Spring is just around the corner and the season of day and weekend trips is in full swing. We still don´t know how this summer will look like in terms of travel, but last year it was pretty awesome to explore Slovenia, my home country, which borders were opened also to the international tourists. Therefore I have prepared a really long and comprehensive post with 50 ideas about where to go on a day or weekend trip in Slovenia. This took me a really long time, but I believe that it will be of great help to many, including me – I myself have not been able to visit all of the places I mention here, although while writing this post I realized I do know my home country quite well already. I´ve been discovering it on my own since almost 20 years now and on top of this we do a yearly day trip with my extended family with a rented bus, every time somewhere else. We make sure we include visits to the museums and other attractions, tourist farms, local craftsmen, natural wonders and other cultural sights. This is really a great way to get to know your country and see the whole family 1-2 times a year, especially if you like to hang out in large numbers. The places mentioned in this post follow an approximate geographically logical sequence, starting at the coast, Istria, Vipava, Karst and Goriška Brda to Soča valley, Gorenjska, Ljubljana, Notranjska, Bela Krajina, Posavje, Dolenjska, Kozjansko, Zasavje, Savinjska, Koroška, Štajerska, Prlekija, Pomurje and Prekmurje. I can’t wait for our official move back home to Slovenia this year, so that we can spend more weekends exploring our small country again. So if you are choosing Ljubljana as a base, or just have a couple of days to see the best of Slovenia, check out this post for the best trips you can take!
Despite the fact that it is one of the most popular points in Slovenia, both among us and international tourists, it is still a real pearl and a day trip on a sunny day will fill you with new energy. The most beautiful time for me is the off-season, when it is calmer, but the summer months also have their charms. TARTINI SQUARE, PUNTA, VIEW FROM THE CHURCH BELL AND WALLS, a seaside footpath to PORTOROŽ, a quick jump into the sea and a delicious lunch and dinner in one of the countless restaurants. I don’t get bored here for a whole week, especially if you have a bike, but as I said, it’s also great for a one- or two-day trip.
2. SLOVENIAN COAST
Although PIRAN is perhaps the most popular place for visitors of our coast, there are still lots of other interesting points. A trip to the sea is especially pleasant in the first warmer days of spring, but otherwise, due to the favorable climate, the coast is a great choice at any time of the year. ANKARAN PENINSULA with Debeli rtič is a real oasis of peace, you can also take a walk along the interesting SEASHELL BEACH and ŠKOCJANSKI ZATOK natural area. Of the larger towns, KOPER and IZOLA are interesting to visit, the most beautiful quieter BEACHES can be found under the STRUNJAN CLIFF, the SALINE IN STRUNJAN AND SEČA are also beautiful, for those looking for more action PORTOROŽ is attractive, for families with small children PACUG or FIESA. I also like to visit the FORMA VIVA sculpture park, and for a special treat I am most happy to relax in the beautiful SPA LEPA VIDA.
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3. SLOVENE ISTRIA & KRAŠKI ROB
A trip to the coast is at the top of the list for many Slovenians when deciding where to go for the weekend. But why not pay attention to SLOVENIAN ISTRIA located just a few kilometres from the coastline. Jumping into the sea will not be possible here, but you will not be disappointed. Picturesque VILLAGES in Karst and Istrian style, good FOOD (truffles, fuži, wine, cold meats, olives, cheese and more) and a drop of WINE, OLIVE PLANTATIONS, WONDERFUL NATURE and INTERESTING ARCHITECTURE are waiting for you. As for the villages and architectural sights, visit OSP, SOCERB (castle), HRASTOVLJE (Church of the Holy Trinity with the famous fresco Dance of the Dead), MAREZIGE (wine fountain), KRKAVČE (Krkavški kamen stone), PADNA, KOŠTABONA (Kodarinov mill), KORTE, SV. PETER (ethnological collection in Tonina hiša house). Take a walk between the stone walls along the exceptional KARST EDGE (which separates the Karst from Istria), stop at the mighty SPODMOLI cliffs and at the natural bridge near SOČERGA, jump into refreshing DRAGONJA RIVER in Dragonja valley and see TREPEŠKI WATERFALL There are also a whole bunch of pleasant TOURIST FARMS and ACCOMMODATION with an excellent culinary offer, and you can also combine the trip with a jump across the border and a visit to CROATIAN ISTRIA or our coastal towns on the Slovenian side.
4. VIPAVA VALLEY
I usually find myself in the VIPAVSKA VALLEY mainly for CULINARY AND WINE PLEASURES, but in addition to GOOD RESTAURANTS, WINE CELLARS and BEAUTIFUL WINE LANDSCAPES, there is a lot of other things to see and do. Of the smaller towns and villages, the most interesting is VIPAVA with the SOURCE OF THE VIPAVA RIVER, the old CASTLE and the nearby ZEMONO CASTLE. The most famous natural sights are IZVIR HUBLJA and the rock opening OTLIŠKO OKNO, and in TRNOVSKI GOZD FOREST we can find a whole bunch of interesting KARST PHENOMENA and NATURAL MONUMENTS. Hiking enthusiasts also know the high karst plateau NANOS. In addition to hiking, Vipava Valley is also ideal for CYCLING, but it is also possible to do PARAGLIDING, FISHING, KAYAKING, and there is also a sports airport near Ajdovščina.
5. KRAS & ŠKOCJAN CAVES
Between Vipava and Brkini lies another wonderful destination, KRAS (Karst), where nature lovers as well as those looking for GOURMET PLEASURES will not be disappointed. At many TOURIST FARMS, in so-called OSMICA and VINOTEKA you can indulge in various delicacies, among which I can highlight the tastings of PROSCIUTTO and other cold meats (be sure to visit the PRŠUTARNA LOKEV), and of course add a glass or two of good TERAN red wine. There are also a lot of IDYLLIC VILLAGES waiting for you in the Karst, walk through TOMAJ, KOMEN, KOBJEGLAVA, DUTOVLJE, LOKEV, ŠTANJEL (with the oldest Karst house and the famous Ferrari garden), KOSTANJEVICA ON THE KARST, PLISKOVICA, MATAVUN. You can learn more about the Karst and typical KARST PHENOMENA (caves, sinkholes, bays, special valleys, etc.) on thematic trails in the LIVING MUSEUM OF THE KARST, otherwise don’t forget the LIPICA STABLE with the famous Lipica white horses, VILENICA CAVE, BOTANICAL GARDENS in Sežana, beautiful KARST GARDEN PEPIN VRT, KOKOŠ MOUNTAIN, MONUMENT TO THE PEACE OF CERJE, nearby BRKINI, and of course one of the most beautiful caves in our country, ŠKOCJAN CAVES.
6. GORIŠKA BRDA
Another of my top choices for a weekend getaway in Slovenia, especially on warmer sunny spring days and of course especially for those who like to drink a good glass of wine. In addition to visiting WINE CELLARS and CULINARY TREATS at many TOURIST FARMS, there are also excellent CYCLING and HIKING TRAILS in Brda and many EVENTS, the most famous of which are the CHERRY FESTIVAL, which takes place every year in late May and early June. You can also see DOBROVO CASTLE, VILLA VIPOLŽE, NATURAL BRIDGE KRČNIK and KORITA, for a beautiful view you climb the GONJAČE TOWER, for history lovers SABOTIN is also interesting. My favorite villages are MEDANA and ŠMARTNO.
