Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Welcome to the old Mediterranean town of Izola

The old Mediterranean town of Izola leans on the south-western coast of the Gulf of Trieste, where the genuine tradition of fishing and winemaking, the mystical traces of the past and the kindness of the locals form an unforgettable mosaic of experiences. The lively pace of the town and the romantic character welcome you, which is why it is said that you never forget Izola.

Izola, www.izola.eu
The turbulent history of the little fishing town created wonderful architecture treasures and old legends, which bring you back in time when Izola was still an island. The spirit of the Mediterranean can be felt with every step on clustered medieval streets, with the view of the rocking boats, with a relaxing chat with the locals, and with the aroma of speciality seafood dishes accompanied by good wine.

Izola, www.izola.eu
In Izola it is never boring because there are various sport, culture and entertainment events throughout the whole year and they are inspired by old customs and traditions. Museum, galleries and studios will bring you to the world of Istrian art and craft, but if you wish to experience real spiritual refreshment, sail the Adriatic sea.

Izola, www.izola.eu
Picturesque countryside of Izola with many valleys and long hills offers gourmet delights, which can be explored in several local restaurants and on tourist farms, most of which have a wonderful view of the Gulf of Trieste. Izola’s hinterland offers countless possibilities for roaming around and exploring the natural beauty of Istrian hills, on which are situated lovely stone houses and old churches. You can explore them on foot, on bicycle or even on a horse’s back.

Izola, www.izola.eu
Between many different accommodation possibilities you can choose to stay also at the Hostel Alieti. Hostel Alieti is a quiet, cozy property in the heart of historic town centre of Izola. Izola is a city that lives all the year around. With its good bus connections Izola is a great starting point to discover Slovene coast.  

Youth Hostel Alieti
Hostel Alieti is located in one of old houses right in the historic centre, close to the sea. They offer 25 beds in small dormitories on three floors. Mixed dorms on the first and second floor have 4 or 6 beds (bunk beds). The 5-beds dorm in the loft has lower ceiling (also air-con) but a pleasant atmosphere.  Two bathrooms are situated on the first and second floor. You will find a reception and a common area with a kitchenette on the ground floor. They serves free breakfast (croissant, coffee/tea, juice), and offer free WLAN. The entire house is air conditioned in summer and heated in winter.  

Youth Hostel Alieti
For more information about Izola you are welcome to visit website www.izola.eu or contact the Tourist information office on tic.izola@izola.si.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Become a correspondent for the online magazine Globetrotter

Hostelling International Slovenia is the main force behind the youth mobility and youth tourism with emphasis on youth boarding options in Slovenia and is for the fifth year in a row publishing the online magazine Globetrotter, with varied information bringing the world of travel, backpacking and exploration directly to your screen. All passionate travellers are invited to join and co-create a better future through promoting travel, which helps educate people and offers greater mobility. 

Globetrotter, www.globetrotter.si
It is time to start looking at travel in a different way. This will help us realize that travel is much more than visiting a place in your own land or abroad. It’s so much more than buying a few souvenirs and making up a photo album when we get back home. Travel is an informal way of learning, which is of great benefit to the youth of today, who want to pave their way towards the future career. This opens up new horizons in the field of linguistics, better understanding of foreign cultures, more tolerance toward others and ones-self, a larger social network and richer life experience that result in a more fulfilled life. 

Globetrotter is a great platform to inform and encourage such a way of travel. In five years we got many readers, who constantly come back and read the articles, as well as share their experience, or give advice about something that they’ve learned along their way. And it’s always best to get information first hand – the stories of one’s own travels are most touching, convincing, educational… Only if you experience something personally will you be able to really describe the experience and talk about the lesson learned or feeling felt while it happened.


