Thursday, 26 June 2014

Welcome to Lovely Ljubljana in the middle of Slovenia where love is everywhere

With its 280,000 residents Ljubljana ranks among the smaller European capitals. However, despite its size, it is large in charm, as it offers a wealth of history, tradition, style and arts & culture. Its location between Venice and Vienna lends the city an atmosphere that is both Central European and Mediterranean. Those knowing it better would also depict it as safe, green, multilingual and hospitable.

Sunny-day-at-Tromostovje (Author -  Julijan Kodrič); www.visitljubljana.si
Ljubljana's compact size, which favours walking and cycling, is one of its advantages, and the green natural environment is ideal for many recreational activities. The city is large enough to provide all the services and infrastructure of a capital, yet - as a cosy urban lounge, small enough to make visitors feel at home during their stay. 

Its image features a harmonic blend of Baroque, Art Nouveau and newer styles, complemented by a medieval hilltop castle and a river. A rich agenda of cultural events, from classical to alternative, a lively café society and an active youth scene fuelled by 60,000 university students contribute to Ljubljana's dynamic flair. 

The Ljubljana Castle (Author: Primož Hieng); www.visitljubljana.si
Moreover, it represents an ideal departure point to discover many of Slovenia’s nearby natural and cultural attractions, which by all means enhances a stay in Ljubljana.
More info: 
Krekov trg 10
1000 Ljubljana
Tel.: +386 (0)1 306 12 15


New Hostel Vila Veselova in Ljubljana centre


Why don't you spend the night in the villa? Vila Veselova has Certificate of Excellence 2013 by Tripadvisor, FREE breakfast, FREE coffee/tea, FREE WI-FI & computers and FREE SMILE ;). It’s located in the diplomatic area of the city, just around the corner from a few embassies (Austrian, German, American, Russian and Japanese) and within a walking distance to the town centre, main sights and other points of interest in Ljubljana.

Youth Hostel Vila Veselova
City's main park is just a stone throw away from the hostel and offers abundance of green area and relaxing walks.

Proximity of the major galleries and museums offer travelers endless opportunities to discover culture and history of the country.

Hostel Vila Veselova was also the home of one of the famous Slovenian architects Ciril Metod Koch who rose to prominence after the Ljubljana earthquake, when he reconstructed several buildings in the Vienna Secession style. Vila is enriched with over 140 years old decoration representing the soul of Ljubljana- modern but traditionally charming. It offers rest and chill out spots, a garden and a terrace.

Youth Hostel Vila Veselova
We offer spacious 8, 6 and 4 mixed dorm rooms, a double room, one 4-bed apartment and two kitchenettes. Gathering spots, hot drinks, syrups, air conditioning / fans, laundry, ironing, trips around Slovenia, free internet, luggage storage and own parking in the courtyard are also available.

Youth Hostel Vila Veselova

Veselova ulica 14
1000 Ljubljana
+386 (0)51 65 52 54

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Beauty of Portorož and Piran

Blue, white and green are the colors that would cross your mind, when you would think about Portorož and Piran. Blue is the color of the sea, which embraces our peninsula, part of the Slovenian Istria, chilling us in summer and warming us in winter. White is the color of the salt, which comes from the sea, and has brought wealth and growth to the town of Piran centuries ago. And green is the color of the Mediterranean vegetation that boasts various pine trees, olive groves, vines and aromatic spices, which complement the region with gorgeous fragrances and exquisite flavors.

Beach of Portoroz (Author - U. Trnkoczy); www.slovenia.info
Since the 13th century, Portorož has been known as a health resort. Here the monks of St. Laurence treated the patients with seawater and salt water and their curative effects were widely known. Today, Portorož has many modern, comfortable hotels offering high-quality services, seawater and thermal water swimming pools, restaurants, big congress halls, casinos, a marina and an airport. You can enjoy walkways and biking trails as well as numerous sports and recreation facilities, relax and explore the coast by means of boat trips.