7. SOČA VALLEY
SOČA RIVER is without a doubt one of the most impressive Slovenian rivers, its characteristic emerald color will certainly leave you breathless. SOČA VALLEY is also known to be THE ADRENALINE CENTER OF SLOVENIA, as you can indulge in many wild adventures here – RAFTING, CANYONING, KAYAKING, you can also SKI, play GOLF, FLY WITH A PARACHUTE, and of course go HIKING and visit many WATERFALLS. Larger towns with tourist facilities are BOVEC, TOLMIN, KOBARID, MOST NA SOČI and KANAL OB SOČI. It is also beautiful along the neighboring RIVER NADIŽA, which is a little warmer and suitable for summer swimming. You can also see the SOLKAN and NAPOLEON BRIDGES and many memorial and historical places from the time of the Soča Front during the war, and for gourmet pleasures visit the HIŠA FRANKO, the only two-star restaurant in Slovenia. There are also a lot of nicely decorated CAMPSITES, as well as APARTMENTS and smaller HOTELS.
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8. TRENTA & MANGART
If you drive from Gorenjska to the other side of the VRŠIČ pass, you first land in the TRENTA VALLEY in the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park, which represents the HIGHEST AREA of the Soča Valley. Here you can find, among others, the KARST SOURCE OF THE SOČA, THE MONUMENT TO JULIUS KUGY, MLINARICA GORGE, JULIJANA BOTANICAL GARDEN, ZADNJICA VALLEY, TRENTAR MUSEUM, LEPENA VALLEY, ŠUNIKOV VODNI GAJ and the most famous KORITA basins. It is also nice to stop at KEKČEVA DOMAČIJA farm or some other typical TRENTAR HOUSE somewhere along the way. In the area there are also many BUNKERS, FORTRESSES, and other memories from past wars. At the settlement of Kal-Koritnica we find ourselves at a junction, where we can continue to the Bovec and lower Soča valley, or turn right towards the villages of LOG POD MANGARTOM and STRMEC. Surrounded by views of the impressive peaks, you can drive along the HIGHEST LOCATED MOUNTAIN ROAD IN SLOVENIA – the panoramic ROAD TO MANGARTSKO SEDLO is really something special. The road is closed during the winter and there is a fee for motorised vehicles. From here, you can continue to ITALY via the Passo Predil border crossing or return in the direction of Bovec.
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9. KRANJSKA GORA & AROUND
Kranjska Gora with its surroundings is another of my favorite points for a day or two in the nature. In winter you can SKI, CROSS COUNTRY SKI, watch SKI JUMPERS IN PLANICA, go HIKING IN TAMAR, KRNICA and VRATA VALLEY or to the triple border TROMEJA, sunbathe at the beautifully LAKE JASNA and admire the turquoise green waters in ZELENCI. From here you can take the ROAD TO VRŠIČ, cycle along the JURE ROBIČ CYCLING TRAIL all the way to Italy, visit the SLOVENIAN MOUNTAIN MUSEUM. PERIČNIK WATERFALL is also popular, also in the winter when it freezes. In short, Kranjska Gora offers a lot (even for families with children) at any time of the year.
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10. TRŽIČ, DOVŽAN GORGE & (POD)LJUBELJ
Over 150 km of CYCLING AND HIKING TRAILS, MOUNTAIN HUTS, mysterious LEGENDS, unspoiled NATURE and rich HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE of these places make another excellent idea for a trip. In TRŽIČ, take a walk through the PROTECTED OLD TOWN CENTER and visit the TRŽIŠKI MUSEUM with a display of SHOE MAKING and an important SKIING TRADITION. In the warmer months you can also relax in the pool complex, the so-called GORENJSKA PLAŽA beach. HIKERS love DOVŽANOVA SOTESKA GORGE in the heart of KARAVANKE MOUNTAIN RANGE and other peaks surrounding Tržič (for example KOŠUTA, BEGUNJŠČICA, STORŽIČ, KRIŽNA GORA, KOFCE, ZELENICA and DOBRČA). In some places it is also possible to CLIMB. Dovžan Gorge is a PROTECTED NATURAL MONUMENT – you can explore it by walking along a marked path and visit the EDUCATIONAL CENTER in the village of Dolina on the way. In the gorge you are accompanied by the torrential river TRŽIŠKA BISTRICA with WATERFALLS and BRIDGES. For CYCLING LOVERS, there are excellent routes of different levels of difficulty – popular are KRIŠKO POLJE, UDIN BORŠT, along BISTRICA and steeper slopes of the previously mentioned peaks. You can also visit the great DIRT PARK DIVJINA. A little further along the road towards AUSTRIA we can see a couple of waterfalls, and in winter there is an excellent toboggan run from the LJUBELJ BORDER CROSSING (night sledding is also possible).
11. POKLJUKA, RADVONA & KRMA
Pokljuka, a beautiful HIGH KARST FOREST AREA in the Julian Alps somewhere between Bled and Bohinj, is a popular place for recreation and enjoying nature in any season. In winter, there is excellent CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING possible here, and every year the BIATHLON WC takes place here. In the warmer months, Pokljuka offers WONDERFUL HIKES of various difficulties. Check out USKOVNICA, ZAJAMNIKI, BELSKA PLANINA, JAVORNIK, JELJE, PRAPROTNICA, KLEK, LIPANCA , VELIKA RAVEN, KRANJSKA DOLINA, RUDNO POLJE, REČIŠČA PLANINA and REPEČNIKOV ROVT. In the direction of Mojstrana you can drive through the beautiful RADOVNA VALLEY, which lies entirely in the Triglav National Park and offers plenty of cycling and hiking trails, but you can also stop at LAKE KREDA (which is otherwise more difficult to access in recent years, as it is privately owned). Don’t forget the beautiful 7km long KRMA VALLEY, from where we can also start the hike to Triglav, Slovenia´s highest mountain.
JEZERSKO, one of the most beautiful green valleys surrounded by mighty mountains on the way to neighboring Austria, is another great idea for a short break in nature. PASTURES, FARMS, COUNTLESS HIKING TRAILS, SKIING, TOUR SKIING, SKATING, CYCLING, CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING and more – it is great to visit in all seasons and you will certainly not be bored. To Jezersko, which is otherwise divided into SPODNJE (lower) and ZGORNJE (upper) JEZERSKO, we drive through KOKRA, THE LONGEST SLOVENIAN VILLAGE, and then we can stop at PLANŠARSKO LAKE (beautiful views, circular path around the lake and a larger parking lot with catering and rental SUP skates right by the lake and the venue of the annual, oldest Slovenian event SHEPHERD BALL), JEZERSKA SLATINA (spring of mineral water near Planšarsko Lake), ŠENK’S HOUSE (culinary delicacies and accommodation), JESENOVE MEJE (single-row tree-lined avenues, marking the plot borders. ST. OŽBOLT and ST. ANDREJ CHURCHES, ANKOV WATERFALL, SOURCE OF THE JEZERNICA STREAM, GLACIER under SKUTA mountain. You can see most of the above during a hike along the CIRCULAR TRAIL THROUGH THE UPPER JEZERSKO, but you can also take the THEME TRAIL THROUGH RAVENSKA KOČNA VALLEY. For more serious hikes, choose the path to ČEŠKA KOČA, KRANJSKA KOČA NA LEDINAH, GRINTAVEC, SKUTA, BABA and other surrounding peaks.
