Thursday, 29 May 2014

Velenje – A City Flourishing with Ideas

Velenje is a city of Youth and Rock on the one hand and has a colorful history giving it a touch of mystery even today on the other hand. The youngest Slovene town charms everybody – with lively events, rich culture or unspoiled natural heritage. Velenje Castle is perched on a steep rocky mound above the town. It is one of the most preserved castles in Slovenia, which nowadays hosts the Velenje Museum with eleven museums and gallery collections. The Dragon’s Castle Trail around Velenje takes you to three another castles in Šalek Valley, one of them, Šalek Castle, is unique in Slovenia due to its triangular shape.  A special Velenje experience is the descent into the Mysterious Underground World of the Coal-Mining Museum of Slovenia. 

Velenje (Author: Bor Roman)
Why not spend some quality time in nature? Cyclers can discover cycling trails, while hikers can walk along the interesting theme paths or climb one of the nearby hills. For sports and nature enthusiasts Lake Velenje and Lake Škale provide plenty of recreational opportunities. The lakes are a consequence of coal mining in the area, however the magic world on the lake-shores invites all fans of strolls in nature, jogging (also cross-country skiing in winter), cycling, horse riding, fishing, etc. The adrenaline lovers should not miss the Huda Luknja Gorge, which may be discovered under expert guidance ( The youngest can also have fun on excellent playgrounds.

Velenje (Author: Bor Roman)
Special care is given to youth and children in Velenje. The city’s events never run out of creativity, booming ideas and youth energy. In colder months they can hang out and create at Velenje Youth Centre, while in the warmer months they can come out to the streets, squares and parks. In May, weekends become very eventful due to the Days of the Youth and Culture and in August due to the Festival of Youth Culture Kunigunda. More information about youth activities on

More than 1500 events are being prepared each year. Pippi Longstocking festival, which has grown in fifteen years from a one-day event to the biggest children’s event in Slovenia, is housed in Velenje. It is such events that increase children imagination and creativity, offer numerous educational resources, strengthen feeling for fellow human being and humanity, make new friendships, drive young people to tolerance and acceptance of diversity and strengthening ties between different generations. There are more than one hundred Pippi's creative workshops operating during the festival, three stages for theatrical performances, more stages in the central arena, exhibitions, Pippi's cinema and also a humanitarian action is organized. Pippi Longstocking festival ends with Pippi’s day. 

Pippi Longstocking festival (Author: Ksenija Mikor)
Locals  and visitors can use safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly transport. You can use the free city bus named “LOKALC” or you can rent a bicycle.

We recommended a stay in Hostel Velenje, which is brand new and attractive hostel, located near the river, only a 5 minute walk from city centre and the main bus station. The hostel offers four rooms with wheelchair access and provides clean and comfortable accommodation. Near the Hostel Velenje is the Youth Centre Velenje, with daily activities. All over the hostel there is a WI-FI connection free of charge and there are also three computers at your disposal.

Youth Hostel Velenje
In the Tourist Information Centre Velenje you can get all information on what to do and discover, you’re your time in Velenje will be spent interesting and enjoyable.  It is located in the refurbished Villa Bianca.  

TOP 5:
- Lakes 
- Velenje Castle with panoramic view on Velenje
- Underground adventure in the Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia
- Festival of Youth and Culture Kunigunda
- The best ice cream

Feel free to contact us, we are glad to create a trip according to your wishes! Persons with disabilities have special attention!  

Kindly Welcome!

Villa Bianca
Stari trg 3
SI-3320 Velenje
Telefon: +386 3 896 18 60

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Welcome to Šempeter

Šempeter lies in the heart of Slovenia known as the Lower Savinja Valley, by the road that leads from Celje to Ljubljana. Because of its position, Šempeter can boast many sites of historical and cultural importance. But not only that, Šempeter is also a place where nature shows its beautiful side.

The Cave Pekel
Explore the magic karst cave, full of interesting cave structures that – with a bit of imagination – transform into most enchanting images. Such is, for example, the image of the devil above the cave entrance.

