Friday, 30 June 2017

Across the Land of Celje by heritage train

Every Saturday, from 22nd of April until 24th of June and 9th of September until 23th of September, you can ride on a heritage train from Celje to Podčetrtek (Imeno). 


Rolling old school pays off! Here are some of the many discounts you are eligible for when travelling by heritage train: 50% off on pool admissions in the Olimia thermal spa, discounts on admissions to various museums, Celje Castle, the Adventure Park at the Celjska koča hotel, and more. 

Numerous sights just a train ride away
In Celje you can spend the night in the best youth hostel in Slovenia, MCC Hostel. This title was given to MCC Hostel in the competition My country – beautiful and hospitable 2016. We were given the award because of: 
- numerous activities,
- great location,
- feeling of comfort,
- good cooperation with local community,
- including guest in various activities
- free bike rental.

@Hostel Celje
Recognizing the rich cultural, art and historical heritage of this part of Slovenia, Slovenian railways teamed up with Celeia Celje Institution of cultural events and tourism and several Slovenian municipalities in the region to start the so-called Land of Celje, or "Dežela celjska", a joint project that was launched in April 2015 featuring a weekly heritage train service which runs on Saturdays between the towns of Celje and Imeno (Podčetrtek municipality). The project involves a total of 21 municipalities (Braslovče, Celje, Dobje, Dobrna, Kozje, Laško, Podčetrtek, Prebold, Polzela, Rogaška Slatina, Rogatec, Slovenske Konjice, Šentjur, Šmarje pri Jelšah, Štore, Tabor, Vitanje, Vojnik, Vransko, Zreče, and Žalec), and showcases the abundant heritage of this region that is simply must-see. 

www.dezela-celjska.si
The heritage train runs to many interesting sights and attractive tourist destinations in the Savinja region, giving you the opportunity to discover the region's diverse natural landscape and history landmarks first-hand. Moreover, you can also visit various events in the region with the heritage train. More information is available on www.dezela-celjska.si.

For more info click here




Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Festive Slovenj Gradec

The medieval town of Slovenj Gradec is slightly hidden from the view among the meadows and forests of Pohorje and the mountain of Uršlja Gora. Well-kept bike and hiking trails take visitors to the quiet embrace of nearby hills and forests. Take a stroll with the ancient Romans along the remains of the Roman road past Stari Trg near Slovenj Gradec, once an important Roman outpost called Colatio, or to Rahtel’s peak with the best view of the town and the entire upper part of the Mislinja valley with its surrounding hills. Go on a bike ride across the Pohorje Mountains and around Mount St. Ursula, or chose the easier paved roads across the Mislinja valley. After a relaxing trip visit one of the rest stops with interesting cultural historical sites along the way back to the 750-year old town steeped in history, but with a modern and prospective feel.


Slovenj Gradec offers a modern cultural tourist beat, though it is full of medieval architecture and it bears a unique mark left by many families of craftsmen and artisans, some of whom are still active in the town and surrounding areas today. A short stroll through the town reveals many artisan workshops and display windows, where local craftsmen still continue with the traditions of their ancestors. The Perger family is one of them, with their ninth generation successfully keeping the secret of beekeeping, gingerbread, and candle making alive. Following the path of craftsmen leads you outside the city, on a cultural-ethnological trip through the area of Šmartno, Golavabuka, and Legen, which is based on the town’s and surrounding areas’ artisan tradition.

The medieval tradition of wood carving and baroque artistry developed into the contemporary artistic scene found at the Art Gallery Slovenj Gradec. The gallery also hosted the first major international fine art exhibition entitled Peace, Humanity, and Friendship. The exhibitions were sponsored by the United Nations and they had an important influence on the development of the city, which the UNO included among the cities with the title UN Messenger of Peace in 1989.

@Author - Uroš Raztresen
Slovenj Gradec, the birthplace of Hugo Wolf, and its strong connection with the famous composer helped create a series of successful musicians and sparked a special love for music that is felt at the city’s many jazz concerts for aficionados. Other genres and top domestic and foreign musicians are also celebrated at concerts held in the composer’s house of birth, as well as other cultural institutions and venues.