The opinions of travellers is of key importance in tourism. The ratings of different places you’ve spent the night at and other tourist offers are just the cherry on the cream, which can convince a visitor for a certain product. This is the main reason why we want to enrich the content of our magazine Globetrotter with your first hand stories, which can inspire others – less courageous – to start to travel. As a non-profit organization we will be very grateful if you’ll volunteer your stories to us and present them to the audience from Alaska to Australia. But just because you’ll volunteer the article, doesn’t mean we will not try to award you. There are often possibilities to visit a destination through our organization, or join a project other organizations are conducting to promote youth mobility abroad. 

And we shall also promote your blog through our promotional channels, which will surely help the visit number on your portal. We’re sure you have at least one story up your sleeve you’d like to share with our readers.

Contact us at info@globetrotter.si and share your experience with the world.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Welcome to Bled, Slovenia

With immense natural beauty, Bled, together with its surroundings, ranks among the most beautiful alpine resorts, renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. The beauty of the mountains reflected on the lake, the sun, the serenity and the fresh air arouse pleasant feelings in visitors throughout the year, guaranteeing an ideal base or a relaxing break or an active holiday. Bled attracts businessmen, artists, athletes, explorers, sport enthusiasts, the old and the young, from all over the world, enchanting them to return again and again.

Bled in the winter evening(Author - B. Kladnik); www.slovenia.info
Altitude 501 m, Castle Hill 604 m, Mt. Straža 646 m. Number of inhabitants 5476. Tourist capacity 4000 beds. Lake: altitude 475 m, length 2120 m, width 1380 m, area 144 ha, maximum depth 30.6 m, maximum annual water temperature is 26°C.

Bled's is a mild, healthy sub-Alpine climate with the longest swimming season of any Alpine resort. The ridges of the Julian Alps and the Karavanke protect it from the chilly northern winds. During the summer months there is no fog. The average monthly temperature in July is 18,7°C and in January -1,2°C.  

TOP FIVE OF BLED

1. Lake bled with an island

6 km long trail around the lake is just long enough for simple recreation (walks or bike rides). This trail also leads to sightseeing rises – Castle Hill and nearby hills with splendid views. Take a rest on one of the benches and enjoy the view on the lake with an island and the Karavanke mountains in the distance, and observe the ducks and swans playing on the surface of the lake. Rowing is a very popular sports activity in this area as Bled can pride itself with a long tradition of the rowing sport and with hosting international rowing competitions. During the summer visitors can cool down in the lake or enjoy on the Castle beach which each year attracts a great number of tourists. In extremely low winter temperatures the surface of the lake freezes. Would you dare to ice skate on its surface?

Bled, the Island(Author-Klemen Kunaver); www.slovenia.info
Once, there was a tectonic basin located at the place of the present lake, which was later on carved by the Bohinj glacier. The glacier found itself in front of an obstacle – a giant rock which it carved and chafed against for so long that only the island we know today remained. The ice melted and the basin was filled with water, thus creating a 2.12 km long and up to 1.30 km wide Lake Bled. Its maximum depth reaches up to 30.6 m, making it ideal for diving exploration.

Must-take picture: Take a picture of gracious swans, traditional Pletna boats, surrounding hills and their reflection on the surface of the lake, the picturesque island with the church and the romantic sunset.

2. The bled castle 

The history of the castle reaches back to 1004 when the German Emperor Henry II gave his estate at Bled to Bishop Albuin of Brixen. At that time, only a Romanesque tower protected by walls stood in the place of the present day castle. The first castle was built in approximately 1011 but the Bishops of Brixen never resided there. This is precisely why the castle has no luxurious halls as the greater emphasis was placed on the defence system.

Bled, the Castle, with Triglav in the background(Author-Klemen Kunaver); www.slovenia.info
In the late Middle Ages more towers were built and the fortifications system was improved. Can you imagine entering through the outer walls with the Gothic arch and walking over the drawbridge above the moat? Today, the moat is filled with earth, but the sight is still able to stir up your imagination.

