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Bled . Bohinj . Cerklje . Gorenja Vas - Poljane . Gorje . Jesenice . Jezersko . Kranj . Kranjska Gora Naklo . Preddvor .

Radovljica . enur . kofja Loka . Tri . elezniki . iri . irovnica

SloveniaN Alps
2013

Active Holidays

Countless opportunities for sports and activities no matter the season

Family Trips

This family-friendly region means no worries about taking the kids along

Triglav National Park

Slovenias only national park is one of the most magnificent in Europe

Please enjoy your


COMPLIMENTARY COPY

Slovenian Alps In Your Pocket

Contents

Slovenian Alps
An endless source of adventures for unlimited family fun Get close up and personal with history and tradition:
E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S

Contents
Introducing Gorenjska Bled Bohinj Cerklje na Gorenjskem Gorenja Vas - Poljane Gorje Jesenice Jezersko Kranj 5 8 22 34 36 37 38 41 42

- Visit a tourism farm - Get to know the secrets of beekeeping and honey-making - Explore ancient castles - See history come alive at medieval events - Enjoy our entertaining museums

- Go for a hike along one of the many themed walking trails - Cook a meal at a culinary workshop - Enjoy geocaching, an exciting outdoor treasure hunt - Get creative at painting, musical and museum workshops

Combine learning with fun:

Meet Slovenias fairytale heroes at:


- Kekec Land in Kranjska Gora - Land of the Dwarfs in Gozd Martuljek - Fairytale Land Gorajte in kofja Loka - Zaki Swan in Bled - Kranjek in the city of Kranj

Feel the rush of adrenaline in the Adventure Parks of Bled, Bohinj, Jezersko, Kranjska Gora and Krvavec

Bled is an amazing place to see any time you visit, but sunset from Osojnica Hill is truly something magical, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia

Kranjska Gora Naklo Preddvor Radovljica enur kofja Loka

50 64 65 66 73 74 77 79 80 81 82
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Select from a palette of entertaining activities in the great outdoors all year round: Summer sledging, cycling, swimming in lakes, rivers and pools, rafting, kayaking, rowing, riding, golf & mini golf, paintball & airsoft, zorbing, ice-skating, snow-shoeing, horse-drawn carriage rides, sledging, cross-country and Alpine skiing and much more awaits you in the Slovenian Alps.

Tri elezniki iri


Most visitors may come to Gorenjska for its world famous destinations, but nearly every corner of the region holds something special, photo by Rok Godec courtesy of Picture Slovenia

irovnica Maps

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Foreword
Gorenjska, or the Slovenian Alps as it is most commonly called in English, has officially become the latest region in Slovenia to join the In Your Pocket family, which now includes somewhere around 70 of the countrys municipalities and the vast majority of its population and area - with Gorenjska accounting for approximately 10 per cent of each. The region is comprised of 18 separate municipalities, all of which are bound together by culture, history and of course geography, but at the same time also have their own unique stories to tell, which weve done our best to communicate in the following pages. Both in terms of attractions and infrastructure, Gorenjska is one of the most tourist-friendly regions in the country, and the main difficulty in producing this guide was the formidable task of trying to condense everything down into one informative, useful and hopefully entertaining resource for visitors. This was only made possible by the exceptional cooperation we received at the local level in each of the municipalities, who helped us out immensely during the project - from arranging tours and excursions to explaining local myths and legends to recommending the best places to stop for a drink or meal. Whether you come to Gorenjska for an active holiday, a family trip, business meeting, quick weekend away or any other reason, we sincerely hope that you enjoy yourself as much as we did, and always have over the years. As with all of our guides, we welcome any and all feedback from our readers, be it on Facebook, Twitter or even old-fashioned email. Publisher
Slovenian Alps In Your Pocket Drenikova 33, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Tel. +386 30 316 602 slovenia@inyourpocket.com, www.inyourpocket.com Director Niko Slavnic M.Sc. niko.slavnic@inyourpocket.com IQBATOR d.o.o. Printed Evrografis d.o.o.

Introducing Gorenjska
Embraced on nearly all sides by the Julian Alps, Karavanke and Western Kamnik-Savinje Alps ranges, the so-called Slovenian Alps was formed as a unified tourist destination in order to combine all the amazing things that the 18 constituent municipalities of Slovenias Gorenjska region have to offer in one easily manageable package. Tourists need not pay attention to municipal boundaries, and can instead focus on experiencing the the sights, activities and events that will surely make their visit an unforgettable one.

The Green Card


Those who travel frequently are sure to be familiar with the standard tourist cards that seem to be found in most major cities these days, usually offering discounts for a variety attractions, restaurants, transport, shops and services. The region-wide Gorenjska Guest Green Card follows this same model, but with two notable exceptions: its valid for up to 30 days and is completely free of charge! One card is also sufficient for the whole family, so you dont have to worry about the kids losing theirs. Cards can be ordered online in advance, downloaded as part of a free Slovenian Alps mobile app, or collected directly from participating accommodation providers in the region. A full list of all the cards benefits and more info can be found on the official website at www. slovenian-alps.com.

Active Gorenjska
The entire Gorenjska region is a paradise for lovers of sports and outdoor activities no matter if its winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing or ice climbing, or those more suited to warmer weather like hiking, cycling, fishing, golf or numerous water-based activities. If youre feeling especially adventurous you can hike to Slovenias highest point (the 2864m Mt Triglav) or even literally take flight on a paraglider, ultralite aircraft or regular panoramic tour, all of which provide unforgettable vantage points of the region. In all there are said to be more than 60 different sports that can be easily participated in or organised with the help of local agencies.

Editorial
Editor Yuri Barron Writers Yuri Barron, Will Dunn, James Cosier, Jeroen Nab Layout & Design Vaida Gudynait Consulting Craig Turp Photos Picture Slovenia, RDO Gorenjska, Bled Tourist Board (BTB), Kranj Tourist Board, Jot Gantar, Jana Jocif, Bas Lammers, Luka Dakskobler, Jana Kuhar, Branka Jovanovi, Rok Godec, Tanja Sodja, Mitja Sodja, Izidor Jesenko, Primo Sua and YMB Cover photo Drejc Karniar

Sales & Circulation


Sales & Operations Management Irena Jamnikar

Family Fun
Gorenjska not only provides countless ways for families to enjoy themselves together, but it also offers great value when doing so - one of the positive benefits of visiting a region that is known throughout Slovenia for being home to the countrys thriftiest people. From the various discounts bestowed by the freely available Green Card to the hearty portions and large family apartments found at many guesthouses, youll find that your euros tend to go quite far here. In addition to the sports and outdoor activities mentioned above, younger family members will be enchanted by the local fairytales that come to life during special events or at attractions such as Kekec Land. For older kids there are no less than five adrenaline parks in the region, where they can quite literally run across treetops and swing through the air like Tarzan (all with the utmost safety of course). In recent years, even many museums and exhibitions have become more child-friendly, with the development of interactive presentations and special guided tours.

Cover story
Selecting a fitting image for the cover of our first Slovenian Alps guide posed quite a challenge, with so many worthy contenders capably depicting the regions magnificent natural beauty, while at the same time representing the symbiosis between land and people that is still so highly valued here. We finally settled on the idyllic image of enks Homestead, which with some effort can be found tucked away in the far northeastern corner of the region, more specifically in the Ravenska Kona Valley of the Jezersko municipality.

Copyright notice
Text and photos copyright IQBATOR d.o.o. Maps copyright cartographer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without written permission from the publisher and copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardin 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania, tel. (+370) 5 212 29 76).

Maps
AV Studio courtesy of RDO Gorenjska

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Its now 21 years since we published the first In Your Pocket guide - to Vilnius in Lithuania - in which time we have grown to become the largest publisher of locally produced city guides in Europe. We now cover more than 75 cities across the continent (with Tbilisi, in Georgia, the latest city to be pocketed ) and the number of concise, witty, well-written and downright indispensable In Your Pocket guides published each year is approaching five million. We also publish an iPhone app, including more than 40 guides, which can be downloaded for free from the AppStore. Search for IYP Guides by name. To keep up to date with all thats new at In Your Pocket, like us on Facebook (facebook.com/inyourpocket) or follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/ inyourpocket).

Traditional Events
From top international sporting events attracting tens of thousands of spectators, such as the Ski Flying World Championships in Planica or the Pokljuka World Cup

Biathlon, to some truly unique local festivals like the annual Potato Feast in enur or the celebration of one of Slovenias most beloved folk heroes during Kekec Days in Kranjska Gora, hardly a week passes during the year without some worthwhile event taking place in the region. The calendar is at its fullest during the late spring and summer months with an especially wide variety of music festivals taking place, but the winter is also a joyous time of year, and one of the Slovenias largest cultural events, Preeren Fair, is held in Kranj each February. Much more info about these and dozens of other traditional events can be found in this guide.

Triglav National Park


Slovenia has a well-deserved reputation for possessing a nearly unimaginable amount of natural beauty within a relatively small package, however, there is only one national park in the country, and that is of course Triglav National Park, the majority of which is located in Gorenjska. With a total size of 880 square kilometres, the park accounts for some four per cent of Slovenias total area, and in addition to the stunning natural beauty that is waiting to be discovered around seemingly every turn, it also has a great wealth of diverse plant and animal life. Much more can be read in the chapters of the municipalities whose territory is included in the park, namely Bohinj, Jesenice and Kranjska Gora.

Symbol key
P O T F R K D I Air conditioning Casino Child-friendly Fitness centre LAN connection Restaurant Sauna Fireplace A Credit cards accepted H Conference facilities U Facilities for the disabled L Guarded parking 6 Pet-friendly J Old town location C Swimming pool W Wifi

FYR Macedonia

Slovenian Alps

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2013

If you love the great outdoors, you will simply fall in love with Alpine Slovenia! In addition to thousands of kilometres of mountaineering and hiking trails, as well as cycle routes through the forests and meadows, there are numerous rivers and lakes providing opportunities for relaxation or an adrenaline rush, further to which the snow-covered slopes of small yet well-tended winter resorts are much beloved by alpine ski champions. You can also soar - hopefully not like Icarus - amidst high mountains; then there is horse riding, a most excellent golf course as well as plenty of possibilities for hunting and fishing. And this is just the beginning! Check it out yourself.

ACTIVE GORENJSKA GORENJSKA


Cycle!
Slovenias Alps are criss-crossed by a number of long-distance cycle routes split into stages. Comprised of five stages, the 232 km circular tour links Kranjska Gora, Bled, and Bohinj, before heading over the mountains to the Soa Valley, and thence returning to Kranjska Gora via the Vri Pass. At a lower altitude, the 315 km Loka Tour may be divided into twelve stages which range from easy to very difficult. Encompassing Slovenia, Italy and Austria, the Three Countries Tour has an international flavour, and passes into Italy at the Ratee border crossing near Kranjska Gora.

International sports events

Hike!

In the vicinity of the Triglav National Park, which encompasses the Julian Alps - together with the Karavanken chain, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, as well as the adjacent subalpine hills - there are numerous marked mountaineering and hiking trails, as well as gentler paths through nature; indeed, hiking in the mountains ranks among the most popular forms of recreation in Slovenia.

Fly!

Horse ride!

Along bridleways and trails, at a hippodrome, or on a ranch, with a Lipizzaner or a pony equine enthusiasts have much to look forward to; indeed, Gorenjska provides opportunities suitable for novices and experienced riders alike.

An Alpine sports aerodrome for light aircraft and gliders, together with dedicated launch sites for paragliders, ultralites and model aircraft, provide new adventures and expand ones horizons of Slovenias Alps. Take off from the highest peaks, fly alone or in tandem over the alpine valleys, learn to fly, or clock up some hours as a qualification for further adventures in the air!

Slovenian Alps pride themselves with numerous world level international events through the year. Among summer sports Bled annually hosts international rowing regattas and hosted world championships for four times. Kranj is well known as the venue for sport climbing world cup. Regarding winter sport Planica world cup in ski jumping is the biggest sport event in Slovenia and a place where several world records were set. Bohinj annually hosts telemark world cup, followed by Kranjska Gora famous alpine skiing world cup venue (Vitranc) and international competitions in biathlon at Pokljuka.

... and Endless sports opportunities

There are over 60 different sports activities one can participate in throughout the year in Slovenian Alps. You will never get bored here.

Explore the Alpine Waters!

Enjoy winter!

Boating, or rowing employing all your strength, the adrenaline rush of traversing rapids and falls, diving, or simply swimming Slovenia is a land of innumerable watercourses: lakes - large and small, wild rivers, waterfalls, torrential narrow gorges and wide fluvial streams, and - last but by no means least - a great many swimming pools, which facilitate all kinds of water sports.

Go fishing!

Alpine skiing, ski touring, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating all rank among the most popular winter sports which may be enjoyed in Gorenjskas ski and winter sports centres. These are generally smaller than the larger such resorts one tends to find in other countries, but nevertheless the pistes are perfectly regulated and groomed to international competition standards. Slovenias Alps offer a whole lot more than just skiing; you may try ice climbing, put on snowshoes and explore the untamed white plains, or experience the thrill of paragliding with skies on your feet; take a ride on a snowmobile or horse-drawn sleigh, and even spend a night in an igloo Village!

Bohinj and Bled, as well as a number of other mountain lakes, offer excellent angling. The watershed of the Gorenjska, encompassing the Sava and its tributaries, forms part of the greater-Danube river basin. Characteristic fish species include huchen, brown trout and grayling.

Bled
Arriving by Train
Bled has two train stations, but unfortunately neither is located in the centre of town. Over 20 trains a day from Ljubljana call at Lesce-Bled station which is on the main line, but is 4km away, meaning you will either have a lengthy hike or short bus ride into town. The other station is Bled-Jezero a couple kilometres to the west, which sees up to five trains a day from the capital, however you have to transfer at Jesenice which can lead to a total journey time of almost 3 hours. Check out Slovenia Railways incredibly user-friendly website for a complete schedule and prices at www.slo-zeleznice.si.

bled
also offering excursions, guided tours and outdoor activities, Zara Tours cover major Slovene destinations like Bled, Ljubljana, Portoro and Kranjska Gora, as well as neighbouring countries like Klagenfurt and Salzburg in Austria and Venice and Trieste in Italy. Multilingual drivers and guides, plus high quality vehicles, make it a solid option for your holiday transport needs.

Where to eat
International
Chilli Cesta Svobode 9, tel. +386 (0)45 74 30 27, restavracijachilli@yahoo.com, www.chillibled.si. Just like the owner will tell you: we just want to make our customers happy. This restaurant looks like it originally wanted to sell Mexican food and then realized that it wouldnt make everyone happy, so decided to offer more. Even though its the only restaurant that offers Mexican food in Bled, you can still get Italian and international dishes. Having been a professional athlete, the owner travelled extensively and is now obsessed with having the same customer service he has seen around the world, and it shows. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. AUGB

Arriving by Car
From Ljubljana take the A2 highway northwest out of the city and follow the signs for Kranj or Jesenice. From Austria, pass Jesenice following signs for Ljubljana. Bled is well sign-posted. The journey time is around 40 minutes from Ljubljana, and it may get very crowded on Sundays in season at the end of highway. Once youve reached the town, there is ample parking available, but most of it must be paid between the hours of 07:00-20:00, with prices ranging from 0.50-2 per hour or 3-10 per day. Inquiring about the various options at your hotel prior to arrival is usually a good idea. For those with electric cars, there is a free charging station on the lower level of the parking garage at Hotel Krim near Bled Sports Hall - the key can be collected at the hotels reception.

Accommodation
No matter your budget, preferences or needs, theres a very good chance that you can find accommodation to suit you in Bled. From the five-star Grand Hotel Toplice on the waterfront promenade to the areas only campground (which is also on the waterfront on the opposite side of the lake), there is an overwhelming selection of hotels, guesthouses, tourist farms and hostels, as well as dozens of officially registered private rooms and apartments. Most hotels fall in the 3- and 4-star categories, including the family-friendly Hotel Savica, which is one of the only venues in all of Slovenia to be awarded the EUs prestigious Eco-daisy label, given based on a strict criteria of environmental sustainability. When it comes to mid-range and budget accommodation, prices can vary quite widely, but in general you pay for what you get, both in terms of the facilities themselves and the location. For a full listing of all the accommodation options in and around Bled, see the official website of Tourism Bled at www.bled.si, while for detailed descriptions of many of them you can visit us at bled.inyourpocket.com.

Car Rental
Europcar Ljubljanska 7, tel./fax +386 (0)45 79 70 03, tel. +386 (0)31 38 20 55, reservations@europcar.si, www.europcar.com. Following the simple Europcar formula of new vehicles rentable from the most convenient locations, the Hotel Krim in the centre of town at Bled can be the start of your own private adventure of the wider area.
A tour of the lake on one of Bleds traditional Pletna boats is a must for visitors, photo by Bas Lammers With no less than a millennium of history, Bled has fostered its old traditions and created new ones - such that its culture and events calendar is ever vibrant. Since the 1960s, the bustling tourist town has been under its own municipality, and has a large selection of accommodation, restaurants, sports opportunites and nightlife. The beauty of the surroundings not only inspires holiday-makers, photographers, artists and musicians; theres even an internationally renowned business school. No trip to Bled is complete without stopping by Hotel Park for one of their famous Kremnita cream cakes, and for first-time visitors a boat trip to the Church of the Assumption and a visit to the castle is also a must.

Avant car Ljubljanska 11, tel. +386 (0)41 40 09 80, avantcar@avantcar.si, www.avantcar-slovenia.com. QOpen 08:00 - 16:00, Sat 08:00 - 12:00. Closed Sun. Avis Rent a car Grajska 4, tel. +386 (0)4576 87 00, fax +386 (0)4576 87 01, www.avis.si. QOpen 08:00 - 16:00, Fri 08:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 12:00. Budget Bled Ljubljanska 4, tel. +386 (0)4578 03 20, www.budget.si. QOpen 08:00 - 12:00, 17:00-20:00, Sat,
Sun 08:00 - 12:00.

Arriving by Bus
Buses leave every hour on the hour from the main bus station in Ljubljana and take about 80 minutes to make the journey. Close to the town centre at the northeastern tip of the lake, the main bus station (glavno postajalie) has a kiosk outside selling chocolate, soft drinks and cigarettes. To get to the city centre, walk south along Cesta Svobode until you hit the water. Schedule and prices can be found on the official Ljubljana bus station website at www.apljubljana.si.

Taxis
Bled Tours Ljubljanska 19, tel. +386 (0)31 205 611, agency@bledtours.si, www.bledtours.si. Available 24hrs, they also offer train station, airport and other long distance transfers. QOpen 00:00 - 24:00. Four Seasons Travel Tel. +386 (0)40 52 23 64/+386
(0)40 52 23 65, info@4seasonstravelslovenia.com, www.bledtaxis.com. Using its basis of taxis and airport transfers (both local and longer distance to Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Trieste, Venice, Zagreb and others), and including a fast shuttle for Easyjet and Wizzair passengers from London, Four Seasons Travel also offers what are in our opinion pretty attractive tours, with Bled as your starting point, to such destinations as Piran and Skocjan, Lipica, Soa and Brda. fax +386 (0)45 74 11 02, info@zaratours.si, www. zaratours.si. Specialising in taxi and transfer services and Camping along the shores of Bled Lake, courtesy of BTB

Arriving
Tucked up close to the Austrian border as little as an hour away from the capital, getting to Bled by train, bus or car is a relatively painless experience.

Tourist Information
Bled Tourist Office Cesta Svobode 10, tel. +386 (0)4 574 11 22, tdbled@telemach.net, www. bled.si. Follow the yellow footprints and be greeted by an above-average collection of information, maps, guidebooks, Bled T-shirts and helpful, friendly staff. An excellent place to drop by for topping up on the latest information, theres also a computer providing free internet access and a superb view of the lake. QOpen 08:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00. Bled Tourist Board Tel. +386 (0)4 578 05 00,
fax +386 (0)4 578 05 01, info@dzt.bled.si, www. bled.si.

Arriving by Plane
Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport is located approximately half way between Ljubljana and Bled, and you can expect to pay around 45 for a taxi into town. Buses are con siderably cheaper (5.40, with up to 19 connections on weekdays, but virtually none on weekends) although you have to transfer in Kranj. There are also up to six direct shuttles per day (13). You can see the full schedules on the airports website at www.lju-airport.si.

Zara Tours Ljubljanska 4, tel. +386 (0)45 74 11 01,

Slovenian Alps

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bled
Gourmet Restaurant Promenada Cesta Svobode
15, tel. +386 (0)45 79 18 39, restavracija.promenada@ hotelibled.com, www.gourmet-promenada.com. Although no Slovenian restaurant has yet been awarded a prestigious Michelin star, Bleds Promenada is surely one of the candidates on the shortlist - an unsurprising fact given that head chef Bine Voli was trained by two of Paris top chefs after graduating from the famed Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Situated below Hotel Park along the lakeside promenade (hence the name), the restaurant has no permanent menu, but changes to reflect the availability of fresh seasonal ingredients. A meal here is a must for serious (and aspiring) gourmands. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. Starters 11, mains 21, multi-course menus 27-52. PJAL

bled
Otarija Peglezn Cesta Svobode 19a, tel. +386 (0)45 74 42 18, ostarija-peglezn.mestna-izlozba.com. A simple rustic design punctuated with rag dolls, plates, old coffee pots and a broken hat stand in which to feast on a large and highly recommended selection of fish, meat and pasta dishes. The T rout a la T rieste seems to be popular here, as indeed does the octopus salad and ice-cream with hot fruit, the latter two not coming together on the same plate. Once again, everything is complimented with an admirable wine list including reds and whites from both Slovenia and abroad. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (6-27). TA6IGBXS Panorama Cesta Svobode 12, tel. +386 (0)45 79 12 75, fax +386 (0)45 74 18 41, panorama@hotelibled.com, www. panorama-bled.com. Along the shores of Lake Bled, you can enjoy a selection of exquisite seafood, a mixture of Mediterranean and Slovene cuisine and a killer wine and dessert selection that is set among one of the most pristine views that a restaurant in Bled has to offer. Complete with wonderful service. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. (high season and weekends); 10.00 - 22.00 (low season). JAEBK Restaurant Camping Bled Kidrieva 10b, tel. +386 (0)4 574 17 12, restaurant.zaka@gmail.com, www. restaurant-zaka.si. Dont be put off by the name - yes, this may be the restaurant of Bleds largest campsite, but it also has some of the best views of anywhere on the lake. Also known as Zaka, its located at the far west end of Bled (on the small bay just before the road leaves the lakeside), with the lakes famous island church just off the shore and the castle in the distance. The food is reasonably priced and comes in large hearty portions to satisfy demands of hungry campers. Try one of the special dishes, such as Grannys mushroom soup, roast beef Pokljuka-style or the Camping Bled plate for two. TLEB
79 18 18, kavarna@hotelibled.com, www.hotel-parkbled.com. If youre staying in Park Hotel Bled itself, you will probably pop into this classy eatery. The la carte menu is specially prepared for each season, and come tea time, you mustnt miss their pride and joy, and Bleds culinary speciality: the kremnita cream cake - theyve been practising the recipe for over nearly half a century! QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. PJAULGBKSW anita.bobic@telemach.net, www.topolino-slo.com. Self-described as without a doubt the best restaurant in the entire Gorenjska region of Slovenia, while we know more than a few of their competitors would take umbrage with this pronouncement, there may be some truth to it. Some of the slow food creations that come out of the kitchen of skilled chef Zoran Stani are truly delectable, and this is definitely the kind of place where the menu doesnt even need to be opened, or at least this is usually our chosen approach. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Tue. JAL (0)45 75 25 10, fax +386 (0)45 75 25 19, vila.preseren@siol.net, www.vilapreseren.si. Checking out the areas popular tourist spots doesnt get any easier than this. The large scenic terrace of the villas caf and restaurant puts you inches from the lake, where you can you take in all of Bleds major attractions in one easy view, while sipping your cappuccino in hand. They also feature a full bistro-style menu of continental and regional fare, and from dessert youll find a range of Bleds famous creamy cakes. Q Open Mon-Thur 07:00-24:00, Fri-Sun 07:00-01:00. PTA6GBXSW

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Pizza
Pizzeria Briksen Ljubljanska 5, tel. +386 (0)40
652 995, www.pizzerijabriksen.com. Owned by Slovene ice hockey player Toma Razingar, it seems only natural that this incredibly popular pizzeria is located in Bleds sports hall, whose main function is as an arena for hockey and other ice-based spor ts. In addition to

the oversized pizzas, the menu features various burgers, fries, kebaps, sandwiches, sausages and even a full English breakfast, which are balanced out with some slightly healthier looking salads. One new addition is the so-called Soi pizza - introduced to the menu to celebrate the Slovene national teams qualification for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Q Open 08:00 - 24:00. PYALVBW

History
As a result, great changes occurred in the forming of estates and the settlement of the region. In the middle of the 14th century the Bishops of Brixen gave up direct administration of their properties in Bled and leased them to the chief administrators at the time, the von Kreigh family. Because of encroachment on their rights and brutal treatment and oppression, in 1515 the peasants joined the fight for the old justice in a pan-Slovene revolt. In 1558 a new holder, the Protestant protector Herbert VII of Auersperg, took over the castle. Until the middle of the 18th century the lessors were exclusively aristocratic; later these also included townsmen, but they rarely lived in the castle. In 1803, after 800 years of Brixen rule, Bled passed into state ownership by a decree of the Court Commission in Vienna. From 1809 to 1813, it was included in Napoleons Empire as part of the Illyrian provinces, and then it came once again into the hands of the Austrian Emperor who returned Bled to the bishops of Brixen for the last time in 1838. With the abolishment of the feudal system ten years later, the estate lost its character of a feudal economic and social unit. In the second half of the 19th century, Bled changed considerably. The characteristic villages of Gorenjska, which had been autonomous units ever since the Middle Ages, were united. Income decreased, and in 1858 Brixen sold the Bled estate to Viktor Ruard, the owner of the Jesenice Ironworks. He kept the castle, the lake and the usable land around it, and sold the rest to the Kranj Industrial Company. In 1882 Ruard sold the estate to a Viennese wholesale merchant named Adolf Muhr, and in 1919 Bled hotelier Ivan Kenda bought the castle with the lake - for the first time the property passed into Slovenian hands. In 1937 it was taken over by the Associated Commercial Bank and finally bought by the Drava Province. During World War II, Bled was used to house the German military and civil headquarters, and in 1960 it acquired the status of a town. Tourism in Bled, and Arnold Rikli The first numerous visitors to Bled were pilgrims, coming to see the church on the island of course. Following Val vasors reporting of the thermal springs in The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola 1689, numbers of people seeking health benefits here rose, and thus there were several attempts to destroy the springs and/or lake in order to quash this attention, unwanted by certain figures. Alas, they survived, and organised tourism started around the middle of the 1800s. Swiss hydropath Arnold Rikli spent 52 years in Bled, founding the Institute of natural healing, and perfecting a rehabilitation program of bathing, taking steam baths, walking, and eating vegetarian; which proved a hit. Indeed, Bled was later recognised as one of the most important tourist sites in the Austrian empire, receiving a gold medal in Vienna in 1903; having got its own train station at Lesce in 1870.