Piran (Author - Barbara Kožar); www.slovenia.info
The old sea town of Piran has preserved the clustered medieval structure with narrow winding streets and houses, huddled close together, rising in cascades towards the ridge of the hill, which gives it a typical Mediterranean character. The city architecture was strongly influenced by the Venetian Republic, the strongest naval and commercial force in the Adriatic from the 10th century onwards. Saltpans gave the town strength and freedom, the sea provided fish in abundance for the fishermen and the access to the outside world for the merchants. Still today, Piran remains closely connected to the sea by means of fishing and salt taking. At the end of the 13th century, Tartini Square became the central square of Piran. It was named after the famous violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini (1692 – 1770) who made the name of his hometown known all over Europe. Take a stroll across the 1st May Square, enter the Church of St. George and visit the Franciscan Monastery.  Don’t forget to have a look at the protective wall surrounding the town. From there, on a clear day you will have a wonderful view of the Bay of Piran and a part of the Italian coast. Children and their parents will enjoy looking at different sea creatures in the Aquarium or visiting the Maritime Museum. Art lovers can satisfy their curiosity in Coastal Galleries exhibiting works by many renowned Slovenian and foreign artists.

Today, the town of Piran together with Portorož, it is an important tourist resort with numerous museums and galleries, hotels and restaurants, offering the visitors cultural events for any taste and attracting tourists with its picturesque geographical position and rich cultural heritage. 

Ice cream Festival in Portorož
For the first time visitors will have the opportunity to taste different types and of ice cream at the Ice cream Festival that will take place on the 22nd of June 2014 in Portorož

In Piran there are a lot of different kind of events going on in summer like the Wine and Chard Festival that is held from the 12th until the 13th of July 2014 in the typical Istrian village of Nova vas where locals open their homes, offering a variety of homemade products, delicacies made of chard and typical local wines. In the evening visitors are invited to join the village fete with Istrian folk music. 

Slovenian wine producing (Author - A. Fevžer ); www.slovenia.info
From the 2nd till the 7th of July the International Mediterranean Folklore Festival – MIFF will take place in Piran on the Tartini Square and the Square of 1st May. The aim of the festival is to present to the public Mediterranean dances, music, singing and culture. You can enjoy the performances of folklore groups from Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Greece. 

The event Piran Musical Evenings traditionally takes place every summer, this year from the 11th of July until the 8th August 2014, at the cross-shaped arcade of St. Francis Church in the very heart of the old town of Piran.  It is a pleasure for the lovers of chamber music and those who like to attend classical concerts by various performers. The festival is organized by the Portorož Auditorium.

Piran, Tartini square (Author - Barbara Kožar); www.slovenia.info
Movie fans can enjoy Cinema under the stars that will take place every Wednesday at 9.30 PM in the month of July and August in the Pastoral Cultural Centre Georgios in Piran. 

On weekends Kanela Bar situated in the centre of Portorož offers a variety of concerts suitable for every age and music taste. Along the Portorož promenade visitors will find discos, cocktail bars and pubs with a wide offer of events, parties and concerts.

If you are thrilled about sea adventures, then this is your world, as the sea offers various experiences. While you enjoy sailing, you will lose track of time. The wind is also suitable for surfing. You can row to a fish farm and a seas shell farm near Sečovlje Salina or you can go there on a SUP (i.e. stand up paddle).While diving, you will get to know the underwater life and hidden shipwrecks. More info about water sports: http://ow.ly/ydlBH

Piran, beach (Author - Bobo); www.slovenia.info
The Piran countryside offers genuine experiences and it gives you a special feeling as if time has stopped. Old stone cottages sit high above the sea on the hilltops of Slovenian Istria. From here, you have a view of the sea and the Alps, olive groves, vineyards on steep hills and valleys strewn with orchards and vegetable gardens.

