Monday, 29 June 2015

Kamnik. Adventure is out there.

Have you ever visited the green valley of Kamniška Bistrica or vast forests or the sunny Velika planina plateau, offering romantic views of mysterious peaks? The world of ancient memories, breathtaking nature, rich regional diversity and beautiful landscapes – this is the region of Kamnik.

@www.kamnik-tourism.si
Kamnik is located in the Valley of Kamniška Bistrica River, where hues of green give the nature its special character. Kamniška Bistrica River and Nevljica River are home to various species of fish, including river trout, rainbow trout and grayling. This makes the rivers ideal for recreational fishing. 

The landscape of the Kamnik Savinja Alps is like in a fairytale. Fresh air, untouched nature and breathtaking views invite you to visit all year round: let it be winter or summer, spring or autumn… Every season offers a unique experience of the mountains.

@Photo: Ales Frelih; www.kamnik-tourism.si 
Follow the paths of culture and tradition and taste traditional dishes from the Kamnik region, which are united under the Taste Kamnik brand. The dishes are available at selected local restaurants. Among the typical dishes is also Trnič hard cheese, which originates from Velika planina – a unique local product, a must-buy when visiting Kamnik. You can buy it at the Kamnik Tourist Information Centre, where you will learn more about its use and recipes, in which you can use it.

@Photo: Polona Grahekwww.kamnik-tourism.si 
Would you like to sleep in one of the oldest houses in Kamnik? Spend your vacation or a weekend break in the family-run Pod Skalo Hostel, conveniently located close to the old town, yet still surrounded with green environment. In one of the oldest houses in Kamnik, where the fifth generation now runs the restaurant, a touch of tradition can strongly be felt, although the rooms are adapted to the needs of modern travelers. A warm atmosphere, personal approach and flexibility are their main assets. An excellent breakfast buffet consists of a variety of local products. At the Pod Skalo Pub, you can try more than 50 different types of beer, including the local brand, Mali Grad beer. A number of concerts, various tastings, including beer tasting evenings and annual painting meetings take place here. 

Youth Hostel Pod Skalo
Treat yourself with a short escape into the green natural surroundings and seize the day. Untouched nature, vibrant cultural scene, unforgettable adventures – in Kamnik, everything is within your grasp. Indulge in the perfect combination of cultural and sporting pleasures and forget about everyday worries. 

For more information, visit: 
Glavni trg 2
1240 Kamnik
Tel: +3861/831 82 50

Sabina Romšak, Kamnik Tourism and Sports Agency

Friday, 26 June 2015

Splashing into summer

Wondering why you'd take your group to Slovenia during the summer heat? We invite you to check out the clip »Why Slovenia?« and you'll stop wondering and start planning the group trip. This time we'll present 6 Slovenian youth hostels that will offer not only quality bedding and food at affordable prices, but also cooling and relaxation for the summer months – weather in spas, rivers, lakes or in the sea, which are all located near the hostels. We promise you, your group members will not be disappointed by the beauty Slovenia has to offer – and the won’t get hungry or hot either.

