Dear lovers of unforgetable experiences
We’re excited to present you with our new Luxury Slovenia magazine full of inspired travel ideas. Slovenia is the newest jewel in luxury travel. It may be difficult to convince you that Slovenia is the new luxury destination, until you see and experience it for yourself. Visit Slovenia and spend a few fantastic days in the heart of Europe. While conveniently located, few people truly discover and experience its many pleasures. True beauty is hidden from the eyes, and this saying holds true for this gem, which nature has endowed with the Adriatic sea, Karst, the Alps, the Pannonian plains and many other treasures.
Its nature, colors, beauty and the warmth of people makes it a perfect place for celebrations, family holidays, exploring new adventures, making new friends or spending a romantic honeymoon. A truly thoughtful gift for you and your loved ones. Indulge in a holiday that offers something for everyone: lovers of good food, nature enthusiasts, party people, outdoor types, the young-at-heart and seekers of unforgettable experiences. Your best source is luxuryslovenia.eu, with its extensive offer selection and custom attention to all your needs and wishes.
Luxury Slovenia is taking a step forward in modern tourism. We represent a fresh approach, varied content, guaranteed quality and set new trends in travel. We carefully monitor the travel habits and needs of today’s distinguished travellers. You can customize your travel experience, criteria and preferences. We offer good value and the best in luxury and quality. Our services are highly accomplished. We are readily available to cater to all your needs and we take pride in planning even the smallest of details. We make every part of your travel experience perfect and unforgettable.
Come and experinece why love is part of our country’s name - sLOVEnia.Matej & Mattej Founders of luxuryslovenia.eu
Vibrantly modern yet authentically traditional Ljubljana is the capital of a state, but it is small and pretty, easy to get around, and full of surprises. While during winter it is its dreamy central European character that prevails, during summer it has a relaxed Mediterranean feel to it. It is remark able for its rich tradition, youth ful vibrancy, cultural creativity, feel for entertainment, and numerous green spaces.
Lake Bled Jewel of the Alps
Lake Bohinj and Julian Alps
Sunny side of Alps
Slovenia has only one island but its uniqueness makes it more attractive than many an archipelago. Sheltered by pic turesque mountains, the island reigns in the middle of an Alpine lake. Its charm has made it a symbol for centuries of a town to which guests from all over the world love to return. This town, which has already existed for a thousand years, is Bled.
Bohinj is one of the most beau tiful places in the heart of the Julian Alps, and in Triglav Na tional Park. The natural beauty of high mountains, green forests and beautiful mountain pastures and meadows guar antees visitors a pleasant stay in Bohinj. In winter, the valley becomes a winter sports center, while during the summer, the most beautiful pearl of the valley, Lake Bohinj, invites bathers, and with the Sava Bohinjka River, kayakers and fishermen as well.
Goriška Brda Charming vineyards and fabolous wines
The wonders of the Goriška region include the beautiful Alpine peaks and valleys of the Triglav National Park, the enchanting wine winegrowing areas of Goriška Brda and the Vipava Valley, and the hills around Cerkno and Idrija. One of the most distinctive and rec ognisable sights of the region is the emerald river Soča.
The entire text content and photographs are protected under copyright law and are property of their respective owners, Slovenian Tourist Board, Ljubljana Tourist Board and IMPERIAL Luxury Travel Solutions. All rights reserved. Photocopying or reproduction of the contents of this catalog is allowed only with prior written consent from the publisher.
Photo credits: Slovenian Tourist Board, Visit Ljubljana, Dunja Wedam, Mankica Kranjec, David Lotrič, Arne Hodalič, Stéphan Gladieu, Sylvain Grandadam, Tomo Jeseničnik, AdobeStock.
Karst Enchanted underground world
The Karst is the land between the Trieste Bay and the Vipavska Valley, and at the same time, is also the name for all the amazing shapes created by waters in the fusible stone. Picturesque karst phenomena can be found in the southwest part of Slovenia.
The best of Istrian peninsula
With only one small coastline of only 28 miles in length, Slovenia really has achieved the best of it. The Slovenian Riviera stretches along the Adriatic Sea, bordered by Italy in the North and Croatia in the south. Alive with idyllic beaches and lively nightlife, those in the know have been coming here for years!
Lower Carniola Traditional region with thermal SPAs
There is a saying which goes: the sky dreams of stars, the earth dreams of love. The land of Lower Carniola does not dream of love – it is love itself. Nowhere is there grass as green, nowhere do streams murmur as lightly and mysteri ously, nowhere do birds sing such beautiful love songs, no where do fields of wheat ripple as high and boastfully, nowhere are the ripples of life as wavy as here. Even the Slovene char acter has not expressed itself so fully anywhere else as here, in Lower Carniola.
The Magic of Slovenia Luxury Slovenia private guided tour
This charming 9 days and 8 nights Luxury Slovenia private guided tour is designed for everyone who want to experi ence Slovenia’s Top Attractions: the vibrant capital of Ljubljana, Lake Bled with its church on the island, the dramatic Predjama castle filled with legends, the breath-taking Postojna cave, the small but enchanting Slov enian coast, and last but not least, the Goriska Brda region, nicknamed the Tuscany of Slovenia. After this trip you will be charmed so much that you will be definitely back to experience more.
The latest digital edition of Luxury Slovenia Magazine is always at your fingertips on our website.
S Slovenia A hidden gem of Europe
lovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst. The changing landscape is constantly surprising, time and again. You can have one eye on the sea, then look in the other direction and be surrounded by high mountains. Heading up into the forests, you can see the green plains below you. From upland meadows, your view stretches into river gorges; this proximity of opposites and contrasts is a hallmark of the country.
In Slovenia you can still walk through virgin forest, or watch the grapes ripen on the oldest vine in the world. You can hear tales of bears, and eat forest fruits that you have foraged yourself, on a brief walk out of town. Here you can uncover the secrets of the land, and what lies beneath. Here you are part of nature. Slovenia is famed for its excellent food and its fine wines. You can find food concepts like “From the farm to the table” or find places all around Slovenia with top Chefs and unique culinary experiences. The friendly, hospitable and attentive locals, majority of who speak good English, will guarantee you a pleasant stay.
Where is Slovenia?
Slovenia is just 2 hours drive from the Venice airport and 4 hours drive from Wienna. By plane it takes only 1 hour from Rome, Munich, Frankfurt, Du brovnik and only 2 hours from Paris, Bruxelles, Amsterdam.
Slovenia is one of those places that inspire me and that will never end to fas cinate me as a luxury travel advisor... A mys terious destination ... a unique hideaway that represents the best of what Europe has to offer. It’s one of the few desti nations that allows me to let my imagination run wild: There are no limits on creativity when it comes to organize a luxury trip for one of my client… with the support and expertise of the Luxury Slovenia team. Untouched river valleys, snowy mountain passes, thick evergreen forests, and a food/wine scene to rival any in the world … This is Slovenia … maybe the continent’s best-kept secret!
Luxury Slovenia Expert, Voyages Confidentiels, Paris tel: +3380590406
• Slovenia has a population of 2 million
• Slovenia’s independence was declared on 25 June 1991, and was followed by a short war. In 1992, Slovenia joined the United Nations. In 2004 Slovenia became a member of the European Union and the NATO and in 2010 it joined the OECD
DID YOU KNOW?
The official language of Slovenia is Slovene. It doesn’t only have the singular and the plural form in verb, noun, adjective and pronoun, but also uses the dual form in all of them.
• Slovenia is the thirdmost-forested country in Europe after Finland and Sweden. Forests cover almost 60% of the territory
• Slovenia is the only country in the world with the word LOVE in its name
Besides having everything that all the other modern capitals have, Ljubljana succeeded in maintaining the relaxed atmosphere of a small city. This picturesque and very vibrant city is full of surprises. The region that neighbors Ljubljana comprises of 25 other municipalities, noted for its tradi tional hospitality, diverse nature, nice towns, castles, quality traditional restaurants and village churches with their rich artistic legacy.
The Central Slovenia is the place where the alpine and karst landscapes meet; thus, various unique natural and cultural particularities were created. Some of these are the Ljubljana Marshes, an area of wetlands and peat bogs known for its prehistoric pile dwellers, its rare animal and vegetal species; the high mountain plateau Velika planina situated in the Kamnik Alps, is noted for its ski center and for being the oldest dairy herdsmen’s settlement in Europe; interesting subterranean caves, karstic fields and the mysterious forests of the Polhov Gradec and Posavje hills abound with tourist farms.
You will definitely not be bored. The various cultural events are marked by the richness of the tradition, as well as the modern creativity. Forests, rivers and lakes offer great possibilities of an active holiday in the open air. You can choose between hiking, cycling, exploring the nature, hunting and fishing during the winter, also between skiing – whether regular or cross-country skiing; additionally, there are also some well-maintained golf courses.
Ljubljana and the Central Slovenia region are a perfect destination for relaxed and active holidays.
Little Ljubljana is full of delights, and it’s so compact that living the good life here is easy. Take a shady wander in Tivoli Park, nibble and sip your way around the Central Market, float past the medieval and baroque glories of the Old Town on a riverboat and soar up to the fairytale castle on the hill in a glasswalled funicular. It’s the perfect weekend away, but I’d recommend stay ing longer in Slovenia –then you can drive up into the stunning Julian Alps to pretty-as-a-picture Lake Bled, to the vast stalactite-filled caverns of Postojna Cave, or head for the Med at Piran, where you can eat fresh seafood while the waves lap the har bour at your feet.Joanna Booth Travel Weekly features and supplements editor
• The capital of the Republic of Slovenia, a European Union member state since 2004
• Area: 275 km2
• Population: 280,000
• Average temperature in January: - 0.3 °C
• Average temperature in June: 20.7 °C
The Central Slovenia region is dominated by Slovenia’s capital city Ljubljana.
Vibrantly modern yet authentically traditional
A A city cultureof
mong other things, Ljubljana boasts one of the world’s oldest philharmonic societies. Each year it hosts over 10,000 cultural events, from prestigious musical, theatre and art events to alternative and avant-garde events, notably including 14 international festivals. Modern vibrancy and outstanding tradition Ljubljana’s character is mainly due to a unique and felici tous mixture of two very different but complementary features: on the one hand, the city is famed for its historical heritage and tradi tion, but on the other, it is a relatively young city with a modern lifestyle whose residents’ average age is only slightly above 30.
Ljubljana hosts a rich programme of events, including a large number of well-established festivals. The festivals held in Ljubljana are too numerous to be listed here, but some of them are so special and so enthusiastically received that they deserve to be mentioned. They range from prestigious cultural events featuring world-class artists, such as the Ljubljana Festival, held annually in the summer, to unique celebrations of folk heritage, such as the National Cos tumes and Clothing Heritage Days, taking place in the small town of Kamnik.
The festivals that contribute most significantly to the musical life of Ljubljana are the previously mentioned Ljubljana Festival, the Slovenian Music Days, the Summer in Ljubljana Old Town festival, Dragon’s Ball, Druga Godba, which is considered to be one of Europe’s best world music festivals, and the highly acclaimed Ljubljana Jazz Festival.
Ljubljana with its vibrant night life invites you to explore and enjoy many of its bars and clubs; some of the more popular clubs are Cirkus, Top, K4, Bachus and soon the newly opened Unique
Ljubljana has preserved evidence of a five thousand year history including, among others, the remains of the Roman city of Emona and the old city center, with its medieval castle, Baroque façades, decorative portals and uneven roofs. Other significant bits of the city mosaic are picturesque bridges across the Ljubljanica River and the vast Tivoli Park, which stretches into the very city center.
Ljubljana’s present appearance is partly due to the Italian Baroque and partly to Art Nouveau, which found expression in numerous buildings constructed after the earthquake of 1895. In the second half of the 20th century, it was the world famous architect Jože Plečnik that put an indelible personal stamp on his native Ljubljana. The -city’s appearance was further shaped by his students and a new wave of renowned young Slovenian architects such as Polona Zilnik, Bostjan Vuga, Andrej Mahovič, Jurij Sadar, Demšar Gasper, Robert Klun and others.
Best of Ljubljana old town guided walk
During the tour you will see most of Ljubljana’s top attractions. The guide will explain Ljubljana’s history and outline distinctively some of the finest corners of Slovenia’s capital: The Town Hall, a walking tour of Plečnik’s architectural master pieces, Križanke open-air theat er, the Napoleon monument, Central Food market, Prešern square, Congress Square, Three Bridges, Dragon bridge and all the other prominent Ljubljana’s bridges in the old part of Ljubljana … The old city center of Ljubljana is remarkable for its unique architecture, owes its appearance to Baroque and Art Nouveau masters and, most of all, the architect Jože Plečnik.