13. BLED & RADOVLJICA
Bled with BLED LAKE AND THE ISLAND is probably the most recognizable motif of Slovenia and it is simply one of those must visits. For the most beautiful views, walk up TO THE CASTLE or even better to the peaks MALA and VELIKA OSOJNICAor OJSTRICA. You can also swim in Bled lake, treat yourself with the famous KREMŠNITA CAKE, take a walk around the beautiful BLED VINTGAR GORGE, drive with the traditional boat called PLETNA TO THE ISLAND and RING THE CHURCH BELL for good luck and much more. On the way to Bled you can stop in RADOVLJICA, which is a pleasant town with a charming OLD TOWN CENTER. Take a look at the BEEKEEPING MUSEUM, the ELAN ALPINE SKI MUSEUM and many others, there is also a CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL, which takes place once a year.
14. SORIŠKA PLANINA & CERKNO
Between BOHINJ and ŠKOFJA LOKA, not far from TOLMIN and the valley of the river Soča, there is another beautiful plateau, SORIŠKA PLANINA. It is nice to visit it in winter, when we can SKI here, as well as in the warmer months when there are great opportunities for SHORTER and LONGER HIKES and CYCLING TRIPS. Among the easier ones are MOŽIC, MOUNTAIN BEHIND ŠAVNIK, SLATNIK, LAJNAR and DRAVH, while longer routes include ČRNA PRST, RATITOVEC, ŠAVNIK, KREVL, KOBLA, RUŠNI VRH, PLANINA ZA ČRNO GORO and more. In SORICA village we can see GROHAR’S HOUSE, the home of one of our most famous Slovene impressionists Ivan Grohar, in addition to the memorial there is also an ETHNOLOGICAL COLLECTION. Towards the south, on the way to ŽIRI town, we can stop at the beautifully arranged CERKNO SKI RESORT, where we can also spend the night in a SPA HOTEL.
15. BOHINJ & VOGEL
Crystal clear LAKE BOHINJ, surrounded by mighty mountains, is a popular place in all seasons. In summer we can SWIM, SUP or KAYAK on the lake, while in winter the ice layer is sometimes thick enough for ICE SKATING as well. The surroundings of the lake are beautiful and much quieter than neighboring Bled, in addition, Bohinj is a decisive STARTING POINT FOR DIFFERENT HIKES. My favorite longer route is to the Triglav lakes over Blato plateau, otherwise you can walk along the circular route FROM UKANC TO THE SAVICA WATERFALL, or take the GONDOLA to the top of VOGEL mountain – you can continue on foot towards Komna, for example. On Vogel, of course, EXCELLENT SKIING is possible, but in the warmer months, you can also try PARAGLIDING over the lake, while on the Sava Bohinjka river, RAFTING is also possible. Bohinj is always a great choice for summer getaways or enjoying a winter fairy tale.
16. ŠKOFJA LOKA & POLJANE
While walking through the architecturally interesting OLD TOWN CENTER in one of the OLDEST and MOST PRESERVED MEDIEVAL TOWNS IN SLOVENIA, you can see the famous KAPUCINOV MOST BRIDGE, CHURCHES, HOMAN’S CASTLE, HANDICRAFT CENTER, FAMOUS HOUSES (Martinova hiša and Žigonova hiša), CITY CASTLE with MUSEUM, OLD CITY HALL and more. NEARBY SETTLEMENTS include Crngrob, Visoko, Puštal, Stara Loka and Suha. Škofja Loka also has a CITY BEACH, for a slightly longer hike choose KRIŽNA GORA, or the rolling hills of POLJANE NAD ŠKOFJO LOKO, with many opportunities for CYCLING as well – there is also a LOŠKA CYCLING TRAIL, and in winter you can ski on STARI VRH near by.
17. KRANJ, BRDO PRI KRANJU & KROPA
SLOVENIA´S THIRD LARGEST CITY, at the same time the center of GORENJSKA, lies at the confluence of the Sava and Kokra rivers and offers plenty of ARCHITECTURAL and other sights. While walking around the OLD TOWN CENTER and its surroundings, pay attention to the TOWN HALL and MAIN SQUARE, TOWN CHURCHES, KHISLSTEIN CASTLE, SLOVENIAN SQUARE with statues of Lojze Dolinar, PLEČNIK STAIRCASE (at one of the city entrances, on the top of Vodopivčeva street), MAJDIČEV LOG (Sava river embankment for cyclists and pedestrians), LAYERJEVA HOUSE and SIMON JENKO’S HOUSE, BEŽEK’S VILLA, VOVK’S GARDEN, interesting UNDERGROUND TUNNELS under old Kranj, CITY WALLS and more. Near Kranj there is also a beautifully landscaped PARK BRDO, which also serves as a PROTOCOL OBJECT. You can walk around the PARK, see the CASTLE, sleep in their HOTEL or VILLA, play GOLF, GET MARRIED on Račji island, or treat yourself to something sweet in the CAFE. In the vicinity of Kranj you can hike or drive up to ŠMARJETNA GORA and SV. JOŠT mountains. Also, make sure to visit the interesting KROPA, a sprawling settlement that is famous as the CRADLE OF IRON AND BLACKSMITH CRAFTS in Slovenia (check out the museum to find out more) and hike up to VODIŠKA PLANINA, JAMNIK and to the lookout point BELA PEČ.
18. SMLEDNIK, ZBILJSKO & TRBOJSKO JEZERO
Even relatively close to Ljubljana, there are a lot of points for a quick afternoon or day trip somewhere in the nature. The artificial accumulation ZBILJE LAKE near Medvode is definitely one of the best choices – here you can enjoy the culinary offer with a beautiful view in nice CAFE, take a CANOE or BOAT RIDE on the lake, there is also a CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND, VOLLEYBALL COURT and PICNIC AREAS. Between ŠMARNA GORA hill and ZBILJE we can also check out the RUINS OF SMLEDNIK CASTLE from 1136, and on the way to the top we are accompanied by 14 Rococo chapels – the ruins are, in our experience, very interesting for children as well. At the end, in the direction of Kranj, another super artificially created lake awaits us, namely TRBOJSKO LAKE, with the beautiful BOAT CAFE, where you can rent boats and treat yourself to a really tasty dessert. Lake Trboje is a paradise for STAND UP PADDLING and is great for FISHING too (don´t forget to buy your fishing permit though).
19. KAMNIK & VELIKA PLANINA
A trip to the LARGEST HIGH MOUNTAIN PASTURE MOUNTAIN IN SLOVENIA, which otherwise includes VELIKA, MALA and GOJŠKA PLANINA pastures, has been especially popular in all seasons in recent years. In winter we can SKI and sleep over in one of the IDYLLIC TRADITIONAL SHEPHERD’S HUTS, in summer we can visit other active SHEPHERD´S HOUSES and indulge in some home-made delicacies, in spring we can admire CARPETS OF PURPLE SAFFRONS, and in autumn the trees are coloured in all shades of lovely warm colours. There are also 2 CAVES on Velika planina, Velika and Mala Vetrnica, and the area is also dotted with KARST PHENOMENA. A CABLE CAR takes you to the top, but you can also go on foot (from the lower cable car station it is about 4 hours walk) or go by CAR – there are several OFFICIAL PARKING PLACES from which you continue on foot (from the highest parking it is about 30min walk). Along the way, make sure to stop in the MEDIEVAL TOWN OF KAMNIK with its castle and beautifully restored old town. There is also an ARBORETUM flower park nearby and the beautiful lesser-known KAMNIŠKA BISTRICA VALLEY. For more hiking adventures you can also hike on MENINA PLANINA.
