Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Slovenian carnival spirit on budget

Amazing and also intriguing is the heritage that a little country such as Slovenia has to offer. Have you ever wondered about it? If not, February is a good start for the beginning of your journey into the mystical depths of Slovenian culture. And there is a silver lining even if there is no need for one. On certain days you can simply hop on a Ryanair plane in Copenhagen and travel to Budapest for only 20,04 Euros. After that, getting from the Hungarian capitol to Slovenia is manageable with all kinds of public transportation.

@Author - Jošt Gantar; www.slovenia.info
So why February? Because it is the carnival month in Slovenia, a very busy, loud and playful time of the year. It is the month when Slovenians decide they had enough of the cold, snowy winter and therefore put on costumes to scare it away. Pust, as the carnival is called in Slovenia, is the time when a lot of versions of winter-scaring events take place throughout the whole country. The most famous one is Kurentovanje in the town of Ptuj with its central traditional figure Kurent. This event is one of the most important traditional events in Slovenia and has a more than a hundred-years-old tradition. Among the large groups depicting Kurent carnival also hosts many other rather joyous figures and since Slovenia is one of the richest European countries when it comes to the carnival costumes, good time and enjoyment are inevitable. 

Even though it is a small country, there is a variety of carnivals in different parts of Slovenia, all with the same purpose to scare away the winter. For example in Prekmurje region they shame single villagers with a so called pine-wedding – Borovo gostüvaje – if none of them has been wed in the pre carnival time. In Cerkno they scare away the winter so, that on the Sunday after the New Year a mystic creature called Laufar runs around the streets and is every following Sunday joined by more enthusiast wearing a similar wooden costume. A group of 25 of them is called Laufarija and is also a famous carnival event in Slovenia. And in the south-western part of the country there is Čičarija, also an event, dedicated to the winter and her farewell.

So what is there to think about? With such on budget options it is almost a sin not to visit and to witness the heritage coming to life. After all, it is not every day you can see scary looking creature with and long red tongue, wearing a sheepskin and jumping around so that the bells on its belts ring trough the cold February days. But beware of its thin wooden bat with real hedgehog spikes at the top end – ježevka. And if you are a girl, make sure to carry a white handkerchief with which the Kurent can decorate his weapon. And if you are even a little bit interested, be sure to book the next available flight.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Eurotrip with a ski jumping stop in Slovenia

Eurotrips differ from person to person, from traveller to traveller. The best ones are of course spontaneous ones. But a little planning never hurt no one. So how about a little bit of both? The spontaneous part is that your trip is set for let’s say 7th of February, and the planning part is the ticket booking, where the combination of plane and bus ticket gets you to Slovenia's capital city for only 28.00 €.

@Author - B. Kladnik; www.slovenia.info
Imagine starting your adventure in Berlin. A Ryanair ticket from Berlin Schönefeld to Venice Treviso on February the 7th will cost you only 9.99 €. And from Venice to Ljubljana a bus drive with Flixbus will cost you only 17.90 €. What a bargain! The magic lies also within countless stop options in-between. But what is most impressive is once you reach Slovenia, the sky is the limit. An opportunity to seize an entire country in a week is just not to be missed. With travel prices nowadays you can even return again and again and discover every inch of this beautiful Alpe Adria country. 

@Author - Nea Culpa; www.slovenia.info
The capital Ljubljana itself offers countless things to see and to do. But also other parts of this chicken-shaped land are welcoming you with extraordinary sight. Want to go to the seaside? Coastal region welcomes you! Or do you want an underground adventure? No problem, Postojna and its baby dragons are waiting for you and Škocjan with its UNESCO protected sight also quietly awaits new visitors. How about a cooking lesson on a traditional 19 layer cake, typical for the north-eastern part of Slovenia? Or a visit to the oldest vine tree in the world

@Author - Matej Vranič; www.slovenia.info
Slovenia is a land of countless options so whatever you do, do not limit yourself while visiting. It is a rich, cultural and most of all a diverse trip that will leave you breathless from all the new things you will learn and see. And the best part of travelling in February is that you can treat yourself with a very popular Slovenian habit. A little lovely town called Ljubno ob Savinji every year hosts the Women's Ski Jumping World Cup on 11th and 12th of February and there is no better way to experience the Slovenian spirit than to visit a sporting event hosted in the country. You will not regret even a second spent in that wild, proud crowd cheering for their ''national heroes''. 