Julijana Cesta Svobode 12, tel. +386 (0)45 79 10 00, ghtoplice@hotelibled.com, w w w.sava-hotelsresorts.com. Enjoy a top quality meal on a terrace with a stunning view at Juliana, where you can expect the servers to treat you like Prince Charles, whos been sighted here on more than one occasion. Its not cheap, so make your slow food last extra long. Q Open 18:00 - 23:00. PTALGBX Labod Cesta Svobode 8a, tel. +386 (0)45 79 84 53, info@restavracijalabod.si, www.restavracijalabod.si. This very upmarket restaurant adjoined to the Hotel Jelovica provides an International a la carte menu along with a fair pick of vegetarian friendly meals. Not a bad choice for a meal with business associates or a romantic lunch or dinner along its admirable lake-side garden, pleasantly adorned with green chestnut trees and fountains. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. (6.60-20). PTJAULEBKSW
okarina.com, www.okarina.com. Sophisticated international dining in a beautiful setting with an Indian twist. Set alongside a traditional menu of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes sits an ambitious (for Bled anyway) selection of Indian delicacies from pakora to samosa to chicken biryani. Also available are a few tandoori treats plus some fine desserts including apple strudel and a selection of cheeses. QOpen 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00-23:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. (8-30). TA6GBXSW

Jozip Broz Tito was a frequent visitor to Bled during his more than three decades as leader of Yugoslavia, even keeping a summer residence in Bled, courtesy of BTB The fertile land and the protective shelter of the castle hill and the island, have always invited settlement around the Bled area. The first, and rare traces of humans in Bled, date back to the Stone Age. In the Iron Age, when the mining of iron had begun in the Alpine regions, settlement increased. Beneath the layer of an already discovered Slavic necropolis at Pristava pod Gradom, archaeologists discovered 80 gravesites from the late Iron Age (800 to 600 BC) - Celtic and Roman finds however, are more modest. Bled was later well populated by the Slavs, who arrived in two waves. The Slavic settlements were most probably located at exactly the same spots where the lakeside villages of Mlino, elee, Zagorice, Grad and Reica formed in the late Middle Ages. Slavic settlement The first wave of settlement of the Bled area occurred in the 7th century, the next reached the Bled basin during the 9th and 10th centuries. Discoveries from the first settlements illustrate the culture of the Old Slavic state of King Samo (632 - 658) and the late antiquity traditions in these lands. The discoveries from the second wave of settlement, such as ornaments found in gravesites include enamelled and engraved earrings in the shape of half-moons, circlets, round brooches and iron knives. These artefacts indicate the historical development of Bled up to the 10th century and some of these can be seen on exhibition at the Castle museum. The bishops of Brixen After the fall of the Old Slavic state, Bled with its surrounding area fell under Frankisch (Charlemagne 782) and later under German rule. In 1004 the emperor Henrik II divided the lands between the two Sava Rivers, and in 1011 awarded Bled Castle, to Bishop Albuin of Brixen - a photocopy of the original title deed can be found in the collection at the castle. This action was a major turning point in the history of Bled. The keepers of the castle were bonded knights, who upheld feudal authority in the name of the bishops.

Okarina Ljubljanska 8, tel. +386 (0)45 74 14 58, leo@

Restaurant Park Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)45

Topolino Ljubljanska 26, tel. +386 (0)4 574 17 81,

Vila Preeren Veslaka Promenada 14, tel. +386

Often accompanying a main course, truklji are a traditional Slovene dish often described as a type of filled dumpling, courtesy of BTB

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Cafs
27, jasmin.caji@telemach.net, www.jasmin-caji.si. Jolly good kremnita and a pot of tea for shirt buttons inside a modern albeit basic caf next to the tourist office. The tea in question comes in lots of different varieties and is served in dainty little pots. An ideal place to bring your aged aunt. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00. PAUGBX

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Pizzeria Gallus Ljubljanska 4, tel. +386 (0)45 74 32 99, www.pizzeriagallus.si. Sure, you can come because of the view, which is beautiful. You might also come to enjoy the pizza, which is delicious and comes from a wood-fired oven. But the reason why we enjoy coming here the most is the lively service. Not only will you enjoy their traditional Tuscan food, but you will also be entertained by the waiters who will serve you kindly and take great pride in the restaurants food. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 23:00. (3.50-9.90). PTJAVBK Pizzeria Matja Grajska 59, tel. +386 (0)45 74 23 60/+386 (0)31 84 18 75, www.pizzeriamatjaz.com. View overlooking the Karavanke mountains, check; ample seating in cosy surroundings, check; pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven - of course! Located on the main road to Bled castle, parking is not a problem here, making for the quickest possible access to a menu of over 20 types of pizza, plus grilled sandwiches and sardines in olive oil. Takeout also available. Q Open 14:00-24:00, Sat-Sun 12:00-24:00. LBS
00, info@pizzeria-rustika.com, www.pizzeria-rustika. com. Snug in between the winding streets behind St Martins Church, resides a cosy and friendly pizza restaurant in which those that may stumble upon it are rewarded with big portions of mouth-watering pizzas, salads and hamburgers. Its refreshing terrace and warm interior welcome you after a days walk around Lake Bled. Home delivery available. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. TAVGBK

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Jasmin Cesta Svobode 10, tel. +386 (0)45 74 38

Gostilna Pri Planincu Grajska 8, tel. +386 (0)45 74 16 13, pri.planincu@siol.net, www.pri-planincu. com. Housed inside a charming traditional house dating from 1903, one of Bleds more well-known restaurants, Gostilna Pri Planincus Alpine ambience is no coincidence when you start unravelling the history of the area. With a small bar at the front and a dining area through a small passageway out the back, the traditional menu includes many local favourites including Karst ham and assorted home-made sausages. Q Open 09:00 - 24:00. (7-20). TA6GBXS Lovec Grill Ljubljanska 6, tel. +386 (0)4 6204 100,
info@lovechotel.com, www.lovechotel.com. This newly opened grill restaurant at the centrally located Hotel Lovec does a lot of things well. Professional service from a knowledgable staff, and the best place to sit is outside on the large terrace where chefs will prepare your meal right in front of you while you enjoy the view towards the lake. The menu is top quality from the starters to the desserts and every other course in between, and many of the ingredients are bought from small-scale local farmers - or fishermen in the case of the freshly caught trout from the nearby Sava Bohinjska river. Speaking of which, the grilled fish platter comes highly recommended. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. PJALB

Kavarna Park Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)45 79 18 18, kavarna@hotelibled.com, www. hotelibled.com. Sitting opposite the Park hotel and restaurant, on the banks of the lake is the result of the legend that is Bled cream cake, or Blejska Kremna Rezina in Slovene (see boxed text). The large open plan kitchen has to work damn hard to keep up with demand on busy Sunday afternoons and they do it with grace and ease. An absolute must! QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. 3.10. PJAULB
(0)3 176 36 83, www.pekarna-planika.com. People squeeze into this quaint little cafe because its a social meeting point for people heading off to work in the mornings; awaiting their turn for a caffeine fix and a take-away pastry from the bakery of the same name next door. QOpen 07:00 - 24:00. 01, info@blejskiotok.si, www.blejskiotok.si. When it comes to sweets, Bled is first and foremost known for its famous cream cakes, which originated here in the 1950s. But in Slovenia as a whole, the nut roll cake known as potica is the traditional dessert of choice during most holidays and other important events. Most commonly made with walnut filling, this bakery and shop on Bleds island produces the cakes in dozens of varieties, including both sweet and savoury, and no trip here is complete without trying a slice - or taking a whole cake to go. Q Open 09:00-16:00 (Nov-Mar), 09:00-18:00 (Apr & Oct), 09:00-19:00 (May-Sept).

Pizzeria Rustika Riklijeva 13, tel. +386 (0) 45 76 89

Planinek Caf E-2, Preernova 11, tel. +386

Potinica Bled Island, tel. +386 (0)4 576 79

Rikli Pizzeria Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)4 579 18 39, rikli@hotelibled.com, www.sava-hotels-resorts.com. In the bustling heart of Bled, on the waterfront beneath the Park Hotel, you can find the friendly Rikli Pizzeria. In fine weather, you may prefer to enjoy your meal with a view from the outdoor terrace. The food is prepared with the freshest ingredients, and the menu boasts 15 types of pizza, including the house specialty Rikli (with radishes and rucola) and a superb four-cheese. The pizzeria also offers a wide selection of salads, vegetable pies, pasta with various sauces and some delectable desserts. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. PJAULGBKW

Mayer eleka 7, tel. +386 (0)4 576 5740, penzion@mayer-sp.si, www.mayer-sp.si. This popular family-run restaurant and guesthouse serves up some of the best traditional Slovenian food in Bled, including pork and sausage specialities, fresh trout from local rivers and homemade skutini truklji for dessert. Of course theres also a full menu of other Slovenian favourites and international dishes. Theres also superb selection of domestic wines, and the possibility of a short tour of the wine cellar. QOpen 18:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon. PTJAIG Penzion Mlino C-4, Cesta Svobode 45, tel. +386
(0)45 74 14 04, fax +386 (0)45 74 15 06, mlino@ mlino.si, www.mlino.si. Known as a favourite amongst connoisseurs and gourmands proves that this place rates five stars for its menu of typically Slovene cuisine. From season to season, the four walls of the guesthouse buzz with a warm, lively atmosphere and even just outside the front door, the fun doesnt stop as guests enjoy lake activities, walks and cycling around the area. Q 13 rooms 25-35. T6UILGBKW

Originating from Gorenjska, Kranjska klobasa are a staple of most menus in the region, courtesy of BTB

Vila Ajda Cesta Svobode 27, tel. +386 (0)41 67 46 72/+386 (0)45 76 83 20, info@vila-ajda.si, www. vila-ajda.si. Come here if you want to try local specialities in a romantic atmosphere! This typical alpine house offers favourable views of the lake, traditional Slovene food with a little creativity, dishes for diabetics and vegetarians, and the possibility of accommodation. There are several spacious, fully equipped apartments on offer in addition to the two floors of restaurant space seating up to 80 diners. The summer patio hosts another 80. JBKW Zaka upanieva 9, tel. +386 (0)4 574 17 09, info@ bled-zaka.com, www.bled-zaka.com. Situated at a quiet corner of the lake, a 15-minute walk from the main tourist centre, Zaka is actually a retreat, but remains convenient, being close to the Bled-Jezero train station (up to five trains a day from Ljubljana). In addition to accommodation, a conference hall, tennis courts and the rowing centre; good grilled dishes including fresh fish can also be enjoyed in the restaurant or on its terrace overlooking the lake. High quality food and an abundance of it. ZHBKW

Slovenian
Bled Castle Restaurant Grajska Cesta, tel. +386 (0)4
579 44 24, restaurant@vgs-bled.si, www.hotelastoriabled.com. An understandably popular venue for wedding receptions, business meetings and important protocol events for the government, dont worry if you havent been invited to any of these, as the restaurant is also open to individuals - you even get free admission to the castle if you make a reservation in advance. The modern Slovene cuisine include specialities from all of the countrys surprisingly diverse regions, and the menu is regularly adapted to reflect the season. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. PALB

Slaiarna mon Grajska 3, tel. +386 (0)45 74 16 16, info@smon.si, www.smon.si. There is no doubt that this long-running caf serves up some of the best cakes, pastries and ice-cream in all of Bled (or Slovenia for that matter). Opened in 1966, over the past half-century its built a reputation for producing sweets of the highest quality. As such, during tea time and other peak hours mon can get fairly busy, and you will be lucky enough to find a seat. The most popular choices on the menu are slices of the heavenly mon, Grmada and Gibanica cakes. QOpen 07:30 - 21:00. TJAULGBK
pact (tiny) coffee bars tucked into a cosy corner in the outdoor shopping centre. Tropical Kava Bars theme is, uncannily, just that. Miniature palms spring up from every orifice, giving the impression of being far away from the alps. This is agreeable for a while, then its best just to face the truth and go back to reality, the paradise that is Lake Bled. A good place for a more serene coffee in the busy summer season. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 02:00. JNB

Tropical Kava Bar Ljubljanska 4. One of two com-

Gostilna Murka Riklijeva 9, tel. +386 (0)45 74 33 40/+386 (0)41 24 59 18, info@gostilna-murka.com, www.gostilna-murka.com. A typical Slovenian gostilna, or rather Gorenjska gostilna, the sausage and sauerkraut being fine choices here, as well as other Slovene and also pasta dishes, all served in massive portions. Murka is mainly popular with locals, so its the perfect place to make that extra effort with a few phrases in the Slovene language. The covered outdoor seating of the terrace is a nice place to dine, out of the hot sun or indeed a summer shower. Extra offerings at Murka include schnapps and wine tastings, and medieval meals. Q Open 10:00-22:00, Sat-Sun and holidays 12:00-23:00. JALEB slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Restaurant 1906 Kolodvorska 33, tel. +386 (0)4 575 26 10/+386 (0)4 575 26 11, info@hoteltriglavbled.si, www.hoteltriglavbled.si. Located in the stately four-star Hotel Triglav Bled (which, you guess it, was founded in 1906), a meal here is guaranteed to be a fine dining experience of the highest order. The kitchen of head chef Andrej Rovan creates some simply wonderful dishes, all of which are modern interpretations of traditional Slovene recipes, methods and ingredients, with a touch of French and Mediterranean influence. In 2011, the restaurant, and its culinary school, were awarded the prestigious Jakob Prize, given each year at Slovenias largest tourism fair to only one winner. PAW
info@union-bled.com, www.union-bled.com. An almost hacienda feel inside whats essentially a traditional, family run Slovenian restaurant. The personal touch of the proprietors is served up along with a range of dishes cooked over an open fire. Summertime sees the opening of a large terrace in the shade of a few chestnut trees, plus theres a bar too, and a small selection of suites and apartments upstairs if youve eaten and drunk too much to move. QOpen 17:30 - 23:30. TA6ILEGBXSW

Nightlife
Bars & Pubs
74 40 44, aproposjana@yahoo.co.uk. The main attraction of this caf-cum-cocktail bar is the the sprawling terrace on the main courtyard of Bleds shopping centre. The lake itself is visible from where you sit sipping coffee by day and theres regular live music on summer evenings, for those long island iced teas, etc. Their selection includes all the classics and none of the cheesy sex-pun named ones, which gives us the impression of a serious cocktail establishment, although the interior decor is a bit uninspiring. On the plus side they also have internet access and free moblile charging. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00. JABW

Apropos Cocktail Bar Ljubljanska 4, tel. +386 (0)45

Union E-2, Ljubljanska 9, tel. +386 (0)45 78 01 50,

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Bled Cream Cake
Check their Facebook page for event details. Located in the main shopping centre. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 03:00. JNB

bled
Manasa Klub Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)30 26
78 93. Bleds hottest club for commercial house, oldies and Balkan music, Manasa organises regular parties for those into the mainstream. Sure to be on your list of nightspots to hit if youre a young tourist in town, or young at heart for that matter. GoGo dancers have been spotted on occasion here, so dressing to impress is a given. Their claim of always open should be taken with a pinch of salt, followed by tequila and lemon presumably. JA snazzy selection of more than 300 local Slovene wines. Its a classy start for some wine-tasting evenings with friends, family or business associates. Why not begin with a glass of Cviek, a local favourite, or some excellent aromatic reds: like the Merlot or Refok. Q Open Thur-Sun 17:00-19:00. PJAUL

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Grajski Pub 1004 Grajska 22, tel. +386 (0)41 36

50 08. A fun little bar attached to the Grajski Hostel and out of the town centre close to the bus station, its probably not worth hiking all the way up here unless youre actually staying in the place, but if you do then expect to find a small bar kitted out in oak and a separate room with table football and electronic darts machine. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 01:00, Sun 08:00 - 22:00. R6LGW

Casino
Casino Bled Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)45 74 18 11, info@casino-bled.si, w w w.casino-bled. si. For those with spare time and money on their hands, this hotel-basement casino with roulette, card games and more than a few electronic machines provides the opportunity to fritter away plenty of both. Q Open 24hrs. POAEGBX

Cream cakes, known in Bled for decades, are in fact the towns symbol. Although you can buy them elsewhere, those from Bled are simply the best. Itvan Lukaevi, the former manager of 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 caf opposite the hotel, are famous. What is the secret? In fact, there is no secret - only experience matters, and the cooks from Bled have plenty of that. Since 1953 they have been serving up Kremnita here, October 2009 seeing the 10 millionth slice unveiled in a whirl of glory at the annual carnival in its honour. Let us tempt you with the recipe: 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.

grab a beer with friends and avoid the tourist scene, this is an ideal meeting spot. A large chestnut tree droops over the terrace and shades against the scorching sun in the summer time and the wind in the winter. Theres always a vibrant atmosphere if you choose to sit indoors, where you will find groups of friends propping up the bar. They serve a selection of pub food: sandwiches, pizza and kebabs. QOpen 06:30 - 24:00. PTJAR6LGB 22. One of Bleds top party places, with a large selection of mixed drinks and cocktails and DJs most nights, it attracts a varied mix of tourists, students and local party animals. Theres also a big screen TV that more often than not is tuned to some live sporting event, and if you manage to stop by in the morning for a glass of your preferred hang over remedy you can enjoy nice views of the castle and free wireless internet. QOpen 09:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 03:00. PR6EGBXW

Old Cup Bar Cesta Svobode 8a. If you just want to

Zdravljica Cesta Svobode 7, tel. +386 (0)40 543 597, grajska.klet@gmail.com. With over 120 Slovene wines presented here for tasting and purchase, a visit constitutes a voyage of discovery in terms of the countrys wine-making tradition. The vintage wares from all of Slovenias winegrowing regions make the inevitable degustation something that one should plan extra time in ones itinerary for, lovingly coordinated by the house sommelier. Reservations preferable. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00.

What to see
Much more than just the iconic castle and island, Bled and surrounding mountains offer a multitude to see and do. Visit the helpful tourist office for more detailed information on what is available during your stay.

Wine
Bled Castle Wine Cellar Grajska 61, tel. +386 (0)51
20 32 56/+386 (0)31 23 13 08, janez@manufaktura. org, manufaktura.org. A special experience in itself, the only wine here is the house wine of the castle (Blejski grad), that of the Dornberg cellars. Medieval traditions are celebrated and rituals relived, not least the festivities tied up with producing this most precious of liquids. The Rajsko vino (Paradise wine) is an extra special product, first produced to commemorate the towns 1000 year anniversary (2004), and can be purchased with a certificate and informative film recording. Tastings are organised for groups of over 10, reservations being necessary outside regular opening hours. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00.

Pub Bled Cesta Svobode 19a, tel. +386 (0)45 74 26

Natural Attractions
Hills around the lake Straa A leisurely walk to the top, or chairlift, allows visitors to enjoy views of the lake from the south-east, the castle and also Mt. Stol in the middle distance. Both summer and winter activities are possible here, it being the best place to ski in Bled itself. Osojnica Perhaps the best known spot for Bleds burgeoning portfolio of photography, especially by the professionals, Osojnica is a 45 minute trek on a steep forest path, rising first to a peak of 685m (Mala Osojnica) then to 756m (Velika Osojnica), offering views of the main mountain ranges to the east, and the whole Gorenjska plain. Ojstrica The narrow peaked mountain by name is a relatively easy walk from Camping Bled (turn left if coming from town), the said peak of which offering really good views of the lake and campsite.

Art Caf Cesta Svobode 7a, tel. +386 (0)45 76 71 79, loreks@telemach.net. A popular social hangout for the younger clientele, especially students from the nearby IEDC Bled School of Management who like to stop by and mingle amongst themselves. When theres an important sports event on TV, the place fills up fast and so do the glasses! The wide, open terrace that overlooks the lake also brings a steady flow of tourists. The gold-framed art work and old spiral staircase adds a touch of charm to its homey interior. Definitely, a satisfying choice for day and night time entertainment. QOpen 07:00 02:00, Fri 07:00 - 03:00, Sat 08:00 - 03:00, Sun 08:00 - 02:00. PJA6ILGBXW Devil Bar Caffe Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)45 74 21 10. Cheeky cavorting imps seducing naked women over the bar, organ pipes on the walls, Cuban cigars and toasted sandwiches all add up to one of Bleds most popular spots, not least for the magnificent view over the lake, packs a mixed crowd in on two floors and a large terrace for daily lunch specials and heavy late-night drinking sessions. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00. JAB Fashion Caffe Ljubljanska 4. Although its technically a caf by name, the main spirit of this quite tiny venue lies in its night-time atmosphere. Popular with a young local (albeit small) crowd, they sometimes host guest DJs for intimate techno/house parties. There are a couple of tables outside for smoking and of course a coffee in daylight hours. Slovenian Alps

Pub Lovec Ljubljanska 6, tel. +386 (0)45 76 86 15. Next to and part of the hotel of the same name, this clean cafeteria-feel establishment features chunky oak furniture and a friendly smile as you walk in the door. Actually split into two, the section to the right acts more as a caf, with the left-hand section dedicated to the provision of alcohol with a slightly more bar-like ambience. Q Open 17:00 - 23:00. PTA6LGBX
19/+386 (0)41 341 494, info@union-bled.com, www. union-bled.com/slo-bar.htm. Part of a guesthouse and restaurant of the same name, the Union Bar 99 is a popular hangout on warm summer nights. Frequently enough, a grill is prepared up on the terrace amongst crowds of locals, hotel guests and tourists. All major sporting events are shown on the big screen and theres free WiFi. The dcor of the interior is charming and the service top-notch. For the morning after they even serve breakfast. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 01:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. JRLGB

Vinoteka Vinar te Cesta Svobode 12, tel. +386 (0)4 579 13 32, vinarte@hotelibled.com, www.savahotels-resorts.com. All the classic wine-cellar elements are elegantly presented in this chic wine bar. Its got the stone walls and ceilings, the heavy wooden tables and a

Union Bar 99 Ljubljanska 11, tel. +386 (0)45 78 01

Clubs
Kult Klub Ljubljanska 4, marko.valant@guest.arnes.si. The almost waterfront terrace (just across the street from the lake) is the place to be during summer nights in Bled. The views are great, theres usually a nice cool breeze coming off the water, and live concerts of varying genres and styles are held quite frequently. Dont let the name intimidate you either, you wont feel out of place here if you forgot to pack your black leather jeans and/or have a noticeable lack of tattoos. It is however located on the ground floor of the Bled Shopping Centre, which is more commonly referred to as the Gadafi Centre amongst locals, but apparently has no relation to the eccentric former Libyan dictator (at least that were aware of). QOpen 07:00 24:00, Fri, Sat 07:00 - 02:00. YAEB slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

With a constant flow of tourists from around the world, theres always something to do at night in Bled - especially during the many events that take place during the year, such as the Bled Days Festival seen here, photo courtesy of BTB

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Bled Castle
Pokljuka Canyon Besides the famous Vintgar gorge you can visit a beautiful canyon near Krnica. The long and dramatic void is the remainder of the Ribice stream, carved during the retreat of glaciers into limestone rock. It is the largest fossil canyon in Slovenia. Here we also find some karst features, such as a natural bridge, overhanging rocks and caves. The most famous is the Pokljuka gorge. Last century a narrow footbridge was built at the canyons narrowest point and subsequently named after a Serbian prince. The Cave Under Babji Zob Like Slovenias best known cave system, Postojna, the Babji Zob (or Hags Tooth) caves became popular with visitors in the 19th century. Although much smaller than its bigger sister, there are some impressive stalactite formations here, as well as spiral stalactites and calcite crystals. Accessible for the unexperienced and spontaneous; there are arranged paths, electric lights, and its open for all from May to August. Just turn up at 10:00 on Sunday morning, if you make it out of bed. Otherwise give the folks at the Society for Cave Research (Drutvo za Raziskovanje Jam) a call and arrange your visit. The cave entrance is located above the villages of Bohinjska Bela and Kupljenik (about 6km from Bled). Q Organised visits at 10:00 on Sundays from May-Aug or by prior arrangement.

bled
Museums & Galleries
574 39 17, catbriyur.bled@gmail.com, www.catbriyur. ne. Handcrafted by Slovene couple Katja and Jure Bricman, Catbriyur porcelain has long been recognised as some of the finest functional art pieces to be produced in the country. While strictly speaking their premises in Bled are more a shop than a gallery, that doesnt mean you cant stop by to browse - just be careful you dont break anything, as many of the items are in the price on request range. Distinguished by their irregular shapes and design, each cup, plate, tray, clock and piece of jewellery is literally one of kind, although there are several different series executed in the same motifs and styles. If our recommendation is not enough for you, proud owners of Catbriyur porcelain include Vladimir Putin, the King of Norway and most famously Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II, who was presented an exclusive gold-encrusted Royal Collection tea set during her official state visit to Slovenia a few years ago. If you were interested in making a purchase by which to remember your time in the Slovenian Alps, the most appropriate item is perhaps the small bell that was inspired by Bleds own Legend of the Sunken Bell. QOpen 10:00 - 13:00 & 15:00-18:00.

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Catbriyur Porcelain Cesta Svobode 18, tel. +386 (0)4

Cycling trips

(0)4 572 97 72, blejski.grad@zkbled.si, www. blejski-grad.si. Perched quite dramatically high up on a cliff overlooking the lake and town, Bled Castle is the stuff of childrens dreams. First mentioned in the year 1011, it is officially the oldest castle in Slovenia having celebrated its one thousand year anniversary in 2011. Built and added to haphazardly over the centuries, nowadays the castle is a photogenic mash of styles. Of the many sights located on the castles premises, you can visit a small but informative museum of the regions history from the first human settlements till the present day, a 16th century chapel, the wine cellar, an herbal gallery, a recreated Gutenberg printing press (that still sees heavy work printing souvenirs for visitors) and of course a restaurant with breathtaking views of the lake below and mountains beyond. Q Open 08:00-20:00 from April to October, 08:00-18:00 November-March. Admission 8/6/3.50 for adults/students/children, with discounts for groups of 10 or more.

Bled Castle Tel. +386 (0)4 572 97 82, fax +386

Churches
(0)45 72 93 80, info@blejskiotok.si, www.blejskiotok. si. Sticking out of the island in the middle of the lake, the Church of the Assumption has been much battered by earthquakes and lightning over the centuries. Several churches have occupied this prime location since one was first built here in the 12th century. The current incarnation is from the 17th century. Inside, the impressive altar and the last surviving frescoes from an earlier Gothic church are worth a look.