Ljubljana, SLOVENIA´S CAPITAL, is my hometown, so it is especially close to my heart, but regardless of that, it is simply a place you must visit while exploring the country. It offers a whole bunch of activities and experiences, you can visit many MUSEUMS and GALLERIES, PARKS, take guided tours, admire the beautiful ARCHITECTURE, walk up to the CASTLE and stroll through the daily fruits & vegetables MARKET, take a scenic boat ride on LJUBLJANICA RIVER, and last but not least there is no shortage of great restaurants and bars. You can see a lot in just one day, but it’s even better if you sleep once.
21. POLHOGRAJSKI DOLOMITI
Alpine foothills known as POLHOGRAJSKI DOLOMITI, POLHOGRAJSKO HRIBOVJE, POGRAJCI or POLHOGRAJCI, near LJUBLJANA with the central settlement POLHOV GRADEC are another popular recreational place for the inhabitants of central Slovenia for a day trip. The HIGHEST PEAKS include POLHOGRAJSKA GRMADA, TOŠČ, PASJA RAVAN and POLHOGRAJSKA GORA – LOVRENC, all between 800 and 1100 meters above sea level, otherwise there are many easier routes to the lower peaks too. Among the favorites are SV. JAKOB AND KATARINA, TOŠKO ČELO, KORENO ABOVE HORJUL, VETRNIK, RAVNEK, ČRNI VRH, SIVKA, GRADIŠČE, and KLJUČ for example. In addition to the latter, there are a few CIRCULAR ROUTES, and the area is also great for CYCLING.
22. LJUBLJANA MARSHES, RAKITNA & KRIM
So to speak, on the threshold of the Slovenian capital, there is a WONDERFUL PROTECTED AREA, which is an excellent point for a quick afternoon or one-day trip not far from Ljubljana. Here you can see the KARST SPRINGS OF LJUBLJANICA (Močilnik, Retovje and Bistra), MARSHLANDS MEADOWS and LAKES (Podpeč, Ribniki Draga pri Igu, Vrhniški ribniki) are interesting. In summer it is super refreshing to take a trip to IŠKI VINTGAR GORGE and PEKEL GORGE, for a bit more of a mountain feel and a great dose of fresh air drive up RAKITNA and KRIM mountain. For an even more special trip and stunning views, you can do a BALLOON RIDE over the moor. In BISTRA you can visit the TECHNICAL MUSEUM OF SLOVENIA and also don´t forget to stop at the interesting Plečnik CHURCH OF ST. MIHAELA in Črna vas.
23. PLANINA, RAKOV ŠKOCJAN, POSTOJNA CAVE & PREDJAMA CASTLE
Not to far from Ljubljana, near UNEC, on one side, there is an interesting area called PLANINA, which includes a LARGER FIELD (occasionally flooded karst field), PLANINA CAVE (one of our longest caves), MARK’S CAVE, SPRINGS IN MALNI AND UNŠKA KOLIŠEVKA. On the other side there is RAKOV ŠKOCJAN, a beautiful KARST VALLEY at the foot of Javorniki mountain. It was formed when the ceiling of a former karst cave collapsed and is best known for its SMALL AND LARGE NATURAL BRIDGE and the GORGE behind them. The main stars of this wider area and the whole of Slovenia are certainly the stunning POSTOJNA CAVE with many underground halls and passages – you first take a tourist train which takes you inside the cave and later explore on foot. Close by you will also find a picturesque catsle PREDJAMSKI GRAD (the largest cave castle in the world). Together with the cave, these two attract the largest numbers of international visitors in Slovenia. You can visit both the cave and the castle with a combined ticket.
Somewhere halfway between Tolmin and Logatec lies IDRIJA, a treasure city of many attractions. Perhaps the most known thing around here is IDRIJA LACE, a special type of LACE with a centuries-old tradition marked by characteristic patterns. The LACE SCHOOL also operates here, you can see a wonderful LACE EXHIBITION and attend the annual LACE FESTIVAL. Among other things, the laces are also exhibited as part of the CITY MUSEUM OF IDRIJA, which can be found at the Baroque-Renaissance GEWERKENEGG CASTLE. You can also visit ANTONIJEV ROV, an interesting entrance to the SECOND LARGEST MERCURY MINE IN THE WORLD, which is the oldest mine in Slovenia. Among the natural and other sights in ZGORNJA IDRIJCA LANDSCAPE PARK, you can also see the DIVJE JEZERO LAKE, the famous KLAVŽE water locks, the area of the PAVLA PARTISAN HOSPITAL, the sinkholes under PETELINOV VRH, BEDROVA GRAPA, CAVE JAMA NAD KOBILO, natural swimming spot LAJŠT, LEARNING PATH OB RAKAH an more. It is also interesting to visit KENDOV DVOREC CASTLE. You should try the traditional IDRIJSKI ŽLIKROFI, POTICA made of leavened dough with cracklings, a stew called SMUKAVC and special desserts with Idrija lace.
25. LAKE CERKNICA
Lake Cerknica is known for the PHENOMENON OF BEING A INTERMITTENT LAKE, and at the same time, when it is full of water, it is also the LARGEST SLOVENIAN LAKE. WHEN THE LAKE IS DRY, it acts as a FIELD where livestock is grazed and FIELDS are cultivated. In the rugged landscape we can also see the some special KARST FEATURES – some of these swallow water that flows into the lake area from the surrounding hills and karst springs, but during heavy rains and melting snow, larger amounts of water begin to collect in the stream bed, then cross the banks and spill all over the Cerknica field. At this point we get to see the lake. WHEN THE LAKE IS FULL OF WATER (usually in the spring and after heavy rainfall) we explore it WITH KAYAKS, we can also CYCLE around the lake, and in winter we can also ICE SKATE on it. In order to fully experience the beauties of Lake Cerknica, we must return here several times, in different seasons and times. In the village of DOLJNE JEZERO there is a nicely arranged MUSEUM OF LAKE CERKNICA, where we learn about this exceptional water system. A beautiful PANORAMIC VIEW of the lake is also from the top of SLIVNICA and JAVORNIK.
26. BLOKE, KRIŽNA JAMA & SNEŽNIK
Another great trip to lesser-known places, which of course can be combined with a visit to the nearby Lake Cerknica, Planinsko polje and Rakov Škocjan, as well as Rakitna for example. We only recently visited BLOKE with the beautiful BLOŠKO LAKE for the first time and it immediately impressed us with its serenity, remoteness and unspoiled nature. In general, the surroundings of the lake are really nice and tastefully arranged to accommodate daily guests, plus, you can also sleep over in a near by GLAMPING. Bloke area is also known as the CRADLE OF FOLK SKIING and as THE LAND OF BEARS. Along the way, take a look at the beautifully renovated romantic SNEŽNIK CASTLE, which is definitely one of the most beautiful ones in Slovenia, and another world-famous karst CAVE KRIŽNA JAMA with over 20 UNDERGROUND LAKES and an important site where CAVE BEAR BONES were found. There is no electrical wiring in the cave, the paths are natural, and the cave is very special also because it can be explored with a smaller boat.