So welcome to the Slovenian jungle and may your visit be a magical one!

Monday, 16 January 2017

A bus adventure to Slovenia for only 19 EUR

Winter wonderlands are expected to look the same, no matter where in the world they are located. Upon visiting them you probably always imagine lots of snow, some castles and of course magical creatures. All this may sound more like a description of some northern country's features, but it may come as a surprise, that there is also one quite smaller, but incredibly charming country possessing the winter wonderland attributes.

@Author -  Franci Ferjan; www.slovenia.info
Slovenia. The only country with love in its name is destined to charm each and every visitor into simply falling in love with her. And this little snow princess is in winter time inviting you to all kinds of snow involving sports and activities, and also ordinary travel adventures. There are a lot of options how to get to this little Alpe Adria royalty, and one of them may be just what you  are looking for. 

@Author - Jošt Gantar; www.slovenia.info
The Hellö bus will take you from Vienna to Maribor for only 19 Euros. Simply magical! Maribor is a perfect starting point for every winter sports enthusiast who visits Slovenia. With Pohorje, a low mountain range in Slovenia, Mariborsko Pohorje Ski Resort is just a place to be in winter time. 

@Author - Jošt Gantar; www.slovenia.info
Even better news is that Slovenia offers many more ski resorts, all over the country. You can combine your travel discoveries with your passion for sport and visit Slovenian ski slopes or just travel around this beautiful country, following your new year's resolution to visit Slovenia in 2017. You will be surprised just how beautiful of a winter wonderland this country is and how many castles and magical creatures you can encounter while discovering it. 

Welcome to the winter wonderland of love!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Visit Slovenia in 2017

Did you already make a bucket list for 2017? Which places you want to visit, which cultures you want to meet… We’re here to make some suggestions for you. Slovenia is an amazing country and it would be a pity if you wouldn’t take the time to explore it.

@Author - Jošt Gantar; www.slovenia.info
A road trip around Slovenia is always a good idea. You get to feel the culture, the nature, the culinary treats and so much more. Let’s start with Ajdovščina, which lies in Vipava valley. Maybe now it’s not the time for cycling, but hiking is “in” every time of the year. Do you know what’s also popular every time of the year? Wine. And Vipava hills have a lot of sunny days, which grow fantastic wine. Maybe you should try it in one of the wine cellars. And after you tire from hiking and drinking delicious wine, stay in The Youth Centre and Hostel Ajdovščina, which is located just a short walk outside the city centre. Hostel Ajdovščina is also environmentally friendly and has fifty beds, so if you want to come in a group, don’t be shy!

Next on the list to visit is our beautiful capital city, Ljubljana. Our volunteer Nastja wandered around Ljubljana recently and wrote an amazing article about our beautiful city, so check it out. And if you want to hear it from a foreigner that you should visit it, we also have a proof. After so much reading, I’m sure our travelogue writers convinced you to visit it. A great place for an accommodation is Hostel Tresor, which is really something special. It was once a bank vault and it was turned into a hostel, but kept some history. Definitely interesting. 

@Author - Dunja Wedam; www.slovenia.info
Bohinj is a perfect place to visit in the winter time. If you like to ski, there are many ski slopes to choose from and soon, you’ll be swooshing down the hill. Near hostel Koča Suha is the ski resort Vogel. What is more, the hostel even offers free ski shuttle to the ski centre. Great choice for those who want to spend less and do more. If you’re not convinced yet, read this article and welcome to Bohinj.

One of the charming towns in Slovenia is Idrija, the oldest Slovenian mining town, which is also on Unesco’s world heritage list. Here you also need to try local specialty idrijski žlikrofi, which is a dish from heaven. For a budget stay, choose hostel Idrija, 5 minutes from the city centre, which is a really cheap accommodation, you can get a room from 11 euros per person. Staff is super helpful and will happily suggest some activities for you. 

