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;
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;
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;
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;
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.                                         

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Two capitals in one trip

Tale as old as the world itself is the one about people always mistaking Slovenia for Slovakia and vice versa. But what about if there was a way of having a quick inside of both of the countries in just one trip, where you can visit the both capitals and forever establish the difference between those two European gems?

@Author - Arhiv ZTKMŠ Brda;
In January Ryanair offers one way flights from Dublin to Bratislava for just € 19.99. From there to Ljubljana you can shake things up and book a bus ticket with Flixbus which will cost you only € 32.50. Arriving to Bratislava at lunch time gives you just the opportunity to experience the country trough food and a bus ride at night enables you to get some rest and walk the streets of Ljubljana as a new person. 

@Author - Dunja Wedam;
Breakfast in the countries capital can sometimes even be a better idea than any other meal. And if just tasting the country through what the capital has to offer is not enough for you, you can always hop on a new bus and discover Slovenia’s well know sights or even those that are not that well know at all. For example, you can treat yourself with a trip to Slovenian seaside, where you can visit cities such as Koper, Portorož and Piran. Then you can get (metaphorically, of course) lost in one of many Slovenian caves, for example Postojna cave being the most famous of them all, and Škocjan caves

@Author - Iztok Medja;
Your inner peace can be re-established by gazing upon the green hills and valleys at Koroška, Gorenjska, or Savinjska region, or by admiring the never ending flatness of Pomurje region. Specialities such as desserts and local wine can be tasted at almost every corner, so also a visit to Prekmurje or Dolenjska will be worth your while. 

@Author - Jost Gantar - TIC Moravske Toplice;
Getting to know the cultural and natural heritage is simply always a part of every kind of trip in Slovenia. In the bigger cities, such as Ljubljana and Maribor, or in a bit smaller ones, such as Idrija

@Author - Matej Vranič;
Either way there are many beautiful sights and new experiences to choose from in Slovenia, so in the future you will have no problem forever distinguishing between sLOVEnia and Slovakia. 

Let your taste buds be your guide!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

From Zagreb to Ljubljana and back from 18 Euro

Hello, our neighbours and travellers to Zagreb, Croatia. Have you ever been to Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital city? It's magical, especially in the winter time. Would you like a cheap suggestion for a getaway? If you're on a travelling site, I'm sure you're looking for that. BusBud, bus travel website, offers you a trip to Ljubljana for only 18 Euro. And that is not everything. If you have a Hostelling International member card, you get 15% discount. You can sign up for that right here. Amazing, right?

@Author - Dunja Wedam;
Now let me tell you about Ljubljana. I could just paste the link to an amazing article of our new volunteer Anne-Sophie Fanchini Lovely Ljubljana, tell me your secrets. I know that you’ll want to visit our beautiful city, if you read it. She was charmed by the flying shoes and second hand stores at Trubarjeva cesta, she was regenerating herself in the Botanic Garden of the University, and got some fresh air in Tivoli Park. My suggestion would be for you to take a walk to the Ljubljana Castle, see the Triple Bridge and Prešeren Square. If you like to shop, there’s plenty of opportunity in the city centre. Just walk the romantic streets, have some mulled wine if it’s cold and enjoy yourself.

If you want to spend a night or two in Ljubljana, the city has some great hostels. Hostel Tresor is in the city centre and really has something special. It is a former bank vault and even though there are beds in the vaults now, it kept a certain charm that you have to see for yourself.

@Author - M. Tancic;
Or if you want to stay in a typical building of Ljubljana, stay at Vila Veselova, which is also in the city centre, close to park Tivoli and Ljubljana National Museum. Here, you’ll get free tea, breakfast and big rooms. Hostel Vila Veselova also offers you a beautiful garden area.

If you’re flying to Zagreb and have a day or two (or a week) for adventures in another country, Slovenia is definitely a place to be. The bus is cheap, the ride is about two hours long and you will definitely get a sight into Slovenian culture if you visit Ljubljana. 

See for yourself.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Cyclist-freindly hostel

Youth hostel Marenberg is located in Radlje ob Dravi, a small town, which boasts with the Slovenia Green Silver mark, that eagerly follows the green trend of tourism. The first biological swimming pool in Slovenia, many sports areas, the possibility of cultural and natural sightseeing and many hiking and biking paths in the immediate surroundings, hidden between the woods of Pohorje and Kozjak, are offering visitors an active way of spending  their free time or vacations.

Hostel Marenberg
The town Radlje ob Dravi lies, as the name tells, in the immediate proximity of the river Drava. Long cycling trails by the river are very popular by tourists in foreign countries and have excellent marketing. They offer the highest level of cycling that we know. The Drava cycle path is classified as one of four cycling trails in Europe with five stars by German Cyclist’s Association from March. Because we notice dan increase of over-night accommodation in Radlje our hostel became the first Slovenian member of Austrian society Drauradweg Wirte, which is connecting every tourist point on the Drava cyclist route in Italy, Austria, and now, in Slovenia.

