Thursday, 22 February 2018

Home of excellent Slovene winter sportsmen

Let's ski on the white slopes!

RTC Žičnice Kranjska Gora d.d. provides enjoying on the snow on one of the oldest ski resorts in Slovenia for 70 years. The ski resort received the World Ski Award in the years from 2013 to 2015. You can even go night skiing. In the Alpine Park try the giant slalom where you are tested for driving on time and "fun park" is waiting for all fans of "freestyle" skiing. Alpine ski club Kranjska Gora trains young competitors and organizes matches on European and global scale.

For the youngest is taken care of in the children's snow park where the little ones can relax, ski and have snowball fights. Children can also enjoy in playful learning to ski at playing park Planica. When not skiing children can sled, create sculptures from the snow or look for hidden elves. At the Alpina Hotel is a winter kindergarten where children are being animated and they can play with each other so their parents can fully enjoy in their winter vacations.

For all those who are just getting to know skiing there is a wide choice of ski schools. There you will learn alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, etc. You can rent skis, bars, helmets... In addition to all of the above it will be also taken care of hungry stomachs and dry throats with their catering offer.

You can take a free ski tour bus connecting the places in the Upper Sava Valley. The bus's route in the morning is Gozd Martuljek - Kranjska Gora - Rateče. In the afternoon you can return to the starting point with it. The bus also takes you to the cross-country skiing tracks in Planica and Rateče as well as to skating rinks and to the ski slope Velika Dolina.

HI card holders have a 10% discount on summer tubing Besna Pehta and a 10% discount on panorama trip to the top of Vitranc. The track is 1.5 km long and you can take a ride alone or together with your child.

After snow adventures and putting your ski equipment in the corner you can take some much needed rest in the hostel Barovc which is only 10 minutes walk from the city center. More precisely on the edge of the Triglav National Park above the lakes Jasna. Its surroundings are a paradise for all sports enthusiasts. There is a wi-fi in the hostel, a heated area for ski equipment, a restaurant where you can enjoy in excellent home-made dishes, a bar with an exceptional view and a 24-hour reception desk. The hostel has 11 rooms, each with its own bathroom and toilet and some also have TV. They also accept your four-legged friends. Everybody with the HI membership card get a 10% discount on the overnight stay.

Fortunately, artificial snowmaking also works if there is not enough natural snow, so you can really make the most of the winter. Just make sure you don't run into a tree or a skier!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Beer from the world's first beer fountain

Refresh yourself with a drink made of hops (green gold)!

Since 2009 the Lower Savinjska Valley has become richer with the opening of the Eco-musem of hop-growing and brewing industry. Follow the steps of the ascent of hop growing and successful breweries of the famous brewer Simon Kukec in Žalec. Hops is a green climbing plant. In the summer its cones become golden and first-class beer is produced out of them. They will also serve you with a homemade hop drink and you can enjoy the lunch of hop pickers.

Slovenia is one of the world's largest producers of hops, as it produces 2-3% of the world's total produce. Around 5-10% of the produced hops is consumed by domestic brewers, while the rest is exported to the west. In the plantations we mainly find Slovenian species, grown at the Institute for hop-growing and brewing in Žalec. 

Hops is mostly connected with the production of beer. Beer is a naturally fermented beverage made out of cereals, hops and water, made by welding and alcoholic fermentation with the addition of beer yeast. Hops tips can also be used in pies, omelettes, pastry, salads or even put in bread.

The main purpose of the Institute of hop-growing and brewing in Slovenia is research and development in the field of hop production. The Institute has a collection of over two hundred different types of plants planted in the garden and the institute also has a gene bank of seeds, where there are more than three hundred different species. It also expanded its activities to fruit growing, viticulture, vegetables and crop production.

The best thing is that HI Slovenia members have a 15% discount on museum tickets.

