceland including the Blue Lagoon

The warmth of Catherine Fulvio will linger long after your mesmerizing experience in her home ends, and you’ll never forget this exclusive opportunity to spend quality time with your host, an Irish celebrity chef. You’ll feel right at home at Glenealy, Catherine’s family house and farm, packed with charming memorabilia and delicious scents from the wonderful dishes for which Catherine is justifiably famous. You’ll Connect With Locals and learn how Catherine met her Sicilian husband in an Irish pub and how she now lives and works on the farm her family has owned since 1910. Getting out into the open air, you’ll enjoy a stroll around the farm’s extensive herb and vegetable garden as you learn about Catherine’s passion for home, food, and all things Irish before settling in for a feast of epic proportions created with love and the home-grown produce you’ve just seen as you settle in for her signature Irish cuisine with an incredible Italian twist. Our favorite is the Irish Flag soup, and as you savor its delicious flavor, you’ll learn about the recipe, which features in Catherine’s own range of cookbooks. As the sun sets on your visit to the Fulvio family farm, you’ll leave knowing you’ve had the perfect unforgettable encounter with an Irish family and shared their exceptional culinary traditions. This experience will stay with you forever.

The trips to take:

Amazing Ireland, Best of Ireland, Best of Ireland and Scotland, Britain and Ireland Highlights, Britain and Ireland Panorama, Castles and Manors, Enchanting Emerald Isle, Highlights of Ireland and Scotland, Irish Highlights, Treasures of Ireland, Wonders of Britain and Ireland

Enchanting Oonagh is your lovely host for this unforgettable experience on the stunning Wild Atlantic Way. You’ll treasure every moment spent in her company – a real highlight on your trip. Head down the rustic lane that leads to a beautiful beach just outside Lahinch, joining Oonagh, a local horticulturalists, for a walk along the windswept shore. Oonagh shares her in-depth knowledge of the various wild foods scattered around the beach that can be eaten, and you’ll be amazed by her stories before strolling up the lane to Barrtra Seafood restaurant for a tasty lunch prepared by the owner, Ruben, all while enjoying irresistible views of Liscannor Bay and the Cliffs of Moher. Say your goodbyes, enriched by Oonagh’s passion for living off the land on one of the world’s most iconic coastlines.

The trips to take

Amazing Ireland, Best of Ireland, Best of Ireland and Scotland, Britain and Ireland Highlights, Castles and Manors, Enchanting Emerald Isle, Highlights of Ireland and Scotland, Irish Highlights, Treasures of Ireland, Wonders of Britain and Ireland

Travel back to 1930s Ireland for an exclusive experience and an unforgettable historic encounter at Muckross Traditional Farms. This open-air museum forms part of the Killarney National Park. The warm and friendly locals who work here are genuine country folk who love nothing more than to show you how their parents and grandparents used to work hard to make a living in rural Ireland. Your host is an incredible storyteller who’ll enchant you with tales in the finest Irish tradition and make you feel like you’re part of the family. As you walk through the old buildings, you can admire all the original furnishings, including the charming kitchen, and be transported back to the 1930s with the aromas from the open peat fires. During your meal, featuring such delicious dishes as Irish lamb casserole and Potato ‘Boxtie’, a traditional musician will entertain you with lively local tunes, all washed down with your choice of local beer or French wine.

The trips to take

Amazing Ireland, Best of Ireland, Best of Ireland and Scotland, Britain and Ireland Highlights, Castles and Manors, Enchanting Emerald Isle, Highlights of Ireland and Scotland, Ireland's Legendary North, Irish Highlights, Treasures of Ireland, Wonders of Britain and Ireland

Discover the fascinating tales of the Old City of Jaffa and connect with Doris Hiffawi and her family in their home in vibrant Tel Aviv. The warm Levantine greeting from Doris sets the tone for the rest of the exclusive Be My Guest experience, which will feature true local hospitality and stories of how she grew up Christian in this cross-cultural Jewish, Muslim, and Christian city. Learning what life is like in this multicultural part of the city, you'll sit down to a meal and gain insights into her deep passion for maintaining the bonds of community and shared culture. As you feast on the tastiest of local Arab delicacies, you’ll discover that her family has been involved in the business of making coffee in the heart of Jaffa for 60 years; also learning what it means to be Arab, Christian, and female living in Israel today. After saying your goodbyes, you’ll leave feeling like you've been fully immersed in this unique blending of cultures that is unique to Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