The distinctive feature of the castle is its double structure – the fortified centre part was intended for the residence of feudal lords, whilst the outer part with walls and buildings was intended for the residence of servants. In 1511 the castle was heavily damaged by the earthquake. Later on, the castle was restored and given its present appearance. The castle buildings are decorated with coats-of-arms painted in the fresco technique or carved in stone.

The Bled castle
The Bled Castle today
The Bled Castle is now arranged as an exhibition area. Display rooms next to the chapel present the ancient history of Bled from the first excavations, and the castle in individual stages of its historical development with furniture, characteristic of those times. Although these pieces are not originally from the Bled Castle, they are important as an illustration of the style of living in the historical periods presented.

During the warm months, the castle courtyard hosts numerous cultural events, from which the Medieval Days, when knights present the medieval life to visitors, are the most appreciated.

3. The pletna boat

There are various ways to take a trip across the lake or to the island. One of them includes a trip with the traditional boat made by locals which is only known at Bled – the Pletna boat. The origins of the Pletna boat go back to 1590, whilst it size allows safe transportation of 20 persons. You should be able to recognize it from afar as it is equipped with a colourful awning which protect passengers from the sun and other elements.

Bled(Author-Matej Vranič); www.slovenia.si
The Pletna boat is operated by the Pletna oarsman. This profession is very respected as it cannot be performed just by anyone. The title of the Pletna oarsman was handed down from generation to generation, which is why the profession of “Pletnarstvo” remained in individual families throughout the centuries. The Pletna oarsmen await you in the Spa Park, under the Park Hotel Bled, in Mlino and in the Rowing centre Bled.

What is the Pletna boat?
The Pletna boat is a wooden flat-bottom boat with a pointed bow and the stern widened with a step to enable passengers to enter. The boat is propelled with the special »stehrudder« technique where the oarsman is standing and rowing with two oars.

The origin of the name
It is said that the Pletna boat gained its name after its roof which was once wickered. The other explanation claims that the name came from the German word »plateboot«, meaning flat-bottom boat.

Must-try: Hop in the Pletna boat and let the oarsman take you on a tour of the lake. You will experience a most special feeling and you most certainly won’t get disappointed. Actually, there is saying which says that you haven’t really visited Bled if you haven’t taken a trip with the Pletna boat. You can also rent your own boat, but you will have to row it yourself.

4. The Vintgar gorge  

The 1.6 km long Vintgar gorge carves its way through the vertical rocks of the Hom and Bort hills and is graced by the Radovna with its waterfalls, pools and rapids. The educational trail leads you over wooden bridges and Žumr’s galleries, and ends with a bridge overlooking the mighty 13 m high Šum waterfall.

The Vintgar gorge
The Vintgar gorge also includes two man-made sights. The single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway, constructed in 1906, which crosses the gorge 33.5 m above the trail, and the dam from which the water is routed to the small Vintgar hydroelectric power plant under the Šum waterfall.

Must-impress:  The Bled's Vintgar leaves an impression on every visitor. Its steep depths, vertical walls, rapid river beneath, vegetation and the largest waterfall in Slovenia are all intended to impress.

5. Cream cake »Kremšnita« 

Cream cakes, known to Bled for decades, are in fact the symbol of Bled. Although you can buy them elsewhere, those from Bled are simply the best. Ištvan Lukačevič, the former manager of the Hotel Park patisserie, tested recipes for many years before he finally succeeded. His cream cakes, which are prepared at this patisserie and sold in the café opposite the hotel, are famous.

Bled cream cake (Author - Aleš Fevžer ); www.slovenia.si
What is the cream cake?
What is the secret? In fact, there is no secret - only experience matters, and the cooks from Bled have plenty of experience. Over the last 60 years they have sold as many as 12 million cream cakes. Let us treat you: a golden crispy crust made from butter dough (mixed with butter, not margarine), a delicious vanilla cream of exactly the right consistency (with exactly the right amount of flour - if there is too much the cakes are no good, if too little, they collapse after cutting), topped with whipped cream and a crispy layer of butter dough and finally, last but not least, a good dusting of icing sugar. You see? Your mouth is watering already. 

