Rural and agricultural tourism is currently one of the most attractive forms of recreation. Even in the Liberec Region more and more people are seeking the opportunity to spend their holidays on farms and rural homesteads. Maybe it is the chance to forget the problems of civilisation that’s appealing, or perhaps people want to return to nature just for a while. A number of parents opt for this type of holiday because of their young children, whom they want to bring closer to life in the countryside. Visitors have the opportunity to taste homemade products such as goat’s cheese and sheep’s cheese or fresh milk, and they can also take part in farm labour.
Horse riding along with hippo therapy, is an inherent part of agricultural tourism. The first bridleway in the Liberec Region is the 25 kilometre track from Jablonec nad Jizerou to Albrechtice near Tanvald. The bridleways in the Česká Lípa Region, which converge into a dense network of tracks in neighbouring Germany, take you through the region of the Czech poet, Karel Hynek Mácha and also the notorious former military zone of Ralsko, which is today an unspoilt landscape awaiting discovery. Individual bridleways lead to so called “stations” or resting places, which offer stables for the horses, accommodation for their owners, a riding school, trips on horseback, or even by carriage or cart, and overnight camps for adults and children. For the more adventurous, there is the possibility to try Western riding and learn the skills of a cowboy. Last but not least, the farms also offer hippo therapy, which is one of the most natural healing methods.
Fans of horse riding should not miss the horse races organised each year in Mimoň as well as “Hubert´s rides” organised in autumn in the many stables of the Liberec Region.
The rest stops of joining bridleways function as agricultural farms in the majority of cases, where in addition to horses other farm animals are reared - mostly goats and sheep. Where as a number of years ago only tens of such farms were recorded in the region, today their number has doubled and continues to grow as each year goes by. Agricultural farms can be found in every part of the Liberec Region, for example in the villages of Čikvásky near Semily, Machnín near Liberec, Albrechtice v Jizerských horách, Raspenava, Doksy, Heřmanice v Podještědí or Paseky nad Jizerou.
The Liberec Region has also seen an increase in eco-farms and centres focusing on ecological education. Eco-farms in Pěnčín near Jablonec nad Nisou, Horní Branná, Plavy or Roztoky near Jilemnice offer their visitors exhibitions of traditional handcrafts, the tasting of organic products, which are also possible to buy on the farm, and of course the possibility to take part in the running of the farm. The ecology centres, for example in Liberec, Oldřichov v Hájích, Sedmihorky and Česká Lípa, prepare programmes in ecological education and organise trips, excursions, exhibitions and workshops in handcrafts for children and adults.