Hostel Marenberg
Hostel Marenberg with five triangles offers the cyclists a secured storage space for bicycles, a possibility to dry wet clothes or cycling gear, the basic instruments for bicycle repairs and, by prior arrangement, an accommodation at night. The fulfilment of these and other criteria has allowed us to become the first certified by ADFC Bett+Bike hostel in Slovenia. With the already started project of restoring used bicycles we want to offer bicycles for rent to other guests in the future. That way we can enable them to explore actively the cultural and natural heritage in town and its surroundings, a pleasant few-minute-long ride to the first natural pool in Slovenia or a slightly more difficult cycling on various circular biking paths on beautiful hills of Pohorje and Kozjak

Hostel Marenberg

Youth Hostel Marenberg
Mariborska cesta 8
2360 Radlje ob Dravi
+386 (0)40 85 22 87

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Ajdovščina in the month when the leaves turn red and yellow

Youth Center and Hostel Ajdovščina is a place where you will never be bored. HIŠA MLADIH – HOUSE OF YOUTH is located in the „green“ part of the town where you have everything at your fingertips. In the vicinity there is a Sports Park and many hiking and biking trails. You can  rent a bike in hostel and take a ride to discover the beauty of our small town and its surrounding. House of Youth is the center of cultural creation and socializing. Numerous exhibitions, workshops, entertainment and music events are being hosted here.

Events in October in the Youth Center&Hostel and its vicinity:

•     5th – 15th of October: Culture Days in Lokavec: During the week of European cultural heritage, several events will be organized in small village of Lokavec : presentations, exhibitions, organized traditional hiking trip ... in order to learn about our technical, cultural and natural heritage.
•   6th, 13th of October: At the premises of the House of Youth: Workshop of the analogue photography with the photographer Klemen Bizjak, will be held. At the end of the workshop the photographs will be exhibited at the house's gallery.

•    8th of OctoberFarmers Market in the old town center, where you can buy all seasonal local delicacies produced by our farmers.
•    8th, 9th of October: Octoberfest 2016: Beer Festival with a concert of two bands: S.A.R.S. + Nera. Music group S.A.R.S. is a unique combination of pop, rock, reggae, hip-hop and blues music that perfectly combines the elements of traditional Serbian folk music. Their best known hit song "Budjav lebac", made them famous all over the Balkan region, where they regularly perform in clubs and festivals.
•    15th of October: The House of Youth continues with regular stand-up comedy evenings in the company of the best Slovenian comedians, and those little less familiar, but so very talented. On Saturday 15.10.2016 the stage of the Bar Hiša Mladih, will be occupied by young comedians: Eva Virc, Admir Baltić and Rok Kniflc. All three excellent speakers, that will make you laugh to tears!
•    2nd – 27th of October: The Pilon Gallery: Veno Pilon, Beginnings - 22. 9. 2016 passed 120 years since the birth of the local painter&photographer Veno Pilon. The exhibition is dedicated to his early period, which was formed in Gorizia (Italy) high school between 1910 and 1915. In October, the gallery is organizing an open guided tour of the exhibition, lectures, debates, children's art workshops,...



We will meet in the Youth Hostel Ajdovščina, from where the experienced team will take us to explore the Slovenia's hidden wine gem - Vipava Valley. We will visit two wine cellars, meet with two local winemakers, and learn about the production of wine. We will pamper you with a tasting of unique wines and local delicacies. An evening full of relaxed atmosphere in good company with singing and a glass of excellent wine is waiting for us! On the next morning - after a good cup of coffe, we will start our trip by uncovering the most beautiful tales of Ajdovščina. Traces of life from the Roman times, narrow streets of the old town center and ancient long coexistence of the resilient locals with the famous Bora wind are the heart and soul of the town. On your way to Vipava, a stop in the village of Vipavski Križ is a must. We will stroll through the medieval streets, squares and take the time to see its attractions. After a stop-over in Vipavski Križ we head to a delightful little town of Vipava, which is also called “Slovene Venice” due to its numerous bridges crossing the river of Vipava. Following the tour of Vipava, we head to one of the nearby villages, where we end our trip, tasting the best wine and dishes from local winemakers. After a refreshing stop we will return in the Youth Hostel Ajdovščina.