For millions of years the Ponikvica Stream ran through the Ponikvanski karts Plateau, trickled through limestone and, in the heart of the Lower Savinja Valley, carved the magnificent karst cave Pekel. With a bit of imagination, one can discern an image of the devil above the cave entrance. In the winter when the temperature in the cave is higher than the temperature outside, vapors can be seen coming out of the cave. That made people afraid of it, hence the name Pekel Cave (eng. hell). 

The Cave Pekel
The Pekel Cave is a karst cave with a long history. More than 3 million years old, it lies in the middle of the Ponikvanski kras region, about 4 km north of Šempeter in “Savinjski dolini” (Savinja Valley). The cave was created by the Ponikvica Stream that disappears in front of the cave and reappears in the cave as the Peklenščica Stream. The 1159-meter long path through the cave is easy and well maintained. 

Through the lower, water part of the cave runs the Peklenščica Stream, leading to the greatest monument in the cave, the 4-meter high waterfall. It is the highest underground waterfall in Slovenia that can be seen from the immediate vicinity. The upper part of the cave is dry and full of cave structures. Because the water is carrying many diferent minerals, the dripstones glitter in various shades of red and brown. 

The Cave Pekel

The Roman Necropolis
Almost 2,000 years ago, an immensely important Roman road was passing through Šempeter, connecting Roman towns Aquilea, Emona, Celeia and Poetovio (sl. Oglej–Ljubljana–Celje–Ptuj). Many powerful Roman patricians lived nearby and some were buried in the tombs of the Roman Necropolis in Šempeter. 

The Roman Necropolis is one of the most important and beautifully preserved Roman monuments in Slovenia and Central Europe. It is an open-air museum, exhibiting masterpiece tombs, works of the most skilled Roman craftsmen.

The Roman Necropolis
The discovery of the Necropolis happened quite coincidentally in 1952, when works in an orchard revealed a statue of a sitting woman. Few years after the excavation, the beautifully preserved archaeological site Roman Necropolis in Šempeter was opened. It is still seen as one of the most important remains from the Roman era. 

After the discovery of the Roman Necropolis, more than 600 items were found and over 100 family tombs excavated. The most beautiful tombs are the large tombs made of Pohorje marble, ornamented with the high-relief statues of the buried families. The Spectatius family tomb is the largest and is covered with reliefs of four seasons. The Ennius family tomb is said to be the most beautiful and depicts the mythical scene of Europe’s abduction. Every tomb tells its own 2,000-year-old story, describing antique mythology and Roman lifestyle.

One part of the tomb
There is a special discount for HI members who would like to visit the Roman Necropolis and the Cave Pekel. More information you can find on web page: 

Roman Road
East to the Roman Necropolis the remains of a Roman road Aquilea–Emona–Celeia–Poetovio were found. The road, altogether 9 metres wide, connected the ancient town of Aquilea (now Italy) with Slovene towns of Ljubljana, Celje and Ptuj. Along the 300 metres of the preserved road, are outlines of graves and tombs. The Roman road is a five-minute walk away from the archaeological site Roman Necropolis.

Roman Road
The St. Peter church
The church was first mentioned in a written document in 1256. The church was built in Romanesque style and later enlarged by late Gothic presbytery and bell tower. 

St. Peter’s Church
The exceptional statue of Madonna and Child dating in 1320 is the most remarkable monument in the church. Brought here from neighboring Novi Klošter, it shows Mother Mary with Child Jesus holding a dove. The statue is one of the most famous and beautiful Gothic statues in Slovenia. Few years ago, it was exhibited in the Louvre.

More information: 
Ob rimski nekropoli 2
3311 Šempeter v Savinjski dolini
Telefon: +386 3 700 20 56

Where you can book quality and affordable bed?

Youth Hostel Celje
MCC Hostel is located in a recently refurbished historical building that is highly efficient in the use of natural resources and is ecologically sound. The youth hotel offers 42 beds in 11 rooms, each one theme-decorated by a group of artists to take you into a parallel universe of myths and legends from Celje's history. You can be tucked to sleep by restless fish on the glittering surface of a lake, or use graphite to leave your mark in the room where you spent your best holiday ever, dress up as a real ninja, sample the spirit of the socialist past, or find out what in god's name Alfred Nobel was doing in Celje. 