Etnogalerija Pletna Cesta Svobode 37, tel./fax +386

Church of the Assumption Bled island, tel. +386

(0)45 74 37 02, pletna@bled.net, www.pletna.com. A tourist information point with a rich selection of homemade products plus arts and crafts.

St Martins Church Riklijeva 26, www.zupnija-bled. si. A white neo-Gothic beauty erected in 1905, St Martins was designed by same architect who was responsible for Viennas town hall, and it shows in the sheer verticality of the building. The church is surrounded by the walls which had to protect the earlier church from Ottoman incursions, and the interior has frescoes from the late 1930s.

Gallery 14 Preernova 14, tel. +386 (0)4 574 34 63, info@studiocerne.si, www.studiocerne.si. A superb gallery space for Bled, from the Studio erne outfit in Ljubljana. With exhibition activities in contemporary art and sculpture, plus high quality artistic equipment and materials, its a welcome addition to the cultural scene in town. The house in which the gallery resides, on Preernova Cesta, bequeaths the heritage of one especially well known erne, namely Josef, an ancestor of the modern gallery owning family whose saddle-making was known all the way to Vienna. There are two spaces here, 30m2 each, with temporary and permanent exhibitions of a diverse range of Slovene and foreign artists works. QOpen Thu, Fri 15:00 - 19:00, Sat 09.00 - 13:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed. Sales Gallery Bled Island Tel. +386 (0)4 576 79 01, prodajna.galerijia@blejskiotok.si, www.blejskiotok.si. Q Open 09:00-16:00 (Nov-Mar), 09:00-18:00 (Apr) and 09:00-19:00 (May-Oct).

There is a wealth of opportunity in terms of cycling and mountain biking around Bled. For the latter, special trips can be arranged through outdoor activity agencies, but there are also lots of villages, forests, gravel tracks and rivers to be explored on your own. For further information and maps visit the Tourist Information Centre in Bled: Cesta Svobode 10, (+386) 45 74 11 22. Bicycle/mountain bike rental is available at outdoor activity agencies such as Helia or Life Adventures in Bled, plus many more.

Bled - Zgornja Radovna


Length: 37km/4hours Difficulty: medium/hard Surface: asphalt/gravel track

Bled - Radovna Valley - Zgornja Radovna

Iglica waterfall Bohinjska Bela One of the jewels of

Bleds surrounding nature, Iglica waterfall is a 25m plume of water that plunges down a limestone rock face, many of which nearby serve as climbing walls. Here on the Suha stream, the fall is best admired in spring, a wooden stairway allowing access to the great surrounding views on the clifftop. Signposted from the village of Bohinjska Bela, south east of Bled lake by the road to Bohinj.

Symbols of Bled
Educational Beehouse Selo pri Bledu, tel. +386 (0)41
65 71 20/+386 (0)41 22 74 07, www.kralov-med.si. Get a taste for good healthy Slovenian honey whilst in Bled, but not before youve earned it! By taking a one to two hour tour, you will see about 50 bee families at work (providing you come in season), admire the traditional hand-painted beehive panels, and learn and observe the life of the diligently renowned Carniolan bee. Only then can you taste and buy the produced golden stuff. Beehive panel painting workshops take place under a typical Slovene kozolec (hayrack), and children can delight in natural science days. Beekeeper Bla Ambroi will be your guide, with up to 20-30 visitors hosted at any one time. Located just south of Bled, in the village of Selo pri Bledu.

This trip takes you first to the little village of Gorje, where youll see a picturesque Church of St George. From Gorje you can also turn right to visit Vintgar gorge (a short distance away). After a well-earned rest at a pub, you will pass through Zgornje Gorje, Krnica then Radovna. The Radovna valley, one of the most beautiful in Gorenjska, runs for 16km and is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and green hills. Along the way watch out for Napoleons stone - engraved with the signature of the old emperor himself. Note that only the first two and half kilometres is tarmac, the rest of the way to Zgornja Radovna being gravel. The trip back is a more adrenaline-filled downhill drag - taking only about a third of the time it takes to get there.

long, in the foothills of the Julian Alps. It is mostly covered with spruce and beech trees. There are many pastures and clear streams on the plateau. Meakla is part of Triglav National Park, and can be easily accessed by forest road in Spodnje Gorje. The main attraction is a natural bridge and hidden partisan hospital.

Meakla Meakla is a long undulating plateau about 15 km

Fijaker Coachmen Tel. +386 (0)41 69 34 41/+386

Lake Bled Bleds most famous feature is the crystal-clear lake which has an island crowned by the 55-metre tower of the Baroque Church of the Assumption. The backdrop of mountains makes this view especially irresistable. Visitors can take a boat tour to the island (12) on characteristic pletna boats, which include half an hour to wander around or visit the church. Boats leave from the Health Park, at Hotel Park and at the rowing centre. Slovenian Alps

Swans are some of Bleds most famous inhabitants, courtesy of BTB

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(0)31 31 68 02, www.fijaker-bled.si. Proud of their tradition, the Bled coachmen offer their services of horse drawn carriage transport every day of the year. Treat your loved one to a ride, be it rain or shine, their special umbrellas will stave off the elements should the latter threaten to dampen ones spirits. Tradition can be seen most of all in the Fijaker uniform, complete with a jacket adorned of ruby red Gorenjska carnations, their top hats bouncing along as they whisk you almost anywhere in Bled lakes vicinity or further afield, and even wait for a romantic drink or meal to be enjoyed, to then take you back. Turn up at their station in front of Festival Hall (Festivalna dvorana) in the summer months to find them waiting, in winter but their sign and contact details, on which you can also buy a gift voucher for the said loved one.

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bled
Annual Events
May - September
men and artisans peddle their wares in traditional market style every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May to September. A superb variety of distinct gifts can be found here, and dare we say the odd bargain. telemach.net, www.td-bled.si. Theres a local saying, whereby one hasnt really visited Bled without taking a ride in one of its traditional Pletna boats. Thought to have perhaps derived from the German plateboot, meaning flat bottomed boat, the Pletna has a history stretching back to the end of the 16th Century. Since then, the respected profession of oarsman has been handed down through generations, with a special technique of standing rowing mastered by but a few. So board the wooden vessel at its widened stern, its pointed bow aimed at the other side of the turquoise waters, or squarely at the island, and be carried across, protected from the sun or rain by its colourful awning. Pletna piers are located under the Spa Park, under the Park Hotel Bled caf in Mlino and in Velika Zaka. Q Open Nov - Mar 08:00-18:00, Sun & holidays 08:00-13:00; April - June & Sept - Oct 08:0019:00, Sun & holidays 11:00-17:00; Jul - Aug 08:00-21:00, Sun & holidays 10:00-18:00. Tickets 12.

bled
Pletna Boats Tel. +386 (0)41 427 155, tdbled@

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Hiking Around Bled

August
Okarina Ethno Music Festival www.festival-okarina.si.
Organised every year since 1990, the programme director of the festival is Leo Liof - a connoisseur and dedicated lover of ethno music. Each August stages in Bled come alive with performances by Slovene and foreign ethno musicians, and the event continues to gain popularity year after year.

Arts and Crafts Fair Zdraviliki park Slovene crafts-

June
Medieval Days at Bled Castle www.blejski-grad.si.
The origins of Bleds thousand year history are of course connected with its clifftop castle, the oldest in Slovenia by written records. The heart of the Brixen estate in Carniola, the castle buildings and courtyards were undoubtedly the scene of much tumultuous happenings, lest we say barbarisms. Performances at the festival in memory of this period include medieval music, a market, tasting of delicacies, and of course battle.

Bled Mini Marathon and Recreational Run (Blejski Maraton) www.bled.si. Another of Bleds many annual
sport events, the Bled Marathon includes both a 21km halfmarathon and a 6km recreational run around the lake.

September
Bled Strategic Forum www.bledstrategicforum.org.
The Bled Strategic Forum is intended to promote a high-level strategic dialogue between leaders from the private and public sectors on the key issues facing Europe and the 21st century world. The aim of the Forum is to generate new strategies capable of allowing Europe to better use its strategic space and leverage, and also to attract political commitments to these strategies. In addition, the forum offers a platform for cooperation between the private and public sectors aimed at developing common integrated approaches to resolving outstanding challenges and tackling new ones.

Tourist train
Departing from the Sports Hall (portna Dvorana) Ljubljanska Cesta 5, the tourist train in Bled will whisk families, the elderly, infirm, or just plain lazy around the lake for 45 minutes. Runs up to 20 times per day in summer.

July
Bled Days and Bled Night www.bled.si. Held on a late July weekend each year, this festival is one of the summers main festivals in Bled, and consists of a diverse schedule of events ranging from a daily arts and crafts fair and childrens puppet shows to street theatre performances and concerts. One event not to be missed is the traditional lighting of candles on the lake followed by a fireworks display from the castle. See the official website for the complete programme. Bled Music Festival www.festivalbled.com. Lasting a couple of weeks, the festival is centred around a series of classical music concerts that take place almost nightly in different venues - including Bleds Festival Hall, St Martins Church, Vila Bled and Radovljicas magnificent Baroque Hall. In addition to the performances, there is an international viola and violin competition, which draws some of the best young competitors from around the world, a series of nine week-long master classes led by renowned composers and musicians from eight different countries, and an art exhibition featuring well-known Slovene artists. First held in 1996, the festival has since grown to be one of the biggest and most important of its type in central Europe. Night Run Around Lake Bled (Nona 10km)
www.nocna10ka.net. As the name suggests, this unique take on the traditional 10km race takes place after the sun goes down. Participants compete in one of five age groups, and the course consists of more than two laps around lake. The main event begins at 22:00, while a recreational 1.2km run leaves at 21:00, and a 400m and 800m childrens run at 20:00.

Sport & Activities


Known primarily for the beauty of its lake, castle and island-bound church, Bled also offers a wealth of sports opportunities for professionals, enthusiasts and families. For taking in the natural sights of the area there are numerous walking, hiking, cycling and horseback riding opportunities, while a birds eye view can be had by paragliding or ballooning. In addition, there are fine facilities for golf, mini golf, beach volleyball and tennis. Centred around a lake and rivers, there are also many water sports to choose from, including swimming, rafting, fishing, rowing and for those whod like to get a bit more extreme diving, canyoning and hydrospeed. Surrounded by the Alps, sports such as skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating and ice climbing are popular during the winter months. And last but not least, for technophiles there is ample opportunity to hunt for treasure using so-called geocaching apps on your smartphone or other GPS-enable devices.

Bled Triathlon www.trisport-klub.si. If you feel like


going for a little 1500m swim, followed by a 40km bike ride, and topped off with a short 10km run, then the Bled Triathlon was made just for you! If youre not up for the rigours of the course outlined above, there are many other races taking place at the same time with lengths suitable for amateurs. Its possible to register via the internet.

November
Oberkrainer Festival www.bled.si. This celebration
of Oberkrainer music, a traditional Slovene folk style that is akin to the polka and waltz, will feature performances by various internationally renowned ensembles, and is guaranteed to liven up the town for at least one late autumn weekend. In addition to music, plenty of traditional food and drinks are also on hand, and the event always attracts thousands of visitors from Austria and Germany - where Oberkrainer is perhaps even more popular than in Slovenia - as well as from Italy, Hungary and elsewhere.

December
Merry December in Bled www.bled.si. Christmas
time in Bled is as an important time as anywhere else, with events held throughout the month of December. The highlights are undoubtedly the Sinking of the Bell on Christmas night (which is based on a centuries-old legend involving murder, nuns, the Pope and of the actual sinking of a bell) and New Years Eve celebrations along the waterfront with an almost legendary fireworks display. Every weekend in December there is also a full programme of events for children and arts fair held at Hotel Park, while on Christmas eve and Christmas day you can catch a glimpse of Santa Claus himself riding around the town on a horse-drawn sleigh. A full programme of the months events can be found on the citys official website.

Hiking Around Bled Bled is situated in the middle of several mountain ranges, namely the Julian Alps, Karavanke mountains and further to the east the Kamnik Alps, all of which form the awesome views from the lake itself. In the immediate vicinity are mountains of medium elevation, such as Galetovec and Lipanca at Pokljuka, Meakla (between Bled and the town of Jesenice) and Jelovica (in Tale). Lipanca is also home to the Bled Mountaineering Club and its mountain hut (+386 45 74 26 05), the perfect place to start your trip. If the medium heights are more of a testing ground for you than the final goal, trips further afield will surely ensue; the beautiful yet technically not too-demanding trails to Begunjica (2060m), Stol (2236m) and Debela Pe (2015m) are good options. There are also numerous others in the aforementioned ranges to be discovered. Aside from marked trails, the mountains can be traversed with a guide from one of the agencies in Bled, which is also recommended for trips to Triglav 2864m (unless you are an experienced mountaineer). Should you be restrained by inexperienced company, theres always the Vintgar gorge, castle hill or one of the small hills lakeside to conquer to introduce your hillvirgin friends to the joys of hiking. Why, even the Church of the Assumption on Bled island has 99 steps to be ascended in style.

Agencies
3glav Adventures Ljubljanska 1, tel. +386 (0)41 683 184, domen@3glav-adventures.com, www.3glavadventures.com. Q Open 09:00 - 12:00, 16:00-19:00. Open May-September. Agency Amigo Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)59 73 25 0/+386 (0)31 79 19 01, amigo.bled@siol.net, www.amigo.si. Bled Tours Ljubljanska 19, tel. +386 (0)31 32 11 00, fax +386 (0)45 76 90 30, info@bledtours.si, www. bledtours.si. Helia D-1, Trubarjeva 8, tel. +386 (0)31 54 45 44, info@ helia.si, www.helia.si. 2013

Riklis Sport Days Swiss doctor Arnold Rikli was

one of the first people to recognise the value and health benefits of Bleds climate and location. He developed his own healing methods based on the effects of light, air and water, and went on to found the Natural Health Institute in 1855. To commemorate the good doctors contributions both to health and tourism in Bled, a series of sporting events is held the first weekend of every July, which includes tennis and miniature golf tournaments, and a recreational walk.

Step back in time on a carriage ride with the Fijaker coachmen, courtesy of BTB

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bled
Bled Labyrinth
Bled Labyrinth Grajska 34, tel. +386 (0)31 303 509, info@labirint-bled.si, www.labirint-bled.si. Opened in 2011, this giant 2 hectare labyrinth sits just below Bleds famous castle and is only 100m from the lake. Combining corn, forest and grass sections, it is more than just a simple maze, its a natural theme park with plenty of things to see and do - besides getting lost. Imagined as a way to both entertain visitors, the entire site is dotted with information points explaining various aspects of the natural environment, as well as interactive stations where children and adults alike can participate in fun activities and learn new things at the same time. The labyrinth is especially well-suited for families on a summer outing to Bled, and is also a popular destination for school groups, birthday parties, team-building activities and workshops. Of course individuals are also more than welcome too. To get their by car, just follow the signs to Bled Castle and park in the lot just after the castle road, the labyrinth is about 100m down the gravel road from there. Alternatively, if youre coming on foot just follow the path around the lake, and turn up the hill at Zlatorog Villa. Q Open 13 July - 31 August 10:00-19:00, 1 Sept - 31 Oct 11:00-18:00. Admission 6, children, students and pensioners 5, family ticket 14. Kompas Bled Ljubljanska 4, tel. +386 (0)45 72 75 00, fax +386 (0)45 74 15 18, kompas.bled@siol.net, www. kompas-bled.si. Life Adventures Grajska 10, tel. +386 (0)4 20 14 875/+386 (0)40 50 88 53, info@lifeevents.si, www. lifeadventures.si. Lifetrek Bled Agency Grajska 10, tel. +386 (0)40 508 853, www.lifetrek-slovenia.com. Fun Rafting Cesta Svobode 4, tel. +386 (0)51 64 50
50, info@funrafting.com, www.funrafting.com. for a small fee, or you can just bring your own and hide under the shade of the trees along the beach. A water slide on the premises is perfect for those coming with kids.

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Sport Hall
Bled Sport Hall Ljubljanska 5, tel. +386 (0)4 578 05 38. Bleds large sports hall has been host to a number of sports, culture presentations and concerts. Some of the most important events that occur are during the winter. Try to catch an ice-hockey match or watch the graceful figure skaters. The sports hall proudly hosted the European Youth Winter Olympic Festival, the World Junior Championships in ice hockey in 2003 and the Finale World Junior Cup in figure skating. Throughout the year numerous concerts take place in the hall, so be sure to check out the programme while youre in town. The sports hall is also available for graduate dances, congresses and business meetings.

Thematic trails
Blejko the goblin is hiding on Bleds fairy castle trail, waiting for the kids to find him, and the Rikli fitness promenade is sure to keep the adults happy in the mean time. Theres also the Ornithology path at Bled golf course, which through well marked signs teaches walkers more about the life of birds, species and behaviour. At 3km it is a good length, while not being too demanding, sticking to fields and forest. Once a week theres a guided walk with a local bird expert, who can also be hired anytime through Sava Hotels Bled.

Swimming
Castle Bathing Veslaka Promenada 1, tel. +386 (0)4
578 05 28, info@infrastruktura-bled.si, www.infrastruktura-bled.si. Just below Bleds castle rock, a grassy beach awaits those that want to go swimming in beautiful Bled lake. The swimming area is protected and kept clean for the safety of guests, and you can also rent a sun-bed, umbrella or mat

Straa Hill
info@pustolovski-park-bled.si, www.pustolovskipark-bled.si. A family adventure park with suspended footbridges, monkey bars, suspension bridges, carabiners and zip cords, Adventure Park (or Pustolovksi Park in Slovene) is suitably situated in a forest. The 65 attractions and challenges are both professionally built to EU standards and constructed with respect for the natural surroundings. Youll not find any tubular painted steel here, just logs, ropes and the odd steel cable to aid the adrenaline-filled descent from your suspended activities (between one and eight metres high). Popular with families, adults and groups alike; there are five differently coloured climbing tracks of varying difficulty. A brief safety course and all equipment are provided before entrance to the park. Located at the top of Straa ski centre. Q Open only at the weekends and holidays from early April till late June and in October. Open everyday during the summer. See website for exact hours and prices.

Adventure Park Straa, tel. +386 (0)31 76 16 61,

Its impossible not to relax in a setting like this, courtesy of BTB

Wellness
02, ziva@hotelibled.com, www.wellness-ziva.com. iva means several things in Slovenian, one of them being lively - and thats just how youll feel after a full body and soul solution at this wellness centre. With a holistic approach to physical rejuvenation, theres a wide range of massage available, body and facial treatments, plus a variety of saunas, and a plethora of water based delights to be lapped up; two storeys of thermal pools, and of course a whirlpool. Well if it was good enough for Arnold Rikli! QOpen 07:00 - 21:00, Fri, Sat 07:00 - 23:00. PTAULG

iva Wellness Cankarjeva 4, tel. (+386)4 579 17

Golf
Bled Golf & Country Club Vrba 37a, tel. +386 (0)4 537 7711, info@golfbled.com, www.golfbled.com. Situated only 4km from the town centre, Bled Golf Course first opened in 1937 and was redesigned by famous golf architect Donald Harradine in 1972. Its the oldest Slovenian golf course and is said to be one of the most beautiful golf courses in central Europe. The green fees are not the cheapest in the country, but one look at the stunning vistas and the impressive course itself, and most players will consider it well worth it. There is both an 18-hole course and 9-hole short course, and real enthusiasts can combine them for a 27 holes of golfing bliss in a single day. Q 18 holes 60/70 on weekdays/at the weekend, 9 holes 35. Discount packages are available for weekend stays, see the website for more info. Mini golf Cesta Svobode 15, tel. +386 (0)41 840 079. With 3628 square metres of area, 18 holes and 228 metres of total length this is one of the largest classic mini golf playgrounds in Europe! A host of competitions are held here, but most of all miniature golf, as we all know, is about swinging your club in anger at a sibling opponent. Dont forget to bring good spor tsmanship with your competitive spirit!Q Open 09:30-23:00 April to October.

Straa Ski Centre Reika 2, tel. +386 (0)45 78 05 34, fax +386 (0)45 78 05 11, info@infrastruktura-bled.si, www.infrastruktura-bled.si. Six hectares of ski trails can be found but a stones throw from Bled lake, or a rather easier stones throw to Bled lake. Albeit compact compared with classic ski centres, it is so convenient for those staying in the town, and at the time of writing very competitively priced, proving to be a very viable option for winter visitors. Artificial snow and lighting for evening skiing are both on hand, meaning you can enjoy the slopes no matter the weather or time of day.
05 30/+386 (0)31 330 647, info@infrastrukturabled.si, www.infrastruktura-bled.si. This used to be sport we enjoyed during the winter time, but now Bled has come up with a brand new summer adrenaline experience. The sledding centre itself is perched up on Bleds higher slopes with the view of the lake and castle. The sledding tracks are 520 metres in length, with an elevation difference of 131 metres, with sleds reaching speeds of up to 40km/h - a real roller-coaster ride! You will have to get up to the centre by one of the cable-car railways. Q Open 10:00-20:00 every day from 22 June to 1 Sept, 11:00-18:00 Sat-Sun only from 27 April to 21 June and in Sept, and 11:00-17:00 Sat-Sun only in Oct. 5-14.

Directory
Business schools
33, tel. +386 (0)4 579 25 00, info@iedc.si, www. iedc.si. Founded in 1986, this management school was one of the first of its kind to open its doors in Central and Eastern Europe as well as further afield. The schools gallery is also an attraction in itself. See the website for more information.

IEDC Bled School of Management Preernova

Summer Sledding Straa, tel. +386 (0)4 578

Photography
Sitra Ljubljanska 4, tel. +386 (0)4 574 13 25, foto@ sitra.si, www.sitra.si. In a prime location, Sitra offers all the photography supplies tourists could ever need and many that professionals would be after - including 35mm film and digital memory cards. The small shop is situated within the main shopping centre by the lake. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. 2013

Rafting
Adventure Rafting Grajska 21, tel. +386 (0)51 678
008/+386 (0)4 57 44 041, info@adventure-rafting.si, www.adventure-rafting.si. One of the worlds most beautiful courses is reason enough for golfers to come to Bled, photo courtesy of BTB

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Bohinj
Where to stay
Along the lake and in the surounding villages and mountainside, Bohinj offers an impressive number of quality accommodation options, from the 5-star Bohinj Park Eco Hotel, to a hostel and countless smaller family places, as well as two good campsites for those who want to stay as close to nature as possible.

Bohinj
Bohinj Guest Card
www.bohinj.si. If you are spending more than a couple of hours in Bohinj, and lets face it you should be, then you might want to consider getting a Bohinj Guest Card (family cards available). The card entitles visitors to great discounts at heaps of places around Bohinj - save 15% off bicycle and canoe hire; 50% off admission to the impressive Mostnica Korita; get discounted food and drinks plus much much more. You can also purchase a card that entitles free parking in Bohinj. friendly, tranquil and comfortable. Understated luxury compliments the serenity of nature which emanates from all around. The soothing soundtrack is provided by the nearby Savica brook. The restaurant and wine-cellar finish off an eventful day in style, with the finest Slovenian and International cuisine and wines. Paradise for the discerning traveller with an appreciation for nature. Q 8 rooms (50-60 per person). HAILGBKD hhhh

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Upmarket
+386 (0)8 200 40 00, info@2864.si, www.bohinj-parkhotel.si. Bohinj Park is the first certified ECO hotel in Slovenia. During the colder months there is now need to leave the premises at all, with a complete resort at your very fingertips! The hotel offers exceptional comfort in all its rooms and suites, as well as a classy restaurant and bar. There are wellness and spa facilities in the hotel itself or you can pop over to the AquaPark for even more health programmes. Another fabulous amenity is a Bowling Centre which includes 5 professional bowling lanes - lots of fun awaiting the whole family. Q 102 rooms, 8 suites. PTHARUIFLGBKCW hhhhh (0)31 761 672, fax +386 (0)4 206 00 29, info@hoteljelka.si, hotel-jelka.si. Located in the Triglav National Park, Jelka is Pokljukas newest hotel, and offers guests a superb mountain retreat with excellent facilities, such as a spa and sauna centre and winter ice skating rink. The chalet style hotel looks out over impressive meadows, woods and mountains which turn into a snowy wonderland in winter - the ideal setting for spending days hiking, biking and skiing, then relaxing in the evenings at Jelkas restaurant, which serves delicious local fare, or enjoying a mulled wine beside the open fire place. Q Singles 65-95, doubles 90-150 with breakfast. Half- and full-board also available. PTILKDW hhh

Bohinj Park ECO Triglavska 17, Bohinjska Bistrica, tel.

Mid-range
Bohinj Ribev Laz 45, tel. +386 (0)4 577 02 10/+386
(0)40 12 71 12, fax +386 (0)4 577 02 15, info@hotelbohinj.com, www.hotel-bohinj.com. A pleasant hotel, perched up on a hill with satisfying rooms that gaze out on the forests and mountains in the distance. The walk to the lake will take you a few minutes, and you can also enjoy a variety of activities at your doorstep. The tasteful and understated furnishings as well as helpful and professional staff guarantee a pleasant stay. Good value accommodation. Q 55 rooms (doubles 40-55, suites 90-120). PTJHA6UI LEGBKW hhhh

Jelka Goreljek 93, tel. +386 (0)4 206 00 10/+386

Carved by glaciers and endowed with limitless natural beauty, Bohinj Lake is simply breathtaking, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia The alpine valley of Bohinj is located in the stunning Triglav National Park, and its surroundings are truly unspoiled with the feeling of mass tourism is nowhere to be found. People here are the definition of amiable, attentive and courteous. This is where you come if you want to be treated as a guest, not as a client. Everyone here knows each other and theres a genuine sense of camaraderie. Youll see them recommending each others restaurants and hotels, instead of being overly competitive and trying to hoard all the tourists. Not once from all the places weve visited did we encounter bad service, or good service that didnt seem genuine. Just dont expect a lot of frills. Nightlife is practically non-existent and overly luxurious hotels are hard to find. Come here to ski at one of several resorts in the vicinity, with your family for an active holiday or with your partner to enjoy the beauty of nature.

By Bus
There are numerous daily buses from Ljubljana to Bohinj. They leave every hour on the hour throughout the day and the journey takes two hours.

