Monday, 30 September 2013

Slovenia does not rest in October either

The month of October invites you to visit Slovenia, colourfully clad in the autumn coat, where you surely won’t get bored. Numerous festivals and events offer various happening either in the fields of sports or culture or event for the advertising! From Maribor – last year’s European capital of Culture, through the national capital of Ljubljana, to the Alps to the coast… there will be many international events taking place.

International advertising festival Zlati boben (Gold Drum)
International advertising festival Zlati boben (Gold Drum) invites you to spend a few wonderful days by the sea at nice temperatures. Golden Drum is one of the biggest annual events in Slovenia and is a meeting point of creativity and culture in the field of advertising. The festival, organized by the chamber of advertising, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. In three days numerous international speakers will pour creativity and marketing with the view of the past and future 20 years. The programme of the 20th Gold Drum will be especially interesting this year, which is mostly due to Stefan Sagmeister, a world renowned designer, who designed the albums for many famous musicians, such as the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Aerosmith, David Byrne and the Guggenheim museum and TV network HBO. Simon Schwaighofer, the creative CEO of Red Bull Creative, the in house agency of Red Bull from Salzburg, Austria, will give us the insights on creative projects like the Red Bull Stratos. This and much more awaits you between October 9th and 11th on Slovenian coast, where you can find great accommodation in the Hostel Portorož. You can read more about the event at: www.goldendrum.com .

Glazer Awards (Photo-Boštjan Lah); www.borstnikovo.si 
On the other part of Slovenia we invite lovers of culture to the last year’s European Capital of Culture – Maribor, where the stage is being set for the festival Borštnikovo srečanje. Not only is this the main, oldest and most prestigious theatre festival of Slovenia, but it is also a manifestation of turns and twists, eternal struggles, sensual poetry and eye openers. In its long history the festival went through many changes, but it is firmly established as the meeting of all Slovenian theatres and a competitive festival where they show off their art. The programme of the festival is also becoming more and more international with cross border attendance through: international symposiums, foreign guests and stage productions and producers from all over the globe, showing the constant clash between the European and Global theatre. The festival has many categories of performances (from the competition itself, to the complementary program, bridges, generations and showcases) and educational events (symposiums, conferences, thematic literature presentations, exhibitions etc.). You can read more about it at www.borstnikovo.si/en/ . And if you’re looking for a good night’s rest while in Maribor, we can suggest one of the many hostels in Maribor, where you will be able to exchange your experience with other guests. The festival takes place between 18th and 27th of October 2013.

The Ljubljanski maraton Volkswagen
And for all the sport lovers, we suggest a visit of Ljubljana or the region of Gorenjska, where they can hike or run! The city of Ljubljana will host the 18th city marathon – the Ljubljanski maraton Volkswagen, on the 27th of October. It will offer various difficulties for the recreational participants. Volkswagen marathon of Ljubljana is a traditional running and sporting feast. The streets of the capital are full of runners, who prove the fact that interest for such recreation is growing. The marathon will also be accompanied by the running fair: “Tečem”, between the 24th and 27th of October 2013 at the venue point: Gospodarsko razstavišče. It’s a fair dedicated to all runners and their families, athletes, fans, supporters and curios passers-by. There will be no entrance fee for visitors. You can walk among the many sporting trademarks offering their latest in sportswear, along with other products, such as food supplements and other offers by various people trying to attract the most active participants. You can find more about it at www.ljubljanskimaraton.si/en/. And if you’re looking for a pocket friendly board while in Ljubljana, check out one of its hostels, which are located in friendly locations and can host individual travellers as well as groups.


Gorenjska is also inviting you for a stay and attendance at the hiking days at Bohinj: Dnevi pohodništva v Bohinju, where you’ll see and never again forget the beauty of Slovenian Alps. The hiking in its many forms (from simple walks to mountaineering) was one of the initial reasons Bohinj became a tourist centre. First visitors were taking strolls around the glacier lake Bohinj and admired the mountain ranges around it. Bohinj had a mountaineering society 20 years before the Slovenian society was established (Triglavski prijatelji – the friends of Triglav), which built the first mountain lodge in the Slovenian part of the Alps. And it was from Bohinj that the first successful climb to the tallest peak of Slovenia (mt. Triglav) happened in 1778. Four lucky men conquered the top of Triglav – the mountain of gods, today a symbol of Slovenia. No wonder they decided to have a special event this year, that will last a whole month (from September 13th, until October 13th). You can find more information at www.bohinj.si/pohodnistvo/en. You need to bring your own mountain shoes and backpack, and don’t forget to book a room at Hostel pod Voglom, where they’ll take care of your hunger and offer you a nice rest after being active around the Lake Bled. 