If you love lakes, we invite you to head for Bohinj and if you’re coming from the direction of Ljubljana, you should stop at Bled along the way. The Lake Bled is among the most beautiful lakes on the face of the planet. Continuing to Bohinj, you can stop at Hostel Koča Suha, which is part of the Hostel pod Voglom, and has its own beach at the shore of Lake Bohinj. Apart from cooling off in the lake, while being surrounded by pristine forests, you will also have the possibility of spending active holidays. The hostel collaborates with the Pac Sport agency, which offers many adrenalin activities and fun. If in the Drava Valley, you should not miss out on the Water park Radlje ob Dravi, which is the first natural bathing lake in Slovenia. It is using nature to balance the biological self-defence mechanism – in other words it utilises natural systems for biological purification of the water, with no added chemicals. If you would like to enjoy this ECO friendly option, we invite you to Radlje, where you can also find great accommodation at the Hostel Marenberg. They’ll make sure you’ll be welcome in a friendly environment and their own restaurant will also make sure, you will not go hungry. But if you prefer a more active sport fun, we invite you to the Thermal Spa in Ptuj. They offer four outdoor swimming pools with waves and slides. You can also stay at the Hostel Poetovio, which is part of the high school dorm, so they are very used to receiving and servicing large groups and feature their own kitchen. In the pots of the skilled cooks you will find many local specialities. If however you crave even more excitement, we suggest a water fun park Aqualuna with 3.000 square meters of water surfaces, featuring attractions such as artificial waves, water slides and curves. And exactly 200 meters away is the Hostel Podčetrtek, which is also just 100m from the rail station. As the hostel tends to get full quickly we suggest booking way in advance. But there’s no real summer without the sea! That’s why we’re inviting you to the Hostel Portorož, located at the highest point in the vicinity, offering great view of the Slovenian, Croatian and Italian coast along the Northern Adriatic Sea. Hostel is so big you can play hide-and-seek (and it will be a challenge for the seeker). It features free parking where you can also come with a bus, after exploring the country. And as the sixth destination, let us suggest Bovec, which offers the crystal clear waters of River Soča and many exciting water activates (canyoning, rafting, hydrospeed, kayak, and many more). As a HI member you get extra discounts on all sporting activities offered by local agencies. You can read more about it HERE. And you can spend your nights at the Hostel Bovec, which also offers you to book the entire hostel for your group exclusively.

@www.hiusa.org

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Which festivals will you check out this summer?

Summer break is almost here and tension before exams is the proof of it, with ever higher temperatures to be followed by ever lighter dressed people. Got any summer plans already? Check out our selection of the four best festivals in Slovenia, select at least one and – see you there!

@Schengenfest
The festival of sound, sun and a week long camping
You stick your head out of the tent into a sunny day! Put on the swimsuit and jump into one of the cleanest rivers in Slovenia in the company of new friends, get a tan and share the excitement before the beginning of the evening festival programme. Where? At Schengenfest! The festival of sound, sun and fun as the organizers call it will take place at the same location as always, in Vinica (Bela Krajina) between July 29th and August 1st. Last year there were 26.000 visitors, who completely filled the idyllic and almost untouched town by the River Kolpa, so the organizers decided to prolong the event for a day and give better camping opportunities for a whole week. The price of admission for all four festival days are between 49,90 and 109,90 Euros. The list of performers is getting longer and among them you will find these internationally recognised names: Rudimental, S.A.R.S., Siddharta, Elvis Jackson, Niet, Vlado Kreslin, Noctiferia, Trkaj and many more!

The hostel in Črnomelj also offers great accommodation and available prices.

@Festival Pivo in cvetje
The biggest festival event in Slovenia
The festival Pivo in cvetje (Beer and flowers), which will take place between July 16th and 19th in Laško, will be held for the 51st time! In all those years of existence the festival has become a part of the town and has hosted over a million visitors that drank the combined sum of over 10 million liters of the Laško Beer. The statistics thus confirms, that the town on the banks of Savinja organizes the biggest festival event in Slovenia, with the longest tradition. This year it will be especially interesting, as there will be the highest number of guests as of yet, with 32 performers from over 17 countries. The five stages will host music groups such as: MI2, Šank Rock, Modrijani, Klemen Bunderla & 3Čelos, Manouche and the music treat - Europe. What’s new this year? It’s the Malt stage that will host electronic music. And they are saying that even Natalie Imbruglia will come! But that’s not all – all the stages are absolutely free of charge! 

You can sleep in lovely Youth Hostel Celje


Head banging in idyllic Tolmin
Imagine many concerts of your favourite bands, hanging out with people who love the same kind of music (from Slovenia and abroad) and enjoying the loudness of heavy metal! You must be at Metaldays! It's a festival which is also a holiday in a true sense of the word, at the otherwise quiet point where two rivers meet in Tolmin. The festival which started out in mud back in 2004 will be offering two stages this year, main and second stage. This year on metaldays you'll be able to enjoy the heavy sounds of: Saxon, Noctiferia, Fear Factor, Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder and many more. This year the daily tickets started selling sooner, so don’t miss out on them. A daily ticket costs 49€ and a whole package costs 135€.