27. RIBNICA, NOVA ŠTIFTA & GRAD TURJAK
The smaller municipality in SE Slovenia is known to be the CAPITAL OF DRY GOODS, at the expense of the centuries-old tradition of MANUFACTURING WOODEN and also POTTERY PRODUCTS. Today we can learn about this industry in the CRAFTSMEN CENTER IN RIBNICA, where in addition to museum collections and exhibitions, we also get to see a live presentation of woodworking, occasional workshops are possible, and at the end you can of course buy something in a nice shop. It is also very interesting to see the annual RIBNIŠKI SEMENJ FAIR, where every first Sunday in September artists from Ribnica and the surrounding villages exhibit their works on as many as 400 stands. In Ribnica, take a look at the interesting RIBNICA CASTLE and the CHURCH OF ST. ŠTEFAN. On the way to Ribnica from Ljubljana you can also stop at TURJAK CASTLE and the FRANCISCAN MONASTERY with the CHURCH IN NOVA ŠTIFTA. You can also combine this trip with a visit to Notranjska (Bloke, Cerknica Lake, Snežnik) or Kočevska region.
28. KOSTEL, KOČEVJE & KOČEVSKI ROG
A visit to Kočevje may not sound overly romantic at first, but trust me, these places are very interesting. Especially, of course, for nature lovers, because this is where we find EXTENSIVE AREAS OF FORESTS, inhabited by wolves, deer, lynx and, of course, BEARS. We can choose the town of KOČEVJE as the base for our exploration and visit the interesting CHURCH OF ST. JERNEJ, PROVINCIAL MUSEUM and ŠEŠKOV DOM. In the immediate vicinity of the town there is KOČEVSKO or RUDNIŠKO LAKE, suitable for SUP, swimming or a short break, and near KOČEVSKA REKA, in addition to the MILITARY BUNKER ŠKRILJ (only a guided tour is possible to this one) there is also REŠKO LAKE, ideal for BIRD WATCHING. For more information, visit the TIC in Kočevska Reka. Near Kočevje there is also a system of several caves called ŽELJNSKE JAME, but in the area we can also find many interesting historical sights – FRIDRIHŠTAJN and KOSTEL CASTLES, BASE 20 (residence of the political leadership of the Slovene national liberation movement), MASS GRAVEYARDS and more. In Kočevsko you will find about 300km of CYCLING and HIKING TRAILS, you can also choose between thematically specific, guided tours.
29. BELA KRAJINA
In the extreme SE of Slovenia, there is another KARST REGION between Kočevski Rog and REKA KOLPA with an interesting history, TRADITIONAL CUSTOMS (such as JURJEVANJE), special NATIONAL COSTUMES, MUSIC and DANCES (Belokranjsko kolo). There is also a great natural wealth hidden here with specific SWAMP ANIMALS (read more about them at the source of the Jelševniščica) and WHITE STORKS population. BEEKEEPING is also highly developed. Here. Of the culinary delicacies, BELOKRANJSKA POGAČA is probably the best known, but there are a whole bunch of other specialities to try. In ČRNOMELJ, see the old town center, the Museum Collection, the Primožič House (the house of Bela Krajina craftsmen) and the Črnomelj Cellar tasting room. In the LAHINJA LANDSCAPE PARK, the wet meadows of NERAJSKI LUGI, with several bird observatories and the 250-year-old PLAVČEVA DOMAČIJA house are waiting for you – the park is also great to explore by bike, and those who like to walk go to the top of MIRNA GORA near Planina. The SOURCE OF THE KRUPA RIVER with its characteristic emerald green color is also beautiful, in SEMIČ you can see the BELA KRAJINA MUSEUM, and in METLIKA the interesting FIREFIGHTING MUSEUM, METLIŠKA CASTLE and METLIŠKA WINE CELLAR and the old town. Near Metlika there is also the PILGRIMAGE CENTER OF TRI FARE, otherwise it is worth going to the idyllic CHURCH OF ST. ANA in Vidošiči. KOLPA RIVER, which is one of the warmest in Slovenia, ensures plenty of activities, from SWIMMING, SUPPING, CANOEING, KAYAKING, FISHING and more, and there are also many pleasant camp sites around.
30. POSAVJE – SEVNICA, KRŠKO & BREŽICE
From the direction of ZASAVJE towards Croatian border crossing Bregana on the way to Zagreb, another perhaps a little less visited region along the SAVA RIVER called POSAVJE awaits us. In ZIDANI MOST you can see a stone road bridge and two railway bridges, in SEVNICA, a surprisingly pleasant small town, you will find a beautiful MEDIEVAL CASTLE, the archeological site AJDOVSKI GRADEC, a RAILWAY MUSEUM and LUTROVSKA CELLAR. Sevnica is also the birthplace of Melania Trump, to whom a very special statue is dedicated here. Shortly before Krško, stop in BRESTANICA and visit the BASILICA and the mighty CASTLE OF RAJHENBURG, from where there are beautiful views of the surroundings. You can see some PERMANENT EXHIBITIONS inside, including about Slovenian exiles during war times. The Reichenburg Trappists were the first industrial producers of chocolate in our country, so today you can visit ČOKOLADNICA chocolate shop opposite the castle entrance. A little north of SENOVO near Brestanica, all hiking enthusiasts can hike a longer trail called 4 WATERFALLS PATH In KRŠKO, see the CITY MUSEUM, HOČEVAR’S MAUSOLEUM, and in AJDOVSKA CAVE and RAKA CASTLE near by. At the confluence of Sava and Krka rivers, lies BREŽICE, where in addition to the old town center and town hall, BREŽICE CASTLE and the POSAVJE MUSEUM BREŽICE with a unique, fresco-painted, BAROQUE KNIGHT HALL are also interesting. A little further from Brežice, see the beautiful MOKRICE CASTLE, where you can also spend the night and play golf, otherwise TERME ČATEŽ thermal spa and wellness hotels are also close by.
31. STIČNA, MULJAVA, ŽUŽEMBERK & DOLENJSKE TOPLICE
If we drive from Ljubljana to Novo Mesto, there is a lot of interesting things on the way. Near Ivančna Gorica, visit the CISTERIAN MONASTERY OF STIČNA with a museum of Christianity, a pharmacy and a teahouse, a little further on MULJAVA stands the HOUSE OF JOSIP JURČIČ, the source of the KRKA RIVER and the POLTARICA CAVE are also close by. In ŽUŽEMBERK you can see an interesting CASTLE and CHURCH, but you can also jump into the KRKA RIVER, for example in the LOKA NATURAL SWIMMING SPOT. In DVOR, visit the IRON MUSEUM, and in DOLENJSKE TOPLICE, lovers of THERMAL TOURISM will find happiness. Here, in addition to relaxing in the pools, you can also walk the CVINGER ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRAIL, visit ROŽEK CASTLE with a natural forest path, and not far away there is also the PEČKE PRAGOZD forest nature reserve and the OKNO CAVE.