This and many more things are happening in Slovenia and we recommend you to come and enjoy them! 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Charms of Logar Valley

Fans of the wonderful natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, sport, adrenaline, and great cuisine - Logar Valley is perfect for you.

Logarska Valley (Author - Tomo Jeseničnik ); www.slovenia.info
In the middle of a green meadow goes a route. Rare homesteads are scattered along it. In the gardens vegetable is being cultivated by mostly older men and women whose faces and tired hands reveal a hard life on the farm. Only about 35 people still live in this valley. Behind the homesteads hills rise that are grown with lush trees. Fall brings bright yellow and red on the trees while conifers expect winter rest in the green and give a special charm to the rainbow of colors. Somewhere in the distance the majestic rocky mountain tops are already covered by the first patches of snow. It is true that for visiting the Logar Valley a summer time is preferred, as it is a good shelter from the heat. However, you will throw away thicker clothes in the autumn, when the sun shines on the valley that was carved by the glacier thousands of years ago. It left large rocks behind that are now isolating staring from the greenery along the road.

Storžič and Kočna (Author - J. Skok ); www.slovenia.info
You reach Logar Valley by car through the village Solčava where you pay for entrance. The valley is a Landscape park, where massive crowds of motorized visitors left their mark. Believe me, it is worth paying. The valley offers beautiful natural scenes, most agree, that beauty culminates in the Rinka waterfall. In the heart of Kamnik-Savinja Alps, under the Okrešelj, the ice-cold Savinja River springs, which then falls 90 meters deep. The waterfall is just one of many in the Logar Valley and is must-see stop. Perfect view on the waterfall is from the café that clings to a rocky crag - the Eagle’s Nest. Numerous also visit a spring of creek Črna that is on the way in Logar Valley.

Solčava, Logarska dolina (Author -  Tomo Jeseničnik ); www.slovenia.info
People have been exploiting rich natural conditions in the valley since the 14th century. The cultural landscape is an important and interesting link in the chain of the whole valley. On the way you can see the old granary, which bears all the characteristics of buildings hilly landscape. The visit of an olcarska or woodcutters cottage will take you into the lives of forest workers with a collection of tools and devices that they were using. Valuable cultural heritage is also Planšarija, a homestead that has preserved traditional architecture.

Probably there is no need to stress out all the possibilities nature offers here for the sports enthusiasts. Kamnik-Savinja Alps are a great destination for hikers, allowing many alpine ascents for prepared and amateur climbers. In winter climbers like to climb frozen waterfalls, while the valley and its peaks are full of hikers throughout all season. In order to be more environmentally friendly and also to firm up the muscles, cycling is a good choice. This kind of means of transport will be exempt from entrance fee to the valley. The path leads up to the car park below the Rinka waterfall.

Logarska valley(Author-Tomo Jeseničnik); www.slovenia.info
After a long walk in the mountains, when your legs suffer from the strenuous cycling or when after a day of climbing the peaks you descend into the valley, there is nothing better than authentic home cooking.

You cannot miss it. It is located along the road that leads to and from the Logar Valley. It is surrounded by greenery and flowers that adorn the wooden balconies. In front of the building the piglet and lamb are being roasted on a spit. Restaurant Pevc & Hostel Ljubno ob Savinji is an example of hospitality and homeliness. Let old tables and chairs do not mislead you. From the kitchen spread pleasant fragrance. The ingredients of traditional dishes are grown in the garden behind the house, still hot bread is served from the oven every day and meats are also produced at home. In winter, the time of slaughter, you get fresh sausages. All year round they offer culinary specialties such as žlikrofi with dry minced meat (dumplings), zgornjesavinjski želodec (dried meat product), salami, cheeses... A family-run company prides itself with hospitality, where you will feel like home. Guests that sleep in a hostel, wake up with the sight on Raduha which top shines in morning sun. The hostel has small, comfortable rooms; some with balcony, but most of them are wonderfully decorated with wooden furniture, designed by the owner himself and made by the village master. Room in which guests, according to the owners, love to spend the night is very special because it has a shower right next to the bed. And if you want, you can do two rooms out of one! Yes, with the Spanish wall.