You can book a stay at the nearby hostel Paradiso.

@ŠVIC
Cosy feeling, unavailable phone number and great music
The Student Weekend of Intelligence and Cviček (ŠVIC) was always meant to make you feel right at home, as it’s placed on a grassy meadow in Dolenja vas near Čatež… a place where your old folks can’t get hold of you, as it’s a blind spot in the cell phone network. So tell them in advance that you won’t be available on 11th and 12th of July! You’ll enjoy great company, tasty food and drinks, fun daytime activities and an unforgettable evening programme. This year several bands will heat up the atmosphere: MI2, Dan D, Big Foot Mama, Edo Maajka, Happy Ol' McWeasel, Cover Lover, Elvis Jackson, Prljavo kazalište and many more. All day activities and evening performances  can be purchased for 28,50 EUR.

If you want a comfortable room, you can choose either Youth Hostel Brežice or Yout Hostel Krško, both will welcome you!


Tjaša Vodušek 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Festival Brezice, My Town

From 24th until 28th of June the little idyllic town Brezice invites you to the active, amusing, cultural and sports wandering festival »Brežice, my town«. The biggest festival in Posavje invites all ages, from the youngest, to those of more mature years.


The festival will begin in the castle courtyard, with an event “The day of wine, bread and salami”.

Sports lovers will surely find an event for them. The bravest can participate in a three day walk from Ljubljana to Brežice. Running enthusiasts can attend a run with the Olympic champion Primož Kozmus. For the last day of the festival, you will be able to relax on First Wake Park in the company of SUP and water gliding lovers.


For the second year in a row a culinary project “Kuhna Na Ulci” will be presented and we promise an unforgettable gastronomic experience.  You will be able to taste different kind of food’s from all around the world.


The festival doesn’t forget about the children and prepares a lot of different activities for them. In the green city park dwarf magic will happen. The old town center will come alive on Friday evening when the rich concert scene will be opened by a "Summer Night" with Slovenian stars and the host of the event Nusa Derenda. An unforgettable conclusion of the evening will be in the hands of a legend - Magnifico. The following Saturday evening a local band Grizl and the Slovenian duet Maraaya will perform on the big stage. The musical experience of this year will be concluded with a performance of musical virtuoso Gibonni and Vlatko Stefanovski.


Mc hostel Brezice, hostel for all generations, prepared great discounts during the festival. It is located near the city park and only a few minutes away from the castle Brezice and the city center so visitors can be constantly in touch with the latest happenings at the festival. For more information you can call on +386 5 908 37 97 or write to brezice@youth-hostel.si.


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

Thursday, 4 June 2015

How such a fluffy pillow is made

»Ooh, what a soft pillow! And what a warm blanket! And just look at those colourful soft socks!« does that sound familiar? Do you know what they've got in common? Maybe they're all made out of quality Slovenian sheep wool? That's right. Sheep are not only cute white animals grazing on pastures from when first strong sun rays melt the snow, until the autumn when the cold sets in. They are also the source of a soft pillow and warm blanket. Twice a year, usually in spring and autumn, when the weather is warm enough we sheer them. Did you know, it’s possible to get 2 kilos of wool per sheep? The sheered wool is first cleansed of rough materials and impurities. Next it’s washed and combed – or as the people doing it say: mikana. And then the wool can be transformed into objects that we need.


In Selnica ob Dravi (13 kilometers from Maribor in the direction of Dravograd) you are welcome to visit one of the few sheep wool producers of Slovenia – the weaving house SOVEN. They will demonstrate to you, how wool is being prepared for processing, how it’s woven and how they make both handmade or machine knitted products and especially, how bed linen is made. Company Soven from Selnica ob Dravi offers Slovenian wool made completely ecologically. They tend to make as many different useful and original wool based products, by which they also help Slovenian sheep-farmers to gain added value for their wool. In the production hangar you’ll see how blankets are made, all sorts of linen, pillows, decorative details, woollen fabrics, rugs and carpets, horse blankets, BIO fabrics, unique knitting, socks, stockings, glows, hats, scarves, pullovers, ponchos, jackets and bed covers. Wool has been used for clothing for millennia. Today the unique wool products have fashion designs and above all warm and natural. But it’s not only people who use wool to keep themselves warm, they also put it in the Bio woollen house isolations. The Soven products are ecologically made. Most are also handmade and have the touch of being *unique,* and they are made with a lot of tradition – such products have the Slovenian *art/craft* certificate. 