Weekend package in Youth hostel Ajdovščina:

•   overnight stay  with late breakfast
•   guided cycling tour through the most beautiful wine roads, wine tasting with light lunch (duration approx. 4-5 hours)
•   exploring the  two typical wine cellars and meeting with winemakers and learning about the culture of wine (duration approx. 5 hours)
•    wine tasting & sampling (5 samples), Slovenian tapas with delicious local home-made food in each cellar
Price: EUR 129/person (min. 4 people)

The price includes: guided clycling tour,  the organization and running of the entertaining food and wine tasting, animation, transport. For the implementation of the program requires prior booking. We are happy to tailor programmes to meet guests' wishes (duration, difficulty). We reserve the right to adjust prices.

Mladinski hotel Ajdovščina, 
T.: + 386 (0)5 368 93 83
M.: + 386 (0)41 945 392

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Keeping warm on Slovenian coast for less than 30 £

Just like birds, people tend to plan spending the coldest time of the year somewhere warm and cosy. Even if that means going to the sauna.  But some not only think about it but also plan a least a quick trip in the winter time.

Slovenia is not one those places you would choose to warm up. As a matter of fact, for some visitors it can be even colder than their mother land. But it definitely is pretty and welcoming and most important of it all, it has a coast. So why not plan a nice long trip to the Slovenian coast, where you can fill your lungs with fresh sea air, rest your eyes at the endless blue water and discover tiny picturesque allies, where you can find yourself just by getting lost. And also hide from the typical bone-cutting bora wind.

@Author - Barbara Kožar;
Ryanair offers flights from London Stansted to Trieste and in December, for example from 2nd until the 12th of December, you can book a return trip for nothing more than a 30 £. Sure Trieste is not in Slovenia but actually in Italy, but a 47 minute ride to Koper, Slovenia’s biggest coastal town, is definitely worth it. And with that you can also check two countries off your travelling bucket list.
So, what to see and what to do on the Slovenian coast, besides endless romantic, even solo romantic strolls down the beach, some brave winter time skinny dipping and warming up with the mulled wine at the pre-Christmas markets? 

@Author - Matej Vranič;
Well, first of all, you can visit previously mentioned Koper, where you can discover the old town and be amazed by the fact, that this city that is nowadays known for its international port was once actually an island. Using the very functional public transportation you can than discover the nearby small towns such as Ankaran or Strunjan, or get seduced by even bigger coastal cities, Portorož and Piran. Whereas Piran will charm you with its unique architecture and appearance, Portorož as a vibrant, some may call party destination, will offer you a numerous  highly ranked hotels and casinos where you can spend your time or just walk by and look the other way, a the restless waves, fighting the bora wind. 

@Author - Barbara Kožar;
Either way, if the five star hotels are just not your thing, you can check-in in one of the coastal Hostelling International hostels. You will find one in almost every city mentioned. In Koper you can book a stay in hostel Histria, in Piran the roof over your head offer you youth hostels Piran and Pirano and in Portorož you can find a place to rest and to meet new people in youth hostel Portorož


Harvest the oldest vine tree in the world for 19,00 Euros

Was your everlasting childhood dream to harvest the wine grapes from the oldest vine tree in the world and not spend a lot of money doing just that? No? Well, no surprise, if you are not one of the leading wine producers in the world. Then you probably already have your private plane on standby to take you to this amazing Slovenian event. But if the budget is a word you use regularly in your everyday language, than this is just the article for you. 

@Old wine festival in Maribor;
Because getting around with just a handful of money is not a fairy-tale any more. Not even if you own a pumpkin that turns into a carriage. There are a lot of cheap ways and means of transportation that will get you to such an exotic country as Slovenia. And this Alpe-Adria jewel is definitely inviting you to participate in an unique autumn experience. 

While every wine growing region in the world offers this and that to do and to experience in this wine'o'full time of the year, Štajerska, a very wine growing region in Slovenia, has a one of a kind event to offer. In the second largest city in Slovenia, in Maribor, grows the oldest vine tree specimen in the world. It is over 400 years old and still produces enough grapes to organize a big, meaningful event. With its own museum in the Old Vine House and countless biking and hiking paths through the wine regions surrounding the city of Maribor, there is plenty to do in autumn. Among the other exciting things in Maribor, of course. So why not decide and say to yourself: ''Let’s visit Maribor!''

@ Author - Nea Culpa;
And just how can you do that? If plane is getting a very every day experience for you, why not try and travel by bus? With extremely cheap bus ticket for only 19, 00 Euros, you can hop on a Flixbus in Vienna just after lunch and be in Maribor in the late afternoon. And that is when the fun begins. The Old Vine Festival between 2nd October and 11th November 2016 will certainly satisfy the autumn traveller in you, but Maribor is nice in every season.

@ Author - Matej Vranič;
And the best of all, you can use your knowledge of the ''budget'' word and spend your nights in one of the Hostelling International hostels such as hostel UNI, Pekarna and Ruše. Enough said, written and read. Now there is nothing left for you than to book a bus ticket and hop on your very own adventure to Alpe-Adria’s beautiful Slovenia!