@Author - Dunja Wedam; www.slovenia.info
Kamnik is another charming city in the middle of mountains and hills. It is located by rivers Kamniška Bistrica and Nevljica and Kamnik-Savinja Alps, which offer great views every time you visit Kamnik. I’d strongly suggest you take a visit to Velika planina, which is just magical and will nourish your soul. Read more about adventures in Kamnik here. Don’t know where to stay? Hostel Pod skalo is a great choice. It is small and charming and in the building next to it, there’s a bar, which is never a bad thing. The hostel offers free wi-fi, a lounge and even transfers to the airport and other tourist destinations in Kamnik. 

@Author - Dunja Wedam; www.slovenia.info
Last but not least suggestion is Velenje. Velenje has grown on coal mining. Here you have an opportunity to check out Slovenian mining museum or the three city lakes. In the winter, you can even go ice skating in the park. Nearby, there’s also a ski resort for skiing enthusiasts or Topolšica spa for those, who like to be warm and relaxed. The choice is yours. If you’d like to stay in Velenje for a couple of days, there’s a new hostel in Velenje, which will warmly welcome you and offer you a lot for your money. Hostel Velenje provides seminar rooms for up to 100 people, new technical equipment, a common kitchen and many daily activities

Visit our beautiful Slovenia!

Friday, 6 January 2017

Visit Slovenian ski slopes!

It is getting cold in Slovenia and the ski slopes are full of keen skiers and boarders. Are you tempted? I’m sure you are. Slovenia is a beautiful country and if you’re coming from a warmer country, you’ll be impressed by Slovenian winter wonderland. If you keep reading, you’ll even find out how you can get here from Malta for around 50 Euros.

@Author - Aleš Fevžer; www.slovenia.info
Yes, you read correctly, you can fly from Malta to Venice and back for around 50 Euros in February and visit the ski slopes, go hiking in snow or just enjoy the winter weather. You can get this amazing offer at Ryanair, fly to Venice Treviso and then, maybe hire a GoOpti or rent a car and see how it’s like driving on the other side of the road (carefully, of course).

Since I was talking so much about skiing, let me introduce you the ski slopes and of course, the amazing hostels where you can stay. First is Hostel Bovec with Kanin Ski Resort. Here you can ski 2000 metres above the sea level, which makes it the highest Slovenian ski resort. If you want to read more about winter time in Bovec, read this article and find out more about attractions in Bovec.

@Author - Jošt Gantar; www.slovenia.info
Skiing in Kranjska Gora is a must in Slovenia. You can choose among 18 ski slopes of different technical difficulty. Ski lifts and ski runs are stretching all the way from Kranjska Gora to Planica (where the famous ski jumping tournament takes place). If you’re not a great skier yet, you can even go to a ski schools or hire a ski instructor. Amazing, isn’t it? And if you want to afford a little more with less money, stay at Youth Hostel Barovc, which will entertain you on a bad weather day or when you just want to rest and relax.

@Author - Matej Vranič; www.slovenia.info
If you’re not really up for big ski resorts, try ski resort Golte and stay in Ljubno ob Savinji. The ski resort has 12 kilometres of ski slopes with a unique terrain and even a private bunny slope for children. Visitors can even try cross-country and backcountry skiing. Hostel Ljubno ob Savinji is perfect for your accommodation, as it has rooms with private bathroom, dormitory rooms and there’s an inn nearby with local Slovenian cuisine. For some other activities, read an article about Ljubno ob Savinji and find out more about it.

@Author - Jošt Gantar; www.slovenia.info
Now that you know all about skiing opportunities in Slovenia, make sure to book a ticket, book a hostel and you’re all set for a great winter holiday. Slovenians are waiting and will make sure you’ll have time of your life


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Festive Ljubljana

Oh December, the time of the year when even the cold has a special meaning! When the extra lights brighten the secret pass ways, when carols warm every corner of the street and your heart and when it is perfectly acceptable to drink wine from a cup in the middle of a street, as long as it is mulled. Just the perfect month!