The oldest building in town is the Church of St. Elisabeth. In 1251 Berthold V of Andechs dedicated the parish church to his niece, St. Elisabeth of Hungary, the patron of the wretched poor and a figure devoted to doing good deeds. She even used her own funds to have a hospital built in Marburg, where the poorest patients could be treated. She died in 1231 at the early age of 24. Miracles were said to occur at her grave the next day after her burial, and so pope Gregory IX declared her a saint in 1235. Many legends of her good deeds and miracle work exist, such as the legend of the roses, which tells the story of how Elisabeth was once bringing bread to people in her care and she ran into her father-in-law, who asked her what she was carrying in her apron. Afraid he might forbid her from doing good deeds, she lied and said she was carrying roses. When she opened her apron, he indeed saw blooming fragrant roses in her apron in the middle of winter. This is why roses are Elisabeth’s defining mark, and she is often depicted with roses. Many archaeological sites in the area of what is today Slovenj Gradec attest to the city’s significance as an early settlement area, with a fortified castle standing here at the end of the 11th century; city rights were granted two centuries later in 1267.   

This year Slovenj Gradec is celebrating the 750th anniversary of receiving its city rights, and the townspeople are celebrating the event with a diverse festival programme under the title Long Live Slovenj Gradec! Vivat Windisgretz! A whole range of cultural events with a mix of traditional and modern elements will take place throughout the year, and the yearlong cultural program will take visitors through the city’s entire 750 years of history. The Carinthian Regional Museum organised an exhibition entitled My Town, My World, displaying 22 old postcards in one of the town’s most beautifully arranged medieval historic centres, where descriptions of important city landmarks are shown in window displays, and the museum organises free guided tours of the city centre every first Saturday of the month. 


The key event of the celebration takes place on June 17 and 18, when the modern town is transformed into the medieval Windisgretz with medieval groups, marketplaces, food, and drink. The marketplace offers visitors the opportunity to haggle and use medieval coins, as well as join craftsmen and artisans in their festivities, dance to medieval music, cheer for their champion knight in jousts, and eat at a medieval pub. The events following the town’s festival will this year be joined by the cultural programme of the Summer of Slovenj Gradec, which will bring even more diversity to the city streets with live music and activities for visitors of all ages. The height of the autumn celebration on September 16 will be a spectacular video projection accompanied with live music and theatre scenes, with the slogan Long Live Slovenj Gradec, Vivat Windisgretz!  


One of the better options of overnight stay is the Hostel Slovenj Gradec youth hostel at Ozare 18, which is also a member of the Hostelling International Slovenia. It is located next to a cycle lane and a footpath, close to the city centre of the 750-year old town, regarded by the experts as one of the most beautiful medieval town centres in the country.  



Javni zavod za turizem, šport, mladinske in socialne programe
SPOTUR Slovenj Gradec
Glavni trg 1
2380 Slovenj Gradec
Telefon: +386 2 88 462 83
E-naslov: info@spotur.si


Friday, 23 June 2017

From Amsterdam to Ljubljana for 86 Euros

Don’t know what you’ll be doing in September? We have a suggestion for you. If you’re from Netherlands, come and visit our beautiful Slovenia. With the airline Transavia you can get to Ljubljana and back for only 86 Euros in September. Tempted? Keep reading and we’ll convince you to visit Slovenia and its treasures.

@Author - Lenarčič; www.slovenia.info
Slovenia is a small country and if you want to discover the whole country, find an accommodation in Ljubljana, rent a car and just go. But don’t forget to actually see Ljubljana also. It has about 280,000 residents and is one of the smallest European capitals. But it has charm, history, style and more and more. Visit Ljubljana castle, Tivoli Park and for a little cultural zone, visit Berlin’s little sister, Metelkova. The Ljubljana city centre is just beautiful and here are some suggestions for a great walk through the city.