You can have a rest in the hostel Celje, located in our third largest city of Celje near the main railway and bus station. The rooms are thematically equipped, as the younger artists from Celje took part in the construction of the hostel. They furnished rooms on the basis of legends and myths of the local environment. The hostel also has a laundry room, a winter garden, a larger hall, wi-fi is available everywhere. You can rent a bike for free to see the city. Holders of HI cards have a 10% discount on their stay. Here you can find even more discounts, depending on the country you are traveling to.

In Žalec city park, you can enjoy in a glass (or more) of beer from the first beer fountain in the world, which is a gift to the Slovenian hop plant heritage. Cheers to that!

Horses, adrenaline and beer. An interesting combination, isn't it? I suggest that you save the hop drink for the end so that you are sober while enjoying the horses and water sports.

Monday, 5 February 2018

You Only Live Once – A Trip Full of Adrenalin

Fear is hollow inside and empty outside!

Awake your senses and body on Soča river with TOP extreme rafting center Bovec, which is also the only organizer of bungee jumping in Slovenia! Experience the adrenaline in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with guides who know Soča river as their own pocket. On their website you can also find the section Why Choose Top: 10x BECAUSE to make your decision easier! Here are some of the key reasons: 

  1. Sport activities on the Soča river have been carried out since 1993. 
  2.  They are the only ones who have changing rooms at the beginning and at the of the destination of your trip. 
  3.  They are the only providers of bungee jumping in Slovenia. 
  4.  In almost 25 years 50,000 of adventure enthusiasts have visited them and they still like to come. 

The Soča river is truly one of the most beautiful European rivers. You can try rafting, canyoning, hydrospeed, bungee jumping, kayaking, zip line, tandem paragliding and sledding from Mangart.

I would like to point out bungee jumping, which is the also the best for those who believe that they have already went through everything in their lives. Jumps are made between May and September once in a weekend. Your body will shiver at least a little which is understandable when jumping in your dreams. Those are always on the other side of your comfort zone. Take a leap from the 55m high Solkan bridge which magnificently and proudly rests above the green-blue Soca. Believe me, the time simply stops and your job is just to let go and enjoy! After doing it you have a huge smile on your face and you are proud of yourself as much as you can be. The liberating feeling is definitely guaranteed.

Of course I shouldn't forget that the HI card holders have a 15% discount on rafting and canyoning and a 10% discount on kayaking, hydrospeed, caving, climbing and of course on bungee jumping.

To fill up your batteries after exciting adventures in the Soča valley go to the hostel Bovec with free wi-fi and much more. You will find it in a more than a century old but now completely renovated house built in a traditional provincial style. Hostel is only 5 minutes away by foot from the main square or from the bus station. And one reminder, in the Bovec hostel with the HI membership card you get a 10% discount on the overnight accommodation!

After doing all these adrenaline sports you will no longer be the same. You will get the urge to do even more things that you are afraid of because fear doesn't really exist. But you already know that.

Monday, 29 January 2018

White Magical Creatures

In contact with nature while riding.

The gracious breed of the white Lipizzaner horse attracts even the most demanding visitor. Highly trained, elegant and proud horses leave no one indifferent. Of course, I am talking about the Slovenian Stud farm Lipica, the place of Slovenian pride. Take a carriage ride across the property or take a riding course. You can also enjoy a picnic in nature or try golf and archery.

Lipica has become the oldest European stud farm in the 16th century, when the summer residence of the Trieste bishop in Karst has been abandoned and transformed into a stud farm. It breeds one of the oldest cultural breeds of horses, which was decided by archduke Charles. The decision is also the reason that the Lipizzaner horses are very much connected with the Habsburgs. He liked the place because the Karst reminded him of Spain and the Spanish horses were a key strategic factor for the Habsburgs back then.

We can witness a classical dressage. Its goal and starting point is the preparation of a horse and a rider to show harmonised moves performed by horses in free movement not using any force. This scene is definitely a balm for our soul. The Lipikum Museum, however, beautifully depicts the image of our Slovenian pride, as it is interactive and contemporary, so children will also enjoy it.