The hinterlands of Portorož and Piran are also great starting points for cycling, hiking and horseback riding trips in the diverse Slovenian Istria. To make it easier to explore Slovenian Istria, we have prepared a free guide, "Enjoy the Hinterland" in print and an e-version. It is intended for those who would like to enjoy the attractions of Slovenian Istria by bicycle, on foot or on horseback. We offer 17 options for bicycle tours, 19 ideas for hikes and three for trips on horseback. Altogether, there are 39 different trails presented in this guide. The free brochure "Enjoy the Hinterland" is available at our tourist information offices in Portorož and Piran or on our website http://ow.ly/ydlzg

Portorož (Author - Klemen Kunaver); www.slovenia.info

Where you can book quality and affordable beds?
Hostel Portorož is situated on the highest point in Portorož, 150 meters above sea level, on 25 Šentjane Street, 300 meters air distance from the sea, one kilometer from the nearest beach and 2 kilometers from the main beach of Portorož. The main house and its outhouses are situated in the middle of a large, 5000 m2 estate that offers everything a vacationer could desire: numerous possibilities for strolling, sporting and relaxation. Pergolas that offer shade, open and covered terraces for socializing, grill areas for outdoor cooking and lush meadows invite utter indulgence in sunny days and sultry nights. All of the above we offer our guests without limitations or additional cost. 

Youth Hostel Portorož
Hostel Portorož has about 70 beds in fully furnished apartments with kitchen, bathrooms, terraces or balconies. Apartments include two to four bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, kitchen, a terrace or a balcony with beautiful sea views – and of landscape! The rooms are set up so that all beds can be used as singles or as doubles, with a lockable closet for every bed. 

Youth Hostel Portorož
Furthermore, we offer 22 beds in two multi-bed rooms on our ground floor with a sea view in front of a big stone atrium with outside shower, places to lay or sit down, tables and a barbecue. Also, the multi-bed rooms have their own fully equipped kitchen and big bathrooms with enough showers, toilets and lavabos, as well as air conditioning. The house has 13 fully equipped kitchens and 21 shower enclosures. Contact us, come over and enjoy.

Šentjane 25
6320 Portorož
+386 (0)51 65 06 30

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Spotlight on group hostels in Slovenia

Slovenia is a country full of contrasts, offering a whole host of exciting places to see, landscapes to admire and great hostels to stay in. With such a range of areas to explore, this Central European country is ideal for all types of group trips. From educational travel focusing on subjects such as history, art or language studies, to extracurricular school and college group travel, to active sports trips with groups of friends, HI Groups hostels in Slovenia provide safe, cost-effective and quality-assured accommodation for groups of all kinds.

Kobarid, Drežnica(Author-Paolo Petrignani); www.slovenia.info
Whether you want an active trip rafting, canoeing or mountaineering – or a more relaxing break sightseeing or chilling out by a thermal lake, Slovenia provides the perfect way to do it all on a budget.

Experience a trip to remember and take your pick from our lovely group hostels

Hostel Koca Suha is surrounded by the unspoilt nature of Triglav National Park, right by the crystal clear Lake Bohinj, where you’ll be spoilt for a choice of outdoor activities. From rafting and canoeing to climbing and paragliding, this is an ideal base for any group looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Lake Bled and the medieval town of Skofja Loka are also easily reached from the hostel and for spectacular views, groups can take the cable car up to Mount Vogel.


Hostel Ljubljana is situated in the capital of Slovenia and it’s ideally located for groups wishing to explore the city in depth. A bus station is conveniently directly outside the hostel, with buses running frequently to and from the city centre, meaning visitors can opt to explore Slovenia’s largest shopping centre, the BTC, many of the cafes and speciality shops or the nearby water park. With more than 400 shops, a fascinating history and architecture, restaurants and cinemas, it is no wonder people flock here regularly and the number of visitors grow year on year.


Youth Hostel Proteus stands in the centre of Postojna, a city that was named after the world famous Postojna ‘Jewels of Nature’ cave – which is only 800m away from the hostel itself.  If caves do not take your group’s fancy, also within reach of the hostel are several restaurants offering delicious cuisine, a shopping mall and a variety of bars and cafes. The city centre offers endless possibilities to practise sports, from basketball to handball, football to tennis and a children’s playground for the little ones.