@Author - Arhiv ZTL; www.slovenia.info
If you do rent a car, make sure to visit Bled and Bohinj, which are Slovenian classics and you simply can’t miss them. Read the article Beautiful Bled, which was written by one of our volunteers and be amazed. I’m sure you didn’t know how many beautiful things Slovenia is hiding, right? Enjoy in culinary treats, try the Bled cream cake, which has been prepared here for centuries and grab a cup of coffee. The cake may sound simple, but it’s delicious and its recipe is a secret so you can only try it here. If you’re already in the area, you won’t be disappointed by the nature. It’s the essence of this region. Go to Vintgar Gorge, which was carved by the river Radovna. You can park there and go for a 1.6 kilometre hike through the gorge. Amazing, I tell you. And because you simply won’t have enough time to do everything in one day, book a hostel in Bled in hostel Bledec or a little further away from all the tourists in Radovljica and see another place, which is known for a medieval city centre.

@Author -  Franci Ferjan; www.slovenia.info
If you like climbing mountains, Slovenia won’t disappoint you. The highest mountain is Triglav with 2864 metres but there are many mountains, which also offer great views. Our volunteer Jasmina Peklar climbed on Škrlatica in September and shared her experience with the Globetrotter readers. Of course the experience is different for everyone, but the pictures will definitely convince you to get in shape and come to Slovenia and maybe climb one of our mountains (or at least hills).

@Author - Dunja Wedam; www.slovenia.info
And then there are Postojna Cave, Piran and Izola at the sea and maybe Prekmurje “at the end of the world”, because people rarely think of visiting it but when they do, they are amazed by its culinary, amazing views and most importantly, delicious wine.

Welcome to Slovenia!




Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Maribor, the best Eurotrip destination

While planning a trip through Europe it is extremely important to include also those little parts of the world, or in this case Europe, that may slip your sight while endlessly staring at the map. Because they may have some undiscovered adventures to offer and they are guaranteed to be crowd free. At least to some extent. The one country that stand out is definitely Slovenia which is quite easily missed on the map, although it is uniquely shaped like a chicken. A chicken!

@Author - Matej Vranič
If not purely because of this humorous fact, Slovenia is definitely a welcoming and wonderful country that has a lot to offer. Go ahead and check it out on the Say HI to Slovenia Blog. But for a real Eurotrip experience it is quite essential not to just sight-see but also to be a part of a big cultural event. And where better to start than at the Festival Lent, a traditional cultural and musical event in Slovenia's second biggest city, in Maribor.

@Author - Dušan Vrban
The Festival Lent is an on-going summer festival in Maribor that has been happening for more than twenty years. It takes place on the bank of the Drava river and it hosts several smaller events within it such as the international folklore festival Folkart, the JazzLent, the festival of street-food Sladolent, the festival of street theatre Ana Desetnica, and Art Camp, that is located in the City park. Lent is in fact the biggest open-air festival in Slovenia and one of the biggest in Europe, therefore being a necessary stop on your trip through Europe.

@Author - Ivan
As for the travelling part, a very convenient way to travel to Maribor is by bus from Prague, from where the Flixbus prices start €25.00, depending on the time of your trip. Amazing! And just in the Eurotrip spirit.

So pack enough sun cream, because the river tends to attract more sunlight, book your ticket and see you in Maribor from 23.–30. of June, on the 25th Festival Lent!




Thursday, 4 May 2017

The largest wine festival in Slovenia Vinska vigred (wine springtime) in Bela krajina METLIKA, 19. – 21. May 2017

In may, when the spring is already exchanging glances with the summer, the old city center becomes alive


The three-day wine festival attracts domestic and foreign lovers of top Bela Krajina wines, again and again. During more than three decades, the holiday of awarded wines, delicacies of Bela krajina, and promotions of ethnological specialties and cultural achievements, has gained a strong position among Slovenian tourist events.

@Avtor - Uroš Raztresen
Beauty of Bela krajina cannot be measured even by the richest imagination. There are people that consider strange the words, such as: hatred, unkindness, arrogance, haughtiness, and perhaps also inhospitality. What carnations mean for people of Gorenjska, the vine means for people of Bela krajina. And the wine means the sun in a glass. In Bela krajina, sorrow, bad mood, and similar things that have nothing in common with singing and shouting of joy, simply evaporate. In terms of grammar, Bela krajina is of a feminine gender; therefore, it is no wonder that it is gentle, warm, beautiful, sympathetic, charming, seductive, independent, blossoming, and possibly also attractive, mysterious, and naively innocent.