Even before visiting the stud farm, you can download the Guide to Lipica application on the Google Play or App Store to your mobile phone, making it easier for you to visit the stud farm. Your four-legged friends are also warmly invited to join you.

HI card holders have a student discount on a guided tour of the Lipica stud farm, to see the performance of the classical riding school and on the Experience the Lipizzaner horse programme.

There is the hostel Ociski Raj near Lipica in the village of Ocizla, where you can stay after the horse's adventure. In addition to the beds and breakfast options, the hostel has a large common area with a kitchen, wireless internet and bike rental is also possible. Everybody with the HI membership card get a 10% discount on the overnight stay. More active travellers can take a walk on the marked Tiger circular memorial path, visit the Socerb castle or visit the only underground church in Slovenia – the Holy Cave. Yes, believe it or not, we also have that. Choose one of the climbing spots on the Kraški rob or take a hike to the famous Slavnik hill. On the UNESCO list there are also Škocjan Caves which are 12km away from the hostel. If you want to experience how to smoke the meat, take a hike in the Dimnice cave in the devil's meat smoking room. Here you will also find the oldest European tourist cave Vilenica. 

One, two, three and we're going! Well, now we experienced another adventure in nature on the white Lipizzaner's back!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Coffee Stories from Ptuj

I don’t really know when my love for coffee started, but I can remember that my weeks in high school always ended with a coffee with my three best friends in an extremely popular coffee house Maček in the little city at the end of the world. Through years, drinking coffee became a ritual – a time, when you get to talk with people, hang out and just be with them, which is much needed in today’s crazy world. Maček coffee place closed long time ago and I haven’t seen my friends from high school for many years, but the memories are still alive. Travelling around the world always includes drinking coffee and every espresso brings me back to a nice coffee house near Milan cathedral where I met four international friends. We made a joke that every time someone says expresso instead of espresso, an Italian falls off his Vespa. 

Author: Boris B. Voglar
And of course, I was really thrilled that the third Festival of coffee and coffee culture was held in the oldest Slovenian city Ptuj. The festival is the first coffee festival in Slovenia and was held from 28th of September to 1st of October in many places in the city. 1st of October is also the international coffee day. The main theme of this year’s festival was Bosnian coffee and coffee drinking culture. The organizers said that the festival joins historical, cultural, social and culinary elements of coffee and emphasises that coffee is also a reason for socialising. Many events were held. In the monastery of Dominican Order we were able to see the biggest Turkish coffee pot (džezva) in the world, which made sure that the visitors could enjoy in the coffee flavour, named Zlatna đezva. The visitors could also visit the photography exhibition named Skodelica kave (Cup of Coffee) by Boštjan Bračič. 

Author: Boris B. Voglar

Some people may find it weird that the coffee festival is held in the city, famous for its wines but the fact is that Ptuj has an interesting and long coffee house history. The first coffee house was established on Prešeren street in the middle of 18th century. Enterpreneur Jožef Kipertz bought a building where the hotel Mitra is now located from a famous cafe owner Janez Mihael Reitter in 1785.  Kipertz even married his stepdaughter and soon began to import coffee and roast it in his own roasting mill near the city. Because of him we can still enjoy a cup of real Kipertz coffee in today’s cafe in the hotel. The coffee is still roasted by its original recipe and is a great visiting point for every coffee drinker.

Author: Boris B. Voglar
Don’t forget to walk around the city and see for yourself that Ptuj is full of history. If you decide to stay for a few days, you can find an accommodation in hostel Poetovio, which is part of Hostelling International. It’s a cute hostel with 60 beds, which is located in the student dormitories and is only a kilometre away from the city centre and a great starting point to explore the oldest Slovenian city. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Christmas Fairy Tale in Postojna Cave

From 25th to 30th of December Postojna Cave will become a festive fairy tale hosting Live Nativity Scenes.