The trips to take

Best of Israel and Jordan, Jordan Experience, Land of the Gods

You'll experience far more than the beautiful Tuscan landscape during this exclusive Be My Guest experience at Castello del Trebbio, a magnificent castle set deep in the Tuscan hills. Here you'll take your front-row seat in the tale of drama and intrigue that is the Pazzi and Medici feud which rocked the city of Florence centuries ago, hearing how the Pazzi family came up with a plot in this very castle to dethrone the Medici as rulers of Florence. Today the owners of this fine castle are the Baj-Macario family, your warm hosts for the duration of this extraordinary and exclusive tour of their 12th-century castle and its wine cellars (once home to the castle’s infamous dungeons!). Sit down to a traditional Tuscan meal in the castle's grand hall, with a view of its lush gardens beyond. You’ll learn all about its history, how cousins Alberto and Anna, alongside her husband Stefano, now run the castle in harmony with nature, and how everything on your plate comes from the estate or within one kilometer of the property. It’s a hard act to follow, but there’s no better end to those Tuscan flavors than a taste of their award-winning local Chianti and home-produced olive oil, which you’ll get to sample as the night rolls on.

The trips to take

Best of Italy and Sicily, Best of Switzerland, Colours of Sicily, European Whirl, Gladiators, Gondolas and Gold, Grand Italian Experience, Great Italian Cities, Italian Concerto, Italian Discovery, Italian Holiday, Italy Bellissimo, Majestic Europe, Mediterranean Highlights, Northern Italy including Cinque Terre, Riviera Explorer, Rome and Tuscan Highlights

You’ll feel like part of the family when you visit your hosts, the Landi family, at their extraordinary home in Tuscany for an exclusive Be My Guest experience that’s all heart and history. The Landi’s historic home, Il Leccio, has been the family home for the past 350 years – its origins can be traced to Torre del Leccio, a medieval defensive tower. Besides its extraordinary history, the landscapes are breathtaking. You’ll want to soak it all in as you try to commit the rolling Chianti hills, vineyards, and olive groves to memory. The lovely Giada will welcome you with characteristic Italian warmth. Enjoy a refreshing aperitif on a leisurely walk through the beautiful estate, including the stunning frescoed rooms and beautifully tended gardens. It isn’t easy to believe that someone actually lives in this slice of paradise. Still, you’ll get to know its nooks and crannies as Giada shares her family history with you and what life is like as a mother and business owner in the heart of the Chianti countryside. You’ll be amazed to discover that everything on your plate has been grown and produced right here on the estate, including your wine. 

The trips to take

Best of Italy and Sicily, Best of Switzerland, Colours of Sicily, European Whirl, Gladiators, Gondolas and Gold, Grand Italian Experience, Great Italian Cities, Italian Concerto, Italian Discovery, Italian Holiday, Italy Bellissimo, Northern Italy including Cinque Terre, Riviera Explorer, Rome and Tuscan Highlights

Spend quality time with the fabulous Lenzi family at Fattoria di Petroio, their stunning Tuscan wine estate. The estate is owned by your hosts, Gian Luigi – an academic and doctor – along with his delightful American wife, Pamela, and their daughter, Diana, who works tirelessly on the family estate to produce exceptional Italian wine – over 4,000 bottles every year. Once a chef at some of the leading restaurants in Rome, Diana now devotes most of her time to her family’s estate, handling everything from accounting and cooking to planting and harvesting – when she’s not looking after her twins. Join talented Diana for an exclusive Be My Guest experience today as she leads you through the successful winery and vineyards, sharing in-depth insights into the intricate process of winemaking. You’ll marvel at the energy of your wonderful host as she takes you past the beautiful wooden wine barrels in the Lenzi cellars before you get to sample a selection of the various vintages for yourself when you sit down to the most delicious home-cooked four-course lunch prepared lovingly by Diana. Hear captivating stories about the Lenzi family, their history, and their lives in rural Italy, leaving you with a rare insight into a real Italian family with solid roots in Tuscany.

The trips to take

Best of Italy and Sicily, Best of Switzerland, Colours of Sicily, European Whirl, Gladiators, Gondolas and Gold, Great Italian Cities, Italian Concerto, Italian Discovery, Italian Holiday, Italy Bellissimo, Northern Italy including Cinque Terre, Riviera Explorer, Rome and Tuscan Highlights

All your dreams of Morocco come to life as you Connect With Locals at an exclusive Be My Guest dinner experience in a traditional riad in Fes. You'll take a deep dive into this fascinating country and its rich culture, sampling the classic delights of Moroccan food with real Fes locals. You'll feel like part of the family as soon as you arrive at the riad, a traditional Moroccan-style abode set around an inner courtyard, which is the beating heart and soul of the home. The family will share the history of the riad, and with their talent for storytelling, taking you on a journey into the Morocco of old and sharing their connection to the home and how the family lives and works today. After a delicious feast with twinkling candles, music, and a spice scent in the air, you'll leave knowing you’ve had a true insight into a traditional Moroccan family's past, present, and future.

