Why you should stay in a farmhouse in Slovenia.
With 850 farmhouses in the whole country, the opportunity to experience life in a farm definitely exists here in Slovenia. The concept is very simple: you spend the night as a guest in a farmhouse. From there, though, the concept flies off in many directions. You can just show up for the night, have breakfast and dinner there as well or even stick around to join in with farm tasks.
Last summer, our Director decided to take a break and hit the road for Slovenia. After a quick tour of the tiny but beautiful capital Ljubljana, she drove towards the Croatian border to explore the Slovenian countryside and obviously fell in love with it. Today she’s giving us 3 reasons while we should stay in a farmhouse while exploring Slovenia.
1. To stay in a unique accommodation and environment
Why would you stay in a big touristic hotel when you could sleep in a traditional 300 year-old farm and discover unique surroundings?
Styled after traditional B&Bs, farmhouses in Slovenia are often located in unspoiled greenery and offer simple but comfortable rooms. We agree they tend to be less polished than hotels but they are so much more welcoming. It’s also a great way to support the local economy rather than feeding a multinational chain.
« I stayed in a local farm not far from the beautiful Cerknica lake: Europe’s largest intermittent lake. The farm consists of 3 different houses: 2 for travellers and 1 for the family. You can get a double room or stay in an apartment for 3 or 5 people. The rooms are all spacious, bright, spotlessly clean and homely with everything one could need. There is a free parking as well which is always a bonus. If the farm is full and you’re nice with the owners you can even camp in their garden! »
You will be amazed at the various types of traditional Slovenian houses built according to custom and taking into account the local environment. The typical stone yards can be found in the Karst Region, wooden huts for dairy production can be found in the Gorenjska Region and zidanica houses (farms in the middle of vineyards) in the Dolenjska Region. Do you want to stay in a house with earthen plaster and a thatched roof? Such houses can be found in the Prekmurje and Štajerska Regions.
« Imagine yourself far from the crowds and your fast-paced everyday life. Here, you’re surrounded by beautiful greenery and peace. Around the beautiful Cerknica Lake, you have the opportunity to discover extraordinary, rare and even endangered flower species but also spy on a range of animals from birds to brown bears. »
When you come to a farmhouse, you take time to unwind. Make your stay in this peaceful landscape an opportunity for hiking or climbing. If you prefer cycling, farms often offer bicycle rental, allowing you to cycle over to see the nearby surroundings. If you’re more a winter person, the south of Slovenia is especially inviting for cross-country skiing, sledding, downhill skiing and ski touring. You can even go ice skating on the frozen lake!
« What I liked about this farmhouse is that you’re staying in a peaceful environment but you are close to everything at the same time. Whether you want to visit Cerknica Lake, explore mysterious underground worlds or climb a mountain, you can do all that very easily. If you want to go a bit further, Croatia is only 20 km away and the nearest train station is 15mn drive away where trains will take you either to the capital or to the coast. A good hour’s drive and you’ll find yourself in an entirely different part of the country, with different customs and landmarks. »
2. To meet the locals
« Ivanka, the owner of the farm, is the kindest host you could ever have. I love how she smiles with her eyes. She treated me like her own daughter and made sure I had everything I needed during my stay. Although her English wasn’t perfect, we always found a way to communicate and laugh together. »
Staying in a farmhouse is definitely one of the best ways to gain a genuine insight into your destination. It offers close contact with people and their culture. So don’t be shy, fire away all the questions you have. This is your chance to familiarise yourself with local customs and learn more about the new country you’re exploring.
« I spent my evenings sitting outside under the stars talking with Ivanka’s family, learning about their traditions, their culture and their daily life. »
Some farms even allow you to take part in their daily activities. Discover the mysteries of farm life, help with milking cows, collect eggs, fruits or vegetables… You might even be there when a calf is born? Each day is different in a farm!
3. To bring the garden to your plate
Slovenia is the land of fresh, locally produced vegetables, fruits, and grains. So by staying in a farmhouse, you’ll always be served food that is mostly produced on the farm itself: fresh seasonal vegetables, meat from the barn, drinks from the vineyard or orchard, and excellent stews and soups. The food is of high quality and the dishes available depend on the season. So take this opportunity to sample authentic dishes.
« Ivanka’s cuisine is one of the best cuisine I’ve ever tasted. Her food will help anyone rest his body and soul after a long day walking. She will make you forget about your everyday worries and let you gather enough energy for new challenges. »
The breakfast buffet has many options including tea, coffee and homemade juice, fresh fruits, eggs, sausages, cereals, bread, homemade jam and honey, yoghurt.
« I loved waking up to a freshly cooked breakfast enjoyed in the sun while listening to Slovenian music on the radio. »
In addition to breakfast, farmhouses usually serve a communal dinner where guests get to know each other over a nice hearty meal. It usually starts with a vegetable soup, followed by a meat or fish dish and a salad, and then a dessert is served to finish off. That Slovenians love potatoes is evident from the fields where local varieties are grown, as well as from restaurant menus where potato dishes are the most common side dish. A salad is a must for Slovenians. Many places also offer Slovenian pumpkin seed oil as a dressing. By the end of the dinner, everyone feels like one big family.
Even though the tastes of Slovenia are traditionally linked to meat dishes, vegetarians, vegans, and people with special diets will not find it hard to discover true culinary delights.
« Dietary requirements are not a problem for Ivanka. Her creativity with food is out of this world. I’m, myself, gluten and lactose intolerant and I do not eat meat but this has never been an issue for Ivanka, who loves challenges anyway! »
As Ivanka would say: If you cook with love, with your heart, guests will see it on the plate. So put your soul in it. Put positive energies in it. Without that it can’t work.
We understand that while looking for your next accommodation, a farmhouse stay might not be your first choice. However, staying in a farmhouse will give you the chance to taste fresh local food, discover the beautiful and peaceful countryside of Slovenia and meet real, genuine people. And by getting to know them and their world, you’ll make beautiful memories and come home with new friendships… and a good excuse to return!
« Looking back on my experience now, I smile. I smile because of all the incredible people I’ve met along my journey, all the crazy stories I’ve heard and all the memorable adventures I’ve lived. »
If you want to explore the karst region, taste delicious Slovenian food and meet Ivanka, check our 6-day adventure in beautiful Slovenia.
Until next adventure.
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