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Experience the idyllic life of shepherds in a pasture

 

A delicious two-day experience on the fairy tale Velika planina

Embark on a unique experience that reveals the rich pastoral heritage of the Great Alpine Mountains, offering a comfortable getaway and a modern culinary experience, signed with the tradition of one of the most preserved pastures in Europe.

Velika planina is one of the most beautiful Slovenian mountains, where a rich shepherding tradition still lives on. During this two-day experience you can experience the idyll of shepherd life for yourself, discover a typical day for shepherds on the mountain, the charms of staying in traditional chalets converted into modern accommodation and enjoy a gastronomic treat with local flavours prepared in a modern and innovative way.

You will meet your local guide at the Kamnik Tourist Information Centre, where you will first get to know some of the natural and cultural sights of Velika Planina through an audio-visual experience. A welcome drink is served, the traditional “Rušovec”, which is a fruit brandy with pine cones and honey.

cows at pasture on Velika planina
Photo: Btravel archive

To the heights

With a local guide and one of the shepherds, you will take a cable car and then a chairlift up to the top of the mountain, where a shepherd’s snack awaits you on the terrace with a magnificent view: a dish of cured meats and cheeses from local producers and traditional spreads typical of the area. There’s also a full basket of home-made fragrant bread.

taking a chairlift to the mountaion
Photo: Btravel archive

Once you are refreshed, you will take a tour of the shepherd’s settlement, which is one of the few surviving settlements of its size in Europe. It stands out for its typical architecture, which is a symbol of the Velika planina. The roofs of the chalets are covered with characteristic pine shingles, which hang very low, almost to the ground. You will stay in one of these recently completely renovated huts. The traditional shepherd’s hut has also been given a modern twist, with traditional cowbells converted into lanterns.

You will get to know the Preskar Museum, where there is an exhibition on shepherd life, and the neighbouring Zabrska bajta. The two buildings were created in the original style after the Second World War. Nearby you will see the stylish chapel of Marija Snežna, for which the first plans were made by the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik. In the shepherd’s hut you will enjoy buckwheat “žganci” with crackling and sour milk, the traditional snack of the shepherds on Velika planina.

Photo: Btravel archive

In the evening, local chef Primož Repnik will be waiting for you in the hut, where he will prepare a delicious dinner using the traditional flavours of the Velika planina just for you. Under the caressing light and warmth of the fireplace, the chef serves a multi-course menu that starts with a liver pâté made by local producers with the addition of Kamnik mustard and walnuts. This is followed by local beef tartare with breadcrumbs, black garlic lace, local honey and foamed butter. The tortellini are made with homemade cottage cheese, locally picked garlic and the addition of traditional “trnič” cheese, followed by cheeks of local cattle on coarse home-made polenta with tuberous vegetables. At dinner, wine pairing is served with excellent Slovenian wines.

chef's dinner
Photo: Btravel archive

Have you ever milked a cow?

Shepherds and local guides will tell you about a typical shepherd’s day and the life of shepherds in the mountains, both in the past and today. A shepherd wakes you up in the morning with a basket of seasonal delicacies for a rich breakfast. As no shepherd’s day goes by without milking the cows, it is essential that after breakfast you are taught how to handle the udders.

milking a cow
Photo: Btravel archive

After a successful milking session, you will use the fresh milk to make cottage cheese, which is the basis for the “trnič” cheese. This is a hard cheese with a characteristic pear shape, made in the Velika, Mala and Gojška planina area from cottage cheese, cream and salt. It is known as a cheese with a love story that was once made by shepherds in pairs, i.e. two cheeses at the same time. One cheese was kept by the shepherds themselves and the other was given to their lovers.

You too will get to make one, carefully and with hand-carved wooden tools called “pisave”. As your product will continue to mature for some time on Velika planina, it will be sent to your home at a later date.

making trnič cheese
Photo: Btravel archive

You can finish your day on Velika Planina at your own pace and, when you’re ready to leave this paradise in the heights take the cable car and chairlift down to the valley.

Taste more.

Learn about the story od Slovenian gastronomy. Discover local culinary and wine specialties.

Read more