Dear travellers, if you’re travelling through Slovenia, you are more than welcome to stop within the Drava valley and take a look at the unique was of wool production. We especially recommend our tour to schools and groups of interested visitors, so you can see one of the few wool weaving productions in Slovenia, located in the Drava valley. You are welcome to visit each work day between 9AM and 4PM and between 9AM and noon on Saturdays. After the production hall you’ll get to see the shop and the exhibition salon, where you can buy the unique products at very lucrative prices. 


If you’re a Hostelling International member, you can get a 15% discount for the admission price to see one of the few sheep-wool weaving productions in Slovenia.


Soven d.o.o.
Belingerjeva ulica 19
2345 Selnica ob Dravi
Tel.: +386 (0)2 674 05 74

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Home made in Zasavje

In the era of supermarkets and large shopping centers, the knowledge about how to produce a food yourself and other life necessities is being lost. However, homemade products are still highly appreciated because of their originality, uniqueness and because they are made with more love and effort. There are many hidden places in Zasavje where visitors can be actively involved in the production of home made products. You can learn to farm environmentally and responsible, you also make contact with nature. Friendly locals like to display their activities in which visitors can be involved. Besides beautiful, first-class products, visitors gain some interesting experience and applied knowledge.  

@Foto: Matej Strgaršek; www.slovenia.info
Almost at the edge of the municipality Hrastnik, near the Roman spa, in Turje is the fruit farm Rožej. They own an apple orchard and make diverse apple products. Visitors can taste a variety of apple products, learn something about their activity and visit their modern orchard.


Another small but extremely interesting corner with local products is located in Hrastnik. This is the Herb Garden Cvetka, at Hrastnik side of the village Čeče. As we know already from the name it is a small and cute herb garden. Here we can find the right herbs and spices for curing diseases and for making soaps. Visitors can also learn how to prepare them themselves. Herbal garden Cvetka offers a number of tips for growing herbs and using plants for different purposes. Fortified with homemade herbal tea and a snack from the garden, visitors will leave full of useful knowledge.

@www.zelisca-cvetka.si
In Trbovlje site of village Čeče, Kupšek family presents two of their activities. Farm Požlep, such as its local name, is known for its walnut grove. They offer homemade walnut liqueur and use walnuts for bakery products in the domestic bakery Pod lipo. Visitors can participate in the processing of nuts and bakery activities. 

In Ravenska village on the border between Trbovlje and Zagorje is located an ecological tourist farm Macerl. This deals with the breeding of ruminants, especially sheep of meat breed. Here you can get fresh meat for groups, they prepare various workshops on sheep farming and organic farming. In addition to sheep meat you can also get a sheepskin coat and woolen products.

@www.zdruzenje-zekzz.si/node/63
The specific mode of organic farming is engaged in the biodynamic farm Sešlar on Izlake, which is especially known for its cheese brand Demeter. In addition to cheese you can also get curds and whey, fresh homemade veal and sawn timber. Visitors can see their cheese factory and take lectures on biodynamic method of farming and tasting their home made products.

Youth Hostel Trbovlje
Youth hotel Trbovlje is a great accommodation if you are coming in Zasavje alone, in couple or in group. There is also Tourist Information Center which gives you advice where to go or organize you a visit of farms. Youth hotel offers 3 double rooms with bathroom and the chance of extra bed, dormitory with 14 beds and shared bathroom and apartment with kitchen and bathroom for 4 persons. Guests can use parking and Wi-Fi for free, and there is also a nice cafeteria in the building. 

Welcome!