The Pristava Chalets

The 4* Pristava is a small cluster of rustic huts perched on a high plateau in Slovenia, wedged in between the Austrian and Italian borders. Situated in the heart of the forest, it overlooks the famous Soca river in the heart of the Triglav national park - possibly one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places in Europe. This is a great family destination for outdoor sport enthusiasts who want to pursue other sports in addition to riding.

The riding is wild; trail riding across rivers, climbing up into the mountains, galloping across meadows, all on a beautiful white Lipizzaner. This is the indigenous breed of Slovenia, from the days when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Pristava is a place for nature lovers; you will rarely encounter anyone else on your rides or hikes. But don't think you have to rough it; the huts are designed for contemporary living. There is a sauna and fitness area, a tennis court and a beautiful swimming pool, all nestled between the trees and the rocks. There is a delicious restaurant, specialising in local organic dishes, a cosy western style bar where everyone meets up in the evenings (during holidays), and a club room with stunning views up the valley. In addition to the trail riding, lessons are available in the friendly riding school and there are ponies for young children. There is a playground hidden amongst the boulders in the forest. Riding out is for experienced riders only (children from age 12), who should be able to control a horse at all three paces.

Sample Itinerary

  • Day 1: Saturday Arrival Day. Transfer from airport.
  • Day 2: Morning ride (approx 1 hour) out into the national park. After lunch, relax by the pool, have a sauna or borrow a mountain bike and explore.
  • Day 3: Morning hike to the lake at the head of the valley, with picnic. Afternoon ride (approx 2 hours).
  • Day 4: Full day trip to the village of Lipica, the original stud farm for the Spanish Riding School, founded in 1580. Tour of the original Imperial stables, see a performance of the Classical Riding School, ride in a carriage and pair through the beautiful park. Includes a ride out on a Lipizzaner from the stud farm. Car hire recommended.
  • Day 5: Morning ride (approx 1 hour), afternoon game of tennis (the court is perched on the plateau in a clearing in the forest), or have a go at archery (all free of charge).
  • Day 6: Water sports day: try your hand at rafting, kayaking, hydrospeeding, canoeing (two seater), or canyoning, or just swim and laze by the banks of the beautiful Soca river. A fly fishing licence can also be arranged. Supplement required for all watersports.
  • Day 7: Friday - 2 hour ride with picnic lunch.

Lipizzaner stud farm outing

A day trip to the Lipizzaner stud farm is also highly recommended: includes a tour of the stud farm and stables, a ride in a carriage and pair through the elegant park and a presentation with music in the arena of the Classical Riding School (the latter is available from April to October). It is also possible to ride out on a short hack on a Lipizzaner bred at the stud. Car hire recommended or we can organise a driver (price depends on numbers).

Activities for rest days and non-riders

Stunning walking and mountain bike trails lead direct from the centre to beautiful lakes, waterfalls and hidden valleys in this 83,000 hectare reserve. Unforgettable views across the Julian Alps on every excursion. Maps and guides available. The Soca river is renowned for its crystal clear water and beautiful blue colour. Fly fishermen come from all over the world to fish its unique marble trout and adrenalin seekers ride its fast flowing melt water in kayaks and rafts. The nearby village of Bovec is fast becoming the adventure sports capital of Europe. In summer you will not only see eagles circling overhead, but also colourful paragliders since the valley has become a world class flying site, often hosting major competitions. Both tandem flights and beginner courses are available. If you need to get higher, take the cable car up to the summit of Kanin 2200m, for some of the most spectacular views you will ever see. Skiing in winter. Day trips to the famous limestone sculpture caves at Postojna also possible.

Hotel accommodation & facilites

Beautiful chalets lovingly constructed from local wood and stone in a cosy traditional style. Eight chalets sleep 3-8 people each. Five smaller apartments with 1 bedroom (sleep 2) with additional beds in the sitting areas. Chalets are equipped with small kitchens, bathrooms with showers and a wood burning fire. Internet, TV (only if required), hair dryer and telephone.

  • Chalet Type A1 (75m2): Sleeps 6+2 Ground and First floor. 2 double rooms, 1 twin room, 2 single pull out beds in sitting area, 2 bathrooms, garden area. (Minimum 6 adults, discount of 10% for 7th and 8th adult).
  • Chalet Type A2 (57m2): Sleeps 4+2 Ground and First floor. 1 double room, 1 twin room, 2 single pull out beds in sitting area, 1 bathroom, 1 WC with basin, garden area. (Discount of 10% for 5th and 6th adults). Minimum booking price of 4 adults.
  • Apartment Type B (37m2): Sleeps 2+2 Ground and First floor. 1 double attic room upstairs, 2 single pull out beds in sitting area on ground floor, bathroom, garden area. If only 2 adults sharing, price is 20% higher. Discount of 10% for 3rd and 4th adult.
  • Apartment Type C (27m2): Sleeps 2+2 First floor. Small balcony, cosy open plan room with wooden attic roof, 1 double bed, sitting area with 2 single pull out beds, bathroom with shower. Discount of 10% for 3rd adult. Supplement of 30% if booked with just 1 adult.
  • Apartment Type D (21m2): Sleeps 2 on Ground floor. 1 double room, bathroom, garden area. Supplement of 30% if booked with just 1 adult.

The Pristava is open from Easter to the end of October and over Christmas/New Year.

Guest comment: 'The trip was absolutely fantastic! Pristava is absolutely lovely. All of the details were perfectly in order. It was such a relief not to have to worry about anything. Milan and Sylvia were fantastic, it was so calm, beautiful and relaxing there. Their horses looked like unicorns on the lawn in the evening.'

Press Articles

Good Housekeeping.
England's Equestrian Magazine.
Equestrian Plus Magazine.

Getting there

A choice of three airports: Klagenfurt, Trieste or Ljubljana (Trieste is the most convenient airport to use). Trieste-Ronchi in Italy (approx 1 hr 30 mins) is served by Ryanair from Stansted. Klagenfurt in Austria (approx 1 hr 45 mins) is also served by Ryanair (Tues, Thurs and Sat) from Stansted. Thomsonfly fly on Saturdays from Manchester to Klagenfurt.

The Slovenian capital Ljubljana (approx 2 hr 30 mins transfer) is served by the national airline Adria Airways from London Gatwick, Birmingham, Dublin and Manchester. Easyjet flies there from Stansted.

Lowcostseats - internet travel agent for charter flights offering good deals.
Jetnav - an independent website searching schedule services, budget airlines and some charters.
Dohop - searches charter and schedule services.
Travelocity - internet travel agents for schedule services.

Transfer is not included in the costs above. We recommend car hire for this holiday or we can organise a private transfer for £150 one way per car from the airports listed above.
We can also organise a driver for the day trip to the Lipizzaner stud farm.

Self-drive: Car rental can be booked easily and inexpensively online with Holiday Autos or when you book your budget flights online.

We can advise on flying from other airports, train, car hire and self-drive options - please contact us.

Train travel: For everything you need to know about any train journey visit Seat Sixty-One. Austrian train timetable.

Riding ability

Beginners to advanced riders welcome.

What to bring

Riding trousers or jeans, chaps or mini chaps, sun cream, rain wear, riding hat and sturdy boots. Although rarely insisted upon outside the UK, you should always wear your hat whilst mounted. Although hard hats are available in all our riding establishments, you are advised to bring your own.

Weather

Current weather forecasts and general weather information for the region can be found here and here.