tökmagolaj kóstolás Szlovéniában a Kocbek tökmagolaj gyárban

Slovenia All Year Round: A Journey through Picturesque Landscapes, Rich Culture, and Gastronomic Delights

by Kassay Tamás

When it comes to picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and delightful gastronomy, Slovenia is a hidden gem that is sure to enchant any traveler. In recent years, this jewel of a country, with its coastlines and ski resorts, has undergone indescribable quality development. So, I am quite sure that there is no desire it cannot satisfy. While in my childhood, I was more enamored with Italy, nowadays, I eagerly return to Slovenia again and again, just as I did recently. This is a travelogue, and I wish that the dear Reader also experiences these wonderful adventures!

For those accustomed to vacationing, it’s easy to rush through a country and overlook the special landscapes and friendly, historical towns in the rush. Our first stop, just a 3-hour drive from Budapest, is the experience center of Slovenia’s outstanding pumpkin seed oil factory.

OLJARNA KOCBEK: Preserving a Century-Old Tradition of Slovenian Pumpkin Seed Oil

Our first stop is OLJARNA KOCBEK, where we immerse ourselves in the world of Slovenian pumpkin seed oil. The owner provided excellent guided tours and a tasting of pumpkin seed oil, after which it was clear that we couldn’t leave empty-handed. Not because we had to buy anything, but because it was impossible to resist and we ended up stocking up on pumpkin seed oil and other delicacies for a few months. During the tour, we got to know the art of pumpkin seed oil production and tasted this liquid gold. I recommend that everyone visits this place to get a real insight into the country’s culture.

Guided Tour in Maribor and Wine Tasting at Hiša Stare Trte

When you arrive in a big city, it’s always worth considering whether to explore it individually or with a local guide. Maribor is Slovenia’s second-largest city, and it’s helpful to have assistance, but it can also be confidently explored without it. What I highly recommend is visiting Hiša Stare Trte, a true curiosity. Not only can you taste some of the finest wines in Slovenia here, but the real highlight is a grapevine living happily on the building’s wall, which is a Guinness World Record holder, being the world’s oldest grapevine that still produces fruit. It is highly cherished and monitored with cameras, which is entirely understandable.

About 50 minutes from here, it suddenly feels like you’re in Tuscany, but in reality, you’re near the Hungarian, Croatian, and Slovenian tri-border area in a place called Jeruzalem. It’s named after the legend that when the crusaders on their way to the Holy Land saw the beautiful hilly landscape, they thought:

“We’ve arrived in paradise on Earth.”

Accommodation and Dinner at SIBON RESORT JERUZALEM

Szlovénia Jeruzalem Sibon Wine Spa Resort luxus szálloda medencéje

We spent the night at SIBON RESORT JERUZALEM, and I’ve already covered this in a separate detailed article because it deserves more than just a few lines to present. I recommend it to anyone who values quality, experience, and a place they would happily return to later. Sibon Wine & Spa is a peaceful oasis amid picturesque vineyards, with a beautiful infinity pool and an elegant dinner menu.

Travel to the Slovenian Coast in Autumn – Because the Sea Air Always Does Good!

After a hearty breakfast at Sibon Resort, we headed towards the Slovenian coast, specifically the city of Portorož, famous for its beautiful promenade. Our route takes us through picturesque landscapes, offering a glimpse into Slovenia’s diverse terrain. We stop at various places along the way; there’s no rush. This slow experience is incredibly relaxing and makes my inner child come to life, saying, “I don’t want to go home; it’s so good here.”

Lunch and Olive Tasting at LISJAK

Before our coastal adventure, this time we participate in an olive oil tasting at the highly professional LISJAK, where, in addition to different flavored oils, we also gain insight into the secrets of their production. An extra special experience is the opportunity to take a ride in vintage cars collected by the owners through the vineyards on the way to Piran, a small town. We can disembark at the main square and continue our program in a completely different environment.

Sightseeing in Piran: A Gem on the Seashore

Piran, the coastal gem, beckons with its stunning architecture and old-world charm. It is sometimes called the Venice of Slovenia, not because you can row through canals, but because the houses built in Venetian style once adorned it. Its narrow alleys, medieval buildings, and crystal-clear beaches are just a 10-minute walk from each other, making you feel like you can teleport and choose your preferred experience.