@Avtor - Uroš Raztresen
Wine spring can only be in its bosom, which due to a good wine turns the poor to richer, unhappy to happy, disputed to friends, and stupid to smart.

@Avtor - Uroš Raztresen
Stay here at least until you absorb everything you have already forgotten that it existed. Bela krajina will amply return a bit of its love.


Toni Gašperič


You can book a bed in a youth Hostel Novo mesto, which is just thirty kilometers away from Metlika.  

Turistično informacijski center Metlika
Trg svobode 4
8330 Metlika
tel.: 07 36 35 470
fax: 07 36 35 471
gsm: 040 454 019


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Blooming Slovenia for under €50

Imagine the white of the daffodils covering the meadow, embracing you and shielding you from the stress of the every-day life. Sounds tempting, doesn't it? Well, luckily here is your always present saviour, the fairy-tale country of Slovenia that is just what you need. Right now.

@Author - Nea Culpa; www.slovenia.info
Wizzair will take care for your transportation for low prices starting at only €30,49, from London Luton to Ljubljana, the beautiful Slovenian capital. From there, the sky is the limit when it comes to Slovenia. Ljubljana has a strategic position therefore discovering other parts of the country is easy and comparing to world-wide standards, also quick.

@Author - Nea Culpa; www.slovenia.info
So let's say that the daffodil part of the introduction caught your eye and at this point you are already wondering why this particular flowers. Of course the perfect way would be your immediate departure because there is no proper way of describing this sight and it's belonging fairy-tale. Let your senses be the judge of the beauty that is reachable from Ljubljana with a national train connection of Slovenske železnice for only €5,80. In approximately hour and a half you will be transported from the lively city scenario to the town of Jesenice and a peaceful, fairy-tale land of Karavanke Montains. Under Mt Golica, on the meadows between the villages of Plavški Rovt, Prihodi, Planina pod Golico and Javorniški Rovt you will find yourself in a land of snow white daffodils, or Ključavnic – the Keyholes – as they are called by the locals. Deriving from the legend of God locking the honey into the yellow centres of the flowers to punish the greedy bees who gathered it also on Sundays and on holidays.

@Author - Miro Podgoršek; www.turizem.jesenice.si
You are allowed to take in all of the unimaginable beauty of the flowers, but beware not to disturb them as they are protected by Ordinance on the protection of rare or endangered plant species. Luckily, memories are everlasting and this one will certainly come back every time you will think of Slovenia or get stung by a bee.

@Author - Aleš Krivec; www.turizem.jesenice.si
For an extended visit there are a few HI hostels in the vicinity. The shortest drive from Jesenice is the Youth Hostel Bledec and your other options are the Youth Hostel Radovljica or the Youth Hostel Barovc. Either way, your stay in Gorenjska region of Slovenia will certainly be a pleasant one due to the amazing nature and hospitality of the people. But hurry, May is about to begin!
                                                                                                                           



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The path along the wire in Ljubljana

In the summer I decided to walk  the entire famous path around Ljubljana. It’s 32 kilometres long and each year in the beginning of May there is an organized march (this year it is the 61st). The route is also known as the path of remembrance and comradeship, a post-war reminder of the times when Ljubljana was surrounded by barbed wire. Along the way there are 8 control points, approximately every 4 kilometres. At each control point you get a stamp in your control card. You can get the control card and a map at the company Timing Ljubljana on Staničeva street 41. On the same day in May they organize a three-member team run on various routes and distances. The uniqueness of the run is that three runners as a team (men, women or mixed) have to run together and also cross the finish line together. Each team’s clock runs until the last member crosses the finish line. This running event encourages the runners’ spirit, which helps the competitors keep a respectable pace. Both the march and the run get people to appreciate one another. 