Must-taste:  After you have finished your lunch of traditional Bled cuisine, treat yourself with the Bled Cream cake.

ACCOMMODATION: YOUTH HOSTEL BLEDEC

Welcome to our hostel and pension BLEDEC! Our building is located at the old part of town, named Grad (Castle), below the Castle of Bled and just five minutes from the lake. We offer comfortable accommodation in 12 rooms from 3 to 8 beds. We accept the groups!

Youth Hostel Bledec
Youth Hostel & Guesthouse is the first hostel with 15 years traditon on Bled. As true lovers of tourism, we offer our guests a friendly and efficient service. Many guests like us and come back every year. By us they find the best accommodation for affordable prices. Apart from accommodation and food, we offer all sorts of excursions and visits to nearby island and gorge and Bled surroundings. In the summer you can hike and bike or just take a swim in the lake, an ice skating hall is waiting for you in winter or you can ski on the hill in the middle of town. In the city center you can find shops and a lot of fun in the pubs. There is no age limit in our house.

Youth Hostel Bledec
Youth Hostel Bledec
Grajska 17
Tel.: +386 (0)4 574 52 50
Fax: +386 (0)4 574 52 51

Friday, 3 January 2014

Let a town to tell you his story

Brezice is a small town that offers many rich and interesting stories. A walk through the old town Brežice tells many stories that were woven by the residents of the city. Suddenly you find yourself in a time when the old town  was still the center of action. Visiting the major sights in the city center and stopping  at City Hall to taste the best local wines delicacies, are an excellent opportunity for a winter vacation in a different way.

Brežice
In the German house, which was built in the northern renaissance arhitecture style, you can feel  how residents had fun in the painted hall and inn room with bar at masquerades, balls, public festivites and concerts. The path leads us to the National House, which was famous for garden theater performances and concerts. Opposite of the National House, starts the street Stara Pravda, which is a semi - circular route and it begins by the castle at the southern city gates.  A part of the eastern city walls from the 16th century is preserved only in the back sides of the houses along the street.  City walls were built due to the danger of the Turkish invasion and it was possible to enter town through the main northern and southern tower-shaped gate and smaller eastern gates. The row of low houses finishes with the water tower.

Water tower and Street Stara Pravde
The water tower is a wonderful monument that attracts every visitor of the town Brezice. It is 46 meters high and mainly circular. It has four smaller balconies, with an octagonal reservoir on top and covered by octagonal pyramid roof. The water was built to serve as a means of urban water supply in the early 19th century. The water was pumped into the high tower collector that ensured an adequate water pressure in the network. Today you can have coffee or a refreshing drink inside and you can let this romantic building to tell you her story.

Brežice castle
The Brežice castle was built in the 11th century  and hides a  wide range of stories.  The specialty of the castle is a beautiful Knight's Hall, decorated with baroque frescoes. It is the largest in this part of Europe and must not to be overlooked by travelers. The castle now houses Posavski Museum, where you can see archaeological, ethnological, art history and the recent history collection.

Town Hall Brežice
The best way to conclude your walk around Brezice is to visit the Town Hall Brezice, which was once the center of the town authorities and excellence. Today's Town Hall is a meeting point of the past and the present, past and future. Although the visitors may at first glance feel that the building is only a monument to its history, this is far from the case. With a great atmosphere and a wide selection of wines in the wine cellar and a unique urban store with domestic products, it invites you to finish your stroll through Brezice right here.

Youth Hostel Brežice
Come to Mc hostel Brezice, located just a few meters away from the old town and we will organise you an exciting and unforgettable guided sightseeing  in Brežice and guided tasting of the best local wines in the Town Hall. Let the town Brežice to tell you his story.