Youth Hostel Ljubno ob Savinji
For anything else Spanish you'll have to cross the border. But for such a natural beauty offered by the Logar Valley, local meat, as offered in Pevc Restaurant, and the hospitality of the local people, you will spend a lot of time to find it.

Anja Turk

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Get to know Kamnik with its surroundings

MORE THAN A PERFECT GET-A-WAY, SO NEAR.

Kamnik and its surroundings are becoming an ever more popular Slovenian tourist destination. It's an area only 25 kilometres from the capital – Ljubljana and only 10km from the main Slovenian international airport. It has incredible tourist potential. It stands right at the base of the Alps and offers great opportunities to spend quality free time. You can enjoy the beauty of the hills and mountains, the countryside and the medieval town – or relax in the recreational centres. The tourist offers are very well prepared and nicely complemented by the excellent culinary experience.


The Alps offer many opportunities for actively spending your free time. Both hikers and bikers will love the experience.

We invite you to visit the popular and unique Velika planina with its oldest preserved original shepherd’s settlement. You can reach the mountain every day of the year by a cable cart or by well-marked mountain paths. The Planina is most charming in the summer, when the shepherds bring their cattle there and together form a unique heritage sight. Their tradition is presented in detail in the renovated Preskar’s museum. Some of the shepherds even let you try their fresh milk, or buttered milk and cheese, but otherwise the culinary offer in the mountain cabins and restaurants is excellent. You can read more about it at: www.velikaplanina.si.


In the pristine Tuhinjska valley you’ll find a spa Terme Snovik, which are the highest located spa in Slovenia. Apart from all the relaxation activities they also offer courses and events. They are dedicated to the ecological and sustainable tourism. They’ve developed thematic paths and established an innovative out-door gym. There are little houses at the edge of the forest, which were the first in Slovenia to gain the EU Daisy for environmental efforts and that’s where you can spend a night if staying with them. Read more about it as: www.terme-snovik.si.


You’ll get new strengths in the natural healing forest at the holistic health centre, which is a unique place in Tunjice, dedicated to healing and self-healing, centre that can also help you with infertility, pain, de-toxication and other pests of modern age. It is also famous for its living water with great energy potentials, which placed Tunjice on the world mak of geological heritage. 

A perfect outdoor stroll awaits you at the Arboretum Volčji Potok. Rich flora (around 3.500 species of plants) can be observed throughout the year. We especially welcome families with children with a popular children’s playground. There are also various exhibitions on display, accompanied by workshops and events all year around. 


Nearby all golf fans will get their treat as well! Golf Arboretum is one of the most beautiful golf courses in Slovenia, surrounded by a pine forest and with a backdrop of the mighty Kamniško-Savinjske Alps. 


Kamnik is one of the most beautiful medieval towns of Slovenia with history dating over 780 years in the past, to the high Middle Ages. It was a flourishing town of craftsmen and a home to many famous families, like the counts of Anden from Bavaria. History is still alive in the city in the lap of the Alps, as we call it, and has many cultural and sacral monuments.

The town also features a two-story Romanic chapel Little Castle, with a great view of the Alps and is an unparalleled architectural feature in Slovenia. Connected to it is also the legend about the curse of the countess Veronika. But don’t forget other sights like the main square, the Fryer’s monastery with a church of St. Jacob and a library with first prints and incunabula’s and a gallery of Miha Maleša. Also take a walk on the most beautiful street of Šutna, which still kept its original medieval look.


All who want to learn more about the history of the area are welcome to visit the trans-municipality museum Kamnik at Zaprice. Located in a renaissance castle is features permanent and occasional exhibitions, with an open air museum of granaries from the Tuhinja valley.

This year Kamnik also opened the door to the birth house of Rudolf Maister, which became a first Slovenian museum dedicated solely to this national patriot, general, poet and lover of the written word, who was born in Kamnik.

The best time to visit Kamnik is when there are events taking place and you can find some all year round. There are traditional ones like the days of folklore clothing, numerous summer and winter festivals, standing out is the Kamfest, but there are also ethnological events at the spa of Terme Snovik or winter walks to the midnight Christmas mass to Velika planina. A procession of people carrying torches goes up the mountain to witness the nativity scene. But don’t forget the tulip exhibition at Volčji Potok. In wintertime Kamnik especially gets a fairy tale like quality in the snow, when the centre of the town features the Kamnik.December.Time of joy. event.


