Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Jump from your comfort zone into the arms of the emerald beauty

You will forget all about your fears.


Company Soča Rafting d.o.o. from Bovec organizes sports programs in the valley of the crystal clear river Soča and elsewhere in Slovenia. Namely all the sport activities are guided by local guides with a licence who will also take care of a good atmosphere.


In the summer season between April and October they offer various unforgettable adventures on the turquoise Soča. More daring ones can try hydrospeed, canyoning, rafting, school of kayak, going down the river with a kayak or a canoe and free style climbing. 


In the winter season after December (well, let's be honest, from the time when enough snow falls because in the last years that happens later each year) you are warmly invited to attend their ski school on Kanin, to sled from Mangart (where we remember sledding adventures from our childhood), to heli-skiing and to walk with snowshoes


The biggest novelty that people are quite interested in Bovec is the zipline which extends over the valley of river Učja. Throughout the entire year, you can go down the wire ropes with the entire length of 4,5 kilometres on the altitude up to 200 metres. All this information makes the zipline in Bovec one of the highest in Europe. Indescribable enjoyment and wind in your hair are at 40-60 km/h guaranteed!


The best is yet to come because the card-holding members of Hostelling International Slovenia have a 15% discount on rafting, hydrospeed, canyoning, going down the river with a kayak or a canoe and 10% discount on the zipline.


To fill your batteries after exciting adventures in the Soča valley go to the hostel Bovec with free wifi. You will find it in more than a century old but now completely renovated house in a traditional provincial style. So that your legs won't tire out, it will take you to the hostel only 5 minutes from the main square or from the bus station. 

@Hostel Bovec
And one reminder, in the Bovec hostel with the HI membership card you get a 10% discount on the overnight accommodation!

@Hostel Bovec
Be courageous and try something different and extraordinary! The only fear is that you will like it so much that you will want to do it again! Then you will be already in your comfort zone and you will have to find a new challenge!




Tito's limos and home-made bread from the farmhouse stove

How to make something homey and traditional


Technical museum of Slovenia is located in Bistra near Vrhnika since 1951 and lies on around 6000 square metres. Here you will find bigger collections and presentations of technical inventions. You can easily and quickly access them at quite a low price from the capital with a train, bus and even a taxi

@Author - Urša Vodopivec
In the collection of motorbikes there are also 15 limousines of Josip Broz Tito, the former president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. First and foremost here are the vehicles that were given to him as a present by other world leaders from that time. His vehicles were quite refined, modern and luxurious for that period. 

@Author - Blaž Zupančič
On the weekends they organize workshops where you can (among other things) bake bread in the farmhouse stove and learn old techniques of printing. There is a possibility of buying a combined ticket, which also includes admission to the Museum of Post and Telecommunications in Polhov Gradec.

It is really great that HI Slovenia members have a 20% discount on the entrance tickets. 

@Author - Blaž Zupančič
Because the capital city of Ljubljana is very near (around 25 km), you can stop by there and do some sightseeing. If you wish to stay for more days, we recommend you a hostel. Hostel Vila Veselova is next to park Tivoli and it is a good spot to explore our capital because the main attractions are close. Here is hostel Tabor, which also has a hall for different events and the main train and bus station nearby. Quite affordable is hostel Ljubljana which is located in the suburbs of Ljubljana near the BTC shopping center. We shouldn’t overlook the previous bankers home hostel Tresor, which lies in the heart of the very crowded Čopova street and only 50 meters away from the Prešeren square. Last but not least hostel DIC is located in the shelter of the castle hill and offers accommodation only in the summer. 

@Hostel Tresor
You must not forget that HI Slovenia members have a 10% discount on staying in all those hostels in Ljubljana. 

Thank god for all the preserved devices and books of the visionaries. Without them we wouldn't have (so fast) broadband internet, smart phones and exploring the universe!




Monday, 24 July 2017

Jackie Chan and Discovery Channel in the biggest cave castle in the world

Here it is revealed which celebrities you can encounter right here in sLOVEnia!


Yes, you guessed it right, I'm talking about our Predjama castle, which is in the Guinness book of World Records as the largest cave castle in the world, which is definitely worth visiting. In the wall of the karst world with its height of 123m it has been majestically standing for 800 years. 


Its most famous and notorious owner Erazem of Predjama from the 15th century was a brave robber. He was defending the castle from the other conquerors for 1 year. That story has a sad ending. According to the legend one of his servants betrayed him. 


Some years ago the castle was visited by the Discovery Channel team who tried to explain some strange events that were happening there. The movie Armour of gold was shot there with the actor Jackie Chan in 1986. Six years ago the castle was visited by the (screen) writer George R. R. Martin (the author of the extremely popular saga Game of Thrones). Maybe someday the film crew of Game of Thrones will come here because of the mysterious historical background and picturesque karst landscape and decide to film a scene here. Maybe then more tourists will come, who knows. In the last years people like to travel in the footsteps of making famous movies and series. Just remember the films The Beach, The Da Vinci Code and Der Bergdoktor. 


Between May and September visit the cave under the Predjama castle. Only then you can admire many species of bats. 


In the summer months you can attend the knight tournament dedicated to the memory of Erazem, which is inspired by writings and illustrations from the 16th century. You become a part of the country feast where you can eat, drink and compete. The dishes are prepared based on the traditional medieval recipes and also they are served like that. 

Members of the Hostelling International Slovenia are again treated better because they have a 10% discount when buying a ticket in the whole Postojna Cave Park. 

@Hostel Proteus
After an interesting and secretive day in the region of limestone and water you can wake fresh in a new day in hostel Proteus in the center of Postojna around which a genuine park is peeved. The hostel (which is also a dormitory) is only 800 metres away from the Postojna cave and 500 metres from the main bus station. The hostel makes sure to organize colourful events for which you have to ask in advance. By this I mean visiting the natural and cultural heritage of this part of Slovenia. 

@Hostel Proteus
If you decide to be their guest, remember that with the HI Slovenia membership card you get 10% off. One more reason for you to join us and start using all these discounts! Let's explore our Slovenia and the world together! 




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!