On the first day, you drive to Ecotourism Hudičevec. Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? It’s actually quite funny. The estate was once the property of a Trieste baron, who had a housekeeper there who was not afraid of anyone, not even the devil himself. Once she fell seriously ill and the local priest dressed up as the devil, thinking that she would be afraid of him. The hot-tempered woman, however, grabbed a gun and shot him. Since then, the farm at the foot of Nanos has been called “Hudičevec”.
Today, the farm is owned by the Simčič family and is one of the most hospitable homesteads in Slovenia. The farm’s cuisine is based on dishes made from meat raised organically on the farm. A true paradise for lovers of various seasonal dishes, soups, rolled dumplings, bread from the brick oven and homemade desserts.
In addition to the daily farm chores, guests can see a collection of old tools and many domestic animals such as horses, donkeys, goats, cows and sheep, which are guarded by their shepherd dogs. The hosts have also provided for comfortable overnight stays and relaxing moments in the sauna, gym and playing areas (football, volleyball, basketball, bowling green, etc.). The youngest are also catered for through various climbing equipment, playgrounds and endless green areas for running and playing. The surroundings are crisscrossed with forest paths, along which you can go for a walk or rent bicycles.
The farm is really full of interesting things, especially for children, because they get to know many animals and how to care for them. The hosts served us homemade specialties for dinner: grilled lamb and foal meat with side dishes made from vegetables grown in their own garden. An evening walk in the embrace of the Nanos plateau surely is something special.
The next day, after breakfast (excellent homemade bread from the brick oven, homemade jams and juices, cheese, eggs, etc.) you can head towards the famous Nanos plateau. You can walk from the farm to the parking area, which is also the starting point for ascent to Nanos. The gravel path with markings initially climbs the grassy slope, then goes into the forest, where after a few minutes it brings you to a crossroad.
You continue on a gently ascending path, but you can also turn onto the steeper path – choose the one that best suits you in terms of your physical fitness. It will take you 2 hours 20 minutes on the easy and 1 hour 45 minutes on the steep path to reach the top, or it all depends on how fast you are.
In the shelter just below Pleša, stop at Vojko’s hut, where you can enjoy lunch and homemade delicacies such as barley soup, strudel and pancakes, and don’t forget to toast with wine from organic production. If you have animal companion with you, they will receive attention, bowls of fresh water and some treats from the friendly caretakers of the hut.
When you are at Nanos, you can go to the antennas, where you will enjoy the view of the Postojna basin, Javorniki and even part of the Vipava Valley. At the very top, you will almost certainly be greeted by a very frequent visitor to Nanos, the bora.
After the break, head towards Suhi vrh, through Strane, Šmihel pod Nanosom and to Predjama (2h 40min). In Predjama you can see the famous Predjama Castle and listen to the legend of the robber knight Erazem. If you are already in Predjama, we definitely recommend visiting the picturesque Cave under the castle, which is the second longest Slovenian cave, stretching over four floors. The guide will probably tell you that Slovenian spelunkers have recently made several new discoveries in the cave, but that there are still many places in the cave that remain a mystery. The cave does not have electric lightning, and visitors are given battery-powered flashlights before entering. To see the tourist section, only comfortable clothing and footwear is required. If the weather is dry, you can also walk to the sinking river Lokva, which created an underground cave.
Predjama is a special village, not only because of the 800-year-old castle in the middle of a 123-meter-high wall, but also because of the extremely friendly and hospitable locals. We suggest that you refresh yourself and gather new strengths in the local inn Predjamka or the local inn Požar, boasting a wonderful view of the castle.
On the way to Postojna, you can also stop at the toplar hayrack, a precious monument of folk architecture in Slovenia. By prior arrangement, you can go for a guided tour of the hayrack and ethnographic collection. The collection presents exhibits and objects that people once used in agriculture, forestry, hunting and blacksmithing.
After the tour, you continue your journey to Postojna, where, as recommended by the locals, definitely stop at the Siesta cafe, where you will learn another – this time in a sweet version – local legend about the shepherd boy Jakob and the dragon from the Postojna Cave. The famous Jakob’s cake is a tribute to the brave shepherd who saved the locals from the terrible dragon. You can choose from many homemade desserts, including vegan ones.
In the evening, you will, full of new experiences, go straight to bed, so we recommend that you treat yourself to some relaxation on the farm the next day. Unless you try, you will never know how relaxing and invigorating walking barefoot and lying on the grass can be! At Ecotourism Hudičevec, you can see the domestic collection of old tools, get to know the animals on the farm, enjoy the playgrounds and, before going home, treat yourself to some homemade rolled dumplings, cold cuts and homemade bread from the brick oven.