The summer season in Slovenia's alpine region officially ends on the third weekend in September with one of the country's most unique, if lesser known, festivals: the annual Kravji bal or Cow Ball. Held in Bohinj since 1954, the event celebrates the return of local shepherds and their cattle to the valley after a summer of grazing high up in the pastures of the Julian Alps.
The festivities kick off on Friday evening with tours of Bohinj's local dairies and regional museum, followed by a night of folklore performances, village skits and traditional music in the village of Stara Fužine in Triglav National Park. Of course plenty of cheese and butter will be on hand for tasting.
Organisers now inject a little sports and fitness into the celebration on Saturday, with a recreational cycling marathon through the surrounding mountains. There are two routes, approximately 60km and 30km, as well as an organised 4km hike to Savica waterfall - an impressive 78m high natural wonder.
On Sunday the main event takes place in the village of Ukanc when the shepherds and cows make their triumphant return, much to the delight of over 5,000 onlookers. The all-day party begins at 10:00 with folk music, brass bands, an accordion orchestra, folklore performances and all manner of other costumed revellers competing for the eyes and ears of the crowd.