Jezero Ribev Laz 51, tel. +386 (0)4 572 91 00, fax

Tourist information
TIC - Bohinj Tourist Office Ribev Laz 48, tel. +386 (0)4574 60 10, fax +386 (0)4572 33 30, info@bohinj-info.com, www.bohinj-info.com. As well as offering helpful advice to visitors the Bohinj Tourism Information Centre in Ribev Laz also offers a wide range of local and Slovene souvenirs and gifts - perhaps a miniature Zlatorog (mythical gold horned buck) or a chunk of delicious Bohinj cheese. Q Open Mon-Sat 08:00-18:00, Sun & holidays 09:00-15:00. In July-Aug 08:00-20:00 and 08:00-18:00. In Nov-Dec 09:00-17:00 and 09:00-15:00. TIC - Tourism Bohinj Triglavska 30, tel. +386 (0)4574 75 90, fax +386 (0)4574 75 91, info@ bohinj.si, www.bohinj.si/en. Q Open Mon-Fri 07:00-15:00. From 1 Jul to 15 Sept & 20 Dec to 15 Feb open Mon-Fri 07:00-17:00, Sat 08:00-17:00, Sun 09:00-12:00. TIC - Stara Fuina Srednja vas v Bohinju 79, Stara Fuina, tel. +386 (0)4 572 33 26, info. fuzina@bohinj.si. Q Open 25 June to 15 Sept 09:00-17:00. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

+386 (0)4 572 90 39, hotel.jezero@cc-line.si, www. bohinj.si. This hotel scores top marks in location, being right up on the banks of Lake Bohinj and within easy access to venues in the town centre. The rooms are large with reasonably comfortable furnishings, and the views from the balconies come no better than here. Its a good option for families, who can make use of its indoor swimming pools, sauna, mini golf, gym facilities, restaurant and caf bar. Overall, it strikes a good balance between comfort and practicality. Q 71 rooms (singles 55-75, doubles 90-160, suites 120-160). PTJHA6UFLEBKDXCW hhhh

Arriving
By Car
Take the A2 motorway north in the direction of Kranj and Jesenice. After passing Kranj, take the exit for Bled. Follow signs for Bled and pass through the town on the main road and approximately halfway around the lake. Youll then see signs directing you to Bohinj. The drive from Ljubljana should take around an hour and 15 minutes.

By Train
Trains from Ljubljana to Bohinjska Bistrica, a village around five kilometres from the lake, leave regularly. Most trains involve a change in Jesenice, and take about two hours.

Kristal Ribev Laz 4a, tel. +386 (0)4 577 82 00, fax +386 (0)4 577 82 50, info@hotel-kristal-slovenia.com, www.hotel-kristal-slovenia.com. This charming family-run hotel is located a short walk from the lake and is surrounded by impressive mountains and lush alpine forests. Kristals 30 rooms are clean and comfortable whilst the friendly service helps create a homey and relaxed atmosphere. The complimentary breakfast is a great way to start a day of hiking and skiing around Bohinj and tired guests can return to relax in the Finnish sauna, followed by a tasty meal in the hotels restaurant and a warming drink beside the fireplace. Q 30 rooms (singles 43-70, doubles 76-120). THARUILGBKD hhhh Villa Park Ukanc 129, tel. +386 (0)4572 33 00, fax +386 (0)4572 73 12, info@vila-park.si, www.vila-park. com. Set amongst idyllic Alpine countryside, Villa Park is slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com
Boasting long shores of sheltered pebbly beaches, Bohinj is one of our favourite places to swim in all of Slovenia, photo by Bas Lammers

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Bohinj
History
About 14,000 years ago, a valley was created by a gla cier that cut its way through the land which came to be known as the lower and upper Bohinj valleys. Historical findings prove the valley was populated as early as the Bronze Age, and the 5000 inhabitants of todays Bohinj are mostly descendents of the native people. The area was first used for iron working and mining but the ancient method of extracting iron died out a hundred years ago. In the villages of Stara Fuina (Old Forge) and Rudnica (mine) serve as the only reminders of those times. Today, cowbells can still be heard ringing out across the mountains. The manner of life in Bohinj is in many ways still tied to traditions that stretch back hundreds of years. The Alpine Farming Museum in Stara Fuina offers another glimpse of the past. The architectural heritage of old Bohinj is still visible in many of the wellpreserved alpine cottages with balconies and shingle roofs. The ethnographic features are most evident at the Oplen House Museum in the village of Studor, which also preserves the traditional village plan, with houses and hayricks huddled together. Bohinj was and still is oriented to the Catholic religion, considering the 11 churches that are speckled around the area. The four main churches are: St Nicholas Church in Bohinjska Bistrica, St Pauls Church in Stara Fuina, St Martins Church in Srednja Vas and St John the Baptists Church in Ribev Laz. Slovenias leading poet, France Preeren, once wrote an epic poem Krst pri Savici (the Christening at the Savica), which although largely fictional, depicts the time of violent baptism and battles between the Christians and pagans which took place around Bohinj and Bled.

Bohinj
Center Bohinj Ribev Laz 50, tel. +386 (0)4 572 31 70, fax +386 (0)4 574 69 50, kozomara.doo@siol.net, www. bohinj.si/center. This small family-run hotel, 100m from the lake, is the ideal base for experiencing all that Bohinj has to offer. Its not just the convenient location that makes this a great hotel - comfortable modern rooms, friendly helpful staff and careful attention to detail (they even offer complimentary cooked breakfast!) make staying here a pleasure. Guests have access (upon request) to a nearby indoor swimming pool and sauna. And the best thing is that all this quality comes at a great price. The hotels restaurant is also very good offering hearty local dishes and excellent wood-fired pizzas. Q 15 rooms (doubles 31-49). TAULGBKW hhh
+386 (0)4 57 23 661, peter.gasperin@siol.net, www. gasperin-bohinj.com. Located along the main road in the small settlement Ribev Laz just a few hundred metres before the lake, this small family-run bed and breakfast offers a variety of spacious, completely renovated rooms with en suite bathrooms, cable TV, a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge and even a microwave oven. A large open terrace with parasols and chairs provides you with the opportunity for relaxation with refreshing drinks and the beauty of the alpine peaks in the distance. Q Doubles (w/o balcony) 50-72, doubles (w/ balcony) 60-102, apartments 50-92. Extra bed 15-20. TLGBK hhh

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Gaperin Ribev Laz 36a, tel. +386 (0)41 540 805, fax

Residence Triglav Stara Fuina 23, tel. +386 (0)4 572 97 00, apartmaji.triglav@siol.net, www.apartmaji-triglav. si. Overlooking a flat plain beside Lake Bohinj, the panorama opens out on one side of this residence and restaurant, Mount Triglav towers above the other. Winter attracts skiers looking for a convenient base for Vogel and Kobla, summer those who want an idyllic base from which to launch themselves into the surrounding wilderness. In addition to 27 basic-looking but bright and very clean apartments, theres a little extra luxury (sauna) and lots of outdoor activities on offer. Situated in the sleepy settlement of Stara Fuina. Q 27 rooms (doubles 68-82, triples from 111, apartments from 66). PALBKDW Tripi I-7, Triglavska 13, Bohinjska Bistrica, tel. +386 (0)4 828 01 20, info@hotel-tripic.si, www.hotel-bohinj. si. Providing warm and welcoming accommodation in Bohinj for nearly four decades, the family-run Tripi hotel can be found right in centre of Bohinjska Bistrica and offers a total of 17 spacious rooms, including many suites and family rooms. The friendly service and top-notch facilities were recognised with the Golden Award from the town in 2010, but even more meaningful are the countless glowing comments left in their guestbook by visitors from around the world - many of whom become familiar faces on return trips. Additional offers include a 10% discount at Bohinj Aquapark just across the street and half-board at the excellent restaurant for only 4. Q 17 rooms (singles 47-62, doubles 64-96). THGKW hhhh

Herds of wild chamois are not an uncommon sight in the mountains around Bohinj, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia 34 81/+386 (0)51 349 035, penzion-bohinj@stip. nities you may need during your stay: supermarkets, post office, internet cafes, bars and only 100 metres from the lake itself. The restaurant provides a decent menu of typically seasonal dishes: trout and game accompanied by a glass of local wine. The owners also provide a particular activity in which some daredevils might take an interest: paragliding! Q 30 beds (30-33 per person). TJARULGBK hhh

Penzion Bohinj Stara Fuina 12, tel. +386 (0)4 572

Penzion Lipa Stara Fuina 19, tel. +386 (0)4 193 56 27, penzion.lipa@gmail.com. This lovely guest house is only a couple of years old, but is already exceedingly popular with visitors from Slovenia as well as abroad. Run by a friendly local family who live next door, theres a large backyard that extends right to the edge of Triglav National Park and the azure waters of Lake Bohinj are only a few minutes walk down the road. The rooms are rustically furnished, neatly kept and all but one have balconies. The two suites have separate sleeping quarters upstairs. Try to reserve one of the rooms facing west, as the views of the lake and mountains beyond are quite breathtaking. Q 8 rooms, 2 suites. TLBW Penzion Resje Nemki Rovt 21a, Bohinjska Bistrica,
tel. (+386)4 57 21 07 9, penzion.resje@siol.net, www. penzion-resje.si. On the edge of Triglav National Park, in the tiny village of Nemki Vas, stands pension Yeah. We like the simplicity of its name, but the 14 attentively decorated rooms help aswell. Every room has a shower, toilet, TV, internet, telephone and most have a balcony. Delicious homemade food is served in their restaurant. Sports clubs (and individuals) are catered for in the fitness room, whilst the kids are kept active by a small playground on the outdoor terrace. Pastures and forests are very close by, so why not go exploring or picking mushrooms and fruits. Yes indeed! Q 13 rooms (25-30 per person). TFLNBK

Penzion Roi Ribev Laz 42, tel. +386 (0)4 572 33 93, rozic@siol.net, www.pensionrozic-bohinj.com. This centrally located pension and restaurant is good enough for a respectable stay in Bohinj. The establishment is bang in the middle of all amenities you may need during your stay: supermarkets, post office, internet cafes, bars and only 100 metres from the lake itself. The restaurant provides a decent menu of typically seasonal dishes: trout and game accompanied by a glass of local wine. The owners also provide a particular activity in which some daredevils might take an interest: paragliding! Q 30 beds (30-33 per person). TJARULGBK hhh Stare Ukanc 128, tel. +386 (0)4 055 86 69, info@
bohinj-hotel.com, www.bohinj-hotel.com. Depsite a name that means Old Pension, this place exhibits fresh, renovated rooms with WiFi internet access and other modern amenities. A lovely buffet breakfast comes included in the price. Ask at reception about the hiking, fishing and skiing packages that they offer for a reasonable extra fee. The restaurant offers a healthy international menu which is also vegetarian friendly. A fabulous starting point for exploring a landscape that seems time has long forgotten. Q 10 rooms (33-45 per person). TULBK hh

Guesthouses
56 49 02, info@erlah.com, www.erlah.com. Staying at this family run guesthouse located in Ukanc on the western side of Bohinj Lake is the definition of a getaway - the village is really just a handful of houses with no shops. The rooms are comfy and the service friendly while the secluded location ensures absolute tranquillity. Despite the lack of shops there is plenty close by with the Lake and Vogel ski centre within walking distance and given the quality of the guesthouses restaurant - the local trout is a must - you might not even need to drive anywhere. Q 6 rooms, 1 apartment (rooms 35-45 per person, apartment 60-100).

Erlah Ukanc 67, tel. +386 (0)4572 33 09/+386 (0)41

The nearly 80m Slavica Waterfall is well-worth the short hike, photo by Tanja Sodja

Vila Bistrica Mencingerjeva 24, Bohinjska Bistrica, tel. +386 (0)8 383 08 52/+386 (0)70 71 37 92, info@ penzion-vilabistrica.si, www.penzion-vilabistrica.si. Located in Bohinjska Bistrica by the main road to Lake Bohinj (5km away), this small family-run guesthouse may not have lakeside views, but it is conveniently walking distance to the centre of the village and the Kobla ski slopes are less than 1km away, whilst the rest of Bohinjs sights are only a short drive. Vila Bistricas combination of friendly service, comfortable rooms with impressive mountain views (especially from rooms with balconies) and a decent breakfast thrown in, make it a good value for visitors. Q 14 rooms (singles 4565, doubles 70-110). PJHLKW 2013

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Bohinj
Hostels
34 61, podvoglom@siol.net, www.hostel-podvoglom. com. If youve come for an action-packed holiday, then this is the place for you. Summers and winters are swarming with adventure travelers, sports people and backpackers that make use of its prime location along the southern shore of the lake and numerous activities organised by the hostels very own Pac sports centre. Rooms are of the dormitory style, most with en suite shower and toilettes, but some having to share a clean common bathroom. Q 47 rooms (16-26 per person). THAULGB

Bohinj
Pokljuka Plateau
Hotel Center Srednja Vas 165a, tel. +386 (0)4 532 0000, fax +386 (0)4 532 0001, info@center-pokljuka. si, www.center-pokljuka.si. This alpine oasis is surrounded by forests at the foot of Triglav National Park, a 30-minute drive from the village of Srednja Vas along windy mountain roads (and is not to be confused with the Pokljuka port Hotel in Goreljek, which you pass on the way). The hotel is part of the larger Triglav Pokljuka Sport Centre, which hosts an IBU World Cup biathlon event in March each year, and at other times draws a mix of sports enthusiasts, groups on business retreats and those who just want to get away from hectic urban life and be surrounded by nature. The facilities include an essential bar, two well-equipped lecture halls, a fitness and sauna centre, and a fine la carte restaurant. Q 66 rooms (singles 58-68, doubles 76-96, suites 98-136). port Hotel Goreljek 103, Zgornje Gorje, tel. +386
(0)4 533 50 17, info@sporthotel.si, www.sporthotel.si. Through deep green forest, the road from Bled eventually leads to the newly renovated port Hotel, the biggest in Pokljuka, and the product of a 1.3 million EU grant. While offering a relaxing stay in the middle of idyllic nature, the facilities and altitude (1250m) offer athletes and active types great opportunities. In the immediate vicinity of the hotel you will find cross-country trails and its own family/beginner ski slope. Activities organised by the hotel include Nordic walking, trekking, biking, hiking (some of which are relatively easy) and snowshoeing. Well worth a visit for the surroundings alone, a natural alpine wonderland: Triglav National Park. Q From 38 per person. TAFLKDW village of Srednja Vas, if you take the road between Jereka and Stara Fuina you cant miss it. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon. TAILB fax +386 (0)4 828 01 24, info@hotel-tripic.si, www.hotelbohinj.si. A top dining destination for both locals and visitors, the Tripi inn is conveniently located in the centre of Bohinjska Bistrica, and during the warmer months the large summer terrace is sure to be buzzing with happy diners. The menu features a wide selection of hearty traditional Bohinj cuisine, such as veal stew with buckwheat and grilled homemade sausages with black pudding and turnips, while house specialties include the Tripi platter, turkey steak in cream sauce with fruit and of course fresh Bohinj trout - all of which are served in sizeable portions. Stop by from 12:00 to 16:00 for the good value daily set menus. QOpen 08:00 - 23:00. PTJAULEGBKX

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Hostel pod Voglom Ribev Laz 60, tel. +386 (0)4 572

Gostilna Tripi Triglavska 13, tel. +386 (0)4 828 01 20,

trudl Triglavska 23, Bohinjska Bistrica, tel. +386 (0)31 518 969, alpbohinj@siol.net. This charming alpine bar and restaurant is located in the centre of town, next to the tourist information centre - pick up some maps and then plan your Bohinj adventure over coffee and a fabulous apple strudel next-door. Popular with locals and visitors alike, trudl is known for their delicious home style cuisine and local specialties - their Bohinj cottage cheese dishes are a highlight and make sure to look out for the excellent daily and seasonal specials. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00.

Fish
00, fax +386 (0)4 572 90 39, hotel.jezero@cc-line.si. Named after the gold-bellied fish from Bohinj Lake, we would be cautioned into thinking of ordering exactly what it says on the tin, or the roof for that matter! Being part of the grand Hotel Jezero and with a covered terrace over-looking the lake, this place provides you with comfort, beauty and relaxation after an adventure in the countryside or mountains. The la carte menu offers a wide range of seasonal and fish dishes, accompanied by an extensive wine list.QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. PJALGBKX

Zlatovica Ribev Laz 51, tel. +386 (0)4 572 91

Camping
Camp Danica Triglavska 60, tel. +386 (0)4 572 17 02,
fax +386 (0)4 572 33 30, info@camp-danica.si, www. camp-danica.si. The area around the mighty Triglav range is a fantastic spot for camp lovers, being directly at the foot of nature and adventure. The camp is found just outside Bohinjska Bistrica and can accommodate over 700 guests in tents, campers and bungalows where you can find a range of fascinating on-site activities such as tennis, badminton, volleyball, and table-tennis, and theres also a large sports hall and aqua park the immediate vicinity. The camps excellent set of amenities include a WiFi internet access point, bars and restaurants, a supermarket, bakery, health centre, pharmacy, laundry service, bank and post office. Q 6-12 per person. TA6ULEKXCW

Gostie Danica Triglavska 60, Bohinjska Bistrica, tel.

+386 (0)4 572 10 55, info@camp-danica.si, www.campdanica.si. Located at the entrance to the camping grounds one might dismiss this place as a tourist trap but looks can be deceiving and behind Danicas modest appearance is a fine restaurant. As well as an outstanding la carte menu, the restaurant offers excellent daily specials and an wide range of Slovene wines. To cap it off the service is friendly and the prices are very reasonable - it makes for a very nice camp dinner indeed. Q Open Wed-Sun 11:00-22:00. During summer 08:00-23:00 daily. siol.net, www.pensionrozic-bohinj.com. Nearly everything about this restaurant, from its rustic interior decorated with traditional hanging lamps to the delicious cuisine, is fantastic. You will find the restaurant on the top floor of the Pension Rozi residence which is not just for the enjoyment of the hotels guests. Order the deer steak with mushrooms and polenta, or one of the many savoury game and trout dishes, all of which are guaranteed to make your mouth water. PALGB

Italian
87/+386 (0)41 600 056, info@donandro.si, www. donandro.si. A small part of Italy in the heart of the Julian Alps! Its a pleasure to eat in this fine but simple restaurant where they prepare large and satisfying pizzas of all varieties. Be aware that a small pizza is actually sufficient enough for two to share, while a large is just ridiculous. The service is top-notch with staff speaking excellent English. Other dishes worth trying are the pastas, salads and delicious deserts. Its a hit with both the locals and tourists who are staying in the village of Ukanc for good reason. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. AVBXS

Don Andro U-7, Ukanc 20, tel. +386 (0)5 995 57

Camp Zlatorog Ukanc 65, tel. +386 (0)4 20 20

Roi Ribev Laz 42, tel. +386 (0)4 572 33 93, rozic@

800/+386 (0)51 441 963, info@camp-bohinj.si, www.camp-bohinj.si. For those who enjoy being directly in contact with nature, why not park your tent or camper right up along the banks of Lake Bohinj, just outside the small village of Ukanc. The camp is an excellent starting point for day trips such as hiking up to the Savica waterfall, Mostnica gorge or the Voje valley. On the site theres hot water, a childrens playground and a restaurant, as well as various bikes, canoes, boats and kayaks for rent. A tourist boat also leaves frequently across the lake to Ribev Laz, in case you dont fancy the 4km walk. Q (5-9 per person). TA6LBKX hh

Slovenian
Gostilna Mihovc Stara Fuina 118, tel. +386 (0)5 922
67 86/+386 (0)51 899 111, info@gostilna-mihovc.si, www.gostilna-mihovc.si. This authentic family-run restaurant has been serving up delicious local fare for more than a century. Located in the centre of Stara Fuina, the restaurant is housed in a traditional old Gorenjska-style house, the interior has the same rustic feeling - during winter grab a table besides the central hearth whilst in summer the courtyard is the place to be. The menu features a wide range of tasty local specialties and the lunch menus are great value. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00. TILB

Private Accommodation
There are more than 2000 beds available in private rooms and apartments scattered across Bohinjs many towns, villages and settlements. These can often offer great value accommodation, especially for longer stays, as well as an authentic experience of bunking down in more traditional surroundings. Rooms can be booked directly with the owners, although its often easier (not least because of language barriers) to make arrangements or get recommendations through a local tourist office or agency, such as the Bohinj Tourist Association (Ribev Laz), Tourism Bohinj (Bohinjska Bistrica) or the LD Tourist Agency (Bohinjska Bistrica). More info about private and other accommodation can be found on the municipalitys official website at www.bohinj.si.

572 36 70/+386 (0)31 234 300. Located in the pretty little village of Srednja Vas, this long-running eatery has been preparing traditional Slovenian dishes for the past 20 years. There is always something new on the menu, so its best to ask the waiters what the current specials are. From what weve seen, this seems to be the place where the older folks from the village like to socialise over a meal or a pint. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. Closed Tue. TULGB

Gostilna Pri Hrvatu Srednja Vas 76, tel. +386 (0)4

Where to eat
Most visitors to Bohinj end up eating the majority of their meals at their hotel or guesthouse (which is usually not a bad option), but for those who wish to venture out in search of sustenance there are a handful of eateries in the villages around the lake, with the most options in Ribev Laz at the lakes southwest corner.

Gostilna Rupa Srednja Vas 87, tel. +386 (0)4 572 34 01, www.apartmajikatrnjek.com/rupa. Known amongst the locals as one of the best places to eat between Bled and Lake Bohinj, we try to drop by the family-run Rupa every time were in the area. The award-winning kitchen turns out some truly tasty dishes - our favourites include the deer medallions, grilled asparagus with gorgonzola and the various schnitzels - and the splendid views across the valley seem to make everything taste even better. Located in the tiny slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

A tranquil canoe trip for two in the early morning sun, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia

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Bohinj
Paviljon Bar Ribev Laz, tel. +386 (0)4 143 55 55, alpik@alpik.com. It overlooks the lake, its close to the centre, its crowded almost every evening - this is definitely the best location to come out for a drink if you happen to be residing in Bohinj. The evenings really get going here and the speakers manage to pump out a good selection of music. The setting of the torch-lit terrace truly fulfils a relaxed ambience on a fresh summers night. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00. LEGB

Bohinj
also countless opportunities for hiking and mountain biking including at a newly opened bike park up on Vogel, making it a great year round destination. Q Cable car operates daily 08:00-18:00 (every half an hour), in summer 07:00-19:00. Return tickets 13.50 adults, 9 children (family discounts available).

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Annual Events
International Alpine Flower Festival Various Venues, www.bohinj.si. The breathtaking beauty of Bohinjs alpine scenery is well-known, with images of rocky peaks, rural farms, abundant wildlife and of course the majestic lake itself gracing the covers of various books, brochures and family photo albums. However, the region also boasts an incredible botanical richness, which has fascinated visitors long before the railway brought a spike in tourist arrivals more than a century ago. In fact, as far back as the mid-18th century foreigners were penning odes to Bohinjs diverse floral beauty, such as the scientist, traveller and explorer Balthazar Hacquet, who was so in love with the region that he not only wrote a three-volume tome about the flora here, but also yearned to return and spend the rest of his life as a shepherd. In celebration of Bohinjs unique floral environment, there is a two-week long International Flower Festival at the end of May and beginning of June each year, with a veritable bouquet of events and activities taking place across the entire region, including exhibitions, guided excursions, workshops, lectures, concerts, open-air markets and much more. Bohinj Hiking Festival Tel. +386 (0)4 574 75 90/+386 (0)31 557 124, info@bohinj.si, www.bohinj.si. Bohinj has been a popular destination for hikers for centuries, so its no surprise that it is home to one of Slovenias largest hiking events - the so-called Days of Hiking. Taking place in September and October each year, the event aims to promote the areas rich hiking tradition and potential as a world class hiking destination, and is comprised of three parts: Recreation, which includes guided tours along various paths, trails and themed trips; Competition, with several sports events held in cooperation with Slovene hiking societies; and Social activities, including concerts, exhibitions, lectures and hikingrelated workshops.

What to see
Essential
Lake Bohinj (Bohinjsko Jezero) Lake Bohinj, the
jewel at the centre of this scattering of villages in eastern Gorenjska, is absolutely breathtaking. Come early in the morning out of season, just before the sun has risen over the adjacent peaks to experience its awe. Mist shrouds the banks of this still and flat alpine wonder. The pure quiet of this location really brings nature to life once more. Only birdsong emanates from the surrounding Eden, the splash of one of Bohinjs yellow-bellied fish, or the crash of Savica waterfall in the middle distance. Perhaps the only other detectable sound is the flap of the wings of large birds in flight over this crystal clear lake. By Bohinj you can be at one with yourself, and peace is unavoidable. numerous signs, typically carved in log planks, direct you to this hidden gem. A tiny bridge tucked away in the hills behind Stara Fuina and the lake connects two sides of a deeply spectacular gorge. Take in a splendid view of Triglav while the turquoise torrent swirls below.

Mostnica Gorge (Korita Mostnice) Stara Fuina. The

Bohinj offers perfect vistas of the rocky snow-covered peaks of the Slovenian Alps, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia

Savica Waterfall (Slap Savica) Bohinjsko jezero,

Pizzerija Ema Srednja Vas 73, tel. +386 (0)4 57 24

126/+386 (0)41 48 65 50, pizzerijaema@gmail.com, www.pizzerija-ema.si. A popular pizzeria is not something difficult to come by in Slovenia, even in the alpine region, an Ema is no exception. We could almost say that the interior is picturesque, with red-brick arches hinting at its theme wood-fired, oven-baked (and always huge) pizza. Other nice touches include a wall covered in miniature logs and antique wooden wheel fixtures. Also very family-friendly, Ema has a small playground on the rear terrace and colouring pencils and paper for the kids. The fine mountain views from its location in the village of Srednja Vas come at no extra cost. TAUILBS

00, fax +386 (0)4 577 82 50. Kava Bar Rondo is a favourite place amongst shoppers coming in and out of the Mercator Shopping Centre, as it is the closest place to grab a drink. When the weather is good a couple of tables outside serve as a much needed chill out retreat. QOpen 06:00 - 22:00, Sun 07:00 - 15:00. AULGB 01 41. From the same owner of Bar Kramar, this is more of a coffee bar which is popular both during the day and evenings. It also sells a range of alcoholic beverages and its atmosphere makes it quite appropriate for an evening retreat with friends or family. Q Open 07:00 - 01:00, Fri 07:00 - 03:00, Sat 08:00 - 03:00, Sun 08:00 - 01:00. AULGB

Kava Bar Rondo Trg Svobode 1, tel. +386 (0)4 577 82

Kava Bar Urka Triglavska 16, tel. +386 (0)4 577

tel. +386 (0)4 574 60 10, info@bohinj-info.com, www. bohinj-info.com. Your time spent in Bohinj would not be complete without a day trip to one of Slovenias greatest waterfalls. To reach the waterfall its a roughly one hour walk up a thickly forested slope. The waterfall itself drops a towering 78m into a large water sink, which is located at an altitude of 500m. An inspirational sight, it has often been written about by well-known Slovenian poets and writers. A small entrance fee is required at the entrance to the site. Q Admission 1.10 - 2.50.