32. NOVO MESTO, OTOČEC, PLETERJE & KOSTANJEVICA NA KRKI
DOLENJSKA region also does not disappoint from Novo Mesto along the KRKA RIVER towards ČATEŠKE TOPLICE. This part can be combined with the above-mentioned part from Ljubljana to Novo Mesto. NOVO MESTO, the seventh largest city in our country, famous for its SITULAS, VINEYARDS and wine-growing hills, is also an important ARCHAEOLOGICAL CENTER, which offers plenty of attractions. In the OLD TOWN CENTER, see the main square, the town hall, Kette’s fountain, the Kandija bridge, the picturesque river banks, churches and the Na vratih monument complex. On the other side of the highway is TRŠKA GORA hill, where CVIČEK (a famous red wine) is grown, and not far away you can also visit the castle STARI GRAD PRI OTOČCU. In the romantic OTOČEC you can see the only WATER CASTLE in Slovenia, OTOČEC CASTLE, where we can also spend the night. ŠMARJEŠKE TOPLICE thermal spa, the IZVIR CVIČKA wine fountain and KLEVEVŽ NATURAL SPRING are also close by. In the shop of the beautiful CARTUSIAN MONASTERY PLETERJE you can buy the famous pear brandy PLETRSKA HRUŠKA and other products, but it is not possible to see the interior, because the Carthusian order still öives in the monastery. Next to the monastery there is also an OUTDOOR MUSEUM. In KOSTANJEVICA NA KRKI, a pleasant town on an island, you can visit the GALLERY OF BOŽIDAR JAKAC, FORMA VIVA sculptures, several churches and an interesting KOSTANJEVICA CAVE. Nature lovers must also visit KRAKOVSKI GOZD with over 300-year-old oak trees close by. Finally, TERME ČATEŽ thermal spa with hotels and MOKRICE CASTLE are waiting for us just before the border with Croatia.
As a PART OF KOZJANSKI PARK and the POSAVJE REGION, Bizeljsko, named after the KNIGHTS OF THE WISSELL FAMILY, is a wonderful idea for a short trip, especially for those who like to enjoy the vineyards. In the WINE-GROWING ENVIRONMENT BIZELJSKO – SREMIČ, in addition to a good number of WINE CELLARS (by the way, the smallest wine cellar BORŠT measures only about 4m²), we also find REPNICE – special CAVES for storing, maturing and tasting wines. Repnice can only be found in this part of Slovenia, so a visit to one of these is definitely not to be missed. Along the way, pay attention to the so-caled KLOPOTCI, wooden deviced with hammers, set up to repel birds, which are a trademark of the local vineyards. In Bukovje you can also see the EXHIBITION OF MAJOLIKAS, special traditional wine jugs and in Župnjek there is a great site for bird lovers – in quartz sand pit there is an unique nesting place for BEE-EATER BIRDS. Of course you should also not miss the BIZELJ CASTLE AND CASTLE PIŠECE. Bizeljsko is also great for CYCLING and HIKING.
MORE ABOUT BIZELJSKO
34. KOZJANSKO & PODSREDA
KOZJANSKO is a hilly region, between the POSAVJE , BIZELJSKO and SENOVO HILLS, and it also covers the OBSOTELJSKA PLAIN along the border with Croatia. The largest settlement is KOZJE (here you can see the former PRISONS in the premises of the District Court and the OLD SCHOOL CLASSROOM MUZEUM), but the most famous is certainly PODSREDA, where the information headquarters of the regional park called KOZJANSKI PARK has been established for decades. In the beautifully restored Romanesque CASTLE OF PODSREDA, which is also reached by the marked PODSREDA WALKING PATH, in addition to the rooms, we can also see the museum collections and learn a lot of interesting things about Kozjansko park. You can also SLEEP in the castle or rent its chambers for various events. There are also several mills in Kozjansko area, where you can see a display of grain milling and the operation of the mill – we visited LEVSTIK’S MILL, but there are others too. It is also interesting to visit one of the oldest settlements in the area, PILŠTAJN. Among the natural sights, do not miss the BISTRICA RIVER, GRUSKA CAVE, LURŠKA CAVE, KOZOROG SRING, DAVJEK SPRING and others. The KOZJANSKO APPLE FESTIVAL also takes place around here.
35. PODČETRTEK, OLIMJE & JELENOV GREBEN
Partially we are still in KOZJANSKO, so a visit to this part of Slovenia can easily be combined with a visit to KOZJANSKI PARK with Podsreda and BIZELJESKO. In PODČETRTEK we can relax in TERME OLIMIA thermal spa and WELLNESS ORHIDELIA, where you can spend the night in the camp or in the hotel. Otherwise, Podčetrtek is an excellent starting point for visiting the most famous attraction in the area, the still functioning MINORITE MONASTERY OLIMJE with the CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY. The complex is considered one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL BAROQUE CREATIONS in Slovenia and attracts a good number of international visitors every year. The OLD MONASTERY PHARMACY WITH FRESCOES is beautiful, and in front of the monastery there is a gorgeous HERBAL GARDEN, where we can find over 200 types of medicinal herbs – in their so-called HERBAL PHARMACY you can also buy something. From here you can walk or drive to the neighboring hill, where the increasingly popular homestead JELENOV GREBEN is located, with ACCOMMODATION CAPACITIES, WELLNESS and CULINARY OFFER (they are known for venison and mushroom specialties), SHOP, WINE CELLAR, CHILDREN´S PLAYGROUND and RANCH. As the name suggests, of course we can’t ignore a great number of otherwise timid deer, which roam freely on the hill and in the parking lot and are not at all timid here. They are is definitely the attraction number one for our youngest visitors.
36. ROGATEC, ROGAŠKA SLATINA & DONAČKA GORA
ROGAŠKA SLATINA is without a doubt one of the most recognizable, oldest and main THERMAL HEALTH CENTERS IN SLOVENIA. In addition to HEALING SPRINGS, we can find a number of really beautiful HOTELS (the luxurious Crystal Hall in the Grand Hotel Rogaška is especially known) and other buildings in various architectural styles, and the city is also known for the excellent CRYSTAL GLASS PRODUCTS created in the ROGAŠKA GLASSWARE company. In addition to spa tourism and pampering, you can go on many hikes in the immediate vicinity, namely to the forested area of the BOČ KRAJINSKI PARK – DONAČKA GORA with rich flora and fauna. In ROGATEC, between Donačka Gora and the border river SOTLA, we find the LARGEST OUTDOOR MUSEUM IN SLOVENIA, where they also organize various WORKSHOPS, also for children. In Rogatec there is also the STRMOL MANSION with a HORSE CLUB, you can also visit the ruins of the GORNJI ROGATEC CASTLE.
37. CELJE, ŽALEC & PEKEL CAVE
I’m a little ashamed, but last summer I was in the center of Celje for the first time. Only for one day, but the THIRD LARGEST SLOVENIAN CITY really impressed us. The beautiful OLD TOWN CASTLE with a museum, from where there are also beautiful views of the Savinja Valley, was the seat of the famous COUNTS OF CELJE. Also interesting is the old part of town, arranged as a PEDESTRIAN ZONE, where you can find other sights such as CHURCHES, STATUES and a huge number of ARCHITECTURALLY INTERESTING BUILDINGS. For those who like to be active in nature, the nearby CELJSKA KOČA is a great spot. In nearby ŽALEC, you can’t miss the infamous FONTANA ZELENEGA ZLATA BEER FOUNTAIN, where near the main market in the city park, 6 DRAFT BER PIPES of various beers from Slovenian brewers are waiting for you. The whole experience starts with buying a chipped mug, with which you can then taste different beers. Finally, as part of a guided tour, you can visit the beautiful, over 3 million year old karst cave called PEKEL CAVE with the lower, water part and the upper, dry part.
