Eco farm Urška – Hidden gem of Pohorje
Eco Farm Urška is a family venture made with love and run with passion.
Nestled in the foothills of Pohorje is a true Slovenian gem. This small but welcoming farm is the ultimate destination for nature lovers, foodies, wellness-seekers, and those with a keen interest in self-sufficiency, environmental issues and sustainability.
I visited the farm for a tour of the property and to sample their delicious home cooking. It was a tantalising taster of the delights Urška has to offer.
Eco farm Urska Slovenia Pohorje Photo: Farm Urska
Eco Farm Urška & the Topolšek Family
Eco Farm Urška is the brainchild of the Topolšek family. The Urška story began 25 years ago in 1991 when Vilma and Tone first opened their doors to tourists, assisted by their children Urška – after whom the farm is named – and Aleš, along with grandparents Ivan and Slavka, and uncle Stana.
Their idea was to create a homely space where guests could relax, enjoy the healthy mountain air, be pampered, and learn about running an organic, sustainable farm.
Eco Farm Urška & the Topolšek Family
From the second I arrived, I could see they had achieved these goals and more. Eco Farm Urška is a peaceful place; the sort of place where you arrive and your whole body breathes a sigh of relief. Mountains and vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, the buildings have an alpine-esque quality and are adorned with vivid blooms, free-range animals wander around the land, and plants and flowers provide colour and interest, although many also have a culinary purpose as I was to discover.
The farm is organised and professional, yet it’s homely and welcoming – the perfect combination. Photo: Farm Urska
Accommodation at Eco Farm Urška
The accommodation building – one of the picturesque alpine buildings – houses five double rooms, one of which is equipped for disabled guests, and two family suites. Each room has its own bathroom and private balcony, and inside they’re cosy and warm with solid wooden furniture and some lovely touches such as homemade slippers, soft bedside rugs, and fresh flowers.
Eco Farm Urska Accommodation – Room Hana Photo: Farm Urska
Guests have access to a small kitchenette should they wish to prepare light snacks – breakfast and evening meal are provided as part of the stay – and there’s a common area where they can sit, chat and eat.
Visitors are welcome to join in and learn about any of the activities on the farm, from fruit picking to drying hay and collecting freshly laid eggs. They can also help out in the wine cellar or kitchen, from where I experienced some Urška magic…
Local, Organic, Sustainable & Delicious Food Photo: Farm Urska
Organic, Sustainable & Delicious Food
Vilma’s kitchen has won plaudit after plaudit over the years. Approximately 80% of the food and drink served is grown, raised, or produced on the farm using family recipes passed down the generations, with a fresh modern twist. Vilma has passed on her culinary skills and passion for food to her daughter Urška, and together they prepared us a meal to savour.
We were greeted with a refreshing drink made from lavender syrup, white wine and sparkling water, garnished with a sprig of lavender and slice of lime, which we enjoyed outside on the picnic tables with a view over the orchards and mountains. We had a couple of vegans in our group, but nothing is too much trouble for Urška and Vilma – as long as you notify them before you arrive they can cater for vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotics, and other special diets.
Vilma cooking in her kitchen at Eco Farm Urska Photo: Farm urska
Our starters were a range of different soups: traditional beef broth with noodles, and two types of flower soup with flowers from their garden, one with cream, one without.
Slovenian vegan homemade soup made at Farm Urska Photo: FindEatLocal
The main meal was a platter containing succulent pork with light onion gravy, soft comforting cheesy jacket potatoes, aubergines stuffed with tomatoes, and štruklji, a traditional Slovenian food, which is rolled sheets of dough filled with cream cheese. There was a separate platter with a slight variation on these dishes for the vegans, and our meal was accompanied by a variety of salads, plus Tone’s white and rosé wines from the Urška winery. If you don’t want wine, they also make delicious fruit juices.
Typical Slovenian Food at Farm Urska Photo: Farm Urska
Finally our meal was topped off with a refreshing raspberry ice cream or sorbet, with honey-and-nut sweets and a small sprig of chocolate mint. It was definitely a meal to remember – everything on the table was prepared with love and it really showed. You can visit Urška for a meal even if you’re not staying on the farm and I highly recommended it!
Local raspberry ice cream Photo: FindEatLocal
The House of Wellness
The final piece of the Urška experience is a wellness centre, located in the accommodation building. There’s a large relaxation room with cosy spa loungers where you can sit and read, sip homemade tea, or munch on apples from the orchard. In the corner of the room is a whirlpool spa, and in the adjoining rooms there are a couple of different saunas – a steam and a Turkish sauna – and massaging showers.
The final room contains a special hay bed. Here you lay down and are covered with organically grown hay from their land, which is mixed with flowers and herbs, dried, and steam heated. It’s a cleansing treatment that’s said to draw out toxins and ease aches and pains.
Eco Farm Urška has a number of certificates celebrating its environmental, organic, and sustainable practices. They were the first farm in Slovenia to be awarded the EU Ecolabel, a recognition of their environmentally friendly way of life. They also have an EU Organic certificate, and are certified by Slovenia Green, Disability Friendly, and Familia OK. Vilma and Urška’s wonderful food has been recognised by Slow Food Styria and Tastes of Rogla, and their accommodation has a 4-apple category certification.
Photo: Farm Urska
Huge thanks to Eco Farm Urška for their warm hospitality, their time and attention during the tour of their premises, and of course their delicious food and wine.
Joanne Amos is a freelance writer and proofreader at The Wandering Wordsmith and a travel blogger at The Road to Wanderland.