The die is cast in team Visit Postojna: We are taking
you on an exploration of natural, cultural and historical sights of our
destination through the eyes and experiences of our guests. Despite the current
situation regarding the new coronavirus, our travelling plans have been turned upside
down for the better, as we can now finally take time to discover the beauty of
our country and get to know the stories and legends of our hometown. Along with
Nina and her family, we are taking you on a three-day trip into the heart of
nature of Nanos and Predjama Castle.
In the afternoon hours we arrived at the
Ecotourism Farm Hudičevec, aka “devil in disguise”. It sounds menacing, right?
The story behind the name is actually quite playful. The estate was once owned
by a baron from Trieste who had a housekeeper that feared no one, not even the
devil himself. One time she fell gravely ill, and the priest from that area
disguised himself as the devil, hoping she would open him the door. However,
the feisty woman grabbed her gun and shot him. The place has been known as
“Hudičevec” ever since.
Today the farm is owned by family Simčič and it
is one of the most hospitable homesteads in Slovenia. The farm’s cuisine is based
on seasonal dishes, soups, struklji, brick oven bread and local desserts.
Aside from the everyday farm chores, guests can
check out a collection of old tools as well as different farm animals, such as
horses, donkeys, goats and sheep that are looked after by their guardian dogs.
The hosts also provide comfortable overnight accommodations with sauna, fitness
and playgrounds (football field, volleyball court, basketball court, boules
court …). The little ones can have a lot of fun on different playground
equipment, playground climbers, and on endless green areas that are perfect for
running around and for play. The surrounding area is filled with forest paths
suitable for walking or riding rental bikes.
We arrived at the farm in the afternoon hours
and settled in our room. The farm is a true attraction, especially for children,
since they can get to know different animals and discover how to take care of
them. For dinner, the hosts served us local specialties: grilled lamb and colt
steak with vegetable on the side from their own garden. An evening walk in the
arms of the plateau Nanos is truly something!
After breakfast (brick oven bread, home jams
and juices, cheese, eggs) we set out towards the great Nanos Plateau. We left
the farm on foot towards the parking lot that serves as a starting point of the
hike. The marked gravel road first leads through a steep grass hillside and
later reaches into the forest where we meet an intersection after a few
We continued our hike on a less steep path, but
you can also choose a steeper one. We decided to test both: some of us chose
the easier path, and the fitter ones decided to try out the steep one. It takes
2h 20min on the less steep path and 1h 45min on the steep one to reach the top
of the plateau.
Hike to Nanos Plateau
In the shelter under Pleša, the most prominent
summit on the plateau, we stopped at Vojko’s Hut for a lunch of local
delicacies: cooked barley, sweet strudel, pancakes and a glass of local wine from
an eco-friendly production to toast with.
After hanging out with Barbara and Peter, an
extremely pleasant couple who are the new tenants and keepers of the hut, and indulging
in extremely delicious lunch, we set out towards the aerials where we enjoyed a
view of the entire destination of Postojna, the massif Javorniki and even a
part of the Vipava Valley. However, on the very top of Nanos we were given a
not-so-warm welcome by the wind bora, a very common visitor of the mountain.
Even our four-legged friends that went along
with us were provided with fresh water, some treats and a lot of attention by
the young hut-keepers.
After our break we continued our
path towards Suhi Vrh (“Dry Peak”), through Strane, Šmihel pod Nanosom and
towards Predjama (2h 40min).
In Predjama some of us first saw the
magnificent Predjama Castle and researched the legend of the robber knight
Erasmus. We also decided to check out the picturesque Cave under Predjama
Castle, the second longest Slovene cave that stretches over four floors. Our
tour guide revealed to us that the Slovene speleologists had not so long ago
made multiple new discoveries in the cave. He also informed us that there are still
many other parts of the cave waiting to be explored. We all agreed in
excitement to come back very soon to check out the new discoveries.
There is no electric illumination
inside the cave. Therefore, visitors are equipped with battery lamps before
entering. Aside from comfortable clothing and footwear, no special equipment is
needed to visit the tourist part. In dry weather you can also take a walk towards
the sinking river Lokva that shaped the cave.
Predjama is a special village not
just for its 800-year-old castle built inside the 123-metre-high cliff, but
also because of its kind and hospitable inhabitants who are also the best
tourism promoters. A stop at the Predjamka Inn was just perfect and with a view
of the breath-taking castle one of the many highlights of our trip. On our way
to Postojna we stopped at a double hay rack also known as “toplar”, which
represents a valuable example of Slovene vernacular architecture. We had
arranged a visit of the hay rack and the ethnographic collection in advance.
The collection consists of objects and artefacts used by people in this area in
activities ranging from agriculture, forestry, hunting, blacksmithing and many
more. Various exhibitions are usually held at the hay rack, and the traditional
ethnological and cultural event “Forester-Farmer, Past and Present”, takes
place here every August.
After the visit of the double hay rack, our path led us to Postojna
where we stopped at Café Siesta, as recommended by the residents, and
discovered a sweeter version of another local legend of the shepherd Jacob and
the dragon of Postojna. The famous Jacob’s cake was a gift to the brave
shepherd boy who saved the locals from the evil dragon. We were also highly
impressed by the homemade vegan forest fruit sorbet.
We spent our morning enjoying a
much-needed rest on the farm. It is amazing how relaxing and at the same time
uplifting a barefoot walk on grass can be, or even simply laying in it! We
checked out a collection of old tools, visited the animals, had fun on the
playgrounds and tasted homemade struklji and cold cuts with brick oven bread
before our departure.
our first trip to an end with plenty of new impressions and had a lot of fun. I
am sure you will too!