Around Bohinj
Pokljuka Untouched, unspoiled and undiscovered: Pokljuka,
the glacier formed, limestone plateau in the Julian Alps is all of these things. Being shrouded in spruce forest and sitting at 1000-1400m, it is mysterious when the weather is cloudy, but on sunny days its crystal clear and pristine in every way. Launched as an alpine resort destination several years ago, with a few brand new or renovated hotels opened since, Pokljukas main attractions are the huge cross-country skiing/ running track and world cup hosting biathlon center. There are moderate difficulty hiking trails nearby, offering fantastic views, and rare alpine plant species to be found in and around the numerous bogs. Great for those wanting a peaceful and/ or active mountain escape, at high altitude.

Nightlife
Bohinj isnt exactly party central by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a couple popular watering holes where visitors can relax with a cold beer after a long day spent out and about communing with nature. During the warmer months there are also a couple of good open air places that pack in quite a crowd with live DJs and other events.

Kobla Trg Svobode 2a, tel. +386 (0)4 572 15 95. Al though the joint shu ts down quite earl y during the evenings, its a good enough place to hang-out during the day with a beer or coffee and a newspaper at hand. Tasty nibbles are available from its very own sweet shop in case your stomach begins to grumble. Q Open 06:00 21:00. TULGB Kramar Stara Fuina 3, tel. +386 (0)4 572 36 97. Along the road to Stara Fuina, there is a little spot for a quiet drink in the evenings if you are looking for some light evening enter tainment. They ser ve an array of beers and wines, along with a bite to eat if you manage to pop in while the kitchens still open. Overall, a pleasant ambience and friendly staff. Q Open 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 03:00. From Sept to May open only at the weekends. TLGB slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Bars
Just next to the Camping Danica, this place should be the first on your list for going out in Bohinj. During the summer, the pub boasts an eventful programme of concerts, DJs, music and themed nights. On some occasions you might think the whole camp shoves itself into this humble abode. Definitely a venue worth checking out if youre staying close by. QOpen 09:00 - 01:00, Sat 09:00 - 02:00. LGB

Allo Allo Triglavska Cesta, tel. +386 (0)41 435 555.

Vogel View Point Ukanc 6, tel. +386 (0)4 5729 712, info@vogel.si, www.vogel.si. The Vogel Ski Centre is one of our favourite places to hit the slopes mainly because of the incredible panoramic views of the Julian Alps and Lake Bohinj, but you dont need to wait for the snow to check out the views. In fact, without needing to worry about snowboarders cutting you off and with the mountainsides a bloom with wild flowers the views are possibly even more spectacular. There are slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Theres no better time to visit Bohinj than during one of the many traditional annual events, photo by Tanja Sodja

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Bohinj
Mount Triglav
Mount Triglav Mount Triglav is the highest
mountain in Slovenia, rising to 2864m in the centre of a national park of the same name. The mountain is the symbol of Slovenia (it appears on the coat of arms), and the countrys flag was flown here on June 26th, 1991, the day Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The name, Triglav, means threeheaded, as it looks to have three peaks when seen from the Bohinj valley. The first recorded ascent of Triglav was made on 26 August 1778, by Luka Koroec, Matija Kos, tefan Roi and Lovrenc Willomitzer, on the initiative of baron Sigismund Zois. Its height was first measured in 1808 by Valentin Stani. At the top of the mountain stands a tiny metal structure, the Alja Tower. A storm shelter for climbers, it is named after Jakob Alja, a priest who bought the land at the Triglav peak for a single Austro-Hungarian florin from A statue of the first four climbers to reach the peak of Mt Triglav is found the then municipality of Dovje in 1895. Triglav today attracts skiers in winter (to in Ribiev Laz nearby Vogel) and climbers in summer. The a two-day ascent to the top, and requires an overnight climb to the summit is not all that hard, but it is long. Its stay in a mountain cabin.

Bohinj
Skiing
Kobla Ski Center Cesta na Ravne 7, tel. +386 (0)45
74 71 00, kobla@volja.net, www.bohinj.si/kobla. A relatively compact resort, with 3 double chair-lifts and about 5 ski runs (longest = 6km), Kobla is aimed primarily at families and ameteur/intermediate skiers. Unsuprisingly then, their emblem is a cartoon bear rather haphazardy skiing down one of their slopes. On a more practical level, Kobla is the only Slovenian ski center accessible by train. Presumably this means its still open when the snow is too deep to drive. You can also still go in mild conditions, courtesy of their snow-maker (unusual for the area). Cable-cars leave from Bohinjska Bistrica. marketing.vogel@siol.net, www.vogel.si. Vogel has become the most famous skiing centre in the area, with 8 cable railways allowing skiers and hikers the freedom of coming up and down the mountain as they please. A wide choice of guest houses have sprung up like mushrooms on and around the mountains foot, but be sure to book well in advance if you plan to stop by for the skiing season. On the mountains peak you will find a range of alpine restaurants, cafes and even a place to prepare your own picnic which allows you to take a moment and soak up the incredible panorama. If you plan to set of walking into the wilderness, it is advised to prepare yourselves beforehand with equipment, maps and trail routes as not all walking tracks are visibly marked.

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Cycling trips
Cycling is just one of the many active offerings of Bohinj and Triglav National Park. Be it road riding through quaint alpine villages, or exploration of the wilderness off the beaten track, there is a large area of outstanding beauty to be discovered. We have chosen some of the most popular routes for cyclists and tourists, but of course there are many more to be seen at the Tourist Information Centres in Bohinjska Bistrica and Ribev Laz (near the lake).

Bled - Ravne v Bohinju

Vogel Ski Center Ukanc 6, tel. +386 (0)45 72 97 12,

Length: 25km/1hour 20minutes Difficulty: medium Surface: Asphalt The ultimate reward of this trip is the beautiful panoramic view of Bohinjska Bistrica and the Triglav mountain range. The route begins in Bled and winds its way through the valley to Bohinj, parallel with the railway tracks. You will ride through the town of Bohinjska Bistrica, past Kobla ski centre and uphill (3km) to Ravne v Bohinju, for that wonderful view. Route: Bohinjska Bistrica - Bohinj Lake - Stara Fuina - Srednja Vas Length: 9km Difficulty: Easy Surface: Asphalt One of the most popular, shortest and easiest cycling routes in Bohinj is along the paved pathway that follows the Sava river from Bohinjska Bistrica to its origin at Lake Bohinj, onwards to the village of Stara Fuina and then continues through the valley to Srednja Vas. The path is also used by walkers, hikers, roller-skaters and local farmers (sometimes on tractors), but is prohibited to other motor vehicles. There are well-kept resting spots and rubbish bins along the way, as well as a few good gostilnas if you manage to work up an appetite.

Bohinj Cycling Route

Bohinj Fishing Festival Hotel Tripi, Triglavska 13,

www.bohinj.si. More of a venue for fly fishing enthusiasts to socialise, share experiences and of course hone their crafts than a rigidly organised event per se, nevertheless Bohinjs annual fishing festival has become an increasingly popular event on the calendar, taking place each year at the end of September and beginning of October. The programme generally consists of days spent fishing on one of several rivers in or near Bohinj (namely the Sava Bohinjska, Soa, Idrijca and Savinja), with nights devoted to various fishing-related films, videos, lectures and presentations, with a large festive cultural event (ie party) on the final night.

Sports & Activities


Fishing
Whether you are a serious angler or just looking to sit in a little boat all day drinking beer (yes, we learnt to fish in Australia), Lake Bohinj and the surrounding rivers are the perfect place to cast your line with the season running from 1 May to 14 November. Standing beside the lake you can see large schools of trout, the waters are also home to Charr, Chub and Burbot, but catching them is another story. To start with youll need a licence, gear and skill - or is fishing all about luck? Bohinj being somewhat of a Mecca for Slovene anglers, the lake also hosts an annual international fishing festival at the end of September and beginning of October For details about fishing in Bohinj including regulations, licence dealers, gear rental shops and much more check www.bohinj.si or contact one of the local tourist offices.

Sport centres & agencies


Alpinsport Ribev Laz 53, tel. +386 (0)4 572 34 86,
alpinsport@siol.net, www.alpinsport.si. Be it summer or winter time, this agency specialises in a variety of exciting sporting and leisure activities, tours into Bohinjs magnificent countryside and training in kayaking in the summer and skiing in the winter. All activities are carried out in Bohinjs pristine natural wonders, be it in caves, lakes, canyons, gorges or rushing wild rivers. The prices are reasonable, with all equipment you may need provided by the agency. Professional staff are fully trained and will make your day a safe and memorable experience.

Gorenjski Trojek

Kravji Bal Bohinj Tourist Association, Ribev Laz

48, tel. +386 (0)4 574 60 10, fax +386 (0)4 572 33 30, info@bohinj-info.com, kravjibal.bohinj-info.com. The summer season in Slovenias alpine region officially ends in mid-September with one of the countrys most unique, if lesser known, festivals: the annual Kravji Bal or Traditional Cow Ball. Held in Bohinj since 1954, the event celebrates the return of local shepherds and their cattle to the valley after a summer of grazing high up in the pastures of the Julian Alps. The festivities kick off on Friday evening with tours of Bohinjs local dairies and regional museum, followed by a night of folklore performances, village skits and traditional music in the village of Stara Fuine in Triglav National Park. Of course plenty of cheese and butter will be on hand for tasting. On Sunday the main event takes place in the village of Ukanc when the shepherds and cows make their triumphant return, much to the delight of the thousands of onlookers. The all-day party begins in the morning with folk music, brass bands, an accordion orchestra, folklore performances and all manner of other costumed revellers competing for the eyes and ears of the crowd.

Hiking
Bohinj represents a compelling base camp and starting point for hiking and mountaineering. Many sights are accessible to those of all abilities, including families - the lake itself is a natural paradise of serenity and stillness, then theres Savica waterfall, Mostnica canyon and an entire realm of forests and pastures. A panoramic view of the whole Bohinj valley can be had from Rudnica hill and there are plenty of higher peaks in the surrounding mountain range to keep altitude junkies fulfilled. For more information and maps, visit the Tourist Information Centre in Bohinjska Bistrica, or call +386 45 74 75 90. Cycling routes for all difficulty levels criss-cross Bohinjs terrain, photo by Mitja Sodja

The route: Lesce - Bled - Pokljuka - Goreljek - Srednja Vas - Bohinj - Zgornja Sorica - elezniki Length: 116km/5hours Difficulty: challenging Surface: asphalt This cycling tour (translated as Gorenjska triple), for which most people should allow one whole day, will take you first of all along a well appointed bike lane from Lesce to Bled, then up into the highlands of Pokljuka, down the steep lanes to lake Bohinj and its surrounding villages, down a further descent to Sorica and finally up again to elezniki and the end of the route, in Dragoe. Highlights of the route include several pristine river crossings and aesthetically pleasing pit-stops in lovely little villages.

Lake Bohinj - Savica Waterfall

bohinj.inyourpocket.com
Slovenian Alps slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

The route: Ribev Laz - Savica - Ribev Laz Length: 16km/1 hour 10 minutes Difficulty: easy Surface: asphalt/gravel A leisurely lakeside ride takes you from Ribev Laz on the eastern shore of Bohinj, to Ukanc on the western bank. From there youll ride a few more kilometres on asphalt (straight ahead) to a car park where there are two restaurants. Then youll leave the bikes and hike a mountain path to the waterfall itself (20 minutes). The stillness and tranquility of the surroundings are interrupted only by the crashing of the water at Savica; the natural wonder on this route will undoubtedly enchant (especially minus car-noise once you head into the wilderness).

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Bohinj
Bohinj Cheese
The Bohinj region has a long and rich history in the dairy industry stretching back to the 13th century. The ring of cow bells across the pastures can still be heard today as local alpine herdsmen continue this tradition, producing award winning dairy product with Bohinj cheeses being some of the best in the country. Ask at local restaurants about the delicious fresh cottage cheese skuta as well as the EU recognised local specialty Mohant - an interesting semi-soft cows milk cheese with a strong sharp flavour. Local dairies also produce an excellent Emmentaler style cheese known locally simply as Bohinjski Sir. Bohinj cheeses can be found in shops throughout Slovenia but if youre in the area its worth dropping by the dairy for the freshest products. Bohinjs dairy culture is celebrated annually at the traditional Cow Bells festival (15 September) where herdsmen parade their dairy queens through town - the festival is a cultural experience not to be missed.

Bohinj
Propilot Tel. +386 (0)41 739 512/+386 (0)41 689 014, info@loop-acrocup.com, www.loop-acrocup.com. Started several years ago by small group of paragliding enthusiasts, the company has since grown into a fullfledged aero-tourism outfit, organising trips and activities on virtually anything that is capable of flight. In the Bled and Bohinj area the main services offered are paragliding and panoramic flights over the pristine lakes and incomparable Triglav National Park. Other possibilities included aerobatic plane flights, sky diving, and for those short on time but not money, air taxi flights to destinations as far as Dubrovnik in Croatia. Sport4fun Ribev Laz 78, tel. +386 (0)41 97 58
78, marusa.malej@gmail.com, w w w.spor t4fun.si. Pop into this agency for a choice of fun and exciting activities which can be enjoyed in the best places in Bohinj and its surroundings. You will at all times be in the safe hands of experienced and professional staff whichever activity you may opt for be it rafting, canyoning, biking, caving or mountaineering. Or if you prefer to make an adventure all on your own, bikes and kayaks are available for rent. Just some of the many dairy products produced in Bohinj

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Bohinj Tourist Packages - Summer


Tel. +386 (0)4 57 47 590/+386 (0)31 557 124, info@bohinj.si, www.bohinj.si. MEGA Bohinj Package . Excursion boat ride on Lake Bohinj . Return ride by cable car to Mt Vogel . Hungry Chamois or Hungry Dormouse lunch on Mt Vogel . Entrance fee for Savica Waterfall . Entrance fee for Mostnica Gorge . Visit to the Church of St John the Baptist STANDARD Bohinj Package . Excursion boat ride on Lake Bohinj . Return ride by cable car to Mt Vogel . Hungry Chamois or Hungry Dormouse lunch on Mt Vogel . Visit to the Church of St John the Baptist MINI Bohinj Package . Excursion boat ride on Lake Bohinj . Return ride by cable car to Mt Vogel . 1 x drink on Mt Vogel . Visit to the Church of St John the Baptist AQUA Bohinj Package . Excursion boat ride on Lake Bohinj . Entrance fee for the Savica Waterfall . Entrance fee for the Mostnica Gorge . Visit to the Church of St John the Baptist

Bohinjska Sirarna Srednja Vas 114, tel. +386 (0)4 574 61 00/+386 (0)31 678 335. QOpen 07:00
- 14:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

Ran Mrcina Studor, tel. +386 (0)41 79 02 97, info@ ranc-mrcina.com, www.ranc-mrcina.com.

Pac Sports Ribev Laz 50, tel. +386 (0)4 572 34 61, info@pac-sports.com, www.pac-sports.com. The Pac Sports outdoor centre and agency is situated at Hostel Pod Voglom, and specialises in adventure and sport holiday packages including such activities as paragliding, rafting, canyoning, trekking and free climbing to name but a few. Their adrenaline park is an ideal choice for thrill-seeking holiday-makers who would like to combine activities and nature in their holiday package. You can pop in to their information points in town, situated in front of the Pension Roi and at Camp Zlatorog.

Wellness

Shopping
Food & Drink
Mercator Bohinjska Bistrica Trg svobode 1, tel. +386 (0)4572 74 43. QOpen 07:00 - 20:00, Sun 08:00
- 12:00.

AquaPark Bohinj Triglavska 17, tel. +386 (0)8 200 40

80, www.vodni-park-bohinj.si. Spend a fun-packed, wet and wild day at the AquaPark which includes an extensive array of swimming pools, toboggan slides, saunas, fitness programmes, massages and cosmetic services. An alternative choice in case of bad weather or to let the kids run wild and free. Amenities include a restaurant, snack bar and a cybercaf. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. TAUFLBKD CWKDCW

Directory
Banks
Gorenjska Banka Trg Svobode 2B, tel. +386 (0)4 208 46 83, www.gbkr.si. QOpen 08:00 - 11:30 &
14:00-17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

Q Package prices start from only 9, with discounts


offered for groups.

Mercator Ribev Laz Ribev Laz 49, tel. +386 (0)4572 95 32. QOpen 07:00 - 18:00, Sat 07:00 - 13:00.
Closed Sun.

Petrol
Petrol Savska 22, tel. +386 (0)4 574 70 10, www. petrol.si. QOpen 06:00 - 21:00, Sun 07:00 - 21:00.

Gifts & Souvenirs


Ethno Gallery Prena 1a, tel. +386 (0)31 706 962,
etnogalerija@gmail.com. Located near Mercator between the post office and the municipal building, this small arts and crafts shop manages to fit the entire country and its customs into a few square metres of space. All of the items are handmade in Slovenia and the diverse selection includes witches from Slivnica, painted beehive panels, skilfully made wooden, ceramic and glass items, Idrija lace, felt wool slippers, forged iron products, fine Gorjue pipes and much more. The perfect place to stop if youd like to take a piece of Slovenia home with you! Q Open Mon-Sat 09:00-20:00 and Sun 09:00-13:00.

Pharmacies
Lekarna Bohinjska Bistrica Triglavska 15, tel. +386 (0)4572 77 40. Q Open 07:00 - 19:30, Sat 08:00 - 13:00.

Police Stations
Bohinjska Bistrica Police Station Triglavska 35, tel. +386 (0)4 572 14 18, www.policija.si.

TIC - Bohinj Tourist Office Ribev Laz 48, tel. +386

Post
12:00. Closed Sun. Post Ribev Laz Ribev Laz 47. QOpen 08:00 10:30 & 14:30-17:00, Sat 09:00 - 11:00. Closed Sun. Post Srednja Vas Srednja Vas 79. QOpen , Mon, Wed, Fri 15:00 - 17:00, Tue, Thu 09:00 - 11:00, Sat 08:00 - 09:00. Closed Sun.

Post Bohinjska Bistrica Trg svobode 2C, tel. +386 (0)4572 96 40. QOpen 08:00 - 18:00, Sat 08:00 -

(0)4574 60 10, fax +386 (0)4572 33 30, info@bohinjinfo.com, www.bohinj-info.com. As well as offering helpful advice to visitors the Bohinj Tourism Information Centre in Ribev Laz also offers a wide range of local and Slovene souvenirs and gifts - perhaps a miniature Zlatorog (mythi cal gold horned buck) or a chunk of delicious Bohinj cheese. Q Open Mon-Sat 08:00-18:00, Sun & holidays 09:00-15:00. In July-Aug 08:00-20:00 and 08:00-18:00. In Nov-Dec 09:0017:00 and 09:00-15:00.

For those in search of a real thrill, paragliding can be arranged through many agencies in Bohinj, photo by Primo Sua courtesy of Picture Slovenia

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Cerklje na Gorenjskem

Cerklje na Gorenjskem
cottagers in the Gorenjska region at that time. It underwent some drastic changes and besides being enlarged, became a brick house with a rich faade and frescoes. Almost a century later the house was renovated again and got its present appearance, with the year 1863 carved above the portal. The owners opened a restaurant which flourished until WWII and was renowned for its excellent gastronomy. Hence the village restaurant theme of the ethnological collection. QOpen 08:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

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Krvavec Ski Resort


Krvavec Grad 76, tel. +386 (0)4 25 25 911, info@
rtc-krvavec.si, www.rtc-krvavec.si. Krvavec is the nearest ski resort to Ljubljana (25km away) and attracts many visitors during winter. The skiing season here usually lasts a minimum of 100 days and under the right conditions up to 150 days per year. Excellent infrastructure to and from the ski slopes. With extensive runs for beginning and advanced skiers and even a 5km route for walking and cross country skiing, you might call it a winter wonderland. But besides frolicking in the snow, Krvavec is also an ideal destination in the summer for mountaineering, cycling and hiking. A vast number of trails lead through beautiful nature to spectacular views of the Ljubljana basin and it is always a good option to escape the infamous summer heat and cool off on the Alpine meadows. When on your way up or down dont hesitate to make a pit stop at a mountain lodge for some of the domestic culinary specialities like roast beef, a vast scala of sausages, homemade bread, stews and buckwheat, it tastes delicious all through the year.

Around Cerklje
Beekeeping Franci Sp. Brnik 43, tel. +386 (0)31 663 001, franci.strupi@gmail.com. Private museums and collections have their charm. Beekeeping Franci has been beekeeping since 1982 and nowadays works with between 70 and 80 bee families in three bee houses. In the private beekeeping farm museum you will be escorted through the history of farming these little insects. And Slovenia has a rich history of beekeeping. The first houses with beehives are from the 17th century and to make it easier for the bees to find their way home beekeepers used to stain and paint the beehive panels. These handmade artistic beehive panels are a typical example Slovene cultural heritage. Franci has many historical items used by beekeepers on display. The museum shop offers you a vast choice of local honey, medicinal propolis, products made of beeswax and honey brandy.
A panoramic view of Cerklje at the foot of the Slovenian Alps Favourably located on the passage from the Ljubljana Basin to the mountainous area of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, the municipality of Cerklje na Gorenjskem (as it is properly known) boasts natural diversity and a rich historical and cultural heritage. The municipality itself consists of 30 villages, of which the majority are spread out on the fertile southern lowlands and some on the northern foothills and slopes of Krvavec mountain and the adjacent hills. Cerklje is conveniently situated near the three major cities in this part of the country. By car Kranj is just 15 minutes away, and Ljubljana and Kamnik 20 minutes. With Slovenias international airport a stones throw away and an abundant amount of hotels and guesthouses its an ideal base for both tourists and business travellers. Not to resort to cliches, but the area has everything one could want, hospitality, honest food, diverse nature, historical and cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years and last but not least plenty of recreational opportunities all year round.

Cerklje
Cerklje Town Centre The inviting town square of Cerklje
has all the highlights within walking distance. The buildings are painted in lively pastel colours and the monument of famous composer Davorin Jenko takes a prominent place in the square. But the undeniable eye-catcher is the Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption. The main altar of the church is one of the richest late baroque creations in Gorenjska, with gold leaf dominating the interior. There are also two, a bit more macabre, characteristics of this church and its adjacent graveyard. The first one is on the right side of the entrance, a memorial plaque for the towns fallen soldiers during WWI lined with their portrait photographs. The other is the towns small mortuary in the graveyard behind the church, which was designed by architect Joze Plenik in the same style as the National Library in Ljubljana.

enjevek Fishing Ponds On the outskirts of enjevek village you will find an old brick factory complex which has been shuttered since 1980. One happy byproduct of the factorys work is that it left the nearby landscape with a couple of holes where clay had been extracted from the ground, and which function now as fishing ponds. The nearby area has also been declared protected Natura 2000 site. For fishermen this is an ideal place to enjoy their sport in all tranquility. However do not forget to purchase a fishing permit. Repnik WWII Collection Zalog 77b, tel. +386 (0)40 837 802, komandant.rozman@gmail.com, freeweb. siol.net/repnikc. Ciril Repnik takes an interest in WWII and specifically in the weapons and equipment of Slovenian partisans. Through the years hes gathered an extensive amount of weapons of all sorts, from an anti-aircraft gun to several machine-guns and more. All of this heavy equipment is complimented with uniforms, posters, bronze sculptures and a lot of photos. Q Open Saturdays 15:00 - 19:00 and by appointment. martno Archaeological Site In the vicinity of martno,
prehistoric burial sites from the Late Bronze Age, a long route of Roman roads and Roman rural cemeteries were uncovered. Among them is a bronze buckle in the shape of two horses dating back to the turn of the 7th century, found in the road that used to be part of the network connecting the Roman Empire. The oldest discovered objects in the road are two bronze coins made during the reign of Emperor Tiberius (14 to 37 AD). The findings from these archaeological sites can be admired in the archaeological-ethnological museum in Petrovc House in Cerklje.

of the Republic Slovenia and used as a guesthouse and conference site by the government. First mentioned in literature in 1287, Strmol Castle is among the oldest in the area and in essence medieval, but the castle was renovated in Renaissance and Baroque style resulting in an interesting architectural mixture. The castle park has an aesthetically pleasing design dating from the 17th century. Currently it consists of an artificial lake, non-native trees, grass fields and a fountain, with Dvorjanski hill in the background. Around the castle and the hill are some nice paths for enjoyable strolling. Q Open only for guided tours at 11:00 and 15:00 Mon-Sat, 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00 Sun & holidays, and by prior arrangement for larger groups.

Tourist Information
Tourist Information Centre Cerklje Krvavka
1b, tel./fax +386 (0)4 28 15 822, info@tic-cerklje. si, www.tic-cerklje.si. Opened in 2010, Cerkljes tourist information centre has a wealth of free materials about the town and surrounding area, and the helpful staff are eager to advise visitors on the many things to see and do. Theres also a free internet point if youd like to do some of your own last minute research (or just check your email). Their newly launched website is in both English and Slovene, and includes a full listing of accommodation and dining options, in addition to all of the info about attractions and more. QOpen 08:00 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

Hribars Villa Trg Davorina Jenka 10. Opposite the church is Hribars Villa, named for the famous mayor of Ljubljana Ivan Hribar, who bought this old stone farmhouse in 1886 and hired engineer Vladimir Hraske, famous for his work on the opera house in Ljubljana, to turn it into one of the most impressive manors in the area. This secessionist villa with classical window frames and a richly decorated wooden faade definitely stands out when compared to the relatively mundane architecture of the surrounding buildings. Nowadays the villa is in use by Gorenjska Banka and not opened to tourists. Pr Petrovc Hia Krvavka 1b, tel. +386 (0)4 28 15 822, info@tic-cerklje.si, www.tic-cerklje.si. The Petrovc house functions as the cultural hub of the municipality, housing the public library, an art gallery, the local tourist information centre and a museum with an archaeological-ethnological collection of which most noteworthy are the finds from the martno archaeological site. Until the mid-18th century Petrovcs house was a small wooden farmhouse, as wood was the basic building material used by small farmers and slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Velesovo Monastery In the serene village of Adergas lies the Velesovo monastery with its parish church. The original Dominican convent was founded in 1238 and severely damaged during Ottoman raids in 1471. The east wing of the monastery got its form between 1732 and 1771, after that it was used as a military hospital and seat of the some minor nobility. The adjacent parish church was rebuilt in the same period in a late-baroque style and the interior is decorated with seven artistic altar images by the well-known Viennese painter Johann Schmidt. The main attraction, however, is the oldest preserved Maria with child statue in Slovenia, which dates back to 1220, while under the church you can find eerie catacombs with burial places for Dominican nuns.