38. ZASAVJE – ZAGORJE OB SAVI, TRBOVLJE, HRASTNIK
A HILLY PROVINCE along RIVER SAVA, with the regional centers ZAGORJE OB SAVI, TRBOVLJE, HRASTNIK and LITIJA (more about the latter below). Zasavje is perhaps one of the least known Slovenian regions and we can even say that most of Slovenians find it quite unattractive to go there – let’s see why this should not be the case. Zasavje is best known for its MINNING HISTORY and today we can learn about this interesting industry in the MINING MUSEUM ZAGORJE in Kisovec and VIRTUAL MUSEUM OF MINING 4. DRITL in Trbovlje, where we can also visit one of the typical COLONIES or. MINING SETTLEMENTS – the NJIVA COLONY, where KNAPI once lived, as they call miners here. TRBOVLJE offers another attraction, namely the HIGHEST CHIMNEY IN EUROPE, which belongs to the Trbovlje Power Plant and with its 360m is definitely one of the more recognizable feature of Zasavje. In HRASTNIK you can see the RESNICA COLONY housing, the VILLA of the former Countess EMA DE SEPPI, the HRASTNIK GLASSWARE and more. Then there are ZASAVJE HILLS, which are really great for hiking: KUM, MRZLICA, ZASAVSKA SVETA GORA, ČEMŠENIŠKA PLANINA, KOPITNIK and others. Also don’t miss the visit to MEDIA CASTLE in Izlake and the ruins of GAMBERK CASTLE.
39. LITIJA, GEOSS, VAČE & BOGENŠPERK CASTLE
A trip to Litija may not be attractive at first glance, but there is a lot to see here as well. As one of the oldest MINING CITIES in Slovenia, we can visit the SITARJEVEC MINE, opened to the public just a couple of years ago. Here, mostly lead and mercury ore were mined, but the mine is also rich in minerals. It is also known for its special LIMONITE DRIPSTONE. In the vicinity of Litija you can visit VAČE, where the famous VAŠKA SITULA pot was found, which is on display today in the National Museum in Ljubljana, and not far from here there is the GEOMETRIC CENTER OF SLOVENIA – GEOSS. In Vače you can see the DOM GEOSS MUSEUM, otherwise there is also the GEOSS ADVENTURE PARK. On the other side of the Sava River, south of Litija in the direction of the Dolenjska highway, it is worth visiting the interesting BOGENŠPERK CASTLE.
40. LJUBNO OB SAVINJI, MOZIRJE & VELENJE
We also recently got to know these three places more closely and were positively surprised. LJUBNO OB SAVINJI is known as the EUROPEAN RAFTING CITY with the most resounding event FLOSARSKI BAL, a traditional ethnological event with the lowering of wood along the Savinja river. The town is pleasant and surprisingly architecturally modern. Some of you have maybe heard of MOZIRSKI GAJ in Mozirje, and yes, it is also worth visiting, of course, especially in the warmer months, when the park comes to life in the most beautiful colors. Finally, the YOUNGEST SLOVENIAN CITY, namely VELENJE, which really offers a whole range of attractions. From the interesting VELENJE CASTLE, to TITO´S LEGACY intertwined with MODERN ARCHITECTURAL ACCENTS, a beautiful pedestrian zone, promenade and green areas, and a really nice LAKE, with a CAMP SITE and CATERING OFFER, beisdes the BEACH AREA. The biggest attraction of Velenje is definitely the SLOVENIAN MUSEUM OF COAL MINING, during the visit of which you, among other things, descend into the underground world.
MORE ABOUT UPPER SAVINJA VALLEY
The beautiful high KARST MOUNTAIN AREA near Velenje, Mozirje and Ljubno ob Savinji, which is also a LANDSCAPE PARK with a certain protection regime, is a great place for a trip in both winter and summer. Golte is famous as one of the best SKI CENTERS in Slovenia, with a cable car, chairlifts and ski lifts, as well as pistes suitable for the youngest and beginners. Directly on the ski slope we can sleep and pamper ourselves in a beautiful HOTEL with a swimming pool and wellness offer. Otherwise, you will not be bored in Golte even in the warmer months when you can HIKE some of the marked paths – BUNNY’S, BEAR’S, CHAMOIS´S PATH and the WILD ROOSTER’S PATH. MOZIRSKA KOČA HUT is one of the oldest mountain huts in Slovenia, but unfortunately it just recently burned down. We keep our fingers crossed that they restore it soon. Especially in the spring, you can take a walk and admire the typical alpine flora in the gorgeous ALPINE PARK, which is the HIGHEST AND EASIEST ACCESSED OF THIS KIND IN EUROPE – even if you are not exactly a botanics lover, the views from the circular path are beautiful. Other natural sights include Okno in Mozirska Požganija, Tirska peč and Ledenica. You can combine a trip to Golte with a visit to other sights and places in the UPPER SAVINJA VALLEY.
MORE ABOUT UPPER SAVINJA VALLEY
42. LOGAR VALLEY & ROBANOV KOT
The two most famous valleys in the area of the UPPER SAVINJA VALLEY, which are geographically so close to each other that you can easily visit both of them during the same trip. The easier hike to ROBANOVA PLANŠARIJA PASTURE is only about an hour long and is also suitable for children. In the vicinity you can visit one of the TOURIST FARMS (for example Govc-Vršnik, Knez, Bevšek-Ošep), and for those who like to walk more there are further routes to Ojstrica, Raduha or Krofička from Robanov kot. LOGARSKA DOLINA is the main attraction of these parts of Slovenia, therefore it is well visited, but there are still many hidden corners. Don’t forget to visit the RINKA WATERFALL, LOGARJEVA LIPA tree, FAIRYTALE FOREST, PALENK WATERFALL, NATURAL SCIENCE – ETHNOLOGICAL TRAILS and explore other HIKING and CYCLING TRAILS. For a little pampering you can sleep in the beautiful HOTEL PLESNIK.
MORE ABOUT UPPER SAVINJA VALLEY
You can drive to KOROŠKA (CARINTHIA) past SLOVENJ GRADEC (where you can see ROTENTURN CASTLE and the old town along the way), Velenje and Črna na Koroškem, via the panoramic Solčava road, Maribor or AUSTRIAN CARINTHIA. The main places here are RAVNE NA KOROŠKEM (here you will find a CASTLE WITH A PARK, PREŽIH’S MONUMENT, sculptures within FORMA VIVA park and a small ski resort), ČRNA NA KOROŠKEM (home of Tina Maze, the most fmaous Slovenian skier), DRAVOGRAD (visit STARI GRAD CASTLE, PUKŠTAJN CASTLE and FORMER PRISONS), MEŽICA (it is possible to visit the MEŽICA MINE – on foot, by bike, as well as by kayak), RADLJE OB DRAVI (with RADLJE CASTLE, MONASTERY and WATER PARK by the river Drava) and PREVALJE. Lovers of nature and hiking can explore the KRAJINKI PARK TOPLA and hike the peaks of PECA, OLŠEVA, RADUHA, URŠLJA GORA, SMREKOVEC or KOZJAK. There are also over 200km long CARINTHIAN MOUNTAIN TRAIL and several THEME TRAILS.
44. SOLČAVA PANORAMIC ROAD
I admit, I hadn’t even heard of this 21km LONG PANORAMIC ROAD until last year when we decided to explore UPPER SAVINJA VALLEY, which really impressed us. The road is only PARTIALLY PAVED, but nevertheless normally drivable by car, there are about 20 SIGHTS along the way, with INFORMATIONAL BOARDS. There is also a good number of TOURIST FARMS, which offer both ACCOMMODATION and LOCAL CULINARY TREATS, LEGENDS and STORIES ABOUT THE DRAGON LIPTAVER enrich everything. I really warmly recommend taking this the scenic ride from Solčava past Logarska dolina, Matkov kot, towards Austria (border crossing Pavličevo sedlo), on to Podolševa and back to the valley to anyone who visits these parts of Slovenia or is searching for something lesser-known and stunningly beautiful nature.
