Monday, 30 May 2016

Preddvor – the court of peaceful nature

10 km from of Kranj and 26 km from Ljubljana is town Preddvor – the court of peaceful nature. Although the moto of Preddvor is calm, Preddvor offers numerous options of sport activities. The village by the foot of the mountains Storžič (2132 m) and Zaplata are great starting points for hikers. The outstanding nature will enchant you on easy walks as well. Preddvor offers the right balance between relaxation and active holidays. Sightseeing will satisfy the ones with a love for culture. 


The centre of Preddvor represents square Dvorski trg, which includes the church of St. Peter with a presbytery, an abandoned cemetery, a small chapel, a manor with a park, an old school (nowadays a municipality), a cultural centre and a monument for the victims of the Second World War. Nearby lies Lake Črnava, surrounded by a settled walking path and a marked forest learning path. Next to the lake are the Bor hotel, the Hrib castle with a famous wedding avenue and a sequoia forest. 


Within the cultural sights you can sightsee numerous churches of Preddvor: the church of St. Peter with an old cemetery, the church of St. Jakob, the church of St. Miklavž, the church of St. Egidius, the church of St. Lenart, the church of St. Klemen and the church of St. Nikolaj. Preddvor is also a birthplace of Josipina Urbančič Turnograjska, the first Slovenian female poet, writer and composer. On the Turn castle you can see her memorial room, a pergola and a park. On the slope by the main road stands the Guentzel’s villa with a luxuriously dissected façade and exotic trees in a large garden. Under Kališče stands a Partisan hospital Košuta which worked from 1943 to October 1944. Preserved is a wooden shack with dispensary equipment. On a rock in vicinity is a memorial plate with names of 8 soldiers, who died in the hospital. 

Sport activities
Preddvor is a starting point for many mountain tracks. There are also some themed routes of Preddvor: The Chamois path, The path of four castles in Preddvor, The short educational path through the woods in Preddvor, The path to St. Jakob and The Old transport route. Cyclist can choose a trip along the longest Slovenian village Kokra where are located 4 cycling stops. You can decide to go nordic walking, swimming in the Črnava lake in warm season, play a game of tennis and beach volley or explore the 14 settlements of Preddvor on a run. 


Nature sights

The Kokra valley
Kokra lies on a juncture of the tallest peaks of Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe in the east and the Karavanke in the west. Due to its position and closeness of the river, Kokra valley is a true paradise for picnics in nature in the summertime. Fishing in the river is one of the most attractive activities for the experts in fly fishing because it demands knowledge and skills of all the tricks to catch trout from their pools. 


Hudičev boršt - The Devil’s forest
The Zaplata mountain is famous for its unusual forested ‘spot’ on its otherwise bare slopes. The legend says that Zaplata was created by the devil himself; he carried the forest to the mountain to take it away from two neighbours who argued about who owned it. This is also why Preddvor's souvenir is a wooden figure of the devil carrying a forest on his shoulder.


The culinary experience
A vast culinary offer will comply with all flavours and desires. You can choose from local menus to a prestigious service and you will not be disappointed. Try a local dish »posmodulja«, drink coffee by the lake, order a pizza, a dessert or a four-course meal, the choice is yours.

Accommodation 
For young visitors we warmly recommend the Young Hostel, which is located in Kranj, only 10 km from our village.

Visit Preddvor and experience embrace of nature!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Rome to Trieste (and back) for 100 Euros

Do you want some adventure? Then buy a ticket to Trieste and hop across the border to Slovenia. Alitalia airline now offers a great deal. You can travel from Rome to Trieste and back in May or June for around 100 euros, which is a great price. From Trieste, you can rent a car or go to Koper by bus. Why wait, come to beautiful Slovenia.