Access to the castle is made possible using a funicular ride Ljubljana’s most prominent landmark is Ljubljana Castle, which has undergone numer ous changes over its rich and dynamic history. In the company of a guide, you can take a virtual tour called Virtual Castle, visit the Outlook Tower and the castle’s prison and can view the exhibition Slovenian History. Your guide will also take you around other parts of the castle and show you an early 19th century well, with a wooden tread wheel crane for hoisting water, which is still operational today. This is a wonderful opportunity for photo enthusiasts, as it offers mag nificent panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
Ljubljana castle Time machine experience
Private tour with actors, who will take you through 6 different centuries of Ljubljana castle, will be there just for you. As men tioned earlier - You will be able to access the castle by funicular ride up to the castle. Time Machine: Six time stations, six costumed character, a Castle guide – more than just a classic guided tour of the Ljubljana castle. The “Time Machine” will lead you on a guided tour through six decisive periods that have marked the history of the Ljubljana Castle and the development of our city. At each of the “time stations”, you will be met by a figure, who will present his or her period. You will meet a Roman soldier from Roman Emona and St. George from early Middle Ages. You could not miss the emperor himself – Frederick III of the Hapsburgs – or his wife Eleanor Helena of Portugal. Be ready for the Napoleonic soldier or the nurse-nun from Illyrian Provinces. The 19th century was a dark period for the Ljubljana Castle, as you will discover when you visit the penitentiary. Finally, you will be greeted in the courtyard by the man who can take credit for the fact that the castle is today owned by the city – Mayor Ivan Hribar. If he is too busy, you will be greeted by his daughter, Zlatica.
The present Central market, built by the architect Jože Plečnik between 1931 and 1939, was conceived as a two-story range of riverside market halls, following the curve of the river. The market building stretches between the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge, on the right side of the curve of the Ljubljanica River. On the side overlooking the river, the market halls were furnished with large semi-circular windows, and the side overlooking the street, adorned with a colonnade. The whole complex, reflecting Renaissance influ ences, was covered with a roof of massive concrete tiles. Plečnik planned to fill the gap in the range of market halls with a monu mental covered bridge to connect the market-side embankment with the Petkovškovo nabrežje embankment, called the Butchers’ Bridge. Actually the bridge (different one in the same place) was built later on in 2010. The Central Market consists of an open-air market, a covered market and a series of small food shops along the river Ljubljanica. It has a flower market, a fish market and dried fruit on the lower level of the market hall and bakery, dairy and meat stalls on both levels. The market is open daily except on Sundays; Saturday is the most popular day. Farmers and producers from dif ferent parts of Slovenia are selling their goods: either simple salads and vegetables people grow in the gardens, flowers, dried mush rooms or even pine shoots, apples prepared in every possible ways, meat products from even wild animals, wild garlic prepared in all forms, for salads, snacks, omelets, etc., lots of herbs, homemade sweets using bio ingredients, etc.Central market is not only an architectural attraction; it is also a social meeting point for locals, and a place where you get top quality local and homegrown food.
Under the Ljubljana bridges boat ride
No trip to Ljubljana is complete without taking a water-based tour, and the handmade wooden boat operated by the young team at Laker Craft is easily the most attractive of all the crafts plying the waters of the Ljubljanica. A ride lasts just under an hour, and offers views of most of the old town’s major sights from a unique vantage point The 10m flat-bottomed vessel is constructed of solid larch and oak wood, and can host up to 50 people at any given time.
The National gallery
Slovenia’s foremost museum of historical art holds the country’s largest collection of fine art from the High Middle Ages to the 20th century. Apart from housing two permanent col lections, Art in Slovenia and European Paintings, it hosts temporary art exhibitions. The National Gallery keeps one of Ljubljana’s greatest Baroque works of art, the original Fountain of Three Carniolan Rivers by Francesco Robba, whose original site in front of the Ljubljana Town Hall is now occupied by its replica. The Gallery also houses an extensive library and keeps a collection of post ers, calendars and an archival collection made up of Slovenian artists’ personal archives.
Learn how to cook Slovenian style on a 3-hour, small-group cooking class in Ljubljana. The cooking class is led by a foodloving local, while showcasing time-honored recipes that have been treasured through genera tions. You can get involved in cooking or just watch; it is up to you. After preparing your homecooked meal, enjoy your tasty feast for lunch or dinner. You will prepare some of the follow ing dishes: a selection of typical Slovenian cold starters and/ or a lovely warm starter and/or a hearty meat main dish with vegetarian side dish and/or variety of Slovenian desserts. There is no lunch or dinner in Slovenia without a good local wine and/or schnapps.
Somewhere between Wolfova and Slovenska streets in Ljubljana stands a tree that symbol izes growth, tradition, integra tion and family. AS Restaurant, which ever since the end of the nineties has been a pillar of Ljubljana’s culinary scene; its unique dishes and outstanding wine list continually reminds guests that some things in life are there to be truly relished. AS Restaurant and AS Aperitivo for many years have been the trendiest places in town, the place to be; Eather in the Aperi tivo lively part, a-la-carte res taurant or on the roof terrace.
Perched high up in the archer’s tower, Ljubljana castle’s new restaurant overlooks the city from a grand position. A com bination of the Roman Emona, Medieval and modern in terms of both cuisine and ambiance; the menu was created with the help of top ethnology professor Dr. Janez Bogataj. Historically reminiscent dishes of slick gourmet modernity are crafted with ingredients from Ljublja na’s famed market by the star of the show: Chef Igor Jagodic Recognized as one of the top three chefs in Slovenia, he was previously at the renowned Vila Bled, and now takes care of the sublime offerings at Strelec.
In downtown Ljubljana, Slovenia, is S.Pellegrino’s Top 100 World’s Best Restaurant. In 2013 as well, listed among top 10 - The Daily Meal Best Res taurants in Europe. They also got GaultMillau 2 haubes. It’s the closest interpretation of a sophisticated pallet you’ll ever experience in this region. Wel come to the world of culinary art of world renowned chef Janez Bratovz. His menu is based on the relationship be tween the four elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire, represent ing four tastes – sweet, salty, sour and bitter. You can check more on Chef Janez Bratovž and JB in Four Magazine, Food and Travel Magazine and many more publications about his creations.
A perfect opportunity to explore the city’s culinary heritage is the selection of dishes under the brand name Taste Ljubljana, which includes typical Ljubljana dishes prepared using traditional recipes with a modern twist and all-natural local ingredients.
The Taste Ljubljana dishes are listed on the menus of 60 restaurants across the city marked with Taste Ljubljana stickers. Typical Ljubljana dishes and the city’s culinary heritage can also be explored as part of a range of culinary tours
Apart from serious dining at modern restaurants and traditional gostilnas, Ljubljana also offers an excellent choice of street food, most notably at the Open Kitchen food market, held in the Pogačarjev trg square from April to October. Being a testament to the variety of cultures that have informed modern Slovenian cuisine, this food market is a perfect option for getting your hands on fresh local delicacies. Expect food from independent chefs, traditional gostilnas, and tourist farms plus assorted music and entertainment.
Nothing compliments good food like good wine, beer or schnapps, and Ljubljana has a lot to offer also in this respect. Slovenian wines are considered to be among the best in the world and Slovenian beers are highly appreciated too.
Ljubljana may be small, but it has a huge amount to offer beer lov ers. Its range of places to eat is complemented by a rich choice of taverns, pubs, and other catering outlets and specialised shops offering beer. If, on top of that, you consider Slovenia’s microbreweries, whose beers you simply must taste, you can be sure that you have an exciting journey ahead. A perfect opportunity to taste Slovenian beers and get to know them really well is the guided walk of craft breweries
A culinary river cruise
Strelec castle restaurant and Chef Igor Jagodic is creating for you an excellent river cruise experience with 5 course gourmet candle light dinner on a brand new river boat. There is no dinner in Slovenia without wine pairing of top Slovenian wine producers. Enjoy the new tastes and enjoy a river cruise, where your taste buds will shine with joy. Guests of this particu lar riverboat cannot imagine that the already extraordinary and pleasant ride along the Ljubljanica River could turn into a superior culinary dinner experience. Culinary romantic riverboat experiences on the Ljubljanica River are happening in warm summer evening and as well all year round. Appar ently the nicest are in Decem ber, when Ljubljana Old Town is decorated in a thousand lights.
The Carniolan sausage
The Carniolan sausage (Kran jska klobasa) represents a Slovene culinary specialty that can be produced by no more than 14 Slovene producers that have obtained a certificate for its production. As a traditional food product, it is protected by geographical indication in the country of origin and represents a symbol of cultural heritage that Slovenes are justifiably proud of.
DID YOU KNOW?
The official symbol of the capital city Ljubljana is dragon. According to the legend Jason and the Argonauts sailed up the Danube, the Sava and finally the Ljubljanica river. As they were making the journey to the Adriatic Sea carrying their dismantled boat, they came across Ljubljana marshes, the home of the Ljubljana dragon The gallant Jason is said to have fought bravely against the beast before finally slaying it.
Hotel Intercontinental Ljubljana
The secret to true prestige is always in the details. The breath-taking views, exclusive aroma, prestigious furnishings and art that speaks for itself. Every object, every ray of light, every piece of fabric and detail of the hotel contributes to a first-class experience. A mod ern ambience in the style of world metropolises in the very centre of the capital, a short 10-minute walk from the old city centre, close to Tivoli Park, and in close proximity to the business centre. B-restaurant, located on the 20th floor, car ries the tradition of the Slovene Carniolan honey bee and thus tells a unique story, much like the unique offer of the restaurant. The culinary achievements of the restaurant come from the hands of the creative Italian chef Alfredo Russo, who can pride himself on a Michelin star. The philosophy of his breathtaking cuisine is in the simplic ity and the top-quality, especial ly locally grown ingredients.
Grand Hotel Union
The Grand hotel Union is Ljubljana’s first modern hotel
At the time it was built it was the city’s largest building boast ing the biggest function hall in the Balkans, which was, due to its complex iron roof structure, considered to be a great tech nological achievement. The entire building, both its façade and interior furnishings, which include the copies of a rich collection of etched glass panes, is designed in the Art Nouveau style. It consists of two wings connected by a protruding domed corner turret. A city centre hotel in an exclusive location combining friend liness with professionalism in serving its guests for over 30 years. The hotel provides guests with free use of busi ness centre, an indoor swim ming pool, sauna, fitness, free internet in hotel rooms, secured parking in the hotel garage
A Best Western Premier hotel with a 450-year history of combining comfortable accommo dation with superb cuisine in an excellent city centre location Guest rooms have been reno vated and furnished to modern standards. The Sweet Dreams bed concept, featuring bedlinen made of mercerized Egyptian cotton and a choice of different pillows, has been introduced to give guests the sweetest dreams.
For quite some time, Hotel Cubo has been ranked No.1 on Trip Advisor for Ljubljana. A hotel capable of providing all the services of large hotels, but with a distinct, intimate atmos phere that can only be created by a small property where the staff can pay special attention to each and every guest. Hotel Cubo is housed in a historic, protected building that has been enriched with a fresh, modern design to create an impressive contrast. Hotel Cubo has a great location near to the pedestrian zone in city center, spacious rooms and excellent service.
YOUR FAVOURITE CITY ARTISTS
Explore the Path of Three Cultural Giants on the Unique Moustache Tour visitljubljana.comIVAN CANKAR writer RIHARD JAKOPIČ painter JOŽE PLEČNIK architect
DID YOU KNOW?
The church on the Bled Island is very popular for weddings
The tradition says that the groom must carry his bride up the 99 steps from the lake to the church to ensure a long and happy marriage.
Jewel of the Alps
W Lake Bled
ith immense natural beauty, Bled, together with its surroundings, ranks among the most romantic alpine resorts, renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. The beauty of the mountains reflected on the lake, the sun, the serenity and the fresh air arouse pleasant feelings in visitors throughout the year, guaranteeing an ideal base, a relaxing break or an active holiday. Bled attracts businessmen, art ists, athletes, explorers, sport enthusiasts, the old and the young, from all over the world, enchanting them to return again and again!
The most important river in this area is the Sava. At the point where the river begins to be invigorated by tributaries from left and right, the valley gradually widens. Cities and towns with venerable tradi tions, together with the villages scattered across the high Alps and softly rounded hills, create a land of new experiences not far from the national capital.
Lake Bled basics
• The lake is of mixed glacial and tectonic origins
• It is 2120m long and 1380m wide
• Maximum depth of the lake is 30.6m
• Population of Bled town: 5476
• Altitude: 475m
• The World Rowing Championships in 1966, 1979, 1989 and 2011 were held at Lake Bled.
The area of the Julian Alps is the most southern part of Alpine mountain range.
The Bled Castle offers the finest view of the Bled Island, the town of Bled and of the wider countryside of the Gorenjska region. Experience the picturesque architecture of the castle and the museum collection, representing the historical development of Bled, its culure and its population. Get familiar with the traditional manual tech nological procedures of printing in the castle printing shop; order a small bottle of wine and seal it with sealing wax in the castle cellar and allow yourself to be healthy, feel better and delight yourself with natural products from the herbal gallery. Recover your strength in the castle restaurant and then visit the multivision; in summer months, the castle atmosphere is enlivened by the visit of a count and an archery tournament.