As first in the central Slovenia Kamnik started developing culinary products – the tastes of Kamnik. In collaboration with experts and tourist workers (from both entire Slovenia or local) they’ve prepared a selection of culinary specialities. These have a cultural value for they are a mix between the traditional and contemporary culinary scene of Kamnik. The dishes present the entire Kamnik area, but present separate parts of it at the same time. The variety of food also indicated the social differences among the classes of the past. You can taste the culinary treats at restaurants of Kamnik and its surroundings!


And last but not least Kamnik also tends to care for budget travellers 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. 

WELCOME TO KAMNIK, THE CITY IN THE LAP OF THE ALPS!

Zavod za turizem in šport v občini Kamnik
Glavni trg 2
1240 Kamnik
Tel: 00386 (0)1 831 81 91
tic@kamnik-tourism.si
www.kamnik-tourism.si

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Slovenian hostels appropriate for groups

As every tourist agency you probably also face the problem of how to find a good price and a quality stay for your group. We can help you, for we have been taking care of a unique and high quality network of Slovenian Youth Hostel for a number of years. Various adventures, from sleeping in a Kars house surrounded by nature to breakfast in a swimming vault in downtown Ljubljana, Slovenian hostels really have a varied offer and a good reputation known well outside the Slovenian borders. This month we’re presenting 6 hostels with great locations for discovering the beauty of Slovenia, but also good quality for even the most demanding group.


For youth organization or sport clubs, who’d like to visit in a group, we recommend the hostels: Hostel Radlje ob Dravi and Hostel Brežice, which are especially appropriate for hosting groups and organizing seminars, meetings, conferences and preparations, for they are a part of a youth centre, which by its definition allows for rooms where people can meet, socialize, create and have access to equipment and services needed for a successful meeting. From the club rooms to free internet access, places to hold events, computer rooms, musical and multimedia studios and sport halls, along with meeting rooms, classrooms and workshops... you’ll find it all in these two hostels.  A very similar offer can also be found at the Hostel Proteus, which is part of the high-school dormitory but an independent unit and its own meals and a high quality board suitable also for large groups.

Next three hostels are at extraordinary locations in Slovenia. In the country’s biggest city – Ljubljana – we can offer you a board at a deluxe standard Hostel Park, right in the heart of the city and is a great place for exploring the national capital. Just a few kilometres away there is one of the most beautiful Alpine resorts – Bled – which we strongly recommend you to visit. It’s known for the mild and healthy climate and the lake water. This pearl of Slovenian nature attracts businessmen, artists, athletes, researchers, nature lovers… young and old from all over the world alike. We are sure you won’t be disappointed either. You can spend the night at the Hostel Bledec, just a five minute walk from the lake. And let us not forget the beautiful Slovenian coast, where we invite you to visit the town of Izola – an old Mediterranean coastal town, where the tradition of winemaking and fishing draw you in the magical autumn, to discover the mystical past and friendliness of the people making up the most idyllic mosaic of joy to the senses. Your group will be well taken care of in the Hostel Alieti, offering 25 beds in dormitory rooms in one of the old town houses in the very heart of Izola.

1. Youth Hostel Park
Right by the entrance to the old city centre you will find Hoste Park – perfect for groups of travellers. It’s a part of the city life, it’s near the marketplace, the dragons, city castle and main square. Hostel is located in two floors of the Ljubljana Park hotel. It offers rooms with two, three or four beds. They also have a laundry, restaurant and a summer garden. They offer all together 83 beds in either two, three or four bedded rooms with their own showers or with shared showers. Because it offers a lot of possibilities to sleep over it is popular with groups, which can get a group dinner at the hotel for a very good price.

Youth Hostel Park
2. Youth Hostel Brežice
Hostel Brežice is a modern and stylish decorated hostel that provides accommodation for all generations. Its convenient location in the middle of the town’s park ensures a pleasant stay and easy access to various points of interest. It offers accommodation in double rooms, six bed dorms with shared bathroom and toilet facilities and private ensuites with private bathrooms. All rooms are air-conditioned and lovingly decorated with silhouettes of animals. With additional beds it can accept up to 71 guests. Guests can use the common kitchen which is also equipped with a TV and a DVD player. On the first floor there is terrace furnished with tables and chairs, which provides a pleasant place for socializing or relaxing.