Strmol Castle Tel. +386 (0)51 324 294, grad.strmol@ gov.si, www.brdo.si/grad_strmol. Along the road connecting the villages of enjevek and Dvorje you will find the fairytale-like castle Strmol and its park. Of the twelve medieval castles in the municipality this is the only one which survived the ravages of time and is still in tip-top condition, and is also one of the only castles in all of Slovenia that still includes its original furniture. Since 2004 it has been a registered object slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

The famed Veselovo Monastery in the village of Adergas, photo by Jot Gantar, courtesy of Picture Slovenian

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Gorenja Vas - Poljane


Gorje is a group of cute villages and settlements (eleven in total) close to Bled, on the way to Pokljuka, the Meakla plateau and the valley of Radovna. The name itself means something like up in the high. The oldest trace of man here is dated to the Stone Age, the economic pulse of the past set by agricultural activity, promoted by the river Radovna and rich Pokljuka forests. The ironworks and blacksmith tradition was also alive here from the 16th century. The river Radovna drove wooden wheels saws, mills, foundries, forges, and later power plants. The construction of the railway later gave Gorje a new economic boost. The administrative centre of the Municipality is Zgornje Gorje. Early settlement of the area is confirmed by several graves discovered from the 11th century. The parish church in the village is dedicated to Saint George. In Spodnje Gorje there are two monuments designed by Joe Plenik: a monument to villagers that died in the Second World War, and a private tombstone. Its a good spot to visit if youd rather see a typical village than well-trodden tourist attractions.

Gorje

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Some of Gorjes four-legged inhabitants await a storm, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia

Sightseeing
Vintgar Gorge www.vintgar.si. One of the most spectacular natural sights in Slovenia is hidden away just north of Gorje and only 4km from Bled. The Vintgar Gorge, known locally as Soteska Vintgar or Blejski Vintgar, was formed during the last ice age when glacial movements forced the crystalline waters of the Radovna river to the northeast, where it was able to slowly cut its way through the limestone terrain, creating sheer canyon walls reaching heights of up to 100m. Only officially discovered in 1891, the gorges natural beauty was immediately recognised and work commenced on the construction of a wooden walkway along its 1.6km length, opening to the public only two years later on 26 August 1893. The walkway has been renovated several times over the past century, but still looks very much the way it did when it first opened. Nowadays it leads awe-inspired visitors past rapids, pools and overgrown rocky crags to the 16m-high um waterfall at the gorges furthest end, which is said to be the highest fluvial waterfall in all of Slovenia. The short but breathtaking trek is definitely a must-do for anyone who visits the region! Q Open everyday from 1 April to 5 Nov 09:00-19:00. Admission 4 for adults, 3 students, 2 children, 0.80 children under six years-old.

Arriving
By car From Bled on the main road (5km), on the A2 motorway (Ljubljana-Jesenice) exit at Lipce, the local road from Jesenice via Kona (11km). Taxi is also available. By train From Ljubljana via Jesenice or Nova Gorica via Bohinjska Bistrica and Bled. The station for the Gorje municipality is Podhom.

Tavar Mansion is surrounded by lush green hills in the Poljanska Valley, photo by Izidor Jesenko The central settlement in the Pojanska Valley, Gorenja Vas (which makes up half of the municipality of Gorenja Vas Poljane) is roughly halfway between kofja Loka and iri. For years it was a popular place to stop on the road from Vienna to Trieste, but saw much less traffic with the open ing of the railway line in the middle of the 19th century, and was then burnt almost entirely to ground by children playing with fire in 1901. Nowadays, with only some 1300 people calling the town home, there is not an overwhelming amount to see or do here, but it is probably the best place to organise a guided tour of the overgrown bunkers and fortifications that comprise Rupniks Line. Theres also one fine museum dedicated to photography - the Vlasta Photo Museum and the Krvina Gallery, which exhibits and sells works by both Slovene and foreign artists. subterranean forts were first discussed in 1926, actual construction didnt commence until 1937 under the command of General Leon Rupnik, and was supposed to have been completed in 1947. The pace of construction quickened as war broke out in other parts of Europe and by early 1941 over 60,000 men (both soldiers and civilians) were working on the project. However, when Axis forces finally invaded on 6 April 1941, the work abruptly stopped and the fortifications that had been built were never actually used for military purposes. Today these eerie remnants of darker times in European history can be visited on guided tours, and make for one of the more interesting experiences to be had in the region.

Gorje Tourist Association Tel. +386 (0)31 34 40 53,


jankopeterman@gmail.com, www.vintgar.si.

Sports and activities


Cycling Some of the most beautiful cycling experiences in
nature are possible around here: from Zatrnik to Pokljuka and Gorjue, and to Bohinjska Bistrica (24km); via the amazing Radovna Valley to Mojstrana and Kranjska Gora (20km); and over Kona to Jesenice (11km). Bled is only 5km away. Bear in mind that these are mostly forest roads, so better to use a mountain bike.

Tavar Mansion Visoko pri Poljanah. Dating back to the

Sightseeing
Rupniks Line Of all the lessons learned in the aftermath
of The Great War, one of the simplest was that employing old military tactics despite the advent of new technologies directly led to a massive increase in the number of casualties suffered by both sides - or to put it another way: charging into machine gun fire and fighting in muddy trenches for years on end was not a lot of fun. This knowledge, coupled with a pessimistic outlook of a peaceful future, led many European states to construct fortifications along their borders in the years following the war, and the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was no exception. The Treaty of Rapallo had left nearly 1/3 of Slovene territory under the control of Italy in 1920, with the newly created border running just west of Gorenja Vas - Poljane and nearby iri. As the Poljanska Valley was seen as the easiest route to Ljubljana were there to be another major conflict, the most extensive fortifications were planned for this area. Although proposals for a series of bunkers, tunnels and large

14th century, this exquisite countryside manor was occupied by no less than a dozen noble families before finally settling under the ownership of the Kalan family for several centuries. In 1893, the estate was bought by the noted Slovene poet and politician Ivan Tavar, who was born into a poor peasant family, but managed to work his way to the top of Slovene society, becoming mayor of Ljubljana in 1911 and helping to found the Sokol sports society among his many other achievements. Tavar resided in the mansion (which was then referred to as Kalan or Visoko Mansion) until his death in 1923, after which he was buried in the family tomb on the property. As would be expected the house has undergone numerous renovations over its storied history, with its appearance now largely dating from the 18th century. More recently it has been restored, or at least partially restored, by local authorities, who have also set up a small exhibition dedicated to Tavar inside. While visits here require prior arrangement, the grounds themselves are also worth exploring, with the main sight (other than the building itself) being the large bronze statue of Tavar reclining in a small grove, which was create by the sculptor Jakob Savinek in 1957. Located along the banks of the Poljane Sora river, it can be seen to the south of the main road a few kilometres outside of kofja Loka.

Hiking Gorje is a paradise for beginners to intermediate

hikers. You can enjoy a pleasant afternoons walk in the astonishing beauty of Vintgar and Pokljuka canyon. Or you can walk in the silence of mighty forests, gathering mushrooms in the late summer. There are also more dangerous and advanced paths to the highest peaks in the Julian Alps. Rudno Polje is the perfect starting point for the Triglav mountain range. Others interesting points are Vievnik (2050m), Debela Pe (2014m) and Lipanski Vrh (1968m) .

St Georges Fair and Spring Run


St Georges Run and Spring Fair St Georges Fair
(or Jurjev Semenj) is a traditional event held every year in Zgornje Gorje on the last weekend of April. During the fair many activities take place, from the blessing of horses to a large parade. On Saturday you can compete in the spring cross, a special race, which attracts more and more runners from the surrounding villages and from other parts of Slovenia each year.

The sheer rock cliffs of Vintgar Gorge are one of Slovenias most spectacular (and most hidden) natural attractions

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Jesenice
86 43 96, www.bistro-oaza.si. With some of the largest pizzas in Jesenice, the Oasis bistro pretty much sells itself, being popular with Austrians skipping over the border (through the Karavanke tunnel) in search of a cheap yet good quality lunch. Their other homemade offerings are also an excellent value, and as such it should be on ones itinerary to try whilst in town. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00.

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Bistro Oaza Cesta Marala Tita 55, tel. +386 (0)45

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What to see
Cultural
Historic Murova Dating back to at least the mid-15th century, Murova is the oldest of the former group of settlements which were later incorporated into Jesenice, with its first houses being made entirely of wood. In addition to St Leonards church in the centre, a few old buildings retain their original character and are worth a look. Try asking for Prakova Hia, Resmanova Hia, Pavlekova and Markeeva, otherwise just wander and spot the preserved architectural antiquity. Murova lies on the Mirca mountain slope.

Bowling Club Podmeakla Ledarska 5, tel. +386 (0)70 13 51 35, info.bowling@gmail.com. Fancy a spot of bowling before or after your meal? OK, we agree that before is probably the healthier choice, especially given that they offer Slovene food, known to be on the heavy side. As well as the food (snacks and lunches) and bowling, there is sometimes enter tainment on, and the space can be rented. Q Open 07:00 - 01:00, Sun 08:00 - 23:00.

Museums
Stara Sava Franceta Preerna 48, tel. +386 (0)4 583 34 92, info@gornjesavskimuzej.si, www. gornjesavskimuzej.si. Made up of the Bucelleni-Ruardi mansion (now housing the Gornjesavski Muzej Jesenice), church of the Assumption, former workers residential block (kasarna), renovated chimney and blast furnace, and a mill; the Old Sava complex has once again been reintroduced as a key part of the city of Jesenice. The whole area has been renovated, and the outdoor space hosts summertime events. Apart from that, the life and work on the site is presented in the Jesenice museum collection, through really impressive working models and reconstructed work-spaces (not to mention a mineral collection and fragment of the meteorite that fell near here in 2009); a reconstruction of an ironworker familys living quarters is the main attraction of the former barracks (kasarna) here, the Jesuit architecture of the church being the first in Slovenia. A must see whilst in Jesenice.
Kolpern Hall A reconstruction of one of several storage houses for coal at the Stara Sava iron production settlement, this attractive building now has two halls (one larger, one smaller) which host cultural events of all kinds, including weddings, conferences and art exhibitions. Prices for both public and private engagements are very good, and the antiquated surroundings of the restored industrial complex make it an attractive choice. Mining and iron production Jesenice is best-known for two things, daffodils and iron. The latter, albeit an unlikely candidate for romanticised travel discoveries, is a fascinating aspect of our history and heritage, one that has been appreciated as such in recent decades. From the fifties onward, the veteren miners and ironworkers of this area came together in an ardent effort to collect, collate and honour the centuries old tradition, culminating in the reintroduction of a former ironworking complex/community into the heart of the city, Stara Sava. Important dates for Jesenices iron and steel: 1130 - mining iron ore starts in Savske Jame (the Sava pits), in the hills around Jesenice. 1538 - the first ironworks are built at the site in Stara Sava (where the museum is), by Bernardo Bucelleni 16th Century - Savske Jame supplies large blast furnaces at Sava and Javornik 1873 - innovative Jesenice steel receives a prestigous award at famous Rotunda in Vienna 1992 - present day steel company, Acroni, established, still making specialist and niche steel and alloy products

Pizza
Sheltered in a narrow valley and surrounded by nature, Jesenice is still one of Slovenias industrial centres, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia With a combination of essences that seem not to marry together too easily, Slovenias mesto jekla in cvetja (town of steel and flowers) manages to do just that. Situated in the upper-Sava valley region of Gorenjska, Jesenice is a mostly formerly industrial city that is surrounded by mountains and hedged by the Karavanke ridge, with one very special hill that has legendary status in Slovenia. Golica is the home of daffodils in spring, and the slopes above the town are adorned with innumerable white and yellow blossoms in May, the perfect time to visit! In addition to the iron and steel heritage here, hockey is integral to the town, spectated or participated in by the majority of the locals. Another sport is the centre of attention in 2013 though, the opening rounds of the EuroBasket championships being played at its sports arena.

Where to eat
Slovene
Kmeki Turizem Betel Planina pod Golico 39, tel. +386 (0)4 580 04 63/+386 (0)31 831 337, gasper. grguric@siol.net. Set high in the upper reaches of the village of Planina pod Golico, just below the famed daffodil fields that transform the top of the mountain into a sea of white each spring, Betel is said by many to have the best food in the region, and we have no reason to disagree. Heaping plates of hearty and delicious Slovene cuisine are served to famished hikers at the weekends, who seem to come here as much for the food as for the hiking. The place is also a certified 3-apple tourist farm, with accommodation for up to 12 in three doubles and three triples. Q Open Sat-Sun 10:00-22:00, Mon-Fri by prior arrangement. Ejga Marala Tita 27, tel. +386 (0)4 586 60 00, ejgajesenice@siol.net, www.ejga-jesenice.si. Pronounced Ey-ga, local dialect for get a load of him, the ambience and very good food at this central restaurant is a slightly more civilised affair than the name would suggest. They serve typical Slovene farmhouse food for brunch or lunch, specialities, desser ts and la car te dishes, with the dunajski zrezek (chicken steak) proving to be one of the winners. Speaking of winners, the owner is none other than Olympic skiing medalist Alenka Dovan, who took home a bronze medal from Lillihammer in 1994. Q Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 20:00. Closed on Sundays from May to August.

Pizzerija Mak Cesta Bratov Straiarjev 38, tel. +386 (0)45 86 15 35. Set into the hillside (on the Karavanke side, under Stol) at the edge of the town, this typical Slovene eatery serves locally renowned pizza from its large clay oven (kruna pe), ensuring the most tasty results of those most staple of ingredients being combined with love and care. Our personal choice, the kmeka, consists of farmers salami and mushrooms, plus the usual cheese and tomato sauce, all high quality. A family-run place, deliveries are also offered. Q Open Mon 15:00-22:00, Wed-Fri 09:30-22:00, Sat-Sun 12:00-22:00. Closed Tues.

Mexican
Pastel Trg Toneta ufarja 3, tel. +386 (0)45 83 50
78, info@pastel.si, www.pastel.si. A great place to dine if one fancies something a little more international, Gostilnica (little restaurant) Pastel serving up an array of Mexican dishes, as well as Italian, salad plates, dishes to order, pizzas from a clay oven (iz krune pei) and of course desserts. Fine wine and champagne make it the ideal romantic choice, with the possibility of a digestif in nearby Tea-ter Bar. Q Open 07:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 07:00-24:00, Sun 08:00-22:00.

Arrival & Transport


Getting to Jesenice is easiest from Ljubljana (Slovenia) or Villach (Austria), two major cities close by. By car, its 45 minutes from Ljubljana via the A2 motorway and from Villach south through the Karavanke tunnel on the A11 it takes about a half hour. From Ljubljanas Brnik airport its also about 30 minutes by car. Going by train is also a good option, Jesenice being the northernmost stop on the main line with frequent connections in both directions. On Saturdays there are 12 trains, and on Sundays there are 13 trains in total running from Ljubljana. If youre coming from or going to Lake Bohinj, there are conveniently up to seven connections per day between Jesenice and Bohinjska Bistrica, taking only 3040 minutes. Check www.slo-zeleznice.si (in English) for the complete timetable and ticket information.

Cafes and bars


Kavarna elezar Franceta Preerna 58a, tel. +386 (0)41 62 25 26, jure.kuralt@jur.si, www.jur.si. A trip to the market (opened 2012) will bring you to this ironworks themed cafe, and if youre not planning a trip to the market then maybe you should! Theres no better way to get to know the local people than to talk to them, and here you have the perfect excuse. Located near the museum (Stara Sava) the cafe itself offers coffee and croissants (fresh) and the usual stuff, plus alcoholic drinks. QOpen 06:00 - 18:00, Sat 06:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
602 838, samir@tea-ter.si. The place to reward yourself after a hard days (or just mornings) tourist activities. A cold beer, seat on the terrace overlooking a square in the centre of the town and hopefully good company make Tea-Ter the place to be for a largely younger clientele, but without the absence of the odd family and couple. And thats during daylight hours. Located near the theatre, unsurprisingly. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00, Sat 08:00 - 01:00, Sun 08:00 - 24:00.

Where to stay
For those in Jesenice for more than a day, or during a sports event such as the Eurobasket, your options are either to sleep in one of several mountain lodges, or reside in Bled (16km) or Kranjska Gora (22.7km). Of the former, Dom Pristava (see Javorniki Rovt) is the best known, but the other accessible are Kmeki Turizem Betel in Planina pod Golico, Apartments Tarman, Blandford and Podlogar also in Planina.

Tourist Information
Tourist Information Centre Cesta marala
Tita 18, tel. +386 (0)45 86 31 78, tic.jesenice@ siol.net, turizem.jesenice.si. Q Open 08:0016:00. Closed Sat-Sun and holidays ( Sept-June ). Open 09:00-19:00, Sat 10:00-14:00. Closed Sun and holidays (July-Aug).

Tea-Ter bar Trg Toneta ufarja 4, tel. +386 (0)40

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Jesenice
The Kos Mansion (Kosova Graina) Built in 1521, the
Kos Mansion was one of four built by ironworks proprietors in the Jesenice area in the 16th and 17th centuries. This one has played a vital role, or rather vital roles throughout its history, both virtuous and unsavoury. For example it was a transit prison for the Germans during the second world war, but towards the end of the 19th century served for thirty years as a primary school (know to locals as stara ola - the old school). The mansion, now with a municipal wedding hall on the second floor, exhibition space and restored prison cell; has its namesake in one Pavel Kos. The story goes that the shoemaker stole a barrel from a wagon of French soldiers, which upon opening the next day revealed a massive haul of golden coins, enough to see the merchant buy the mansion (beginning of the 19th century) and other local assets.

Jezersko
EuroBasket 2013
The biennial European Basketball Championships, organised by the European branch of the IBF, are being held in Slovenia in 2013. The sporting town of Jesenice will host Group B of the preliminary stages in the first half of September, which is comprised of the following nations: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Lithuania (LT), Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro (MNE), Serbia (SRB), and Latvia (LV). The matches will be played in the Podmeakla Sports Arena (portna Dvorana Podmeakla), which has had a full refurbishment, and offers 5500 seats (including 55 disabled spectators). It is also the home of Jesenices world famous ice hockey team. The Group B programme for Jesenice: 4 Sept 2013 - LV/BiH, SRB/LT, FYROM/MNE 5 Sept 2013 - BiH/SRB, MNE/LV, LT/FYROM 6 Sept 2013 - MNE/BiH, FYROM/SRB, LV/LT 8 Sept 2013 - BiH/FYROM, LT/MNE, SRB/LV 9 Sept 2013 - LT/BiH, LV/FYROM, MNE/SRB Zois, discovered an endemic yellow pansy here, named Zois violet. Fossils of ancient flora and fauna are abundant, including samples of sea lilies, ferns, urchins and snails. All in all a great spot or starting/finishing point for families or nature lovers alike. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon.

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for lives lost in both World War I (see soldiers chapel near the entrance), during the drilling of the Karavanke railway tunnel (1904-5, see monument with a metal cross) and also for local ironworkers and national hero, Tone ufar (note the bronze busts by sculptor, Jaka Torkar). Built on a previously abandoned cemetery, the current excellently maintained gardens have grown up in the last thirty years, with over 200 ornamental trees and plants.

The Plav Memorial Park (Spominski Park na Plavu) The resting place of many, and remembrance site

Jezerskos picturesque alpine valleys have more animals than people, guaranteeing guests a peaceful, relaxing stay The municipality of Jezersko is a popular tourist destination for Slovenes, but has not yet been discover by masses of foreign visitors. The eye-catcher here is the romantic Lake Planar surrounded by grandiose mountains. The valley is a good starting point for hikes and bike rides, but also lends itself perfectly for more easygoing and relaxing holidays. The area used to be part of Carinthia but was ceded to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1919 and since then has a special place in the heart of most Slovenes. the unique chance to try mineral water which has the highest magnesium content in all of Slovenia and is especially recommended to people with cardiovascular diseases. Most visitors seeking the full therapeutic effects of the water choose to bathe in it. For those who would like to taste it, be aware that drinking more then 2dl is not a good idea, as it has a laxative effect. To reach the two waterfalls, which have a 7m drop and are situated at an altitude of 1240m, follow the signs from spring.

Nature
Hiking Around Jesenice There are numerous hikes possible and marked paths around Jesenice. The most notable are Stol (one of the most popular in the whole Karavanke range); Meakla (with a natural bridge and well-known rocky outcrop called Poljanska Baba on the way to the top that overlooks the town from high above); Vajne (the highest peak in the municipality); Hruka Planina (accessible from Dovje, Hruica, Plavki Rovt or Planina Pod Golico); Dobrnik (seven waterfalls on the way to Hruka planina from Hruica); and panov Vrh (with winter skiing).

Planina Pod Golico Jesenice is famous for two things, and

Javorniki Rovt It is well worth a trip up into the slopes of the Karavanke mountains near Jesenice, Javorniki Rovt comprising a mountain cottage (Pristava), serene Zoisov Park with artificial lake and, if you come in May or June, a sea of daffodil filled meadows. Up from Javorniki Rovt village, Pristava will welcome you offering tasty stews, the quintessential traditional Slovene truklji (dumplings) and ajdovi ganci (buckwheat porridge). Built in 1647, its a very popular place to spend a summer afternoon, hikers and sunbathers filling the recliners here. Zoisov Park, is a story in itself, and one of botanical renown. Karel Zois, the brother of the parks namesake, the nobelman and owner of Pristava, Baron iga

the village of Planina Pod Golico has or had them both, namely iron and daffodils. The former was mined until the 15th century from nearby mines, and the latter is celebrated every year with a festival in May. The grassy mountain of Golica becomes a floating sea of white and yellow blooms come spring, and was most famously celebrated in the Avsenik national folk song, Na Golici (On Golica), said to be the most played song in the world! The village itself is 5km from Jesenice, has some accommodation to offer (mainly apartments) and a lovely view of the said mountain. In winter the slopes are used for skiing, whilst all summer the village serves as yet another starting point for hiking trips.

TIC Jezersko Tel. +386 (0)4 25 45 140/+386 (0)51 219 282, tic@jezersko.si, www.jezersko.info. Q Open
Mon-Tues 10:00-15:00, Wed-Fri 09:00-12:00/13:00-17:00, Sat 09:00-12:00/13:00-18:00, Sun 09:00-12:00/13:0017:00. Closed in the wintertime.

um Gorge and Waterfall (Vintgar in Slap um) The sound of the um waterfall earns its name (which is Slovene for roar), with the rushing torrent of Radovna in the gorge here providing the awesome spectacle of a 26m drop, which you can look directly over from a footbridge. Known to tourists for a hundred years, um is part of the gorge simply known as Vintgar (Slovene for gorge), but falls under Jesenices jurisdiction and is reached by a small and pretty road, lying between the two towns. Be it the sprin-gtime green flora, summer cool off, autumn colours or giant winter icicles, um is always sure to have its charm. Access via Blejska Dobrava. The Month of Daffodils (Mesec Narcis) Jesenice is the place to be in May, when its most famous village comes alive with daffodils and happy people. The Month of Daffodils features several events: exhibitions of photography and paintings, the Miss Daffodils ceremony takes place, and many hikes to Golica and Rovte are organised. Planina Pod Golico becomes a village of daffodils, and the crowds come to celebrate at the traditional village party (veselica). Kmeke igre ( or farm games, eg races) are fought out in joyous rural style. tefelins house serves as the gallery space and temporary tourist office, the participants of the event receiving awards from the mayor at the end of it all. The event is crucial to the identity of Jesenice, and as such the daffodil emblem is jokingly referred to as the vinjeta (tax sticker) of the town. Dont miss (narcis)! slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

What to See & Do


Jenks Barracks Museum (Jenkova Kasarna),
tel. +386 (0)4 53 25 411/+386 (0)30 685 011, www. jezersko.info. Originally built in the 15th century as a boarding house for travelling merchants, as Jezersko is located along one of the major routes between the historic regions of Carniola and Carinthia, there is still some debate as to how the large peculiar building got its name. Although it never officially served any military purpose, some say that it simply resembles a military structure, while others proclaim the more romantic notion that Napoleons troops stayed here during the time of the Illyrian provinces. Regardless of its history, nowadays the premises house a fine rural ethnographical museum with a diverse collection of items. Perhaps the most interesting are some well-preserved inscriptions left on the walls by travellers several centuries ago - a type of historical graffiti! To get there, take the road north towards the Austrian border, theres a sign reading Jenkova kasarna directing you to take the second right. Q Open with prior arrangement only. Admission 1.50 adults, 1 children.

Krtina Partisan Hospital Continue on the gravel road from the Travertine quarry onwards up the hill and park in the vicinity of the wooden bridge. This might look adventurous but it is doable. Follow the signs to the Krtina Partisan Hospital. Built in 1944 the little hospital saw a total of 30 patients before it burned down in 1945. Rebuilt in 1953, it is reconstructed in its original form and houses a small exhibition about the living conditions of partisans and medical personnel who served here during the war. Beds, cooking equipment, cutlery and medical equipment are all on display in such a playful way that it is almost like the cottage is still in use. Lake Planar This small romantic and by coincidence
heart-shaped lake may be artificial, but this in no way diminishes its beauty or the aura of tranquility it radiates. Not many foreign tourists make the journey here, which is unfortunate because the drive leads through some beautiful natural sights. The lake is surrounded by lush green mountains and offers a spectacular view of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. There are several hiking paths around the lake and an outstanding restaurant which offers excellent homemade cuisine. The whole place has an air of unpretentiousness and is a great place to spend an afternoon.

Travertine Quarry When on your way to Jezersko take some

The sea of white daffodils on Golica are a sight to behold each spring

Anks Spring and Waterfall Pass Anks farm and continue uphill on the gravel path, from here you can follow the signs to the mineral water spring and waterfalls. At the spring you have slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

time for a small detour to this former quarry, its worthwhile. At the small village of Bajte turn left and cross the bridge, continue along the gravel road. On your right-hand side you will see a quarry, which is not operational anymore but this makes it a perfect playground for amateur geologists and anybody else who likes fossils and stones in all shapes, sizes and colours. There is treasure everywhere. The travertine deposits are up to 20 metres thick and fossils can be found with every step.