The most recognizable symbol of the lake is the island and the Church of the Assumption with its long and diverse history; however, the lush greenery also hides other interesting island buildings, like the bell-tower, church, chaplain’s house, prov ost’s house, small hermitage and some mysterious legends. In case you visit the island in just the right time, make time to witness a wedding in the romantic environment. As far as the wishing bell is concerned … Don’t just watch it. Ring it.
Pletna boat ride
Take a trip across the lake in the traditional Pletna boat and relax in the atmosphere. You will experience a private boat ride with Pletna to the Island of Bled; just you in the boat alone with an oarsman. What is the Pletna boat? It is a traditional boat made by locals which is only known at Bled – the Pletna boat. The origins of the Pletna boat go back to 1590. The Pletna boat is a wooden flatbottom boat with a pointed bow and the stern, widened with a step to enable pasengers to enter. The Pletna boat is operated by the Pletna
This profession is much respected as it cannot be performed just by anyone. The title of the Pletna oarsman was handed down from generation to generation. This is a must-try.
Bled golf course
Experience the most intact nature of Bled in the first touristically arranged gorge in Slovenia. It is located close to Gorje, approximately 4 km north-west of Bled. Due to its natural beauty, Vintgar was classified among the more important tourist sites in Slovenia and the number of visitors increases every year. The 1.6 km long Vintgar gorge carves its way through the vertical rocks of the Hom and Bort hills and is graced by the Radovna with its waterfalls, pools and rapids. The educational trail leads you over wooden bridges and Žumr’s galleries, and ends with a bridge overlooking the mighty 13 m high Šum waterfall. The Vintgar gorge also includes two manmade sights: the single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway, constructed in 1906, which crosses the gorge 33.5 m above the trail, and the dam from which the water is routed to the small Vintgar hydroelectric power plant under the Šum waterfall. It is a must-impress attraction. The Bled’s Vintgar leaves an impression on every visitor. Its steep depths, vertical walls, Rapid River beneath, vegetation and the largest waterfall in Slovenia are all intended to impress.
Bled Golf Course is the oldest and the largest Slovenian golf course. Its origins date back to 1937 and many visitors claim it to be one of the most beautiful golf courses in Europe. The facility comprises the 18-hole King’s Course and the 9-hole Lake Course. To make your round of golf even more varied, you may combine playing on both courses. The course is set apart by its unique location overlooked by the highest of the Slovenian Alps and the wonder ful countryside embracing it. It attracts amateurs and profes sionals from all over the world. Bled Golf Course is the only Slovenian golf course on the Golf World Magazine list of Top 100 Golf Courses in Continental Europe in year 2014, ranked at 49th place.
Vila Bled is the former residence of the Yugoslavian President Tito, so there’s no surpise to find that the lakeside location overlooking the island is second to none. Surrounded by parkland and with direct lake access it is now a small luxury hotel offering a superb quality of accommodation and a fantastic restaurant in an unforgettable setting.
The Julijana Restaurant is situ ated in Bled’s oldest hotel, the elegant Grand Hotel Toplice Thanks to its intimate atmos phere and enchanting views of the lake, the Julijana Restaurant is one of the most popular fine dining restaurants on Bled, with also one of the best locations. Enjoy the breathtaking view over the lake and you will feel like you can touch the surface of the water. The Chef of the restaurant is Simon Bertoncelj; he is one of the younger generation Slovenian chefs. He strives for perfection and harmony of dishes and flavors. Simon Bertoncelj is a member of the Slovene National Culinary Team.
Ginger bread experience
Once more, after two centuries, Lectar’s in Radovljica has a func tioning lect. workshop, where products of an old Slovenian craft called »lectarija« are produced. The workshop also functions as a Gingerbread Museum, where visitors can see the process of lect making in person. On a medieval square in the Upper Carniolan town Radovljica, a name dating back to before 1333, stands a house older than 500 years. In this house, Jakob Krivic opened a lect workshop, a honey-bread bakery and a chandlery in 1766. He lived to be 90 years old. The craft was passed to his son, who started an inn in the same house in 1822, and that inn is still open today. For a time, both trades were practiced in the same house, which is how the inn got its name, Lectar, and the house its sym bol – a lect. heart. »Lectarstvo« is an old and renowned traditional handicraft of Slovenia. The decorated pastry is made from honey dough and shaped either with a wooden or a tin mould, or by hand. During the late Middle Ages, lect. was popular with the social elite. The oldest preserved wooden mold, made for a customer who was a nobleman, dates to the 16th century. The craft is one of the old est practiced in cities and on squares, while in the countryside; lect workshops appeared in the 19th century, when lect-making saw its heyday. In those times, these products were highly regarded as meaningful tokens of love. Today, honey-bread products are precious souvenirs from our country. They also make lovely promotional items or business gifts.
The only true cream cake is the Bled cream cake. Over the last 60 years they have sold as many as 12 million cream cakes. A golden crispy crust made from butter dough, a deli cious vanilla cream of exactly the right consistency, topped with whipped cream and a crispy layer of butter dough and finally, last but not least, a good dusting of icing sugar. Your mouth is watering already. A must-taste!
Lake Bohinj and Julian Alps Sunny side of Alps
This is a part of the breath taking Julian Alps. On one side, it is enclosed by the Lower Bohinj Mountains, which rise to 2.000 meters, and on the north by the Triglav mountain range with Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain (2864 m). Bohinj is divided into the Upper and Lower Bohinj valley. There are twenty-four villages in these two valleys. Bohinj is one of the most beautiful places in the heart of the Julian Alps, and in Triglav National Park. The natural beauty of high mountains, green forests and beautiful mountain pastures and meadows guar antees visitors a pleasant stay in Bohinj. It is an ideal starting point for day experiences, for walks on the trails that run throughout the valley, and for mountaineering and climbing tours. This also offers ideal options and opportunities for rest and relaxation in all seasons. In winter, the valley becomes a winter sports center, while during the summer, the most beautiful pearl of the valley, Lake Bohinj, invites bathers, and with the Sava Bohinjka River, kayakers and fishermen as well.
DID YOU KNOW?
The highest mountain, 9,396 feet high, is called Triglav - the “three-headed one”. As a true national symbol it features both on the national coat of arms as well as the flag.
Julian alps are famous for it’s natural beauty, breathtaking vistas, Triglav national park and Soča walley.
Vogel lies within the Triglav National Park, at the head of the Bohinj Valley. Vogel cable car takes you to the upper cable car station, to a height of more than 1,500 meters above sea level. This magnificent ‘Kingdom of Zlatorog’ makes your heart leap in every season of the year. Enjoy the beautiful colors, the breathtaking views and the abundance of opportunities for active holidays in the moun tains. Favorable snow conditions make Vogel the perfect destination for skiing on natural snow, sometimes for as long as six months – from November to May. In other seasons, Vogel offers scenic rides and practical starting points for mountain hiking tours.
Julian Alps A
view of the Soča and the upper Sava river valleys spreads below Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain. Lying between the two rivers is Triglav National Park, which protects numerous endemic animal and plant species in a region of high rocky mountains deeply cut river gorges, high-mountain karst shafts and attractive low mountains, as well as the traditions of the once difficult life of mountain farmers and alpine dairymen.
DID YOU KNOW?
The proposal for the protection of the Triglav Lakes Valley area was first put forward in 1906 and the name Triglav National Park was first used in 1926. The large protected area was officially established in the modern form in 1981.
Charming magnificence of nature
Bohinj - a magical place at the edge of the world
On a weekday, I’ve decided to leave the busy summer pulse of Ljubljana behind and head to the edge of the world. To the most beautiful place for a short break – the heart of the Kingdom of the Goldhorn. Into the embrace of crystal-clear emerald waters, patches of fragrant flowery meadows, green coniferous forests, freshness, heavenly peace and quiet, and mountains soaring into the sky. To where the treasure of the Goldhorn lies, to the rich splendour of nature, quietly and respectfully welcoming everyone willing to tune into its mysterious, charming and tempting, inimitable magnificence.
Today we’re taking you to the edge of the world,” says a local named Simon, smiling, when showing me aboard the panoramic tour boat called Zlatorog, the local name for Goldhorn. “People used to believe the edge of the world was right behind these high mountains. In local dialect, they would say they were going to ‘u konc’, which literally translates as to the edge, hence the area’s name Ukanc. Of course we now know that many a charm lies behind the mountains,” explains the 20-year old man I talk to who spends summers working as a tour guide. The boat makes seven trips daily over Lake Bohinj, a lake of glacial origin and the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. It is well over four kilometres long and a little over one kilometre wide, and in parts deeper than Slovenia’s sea. As the locals jokingly put it, “all the water in the lake can fit in a bucket, so long as it’s big enough.”
Visiting the God’s Land
Bohinj comprises the Lower and Upper Bohinj Valleys, Nomenj Basin, Lake Basin, Pokljuka and Jelovica plateaus, and the moun tains. According to a folk tale, it got its name when “God was split ting up the land among nations. There was a small group of people who didn’t grumble and who waited patiently for their piece of land. God felt so sorry for them he decided to give them the finest piece of paradise he had been saving up for his retirement. The people were so grateful they named the area Bohinj in his honour.Kranjec
As it happens, the word God (=Bog) is pronounced as boh across the Gorenjska region, so it’s no wonder we like to refer to this area as God’s Land,” adds the young tour guide, who recounts – one after another – countless interesting mythical tales and local anec dotes during the half-hour ride one way. Getting ready for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, rowers from New Zealand, a world rowing powerhouse, whizz past us at full speed. Keen swimmers are test ing their swimming skills close to the shore, there is a windsurfer in the middle of the lake, and hikers are following the 12-kilo metre-long footpath around the lake. “The lake’s average annual temperature is 8°C, warming up to as high as 25 degrees during summer. Believe it or not, when it rains in Bohinj, the lake’s water level rises by as much as four metres,” the boat’s captain Franci remarks. Speak of the devil, it starts pouring with rain. To the locals, refreshing afternoon showers are no big surprise. “When it rains in Bohinj, it pours,” says the 61-year-old retired boating enthusiast, smiling, and goes on: “Did you know that no local ever leaves home without an umbrella? It’s their signature feature, and they keep one handy in their cars at all times!”
Bohinj lies in the heart of the Julian Alps. From Ukanc, there are a number of paths leading into the magnificent, stunningly beautiful unspoiled scenery of Triglav National Park (TNP). As the rain stops and the sky opens up, I get off the boat on the far side of the lake and head to the cableway valley station on foot. I then take the cable car up to Vogel, a little over 1,500 metres above sea level. From the top, as high in the sky as only birds can fly, breathtaking views of impressive rock faces and numerous peaks open up. Far in the distance a para- glider is flying through the air on just the right amount of wind, and a soft sound of flute is echoing from one of the mountain huts. From up there, you can admire Komna, Pršivec, as well as Viševnik and Podrta gora. At the heart of the mountain kingdom proudly stands Triglav, bathing in the orange-tinged afternoon sun. Around the country’s highest peak spans Slovenia’s mountain paradise, with wide blue skies above, symbolizing boundless possibilities and freedom. At the Merjasec mountain hut, I’m welcomed by “wild boar’s blood,” a sweet concoction made of fruits of the forest, followed by veal stew and buckwheat žganci with cracklings, and a delicious apple strudel to top it off. The surround ing plateaus are carpeted with mountain flowers, and the meadows offer countless opportunities for exploring the lush scenery and marvelling at its splendour. Bohinj plays host to the International Wild Flower Festival every spring, hiking enthusiasts flock to the area in autumn, and keen anglers try their luck at the annual Fly Fishing Festival. Winter athletes take part in the Biathlon World
Championships at Pokljuka, music and dance lovers twirl around the dance floor to the tunes of traditional folk music during the Alpski večer soiree, while arguably one ofthe best-known events in Bohinj is the Cows’ Ball (Kravji bal), this year marking its sixtieth anniversary. Held at the end of the tourist and grazing season, this event draws huge numbers of visitors and locals each year, particu larly herders driving decorated grazing cattle from higher-lying areas and carrying “basenga” on their shoulders, a bundle packed with all the essentials for living in the mountains. The entrance to the Kingdom of the Goldhorn has often served as a backdrop for feature film and TV productions from abroad; in 1967, none other than Agatha Christie was enchanted by the area’s ambience and scenery. She stayed at the then-renowned hotel Bellevue. “When asked if she would consider setting a crime scene in Bohinj in one of her books, she is said to have replied that it was much too beauti ful to be tarnished by blood,” recounts a local named Samo, smiling, as he readily names a few more names of famous guests who stayed here: “There was President Tito, as well as the famous American actress Vivien Leigh. Then there was the Princess of Spain, who later became Queen, Prince George of Great Britain got engaged in what used to be the Karađorđević Mansion, and our little Alpine paradise was also visited by the Greek writer Kazantzakis.”Agatha Christie Among Bohinj’s Notable Guests
BOHINJ ECO HOTEL WITH AQUAPARK
BOHINJ ECO HOTEL WITH AQUAPARK
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FAMILY FRIENDLY HOTEL
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PANORAMIC WELLNESS WITH INFINITY POOL
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Smell of Fresh Grass
At the modern TNP Visitor Centre, I’ve been told that ski jumping in fact originates in Bohinj and that the people of Bohinj are hardworking and, above all, friendly. I enjoy the local hospitality at the Pri Hrvatu inn, where I’m served with a tableful of local delicacies for supper. In front of me I have freshly fried ceps, chanterelles with eggs, wild boar with sauce, grilled trout, cottage cheese štruklji and filled pasta-like pockets called žlikrofi. As day turns into night, there’s nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of nature. Luxury apartments of Alpik Alpine Village and Villa Dov Apartments offer not only high-quality living in cosy, comfortable and spacious mountain houses, but also a superior first-hand experience in what it’s like to live in the countryside. The smell of fresh grass is price less, and one is just a step away from the riches of nature. “You can get Slovenian honey and hen house eggs from our neighbours, and lettuce straight from our garden. We can enjoy the view of the mountains from here and we’re located very close to the Sava Bo hinjka. The river is perfect for swimming and enjoying some peace and quiet. Here and there you’ll see a kayak,” says Aleš, the owner of Villa Dov, smiling. In the morning, along with the crowing of cockerels on the farm next door and the lazy mooing of cows, you’ll hear his signature greeting: “And top of the morning to you!”