Youth Hostel Brežice
3. Youth Hostel Bledec
Hostel Bledec is a completely renovated building, which continues the 80 year old tradition of youth tourism on Bled. It is in a quiet part of the town, only a five minutes’ walk from the lake. Right next to it is also a walking path, leading up to the castle, which can be reached in about 10 minutes. There are 12 rooms with 55 beds altogether. Most rooms have three or four, but some also have five beds. They are all equipped with showers, toilets and a TV; the restaurant, pub, a joint room with an internet corner and parking space.

Youth Hostel Bledec
4. Youth Hostel Proteus
Hostel Proteus is located in the centre of Postojna. Near the hostel park there is a town sports park with a stadium and playgrounds for tennis, basketball, handball, football, an athletic track and children`s playground. Hostel Proteus has 120 beds. Rooms are three and four bedded with common sanitary facilities to share. In July and August there are additional 100 beds. Guests can also be offered breakfast if they wish. From Monday to Friday it is always possible to order full board (by prior arrangement also at weekends). In the hall of hostel there is free internet access and guests can use a small kitchen for making hot drinks and meals.

Youth Hostel Proteus
5. Youth Hostlov Alieti
Hostel Alieti is located in one of the old town houses in the historical centre of Izola. It offers 25 beds in common rooms. Hostel Alieti is near the Manzioli Square, just 100m from the sea and 500m from the lighthouse beach. Near it are bars, restaurants, shops, bakeries, market… and only 300m away is the Izola bus station. There are 5 rooms with 4, 5, or 6 beds, 2 bathrooms, dining room and a kitchen. Rooms have air-conditioning. They offer breakfasts (two fresh beagles and coffee or tea) and free WiFi. You can enter the hostel with your key any time of the day. It can accommodate groups of up to 20 people. It is not appropriate for loud parties, as it is in the old town centre and groups are expected to respect the surroundings.

Youth Hostel Alieti
6. Youth Hostel Radlje ob Dravi
Hostel Radlje ob Dravi provides a five-triangle accommodation to youth, cyclists, motorcyclists, travellers, and other occasional guests. There are 16 rooms available, altogether 42 beds (1-4 beds per room). If a group is larger, extra beds are available. Each room has a TV and a bathroom with a shower and a toilet. The facility is fully adapted for disabled guests. There is also a café with a kitchen that works by a prior arrangement only. Guests are welcome to use two convenient kitchens to prepare small meals.

Youth Hostel Radlje ob Dravi

Monday, 16 September 2013

Valley of adventures

We were standing next to the car that betrayed us. Despite the fact that the rise was not too difficult, the car was just about to overheat. The red light was flashing, the temperature of water was rising and the two women who have no idea about car mechanics ... We had no other choice but to turn and go back. 


We wanted to climb the mountain Menino, 1500 meters above sea level, which promises spectacular views. Locals say that in the nice weather with one view one can embrace on the one side Maribor and on the other Ljubljana. But even when climbing up the dirt road we were accompanied by views of green meadows, pastures where cows lazily mooed and roads in the distance that appeared as white strips separating the areas cultivated by local farmers. The houses, scattered next to the narrow paved roads, are occupied by people who live in contact with nature. How they would not. They are surrounded with lush forests that overgrow surrounding plateau; in the distance, the snowy peaks of the mountains reveal from the clouds; trough the valley the Savinja and Dreta rivers flow in gentle meanders, and respect for the tradition and culture of the ancestors is still in awareness. Upper Savinja Valley is a typical alpine landscape where the high alpine karst plateau Golte Menina and Dobrovlje are hiding hollows of Gornji grad and Mozirje.


Adrenaline, action and fun - all year round
As the locals say: "Savinja is cool." Why? The abundance of water that flows from the alpine valleys feeds the river that in summer reaches a comfortable 26 degrees Celsius. At the banks of the Savinja river the attractive girls are sunbathing, children are building rocky bridges over the river, eager adrenalin freaks don lifejackets and get into rafts or kayaks to descend the rapids and pools of Savinja. The underwater world of the river can be discovered by snorkeling; you can discover the river by dropping on small and large waterfalls in wet suits (canyoning).