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kranj
Creina Koroka 5, tel. +386 (0)4 281 75 00, info@ hotel-creina.si, www.hotel-creina.si. If ever a hotel were to prove the old adage not to judge a book by its cover (or in this case accommodation by its faade) then the Creina would be it. Located on the main square just north of the old town centre, while the buildings exterior can best be described as an acquired taste dating back to 1970, its actually a creation of renowned Slovene architect Edvard Ravnikar and a protected historical and cultural monument. On the other hand, the interior recently underwent extensive renovations and has been completely modernised. An added bonus is the restaurant, which has great views of the surrounding landscape, especially from the large terrace that hangs out over the hillside. Q 87 rooms. PJHAULKW Hostel Cukrarna Tavarjeva 9, tel. +386 (0)51 788 887, info@cukrarna.si, www.cukrarna.si. One of our favourite hostels in all of Slovenia can be found in the premises of a former confectionery on a quiet street in Kranjs old town. Run by a well-travelled local who knows exactly what it takes to give guests a pleasantly memorable stay, Cukrarna has all the small touches that make a hostel great. Of course the facilities themselves are also excellent, with cool common spaces, high ceilings, ample bathrooms, great views and pretty much everything else you could want. JBXW Kokra Predoslje 39, tel. +386 (0)4 260 10 00, fax 386
4 04 202 15 51, brdo.recp@gov.si, www.brdo.com. If you cant afford to stay in the ultra-luxurious apartments inside Brdo Castle (and very few can!), the four-star Hotel Kokra is the next best thing. The hotel is set just outside the entrance of the castle estate, and offers unfettered access to all of the attractions within, from carriage rides drawn by famed white Lipizzaner horses and picnics in the park to the the modern conference centre and of course tours of the castle itself. Recent renovations have bestowed the hotel with all the modern comforts, and the premises also include a fine restaurant, new wellness centre and two conference halls. The rooms and suites are a great value, while the 200m2 presidential suite is true to its name, having accommodated a certain US leader during his stay in Slovenia in 2001. PHARLKD

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Gostilna Kritof Predoslje 22, tel. +386 (0)4 234 10 30/+386 (0)41 358 786, kristof@siol.net, www. gostilnakristof.si. One of the dozen or so Slovene restaurants that are perennially in the running for the title of the finest dining in the country, Kritof can be found in the village of Predoslje just next to Brdo Castle north of Kranj. True to its small town roots, the restaurant combines the best of rural ambience and charm with modern Slovenian cuisine, and the family that runs the place is said to have been the catering business for more than 700 years, so you can rest assured that youre in good hands. The fresh seasonal menu is certified organic, and there are also many vegetarian and vegan dishes to choose from, all of which can be found in English (and with prices) on their website. Gostilna Na Sedlu epulje 3, tel. +386 (0)4 231 11 20/+386 (0)51 237 235, janaumj@gmail.com. With a name that translates directly as inn on the saddle, the saddle in this case being the pretty little village of epulje on top of which it sits, this family-run restaurant has been satisfying hungry locals for more than a century. At an altitude of 665m (luckily its not one metre higher or wed be tempted to make some terrible joke about the food being devilishly good), Na Sedlu is extremely popular with crowds of hikers who seem to make secular pilgrimages here on the way to or from the hills. The cuisine is nothing fancy, but everything is excellent, from the fresh homemade bread to bowls of piping hot deer goulash and everything in between. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Gostie Arvaj Kajuhova 2, tel. +386 (0)4 280 01
10, www.arvaj.si. Founded by a single pioneering butcher back in 1956, in the past half century the company has grown to employ more than 50 people, and the name Arvaj has become synonymous with famed Kranjska Klobasa, winning countless medals, awards and other acclamations. Thus there is likely no better place in the world to try Kranjs trademark sausages, which is a must for all (non-vegetarian) visitors. Located to the north of the city centre at the eastern edge of the lush Kokra gorge, the restaurant has warm ambience and a full menu of Slovene cuisine to choose from. Their products can also be found in finer supermarkets across Slovenia. QOpen 08:00 - 23:00, Sun 09:00 - 16:00.

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Kranjs old town boasts one of the most beautiful medieval skylines in the world, photo by Luka Dakskobler, courtesy of the Kranj Tourist Board Perched on a rocky promontory at the confluence of the Sava and Kokra rivers, the old town of Kranj has one of the most spectacular medieval skylines that youll likely ever see, with its three distinct church towers and an unreal backdrop of the Slovenian Alps rising up only a few kilometres to the north. Not as well-known as Bled or as heavily trodden by tourists on Kranjska Gora, in most senses of the word Kranj is still the true capital of the Gorenjska region, both historically speaking and nowadays, as it has long-served as one of the main industrial centres of Slovenia and is also the countrys fourth largest city. Thanks to its ideal position at the foothills of the mountains but also only a short commute (20km) to Ljubljana, Kranj is a popular place for young families to settle down, as property prices are a bit more reasonable here than in the capital, and an abundance of shopping centres and other modern conveniences have been built in recent years. Of course its Kranjs historic centre that is still the main draw for most tourists and daytrippers. Protected as a national cultural monument since 1983, the lively old town boasts an variety of diverse sights, from religious monuments and ethnological museums to modern arts spaces and unique remnants from World War II. For most Slovenes the city is inextricably linked with the nations greatest poet, France Preeren, who lived and worked here in the mid-19th century. the premises of an early-19th century mansion that was most recently the headquarters of a large bank, Actum opened its doors in 2011 and now offers 17 glorious rooms, including ten larger suites with jacuzzi baths among other luxuries such as Persian rugs and Venetian chandeliers. Despite its first-class pedigree the hotel still manages to maintain an unpretentious personality, demonstrated by its subtle theme of old timer cars and other cheeky touches in the uniquely furnished rooms. Q 17 rooms (singles 90, doubles 140-160, family room 250, presidential suite 350). PTJALKW

Azul uceva 26, tel. +386 (0)8 2000 300, info@hotel-

Restaurants & Cafs


Brioni Koroka 10, tel. +386 (0)4 201 07 50,
brioni@t-2.net. If youve had your fill of dining on heavy Mitteleuropa cuisine in traditional wooden-laden restaurants and inns, then a trip to the refreshingly modern Brioni is a good idea. Named for the north Croatian islands where Tito kept his magnificent summer residence (and entertained various foreign heads of state, film stars and other celebrities), the restaurants fresh light fare is definitely Mediterranean-influenced and prepared with exquisite attention to detail by award winning young chef Toma Polenec. Gourmet soups, salads and sandwiches are also available, and on top of everything the truly amazing desserts are both literally and metaphorically the icing on the cake.

azul.si, www.hotel-azul.si. Situated on the eastern edges of the city, the newly built Azul is quite possibly he most conveniently located hotel in all of Slovenia - less than 5km from Brnik airport, 14km from the Krvavec ski resort, 22km from Ljubljana and 30km from Bled. Surrounded by cultivated farmland with sweeping views of the Alps from room windows, the hotel combines rural tranquility and urban premises, with ample conference and meeting facilities, modern amenities and professional service. Q 25 rooms. PHALW

Tourist Information
450/+386 (0)4 2380 451, tic@tourism-kranj.si, www.tourism-kranj.si. Set in a beautiful 16th-century townhouse right in the centre of the old town, Kranjs tourist information centre is the most logical first stop for most visitors to the city. In addition to countless brochures in a variety of languages covering everything in Kranj and elsewhere in the Gorenjska region (several of which can even be downloaded directly from their website), theres free internet, a fine selection of gifts and souvenirs, a small gallery with contemporary art exhibitions and bicycle hires for 2 per hour or only 5 for the whole day. Arrangements can also be made for a tour with an experienced local guide. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 21:00, Sun 09:00 - 18:00.

TIC Kranj Glavni Trg 2, tel. +386 (0)4 2380

Accommodation
Actum Preernova 6, tel. +386 (0)5 90 82 400, info@
actum-hotel.com, www.actum-hotel.com. It may come as a surprise to find that one of the countrys top boutique hotels is found right in heart of Kranjs old town, but we can enthusiastically confirm that this is indeed the case. Set in

Bellevue marjetna Gora 6, tel. +386 (0)4 270 00 00, bellevue@bellevue.si, www.bellevue.si. Perched at the very top of marjetna Gora just to the west of the city centre, the hill is actually 11m shorter today than when the hotel was built, as the top had to be flattened to make space for it. In any event, the end result is absolutely stunning panoramic views in all directions, which are said to cover up to 20% of all Slovene territory on clear days. The rooms are not exceptionally luxurious or modern, but are a great value for the views alone, and the hotel restaurant is excellent - definitely worth a visit even if youre not a guest at the hotel. Q 20 rooms (singles 35-40, doubles 60, waterbed rooms 55-75). HALBKXW slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Gostilna Kot Maistrov Trg 4, tel. +386 (0)4 202 61 05, gostilnakot.si. Located just inside the former town walls at the north end of the old town, Kot prepares traditional authentic Slovene cuisine at reasonable prices. With a couple of large dining halls its a popular venue for weddings, celebrations and other events, and in the summer time its not uncommon to see a whole pig roasting on the spit outside, where a seasonal terrace is also set up on the square. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00, Fri 07:00 - 23:00, Sat 08:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

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Plenik in Kranj
Although he didnt leave as much of a legacy in Kranj as did his one time protg Edvard Ravnikar, Slovenias great architect Joe Pleniks unmistakable work can be seen at three different sites around the city. The most notable is the colonnaded faade of Preeren Theatre, which was added during extensive renovations carried out in the early 1950s - Pleniks trademark lamps will be familiar to anyone who has seen his work in Ljubljana. At the southern entrance to the old town is a sight often overlooked by most casual visitors, but which is one of our favourites: a large fountain and obelisk topped by a bronze rooster, which is an interpretation of the Plenik-designed Garden of Eden at Prague Castle. On the opposite side of the old town (at Koroka Cesta 27) is one of the few single-family homes that Plenik designed, the so-called Beek Villa, nowadays home to the Gorenjska Tourism Association and the Mountaineering Club of Kranj. Titled Beautiful Gorenjska, the comprehensive and extremely well-presented exhibition leads visitors on a journey from the geological formation of the region millions of years ago, through prehistoric settlements, the arrival of Slavic tribes, development of Slovenes as a distinct people, growth during the medieval and renaissance periods, and concludes with modern Slovenias accession to the European Union. Special emphasis is given to several other important areas such as the ethnology of rural life in the region, including both the hardships faced and social triumphs, the notable individuals of the 19th century, both World Wars and the Yugoslav era. The space of the castles interior is used to maximum effect, and some interesting and novel curatorial approaches make a visit here both fascinating and informative. As such, the museum is great place to begin a first trip to the region. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission 2.50, students 2, families 4.50. give visitors demonstrations of how they functioned. Smaller in scale but equally interesting are the numerous business and personal items from the Pirc family, which include a large working desk covered in aged documents, various middle-class household items, many original old photos (with some great beards among the previous generations!), and a special presentation of the familys most influential member, the late Ciril Pirc who was mayor of Kranj from 1921 till 1935. During his terms in office the town saw great development. Ironically, it was also at this time that rapid industrialisation led to the closing of the dye-works, but in a further twist of fate nowadays many of these factories have themselves been shuttered, while the dye-works is once again open to the public, albeit in a strictly educational capacity. Visits can be arranged through the tourist info centre, and tours are often given by Ciril Pircs granddaughter, and founder of the museum, Darja, who despite her modesty speaks almost perfect English and is happy to regale visitors with stories from the intertwined histories of her family and Kranj. Q Open upon prior arrangement. Admission 2.

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The Tunnels Under Kranj

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What to see
Essential Kranj
Tomieva 42, tel. +386 (0)4 201 39 50, www.gorenjskimuzej.si. A key element of Kranjs magnificent medieval skyline and quite literally an inseparable part of the town (as the complexs lower section forms part of the defensive walls), Khislstein Castle derives both its name and Renaissance appearance from its 16th-century owner Janez Khisl. Historical records show that other fortifications were built on the same site as early as the 5th century, while excavations of the castles foundations have unearthed artefacts going all the way to late Antiquity. More recently the castle and its grounds were extensively renovated in 2012, when the openair summer theatre was built and the Museum of Gorenjskas central exhibition was opened on the premises.

Khislstein Castle & The Museum of Gorenjska

Kokra River Canyon While most visitors admire Kranj for the breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains to the north, the first inhabitants chose to settle here not for its natural beauty, but for the more practical reason that the 30m deep gorge immediately to the east provided a significant defensive advantage. Carved into the colourful conglomerate sedimentary rock at the end of the most recent ice age, the lush green canyon is home an extremely diverse collection of plants and animals, and has been a protected natural site since 1983. For those who would like to explore the area themselves, the most easily accessible public entrance is next to the Potna Ulica Bridge, and the tourist office stocks a very information brochure that includes a maps as well as details about the areas flora and fauna, geological history and the milling industry that flourished here until the early 20th century. During the summer months the several rocky beaches found along the riverbanks are popular destination for swimmers or those just looking to escape the heat. Layers House Tomieva 32, tel. +386 (0)31 37 92 37, info@layer.si, www.layer.si. The one-time home of Kranj native and lifelong resident Leopold Layer (1752-1828), a prolific Slovene painter, has recently been transformed into a beautiful multi-use arts space, which features a cool caf with sweeping views over the old town walls, a museum with several permanent exhibitions, and even a few gorgeous residences that are intended primarily by visiting artists but can also be hired by tourists. The first-floor museum is divided into three parts, with one room boasting walls covered in restored 19th-century frescoes, another showcasing an impressive collection of works by Layer himself, while the third is devoted to the life and work of Janez Puhar, who was a pioneer of early photography and is credited with inventing a novel method of capturing images on glass in 1841. Elsewhere in the house there is a small gift stocks some unique souvenirs, and there is also additional space for workshops, lecture and other events. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. Pirc Dye-Works Vodopiveva 11, tel. +386 (0)4 202 70
11/+386 (0)40 79 11 96. More than a simple ethnological exhibition, the Pirc Dye-Works takes visitors on journey through the economic, social and political history of Kranj and Slovenia over the past few centuries, as well as offering an intriguing glimpse into the lives of the Pirc family, eight generations of whom operated the dye-works in the very same house and still reside there to this day. The private museum was opened in 2006, the centrepiece of which is a 5m long oak box that was filled with some 5 tonnes of stone from the Sava river and used to flatten the dyed linen and cotton in the final stage of the production process. The massive press mechanism, along with another smaller device, both date from the turn of the 18th century, and have been restored to

Preerens Grove Gregorieva Ulica & Partizanska

Cesta. The towns cemetery from the end of the 18th century until 1951, one of the few tombstones left here is that belonging to none other than the great France Preeren, as well as those of his daughter and another noted Slovene poet Simon Jenko. Whilst standing in front of the modest marble monument marking Preerens final resting place, astute visitors will notice that his name is actually written Preerin, which is not a mistake but simply an alternative 19th-century spelling. The groves other monument of note is the small pyramid found in the northwest corner, which dates from 1931 and is one of the earliest memorials to the victims of fascism in Europe. Despite the solemn air here, the area is actually a popular local park, especially during the warmer months when its not uncommon to find families enjoying a picnic or kids playing football. To get here just follow Gregorieva Ulica a couple hundred metres north from the Kranj City Library.

Pungert Tower Trubarjev Trg 6. Occupying the southernmost edge of Kranjs old town, on the promontory overlooking the confluence of the Kokra and Sava rivers, is the citys only entirely preserved 16th-century defensive tower: Pungert. The distinctly German sounding name is derived from the German word for orchard, baumgarten, which at one time grew here. Among other uses, over the centuries the tower has served as residences and a prison, counting among its inmates the well-known local artist Leopold Layer, who was convicted of forging currency. Nowadays the premises contain a 3-floor childrens play centre, which frequently hosts various events and activities for children such as puppet workshops and performances. For older visitors, theres a cosy caf-cum-bar that is also a venue for live open-air concerts during the Jazz Kamp festival in August, and in the immediate vicinity there is a large 15th century church and a recently built glass bottomed lookout platform that juts out precariously over the Kokra Canyon. To round out the already wonderful atmosphere, theres also an old music school right next door whose pupils provide a pleasant (if sometimes off-key) soundtrack.

Buildings & Squares


Glavni Trg (Main Square) This long narrow square in
the heart of the old town is Kranjs main public space (hence the name) and home to many of the citys most visited sights, such as the Parish Church of St Kancijan, Preeren Theatre, several galleries and museums and the tourist office. It also serves as the main venues for events throughout the year, from weekly farmers markets to the all-important Preerens Fair.

Looking out over the Kokra Canyon from Pungert, photo by Luka Dakskobler, courtesy of the Kranj Tourist Board

Tel. +386 (0)4 23 80 450, www.tourism-kranj.si. One of the most unique attractions in the Gorenjska region is the WWII-era tunnel complex that runs for 1.3km under the heart of Kranjs old town and was built to serve as a bomb shelter. Construction commenced in the late-1930s in anticipation of he conflict, but most of what exists today was carried out by occupying forces in 1944, as they feared Kranj would be targeted by Al lied bombing due to its strategic location and strong industrial output. The complex crosss directly under the old town with a western entrance at Jelenov Klanec, an east entrance in Kokra Canyon and a southern entrance below Pungert - there is also a secret entrance above ground behind Preeren Theatre. Following the war the tunnels were largely forgotten about and fell into a state of disuse, although during the 1980s one enterprising local restauranteur used a large section of them to grow his own supply of mushrooms. Due to the waste produced by this subterranean agriculture as well as the more than half a century of general neglect, the tunnels were in rather poor condition at the end of the 20th century. Recognising that they are an important piece of the countrys historical and technological heritage, in 2003 the Caving Society of Kranj decided to take the initiative of cleaning them up, and were later joined by the city and other organisations, with the extensive restoration works finally completed and the tunnels opened to the public in 2008. In the years since their reopening the tunnels have become one of Kranjs main tourist attractions, even winning the national tourism boards so-called Silver Sower award in 2009, given for especially creative and innovative achievements in Slovenian tourism. In addition to a small permanent exhibition of minerals and fossils, and a reconstructed bomb shelter that includes a simulated air raid, the tunnels now host several wellattended annual events such as the Kranj Wine Route, a nativity production during Christmas time, a childrens entertainment programme featuring Kranek the Dwarf and various other cultural events (concerts, literary reading, film nights, etc). Q Regular guided tours are given every Tuesday and Friday at 17:00 and on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00, with a meeting point in front of the main tourist office on Glavni Trg. Admission 3 for adults, 2.50 groups, 2 children.

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Kranj City Library Gregorieva 1, tel. +386 (0)4 201
35 50, fax +386 (0)4 201 35 60, mkk@kr.sik.si, www. mkk.si. As an institution Kranj City Library dates back to 1960, but after dutifully providing the good citizens of Gorenjska with reading material for some five decades, the library made a headlines in 2011 when it centralised several of its branches in the renovated premises of a former socialist-era shopping centre. Both inside and out the building is an impressive architectural specimen, seamlessly combining elements of the original brutalist structure (eg rusted steel plates and exposed I-beams) with modern additions (a glass faade and futuristic ergonomic furniture), and is rightfully a newfound source of pride for local residents. More than just fancy home for books and periodicals, Kranjs library has been conceived to serve as the towns living room, providing ample space social activities and also hosting various exhibitions, lectures and other cultural events. QOpen 08:30 - 19:30, Sat 08:30 - 13:30. Closed Sun.

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Maistrov Trg (Maister Square) Named for the
moustachioed general Rudolf Maister, who famousl y secured the city of Maribor and its surrounding lands for Slovenia during the waning days of the First World War, the square marks the north end of the old town. While Maister himself was not from Kranj, he is a fitting namesake for the square, as this was historically the most vulnerable position in the towns defences, and thus had thick double walls to keep out unwanted guests. Nowadays the exact position of the former walls is marked by rose coloured paving stones. old town, Slovenia Square, or Slovenski Trg, is the heart of modern Kranj. Redesigned as larger open space following WWII, in addition to the citys most prestigious secondary school and some very colourful modern blocks, several of the buildings on the square are the work of famed 20th century architect Edvard Ravnikar, including the Creina Hotel, City Hall and the former Globus shopping centre, which now houses the magnificent Kranj City Library. However, the focal point of the square itself are the mesmerising sculptures by Lojze Dolinar, whose work is characterised by vivid expression and dynamic movement. Of special interest for tourists is the scale-size bronze relief of Kranj that was installed in 2007.

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Preeren in Kranj
Born not far from Kranj in the small village of Vrba, Slovenias greatest poet and national cultural icon France Preeren has remained closely linked to the town since his untimely death here in 1849. Raised in a family of relatively well-off farmers, Preeren showed great aptitude for studies at an early age and was thus sent to be educated at private Catholic schools in the south of Slovenia, before attending the prestigious State Gymnasium in Ljubljana. The young Preeren spent the better part of the 1820s working towards his law degree in Vienna, which is also where he made his first attempts at writing poetry. Upon returning to Ljubljana, he was unable to open his own independent law practice due to the discriminatory policies of the Germanic city authorities, so he resigned himself to assisting other lawyers, which at least allowed him sufficient free time to further develop as a poet. In 1946, the now middle-aged Preeren was finally given permission to open his own office in Kranj in his native Gorenjska, but this long sought after achievement came too late, as years of depression and heavy drinking finally and fatally caught up with him less than three years later. In the years after his death, the town of Kranj became the de facto guardian of the great poets legacy, and even nowadays his presence is felt throughout the city. The house in which he lived and worked is now the Preeren Memorial Museum (located naturally on Preeren Street), while his final resting place is now a public park known as Preeren Grove. Since 1945, Slovenia has commemo rated the day Preeren died, 8 February, as the national day of culture, and the largest event in the country is held in Kranj. There are also several public sculptures of the poet, including the most famous one set just outside the Preeren Theatre, as well as the Preeren Prize Winners Gallery with a collection of works by the artists who have won Slovenias most important artist award. Kancijan. Its current appearance dates primarily from the 15th century, while the founding stone was laid all the way back in the 8th century when it was first built as a Slavic church. The interior feels even more monumental, with brightly decorated Gothic rib vaults supported by ornate keystones sitting atop massive polygonal columns. For us the highlights are the very modernist altar from the 1930s and the crucifix suspended in the air above it, which depicts Jesus without a cross. Outside of Mass the church doors are infrequently open, but the friendly priest is usually somewhere nearby with the keys - enquire at the TIC office if youd like to visit.

Culture & Events


Events
Jazz Kamp Various Venues, www.gramus.si. For one
week each August the city of Kranj is taken over by jazz musicians, jazz enthusiasts and lovers of great music, during the annual festival known as Jazz Kamp. During the day attendees participate in workshops, lessons and both individual and group sessions under the tutelage of professional jazz mentors, while during the evenings the general public is treated to open-air jam sessions and an organised programme of concerts by Slovene and international artists, transforming the old town into one large festive stage. One of our favourite events of the year, the festival gains in popularity each year, so its best to book accommodation well in advance as it can become quite scare. recitals of his poetry, concerts of period music, all manner of costumed performers and various other activities. All of the citys cultural institutions also open their doors with their own programmes of activities and events. Definitely a festive experience not to be missed!

Slovenski Trg (Slovenian Square) Just north of the

Churches
Trubarjev Trg. The smallest of the three churches in Kranjs old town, it does at least enjoy an enviable position at the very south end of town, high on the bluff overlooking the confluence of the Kokra and Sava rivers. Built during the 15th century, it was named for the trifecta of saints who are patrons against deadly diseases.

Khislstein Summer Theatre Tomieva 44, tel.

+386 (0)4 238 04 50, lgk@tourism-kranj.si, www. tourism-kranj.si. From May to September each year this new open-air amphitheatre hosts frequent concerts (both classical and pop), various theatrical performances, a cultural festival or two, and many other events. The facilities have space for more than 400 seats or an standing audience of up to 800, and theres even a retractable fabric roof in case of bad weather. Along with Vovks Garden, krlovec Tower, Layers House and of course Khislstein Castle itself, the summer theatre rounds out Kranjs burgeoning arts district, with all of the venues found within a couple hundred metres of each other.

Church of St Fabian, St Sebastian and St Rok

Wine Road in the Tunnels Under Kranj Glavni

Trg 2, tel. 04-2380-450, vinskapot@tourism-kranj. si, www.tourism-kranj.si. Slovenia is not lacking in winerelated events (or wine for that matter), but Kranjs annual wine festival in mid-November may be the most interesting of them all, as it takes place in the tunnels underneath the old town. First held in 2008 shortly after the restored WWII-era tunnels were reopened to the public, the event has grown each year both in terms of participating wine producers and visitors - with well over 60 of the former and several thousand of the latter taking part. Due to the space limitations of tunnels the number of visitors admitted per hour is limited, but to accommodate the growing demand the festival has added more days, and is also now complimented by a full programme of other events around town running concurrently.

Church of St Kancijan Glavni Trg. Of the three old town churches that distinguish Kranjs majestic medieval skyline, the most impressive is the parish Church of St

kranj.si, www.tourism-kranj.si. One of Slovenias most important cultural events takes place in Kranj each year on 8 February, the countrys official day of culture, which is a work-free public holiday chosen because it was the day famed poet France Preeren passed away in 1849. As Kranj is the unofficial guardian of Preerens heritage, its only fitting the it hosts the largest celebration of not only his life and work, but also the period in which he lived. For one day the streets and squares of Kranjs old town are transported back to the early-19th century, and some 20,000 visitors are entreated to experience the time of Preeren with

Preerens Fair Various Venues, info@tourism-

Youth Week (Teden Mladih) tm.pr@ksk.si, www. teden-mladih.si. In May each year Kranj becomes the youth capital of Slovenia during its annual Youth Week festivities. With roots dating back to the socialist era, the festivals modern incarnation was born during a now legendary punk concert at Khislstein Castle in 1995, and has since grown into a week-long event organised by the Student Association of Kranj. A diverse programme of more than 100 events offers something for everyone, from families with younger children to university students looking for a party. Across the city exhibitions, workshops, lectures and other educational activities compete with sporting competitions, concerts, and entertainment events for the attention of the thousands of visitors who come to Kranj. Q A bracelet giving admission to most activities, including evening events and concerts, starts from only 10. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Holy Mother of the Rosary Cankarjeva Ulica. With


its distinctive tower the so-called Rosary Church is an essential part of Kranjs famous old town skyline. Situated in the southern part of the town just next to Pleniks gate, the church was built at the beginning of the 16th century and long-served as a place of worship for Protestants during its early years. Restored in the 17th century in a Late Gothic style, it was completely renovated again in the 1890s.

Slovenia Square is the heart of modern Kranj and home to some amazing modern works of art by sculptor Lojze Dolinar, courtesy of the Kranj Tourist Board

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Museums & Galleries
Preeren Memorial Museum Preernova Ulica 7, tel. +386 (0)4 201 39 83, www.gorenjski-muzej.si. In a town where the great Slovene poet France Preeren is revered unlike any other, this unassuming 17th-century house on the street that now bears his name can be considered ground zero, as its where he lived and practiced law from 1846 until his untimely death in 1849. In a restored apartment on the first floor there is a small exhibition dedicated to his life and work, including some pieces of period furniture as well as several of Preerens original works. Perhaps most interesting to the non-Preeren enthusiast is the large case of books adorned with very disparate images of the poet, a testament to the fact that no portraits of him were produced during his lifetime, meaning no one is exactly sure what he
looked like. On the ground floor there is well-stocked gift shop and temporary exhibition space. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission 2.30 adults, 1.70 children/seniors, 4.20 families.