A Morning in Paradise
Before heading back to Ljubljana in my Mercedes GLC after a short break in Bohinj, I call on a local lady who makes cheeses. Around here, a strong tradition, love of nature and the hospitality of the hard-working locals can still be felt on every turn. “Wel come!” she greets me with a smile and a firm handshake, inviting me in for some cold cuts. With milk already heating up in the pot, we talk about work on the farm. “My husband and daughter spend two months in the mountains during summer. We’ve thirteen cows up there. My son, Matevž, and I normally stay here in the valley. Bohinj’s cheesemaking tradition goes back to the 18th century, and we still make cheese following the traditional procedure that origi nates in the mountains,” says Anica, manager of the Gartner Farm Stay, while setting up the ingredients and tools used for making butter. Pr’Odolnek produces several types of cheeses, the local Mohant cheese included. “This cheese has special protected status and only four cheesemakers in the whole world have the right to produce and market it under this brand,” Anica adds proudly but humbly. This local delicacy has a strong aroma and spicy flavour, and the locals are said to call it “Bohinj’s cheese extraordinaire”. Matevž nudges me into helping them make some cheese. When more than an hour and a half later I bid them goodbye, I’m presented with a farewell gift: a piece of tasty young cheese I’d helped make. In my sporty four-wheel drive, I make a short stop at the Mrcina Ranch. The Božnar Ranch is home to 15 horses, a clowder of cats, Kan the Dog, and two piglets – Boško and Mici. “I’ve loved horses ever since I was a little boy. Luckily my hobby became my career. Spending time with animals from dawn to dusk is one of the most rewarding things,” continues Robi, promising to take me on a multi-day horseback-riding tour of Pokljuka and the surround ing green peaks of Bohinj next time I’m around here.
DID YOU KNOW?
FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATION
Roundly regarded by gourmands, amateur foodies, tourists and locals alike as one of best restaurants in the country, it’s not uncommon for diners to make the trip to Slovenia for the express purpose of eating here - especially for neighbouring Italians, who can appreciate top quality cuisine like few others. Run by a husband and wife team, Ana is in charge of the kitchen, while Valter’s knowledge of Slovenian wines and cheeses is unrivalled. Set in a rustic villa outside the town of Kobarid in the far west of the country, a meal here will not soon be forgotten. Rooms are also available.
Chef Ana Roš of the Hiša Franko restaurant has put Slovenian cuisine on the map by becoming the World’s Best Female Chef 2017. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants culinary portal picked her for the prestigious title due to her precision, affection to details and her imagination.
Chalet Astra Montana
The idea was to rebuild the old shepherd’s house and offer accom modation that would satisfy even the most demanding guests. This has resulted in Astra Montana mountain house, located on 1077 meters above sea level, surrounded with unspoilt nature on the outskirt of Triglav National Park. The position of the house provides peacefulness and breath-taking views which recharges our guests with positive energy and joyful mind. Giving them experience of waking up above the clouds, surrownded in pure nature, without hustle and bustle of everyday.
Emerald river Soča
The story of Soča Valley is all about the crystal clear water. Bovec is well known by the emerald rapids of the Soča River. But there are other water fairy tales hidden in the breathtaking corners just a glimpse away from the main road. Let us take you there for a crystal clear experience. Together with local guide you will experience different locations of waters and waterfalls in Soča Valey: Soča, Boka, Virje, Great Gorge of Soča river, … This is also a place where Narnia movie was filmed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Soča valley was a major frontline during WWI, where between June 1915 and November 1917 a series of battles were fought. Ernest Hemingway saw it all with his own eyes. He described The Isonzo Front in his famous novel “A Farewell to Arms”
This friendly destination in the valley of the emerald Soča River, in the heart of the Triglav National Park, beneath the Julian Alps, is a paradise for active vacations. Bovec is a veritable paradise for relaxation, active vacations and discovering the Isonzo Front. In recent years, the Bovec area has become increasingly popular with adver tisers and filmmakers; part of the Disney film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian was shot here. This area is the center of tourism in the Soča valley, a destination that was declared European Destination of Excel lence in 2008 with the Soča Stories project.
Hotel Dobra vila Bovec
An all-star hotel and a place where the night is just as inter esting as the day. Imagine a vacation in bed or on the waterfalls of a wild river. That is hotel Dobra Vila in Bovec. It is located in the middle of Julian Alps close to the Emerald river Soča; a fairytale place for the perfect weekend, holidays or new experience in the hidden place in Slovenia. An excellent service and delicious food is something not to be missed.
A perennial entrant on count less lists of the most beautiful rivers both in Europe and world, the Soča river is famed for its deep emerald colour, which winds its way through some breathtaking landscapes of the Triglav National Park before eventually meeting the Adriatic Sea.
Its unspoiled nature makes the Soča Valley a European outdoor epicentre that offers a complete infrastructure for adrenaline and active programmes, from agencies to guide services and accom panying services, including all of the necessary equipment for the most unusual requests. The destination has been attracting guests interested in active holidays and adrenaline challenges for many years now, but at the same time caters for those seeking more peaceful pursuits and contact with nature through other sports on the Soča, such as fishing and hiking, as well as exploring the area’s rich history. The picturesque nature of the valley makes it a para dise for water sports on the river Soča (rafting, kayaking, canoeing, hydro-speed, canyoning, etc.), para-gliders, fly-fishers, rock climb ers, hikers and mountain bikers
With a wealth of information and an impressive audio-visual presentation of the events of the first world war Soška fronta (Isonzo front), the collection here won an award for Best European Museum in 1993 Two and a half years of fighting and oneof the major mountain battles in history (the 12th Isonzo battle - or Caporetto breakthrough) are covered, the sorry story told with sensitivity. Perhaps the bloody Soča front is most known because of one Ernest Hemingway, whose novel A Farewell to Arms remembered the man’s experi ences on that very battlefield. The museum is located in the old centre of Kobarid, and tours to the battlefield itself are also available by prior arrangement.Kobarid museum
Tolmin gorges in the Triglav National Park
The splendour of a thermal spring and confluence of two turquoise rivers, not to mention much more, have been arranged for your average non-hiking type in the form of a ‘secured’ circular trail. Although the path also takes you over the 60m Devil’s Bridge, we are assured the attraction is ideal for fami lies. Perhaps it is indeed espe cially good for young boys with adventure in mind. Also watch out for Dante’s Cave (shelter for the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri) and the rock in the shape of a bear’s head.
Kozjak brook comprises six waterfalls, originating at Mt Krnčica (2142m) and serv ing as a tributary to the Soča river. Veliki Kozjak is the largest and most impressive of the said waterfalls, representing one of the most picturesque in Slovenia. Another highlight is the vast underground hall and pristine pool, the latter we presume is very cold both are 250m lower than Veliki Kozjak. To reach the falls head towards Drežnica from Kobarid, there’s a turnoff just after Napoleon bridge.
church of the Holy spirit in Javorca
A wooden church and shrine the Austro-Hungarian soldiers lost in the first world war on the Tolmin battlefield, Javorca is perched above the Tolminka stream. It also happens to be the finest WWI monument in all of Slovenia, having been bequeathed with the European Cultural Heritage sign in 2007. There’s that ever present Slovene scene-scape to be admired if nothing else, green hill plus church plus rocky mountain backdrop; we personally can’t get enough.Memorial
Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Milka
Slovenian excellence in a majestic Alpine seting
Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Milka came together during world pandemic times through serendipitous encounters and takes initiative in developing the kind of tourism that caters to the modern traveler: creating unique experiences and encounters that turn into memories of a lifetime.
The canvas was blank. We had an extraordinary location, an ambitious plan, joint experiences brought from all corners of the world and the wish to create the finest encounter with the Slovene culture and cuisine in a pristine Alpine countryside.
From the very beginning our vision is to care for the people and the planet, so one of our core values was to bring local environ ment into our building, to hire local artisans and to use local materials whenever it was possible. We also decided to look for alternatives to plastics wherever possible and use natural materials instead and we are very proud to be a non-plastic destination. Most of what our guests feel, see and taste at Milka is from Slovenia. Being regional and therefore responsible towards the environment we find ourselves in is of utmost importance to us. A mantra of a kind, to preserve the beauty for future generations.
All the stone used in hotel is Slovene limestone, quarried in oldest Slovene quarries, cut and formed by hand by artisans whose craft manship was passed on for generations over centuries. Bespoke cosmetics created by Slovenian cosmeticians from natural ingredi ents and never tested on animals, custom made ceramics that has
been made from Slovenian clay by Slovenian artisans are just two things where we showcase “Made in Slovenia”.
The local aspects do not stop at the design level. All our food is sourced or grown locally. We take a lot of pride in having a varied selection of local wines – after all we have to manifest our wine making tradition and the dandy title of growing the oldest grape vine in the world.
David Žefran, our 32-year old head chef is the master mind of our culinary creations. Prior to the pandemic, he was creating at the 3 michelin starred restaurant Frantzen in Stockholm, Sweden. Upon his return we started developing the new vision for the Milka Restaurant. After a month of our opening in 2022 we are proud to be featured in 2022 Michelin Guide.
Our hope is to create an environment where you will feel just like at home, but better. We would love to see you leave with lasting memories and a longing to come back. Sit back, relax and let us take care of you.
Welcome to your home away from home. Welcome to Milka.
Goriška Brda Charming vineyards and fabolous wine
This represents the most western part of Slovenia. Brda region is known of wines, olives and fruit. The region offers many opportunities for wine tasting and local gastronomy experiences. With a wide range of high-quality wines, tempting flavors of Mediterranean cuisine, healthy, fresh and homemade Brda food, high-quality olive oil and fruit, the Brda region also offers numerous opportunities to spend active leisure time in nature. For example, you can explore the region on electric bikes, as well as you can take a full day to relax, go for a walk around the vineyards or socialize with the locals.
The biggest and most attention-grabbing cultural and tourist event visited by over 30,000 visitors from the local and neighbouring Italian and Austrian regions. is the traditional Cherry Festival. This event is full of ethnological, cultural and sports events and entertainment for all generations.
Slovenia is a country of good wines valued for their remarkably natural tastes. The local wines are also becoming one of the best in the world, they also often surprise and win prestig ious international awards
The wonders of the Goriška region include the beautiful Alpine peaks and valleys.
Private tour of Goriška Brda
We tailor-made a tour of Goriška Brda, explicitly for our guests with private guide; we will start the tour on the highest hill Sabotin. On one side you will see the Adriatic Sea, and on the other Julian Alps. This place is actually part of the world’s history. We will visit famous World War 1 remains; an openair museum. A century ago, this was the heart of the AustroItalian front, one of WWI’s intrac table conflicts, where AustroHungarian soldiers clashed with Italian forces in the surrounding mountains. At the same time, this is where Ernest Heming way was located during the WWI. Here he got the inspiration or a part of his famous book A Farwell to Arms. The tour will continue to the view tower of Gonjače, to get the overview of the region and then to nearby village Šmartno. Šmartno was first mentioned in the 14th century, and is surrounded by defense walls. The tour will end at Dobrovo castle, where you can get electrical bikes or scooters for a ride up and down hills and vineyards (optional).
The area Brda/Collio is probably one of the most exciting culinary regions in the world. Here, subtle Mediterranean influences meet strong continental tastes, demanding the disciplined Austro-Slove nian tradition to adopt vivid Italian creativity and rich heritage. The constant desire to explore, using the finest fresh ingredients, modern culinary, technological knowledge, appreciation of the aforementioned factors and the tradition make the main feature of the restaurant, Gredič Avenanti. In this, you can quickly satisfy your curiosity, as well as your hunger, but it is most exciting when you take the time and allow yourself to be led to a gastronomic excur sion by the head chef Christian Avenanti.