Piran is famous for its salt, yes, you read that right: salt. They produce salted chocolate, smoked salt for seasoning dishes, and much more. It’s worth buying these items either for personal use or as gifts; they will surely be popular at home.

From Piran, you can easily walk to Portorož and the Bernardin quarter between the two cities, dominated by the 5 star Grand Hotel Bernardin member of SAVA Hotels. The massive, somewhat brutalist building is a unique, environment-friendly creation, built on a huge, barren rock, almost self-supporting, with an incredible location right by the sea. The hotel’s guests have access to a private beach, while there’s also a public area, seen in the picture above, right next to the hotel, where anyone can take a dip. I recommend this section; in my opinion, it has the cleanest and most pleasant water in the area.

Szlovénia legjobb tengerpartja

The Grand Hotel Bernardin offers elegant luxury, and its restaurant area resembles a ballroom with its high ceiling. The food selection is extensive, not Michelin-star quality, but it doesn’t have to be. It caters to its own clientele. Besides the restaurant, I suggest visiting the rooftop bar as an external guest!

Guests are welcomed with a breathtaking panorama on the rooftop. Those who come here will not see me, as the picture serves as proof that I genuinely came to see and experience it. If you’re as lucky as I am, you can grab the table in the corner, which offers views in all directions.

Termaris Wellness Center: Rejuvenation on the Adriatic Coast

Guests of the Grand Hotel Bernardin and the 4-star and 3-star hotels belonging to the SAVA Hotels chain can all enjoy the services of the Termaris SPA. For me, the most inviting feature is the giant sauna with a panoramic view of the sea. As I mentioned at the beginning, it’s worth coming here not only in the summer. The sauna and the entire wellness area offer perfect relaxation and rejuvenation in any season. I can almost picture myself coming back in winter, enjoying the warmth and admiring the somewhat darker and stormier sea.

Between Portorož and Goriška Brda: Exploring the Wine Region

Our journey continues with a delightful breakfast before heading to the famous ŠKOCJAN Caves, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. This underground wonderland with its colossal chambers and ancient rock formations is truly awe-inspiring, appealing to people of all ages. The cave’s interior is breathtakingly beautiful, but unfortunately, photographs cannot be taken inside, so I cannot show it to you; you have to see it in person!

Lunch in Goriška Brda – KABAJ, MARICA

In Goriška Brda, also known as Slovenia’s Tuscany, we enjoy local dishes and the high-level gastronomic experience typical of Slovenia at the KABAJ restaurant, nestled among the hilly vineyards and charming villages.

Bike Tour in Brda: Discovering the Beauty

In my opinion, Slovenia is currently the most sustainable destination in the world, so it’s almost a given to hop on a bicycle. The landscapes of Brda are best explored on two wheels, and that’s what we do. We cycle through vineyards, orchards, and picturesque villages, all while enjoying breathtaking panoramas. The feeling comes back: I really don’t want to go home.

Ljubljana the peaceful capital

Ljubljana is a truly calm and peaceful capital, offering a pleasant contrast to the big cities of today. There is plenty of greenery, beautiful trees and the river running through the city gives it an elegant atmosphere.

The local market is right next to the river, where you can find handicrafts alongside the produce of local producers.

Ljubljana Castle is also worth a visit, for which I recommend the modern funicular. It’s a bit hot in summer, but the views make up for the 2 minutes of sweating, and it’s well worth a try.

There is an excellent restaurant upstairs in the Castle, what can I say about it? The Michelin star says it all instead of me, the restaurant Gostilna na Gradu is an absolute must-visit place, which has also made it into the TOP50 restaurants in the world!

Being an architecture buff and travelling around the capital, there was no question that I had to try the 5-star unit of the Grand Plaza hotel. The hotel opened its rooms in an almost brand new, ultra-modern and truly design building inside and out just 1 year ago.

During our adventure in Slovenia, we discovered a country of incredible colors and perfect contrasts, from the vibrant urban life of Ljubljana to the serene vineyards of Jeruzalem and the coastal splendor of Portorož.

Slovenia’s diverse landscapes, culinary delights, and warm hospitality make it a destination worth visiting at any time of the year.

Adatvédelmi tájékoztatónkban megtalálod, hogyan gondoskodunk adataid védelméről. Oldalainkon HTTP-sütiket használunk a jobb működésért. Elfogadom Bővebben