Youth Hostel Celje is near the old town centre in a beautiful refurbished historic building, with rooms decorated to match local myths and legends. This historic city has a wealth of ancient monuments as well as a lively nightlife and good restaurants. It is perfect for groups wishing to experience the rich and varied Slovenian history. The hostel is set within the local youth centre, meaning that it’s great for socialising with other groups, as well as joining in with regular sporting activities.


The bright modern Hostel Pekarna is based in the second largest city of Slovenia, Maribor, just an hour and a half drive from the capital Ljubljana. Renowned for its great restaurants, historic and cultural sights as well as vibrant nightlife, it is a great base combing both city life and relaxed atmosphere. Spice up your day and visit the local vineyards, go hiking or mountain biking to nearby Pohorje Mountain or simply take in the views on the enchanting riverside walk. The hostel can cater for any group and even offers modern apartments with their own kitchenette and bathroom – perfect for a group of friends or a family trip.


Which hostel caught your attention? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment in the box below or email us at groups@hihostels.com.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Soča Outdoor Festival

The Festival's second edition will offer an unforgettable flow on the water, in the air, on trails and evening parties. Cyclists will be searching for this exciting state of mind on the numerous trails across mountain pastures of the Soča valley, and find their peace cycling on The Walk of Peace. You will be able to join organized tours with experienced guides, or satisfy your competitive spirit in the Soča MTB Marathon, the Eliminator or this year's innovation – SloEndure Race. The valley and its attractive running paths are already trembling with anticipation. We expect the recreational runners to take over the beautiful trails along Soča on the Vzajemna Alpe Adria Run. Those more passionate will have the opportunity to compete on Soča Trail Run which will be especially spiced up this year.

Tolmin, Kobarid 4. - 6. 2014; www.soca-outdoor.com
The challenging days will end with evening entertainment, such as the Climbing race and the parties with live music in Kobarid. This town already proved to be a suitable host to the adrenaline spectacle. Tolmin has already gained recognition as a festival town and we will try come up to its past standards, set by the previous music festivals. From the morning on, the visitors will be encouraged and entertained with electronic music played by several DJs, while the main stage in Kobarid will be reserved for outstanding music bands. There is no doubt that many of the sports people and their teams will have enough energy left to partake in the late-night Afterpaties.


The festival will also be family-friendly with special riverside places where animation and day care for children will be organized.


Where you can book quality and affordable bed?
You can slep in Hostel Paradiso, which located on the first floor of Paradiso bar, in the center of Tolmin. It is suitable for travelers, passers-by, younger and older single travelers, but also families. All the rooms are very simple and attractive, with the interior furniture – bunk beds, tables, beds – handcrafted of solid wood. Everything in the room and Hostel itself is made of spruce, oak and mahogany wood. There is a closet for every guest to use, an armchair or a settee, a table... Hostel has a common living space of approximately 100m2, with two computers, TV and its own mini library.


Youth Hostel Paradiso
Gregorčičeva 2
5220 Tolmin
+386 (0)40 300 518
paradiso@youth-hostel.si

Friday, 13 June 2014

Kamnik. Another world. So close.

Kamnik is one of the oldest Slovene towns, situated at the foot of the Kamnik Alps, offering its visitors many adventures - not only in its old town center but also in its picturesque surroundings with breathtaking views, unspoiled nature and well preserved cultural heritage.

Kamnik is a town of kind people, tradition, history and wealthy heritage with a warm soul, to which you are kindly invited, for a stroll through its riches and its beautiful surroundings.

Author-Matej Vranič; www.slovenia.info
Your first stop should be the old town center and the Kamnik Tourist Information Center on Main Square. Here you will get firsthand information about its sights and a town map so that you can easily find your way while sightseeing. Visit the Mali grad chapel and the enchanted countess Veronica the symbol of Kamnik, who is still guarding a treasure in the ruins of Mali grad, waiting for her savior.