@Author: Matej Kolakovič; store.matejkolakovic.com
But what can I see in Koper, you ask me. Well, it’s a beautiful city near the sea and has a lot of sights, like Pratorian Palace, which also serves as the town hall, the city tower, which offers panoramic views of the whole city and Trieste Bay or you can go drink wine at Vinakoper Wine Cellar. And now that I got your attention, read the article for more suggestions. Of course, Koper isn’t the only city near the sea. There’re Izola, Portorož, Piran and Ankaran, each with its own charm and history, so you will have lots to do. 

@Author: Matej Kolakovič; store.matejkolakovic.com
There’s a beautiful biking trail that runs near the sea so you can refresh yourself at any moment if you decide for an active holiday. If you’re a fan of active holidays, you can visit Kranjska Gora and explore nature and cultural heritage or stay a little closer to the sea and explore Geopark in Idrija, the choice is yours. What else can I recommend? If you want more suggestions on what to visit, I recommend you to visit our blog Say Hi to Alpe Adria and see what interests you. The beautiful pictures will definitely convince you to visit our small country.

@Author: Matej Kolakovič; store.matejkolakovic.com
And if I convinced you with the suggestions, I can convince you that we have some great hostels for cheap and comfortable accommodation. For example, in Idrija, you can stay at Youth Hostel Idrija, where you will also be able to park for free. Then we have hostel Histria in Koper, which is in the same building as the pub Ulica pri velikih vratih. Certainly interesting and good for your taste buds, if you like drinking beer. And my last suggestion was Kranjska Gora, where you can sleep at Youth Hostel Barovc above the lakes Jasna on the outskirts of the Triglav National Park.


You can find more photos of beautiful Slovenia, taken by the photographer Matej Kolakovič, on this website: store.matejkolakovic.com.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Brežice, my town

Festival with a soul that would be a sin not to visit.

Only a few days separate us from the largest Festival in Posavje, which will be held for the 12th year in a row. Who would have thought that such a small town on the left bank of the Sava river can in the summer months would become so loved and visited? 


Believe it or not, Brežice can do all this and much more. This summer will be marked by indescribable fun, crazy adventures and memories that will last forever. The program, which the organizers are preparing for this year's summer is more than great, because there's something for everyone. 

WHAT TO DO AT THE FESTIVAL?
On the opening of the festival on 24th June you will be able to enjoy by the sound of accordion and some wine and taste some amazing local products at the courtyard of Brežice castle. If you are a fan of good local cuisine, do not miss this day. The second day of the Festival, on 25th of June will mark the traditional 6th Castle antique market. Every collector will find something for him and his soul at this market. Of course there will also be some good music on the second day The third day of the Festival, starting on 26th of June, will be marked by the Museum Day. Castle Brežice will hold a temporary exhibition in the late afternoon, with which we will remember life and work of academician Jože Toporišič. And for even more fun, the opening of the summer cinema will also happen in the courtyard of Brežice castle, which you will simply enjoy. 


The fourth day of the Festival, on 29th of June will be slightly differently coloured as the previous three days, because a three-day, so called »March in Bresce« will start. Small group of hikers will begin their march on 100 km long journey from the capital Ljubljana all the way to the heart of the Festival events in the old town of Brežice. For a little fun, there will also be a concert of prospective young artist Ditka late in the afternoon on the summer terrace in front of the City Hall. The fifth day of the Festival, on 1st of July will be culinary marked once again. In the park in front of the Municipality Brežice a culinary experience »Kuhna na ulci« will be held, which will serve you with excellent domestic and international cuisine. Massive dose of fun and full tummy are more than guaranteed. Local singer Nuša Derenda with selected guests and Croatian pop band Jinx will take care for the party.


The 2nd of July we will take care of the children with an interesting programme. In the park at Mc Brežice so called Leprechaun magic will be held. There will also be taken care of recreation. You will have the opportunity to do a round or two with Olympic and world champion Primož Kozmus. In the evening the singer Alya will perform on the main stage.  The old town will become even hotter whenthe legendary pop rock band Parni valjak will come on stage. The entire festival events will be completed on 3rd of July on the First Wake park, where so called Shooder Jam will happen and offer windsurfing, SUPing and many others activities. If you want to take a small break after an exhausting festival weekend, an attractive beach in the middle of Boršt is more than the right choice for you. 