Mariborska 2
3000 Celje
+386 (0)40 75 60 09

Friday, 16 May 2014

Lily of The Valley Festival - “festival solzic “

Lily of The Valley Festival is planning to connect local people and towns into a celebration, as a compliment to Prežihov Voranc, nature, people and cultural tradition beneath Uršlja gora. 

Lily of the valley festival is a new event in Koroška. It’s content is inspired by the heritage of Prežihov Voranc, and the way of living beneath Uršlja gora, as well as natural and cultural heritage in this area. In the end of May the festival, as a tourist attraction will bring together local towns and people into a celebration of Koroška. 

The festival will be held between the dates of 22nd and 25th of May, in the area beneath Uršlja gora. In the first two days, it will take place in Ravne na Koroškem and the last two days in Kotlje and “Prežihova bajta” – Lovro Kuhar’s memorial museum.  The festival brings numerous cultural events as well as entertainment and attracts a large audience with its programme.

Mitja Šipek, a local and a metallurgist with a soul of an artist and a profound ear for written and spoken dialect in Koroška, once wrote; “Koroški smo zmerom za muster bili”. These words were turned into music by a local singer-songwriter Milan Kamnik and spread across Koroška and further. They also spread to Austria, to the three valleys which we have lost in the 1920’s plebiscite, the Rož, Podjuna and Zilja valleys. The moral of this song which describes the local area, its wonderful people and beautiful surroundings has been captured into the festival which in its purpose represents the authenticity of Koroška and its way of living and forms a mosaic, made from the lives in the Mežiška, Mislinjska and Dravska valleys and its twelve municipalities which are in Koroška today. 

Mislinja Valley (Author - Tomo Jeseničnik );

Some of the events:

Thursday, May 22nd (18:30): opening of the festival in front of the city hall in Ravne, followed by a culture programme (including a photographic exhibition “Poklon Uršlji gori” by Sebastjan Oblak) and performance of Ravne’s famous wind orchestra accompanied by Helena Blagne (Ravne square – “Trg”).

Friday, May 23rd: (around noon) an exhibition and performance of some of the primary schools in the pleasant surroundings of Ravne’s square. In the afternoon there will be  lectures on wood, water, butterflies beneath Uršlja gora and plants and flowers with the healing effect (Restaurant Lečnik; terrace). In the afternoon Ravne square will be filled with the creations of amateur painters called “Vražje pemzlarke”. In the evening, Ravne’s wind orchestra will host Tereza Kesovija. Dinner beneath Lilies of valley will be served on the terrace of Restaurant Lečnik and is payable. Information and reservations available by phone: 041/759 490.

Saturday, May 24th, there will be a flower market, millennium photography, parachutists, cultural perpetuum mobile, written work at Prežih’s memorial museum, followed by Jazz performance in the evening at Toni’s (restaurant and local pub). The evening will be filled with music which originates from Koroška, in Kotlje’s town centre. 

Sunday, May 25th will begin with the cultural perpetuum mobile. There will be over 200 singers, joined in music and dancing, performing three songs titled: Rož, Podjuna, Zilja; Lipa and Dan Ljubezni. The festival will continue with Lily of the Valley dedicated to peace, call for peace, guest of honour and KOTL’JADO (cooking of an authentic stew). The day will end in the company of fairy-tale creatures from Koroška ( Perkmandeljs, Leški škrat, Dežela škratov Slovenj Gradec and Povodni mož) carrying a special message for adults!

Special attention will be given to Milenijska fotografija on Saturday at 12 o’clock. It is a form of directed photography created by a well-known Croatian photographer Šime Strikoman. There will be a shape of a Lily of the valley marked on a meadow near the Hrvat farm and people will be placed in this particular shape. Afterwards, the photographer, positioned on a fireman’s ladder 30 meters high will take photos. The participants in this photograph will be asked to wear white clothing which will symbolize Lily of the valley’s blossoms.  On this occasion we ask all people willing to participate, to join us in creating this photograph.