The trips to take

Best of Morocco, Spain, Morocco and Portugal

Welcome to Uhlenhorst, where you’ll be taking a tour of the Seifart family farm – gaining insight into the challenges and joys of daily life as farmers in Namibia, one of the driest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa! You’ll Connect With Locals on this Be My Guest experience, meeting Marianne and Rainer Seifart - and their many resident cattle, goats, and sheep. This tour also gives you a chance to enjoy one of the most traditional meals of your vacation: a delicious buffet lunch served with local specialties. What a treat!

The trip to take

Namibia Adventure

Roll up your sleeves for a heart-warming visit to Øvre Eide, a 500-year-old working farm near Bergen, at the edge of a lake surrounded by lush green landscapes, colorful little houses, and farmland as far as the eye can see. This is picture-perfect rural Norway at its best, but there’s more to Øvre Eide than its stunning surroundings. You'll never forget the warmth of your Norwegian hosts, who welcome you to their home with characteristic Norwegian hospitality. Arild Nydegger and his family will share their pride and joy – the farm which has been in the family since the late 19th century. You’ll Connect With Locals and learn how Arild’s family has lived and worked here since then and how he now trains students to become bakers and pastry chefs. There’s time to explore the farm buildings and meet some resident sheep, ponies, chickens, hordes, and the cat – all of whom love the attention of animal-loving guests. Gathering in the cozy main house for dinner, you're in for an evening of delicious homemade favorites using local Norwegian produce. The Nydegger family like nothing more than to share their traditional music and folklore, and you’ll learn all about it as they treat you to a rousing performance in their welcoming home. After this truly special experience, you’ll say your farewells, having fully immersed yourself in what it’s like to live in Norway’s enchanting countryside.

The trips to take

Best of Norway, Capitals of Scandinavia

When you visit this working stud ranch in the heart of the beautiful rural Alentejo region, you'll be touched by the tragic tale of your hosts' ancestor who fell hopelessly in love with a queen. A Be My Guest experience featuring an incredible historical legacy, this opportunity to Connect With Locals Tiago and his wife Vera will reveal what life is like in rural Portugal. You'll start with a refreshing drink in the stables, followed by a short tour of the property, learning more about the history of the stud farm and how their ancestor, Jacinto, fell in love with the King of Spain's wife in the 18th century. He vowed he would never love anyone else again and demonstrated his devotion to the Queen by letting his beard grow to the ground and never trimming it again. Vera and Tiago are descendants of the nephews who took over the stud farm from their broken-hearted uncle. They will take you on a tour of the Picadero or riding school before enjoying a delicious lunch of homemade Portuguese fare in Tiago’s grandparent’s home, which is filled with charming rooms that will transport you back to the Portugal of old. After lunch, you’ll enjoy coffee in the gallery overlooking the stud’s arena whilst enjoying an amazing performance by the iconic Lusitano horses ridden by this elegant Portuguese couple. As you say your goodbyes, you’ll leave with a truly special story of the life of fine horse breeders in this secluded part of the Alentejo.

The trips to take

Best of Portugal, Great Iberian Cities, Spain, Morocco and Portugal, Treasures of Spain and Portugal, Highlights of Spain and Portugal

In the heart of the Trossachs, on Scotland’s first National Park, you’ll find the historic 300-acre Ledard Farm on the shores of Loch Ard, surrounded by the majestic slopes of Ben Lomond and Ben Venue.

Fergus Wood, head of the Wood family and Ledard Farm, was hoping to hand his farm over to his children but understood that there might be a need to diversify. “Everyone wants to hand their farm over to their family,” Fergus supposes; however, children might not want to take over the farm, “they want to be IT experts or lawyers or accounts, or whatever they want to be.”

Fergus and his oldest son Gregor partnered up and branched into tourism to keep the farm in the family and maintain their heritage. “It’s all part and parcel of what we’re about, welcoming people onto our farm, and giving them the opportunity to meet a Scottish farming family in their home.”

The oldest building on the property was built in 1587. Behind this building, the friendly Scotsman is proud to show off a hydroelectric turbine taking water down from the mountain that rises above the farm. Ledard also utilizes 109 solar panels.

“We’re an ancient farm with old buildings, the buildings we use for our visitors are of a vintage of 1604, at the same time the electricity in them is coming from a solar skin, so renewable energy is a big part of our diversification, ” Fergus says. Guests dine under these solar-powered lights in the historical MacGregors Barn.

As for dinner, “It’s very traditional fare, lamb is always the main course – as you would expect from a sheep farm.” It kicks off with a lentil broth, a classic farmer's soup according to Fergus, and finishes with the Scottish dessert Cranachan [pronounced: kranəkən]. Cranachan combines many ingredients that Scotland is known for whiskey, homemade shortbread, and raspberries layered together with cream.