MORE ABOUT UPPER SAVINJA VALLEY
45. ZREČE, ROGLA & POHORJE
On the way to this part of Slovenia, we can first stop at the former monastery, the medieval ŽIČKA KARTUZIJA MONASTERY, where there is an exhibition, a pottery workshop, a cellar where Zlati Grič sparkling wine I stored and a shop where you can buy herbal products. We can then choose ZREČE HEALTH CENTER as the base for exploring the surroundings, or we can continue to ROGLA and POHORJE. In winter we can SKI, CROSS-COUNTRY SKI and more, and in the warmer months, of course, this area is perfect for HIKING and CYCLING. The most famous points and sights are LOVRENŠKA LAKES on the high moor, BLACK LAKE, RIBNIK LAKES, ŠUMIK WATERFALL, ROGLA VIEWING TOWER, POHORSKA VILLAGE, TREE CANOPY PATH, ALL YEAR TOBOGGAN PARK ZLODEJEVO, TRAIL THROUGH OPLOTNIŠKI VINTGAR, RUŠKA MOUNTAIN TRAIL and other hiking trails.
46. MARIBOR & MARIBORSKO POHORJE
The SECOND LARGEST SLOVENIAN CITY and at the same time the CAPITAL OF ŠTAJERSKA (STYRIA) is a great city to visit as well. The old part of the city with the Lent area, where the famous LENT FESTIVAL takes place every summer, is downright charming, and in addition to the interesting architecture, there is of course no lack of restaurants and bars. In front of the HOUSE OF THE OLD VINE you can admire the OLDEST VINE IN THE WORLD. Also do not miss a visit to one of the oldest wine cellars, VINAG CELLAR, as well as the PROVINCIAL MUSEUM in the CITY CASTLE, TOWN HALL AND PLAGUE SIGNS and CITY CHURCHES. Of course, MARIBORSKO POHORJE mountains are close by, the home of the ZLATA LISICA alpine skiing event, which offers plenty of activities for everyone who loves nature and fresh air, both in the winter (skiing, sledding) and the summer season (hiking, bike park and more).
47. PTUJ, ORMOŽ, LJUTOMER, JERUZALEM & PRLEKIJA
PTUJ, which at the expense of the settlers already in the late stone age, is ONE OF THE OLDEST SLOVENIAN TOWNS and a wonderful place for a one-day visit. The biggest attraction is certainly PTUJ CASTLE, which is best seen from the opposite bank of the DRAVA RIVER, followed by many CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES, TOWN TOWER and REMNANTS OF ROMAN POETOVIA. Ptuj is also known as the SLOVENIAN CARNIVAL CAPITAL with traditional KURENTOVANJE FESTIVAL. Not far from Ptuj you can visit JERUSALEM with ORMOŽ, Sv. TOMAŽ and SREDIŠČE OB DRAVI, which belong to the PRLEKIJA AREA. In Prlekija the food is always good and the drinks are even better, so it attracts more and more wine and culinary enthusiasts, as well as those who like a varied landscape, ideal for CYCLING and EASIER HIKES, FISHING. There is something for history and archeology lovers as well. JERUSALEM is a small hamlet surrounded by countless WINE HILLS with mansions, churches and small settlements (the most famous are SVETINJE). This area also belongs to the LJUTOMERSKO – ORMOŠKE GORICE LANDSCAPE PARK. You can drive along the JERUSALEM WINE ROAD and stop in VINEYARDS and WINE CELLARS on the way. In the vicinity of LJUTOMER you can also see BABIČEV MLIN, BEEKEEPING TIGELI, EXPERIENCE PARK IN KRIŽEVCI, and spend the night in TERME BANOVCI thermal center for example.
Besides GORIČKO and LENDAVSKE GORICE in PREKMURJE, this LOW SLOVENE PROVINCE ON THE LEFT BANK OF MURA RIVER, offers a whole bunch of other interesting things. The largest town is MURSKA SOBOTA, where you can visit the CASTLE and the POMURJE MUSEUM, the interactive EXPANO PAVILION right next to SOBOŠKO LAKE, where you can also SUP or swim and more. Then there is RAKIČAN CASTLE, ISLAND OF LOVE in Ižakovci, BELTINCI CASTLE, cultural and ethnic monument ČASAROV MILL in Berkovci, LAVANDER PLANTATIONS in Bakovci and more. On the other side of Mura in VERŽEJ, which otherwise belongs geographically under Prlekija, there is also the famous BABIČ MILL (the only floating combined Pannonian mill that still works) and the BEEKEEPING MUSEUM (Beekeeping Tigeli). Culinary enthusiasts, among other things, must visit the PASSERO ESTATE (for chocolate lovers), the ŠUNKARNA KODILA and a taste the tomatoes in LUŠT PARADIŽNIK.
In the far NE of Slovenia, on the border with Austria and Hungary, there is an interesting, forested HILLY PROVINCE, which otherwise belongs to PREKMURJE. The area is quite uninhabited and consequently biologically very diverse – in order to preserve the diversity and unspoiled nature, it is also protected as the GORIČKO LANDSCAPE PARK. Goričko otherwise consists of 11 MUNICIPALITIES in which the inhabitants of different religions and ethnic roots are intertwined, here we can also find the HUNGARIAN NATIONAL MINORITY and the ROMA COMMUNITY. Visit the GRAD CASTLE WITH THE BAROQUE MANOR and the castle garden (it has as many as 356 rooms and is considered the LARGEST CASTLE IN SLOVENIA), the famous ROTUNDA (round Romanesque church in the village of Selo), CHURCHES IN BOGOJNA and MARTJANCI, BUKOVNIŠKO LAKE (known for its thermal water), OCEAN ORCHIDS (tropical garden), MORAVSKE TOPLICE (thermal centres Terme 3000 and Vivat), SOTINSKI BREG LOOKOUT TOWER, POTTERY VILLAGE IN FILOVCI (open-air ethnological museum), VULKANIJA ADVENTURE PARK and ride along countless CYCLING ROUTES. You can visit other parts of Prekmurje and do not forget the many CULINARY GOODIES, which are definitely not lacking in these places.
50. LENDAVA & LENDAVSKE GORICE
Another PEARL OF PREKMURJE, the border hilly region, which is also known as the SMALLEST SLOVENIAN VITICULTURAL PROVINCE, is located in the MUNICIPALITY OF LENDAVA on the SE extension of Goričko, on the border with Croatia and Hungary. The area is not large, but it is definitely extremely interesting and picturesque, so don’t miss it while exploring PREKMURJE and POMURJE. The main attraction, in addition to the HILLS WITH VINEYARDS, is the famous VINARIUM TOWER, which we climb for the most beautiful VIEW, the highest peak of Lendavske gorice PYRAMID, CASTLE, SYNAGOGUE and CULTURAL CENTER IN LENDAVA, CHURCH OF ST. KATARINA and the CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, where we can see the mummified corpse of a soldier. There are quite a few marked HIKING TRAILS in the area, including the famous POMURSKA MOUNTAIN TRAIL. Otherwise, here you will find a number of excellent restaurants for authentic CULINARY EXPERIENCES with local delicacies as well as various accommodation options, including the TERME LENDAVA thermal hotel complex.