You can visit the largest festival in Posavje – »Brežice, my town« from 24th of June from 6pm and till 3rd of July. Entry to the Festival is completely free of charge. If you are thinking about where to go last week in June, this kind of festival is the right choice for you. 

WHERE TO SLEEP AFTER A HARD NIGHT?
Worried about where to sleep after an exhausting festival night? Don't worry, because we were thinking about everything. Mc Hostel Brežice offers you far the best accommodation around here. For overnight in hostel you will be charged from only 15€. 

@Youth Hostel Brežice
There is more than enough room for all visitors coming to the Festival from where elsewhere. Welcoming atmosphere, modern rooms and friendly staff are a few reasons more for packing,get going and visit entertaining Festival in Brežice.


See you soon!

Karmen Jarkovič (Mc hostel Brežice)

Friday, 20 May 2016

Brussels to Ljubljana for 50 euros

Isn't travelling the best feeling ever? Wandering off to another country and exploring the cities, nature and the culture? It is easy to just pass Slovenia and visit Milan or Rome. But Slovenia is also hiding some treasures. In September you can travel from Brussels to Ljubljana and back with Wizzair for around 50 euros. Are you tempted? Keep reading.

@Author - Leon Hmeljak; www.slovenia.info
So, what can you visit in Slovenia? What can you see? Here are your top 3 cities to visit.

1. Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and the biggest city in Slovenia. In its old city centre, you will find medieval castle and of course, the picturesque bridges that lead the way over Ljubljanica river. The city is marked by Jože Plečnik, a world famous architect. You can see his touch on every step and you will be amazed by the beautiful architecture. It can also boast with one of the world’s oldest philharmonic societies. Each year the city hosts over 10 000 cultural events so you will definitely find something for you. In the summer, there is also a food market in Ljubljana, called Open Kitchen. Find out more about culinary in Ljubljana here.

@Author - Nea Culpa; www.slovenia.info
2. Maribor
Of course I cannot leave out Maribor, my home town. It’s a city I love and have lived my whole life, but that isn’t the point. It’s a city of students, of great parties and of charming city centre. It has some amazing history and if you want a fun fact, I can tell you that we have a town square, named after a popular detective series Kojak, because it’s similar to Telly Savalas’ head. If you want more fun facts, just read this article. Also, the wine in Maribor is great. Just ask anyone. You can sit by the river Drava, hang out and drink a glass of wine. Isn’t life amazing?

@Author - Rene Strgar; www.hostelpekarna.eu 
3. Izola
Slovenian seaside is small, but beautiful. It has many pretty and charming little towns but I would definitely recommend Izola. It’s a little fishing town with some wonderful architectural treasures and old legends, which take you back in time, when Izola was still an island. Isola means an island in Italian. In the evenings, things get a bit more lively and the pubs in the marina are full of people, eating delicious local food. Just go and see! And read this travelogue, which will definitely convince you to visit Izola.

@Author - Giorgio Baruffi; www.izola.eu
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend a lot on accommodation, there is hostel Tresor in Ljubljana, which was once a grey and rigid home of bankers and was transformed into a lively and urban hostel. In Maribor, there is Youth Hostel Pekarna right next to the park and close to the city centre. And in Izola, there is Youth Hostel Alieti in one of the cobbled streets, which will charm you and convince you to visit Slovenia again.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Visit Kranj in the summer

Let's hope winter said its final goodbye since the following months are bringing a bunch of excellent festivals and events. We made a list of top 9 events that you can not miss! 

