Of the three tourist farms we stayed on, Firbas was the most 'touristy', but extremely enjoyable nonetheless. Firbas is a wine farm which has well developed tourist infrastucture and seems to get a lot of trade for the restaurant (from coach tours and passersby) in addition to the guests who overnight there.
We really liked the fact that we could hire a self contained apartment: ours had three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room with kitchen. Based on extensive trawling through websites on guest farms (see my travel tips on Slovenia for some excellent resources here), it isn't all that easy to find tourist farms that offer family units. This usually means hiring two double rooms, with one parent and one child in each, which isn't ideal, as I rather enjoy sleeping with my husband!
Firbas has quite a lot of animals, but these seem to be kept more to lend 'farmyard' atmosphere and create entertainment for children than being a commercial enterprise. Still, the kids loved collecting fresh eggs in the morning and the pony rides were a big hit! One of the advantages of Firbas being that little bit more 'touristy' is that it seems to get a lot of family trade, and so during busier periods and over weekends, it is probable that there will be more than one family with kids staying at any one time: ideal for keeping little people happily occupied with company of their own age!
Judging by the certificates on the wall, the food at Firbas seems to have won lots of awards, and it is good. The food is hearty and generously portioned, and you can wash it down with the homegrown vintage (according to my husband, this is an acquired taste). Whilst we were there, the extensive patch of raspberry canes in the garden was in full fruit, and our kids had a field day stuffing their face with as many raspberries as they could cram in (and collecting bowlsful to take out on picnics).
We were impressed by the hospitality shown by Bojan, one of the sons. His English is excellent, and nothing seemed to be too much trouble. For example, we were there over a particularly rainy period, and ran out of dry clothes - when we tentatively raised our predicament, he organised not only for our wet clothes to be tumble dried, but also laundered into the bargain!
My only gripe? The bath towels are miniscule (see travel tip on my Slovenia page) and their dimensions would barely meet my minimum specification for a hand towel. This seems to be a problem throughout Slovenia, and when I mentioned it to Bojan, he smiled wryly and admitted that the comment had been made several times before. So, if this is important to you, be sure to pack a swimming towel - hopefully you'll also get the opportunity to use it elsewhere! (see my travel tip on the Terme 3000 spa).
It is also worth noting that the farm is close to the highway. This makes it easily accessible, but if you look hard, you can see the highway in the distance from the farm (although there is little or no noise that I could discern and it doesn't really affect the view): thus, this might not be the ideal location for those wanting to escape into the middle of nowhere. The family emphasis also means that it is probably not the best choice for a romantic weekend away.
This hotel is very close to the main important attractions of maribor. Clean and quite.
Twin room: 88,02 €; B&B (Aug. '09); free private parking in the complex.
- Fax: (+386) (0)2 234 43 60
We stayed at Bolfenk apartment house. New building, clean, with small whirpool and sauna (reservations for small groups accepted).
Every apartment has a fireplace, which added more “alpine” atmosphere to our cheerful evenings.
This rustic looking but thoroughly romantic guesthouse is nestled on a beautiful hilltop vinyard and is beyond picturesque.
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