Even when you drive in the Upper Savinja Valley it is clear that this is a place for hikers. For those that are in great shape as for those who want only light exercise and for families. Turska mountain, Ojstrica, Grintovec, Golte, Raduha... so many options that you will need the whole holiday if you want to reach all the peaks. Mountain bikers will also feel right at home. Local guides organize tours for ladies, gentlemen, young people and experienced riders. Tours include visits of tourist farms, which serve excellent local food. However, when snow covers the landscape, it's time for the winter fun. On Golte the ski slopes for both skiers and snowboarders are arranged.


Romance, relaxation, adventure
The smell of freshly cut grass was not able to transcend the fragrance that came out of the kitchen. The fishes were being backed, trouts. Probably the ones were just recently pulled out of Savinja that flows nearby. Lush treetops are as green canopy that the hot summer days have a cooling effect in this paradise in the heart of Alpine valley. In Rečica ob Savinji on a large area Camp Menina is stretching. Surrounded is by lush greenery on which you can set up your tent. If you are not the type to sleep on the floor, Camp Menina has a wide range of advanced mobile homes, and few trekker huts. In the complex Youth Hostel Menina lies also and is ideal for young travelers, groups often find place there after parties. Through camp the stream flows, and it is filling the lake. In the summer 200 children and playful adults there find the refreshment. Everything that embraces the view of campsite is done carefully, neatly and with a sense of familiarity. In wooden restaurant pizzas, stews and typical local food is being served; there is also adventure park which stretches across the camp, children's park, “Spirit Laboratorium” (to spice up holidays there are always available crazy owners ideas), and a sauna. Ah, the sauna is right on cue for romantic souls. In the evening by torchlight visitors will relax body and mind. For those who are into crazy adventures in camp is a list of activities - tandem flights, canyoning, rafting, grass skiing (yes, that exists), water sports, guided tours by bike, and much more. In short, when in Camp Menina you will not be bored.

Youth Hostel Menina
To lick your fingers
On the way to the heart of the mountains, in the picturesque Logarska valley, where breathtaking waterfall Rinka is, you cannot miss Gostišče Pevc & Hostel Ljubno ob Savinji. On Fridays meat lovers will definitely stop for a roasted piglet or lamb on a spit that are rotating in front of the hostel. House with wooden balconies, brown shutters and plenty of beautiful flowers promises familiarity. The family-run guest house and hostel serves the guests with seasonal dishes that are picked in the garden and freshly baked bread in the wood oven. Besides that, of course, they serve zgornjesavinjski želodec (dry meat product) žlinkrofi filled with smoked minced meat, or dumplings with hemp seed. Even the hemp grows on the field few meters away, but this is of course without THC. Guests who stay overnight in one of the 17 beds are the most enthusiastic about homeliness as in small hostel with the hospitable staff they feel like home.

Youth Hostel Ljubno ob Savinji
Marof, hayrack, house of youth
Although it is right by the road, you will not see it. You have to stop at the Youth Hostel Šmartno ob Paki where the hayrack stands. If you ever had a desire to sleep in the hay barn, this is it for you. However, you will sleep on the mattress stuffed with spelt, but the atmosphere is right. In this hostel mostly a group of young artists and athletes are hosted. In the house of young, as they call the complex, you will find the hostel in the true sense of the word. Bunk beds in the attic stand side by side so that youngsters in the evenings, when the lights are off, share their secrets. Next to the hostel is completely renovated marof, a former outbuilding, today the place where creative, dance and educational workshops take place.

Youth Hostel Šmartno ob Paki

Anja Turk

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Barcolana, the most numerous sailing race in the world!

In the beginning of October, in the Gulf of Trieste, the sailing enthusiasts gather at the most numerous sailing race in the world - Barcolana. This year it's the 45th Barcolana in a row. Barcolana means the time of the year when the Gulf of Trieste files up with bursting colourful sails, the coast gets packed with a crowd of admirers. It really is the most beautiful race, viewed from the top, from where you view stretches all the way to the Croatian Savudria on one side and Italian Grado on the other. Barcolana is a meeting place of over twenty thousand sailors in front of over three hundred thousand spectators. It’s the most visited and best loved regatta in the Mediterranean Sea. In the middle of the Barcolana village an arena will be set for numerous meetings and events.