Lunch at the tourist farm
Get a real taste of country living and stop by on your tourist farm. On a tourist farm you can find little nooks of peace and relaxation, and you can meet warm-hearted people, and learn about their customs and live stock. A real attraction is the ecological tourist farms, which offer a healthy living environ ment and certified organic food. You will stop by to have a lunch at one of the tourist farms in Brda Wine region, and experience local, seasonal and homemade food. Goriška Brda wine region is known not only because of vineyards and wine, but also for the production of fruits and variety of tourist farms.
Brda wine region is a great place to do private wine tasting experience at a local boutique winemaker. Red, white or spar kling wines - whichever you prefer, that will be your choice for wine tasting of several different varieties from the boutique wine producer (one or more of them). It is preferred that you follow three simple rules: look, smell and taste. Wine tastings will take place in the wine cellar or tasting room and led by a professional sommelier or vinemaker or both. But that is not all; the vinemaker will share his story of how he makes vine and their history of the vineyard. Choose our specially designed wine tastings to experience local atmosphere combined with story that you will get person ally from winemaker. Cheers - Na zdravje!
Fortress palace, the Castelletto, is destined to reflect all the char acteristics of the area. Protective, it was probably built 400 years ago on the first hill above the plain. Its gaze is fixed on the sea to the south; its back is strengthened by the hills of Collio and the snow-capped Alps in the distance. After the war, it stood on a bor der between two worlds; nowadays it does not recognize barriers anymore. Its figure is saying that its mission was never to impose power, but it stands in its place in order to protect and serve, to help and advise. With the renovation of the Castelletto Gredič was not made higher or more pompous, instead it was given the opportunity to grow in the depth and to perfect itself internally and externally. Now it tells the stories of the place and the land with its wine, food and people.
With its origins in an old medieval estate in the rustic wine growing region of Brda, Hotel Dvor has been faithfully restored. Here you will find the soul of the past, gently interwoven with the comfort of the present to provide a special unique experience. An enclosed ambiance gives Dvor a relaxed char acter and an intimate atmos phere. From the terraces and the balconies, you can enjoy beautiful views over the rolling hills of Brda with the Alps in the background; Dvor is a small, family-run hotel with friendly service.
Placed in an amazing country side of the Goriška Brda region, to the opulence of mild green hills, which bathe in the sun, we would like to invite you to the Alma Vista villa, which takes care of wellbeing for 4 to 8 people; where you can breathe in harmony with the nature, but at the same time enjoy all the benefits of the modern lifestyle. The Alma Vista villa lies in Vipolže, in the heart of the Goriška Brda Region, and is offering you all the comforts you could dream of.Hotel Dvor Gredič Castle
Indulge in unique experiences
Treat yourself with a break at this boutique hotel, embark on a gastronomic adventure, or go wine tasting in one of the most impressive vinothèques around.
The taste of Karst
Karst Enchanted underground world
eography abounds with examples of particular landscape types taking their names from various natural phenomena. However, there is only one such case where the name of a branch of science is entirely based on a land scape – karstology. The Slovenian limestone plateau known as Kras – the Karst in English – gave its name to a typical landscape formed on carbonate rock, and it is indeed here that karstology began to develop. Did you know that more than 1000 caves were founded in Karst region? The most famous caves in Slovenia: the Škocjan Caves, the Postojna Cave, the Križna jama Cave and many others.
A special value of Slovenia are also the alpine Karst phenomena in the Alps. At Kaninski podi there are potholes considered the deepest in the world and you can view karren, grooves and other surface Karst formations. Another peculiarity of the Slovenian Karst is also the Snežna jama Cave under Raduha which reveals mighty underground halls with ice drip-stones and lakes at the 1556 meters above sea level.
Typical Karst gourmet products are vine, oil, cheese and honey. In Karst, the Slavic, Germanic and Romanic cuisines have been interlaced for centuries. On the basis of this combina tion, the Karst cuisine - full of taste and Mediterranean freshness - was born. The Karst cuisine is seasonal, enriched with herbs, wild plants and fruit. Each festival is dis tinguished by a certain pastry, for example the famous Karst “štruklji” (a type of dumping), potica (tradi- tional Slov enian cake) and apple strudel. Venison and lamb’s meat are prepared in a thousand different ways. On cold days when the harsh bora wind is blowing, enjoy the warmth of different soups and minestrones; how ever, do not leave Karst without tasting the delicious Karst “jota”, which is a thick min estrone soup with sauerkraut or turnip, potatoes and beans. The secret recipe for tasty and diverse Karst dry-cured meat products is guarded by the Karst bora wind. The Karstregion prosciutto is different from any other Mediterranean type of prosciutto; it resembles others solely in its appearance. Only the prosciutto that goes through the traditional proc ess of dry salting, long drying and curing, can be labeled with a designation of origin. The diversity of the soil and climate conditions influenced the origin of Karst honey, which is full of minerals, enzymes and aromas.
Practically every square kilometre of Karst region conceals one of several thousand caves.
The Postojna Cave in Slovenia’s Karst region is the most-visited cave in Europe. It has a network of 12.5 miles of passages, galleries and chambers. The Vilenica cave is the first cave in Europe open for tourists – it has been welcoming guests since 1633
The legend of Erazem
For more than 700 years it has perched proudly on its 123-me tre cliff: powerful, defiant and impregnable – the perfect hideout for the bold, headstrong and rebellious knight Erazem of Predjama, a “robber baron” who is the subject of a romantic and beautiful legend. This legend is recalled today by Erazem’s Tunnel, along which the bravest visitors may still ascend. A view of the renovated castle rooms and their furnishings gives the visitor an idea of how people once lived and worked in the castle – and how well the cas tle has been preserved. Among the most interesting sights are the living quarters, the chapel and the dungeon. The fasci nating objects on view include weapons, oil paintings and a Pietà dating from 1420. From the castle building a passage leads to a refuge in a hollow, where an observation post on the rocky cliff offers a wonder ful view over the surrounding countryside. Here you can also see a well and the entrance to the legendary Erazem’s Tunnel.
The Predjama Castle reigns over the surrounding area, perched high up in a vertical cliff, 9 km from the Postojna Cave in the idyllic village of Predjama; it is an interesting and romantic sight throughout the year: in the spring and the summer its surroundings are abundant with blossoms and flowers, in the autumn it is clad in the colors of surrounding forests, and is at its most enchanting in the winter when the surrounding area is covered in snow. It was referred to in writing for the first time in 1202.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Karst Plateau, a limestone borderline plateau region extending in south-western Slovenia and north-eastern Italy gave name to Karst topography - a landscape created by ground water dissolving sedimentary limestone.
The Škocjan Regional Park
In addition to tours of the Škocjan Caves, which are open to visitors year-round, the park offers visitors various other possibilities for learning about the Kras region and its features.
Škocjan Museum exhibitions
A tour of the village itself includes an ethnography exhibi tion in the J’Kopin Barn, an il lustrated history of the explora tion of the Škocjan Caves in the Jurjevo Barn, and biology, geol ogy, and archeology exhibitions in the Natural Science Center.
Škocjan Education Trail
A moderately demanding hour and a half walk around the Ve lika dolina and Mala dolina col lapse dolines in the heart of the park. Informative signboards present the basic features of karst phenomena and numer ous interesting descriptions of karst plants and animals as well as the rich cultural and histori cal heritage of the area.
These caved are situated in the heart of Classical Karst where explorers, for the first time ever, started to discover and explore the karst phenomena. The most beautiful part of the Škocjan Caves Park is undoubtedly a set of eleven caves, collapsed dolines, ponors and natural bridges known as the Škocjan Caves. They are the most important underground phenomena of the Karst and on the opinion of international experts, one of the most beautiful pearls on Earth. Therefore are since 1986 listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is the only Slovenian site on the list as natural heritage.
DID YOU KNOW?
Besides being on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Škocjan Caves are also on the Ramsar Convention list (1999) as the first underground wetland and in Unesco’s Man and Biosphere (2004) research program.
The charms of the Lipica Stud Farm are hidden in the unseen and the stories written by the local history. Only when walking on the historical paths we can truly experience the greatness of the local equestrian tradition. The Lipica story begins in the 16th century when the abandoned summer residence became the Habsburg court stud farm. Lipica is the origin of the Lipizzan horse and the oldest European stud farm continuously breeding one of the oldest cultural horse breeds.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lipica Stud Farm breeds the finest horses for haute-école riding. On 22 October 2008 Queen Elizabeth II visited Lipica and was presented with a Lipizzan horse as a gift from the Slovenian people.
WHAT TO DO IN LIPICA? FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATION
Picnic on the pastures of Lipica
The local team of experts in Lipica Stud Farm estate will prepare a unique culinary experience for you and your guests. Prepare to be surrounded by hundred-year-old oak trees and feel the embrace of the beautiful Karst nature with the sweet fragrance of meadow plants and hay. You will have an opportunity to enjoy local dishes paired with excellent Karst wines and lavender lemonade. For picnic you can select between two options: Lipica Pastures with cold cuts & Lipica Feast with show cooking. The picnic can be enriched with an entertainment program, such as Equestrian welcome, Carriage ride, Folklore or sports activities.
Hotel Maestoso in Lipica is an excellent active hotel in the midst of the peaceful, natural, and green environment at the heart of the Stud Farm. A vicin ity to an important motorway ensures easy access, while keeping the hotel hidden away among the charming greenery that provides excellent work ing conditions. The renovated rooms offer the right combina tion of comfort to relax, while ensuring positive stimulation to encourage you take on an active and healthy lifestyle.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lipica offers truly unique locations for unforgettable meet ings, presentations and seminars. The team in Lipica follows the belief that people are much more perceptive and productive in nature. They offer a chance to organize a conference or meeting on one of the pastures of Lipica. Rest assured that you will leave a special impression on your partners by choosing a location that offers sufficient privacy for high-quality work.
The best of Istrian peninsula
Yellow is the color of the sun that strokes the picturesque Mediterranean towns on the Adriatic coast. Every kilometer of the Slovene coast is a new surprise. Here is a natural reserve with a rich fund of marl, sandstone and the unique, eightymeter Strunjan cliff, the highest flysch wall on the Adriatic coast. Here are the Sečovlje saltworks, first mentioned in the 13th century, and the nearby is a sanctuary for more than 150 bird species. Here the towns of Piran, Izola, and Koper draw visitors with their medieval cores, while Portorož, though mentioned as early as 1251, offers numerous modern hotels with congress halls, a fully equipped marina, a sport airport, thermal baths, a casino and a varied offer of summer cultural, entertainment and sport events. Not far from the coast, the beauties of Slovene Istria with its picturesque villages await you. Among them, for example, is Hrastovlje with its Holy Trinity Church decorated with narrative late Gothic frescoes, including a marvelously preserved Danse Macabre.
The best jewels are in the smallest of boxes. Slovenia’s coastline is short but rich in colour, flavour and sound. The colours of the vineyards, the olive trees and the sea. The flavours of its heavenly food, a fusion of Italian, Austrian and Balkan taste. The sounds of seagulls and waves lapping gently against the promenades of enchanting towns such as Piran and Izola. Plus, of course, the buzz ing nightlife of Portorož, one of the Adriatic coast’s must see gems. You are also incredibly close to inner Slovenia, with its views over the mighty Alps and access to the beautiful city of Ljubljana. Go for it!
Slovenian riviera basics
• Towns: Piran, Koper, Izola, Portorož, Ankaran
• Official language: Slovenian and Italian
• Port of Koper: Cruise ship passenger terminal and Cargo terminals
• Marinas: Portorož, Piran, Izola, Koper
• Sečovlje Salt Pans are a protected cultural monument and nature park
Slovenia’s coastal region sits on the Adriatic and enjoys wonderful Mediterranean climate.
The old seaport of Piran lies at the end of the Piran peninsula, which gradually narrows between the bays of Strunjan and Piran. The peninsula reaches Cape Madona, ending with the Šavrini hills. The meaning of the name Piran: elder scientists support the supposition that the origin could derive from the Celtic word bior-dun, apparently meaning a settlement on the hill, while younger generation advocates the explanation of the Greek word pyr – fire, as the original settlement was primarily
used as a lighthouse for vessels sailing to nearby Greek colony Aegida, on the site of today’s town, Koper. The town has preserved the medieval layout with narrow streets and compact houses, which rise in steps from the coastal lowland into the hills and give the whole area a typical Mediterranean look.