Foto: Luka Dakskobler; www.tourism-kranj.si
Kranj is a historical city situated on a conglomerate prominence surrounded by Sava and Kokra river. So diverse summer activities are by far not the only interesting things in the city! While walking through the city centre you can enjoy in the beautiful mediaeval architecture, you can visit museums or galleries, the most famous being Prešeren Award Prize Winners Gallery, or you can walk in the Kokra Canyon located in the middle of the city! Visit Kranj and discover its hidden places. 

YOUTH WEEK, 13th to 21st of May 
Youthful energy will once again wake up the city! The credit for greater recognisability of the festival in Slovenia and abroad goes to high-quality and diverse program. This year you can be a part of different workshops, culinary experiences, sports events or you can enjoy in the sounds of first-class musicians, such as Gaby Moreno, Carnival Youth, and many more… We bet you will find something to your liking. 

@KŠK
THE WEEK OF AMATEUR CULTURE, 13th to 22nd of May
The Week of Amateur Culture will be happening parallel to Youth Week, and that means even more events! This is Pan-Slovenian event, which found inspiration in other European countries. Its purpose is to raise awareness of how important amateur culture is for our society and to acknowledge the work of amateur artists. 

@JSKD
EVENTS IN THE KHISLSTEIN SUMMER THEATRE 
The Khislstein Summer Theatre is surrounded by medieval wall. Every summer the venue hosts superb musicians and theatre performances. The diversity of events will satisfy the needs of demanding art lovers. This year's program will include the performances of Siddharta, Oliver Dragojević, Big Band RTV with Nuša Derenda, Darja Švajger and Alenka Godec, Gibonni, Cubano – Habana social club, and many more. 

@ZTKK
INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY 
The 18th of May is International Museum Day, since 1977. On this day museums present their activities and raise awareness about the important role they play in the society. This year's theme is Museums and Cultural Landscapes which encourages museums to extend their mission outside their walls. With the bigger involvement in the cultural landscape they will contribute to preserving cultural heritage. 

SUMMER FESTIVAL OF ORGAN GRINDERS, 3th to 5th of June
After one year break Kranj's streets will once again host Summer Festival of Organ Grinders. One could say barrel organs are Kranj's regular feature, since they play a major role in February's Prešeren's Fair and Kranjski komedijanti Theatre. Summer festival is the highlight of organ grinder activity. What can you expect? Reviving 19th century's tradition, cheerful and roguish atmosphere provided by always happy organ grinders, and 38 skillfully painted barrel organs from Germany, Czech Republic, France, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia and Switzerland. 

@ZTKK
MEN'S RUN, 4th of June
Men's Run is this year's novelty. Even though this run is meant for men, women will compete before the main event to show how things are done. Event organisers are promising varied accompanying events. 

SUMMER IN PUNGERT
This events are combining top Slovenian musicians and beautiful venue with rich cultural heritage. For this season's debut the members of the Kranj Music School Wind Orchestra will perform on the 3rd of June. You will get the opportunity to enjoy the masterpieces of bigger as well as smaller ensembles, most of them are jazz oriented. Amongst others you will be able to see: Big Band Grosuplje, Jazz Punt Big Band, Blaž Vrbič, Rado Čučnik Trio, Miha Rebernik,  Klemen Smolej Trio, Klemen Kotar, Goran Rukavina & The Players, Stari mački. There will also be a program for kids in the form of creative workshops which will take place every Saturday from the middle of May forward. Their peak will be ŽivŽav 2016, on the first Saturday of September. All events are free of charge.

@Cafe galerija Pungert
KRANFEST, 21st to 23rd of July
Kranfest is a traditional event that fills the city core with diverse activities every late July since 1982. This year will bring quite a few changes. Amongst others the focus will mainly be on smaller boutique venues accompanied by flavourful culinary program. The National championship in beach volleyball and rich children's program are staying the mandatory regular feature of the festival. 