Author-Aleš Frelih; www.kamnik-tourism.si
The spring of Kamniška Bistrica River is a wonderful destination. You can take a walk around the small lake at the spring and watch how crystal clear water rushes out of rocks. For those who prefer scenic views a visit to the perfect world of Alpine beauties, the valley of river Kamniška Bistrica, and hike up the breathtaking mountains in a must. You can also spend active days on the unique plateau of Velika planina with its historic and well-preserved settlement of shepherd’s huts. The herdsmen’s settlement on Velika planina is one of the few settlements of this size in Europe. Its distinctive architecture became a symbol of this mountain plateau and it attracts numerous visitors all year round. The roofs of cottages are covered with wooden shingles that almost touch the ground.

Author-Aleš Fevžer; www.slovenia.info
The idyllic valley of Tuhinj offers you a chance to be pampered in Snovik, the highest altitude thermal spa in Slovenia. Find a whole new level of energy at the Natural Healing Resort in the village of Tunjice and take a walk through the magnificent and colorful environment of Arboretum Volčji potok where you can take a stroll among the numerous plantations of various flowers and more than 3000 sorts of trees and shrubs from around the world. For the gentleman who likes to keep an active life style the Arboretum offers a golf course, which is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Slovenia.

Tunjice; Archive - Natural healing resorts
In Zgornje Palovče you can visit Budnar museum House, an old homestead with a black kitchen built 350 years ago.  Nevlje is yet another interesting village waiting to be explored. Archaeological excavations on Romšaks field in Vrhpolje prove that people lived here already in Prehistoric Times. In the middle of the 20th century, workers who were building a new bridge on this site came across some extraordinary stumps. Experts later found that these were actually bones of a mammoth which lived here about 20.000 years ago.


Kamnik is a lively town, close to its people and the site of numerous events. The Traditional National Costume Festival is an annual event that takes place during the second weekend of September and attracts the largest number of visitors. The town and its surroundings also offer a splendid selection of typical local dishes, united under “The Taste of Central Slovenia”. Embraced by Kamnik-Savinja Alps and so close to Ljubljana (only 25 km) an unforgettable experience of the mountains, the countryside and a medieval town awaits you. Discover rich cultural tradition or just boost your energy. Search for hidden corners of Kamnik and its surroundings or just simply “taste” Kamnik.


And last but not least Kamnik also tends to budget travelers with a modern HI Hostel Pod Skalo, which offers 9 two-bedded rooms, a three-bedded room and from this year forth a room for ten people. All guests get free Wi-Fi access, a secure bike shed (also for motorbikes), shuttle transport to the airport and tourist destinations in Kamnik and it even features a local pub where you can get a drink or play table soccer or throw darts. Nearby you can also find an open air swimming pool (for the summer), tennis courts and beach volley.

Glavni trg 2
1240 Kamnik
Tel: 00386 (0)1 831 81 91

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Festival Brezice, my town

In Brezice we will welcome summer with the festival “Brezice, my town”, which will take place from 24th until 29th of June.  A number of entertainment, cultural and sports events invite all ages, from the youngest to those of more mature years.


In the early days of the festival there will be a lot of diverse smaller events such as stand-up comedy, drum-painting spectacle, bread and salami in the castle courtyard and a Day of wine.


The old town center will come alive on Friday evening when the rich concert scene will be opened by a "Summer Night" with Slovenian stars Elda Viler, Oto Pestner, Maja Keuc and the host of the event Nusa Derenda. An unforgettable conclusion of the evening will be in the hands of a legendary Croatian band Hladno pivo. The following Saturday evening a Slovenian electro-swing ensemble Manouche will perform on the big stage and the musical experience of this year will be concluded with a performance of the pop queen Severina! 


For visitors and their gastronomic experience shall be taken care of with a culinary project “ Kuhna Na Ulci”, which will be implemented by the established methods of "Street Food" cuisine.

