Despite being the fourth smallest country in the European Union, Slovenia has shedloads to offer the curious traveller, and their family and friends.
A petite country in the centre of Europe, Slovenia shares borders with Croatia, Italy and Austria. Its green land, and bountiful landscape is fast becoming synonymous with being a leader in eco-tourism, and is commonly regarded as one of the greenest countries in the world.
It’s also one of the countries with the highest level of biodiversity in Europe, and strongly protects its national parks, and the animals that live there.
It’s little wonder then, that Slovenia is shooting its way to becoming a popular holiday destination. Whether it be for hiking, biking or for the adventurous foodie, there’s every kind of travel inspiration here to captivate different groups of travellers.
The rise of the tourist farms
The concept of tourist farms may be something unfamiliar, but in Slovenia, it plays a large part in the industry. Think vast meadows, colourful fields and lush forests that farmers have lived in, and tended to, for years. On top of this, the air is fresh, and the water’s clean and very drinkable.
A stay at a choice Slovenian farm, means waking to the sound of cow bells during the day, and the smell of freshly cut grass while roaming the fields and meadows.
The night skies offer the chance to gaze at a galaxy of stars — something that’s impossible to see in an urban jungle. It’s ultimately the chance to get in touch with nature, and Slovenia has plenty to offer.
With 800 tourist farms to choose from, picking the right one can be tricky. Of this number, 391 offers accommodation — which lessens the burden on deciding where to stay! Some farms have wineries on site, while other farms offer places to camp.
The regions in Slovenia and its tourist farms
Dramatic curves and landscapes are common in this region, thanks to the glacial occurrence that shaped the land thousands of years ago.
Home to the impressive lakes of Bled and Bohinj, the Gorenjska Region’s also home to high peaks, waterfalls and deep valleys. This region offers views all the way to the Adriatic Sea once ascending the peaks of the Julian Alps. What’s more, the Gorenjska Region has some of the cleanest water around, making it ideal for drinking, or fishing if it takes your fancy!
Ancel is a tourist farm that offers accommodation, and is also an excursion farm.
This means that they serve warm and cold dishes and beverages, and is typically open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If arriving in group and you wish to visit during the week, you need to notify excursion farms prior to arrival.
At Ancel, you’ll be in view of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Karawanken. Naturally, all produce served here is fresh, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to try some Slovenian rolled dumplings, homemade marmalade and freshly baked pastries.
Stay in a farm in one of the oldest villages in Slovenia, Stara Loka, at Megušar. Expect plenty of healthy and delicious home-cooked food, and engage in farm activities such as livestock breeding and fruit picking.
After a hard day on the farm, what better way to relax, than by spending some time in the Finnish sauna complete with Jacuzzi.
The Goriška Region
A rainbow of colour awaits in Slovenia’s Goriška Region. The area that borders Italy is known for its milky-green waters of the River Soca, and for being the centre for adrenalin-pumping activities.
Here’s where you can try your hand at some hiking, cycling, kayaking or even hand-gliding! Winemaking’s also popular in this region, particularly in the Gorska Brda Hills, with long-stretching views over the Adriatic Sea.
The tourist farm of Pri Flandru in the peaceful village of Zakojca, was once home to a famous Slovenian writer, France Bevk. Dine upon the farm’s excellent organic produce, and for afters, ride off the excess with a tranquil horse ride in the nearby fields. It’s a great choice also for families with children.
Enjoy stunning views over the Soca Valley, the Julian Alps, and the Cerkljansko mountain range with a stay at Siroko. This family-friendly tourist farm will not only be a treat on the eyes, but also on the stomach too. Its house speciality is rolled dumplings with cottage cheese, walnuts or chocolate, yum!
The largest region in the country, south-eastern Slovenia’s home to the Charterhouse of Pleterje. It’s the only functioning Carthusian monastery in Slovenia. Here the monks grow and harvest their own honey, fruits and vegetables, and even their own wine and liquor.
Alongside the monastery, this is the region to see old castles, around 65 of them in fact, as well as the Krka and Kolpa rivers.
The picturesque farm of Zagar is a kilometre and a half away from the southernmost point of Slovenia. It’s situated in the heart of the Kolpa Natural Park, giving you the opportunity to bathe (weather permitting!) in the Kolpa River. If you plan on staying here, don’t forget your sports shoes as there’s a whole of activity going on.
Sample only the best organic produce with a stay at this tourist farm. Get your teeth into some spehovka (savoury pie), dairy produce and some homemade bread. What’s more, this farm also serves up wine from their own vineyard, cheers!
A simple yet stunning landscape, the Koroška Region is made up of 3 valleys: the Mežica, the Drava and the Mislinja, and 3 mountain ranges: the Karavanke, the Pohorje Hills and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.
The Koroška region’s where you’ll also find Mt. Peca, the most easterly peak in the country at over 2,000m. If desired, you can learn more about the mountain, and the history of mining in its museum, followed by a traditional miner’s breakfast.
With a motto like ‘Farm – vacation for inspiration’, you know you’ll be in for a treat when you stay here. You can find a perfect location for watching the sunset behind the house, as well as a garden, where guests can collect vegetables.
The farm’s best known for serving its guests steaming lamb baked in a coal-covered pot.
In one of the oldest villages in the Koroska Region is the farm of Ploder. It was the first in the village of Sentanel to take part in farm tourism, serving freshly cooked specialities like pear pastry pockets, and other local delicacies.
The region that’s home to the capital Ljubljana, offers the eco-conscious traveller a wide range of farm tourism options. In fact, the city itself was named the European Green Capital, given its surroundings of Tivoli Park and the 32km ring route of the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship.
Take the opportunity to visit a farm that’s also a protected monument, by staying at Grofija. You can find a lot of history here, with the 3,000-year-old site of an early Iron Age hillfort within walking distance of the farm.
Though only an excursion farm (no accommodation), you’re sure to have an enjoyable visit at Sinkovc. Visitors can expect to eat well here, as all the produce comes from the farm on site.
During winter, they serve home-prepared pork meat and sausages, along with the Slovenian favourite of dumplings (cooked 2 ways!).
Not during Christmas and Easter however, as Sinkovc is closed.