Hrastovlje church of the Holy Trinity
On an elevation above the village of Hrastovlje stands an encamp ment wall. Above the wall rises the top of the bell tower with a pyramidal crown; behind the wall is a medieval stone branch church with an exposed apse. The church building was constructed in the late Romanesque tradition before the 15th century or at the latest, by 1480, as is apparent by the three-nave areas with two drawn side apses and an outstanding main apse. At the entrance, there is the added on bell tower mentioned above. The encampment wall built in the 15th century and in the beginning of the 16th century is an irregular rectangle with cylindrical towers, in exposed corners and with preserved loopholes on two levels. All the walls, vaulting down to the last corner of the church are decorated by frescos. There is not a more thoroughly painted church in Slovenia. The artist of those somewhat awkwardly painted images is the inscribed Janez of Kastav. The painting originated around 1490. Full-figured images of the Apostles are painted in niches in the apse, where the Throne of Grace is centrally positioned in the apse. There are numerous frescos with saints and prophets; the most interesting are those with genre scenes of farm work symbolizing the 12 months. There is also a depiction of the Passion series on the north wall, with the journey and adoration of the Magi. On the south wall, the most fa mous scene of medieval frescos in Slovenia is painted: a continued Dance of Death. The rare scene shows people dancing with skel etons before the grave. There is a whole line of people of different classes in their typical clothing: from a baby, beggar to the king and the pope; all of them are led by skeletons through life to the grave. The altar fittings are modest.
WHAT TO DO ON SLOVENIAN RIVIERA?
Fonda sea bass farm
The Fonda family is passionate about the sea and dedicated to breeding the finest Piran Sea bass with love and attention. Now you have the opportunity to visit their marine fish farm Situated in the magnificent nature of the Slovenian Istria,, in the heart of the fishing preserve and the Sečovlje salina nature park in Piran Bay, the Fonda fish farm promises to deliver a truly unforgettable experience of the freshest and finest sea fish for lovers of the sea, sun and sea food. Visit and discover what makes the Fonda Piran Sea bass so special and what gives it such high culinary, trade and marketing value. We’ll share all of our secrets: the selection of young fish spawn and the right type of feed, manual feeding and all aspects of caring for the environment, health and growth of several generations of the Piran Sea bass.
This is organized for guests who want to explore and learn about the Istrian region where truffles grow. Accompanied by a professional truffle hunter and specially trained dogs, you move deep in the forests of Istria and spend a few hours in search of the Istrian white truf fle or black, depending on the season.
Sea kayaking trip
along Slovenian coast
Trip starts at the beautiful Kempinski beach in Portorož. You can choose a route to the Strunjan regional park, a route that takes us past Piran, the Strunjan saltpans, and the Strunjan peninsula.The second possibility is to paddle to the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, where the trip takes us along the canals of the park, where one can admire the 700-yearold salt flats.
Seaview Pool Villa
Welcome to your private villa on the Slovenian coast.
The salt pans of Sečovlje
In the area, known as Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, the sym biosis between man and nature is marked with centuries-old tradition of salt-making; from the Middle Ages till today, it has created a unique salina landscape. Owing to its specific architectural and historical features, as well as to the ex ceptional diversity of plants and animals (such as 270 species of birds), the 650 ha large area of once thriving salt-pans is today, protected as a cultural monument and nature park. In these northernmost Mediter ranean salt-pans, salt is still produced traditionally, with classical salt-pan methods and tools; the reason why salt has retained its very special taste and exceptional characteristics. You will need no more than a fleeting glance at nature, which seems as if time has stopped ages ago, to be totally enrap tured by it. The Sečovlje Salina Nature Park is today an impor tant tourist attraction on the Slovenian coast; the buildings in the area of the salt works represent a valuable example of cultural heritage, from both the architectural and technical points of view. There is also the Museum of Saltmaking
Portorož is a town, which boasts the longest tourist tradition in Slovenia and offers comfortable hotels and modern swimming pools, restaurants and events. It is a popular conference centre – various conference and meeting facilities can accommodate up to 1500 visitors. Portorož has a casino, a sport airport and marina. It is a town visited by tourists from all over Europe and other countries as well. It is an internationally known holiday centre and climatic health seaside resort.
DID YOU KNOW?
Due to its seaside location, Portorož was known as a health resort since 13th century That’s why Portorož is being host to more than one hundred years of spa tradition
The kozolec (hayrack) is a free standing, mainly wooden, partially-open yet roofed struc ture which is used for drying and storing hay and grain. The double linked hayracks, known as toplar, however, are a unique to Slovenia.
Traditional region with thermal SPAs
ibrant, green, sparkling, calm and sociable; openly boastful and mysteriously sophisticated, a landscape of meadows and forests, pretty green rivers, a cradle of picturesque places and sincere, hospitable people. Placidly sited in the south-east- ern Slovenia, between the Ljubljana basin and the Sava River, Dolenjska has many surprising faces. The varied relief, numerous streams, karst features and biodiversity create its unfor gettable dynamic. The river valleys of sparkling beauties: the Krka, Mirna, Kolpa and Lahinja Rivers. The slopes of its hills ripen sunkissed grapes. The bosom of its deep springs bubble restorative and healing thermal waters. Castles, religious buildings, monuments, gardens and its architectural heritage are the jewels that form its rich entirety.
Hill vineyards and little hilltop churches, castles and monasteries, broad forests and groves of birch trees give the extensive region of south-east Slovenia a particular charm.Novo Mesto
Also called the metropolis of the Lower Carnolia, was founded in 1365 with the granting of a charter to the town on a bend in the Krka River by Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria. Officially named Rudolfswert, the town steadily grew as Novo Mesto and soon became the admin istrative, cultural, religious and business hub of the region. Its wealth of natural splendors, tradition and culture can be a true experience for any visitor. There are many cultural monu ments and points of interest in the town, plus an exceptionally rich archaeological heritage on display in the Dolenjska Mu seum
Dolenjska region offers countless opportunities to relax, explore and enjoy.
WHAT TO DO IN LOWER CARNIOLA?
The Land of hayracks
Dolenjske Toplice with Balnea Spa is one of the oldest health resorts in Slovenia. Guests have been attracted to the area for centuries by its thermal springs and the attractive countryside of the picturesque valley of the river Krka with its vineyards. The thermal water spring, slightly mineralized, rises at the same temperature as the human body, and has numer ous healing effects. The Balnea Wellness Centre lies on the edge of the wonderful health resort park and is a genuine kingdom of refreshing baths, invigorating massages, restora tive saunas and constant pam pering. Like a good violin, it is necessary to retune the strings of your body, damaged as they may have been by everyday life. This, and the harvesting of new energy, may be accomplished alone or under expert supervi sion.
It is the first open-air museum of hayracks. It consists of 19 different drying structures originating from the Mirna Valley, except for one hayrack which comes from the vicinity of Ivančna Gorica. The museum’s purpose is to show the devel opment of hayracks through time, space and social meaning from simple drying structures to complex forms of double hayracks – “toplars”. A hayrack is a structure for drying crops standing independently or lean ing against another outbuild ing. Most frequently made of wood, a hayrack is situated at the homestead or separately on the field or meadow. Grains, hay, corn, flax, hemp, legumes, cuttings of tuberous plants and fern were dried and stored in it. A double hayrack is a particu larly suitable place for storing tools, agricultural machinery and wagons, as well as other building material and modern vehicles.
The country’s only castle completely surrounded by water; home to the de Werde noblemen in the 13th century, who were also known as the Knights of Otočec. This castle is the only one in Slovenia that sits on a river island. The magnificent castle on the river Krka was for centuries, both a stronghold and a gracious home to numerous noble families. Its most prominent inhabitants, apart from the Knights of Otočec, were the Villanders nobles of Tyrol, captain of Žumberak Uskoks Ivan Lenkovič, and the noble Janez Sonce, who is also the central character in a narrative by Ivan Tavčar. Before World War II, the castle was owned by the House of Marghieri de Commadona. Nowadays the castle is converted to Relais Chateaux 5 star hotel property. It also has a gourmet fine-dining restaurant. The castle restaurant is a member of the oldest, largest and most prominent international association Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, which works to promote and develop the art of cooking, the culture of wine drinking and socializing at the dinner table while showing appreciation to a region’s ethnological characteristics.
In the White Carniola, everyone looking for some peace and quiet under the dreamy birch trees will enjoy themselves, as well as those looking to experience a true joy of wine toasts. The varied natural and cultural heritage of White Carniola, the region on the sunny side of the mythical Gorjanci mountain range, will surprise you. The name of the region stems from the colour of the slender birch trees and white flaxen clothes once worn by the locals. Almost 600 km2 of karstic plain is embraced by Slovenia’s warmest river Kolpa in the south. Its inviting waters provide swim ming and boat rides, and its banks offer scenic hikes. In 2010
Kolpa was awarded the prestigious title European Destination of Excellence
The land intertwines recreational activities with ancient folk cus toms, craftsmanship and traditions. Specially interested is Kolpa river, the warmest and one of the cleanest rivers in Slovenia. Every thing is combined in sustainable tourism, based on the realization that one can only truly relax in a place where people open their hearts as well as their doors.
WHAT TO DO IN LOWER CARNIOLA?
Kostanjevica na Krki
Slovenia’s smallest town and one of the oldest, is a veritable wonder of nature. The old part of the town is actually situated on an island in a bend of the river Krka. Today, the entire town is protected as a cultural monument of the highest category. As a result of frequent floods in the past, when the only way to get around was by boat, the town became known as the “Venice of Lower Carniola”. Two wooden bridges provide road access to the island. A third bridge over the Krka, “Bigots’ Bridge”, is for pedestrians only. Most visitors to the town also take the opportunity to experience some artistic heritage: at the Božidar Jakac Gallery and the Forma Viva sculpture garden, at the Lamut Art Salon or at the Gorjup Gallery.
Forma Viva & Božidar Jakac Gallery
Founded in 1974, the Božidar Jakac Gallery is located in the building of the former Kostanjevica Monastery, one of Slovenia’s finest me dieval monuments, which is situated in the picturesque landscape of south-eastern Slovenia. Initially, the gallery focused on present ing the artistic legacy of the Bela Krajina, Dolenjska and Posavje regions. Today it also presents contemporary, artistic production on the regional, national and international levels. Božidar Jakac Gallery manages the Forma Viva Open Air Wood Sculpture Collection set in the former monastery park. More than 100 sculptures are on display in the natural environment, nearby art museum/former cistercian monastery in Kostanjevica na Krki. They were created on sculptural symposiums Forma Viva, with participation of artists from different parts of the world from 1961-1988 and biannual from 1988. Sculptures molding by artists are made from oak wood, typi cal for this part of Slovenia. In the monastery resides a gallery with temporary art exhibitions and a permanent collection of Božidar Jakac, Janez Boljka, Franc Kralj, Bogdan Borčič, …
Magnificent castle-filled day in Posavje region
The royal seven. Seven castles with a colourful history. Five of them are still as magnificent as it gets, two, however, show the ravages of time, but will nevertheless wow you with various fascinating castle chronicles and local legends. Although the seven castles are steeped in a shared history, each of them has written its own unique story over the centuries, thus shaping a one-of-a-kind character. A colourful kaleidoscope of stories paved the way for various authentic experiences that are bound to impress even the most discerning visitors. You won’t find so many castles in such a small area anywhere else in Slovenia. The Brežice, Kunšperk (Königsberg), Mokrice, Rajhenburg, Sevnica and Svibno castles and the Kostanjevica monastery. A wonderful hotel amid greenery, the spirit of bygone times in the middle of an urban setting, a mighty guardian atop a steep promontory above the river Sava, relics on the green hills of the undulating rural Posavje... These are the castles that will enchant you at first sight.
It is supposed that the castle was built in the 12th century on a small slope on the left bank of the Sava River, separating Styria and Carniola. It was built by the Salzburg people in order to serve administrative and defense purposes. The town of Brežice, which was established in its neighborhood, got city rights approved by a document in 1353. Name Brežice is a derivative from the town on the bank (bregu – brežcu), situated on the pier above the driedout bed of the Sava. The two-storey castle is the mightiest building in Brežice, built in the middle of the 16th century in the site of the castle which was burnt down in 1515, in time of the great peasant revolt.
The book Taste Posavje, which features the Posavje region’s finest cuisine and wines is quite extensive. In fact, it is so extensive that while flipping through its pages many a reader will wonder how many days one needs to spend here to sample the best of what the region has to offer.
In recent years, this south-eastern Slovenian region, where the hilly landscape undulates much like the waves on the sea, has blossomed into Slovenia’s mecca for food lovers. It has been discovered by world-renowned Michelin and Gaullt&Millau restaurant guides and many local providers are part of the Gostilna Slovenija brand network, which guarantees excellent quality based on local, fresh and seasonal foods.
The range of what Posavje has to offer is exceptional: from the finest restaurants with world-renowned Slovenian chefs and tradi tional inns (‘gostilne’), where authentic regional dishes have been developed and served for several generations, to agritourism farms, where guests are bound to be enchanted by all things homely. The range of regional wines is equally as exceptional – nowhere else in Slovenia are there so many different wines. Posavje boasts a number of top winemakers and those who are well on the path to excellence.
The regional recipes are based on tradition with a modern touch and many dishes are created from local, fresh and seasonal foods. What takes a lot of effort in many other places seems to be within arm’s reach here: the Posavje region grows the largest amount of fruit and vegetables in Slovenia. Here, you’ll find big growers and dozens of smaller ones, which sell their produce in the largest towns of the six regional municipalities on Saturdays.
Sustainability here is not something that exists only on paper – it is something that people live and breathe.
