Autumn dreaming in the countryside
The scent of hay. The scent of earth. The scent of ripe fruit and produce. The scent of autumn in the countryside. Escape the urban bustle and enjoy the idyllic setting of the Slovenian countryside. Spend a relaxing weekend or week on a guest farm, where a traditional farming family will be only too happy to host you and show you their world. Late in summer and in the autumn the mood on farms is especially joyful, for this is the time of harvest and bringing in the crops. Become a part of this atmosphere and be there for authentic farm tasks. Each such experience remains an unforgettable memory, for it offers the deepest connection with the hosts and their traditions.
Where time stands still...
Life in the countryside flows much more peacefully than in town. Gazing out on the wonderful green surroundings, the colourful fields, picturesque vineyard hills and the rustling forests, your heart will sing. Adding their own element to this idyll are the friendliness of the local people and the outstanding local cuisine. For this reason it is well worth spending at least some time on one of the numerous tourist farms scattered throughout Slovenia. Treat yourself to some healthy homemade food made from produce grown there on the farm, often in healthy, organic production. Guest farms are an ideal base for cycling and hiking excursions. And the trails among green meadows and forests are perfect for exploring the surrounding area on horseback. Get to know the everyday chores on a farm and even try your hand at them.
Rise to the challenge and learn about farm work
For many people, ordinary farm tasks are a true challenge, but also a way of relaxing. Try your hand at raking hay, join the farm owners in picking fruit in the orchard or spend some time in the barn, where you can learn how to milk a cow and how to tell the difference between truly fresh and slightly older chicken eggs. In the kitchen you can try baking bread and preparing other homemade delights, and finally enjoy a table loaded with goodness. Join in with the maize shucking. A true autumn experience is the grape harvest, where work in the vineyard is accompanied by singing and the strains of an accordion. On the guest farms of Slovenian Istria you can also help pick olives and press olive oil.
Instructive and fun pursuits for the whole family
Children will certainly have the greatest fun discovering everything about life on a farm. Since the majority of farms are far from roads with traffic, they can run around the meadows carefree and get to know the farm animals. They will learn first-hand about where the food on their plate or in their bowl comes from, and how it gets there. Many farms have play park sets for kids, and some also have animation programmes, where children try their hand at various farm jobs, old farm games or baking bread.
Spend the night in a hayloft
After an arduous day, in some places you can look forward to another unforgettable experience – sleeping in a hayloft. Try a freshly fragrant bed of hay in the hayloft of the Šenk Farm in the wonderful mountain setting of Jezersko. Hit the hay at the farmstead of Pri Madroniču by the River Kolpa. More demanding guests who want some true comfort, yet still want to breathe in the fragrance of hay, will find exactly what they want at Lenar Farm in Logarska dolina. You can also spend the night in a hayloft at the organic farm of Pri Plajerju in the idyllic Trenta Valley, at Lešnik Farm near Slovenj Gradec, the farmstead of Firbas in Cogetinci and elsewhere.
Taste pršut cured ham and wine at an osmica
One special feature of Mediterranean Slovenia is the osmica. The tradition derives from the times when for eight days in the year, farms could sell their surplus wine, homemade ham and other products tax-free. The custom has been retained to the present day. In addition to wine and pršut ham, you can expect local sweet products such as boiled or baked strudel. In the Karst, which in autumn is tinted red by the bushy smoke trees, you can come and enjoy the Osmica at Kosmina Farm in Brje pri Komnu. In November you can visit the Osmica Mahnič – Šušč and Osmica at Tonh in Vrabče near Sežana, the Osmica at Krčar’s and Osmica at Lehte Leban close to Kostanjevica in the Karst.
In autumn in the Vipava Valley you can also try the local delicacies at the osmica events such as the one at Ferjančič Farm and Osmica Avin, and in December you can visit the Črnigoj osmica or Štrukelj osmica close to Ajdovščina. A big welcome is also offered at the osmica events of Vrban and Pri Mimici.
Inland in Slovenian Istria, not far from Koper, where the vines and trees groan with grapes and olives in autumn, you can visit Osmica Jakomin and Osmica Štok.