Whether it’s mushroom picking, leaf peeping, the annual Cow Ball, helping with the grape harvest or staying on a working farm, there is a plethora of reasons to visit Slovenia this autumn.
The Cow’s Ball, Bohinj – The Kravji Bal or Cow’s Ball takes place between 18 and 20 September at picturesque Lake Bohinj in the heart of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park, and celebrates the return of the cattle to the valley after a long summer pasture. Cows are decorated with wreaths and bells and paraded through the now dry Govic waterfall accompanied by herdsmen, dairy maids and cheese-makers; stalls sell wicker work, wooden products and herdsmen’s cheese. Plus there’s traditional entertainment with folk music, dancing, sling shooting, horse-shoe casting and log sawing. A three-night trip including flights from Stansted, car hire, accommodation and breakfast at the Pr’Gorjup organic farm, starts from £349 per person.
Mushroom Picking – join Joze and Damjana and their family at Mulej Farm (pronounced ‘moo-lay’), north-west of Ljubljana, approximately ten minutes’ drive from Lake Bled. They know the best times and places to find wild mushrooms in the area and will happily take their guests on a foraging expedition to discover them. Later guests may join their hosts in the farm kitchen to prepare soup or other dishes using the mushrooms they have collected. A seven-night stay at Mulej including return flights from Stansted, car hire and a week’s accommodation, starts from £448 per person based on two people travelling in October. This is also the perfect time to go ‘leaf peeping’ and to enjoy the glorious autumn colours.
Grape Harvesting – Stay in a Vineyard Cottage, traditionally used as a weekend home for families tending their vines, and help to bring in Slovenia’s grape harvest this autumn. At Rataj Cottage near Novo Mesto, close to the Croatian border, guests have wonderful panoramic views across the vineyards, the Krka River Valley and the surrounding countryside. Comfortably furnished accommodation provides an an ideal hideaway for two people, with plenty of outdoor space plus a balcony upstairs and an outside seating area with BBQ. Prices start from £423 per person based on two sharing and include flights from Stansted, car hire and seven nights’ self-catering accommodation.
Farm Stays – More than 200 farms across Slovenia open their doors to visitors each year, giving them an authentic taste of rural life in this fascinating central-European country. Visitors are welcome to muck in with the chores or to help out in the kitchen, while children are encouraged to feed the animals. Meals are generally produced using organic food grown on the farms themselves, and are often based on recipes handed down through the generations. Prices for a four-night break with Just Slovenia – leading UK tour operator for farmhouse stays in Slovenia – start from £358 per person for b&b and £388 for half board, based on two people sharing, including flights from Stansted and car hire.
For further details about travel to Slovenia, telephone 01373 814230 or visit www.justslovenia.co.uk.