DID YOU KNOW?
Posavje offers a wide range of hotels and other accommodation facilities, from a boutique hotel housed in a castle, to charming villas, agritourism farms and vineyard cottages.
Many stories that make up a joint story: the story of Posavje
Bistrica ob Sotli, Brežice, Kostanjevica na Krki, Krško, Radeče and Sevnica. Each of the six municipalities has its special features that make up our joint story – the story of Posavje. A story told by the lovely hills with vineyards where vines often seem to be planted in such perfectly straight parallel lines, as if drawn by the skilful hand of an architect. A story told by the towns and villages with their unique features: from Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia’s only town on an island, and Sevnica, the birthplace of the current First Lady of the United States, to ‘repnice’, the one-of-kind wine cellars, and the many picturesque castles... Posavje boasts the largest number of castles in Slovenia in such a small area and they are all remark able. Each of them has its own story, either about the Trappist monks, the first esteemed chocolate makers in Slovenia, about the rich heritage of Posavje’s hills and plains, or about art. An indelible imprint on the region has been left by its two rivers: the Sava, the longest Slovenian river, which connects almost all the municipali ties within the region, and the Krka, a green marvel, which rises in the Dolenjska region and flows back into it. The rivers’ pictureperfect confluence is one of the most beautiful natural attractions of the Posavje region. And speaking of nature: here, nature is truly pristine and without the crowds that may put a damper on the serenity of the natural world.
The authenticity and great value of modern tourism
This is what the people of Posavje have to say about their region and themselves: “We have pretty much everything that others have as well, only what we have is more serene, more balanced, more harmonious. Because this is what we are like. More than anything else, we are good-humoured and easy-going. Without any extremes, and balanced. And we want our guests to enjoy the same sort of calm. Only when it comes to good food, we tend to get carried away and overdo it. This is where we like to be at the top. Our cuisine may not be world-famous, it is, however, the best. Our wines are not the most expensive, but they are the finest. Be it when it comes to home-made food, dishes served in inns, taverns or enjoyed during picnics in nature.”
If you are looking for authenticity, you will no doubt find it here. If you like nothing better than a warm and sincere smile of local people, and a heartfelt welcome, you have come to the right place. In Posavje, hospitality is an indispensable and spontaneous part of the experience. Most of the people you will meet here won’t be fellow visitors, but locals.
As previously mentioned, the locals may get a bit carried away when it comes to food. The excellence of the local cuisine has not developed for the sake of visitors – it has always been present because it is something that is very important to the local people. The fertile land allows people to grow fresh, local and seasonal produce, and the hilly landscape – the contact point of the alpine, Mediterranean and Pannonian climates – is ideal for viticulture and winemaking. Many dishes would probably have sunk into oblivion ages ago if it wasn’t for the locals’ respect for tradition.
The enticing smells of the past
Have you ever heard of overheated cream (pregreta smetana)? This regional speciality is overheated in a masonry oven that is cooling off after bread was baked in it; the cream is then used as an ingredient in a dish called the Kozjansko bread potica. What about potanc, a bread substitute that was often lacking back in the day? These are the two most typical traditional dishes from Posavje, which testify to an exceptionally diverse and rich culinary cultural heritage of this region. The list of the local culinary specialties seems endless. The puhla (flatbrad) with cracklings, the savoury buckwheat cake from Bizeljsko, the cottage-cheese-and-walnut pie, roasted capons, roasted legs of Krškopolje pigs, duck with mlinci (some sort of pasta tatters), buckwheat žganci (spoonbread), liver sausages, bread with cracklings, buckwheat kasha with prunes, the širkahen soup (pan-fried cracklings in spiced potato-carrot soup), korejevec (a dish made of yellow and red carrots and beans) etc. And the list goes on and on, for so long that one is likely to run out of breath several times before listing all the different dishes. The preserved traditional foods include some with very interesting names, such as ‘cop na lop’, a simple sweet treat made of leavened wheat (or buckwheat or spelt) dough. And then there’s also a vil lage best known for ... onions!
There are, however, some other one-of-a-kind staples of Posavje’s cuisine, such as the Krškopolje pigs – the only preserved Slov enian indigenous breed of pigs, capons – cockerels that are valued for their tender and juicy white meat, and freshwater fish. In fact, Posavje boasts the largest number of fish farms in Slovenia and also the only Slovenian organic fish farm.
Wine is food!
And now back to wine. As the saying goes ‘Wine is food! and people from the Posavje region take this very seriously.
The wine-growing region of Posavje, whose borders go slightly beyond the borders of the geographic region, covers almost 3,800 hectares of vineyards on steep slopes, where vines grow in the soil consisting of marl and sandstones, as well as on older rocks such as dolomites. The region is divided into three wine-growing districts: Bizeljsko-Sremič, Dolenjska and Bela krajina. Each of the three districts has its own special features that dictate the production of grape varieties (and wines), from different climates to soil compo sition.
The most widespread varieties in the Bizeljsko-Sremič wine-grow ing district are Modra frankinja (Blaufränkisch), Žametovka, Laški rizling (Welschriesling), Rumeni plavec, Sauvignon and Char donnay. Dolenjska is known for the Žametovka, Modra frankinja (Blaufränkisch), Laški rizling (Welschriesling), Kraljevina, Ru meni plavec, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay varieties. And the most popular varieties in the Bela krajina are Modra frankinja (Blau fränkisch), Laški rizling (Welschriesling), Kraljevina, Žametovka, Yellow Muscat and Sauvignon.
The Posavje region has long been known as a producer of light white and red wines, although a number of different international
wine varieties and special local varieties are produced here. One of these special Slovenian wines is Cviček, which boasts a history of more than two hundred years. In addition to Tuscan Chianti, it is the world’s only wine consisting of red and white grape varieties. In the Dolenjska wine-growing district, you will have difficulty finding a winegrower or winemaker who is not be extremely proud of Cviček. The Posavje region also boasts the largest Cviček wine cellar. The best-known Posavje region’s wine, however, is not Cviček, but a domesticated Blaufränkisch wine variety – ‘a velvety wine’, a full-bodied, extremely rich, fruity, fresh wine with a char acteristic bouquet. It is usually red, there are, however, also some white varieties available – sparkling wine, for instance. Speaking of sparkling wines, Posavje also boasts the largest private sparkling wine producer in Slovenia. Wine can be tasted on the premises of many winegrowers and winemakers, in wine cellars (including some castle cellars), and of course, in restaurants, inns and at agritourism farms. In fact, it’s quite difficult not to come across wine while here.
Active experiences paired with cuisine
Gastronomy is an indispensable part of experiences and adven tures in this region – be it traditional events, such as the Taste Posavje Week, which presents the best of what the region has to offer, the Rajhenburg Chocolate and Liqueur Day, which revives the chocolate-related heritage of Trappist monks, and the Sevnica Salami Festival (Salamiada), whose long-established tradition of more than fifty years makes it the oldest culinary event in this area. Cuisine is part of active experiences, such as cycling trips with rental e-bikes across the hilly landscape with side trips to local tourism providers, hikes along many well-kept trails (Posavje has a themed-trail festival, as part of which visitors can walk along these trails accompanied by local guides), walks to natural sights paired with picnics to feast on local specialities, water-related adventures, such as timber-rafting on the Sava, etc. And if gastronomy is not included in a specific active adventure, it is by all means part of the experience of Posavje as a whole.
To experience means to taste
Visitors to the Posavje region are a proof that great tourism stories do not necessarily involve stupendous landmarks, but sights and things that may seem less impressive at first sight, yet are never theless very valuable. During a time when sustainable develop ment (and tourism) is a more common topic than ever before, sustainability is something that people here have always lived and breathed, while also focusing on everything that modern tour ists appreciates more and more: authenticity, genuine hospitality, serenity. Destinations that offer all of this are increasingly difficult to find. And the nicest thing about it is that the best way for visitors to experience this is through what Posavje does best – through its cuisine. Is there anything nicer than experiencing something through tasting it?
DID YOU KNOW?
Repnice are a special feature of Bizeljsko and are found nowhere else but here. They are caves dug into quartz sand. Back in the day, there were used for storing turnips – the main livestock fodder – during the winter. The repnice caves were named after the turnips – in Slovenian, repa is a turnip, hence the name. Later, when the caves were no longer used for turnip storage, many winegrowers turned them into a space for wine stor age and wine tastings. In fact, repnice have the perfect temperature and humidity for storing and maturing wines. Some villages boast repnice that are more than two hundred years old and well worth a visit.
The Bizeljsko Buckwheat Cake
Back in the day, buckwheat was an extremely impor tant staple crop in Bizeljsko – in the late 19th century, when grape phylloxera destroyed almost all vineyards in the area, it even saved the local people from starva tion. The Bizeljsko buckwheat cake is thus an authentic local culinary specialty. It is a savoury buckwheat cake with a cottage-cheese filling.
Ingredients for the dough: 800 g buckwheat flour and up to 1.5 l water. Ingredients for the filling: 1.5–2 kg cottage cheese, 2–3 eggs, salt, 100–150 g butter and 2 dcl sour cream.
Salt the buckwheat flour and pour boiling water over it. Cool the mixture, add a bit of butter, knead the dough and divide it into two or three parts.
Roll out the dough thinly and spread the filling made of cottage cheese, eggs, salt and sour cream on top of the dough. Sprinkle the filling with little pieces of butter. Then roll up the dough like strudel and place it in a greased baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake it for a little over an hour and a half: first bake for 20–30 minutes at a maximum temperature of 180 °C to 200° C, then reduce the temperature to 160 °C–170 °C, spread sour cream on top of it (you can do it twice) and bake until done.