During the festival there will be a lot of events for children as well as for sports enthusiasts. The event Hypo kindergarten for children will happen in the embrace of a city park. We will run with Olympic athlete Primoz Kozmus and the bravest hikers will be embarked on a three-day journey to our site within the event “Mars Bresce".


The festival will conclude on the water terrace at First Wake Park on Boršt. 

Mc hostel Brezice, a hostel for all generations, prepared great discounts during the festival. It is located near the city park and only a few minutes away from the castle Brezice and the city center so visitors can be constantly in touch with the latest happenings at the festival. 


Mc hostel Brezice and festival “Brezice, my town” invite you to join them and dive in the summer together. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Ajdovščina, a land of active experiences

Ajdovščina is situated in the heart of Vipava valley, a green and fertile land, which provides visitors with a wide palette of experiences for people of all tastes.

Discover the beauty of Vipava valley from the seat of a bicycle: ride along the Hubelj and Vipava Rivers, cycle through orchards and vineyards over the Vipava Hills or climb the Trnovo Plateau and Hrušica.

Foto Janez Medvešek; www.tic-ajdovscina.si  
Discover the Gora Plateau, a number of hiking trails intertwine here and the area’s natural features will en-chant you: from caves and basins to the diverse world of animal and plant life. Explore Vipava valley through the Otliško okno (the Otlica Window), a large natural opening in the edge of the plateau.

Foto Janez Medvešek; www.tic-ajdovscina.si 
Take off from Ajdovščina’s airport in a powered parachute or paraglider accompanied by experienced pilots and experience an unforgettable panoramic flight over Vipava valley. Fly from the Kovk on the Gora Plateau airfield for tandem skydiving and discover the magic of flight. 


Try our excellent Vipava wine, especially the autochthonous types, Pinela and Zelen. Sweeten things up with some of our juicy Vipava fruit and taste our typical dishes at tourist farms and in restaurants. 


Where you can book quality and affordable bed in Ajdovščina?
You will be warmly welcome in Hostel Ajdovščina, which is located on the fringes of town in Pale Sport Park. Hostel is a fascinating architectural structure with numerous wooden and stone details and a gable roof, cov-ered with terracotta tiles, which instantly resembles a traditional Vipava house. The interior, in spite of a modern approach, is bright, warm and inviting as well, due to the fact that its furniture is mostly made of wooden materials. The hostel offer 50 beds, breakfast, free internet in all the rooms and in the web corner, at the info point  the information for tourist and entertainment events in Ajdovščina and its surroundings is at hand.

Youth Hostel Ajdovščina

Welcome!

Events:
- Days of the Gora Plateau: July 13th – Tiha dolina na Predmeji
- Vodice Night: July 26th – Vodice pri Colu
- Recreational Cycling Race in Predmeja: August 31st – start at Lavričev trg (Lavrič Square)

Cesta IV. Prekomorske 61 a
5270 Ajdovščina
+386 5 36 59 140

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Koper, a Town of History, Culture and Tradition

The history of Koper dates all the way back to the Bronze Age – the rocky island was first settled in the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE. Thanks to a mild climate and fertile soil, a variety of activities soon developed in the area, fostering the flourishing of agriculture, crafts and trade. Throughout its history, Koper changed hands a number of times and was ruled by Romans, the Byzantine Empire and the Franks, until it was taken over by the Republic of Venice. The mighty Venetians ruled over this territory for a total of five centuries (from the 13th to the 18th century), leaving an indelible mark on the town’s architecture. This period saw an economic and cultural boom, the remains of which have been preserved until today. After the fall of the Venetians, the Slovenian Istria became a part of Napoleon’s Illyrian Provinces, later passing into the hands of Austria, Italy and Yugoslavia. 

Tito square (Author - Ubald Trnkoczy); www.koper.si
Capris, Insula Capraria (“Goat Island”), Insula Capritana, Iustinopolis, Caput Histriae (“Head of Istria”) and Capo d'Istria – these are the many names this beautiful town has borne in various periods of its rich and colourful history.