Barcolana; www.barcolana.it
Debeli rtič in the best spot to watch the Barcolana from. Debeli rtič is also an excellent starting point for many walks, trips and visits to the natural and cultural spots, well worth seeing. 

Where to sleep?
We recommend the Hostel Debeli rtič. The hostel can offer you accommodation in 43 comfortable domestic rooms with a total of 132 beds (each room has its own bathroom with shower - most of them also a balcony or a terrace with a sea-view or a view of the surrounding vineyards). We can also fulfil any requirement of guests with special needs. Barcolana special rate ranges from EUR 23,00 per person per day, with special discounts for groups.

Youth Hostel Debeli rtič
They provide breakfast or half-/full- board, a room with fresh linen and towels, free parking and free WI-FI. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Festival of typical Karst Stone

Autumn is slowly coming to the Karst area. Lower temperatures are just right for sport activities in the peaceful nature, which makes surrounding area more colourful. Nature is full of produce that make tipical Karst dishes even more tasty. All this can be felt the most in the 400 year old Karst homestead which was renovated to the Youth Hostel Pliskovica. Here you can also rent bikes and thus experience autumn on Karst in a recreative way.

Village Pliskovica 
This year, for the first time in Pliskovica, there will be a festival of tipical Karst Stone. The event will take place on the 21st and 22nd of September. The main theme of the festival will be the competition in stonecutting. Activities, which are mostly closely connected to Karst stone, are enriched with numerous workshops, guided hikes and much more.
Festival of tipical Karst Stone
The main aim of the Institute of Sport, Turism and Leisure Time Sežana is growth of sport culture and public awareness of importance of sports. Every year in October they organize an autumn cycling trip around Karst. This year it will be on the 12th of October. Two tours with different levels of difficulty are just right for recreational cyclists and also for those who want to overcome more difficult tours with higher elevation difference. The most special plant for this area, the purple sumac, which is famous for its special autumn colors, makes cycling trough the Karst landscape even more magical.


The flavours of the typical Karst dishes in autumn are inspired by nature and the cultural heritage. This time of the year is just perfect for visiting one of the typical restaurants, ‘osmca’ or similar culinary events where superb chefs enrich traditional dishes with tasty produce from the countryside.

Welcome to Pliskovica!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Let the autumn color you while visiting Slovenia

September is a great month for visiting Slovenia. The summer is slowly turning into a magical spectacle of thousand colours which make your visit unforgettable. The vineyards are shrouded in falling colours and offer a nice retreat to all wine lovers and growers, who like to sing traditional songs while enjoying the premium wine. 

Image source: www.slovenia.info 
And it is Maribor that prides itself with having the oldest grapevine in the world, which is also in the Guinness book of records and the Vinag cellar, which is one of the oldest and largest wine cellars in Europe. This year there will be already the 13th festival of the old vine – a 10 day tourist/culinary/wine/cultural festival you shouldn’t miss. The festival is the highlight among various events taking place since February (with the cutting of the vine) until November (the St. Martin festival, when grape juice becomes wine) dedicated to the oldest vine in the world and the greatest attraction of Maribor, which has a very rich wine history and is a great gateway to the vineyards of Štajerska and wine roads surrounding the city. The festival takes place between the 20th and 29th of September and you can read more about it at: http://maribor-pohorje.si/old-vine-festival.aspx. You are also in luck if looking for a quality but budget friendly board. There are two HI Youth Hostels in the center of the city Hostel Uni and Hostel Pekarna, with some more outside the centre, like Hostel Mlada Lipa at the foothills of Pohorje.


And on the other side of Slovenia there is the coastal region, which also has excellent wines and hills. The summer is at an end, but by the sea it is still nice and warm, with great price/value hostels that can give you a few nice days at the coast and offer many interesting tours and activities. For all who don’t know yet, this spring the unique Thalasso Spa Lepa Vida opened in the northern part of the nature park Sečovlje. The offer the wonderful experience of wave therapy in a unique natural environment among the salt fields with natural products from the nature park. After the treatment you can also explore the pools where they gain salt in a century long traditional way that has shaped the unique landscape of the park since the middle ages. You can stay at one of the coastal hostels spread from Ankaran to Portorož.