LUXURY SLOVENIA FLAGSHIP PROGRAM exclusively designed by Matej & Mattej
You are invited to enjoy the most naturally diverse and culturally rich country in Europe – Slovenia. Book this exclusive 8-nights/9-day, private guided tour and enjoy an array of privileges:
• See where the world’s best flour de sale is made
• Discover the secrets of the Wenetian-style town Piran
• Meet with a world famous winemaker
• Enjoy a homemade lunch at a typical county home
• Ring a wishing bell at Lake Bled
• Take a private tour of a mysterious underground cave
• Ride a boat under Ljubljana bridges while enjoying some bubbly
• Spend the afternoon in one of the most extraordinary private art galleries in the world
• Relax in exclusively selected accommodations
• Have Slovenian’s top chefs prepare you gourmet dinners
• Take private luxury car transfers
• Have complimentary entry to many of Ljubljana’s leading attractions and museums
Day 1. Saturday
Welcome to Slovenia
Fly from your nearest international airport to Ljubljana (Venice or Zagreb optional). Meet & greet by your personal guide and private transfer to Slovenian Riviera. Check-in to your hotel followed by a welcome dinnner. In Portorož, we have been throwing the dice of luck for more than a century. You can test your luck in one of the three casinos. Sweet dreams in your luxury hotel. (D)
Day 2. Sunday
Soline salt pans and Piran, the dream city
After a gorgeous breakfast in the morning visit the Soline Salt Pans. The salt is produced in a traditional way based on a 700-yearold method that harmonizes man and nature. Over the centuries, a unique habitat has formed for halophytic plants and animals and migrating birds. Free afternoon at leisure or take time to enjoy a pri vate sailing trip along the Slovenian Riviera. Evening private guided tour of nearby town Piran, one of the most photogenic cities in the Mediterranean. Piran has preserved its unsurpassed charm and a delicious seafood dinner will finish off this wonderful day. Short walk or drive back to your hotel in Portorož. (B,D)
Day 3. Monday
From Slovenian riviera to spectacular wine region
After breakfast you have time to spend relaxing at the hotel SPA or consider a visit to Lepa Vida. At The Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa guests are offered a special experience of traditional thalassotherapy in a unique natural environment amidst the salt pans using
natural products, produced in the Sečovlje Salina Landscape Park. Midday departure to Goriška Brda wine region, land of the best Slovenians wines. Start with lunch at a privately owned farm and try some of the best Slovenian home made wines. Short drive to your hotel followed by check-in then a visit to old town of Šmartno, the picturesque walled village with five preserved towers, perched on a panoramic hill like an eagle’s nest which can be seen from every corner of Brda. Evening is reserved for private Slovenian wine degustation folowed by gourmet dinner at the amazing Gredič Castle. (B, L, D)
Day 4. Tuesday
From wine region to Lower Carnolia with cave visit
After breakfast you will have time to set off to one of the world’s famous Slovenian attractions. You can start your day by visiting the Lipica Stud Farm to enjoy a private tour of the estate and get familiar with the grandiose Lipizzan horses. If you strive for a more mystical feel to your vacation, you may prefer a visit to yet another highlight this country has; the magical Karst caves – UNESCO protected Škocijan Cave or Postojna Cave and Predjama castle. For an even more memorable experience, these tours can also be privatized. Explore the fantastic web of tunnels, passages, galleries and halls, the astonishing diversity of Karst features as well as easy access are certainly the main reasons for such popularity of the cave and its large number of visitors, which has already reached 36 million in 200 years. Afterwards continue your way to Relais & Chateau Castle Otočec, the gem of tourism in the region, which lies on a small island in the middle of the Krka river, where its beauty has impressed passer-by’s for eight centuries. Rebuilt into a luxuri ous hotel, it has preserved the beauty of the past and has sensitively woven it into top-of-the-range contemporary offer of castle tour ism. Gourmet dinner with a modern twist at the castle’s restaurant could not be a better choice. (B,L,D)
Day 5. Wednesday
Explore culture of Lower Carnolia
After breakfast you have some free time to explore the castle sur roundings or if you like you can go play golf at the nearest golf course. The first visit in the afternoon is a local home made cheese production farm with private degustation. Next stop is Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia’s smallest town and one of the oldest, a true veritable wonder of nature. Today the entire town is protected as a cultural monument of the highest category. As a result of frequent floods in the past, when the only way to get around was by boat, the town became known as the “Venice of Lower Carniola”. Kostan jevica na Krki is a living town on an island. Here you can take the opportunity to experience some artistic heritage: at the Božidar Ja kac Gallery and the Forma Viva sculpture garden, at the Lamut Art
Salon or at the Gorjup Gallery. Finish the day with local dinner at the nearest local restaurant which stands on the edge of vineyards. Here you will enjoy wonderful views and sample local food and drink, including Cviček, one of Slovenia’s most distinctive wines. Drive back to Otočec castle hotel. (B,D)
Day 6. Thursday
To Ljubljana, the vibrant capital of Slovenia
Breakfast at the hotel and time for optional helicopter tour or round of golf. Drive to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. Ljubljana’s surrounding areas, packed with natural beauty and cultural sights bearing witness to the city’s dynamic history, are well known for their walking, hiking and cycle trails and traditional culinary delights. As distances within Slovenia are short, Ljubljana is a perfect base for exploring Slovenia’s diverse beauty. Check in to a centrally located hotel and enjoy lunch in the old town restaurant. Free afternoon to explore the city or time to visit one of privatly owned fine art galleries. Evening starts with a bubbly boat ride passing under all of Ljubljana’s bridges and then to AS Aperitivo, the best place for a tasty, trendy dinner in the city. Overnight in Ljubljana. (B,L,D)
Day 7. Friday
After buffet breakfast at the hotel your “old town” guided walk starts with a visit to the Ljubljana open market and continues through the historical city centre, well known for its unique architectural appearance, which is the result of the legacy of the Baroque and Art Nouveau periods and, most notably, the work of the famous 20th century architect Jože Plečnik. You will get the best view and pictures from Ljubljana castle, your next stop. At the end of the tour your table is ready at the castle restaurant for Taste Ljubljana culinary experience. Free afternoon for private shopping experience or time to explore the galleries of Ljubljana. Gourmet dinner in JB, one of best Slovenian restaurant with an optional private concert. Overnight in Ljubljana. (B,L,D)
Day 8. Saturday
To the Alps with lake Bled and Bohinj
After breakfast and a short drive, you will arrive to the magnificant Bohinj valley. The area around Lake Bohinj features a wonderful mixture of mountains, water and forests. This magnificent “King dom of the Zlatorog” will make your heart leap in every season of the year. On the south side, Lake Bohinj is enclosed by the Lower Bohinj Mountains, which rise to 2.000 meters, and on the north by the Triglav mountain range with Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain (2864 m). You will ride with a cable car to mount Vogel, where local homemade delicacies are ready for you. Next stop is lake Bled, where you will board traditional Pletna boat and ring a wishing bell in the church on the island. At the end of the day, you will visit the mighty Bled castle which offers the finest views of Bled island, the town of Bled and the wider countryside of Upper Carniola region. Drive back to Ljubljana for the last night of your Slovenian Fairytale. (B,L,D)
Day 9. Sunday
From Slovenia with Love
After breakfast free time until transfer to Ljubljana international (Zagreb and Venice on request) airport for your final departure.
The Magic of Slovenia package price:
1 guest 2 guests 3 guests 4 guests 5 guests 6 guests 8.490 5.490 5.190 4.990 4.690 4.490
Single room supplement: 890 EUR
All prices are per person, sharing double (twin) room, exept for single traveler, where price for accommodation is for single room. For other hotel options, family and honeymoon prices, program upgrades and modifications contact your luxury travel advisor or call Luxury Slovenia appointed agents on global numbers:
The Magic of Slovenia package includes:
First class accommodation
2x Overnight in Kempinski Palace Portorož ***** Superior 1x Overnight in Gredič Castle ****
2x Overnight in Otočec Castle ***** member of Relais Chateaux 3x Overnight in Cubo hotel ****
Experiences with gourmet
• Gourmet dinner in Portorož
• Visit of Soline Salt Pans
• Private walking tour of Piran with guide
• Gourmet dinner in Piran
• Homemade lunch in Brda wine region
• The Best of Brda private tour with guide Visit of WW1 Opean Air Museum
Visit Of Gonjače View Tower Visit of Šmartno village
Visit of Dobrovo Castle
• 2x Wine tasting
• Gourmet dinner in Brda wine region
• Postojna cave entry with private guide
• Local lunch at Karst region
• Gourmet dinner in Otočec Castle
• Cheese producer tasting experience
• Visit of Kostanjevica with private guide
• Entry to Božidar Jakac gallery and Forma Viva
• Gourmet dinner at Lower Carnolia
• Lunch in Ljubjana Old Town
• Bubbly boat ride on Ljubljanica river
• Gourmet dinner As Aperitivo
• The Best of Ljubljana private tour with guide Walking tour of Ljubljana Old Town Visit of Central market Funicular ride to Ljubljana castle Visit of Ljubljana Castle
• Gourmet lunch at Castle restraurant
• Gourmet dinner in JB Restaurant
• The Best of Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj private tour with guide Cable car ride to Vogel Private “pletna” boat ride Visit of Bled island with entry to the church Visit of Bled Castle
• Local lunch at Vogel
Transfers & Services
• Private transfer from Ljubljana International Airport to hotel
• Private transfer from Ljubjana to Ljubljana International Airport
• Interhotel private transfers
• Private transfer to Bled and Bohinj
• National licensed private guide during the tour
• Complimentary 24/7 phone assistance of Ljubljana City Concierge
The oldest Slovenian town; it is much easier to describe Ptuj’s location between Slovenske gorice and Haloze, and between Dravsko polje and Ptujsko polje than to write a short history of the city. Its history is rich and the city has numerous monuments to prove it. Its history stems back to the Stone Age, but the city expe rienced its greatest flowering in the Roman period. The name origi nates in the times of Emperor Trajan, who granted the settlement city status and named it Colonia Ulpia Traiana Poetovio. In 69 A.D., Emperor Vespasian was elected in Ptuj, and the first written mention of the city of Ptuj is from the same year. Roman Poetovio developed into an important military, commercial, customs and administrative center. Today, this important economic center of the lower Podravje region is a city of fairs, a city of excursions into unspoiled nature, a city with a rich culinary offer, and a city of wine cellars and thermal springs
The hill where Ptuj Castle stands was settled in prehistoric and Roman times, and due to its strategic position, also at tracted medieval feudal lords Here they built a castle in the 9th or 10th century, from which a tower survives today in the western forecourt. In the first half of the 12th century, since this castle had succumbed to the winds of time, Archbishop Konrad of Salzburg, then Ptuj’s feudal lord, ordered the construction of a new castle, whose imposing residence, today’s Leslijev wing, still remains. Major reconstructions in the Renaissance and Baroque periods left a strong stamp on the castle. Today, Ptuj Castle is a museum
This is a populated settlement on the road Ptuj – Majšperk; based around a square, and famous for its splendid Gothic church, which stands on the peak of a 352m hill and is vis ible from afar. Ptujska Gora is one of many beautiful Gothic churches in Slovenia, which invites numerous pilgrims, tourists and visitors. In 2010, for its 600th anniversary, Ptujska Gora was proclaimed as a basilica of Mary the Patroness
STAY IN STYLE
A wonderful blend of classic and contemporary in a 5* luxury resort, set in an ancient park in the centre of the seaside destination of Portorož, Slovenia proudly features newly renovated rooms in the modern part of the hotel and a new sauna concept.
Kempinski Palace Portorož – your bespoke, timelessly elegant, palatial experience on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.
The lower cable car station in Kamniška Bistrica divides the valley into two parts. A glacier transformed the upper part and the river transformed the lower. The cable car, which operates year round, takes you to Velika Planina (“Great Highland”) in 5 minutes. When you reach the upper cable car station, trek off through charming meadows and pastures. Follow the marked footpaths to Tratica (Zeleni Rob Mountain Lodge Bar) or Gradišče (at 1,668 m, it’s the highest point on Velika Planina), then continue on to the herdsmen’s village on the eastern side of Gradišče. The breath-taking views and well-preserved pastoral heritage makes Velika Planina the most beautiful Alpine pastureland in Slovenia. In the spring and summer, herdsmen bring their cattle here to graze, which lends a special note to the scenery. Of particular interest is the Preskar Museum Hut, the only herdsman’s hut that has preserved the tradi tional oval shape, and the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows. When you are visiting Velika Planina, don’t forget to try the sour milk and cheese produced by local herdsmen. Ask for trnič cheese, a Velika Planina speciality.
Between Nova Gorica (Slovenia) and Gorica (Italy), there is a 143m hill on which stands the Church of the Annunciation Mary and Franciscan Monastery. The pilgrimage place is rich in history and treasures of the past. In the famous library of the Franciscan mon astery - Škrabčeva knjižnica - several incunabula and one piece of the Bohorič Grammar Book can be seen. In the church crypt, lie the mortal remains of some of the members of the royal French House of Bourbon; among them, the last king of France and his son, the Duke of Angulem. In the former garden of the monastery, at the southern facade of the Kostanjevica monastery, there is a collection of Bourbon roses. It is one of the biggest and most complete collec tions of Bourbon roses in the world. Since it has always been a lo cally important sanctuary with tombs of numerous aristocrats from the Goriška region, Kostanjevica is also the last residence of the French kings from the Bourbon dynasty or a “little Saint Denis”, as it is called, with all due respect by the French Royalists. In the crypt under the altar, in the sarcophagi, made of the stone from Aurisina (Nabrežina in Slovenian), there are the mortal remains of Charles X of France (1757-1836), the last King of France and Navarre (between 1824 – 30), his son Louis XIX (1775-84) and grandson Henri V (1820-83) who both never ruled, Louis’ wife Marie Thérese Charlotte (1778-1851), Henri’s sister, the Duchess of Parma, Louise Marie Thérèse d’Artois (1819-84) and Henry’s wife, Marie Thérese Beatrice Gaetana (1817-86) who made her husband’s last wish come true and united the last members of the dynasty in one place, as only Charles X and his son died in Gorica. The wife of Charles X, Maria Theresa of Savoy, is buried in Graz. The crypt is “guarded” by the Court Minister of Charles X, Pierre Louis Jean Casimir deBlacas, who followed him into exile.
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The oldest vine in the world
As the capital of Štajerska, Maribor is the second largest city in the country. At the same time, Maribor is pleasantly small and set in the wonderful natural surroundings of Pohorje on one side, and wine growing hills on the other, with the river Drava wending its way through it. The rich wine tradition of the oldest vine in the world, the throb of the city with its thriving cultural history, the location between wine growing hills and green Pohorje, and the diverse pos sibilities for exploration, recreation, relaxation, entertainment and meetings will convince you that Maribor has a heart and soul with the hosts being excellent inhabitants. The old town core promises unforgettable experiences: go for a walk along the banks of the river Drava and through the lively streets and squares, where history and tradition mix with dynamism and contemporaneousness. Let Lent, the oldest part of the town enchant you, along with the Old Vinethe oldest vine in the world, the Old Vine House, medieval towers and remains of the city walls, as well as the square Grajski trg with the castle and museum, the square Glavni trg with the Plague me morial and the Town Hall, Bishop Slomšek’s cathedral with its view ing tower, the Jewish synagogue, the Art Gallery and the theatre, if we just mention but a few!
This is the oldest living specimen on our planet of a noble grape vine that still bears grapes! With an age of over 400 years, it is reg istered in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in the world. Is the Old Vine in Maribor really the oldest vine in the world? Vine genetics experts in Paris also confirmed the authenticity of the age of the Old Vine, along with precise professional measurements by Slovene experts. The vine was planted at least 400 years ago, probably somewhat earlier. Its Methuselah state is also confirmed in paintings of Maribor, dating from the years 1657 and 1681, which are kept in the Štajerska Provincial Museum in Graz. In the pictures, the frontage of the house at Vojašniška ulica 8, built in the 16th century, can be clearly seen, and even then it was already lushly overgrown with today’s venerated Old Vine. Just as in those days, today, the Old Vine still clings to the trelliswork or “brajda”, as the wooden support is called in Štajerska.
TIME TO MEET AGAIN:
Have a healthy journey with all precautions taken down to the smallest detail for your in-flight safety.SLOVENIA