Arriving in Koper today, visitors see a typical Mediterranean town, bordered on one side by the sea and on the other by rolling hills dotted with picturesque little villages. A walk through the streets and squares of the town centre uncovers its exciting history, while people who venture into the hinterland are met with countless opportunities for leisure activities and relaxation. Koper boasts a lively atmosphere all year round, but it gets particularly busy in summer. The town organises a range of now-traditional festivals and events that attract large numbers of visitors, who also delight in the pleasant Mediterranean climate and traditional Istrian cuisine. Koper has developed into a major centre of economy and tourism. For some years now, it has also been a university town. 

Carpaccio square (Author - Ubald Trnkoczy); www.koper.si
Town Sights

- The Praetorian Palace: Koper’s finest palace also serves as the town hall; it houses a restored apothecary collection, a wedding hall and the city council hall.
- The City Tower – Belfry: a majestic beauty spot that offers panoramic views of the whole Koper and Trieste Bay.
- The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption: one of Slovenia’s largest churches, it houses an important painting by the Venetian artist Vittore Carpaccio – the oldest depiction of the former island town, Koper.
- Taverna: This erstwhile salt warehouse is now a popular event venue.
- Da Ponte Fountain: built in 1666, it was long used as a source of drinking water; today, it is one of the town’s most enchanting sights. 
- The Muda Gate: the main gate of the former island town.
- Fontico: The oldest building on Brolo square, it was used in the past as a granary. It bears the oldest depiction of Koper’s coat-of-arms.
- The Koper Regional Museum: distinguished by over 100 years of tradition, the museum holds exhibits connected to the history and tradition of Koper and the local area. It is housed in the majestic Belgramoni-Tacco Palace, which also features a beautiful garden with a lapidarium.
- The Škocjanski zatok Nature Reserve: the largest brackish wetland in Slovenia is the natural habitat of countless bird species, indigenous boškarin cattle, Camargue horses and other animal and plant species.
- The Vinakoper Wine Cellar: the largest wine cellar in the Slovenian Istria, it boasts a number of prestigious titles won by its top quality wines, as well as the largest wine barrel in Europe.

Author - Ubald Trnkoczy, www.koper.si
Events:

Istrian Carnival
Carnival celebrations have a long tradition in the Slovenian Istria. In the old days, people in villages and towns alike dressed up in costumes to drive away winter – a custom that has survived until the present day. On Carnival Saturday, there is a parade with floats, music and costumed participants walking through Koper. For more information, visit www.istrski-karneval.si.

All about Koper
The Municipality of Koper comprises a total of 23 local communities. Every year in May, they hold a fair in the town centre, showing their village customs, traditions and typical Istrian cuisine to visitors from near and far.

Refosco Festival
The Slovenian Istria is also known as the Land of Refosco. It is the home of an indigenous variety of grape, grown by winemakers throughout the region and used to make the characteristic Refosco wine. The Refosco Festival sees the producers of this popular wine come together in Marezige, where they hold a wine tasting and competition.
Author - Ubald Trnkoczy; www.slovenia.info
Sweet Istria
Slovenia’s largest festival of sweets and desserts, Sweet Istria is organised every year in the second half of September and never fails to attract countless visitors to Koper. The event comprises over 100 stands with participants from the Slovenian Istria, Slovenia and other countries offering more than 300 sweet products to visitors to taste and buy. For more information, visit www.sladka-istra.si.

The Slovenian Istria Agriculture Days
The Slovenian Istria Agriculture Days take place on the first weekend in October. Participants from various branches of agriculture set up stands offering a host of homemade produce, products and culinary delights. There is also an exhibition of typical Istrian animals, which always proves particularly popular with the youngest visitors. For more information, visit .

Youth Hostel Koper
Where you can book quality and affordable bed?
Hostel Histria offers you accommodation in a renewed typically Istrian house, situated in the old center of the town. The friendly staff will do its best to offer you all the information needed. The hostel offers six and eight bedded dormitories on 3 floors with free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel area and a computer. Sheets are included in the price while towels are available to lease. At the reception you can also buy coupons for buffet breakfast that is served in the nearest caffetteria with the view on the Prešernov square.