Healing sea salts will also recharge you with energy to be fit and go on the Emerald path which takes you through the palette of natural beauty. You can start at the wine region of Goriška Brda and the Valley of Vipava and continue over the mountains pass the green peaks before reaching the Alps. You companion along the way will be the Soča River, one of most important Slovenian rivers, which was also the stage for a three year long war campaign between Italy and Austro-Hungary during the Great War. Not to forget the past, but today Soča is more renowned for its clearness and beauty, where you can experience great adventures in nature. There are several Youth Hostels to be found along the way. If you wish to experience a traditional karst house, we suggest Hostel Pliskovica, but if you’re part of a larger group it’s better to stay at Hostel Ajdovščina. But if you plan to stay a while in the valley of the Soča river, we strongly recommend the new Hostel in Bovec.


Your path will take you through Tolmin, with its famous musical scene, which hosts a sporting festival in September. The Soča Outdoor Festival has an unforgettable flow by the water and with evening dancing. Bicycle fans will also get a chance to try out many organized cycling routes on the mountains of Tolmin, with experienced cyclist leading the way, or by marathons where you will get to test your spirit of competition. The fans of running, or white water rapids, or even paraglide lovers will also get their dose of fun. The festival tends to be family friendly so we take care of animating the children at a special part along the river, where they will be well taken care of. You can read more about a festival that takes place between September 13th and 15th at their website: www.soca-outdoor.com . You can spend a night at the Hostel Paradiso in the very centre of Tolmin.


And let’s not forget the European basketball Championship taking place between the 4th and 22nd of September! Fans will get a chance to follow the games of top teams competing for the title of Europe’s best basketball nation. You can follow the matches in Ljubljana, Koper, Jesenice and book a cheap hostel in one of the local hostels that boast with great quality. You can read more about the championship at: www.eurobasket2013.org .

Have a nice September stay in Slovenia.

Autumn – the season for hiking in Slovenia

In autumn the landscape of municipality Brežice offers numerous possibilities for an active vacation. Everything from boating on the river Krka, cycling, horseback riding to hiking, which is a perfect opportunity to discover the divine nature wrapped in a rainbow of colourful autumn. It is an excellent recreation in nature and at the same time allows travellers to learn more about the cultural and natural heritage of the region.

Water tower
MC Hostel Brezice is located in a park in the heart of Brežice and within few minutes you can be on any hiking trail. As an accommodation with four hikers we are fully specialized for hikers. We provide verbal information in the Slovenian and two foreign languages, special accommodation arrangements, saunas and massage parlours in the vicinity, common rooms and an indispensable free wireless connection, hiking equipment and multiday hiking programs with guides that allow you to explore the sights of diverse landscape of Brežice and anyone can find something for himself.

For the begging you can start from MC Hostel Brežice and go on a short morning trip to Šentvid and allow yourself to be seduced by the magnificent view. The rise to the church Sv. Vid is a great opportunity to get to know the hidden corners and colourful autumn leaves.


For castle and museum fans is the hiking trail, which leads from the Brežice Castle to a village Bukošek and concludes in a small village Artiče, an excellent choice. The Brežice castle houses the Posavje Museum and a beautiful Knight's hall. The trail leads us by the water tower and the Church of St. Rocco and at the end it brings us to Artiče, where you can make a stop at the Banhomestead – the complex of rural economy of the 19th century.


All of those who are fascinated by the variety of vineyards, forests and rivers can choose a hiking path from the confluence of the Sava and Krka to Dobova, which is known for its carnival - fašjenk. The path takes us to Kapele, where there is an information room about the natural park Jovsi, a home for various and diverse species of endangered birds. We return to Brežice through Dobrava, magical forest full of secret stories and a paradise for mushroom hunters.

Repnice, unigue caves where you can taste excellent local wines.
The most beautiful view of the hills planted with vineyards we get if walk across the left bank of the river Sotla through Bizeljsko. We must not overlook repnice, unigue caves where you can taste excellent local wines. The path takes us past the castle Bizeljsko, which peacefully watches over the vineyards. In the idyllic village Pišece you can see the birthplace of the linguist Maks and Castle Pišece, which brings us stories about knights and the famous Moscon family.

Castle Bizeljsko
Welcome to MC Hostel Brežice, where we will be happy to assist you in planning hiking trails and together with you and your desires and abilities develop a plan of recreational holiday in colourful autumn days. Discover the magic of Brežice with MC hostel Brežice!