@Author - B. Bajzelj; www.slovenia.info
It is also a month that a lot of people use to visit especially European capitals. So why not start your own, a bit mainstream tradition of Christmas capital pilgrimage and maybe, just maybe begin by visiting Ljubljana, a charming little capital of Slovenia, that was most probably the reason for the creation of the word cute. In that case your little helper can be Wizzair, that on the last day of 2016 offers a flight from London Luton to Ljubljana for just 22,76 Euros. What a perfect Christmas gift! 

@Author - D.Wedam; www.slovenia.info
That way you can treat yourself by adding a new world capital on your travelling bucket list and even celebrate the beginning of a new year in a somehow exotic country such as Slovenia. There are plenty of things to see and to do in Ljubljana in that festive time of the year. The old town welcomes you with a Christmas market, full of unique mementos from your soon-to-be Slovenian adventure, you can take a perfect Christmas selfie in front of a thatched, life-sized nativity scene, dance your heart out at some live concert in the middle of the city and celebrate new beginnings by saying goodbye to 2016 with fireworks and traditional Slovenian New Year's Eve party

@Author - D. Wedam; www.slovenia.info
Cosy, warm beds await in five different HI youth hostels, such as hostel DIC, hostel Tresor, hostel Ljubljana, hostel Tabor or hostel Vila Veselova. Take your pick and be prepared for some new friends, crazy adventures and life-long memories

Cheers to the new beginnings and discovering the magic of capitals in December!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Beauty called Slovenia

What one finds beautiful is a complete and unexplainable secret of his heart, mind and soul. But there are things in this world of ours that just take you breath away even if your definition of beautiful conflicts with others. Not convinced? Give it a try and you'll be surprised. The mystic mind changer in this case is a unique country – Slovenia.  Her beauties speak for themselves, but every now and then it is good to receive a first-hand advice of what to see. After that the sky is the limit and the imagination is your guide.

@Author - Dunja Wedam; www.slovenia.info
Usually when it comes to visiting new countries one automatically thinks of capitals and bigger cities. But in Slovenia, where even the capital city is not that big of a city, the smaller ones are those that really revile what Slovenia is about. For example Krško. Thriving town in the south-eastern part of Slovenia and a central town of Posavje region is known for its authentic wine type Cviček, its picturesque land that offers a lot of sporting activities such as cycling, skiing and fishing. The rich cultural background of Krško will also satisfy all of the cultural appetites a traveller might have. 

Another Slovenian jewel certainly worth visiting is the Triglav national park where the nature really has done a magnificent job. In Bohinj, a fairy-tale like town in the heart of Triglav national park, you can rest in the Youth Hostel Pod Voglom, which as a member of Hostelling International offers you a 10 % discount, and where you can try out all sorts of sporting activities from rafting, canoeing, hydro speeding and many more. 

@Author - Nea Culpa; www.slovenia.info
Moving towards the edge of the national park there is another inviting sleeping option in the form of Youth Hostel Barovc, a paradise like place for all the winter sports enthusiasts. Quick fifteen minutes away lies Planica, home of Slovenian ''eagles'', a world known ski-jumpig site, where you can be a part of history. 

@Author - Matej Vranič; www.slovenia.info
Speaking of smaller Slovenian towns, another must-see location is also Velenje, where you will be blown away by the breath-taking Šalek walleye with its just the right combination of lake, hills and caves, that offers a lifetime of adventures if you just give it a chance. Moving towards the eastern part of Slovenia, in Maribor, the second biggest but still charmingly small city, your dreams can come true in the Youth Hostel Pekarna. Maribor as a hometown of the oldest vine tree in the world will certainly give you some inside into the history of the Štajerska land that is intertwined with wine, culture and hardworking people. 

@Author - Marko Petrej; www.slovenia.info
After hiking and biking around Maribor you can certainly refill your batteries in even eastern laying town of Radenci. Most known for its mineral water spring, Radenci offers you a reviving experience of your body and soul, where you can find the true meaning of Slovenia in one of its well-known but charmingly small towns and rediscover yourself in the embrace of healing mineral water.