From beneath Uršlja gora we will send a Lily of the valley dedicated to peace as well as the call for peace into the world. The first Lily of the valley will be given to the president of Slovenia, who is considered to be the leading representative for peace. Without peace in the world, there is no live, no work, no health and no pleasure… Other Lilies of the valley will find its place in all cities all over the world, which are considered as Messengers of Peace. Koroška has this legitimacy: The Turkish invasions, WWI, the fight for Carinthia and Styria under general Maister and its devoted helper Franjo Malgaj, WWII - which ended in Koroška and Slovenia’s war for independence (border crossing Holmec).

Wreath made from Lilies of the valley serves as a dedication to those, who have contributed the most in promoting Koroška and Slovenia. An event named “Ta Gurši Gvant” (the most beautiful dress) will be held on Sunday and will take place simultaneously with all other events (from 10:00 to 14:00). At 14:00 there will be the proclamation of the winner. The winner will have to be wearing the most beautiful clothing from the past or be dressed in Koroška’s traditional costume. The purpose of this event is to point out those, who will attend the event in traditional costumes or clothing from the time of Prežihov Voranc or any other clothing suitable to the theme of the festival. With their outfit, visitors will be given the chance to honor the festival.

Where you can book quality and affordable bed?

The Youth Hotel Punkl is formed as an architecturally unique eco-friendly structure in lines with the natural and bio climatic surroundings of the area. The entire structure is made from massive wood and all the materials are in the highest possible amount natural. The hotel can accommodate up to 48 guests and its rooms enable organized activities for guests and visitors. There are eight rooms with sleeping accommodations each with its own bathroom. The rooms were formed in a flexible way so it is possible to stay in a double bed room as well as a room with four or eight beds. The rooms are lighted with natural lighting from all four sides, and the hotel is surrounded by green lawns and other wild vegetation. The youth hotel PUNK offers accommodation throughout the entire year for individuals and groups. The location is very near the sports park Ravne and the Cultural centre Ravne which offers visitors (Sports clubs, teams, school and business groups, and individuals) a variety of different sport and cultural activities. The youth hotel PUNKL is built under the wings of the Youth Centre Ravne.

We look forward to your visit!

Youth Hostel Punkl
Organizer of the event: 
Zavod za kulturo, šport, turizem in mladinske dejavnosti Ravne na Koroškem.

General information: 
TIC Ravne na Koroškem 
Gozdarska pot 18
2390 Ravne na Koroškem
Tel/fax: +386 (2) 82 21 219

Written by: Renata Picej

Thursday, 8 May 2014

A real adrenaline experience

Many do not know that landscape of Posavje offers a special treat, imbued with adrenaline. For all of you who want to get to know the green world of the river Krka in a relaxing way, learn surfing, check your ability to control the speed or embark on an adventure of skydiving, visiting the Posavje and Mc hostel Brezice is an excellent and the right choice.

Canoeing on the river Krka
Treat yourself to an unforgettable day spent in the mystical embrace of the river Krka and go on a new and different encounter with the beauty of nature with canoes. To complete the rowing adventure on river Krka’s little rapids you can rest on her banks, where you can find a beach resort with a natural river beach, volleyball and football court…

Wake Park
The lovers of sliding on the water surface are awaited by a real "beach resort", which has been used as a local swimming pool with clean water for years. Wakeboarding is a true global success and on the lake Borst there are located facilities for it as “Pop Up Tube", "Kicker" and "Rooftop", so you can try to wake.  On the floating terrace you can relax after a busy day, enjoy the water and watch the surfers in full action.

It is taken care of all you speed enthusiasts in “Raceland”, where you can rent go-karts. They offer several types of go-karts, as well as mini go-karts for children. All have a high level of protection, allowing a safe and fun ride. During the hot summer months, you can cool of with night driving under the spotlights.

Skydiving in a tandem
When you lack adrenalin on the hard ground, it is time that you go into the air and feel the unlimited freedom of flying. Skydiving will not only offer a real adrenaline experience, but will offer a unique view of the rounded hills, vineyards, castles and water in the municipality of Brezice.

Experience an unforgettable adrenaline package and visit Posavje and Mc hostel Brezice.

Gubčeva 10a
8250 Brežice
+386 (0)5 908 37 90