@ZTKK
CYCLING CELEBRATION IN KRANJ, 30th and 31st of July
On 30th and 31st of July Sava Kranj Cycling Club is organizing traditional event called Cycling Celebration in Kranj.  On Saturday there will be a race for children of all ages who are not training cycling and in the evening night race will take place. On Sunday there will be a race in the streets of Kranj, followed by a race of teams from different companies. The final act of the event will be Kranj Grand Prix – Filip Majcen Memorial, which will be happening on a completely new route. The only feature that will stay the same is the Jelen's slope which is a trademark of the race. Organizers are expecting approximately 500 cyclist from Europe and abroad. 

@KK Sava Kranj
Also we must not forget about Scott's Cycling Day on 29th of May. The event will take place in downtown and surrounding area. This day is intended for families and recreation enthusiasts. Beside two marathons there will also be  divers animation programme.  

As you can see visiting Kranj in the following months will be mandatory! If the summer program convinced you to spend some days in Kranj but you do not know where to stay, look no further! We recommend Youth Hostel Kranj, which is located 10 minutes walk from the city center. 


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Sunny hostels in May

May is bringing us warm weather, a picnic or two, a chance to explore nature and all the things that are more fun to do while it's warmer. Slovenian hostels are always happy to welcome you, the nature is waiting for you to explore it in every corner of our beautiful Slovenia. Explore, travel and enjoy yourselves.

@Foto - Julia Wesely; www.slovenia.info
Have you heard of Slovenia? It’s a small but beautiful country, which has it all – the sea, the mountains, the lakes and kind people whom you can find everywhere. Maybe take a look at the blog Say HI to Slovenia  where you’ll find some tips for places to visit or an advice for buying a cheap plane ticket. Now let’s introduce some hostels. The first hostel is hiding under the Julian Alps above Jasna Lakes and just ten minutes away from the centre of Kranjska Gora, which is a paradise for sports enthusiasts. Ski slopes are waiting for skiers in the winter and in the summer there are many hiking and biking trails. Triglav national park, lake Zelenci, Vrata valley… You can explore that and many more from Youth Hostel Barovc

@Foto - Tomo Jeseničnik: www.slovenia.info
If you visit the city Brežice, Youth Hostel Brežice will welcome you in a modern hostel in the middle of the city park. Guests are able to use the kitchen, a joint area with TV and a terrace with chairs and deckchairs. The hostel is close to the Brežice Castle and the confluence of rivers Krka and Sava. Families will be happy to visit the city park with play area for the children and labelled trees in Slovene and Latin. Because you are accommodated right in the city centre, you have quick access to the castle, town hall, churches. Not far from here is also Terme Čatež spa resort, which is the biggest in Slovenia and perfect for families and individuals. Hostel Trbovlje lies in the centre of the city. It offers two apartments, a dorm with 14 beds and three rooms with twin beds. There’s a coffee shop near the hostel and a youth centre where many events happen. Trbovlje is a good starting point for hiking to nearby hills Kum, Mrzlica, Sv. Planina and others. You can also go rafting on Sava river, visit herbal and fruit gardens, parachute or visit a tourist farm. Museum of Zasavje has an exhibition about coal mining industry and Zasavje region, and you can also visit two coal miners’ apartments from different time periods and see how they lived. Definitely an interesting trip which will teach you a lot. 

@Youth Hostel Trbovlje
Youth Hostel Ajdovščina is located in Pale Sports Park only a short walking distance to the city centre. Youth Hostel provides its guests with a lot of sports activities. Hostel also took a little different steps – it is collaborating with biologists, ecologists and environmentalists and is developing a programme, which would educate youth through environmental protection camps. For some adventures in the city and outside the city, you can check this blog. Do you want to relax by the sea? In that case the hostel Debeli rtič is simply perfect. From here you can explore Ankaran and the whole Slovenian coast. It is also not far from the border with Italy so you can explore cities like Trieste. Ankaran was settled in 1072 where Venice monks found their home here when they were gifted the church of St. Apollinaris from 10th century. Ankaran definitely has some interesting history and the Slovenian coast is full of charming cities that simply have to be visited. 