@Author - Saša Sladič
A one-day trip to strengthen your spirit and your legs
Of course, it’s best to start in the morning; not like me when I started early in the afternoon and then catching the last hours of daylight. If you do it at the organised event in May, it is (as my friends told me) quite crowded, but when you simply want to enjoy the nature of our capital peacefully, then I suggest that you walk the path another time.  Generally, you can start walking the path anywhere around the city because it is circular and very nicely tidied up. Most of the route is gravel and sand. Alongside it there are many trees and plaques with the names of different societies, most likely sponsors. According to the control card with stamps, the starting point is on Vič, near Dolgi most, and the path continues to the Koseški bajer, past the Žale cemetery, through Nove Jarše, over the Golovec hill, through Murgle, Mestni log and we are right back where we started. In certain areas where the path is not tidied up like I mentioned before, there are signs or writings on the ground which show the direction of the route. Signs with the word »pot« are along every kilometre and measure how far along we are, so that we know how much we already walked and how much is still in front of us. That information is very useful to know when near the end, since we are a little tired and we are only waiting for the sign to signify our last kilometre (32.). 

@Author - Saša Sladič
Control points and collecting stamps
The route is accessible the entire year, you just have to be careful that the control points from which we get our stamps are open. The opening hours of the control points of the path along the barbed wire are on the website of the path along the barbed wire.  Usually the control points are pubs (they are opened the longest), a bakery and AMZS (a national automobile association). The route runs along very different terrains; in the nature, away from the roads, and on the asphalt, between the apartment buildings. Generally, it is marked quite well so it’s not likely for you to get lost but if it happens and we lose our way a little we can ask passers-by for help as to where the path of remembrance and comradeship is. We will soon return to »the right one«. I admit it, on the Golovec hill we can get a little tired waiting for the end and the path there goes mostly uphill. Otherwise on the path we can run into other pedestrians, parents with strollers, bikers, children who are learning to drive bicycles, well, everyone who wants to do some sports or recreation away from the traffic and concrete. Along the path there are boards with the description of the history of the route, how it all started and how is it maintained. I missed the first control point and I said to myself that I will return for the stamp there at the end of the day, however I ran out of time because it got dark. That is why it’s best to start in the morning, so you have all day available to do it in peace. In a couple of days, I went and grabbed my last, technically my first stamp in the control card. At that time, they asked me if I'm using a taxi for transport to collect all the stamps to get a medal or an award. I looked at them very surprised and said that of course not, that I'm walking like I am supposed to be. They said that the past week some foreigners came to them with taxis to collect stamps which is not fair. People find all sorts of shortcuts. At the end, you deliver the control card with all the control stamps to Timing Ljubljana, on Staničeva street 41. For one completed walk of the path you get a bronze medal and for more times a silver or a golden one and you are also entered in the database of people who walked the route.

@Author - Saša Sladič
If you want to walk the path a bit at a time or to see more of what Ljubljana can offer, then the best idea to spend the night at a hostel.  Hostel Vila Veselova next to park Tivoli is a good spot to explore our capital because the main attractions are close, there is also hostel Tabor which also has a hall for  different events near the main train and bus station, and quite affordable is hostel Ljubljana which is located in the suburbs of Ljubljana near the BTC shopping centre. We shouldn’t overlook hostel Tresor, which lies in the heart of the very crowded Čopova street and only 50 metres away from the Prešeren square, and hostel DIC which is located in the shelter of the castle hill and offers accommodation only in the summer. 

@Author - Saša Sladič
Well, my intention was to see where and how the path goes, to figure out why it is still so popular and to do something good for my well-being. Along the route you can encounter interesting scenes like a small green dragon, made of green plastic bottles on the top of a fence of a primary school or kindergarten. It reminded me much of the dragon Tabaluga from the famous cartoon, on the other hand the dragon is also a symbol of the city Ljubljana. 

@Author - Saša Sladič
However, warmer days are coming; the end of March and April was too hot for me, so just hit the »path« with an appropriate pair of shoes (no calluses). To get motivated and to catch the hiking bug, you can attend the hike as soon as next month and the entries are already open. Good luck!