Titov trg 3, Koper (The Praetorian Palace)
T: +386 5 6646 403

Monday, 2 June 2014

In the embrace of the Lipizzaner

There is no Slovene, who would not at least hear of Lipica, if not visit it already. It’s the cradle of the world famous white Lipizzaner horses. Most of us first saw these noble beasts at the end of the school year, when we had our school excursion to Lipica

@Dušan Berdnik
The easiest way to reach Lipica is by motorway Ljubljana – Trst (Trieste) at the exit “Sežana – vzhod” and then just follow the signs for the remaining 5 kilometers. The stud farm at Lipica is the original stud farm where the bread of Lipizzaner began and it’s among the oldest cultivated horse breeds in the world. With a tradition of almost four and a half centuries it is among the oldest stud farms in the world as well and one of the most beautiful cultural-historical heritage sights of Slovenia, offering a home to 350 white horses. These noble horses come to world dark and are becoming gray as they mature until they in the end get the typical white colour. Fully matured dark horses are rear, but there is one such example of a black stud in Lipica today. The Stud farm was established in the distant year of 1580 on May 19th, when the archduke Charles II of the Habsburg dynasty bought the estate of Lipica in order to start breeding good horses for military and civil purposes. The beauty and spirit of the vivid Kars landscape are therefore woven into the very essence of the Lipizzaner horses. The conditions for breeding the Lipizzaner horses are optimal in Lipica, and they have also developed their own riding school. In 2011 a museum called the Lipikum opened its door at Lipica, in order to further emphasize the history and importance of these majestic horses. 

@Dušan Berdnik
Restless history, uncertain future
Since the establishment in 1580 and all the way to the modern times Lipica had its ups and downs. The state got new buildings over various periods of time. Around 1780 the entire estate covered 2317ha of area. As one might imagine, the times of wars were really troublesome times for the stud farm, which had seen its share of them: the Napoleonic wars, and both first and second world war. After the 2nd world war the stud house did not seem to have a future, but the stud house got a state visit in 1960 by the Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito and his wife. It was between 1970-80 that Lipica started gaining world recognition and has developed its own tourist offers. Despite all the harsh times in the past, the breeding of the horses has continued all the way until today.

@Dušan Berdnik
Lipica today
The stud house is still breeding horses and conducts the selection and training of the horses. It also keep the books on the pure bred horses blood lines and is active in advising how to breed the Lipizzaner horses. The stud house also protects the cultural heritage and is managing the real-estate at the site of the cultural heritage site. Among other things they also host events, which are mostly of cultural or horse breeding / horse riding nature. They also participate in protocol events on the national and international level. In 2008 the stud house was visited by Elisabeth, the queen of England, along with the archduke of Edinburgh. The stud house is also frequently visited by the Slovenian president Borut Pahor. At the entrance there is a large asphalt parking place, which is free of charge for the visitors of the stud house. At Lipica they also take a lot of care about animating the youngest visitors, so it’s a real family experience. There are play areas for children and they get to ride pony horses, or participate in various programs under the watchful guidance of the staff. The main program for the children takes place every Monday and it is called the Valentinčkov program.

@Dušan Berdnik
Several of the programs include petting, brushing, or feeding the horses, naturally under the supervision of the staff. So if you’ve ran out of ideas where to take the kids for a great birthday – at Lipica they offer a whole day programme for children birthday celebrations, which include horses! 

And for all of you backpackers and other travellers who hold the Hostelling International membership card, you are entitled to receive the student discount. The discount is valid for the guided tour of the stud house Lipica, the presentation of the classical horse riding school and the visit to the classical horse riding school. We also organize weddings and take you on a romantic ride by horse drawn buggy, through a Viennese alley of trees. The stud house offers something for each taste and is appropriate for visitors of all age groups. We assure you, it’s a place you will want to revisit after seen ig and every time you’ll take the spirit of the Lipizzaner with you.

More info at: www.lipica.org.