@Foto - Nea Culpa; www.slovenia.info
And last but not least, there is Youth Hostel Menina in Rečica ob Savinji. It is a great starting point for rafting on Savinja river, swimming in the river, go hiking, there is also an adrenalin park or you can relax and have a massage or a pedicure. There is also a special Indian village for the kids – Kokopeli. 

Slovenia offers a lot of beautiful places so visit it and you might be surprised what you can find in such a small country. Say HI to Slovenia!

Friday, 6 May 2016

From Barcelona to Venice for 50 Euros

I know it's hard to get away from beautiful Barcelona, the sea and toasty warm weather, but you know what? We have that in Slovenia also. With Ryanair you can travel to Venice and back to Barcelona for only 50 euros, so you can visit beautiful Venice and then come and visit Slovenia. Never heard of it? Well, it’s a beautiful country with lots to see.


@Author - Paolo Petrignani; wwwslovenia.info
Don’t believe me? If you like to hike, then visit Kranjska Gora where Julian Alps are waiting to be explored. It is a great starting point for hiking, ziplining and more. I’m sure you’ve heard of Planica, where there’s a ski jump that was the highest ski jump for many years. Through Kranjska Gora leads one of the most beautiful Slovenian cycling paths that starts in Rateče, leads through Kranjska Gora, past the forest Martuljek up to Mojstrana. If you don’t know where to stay, we can recommend you hostel Barovc near Kranjska Gora above the lakes Jasna with the view on Julian Alps.

@Author - Ales Zdesar; wwwslovenia.info
And since you’re near two Slovenian gems – Bled and Bohinj, you can visit these two towns. Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled are known as Slovenian natural paradise, where you can go rafting, canyoning, swim in the summer and ski in Vogel in the winter. And there’s also hiking for the non-adventurists. It doesn’t matter what you will do, you will be amazed at the views. If you want cheap and quality accommodation, there is Youth Hostel Pod Voglom, which will be a great starting point for everything you will decide to do.

@Author - Franci Ferjan; wwwslovenia.info
Slovenia is also part of Alps-Adria region and we created a blog, where you can see all the interesting things you can visit. Head over to the blog and decide what you want to visit. I also recommend you to visit Pomurje, where you’ll be able to relax in a spa or with a glass of delicious wine from the hills you just visited during the day. Just next door is Austria with all its beauty and the region just calls for a road trip. You can sleep in Youth Hostel Radenci, where you will meet kind people and untouched nature.

@Author - Zlatko Gnezda; wwwslovenia.info 
I hope I gave you an idea what you can visit and see in Slovenia. Believe me, it’s a beautiful country. And if you’re already packing, don’t forget to take these things.

Dear traveller!

Where to look for a paradise today, if not in a remote and unspoiled countryside, where tranquillity, diversity and rich natural and cultural heritage are interlaced? Therefore, welcome to the heart of Bela krajina, where ancient Metlika is hidden between Gorjanci Mountains and the Kolpa River. Let its rich history, culture and friendly people touch you.

@Foto: Uroš Raztresen
Metlika is mysterious, untouched and pure; and its dynamic world is full of magical nooks offering relaxation and entertainment.

@Foto: Uroš Raztresen
White and tranquil in winter, it offers sightseeing tours of architectural and cultural heritage, and in full bloom in spring, it invites to hiking and biking trails, while in warm months, the Kolpa River, a green and clean beauty, enables you to cool down. It sparkles especially in its autumn colours, when its granaries and wine cellars are filled up. Local winemakers produce the wines that will please even the most demanding drinker, and delicious homemade food and hospitality will convene travellers to come and see us again and again. 

@Foto: Uroš Raztresen
The best way is to come and see. Any words, even the most nicely selected ones, are too modest to describe all that you will see, hear and experience in the land of white birches, a rich folklore tradition, and smiling, friendly and hospitable people. 

You can book a bed in a youth Hostel Novo mesto, which is just thirty kilometers away from Metlika.