Home to the Scottish Sheepdog School, Ledard Farm trains and keeps Border Collies. “My number one dog is called Jess,” Fergus says fondly. Guests meet Jess and learn about the work she and her fellow sheepdogs perform on the farm. “You can’t gather sheep without sheepdogs, it’s physically impossible, so our dogs are very important to us. There’s a very strong relationship between man and dog.”

Along with Fergus, his youngest son and wife help train and care for the dogs. “It’s very much a family business, that’s how we set it up, that’s how we hope it will continue, welcoming people to the farm is very big part of that. We’ll give our guests all the history and a wee bit of music.”

From the history of the farm and country to renewable energy, Fergus enjoys sharing and conversing with his guests. “We hope we send them off that they’ve got a much better understanding of what Scotland’s about. We’ve got a country of great history, but a forward-looking country… We’re not just talking about the history and the past, we’re talking about future.”

The trips to take

Amazing Britain, Best of Britain, Best of Ireland and Scotland, Best of Scotland, Britain and Ireland Highlights, Britain and Ireland Panorama, Castles and Kilts, Highland Trail inspired by Outlander, Highlights of Ireland and Scotland, Real Britain, Scotland's Highlands, Islands and Cities, Wonders of Britain and Ireland

Travel to the outskirts of Seville to an Andalusian olive oil mill for a charming Be My Guest encounter with the Morillo family, a highlight experience. You’ll Connect With Locals as you meet the warm and welcoming Isaac and some other family members before touring the property to see how their olive business is truly a family affair passed down from generation to generation. Isaac will guide you through the olive groves and mill and take you enthusiastically through the steps of tasting, tasting, and recognizing what makes an award-winning olive oil. You'll discover that the family’s olive oil brand, Basilippo, has won a slew of prizes in the UK, the US, and Japan - all richly deserved by the Morillos, who, as you'll witness first-hand, are truly passionate about the art of producing high-quality olives and olive oil. Moving to the family’s beautiful whitewashed hacienda, you'll enjoy a traditional Andalusian meal as you dine al fresco on a warm evening or in one of the rooms off the main courtyard when the weather is cooler. After you've said your goodbyes, you’ll leave feeling like you’ve had a special introduction to the daily lives of a family in Spain's Andalusia region and the strong tradition of Spanish olive oil production.

The trips to take

Best of Spain, Great Iberian Cities, Spain, Morocco and Portugal, Treasures of Spain and Portugal

You'll never forget your trip to northern Spain, where you'll Connect With Locals and enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest experience featuring all the flavors of Asturias at the Castañón family’s Cider Mill. Hosts Marta and her uncle Julio are there to greet you with characteristic warmth as you arrive, taking you on a memorable tour through the rooms where the cider is created and sharing the family’s expertise and talents on the best way to make this delicious and popular Asturian drink, which the Castañón family have been producing since the 1930s. You'll discover the different flavors and aromas that distinguish the various versions they brew and have an opportunity to taste the cider, which involves pouring the brew from a great height to ‘purify’ it! You'll come to know the real Asturias as you enjoy an Espicha dinner in the barrel room, enjoying dishes complementing the drink such as Spanish omelet, Asturian cachopinos (two small steaks filled with Serrano ham and cheese), the traditional Fabada (a bean stew with bacon and chorizo sausage), and vegetables, cheeses and desserts. You’ll really feel like you’ve got to know the region and its culture under the family’s expert guidance as you wash down each dish with a glass of cider, or, if you prefer, you can choose to drink it straight from the barrel - the Asturian way.

The trips to take

Best of Spain, Great Iberian Cities, Spain, Morocco and Portugal, Treasures of Spain and Portugal

Connect with Locals on a wonderful Be My Guest experience at Lavaux vineyards, where you'll fall for the gorgeous vine-clad hills above Montreux, with its stunning views over Lake Geneva and the snow-capped Alps shimmering in the distance. When you arrive, you’ll meet your host Christelle Conne, whose family has cultivated wine in the Chexbres region since the 15th century. You'll learn about the family’s wine-making techniques, passed on through the generations, and how they've adapted in the 21st century. You’ll learn first-hand what it takes to make truly superb wine. Venture down to the ancient wine cellars with their century-old wooden barrels, where you’ll be lucky enough to sample some of the best wines from the family vineyard. Finishing the experience with a delicious lunch, you’ll feast on a selection of local favorites - the perfect accompaniment to the Conne family wines and your exclusive peek into Swiss wine-making traditions.

The trips to take

Best of Switzerland, Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Contrasts of Switzerland, European Whirl, Swiss Delight, Switzerland and Austria

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