Postojna Cave’s Nativity Scenes are one of the world’s most beautiful Christmas scenes. This year, Postojna Cave will host its 28th annual Nativity Scenes on the 5-kilometre route. In front of the Postojna Cave you will find a Christmas market and other events. So, what can you expect from the nativity scenes? The Living Nativity Scenes features 16 Biblical scenes that make up the story of Christmas with even more than 150 local performers and musicians. Of course winter time wouldn’t feel right without magical lights – the Postojna’s underground will be lit up by 2,100 lights. Amazing!

Highlights for this year’s spectacle are performances by the legendary Slovenian musicians Oto Pestner and Irena Yebuah Tiran. Other highlights include colourful illuminations, performances by the Magic Theatre Serpentes, a photo exhibitions and elements designed by international artists such as Bolivia’s Ejti Štih.

Join us on the five-kilometre long Christmas path, which is also one of the biggest Christmas celebrations in Slovenia.

If you have a little luck (and Santa says that you’ve been good this year), you can see the Living Nativity Scenes completely free. How, you ask? Hostelling International Slovenia has an amazing prize competition. If you enter, you are participating in a prize draw for a free night with breakfast in hostel Proteus for two people and two free tickets to see the Living Nativity Scenes in Postojna Cave. Amazing, right? If you have not participated yet, try out your luck and maybe you’ll join in the fun in Postojna’s underground events.

Be a part of the winter fairy tale.

Kaja Kren

Friday, 15 September 2017

Travel to Slovenia and enjoy in HI member discounts

Long time, no see. Have you already made all the plans for your trip? If not, keep reading. If you have, we might just change your mind. As you may know, Hostelling International partnered with the website BusBud where you can find all the available bus routes. There are many paths from Italy to Ljubljana for example. You can travel from Caldare, Italy to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia for only 33 Euros. And there’s more. If you stay at one of the Hostelling International hostels, you get 15% off your bus trip. You can also book on the go if you download their app so everything is as easy as it can be. Sounds amazing, right?

You might already know that Slovenia is a small country so you can go from the capital to the east or south in the matter of hours. And this is one of the pros – you can visit whatever interests you the most. You want to visit lake Bled while you’re staying in Ljubljana? Take a one or two-day trip and drive a couple of hours to completely change the environment. If you want some amazing spas, you will find them in Prekmurje region, which is again amazing for its nature and for the thermal water. In Slovenia, you have to try the tasty wine, Bled cream cake and a coffee to go with it.

@Author - Klemen Kunaver;
If you’re a Hostelling International member, you will save some of your money on plenty of activities and attractions in Slovenia. Postojna cave is one of the most visited tourist places in Slovenia and offers you a 10% discount on all entrance tickets. And if you’re near the Postojna cave, maybe visit Predjama Castle, which is a real eye-catcher. It is built in a 123 metres high rock wall. Škocjan Caves Park also offers a student discount to all HI members. Both attractions are worth visiting, but Postojna cave is more attractive at the moment with little baby proteus, which you’ll find in a cave.

@Author - B. Bajželj;
HI membership will also get you a discount on many city tours or museum tours. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a must see and you will get a 50% discount on their regular tours, which saves you some money to enjoy a boat ride on Ljubljanica river or a beer by the river, whichever you prefer. The second biggest city Maribor also saves you a bit of money if you want to rent a bike (which is a good way to see the entire city, as it’s not so big) or if you want a guided tour.

@Author - Matej Vranič;
If you’re an adventurous type, there are some sports activities that will get your adrenalin running. Bovec Sport Centre’s activities are 20% off for rafting, kayaking, hysrospeeding, caving and so much more. If you want to try ziplining, Soča Rafting offers you a 10% discount or you can get 15% off on bungee jumping at TOP Extreme rafting centre Bovec.

@ Author - A. Fevzer;
You can see more discounts with your membership card at and see the Slovenian hostels at
Start planning and visit our beautiful Slovenia.