TRADITIONAL EVENTS
Numerous carnivals are among the largest traditional events in winter time, Preeren Fair in Kranj in February, the Alpine Night in Bled in May, Potato Day in enur and Historial - History festival in kofja Loka in June, Lacework Days in elezniki and Bled Night in Bled in July, Shoemakers Sunday in Tri in September, Evenings of Avsenik music in Begunje na Gorenjskem, Kekec Days event for children in Kranjska Gora, several New Years Eve celebrations in the open and other events. The largest events in the Slovenian Alps are international sports competitions: the Vitranc Cup in Kranjska Gora, ski jumps in Planica, biathlon world cup races in Pokljuka, rowing regattas in Bled, telemark in Bohinj. The Gorenjska region invites you with several international festivals, such as the Bled Festival with classic music, the Okarina Bled Festival with ethno music or the Old Music Festival Radovljica. The Wild Flower Festival takes place in Bohinj in the spring, while in the summer Kranj hosts numerous festivals: the Carniola Festival, Jazz Kamp and Kranfest with Kranj Night. Every year in May, Tri hosts the International Days of Minerals, Fossils and Environment - MINFOS, which is considered as one of the largest events of its kind in Europe. The ethnographically interesting and entertaining Blacksmith Holiday in Kropa in July, the Sheep Ball in Jezersko in August and the Cow Ball in Bohinj in September remind of old customs. From May to September villages and towns in the Slovenian Alps come to life with fire-fighters parties which are organized by fire-fighter associations and offer relaxed socialising for locals, where guests are also welcome. In 2015 more than a thousand performers in the streets of kofja Loka will stage again the grandiose kofja Loka Passion Play, the oldest Slovenian dramatic text.

Brdo Pri Kranju

Preeren Prize Winners Gallery Glavni Trg 18, tel. +386 (0)4 202 57 16, gpn@kranj.si, www.gpn.kranj.si. Since 1947 the Preeren Awards have been given to Slovenias leading artists on the national day of culture, which is on 8 February in commemoration of the great poets death, and are considered the highest national honour in the field of the arts. Some 140 works by past winners of the so-called Grand Preeren Award (give to two artists) and the Preeren Fund Award, also known as the Small Preeren Award, (given to up to six artists) are on display here at the municipal gallery located in the labyrinthine 16th-century Pavlar House. The premises themselves are almost as interesting as the awardwinning artwork, with original frescoes, exposed wooden Renaissance ceilings, clay brick floors and numerous other architectural embellishments. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission free. Town Hall Glavni Trg 4, tel. +386 (0)4 201 39 80, www.gorenjski-muzej.si. Located on the southern side of the Glavni Trg is Kranjs former town hall, which from the exterior still resembles the two separate buildings that were joined to form it: the white 16th-century Gothic structure with its distinctive clock tower and the yellow 17th-century aristocratic mansion. Inside the premises there is a veritable treasure trove of art works and archaeological finds, with the most space devoted to three permanent exhibitions. On the ground floor is a collection of more than 50 smaller sculptures and prints by the sculptor Lojze Dolinar. Much of the buildings first floor is used to present the so-called Iron Thread exhibition, which includes an impressive collection of finds from the Palaeolithic period up until late Antiquity and the Romans, while entire second floor houses countless pieces of folk art from the Gorenjska region. Those interested in visiting the ossuary can also make arrangements to do so here. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission 2.30 adults, 1.70 children/seniors, 4.20 families.

Brdo Castle & Park Predoslje 39, tel. +386 (0)4

260 15 01/+386 (0)4 202 15 51, brdo@gov.si, www.brdo.si. One of the grandest estates in all of Slovenia, Brdo Castle was originally built at the beginning of the 16th century by Habsburg nobleman Georg Egkh, and in the past five centuries has been home to several powerful owners including the Zois family and the last monarchs of Serbia. In more recent history, the estate served as one of the favourite residences of Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito and also famously hosted the first meeting between the then newly elected presidents of the United States and Russia, George Bush and Vladimir Putin. In 2008 a modern conference centre was built to accommodate the numerous high-level events that were held during Slovenias six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU. Depending on visitors interests, the most impressive site at Brdo is either the magnificent grounds or Brdo Castle. In addition to its amazing location at the foothills of the Alps, the estate is criss-crossed with pathways that wind through pastures and gardens, around several lakes and through a large forested area. Meanwhile in the middle of it all sits the indelible castle. Modest in size and with an unembellished faade, the interior stands in stark contrast, as it was completely renovated and refurnished after WWII to reflect the tastes of Tito, and has been left largely unchanged since his death in 1980, offering an intimate look into the life and times of one of the larger than life figures of the 20th century. For us the highlights include the display of gifts that Tito received from foreign heads of state (such as a 14th-century ivory chest from North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung), an original copy of the Dalmatin Bible, countless paintings from the collection of the National Gallery, and of course the stories that tie everything together.

Around Kranj
In addition to its beautiful setting below the hills and mountains rising to the north, the countryside around Kranj is full of well-marked paths for walking, hiking and cycling through nature. Enquire at the tourist office for more specific info and dedicated maps of the area.

You are warmly welcome!


Explore the lush green countryside around Kranj, courtesy of the Kranj Tourist Board

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Kranjska Gora
Traditional Events in Kranjska Gora
March
Planica, the Vitranc world cup event (Pokal Vitranc) is what brings the international crowd to Kranjska Gora; it is the place to be for one weekend in March, when skiers from the worlds competitive winter sports nations gather and compete. Slalom and giant slalom world cup races are held on the slopes above the town, and the day is rounded off with concerts and other entertainment at the foot of the Kranjska Gora ski slopes, courtesy of the presently named Q-Max Party.

Kranjska Gora
History
Kranjska Gora was first formed when inhabitants started clearing the forests to make space for farm land and pastures back in the second half of the 14th century. A railroad was built in 1874, after which Kranjska Gora be gan to develop as a famed tourist destination, providing convenient access to the nearby mountains, forests and valleys. The town gained further significance following World War I, when Russian prisoners constructed a road passing over the 1611m Vri highlands, and connecting the Sava to Soa valleys. Blossoming tourist activity in the Kranjska Gora region arose when the first cable cars were built on the sides of the Vitranc at the end of the 1950s, on which ski jumping and ski flying became increasingly popular. Kranjska Gora and its position on the tri-border between Slovenia, Austria and Italy certainly boosted its achievement. For tourists, the region of Kranjska Gora particularly represents an excellent combination of a cosmopolitan tourist village and idyllic serenity in its surroundings. Kranjska Gora is the cultural and social centre of the region, and also known as the alpine heart.

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Vitranc Cup (Pokal Vitranc) Podkoren. Aside from

May
Gathering of the Horsemen Planica. Bear witness to an event taking place only triennially in Slovenia: The gathering of horsemen. Also consisting of riders from Austria and Italy, this event alternates between those three countries every year. Ever since Slovenias addition to the European Union, the this spectacle has become an annual tradition.

June
Kekec Festival Kranjska Gora. Celebrate one of
Slovenias cultural icons! The Kekec festival takes place in the second week of the summer school holidays with a rich and interesting programme of events and activities for the entire family, at the centre of which are the fairytale heroes created by Josip Vandot, who provide plenty of amusement for all. In addition to appearances by childrens dance and folklore groups and performances by well-known Slovenian musicians, there are also the following activities: sport and entertainment (eg cycling, leisurely strolls, rollerblading, climbing lessons for kids, swimming, archery, mystery tours, golf), trips in the countryside (a visit to the Land of Draws, On the Trail of Triglav, Kekec Land) and workshops (pottery, t-shirt designing).

August
Alja Days Dovje, Mojstrana & Valley Vrata. The Alja
Days, in remembrance of Dovjes most celebrated former resident, happens over a weekend in late summer, with a programme including exhibitions at the Alpine museum, a hike to one of the villages hills, cultural evenings, concerts and a holy Mass.

Kranjska Gora in winter, photo by Matej Vrani courtesy of Picture Slovenia People from the Gorenjska region are known as being the most frugal Slovenes, to put it politely. It isnt hard to believe, though, since life has always been a struggle in the harsh winters of the rugged mountains. While not considered very outgoing or extroverted, the locals will warm up to you once youve won them over. One way you can do that is by showing them your prowess on the slopes or by enjoying a shot of a locals homemade schnapps. Remember to always look people in the eyes when saying Na zdravje! Kranjska Gora is, not surprisingly, famous for its skiing and other winter sports. People from the area are often excellent skiers, as parents have their kids racing down the toughest runs as soon as they learn how to walk. Slovenias professional skiers have enjoyed a significant amount of success in World Cup and Olympic competitions and most of them hail from Gorenjska. The Vitranc World Cup and the annual ski flying event in nearby Planica bring thousands of spectators to Kranjska Gora, turning it into the party capital of Slovenia, at least for a weekend or two.

By Car

To get to Kranjska Gora by car from Ljubljana take the A2 motorway towards Kranj and Jesenice. Pass Kranj and continue in the direction of Jesenice. Once there you will see signs for Kranjska Gora. But be careful, if you miss the exit, youll end up driving through the 8km-long Karawanken Tunnel into Austria! After exiting in Jesenice, continue following the signs for Kranjska Gora. The short drive from there is entirely on a two-lane road. The whole journey should take around an hour.

Village Day in Ratee Ratee. At this festive summer

July
Russian Weekend Kranjska Gora. Every year, Kranjska
Gora pays tribute to the hundreds of Russian soldiers who perished in a merciless avalanche while constructing a road over the mountain Vri during WWI, with the highest representatives of both the Russian Federation and Slovenia in attendance. The past few years have seen performances by Cossacks, a Chamber Choir and Slovene Octet, and organisers never seem to run out of heart-warming ways to commemorate this tragic event.

event locals put on their regional national costumes, several of which are over one hundred years-old, and are more than happy to show them off to tourists and visitors. The presentation of how original Ratee slippers known as oki are produced is especially interesting. The eager villagers demonstrate the complete procedure of how wool is processed and oki are made.

September
Ascent of Vri Kranjska Gora. A cycling event which
makes the most of the colossal pass which winds its way 12km up into the Julian Alps from Kranjska Gora, the Assault on Vri brings together more than a thousand brave souls who are willing to take on the steep slope and many bends, the first Saturday every September.

Tourist Information
Kolodvorska 1c, tel. +386 (0)4 580 94 40, fax +386 (0)4 580 94 41, tic@kranjska-gora.eu, www.kranjska-gora.si. Q High season: Open 08:0019:00/20:00. Low season: Open 08:00-15:00, Sat 09:00-16:00. Closed Sun. Mojstrana, tel./fax +386 (0)4 589 13 20, info@ mojstrana.com, www.mojstrana.com. Q From 20 June to 30 Sept open Mon-Sat 09:00-19:00, Sun 09:0014:00. From 1 Oct to 19 June open Sat 09:00-13:00, Sun 09:00-12:00.

Kranjska Gora Tourist Information Centre

Arriving
By Train
There isnt a train that takes you all the way to Kranjska Gora from Ljubljana, but if you have a rail pass you want to take advantage of, it is possible to travel by train to Jesenice and then catch a bus the rest of the way.

July - August
Summer Under Mt Vitranc Kranjska Gora. Vitranc is one of the steepest slopes the country has to offer, and is located in the Kranjska Gora ski resort. It is at the foot of this slope, where you are most welcome to an assortment of spectacular weekly summer events including concerts, theatre and other delightful forms of entertainment. All this will take place in the square in front of the church from July to August. The aim of the events is to provide additional entertainment to long-stay guests in Kranjska Gora as well as locals.

Dovje-Mojstrana Tourist Office Savska 1,

Hike to the Tri-Border Ratee. Every second Sunday in September sees Slovenes (alliteration unintended there), Italians and Austrians all ascend the slopes of Pe to meet at the tri-border peak for various ceremonies and celebrations.

October
Lavtiar Days Kranjska Gora. This is a traditional annual event organised to take place in late autumn in memory of Josip Lavtiar, a local writer, composer, travel journalist and priest. The event is based on the ethic followed by Lavtiar throughout his life: to promote, to the best of ones ability, the development of the Zgornjesavska valley. The Lavtiar Days are devoted to two ideas: cultural events are organised to add to the many other events in the area, whilst the other goal is to promote dialogue on topical problems. The event is organised by a local cultural association named after Lavtiar. 2013

By Bus

Buses from Ljubljana leave once an hour throughout most of the day. The trip takes exactly two hours and lets you soak up the amazing Alpine scenery. The bus drops you off in Kranjska Gora, a five-minute walk from the main square. A one-way trip cost around 8.

Ratee-Planica Tourist Office Ratee 22, Ratee-Planica, tel./fax +386 (0)4 587 60 41, info@ratece-planica.si, www.ratece-planica.si. Q Open Mon & Thur 07:00-15:00, Wed 07:00-17:00, Fri 07:00-13:00. Closed Tues, Sat, Sun and holidays. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

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Kranjska Gora
Merrily to Kranjska Gora Kranjska Gora. An annual
meeting of Alpine folk music bands (narodno zabavni ansambli), not only from Slovenia but from Austria, Italy and Germany. Smiles abound, this is sure to be among the merriest of festivals, essential for getting into the rural party spirit.

Kranjska Gora
Where to stay
A massive range and capacity, just as well, given the thousands of guests who flock here both during the winter and summer seasons. If youre looking for luxury youll not be disappointed; several upmarket hotels offer lots of fancy facilities. The wealth in the area can (at least a small part) be attributed to the relentless influx of casino goers at weekends and during holidays. At the opposite end of the price spectrum there are two hostels, and plenty in between. The only things lacking are camp-sites, but with snow covering the valley for four months of the year, its not difficult to understand why.

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November - December
Running of the Parkeljni (Bogeymen) Podkoren.
This tradition spans the whole of Slovenia, and sees wild bogeymen run amok at the start of Advent. They can be appeased with sweet things or gifts of schnapps, but, as they say, dont get too close, because theyre gentle touch can leave black stains on your clothes!. In this corner of the country, the parkeljni also come from Austria and Italy, to wreak havoc.

Upmarket
Kompas P-2, Borovka 100, tel. +386 (0)4 588 44 77/+386 (0)4 589 21 00, fax +386 (0)4 588 44 79, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. From all the hotels that belong to the Hit Group in the region this is easily the best one. The hotel offers all the amenities you expect from a four-star hotel, including a swimming pool, saunas and a beautiful restaurant that specialises in Slovenian food. If thats not enough for you, you have free entrance to the Larix Wellness Centre and a very complete gym, both located close to the hotel. If you come with your significant other, make sure you ask for the romantic room where youll get, you guessed it, a water bed! Q 149 rooms (prices depend on occupancy). PTHARUGKDCW hhhh Larix P-3, Borovka 99, tel. +386 (0)4 588 44 77/+386 (0)4 588 41 00, fax +386 (0)4 588 44 70, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. An excellent hotel with first-rate facilities and a large casino, rooms overlook the ski resort, and the in-house restaurant offers some classic Slovenian dishes. In the back of the hotel, you can enjoy summer and winter nights along the Snena Plaa, or Snowy Beach, and enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains and ski slopes. At night, its a perfect romantic location under a clear and starry sky. During the day, you can select a Wellness programme if you feel like some pampering and even take advantage of the hotels own water park. Overall, Hotel Larix promises a cosy and restful holiday. Q 118 rooms. POTJHAFLG BKDXCW hhhh pik Jezerci 21, Gozd Martuljek, tel. +386 (0)4 587 71 00, fax +386 (0)4 588 44 79, info@hitholidays-kg. si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. Fully renovated in 2013, Hotel pik has already found the favour of countless guests, and is undoubtedly the current hot property in town. With both three- and four-star accommodation, a wellness centre and water park, it definitely appeals to many, including ourselves. Its supposedly sustainable character can in part be attested to by the use of local materials in its construction, and aesthetically unobtrusive appearance. There is a lot of natural light inside, including in its three conference halls (the largest accommodating up to 170 guests). pik is ideal for a relaxing break in aid of a special occasion. hhhh

December
New Years Celebration Kranjska Gora. What better way to see in the new year than to gather on the town square and dance to live music until midnight. Needless to say a drop of fine wine is bound to come into the equation!

December - January
Live Christmas Crib on Ice Mojstrana. Come Christmas-time, the nativity is performed amidst the frozen waterfalls of Mlaca Del in Mojstrana (near Kranjska Gora).

At 2864m the peak of Mt Triglav is Slovenias highest point, photo by Valentin tular courtesy of LTO Kranjska Gora for a small fee and make use of the sauna and solarium. You can even recuperate at the pool and wellness centre at the neighbouring hotel for no additional fee. The restaurant provides a satisfactory menu of international and Slovene dishes in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Head to the cocktail bar on the summer terrace for a romantic evening escape. Q 99 rooms, 6 family rooms. PTALGB KDX hhh tooth-check up all under one roof! Rooms are neat, tidy and modernly equipped and superbly priced all year round. The location is central without being too noisy, set only a hundred metres away from the swarms of people on the skiing resort and the main promenade. The on-site restaurant has a cheer ful and personal atmosphere. God forbid, youll get a tooth-ache during your stay, but the owner who is a qualified dentist has a well-equipped dentists surgery on location. QOpen 13:00 - 22:00. 12 rooms, 2 apartments (B&B 41-65, half board 56-79). PTJVGBKXS

Planica
Planica is actually busy all year, the village of Ratee undergoing a certain level of ongoing preparation, to be ready for its time to shine every March, and the onslaught of 50,000 people. Being amongst dramatic alpine peaks soaring over 2000m, its the only kind of setting worthy of such an internationally prestigious ski event. As such, records have been made and broken here since all the way back in 1934. Home to the annual FIS Ski Flying World Cup event, the backdrop of the valley here is magnificent. Awesome rugged peaks tower all around; formed by a glacier some 20,000 years ago. The jump itself comprises a fearsomely large and heart-stoppingly steep slope, stuff only for professional ski fliers, which has produced countless world records going all the way back to the 1960s. In 2005, the Norwegian Bjrn Einar Romren set a new world record of 239m, which stood for some six years before finally being broken by one of his fellow countryman in Norway in 2011.

Grand Hotel Prisank R-3/4, Borovka 93, tel. +386

(0)4 588 44 77/+386 (0)4 588 48 20, fax +386 (0)4 588 44 79, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg. si. This hotel provides guests with the comforts typical of fourstar hotels. Being only 100m from the skiing slopes and along the main promenade you have the best of both worlds. You can opt for rooms that suit your fancy; some balconies that look onto the mountains and the skii slopes, while others face the hustle and bustle of Kranjska Goras main promenade. A lovely buffet breakfast is included in the price. Q 110 rooms. PTJHAULBKXW hhhh

Apartments
Center Apartments Borovka 88a, tel. +386 (0)4
588 14 70, fax +386 (0)4 588 47 81, apartmaji@ intersport-bernik.com, www.apartment-kranjskagora. com. Being part of the Intersport Bernik agency, guests staying at one of the two apartments here get favourable discounts on ski rental. Located just 100m from the ski resort and cross-country ski trail, the Center Apartments are exactly that, in the centre! In the summertime they make a good base for active holidays, and when the days cycling, mountaineering or nordic walking is done, youre just a step away from the towns restaurants and bars. TJ6

Mid-Range
Norway is well-represented both at the competition itself and the after-parties, photo by YMB

Alpina P-4, Vitranka 12, tel. +386 (0)4 589 31 00/+386 (0)4 588 44 77, fax +386 (0)4 589 30 51, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. Perched 100m up the slope, this lovely alpine hotel is great for families who want the ski slopes and forest at their doorstep. All guests can rent bikes, play table tennis slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

64/+386 (0)41 671 980, fax +386 (0)4 588 18 59, hotel@hotel-kotnik.si, www.hotel-kotnik.si. Although undoubtedly high-quality, Kotnik retains a personal, homey touch. Its a bright yellow family-run establishment, also housing a restaurant and the oldest pizzeria in Gorenjska. We like that the staff describe themselves as kind and welcoming. The latter also applies to the rooms, with warm colours and plant-life, theres not a hint of cold minimalist chic. The amenities are well-taken care of as well, with SAT TV, wireless internet, a minibar and safe coming standard. Located on the busy high street in the centre of Kranjska Gora. Q 15 rooms (singles 55-65, doubles 70-90). PJALGBKXS hhhh

Kotnik S-3, Borovka 75, tel. +386 (0)4 588 15

Hia Aktivnega Oddiha (House of the Active Break) Borovka 88a, tel. +386 (0)31 65 81 71, fax

Budget
Mikli P-4, Vitranka 13, tel. +386 (0)4 588 16 35,
fax +386 (0)4 588 16 34, hotel@hotelmiklic.com, www.hotelmiklic.com. A place to sleep, eat and get a

+386 (0)45 88 47 81, apartmaji@intersport-bernik. com, www.apartment-kranjskagora.com. One of three apartment buildings offered by Intersport Bernik in the centre of Kranjska Gora, the inspirationally named House of the Active Break is attractive, newly built and themed according to the surrounding valleys, bodies of beautiful water and towering mountains, the latter naturally in the attic. The so-called multi-purpose room means that those looking to socialise, just hangout with their own crowd in a more open space, or have a small meeting, can do so in comfort. Also suitable for couples, or single travellers not on a tight budget. Q 28 beds. TJHA6LBW

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Kranjska Gora
Josip Vandot. A 5% discount can be yours, on the ski school, rental services, night sledding, or indeed after party drinks at the snack bar!

Kranjska Gora
Cafs
Caf Sport Point Borovka 93a, tel. +386 (0)4 588 48 82, fax +386 (0)45 88 48 81, kavarna@ sport-point.si, www.sport-point.si. If you need anything to get up on the slopes or trails, this caf bar has a shop that sells and rents boots, skis, snowboards and poles, and stocks the top brands. Its directly in the vicinity of the ski resort and behind the Hotel Larix, and it also offers a resting point for skiers. Usually, its always packed and busy during the winter period. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00. July, August open till 22:00. TYAULGBKW Kavarna London Borovka 93, tel. +386 (0)4 588 48 20, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg. si. London is grand, as is this caf whose inspiration was the English capital. Sink into one of the super-soft armchairs, indulge in a huge slice of cake, then read the newspaper or look out through full length windows upon the main street. Its perfect for cold and blustery winter afternoons, looking like your grannys living room, the front opens up to create a summer terrace too. Given that the London is attached to the classy Prisank Grand Hotel the prices remain surprisingly reasonable. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00. PTJRUILGBS Restavracija Vila Roza Dovje 127c, Mojstrana, tel. +386 (0)4 58 95 25 0, sonja.stanovic@telemach.net, www.villaroza.com. The pink villa restaurant is not half as gaudy as it sounds. Actually subtle and tasteful, it has little touches of pink: candles, fresh roses and tablecloths, not a Barbie doll anywhere to be seen! And the cuisine, well, its food is fit for a critic, easily some of the best you can get in Kranjska Gora. Attention to detail continues throughout, with lots of marble, teak wood and an appropriately romantic soundtrack. The place to bring your girlfriend, prospective wife, or indeed the kids (for the special kids menu). Located 6km east of Kranjska Gora, beside the main road. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. Closed Wed. PALBW

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International
588 48 36, fax +386 (0)4 588 44 70, info@hitholidayskg.si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. Otarija is a fabulous hangout both day and night. It is situated directly on the Snena Plaa, or Snowy Beach, and its a perfect retreat after being out on the slopes all day. The waiters offer refreshments and hot meals around the clock. The place is always buzzing with ski school students, children playing at the playground and also pension guests at the inn itself, so the place barely sleeps. On a warm summers day, people sit out on the terrace and make their own picnic and frequently enough you can catch some entertainers, shows or concerts. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00. PTA6ULEGBKXS

Gostilna Otarija R-3/4, Borovka 93, tel. +386 (0)4

Penzion Lipa Koroka 14, tel. +386 (0)4 582 00 00, info@penzion-lipa.si, www.penzion-lipa.si. The first eatery you see when stepping off a bus in Kranjska Gora, Penzion Lipa is a great place to get a quick, piping-hot pizza. The dining area is divided into two floors, with the pizzeria in the bright atrium on the ground floor and the restaurant downstairs. The cuisine is a combination of French, Italian and Slovene, and the specialty of the house is the four- to five-course degustation menu, which features whatever meat and fish is freshest at the time. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. AGK
The beautiful Jasna Lake is just one of the many amazing natural sights around Kranjska Gora, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia 26, info@hisaneza.si, www.hisaneza.si. Experience the wonders of the Julian Alps with invigorating activities such as mountain biking, horse riding, rafting, and much more. To make things easier and even more delightful, thoughtfully furnished Hia Nea offers various services, making your stay fall nothing short of excellent. A horse-drawn carriage ride through Kranjska Gora, masseurs and masseuses available, child care, just to name a few. With all this (and much more) available, you are sure to forget your troubles! Q 5 apartments, 110-180. Discounts available outside of the high season. PTJALDW

Hia Nea Smerinje 4, tel./fax +386 (0)83 87 87

Where to eat
Traditional food in these parts is hearty, Austrian-style fare. Sausages and thick slabs of pork are usually served with sauerkraut and potatoes with pancakes or apple strudel for dessert. In order to brace yourself before heading out into the cold, it isnt unusual to have a strong drink to finish off your meal. For the true Gorenjska experience, try the blueberry brandy locals call borovnievec.

Restavracija Kotnik Borovka 75, tel. +386 (0)4 58 81 564/+386 (0)41 671 980, restavracija@hotelkotnik.si, hotel-kotnik.si. Somewhat strange is their policy of keeping restaurant and pizzeria separate, the latter being sidelined to the wooden-cabin extension. Otherwise this warm and welcoming inn provides good fresh fare in rustic surroundings, although we dont know what to make of the unconventionally served Goulash; on a plate with a knife and fork! On the plus side it has a menu in English, which is notably only common in the town centre. Also good are the rooms, from an agreeable 34 per person. Q Pizzeria open 12:0023:00, Restaurant open 11:00-22:00. PJAUBW

Chinese
ang Hai T-2, Naselje Slavka erneta 34, tel. +386
(0)45 88 13 46, info@sanghai-restavracija.com, www. sanghai-restavracija.com. The one and only Chinese Restaurant in Kranjska Gora features an array of standard dishes at premium prices. Its hidden within the shopping complex on Slavka erneta Square, but you cant miss it due to its conventional Chinese dcor: bamboo, china dolls, dragons and hanging lanterns. The staff are extremely polite, and surprisingly good speak English well, unlike some Chinese establishments. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. PJAULGKS

Pizza
Pizzeria Napoli Borovka 93, tel. +386 (0)4 588 48
20, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. This small pizzeria, adjoined to the Hotel Prisank serves up cheap and tasty Italian food. Its got a lovely little terrace which integrates itself with several other small cafs and bars along the main promenade. The pizzas (prepared in a wood-fired oven), pastas and salads are consistently well-prepared and of high-quality. You might wish to continue your evening in the nearby Pub Legende or move to a nice cup of coffee at Kavarna London. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. PTJAULGB

Smuie Apartments Borovka 88a, tel. +386 (0)45

88 14 70/+386 (0)45 88 47 81, apartmaji@intersportbernik.com, www.apartment-kranjskagora.com. Groups wanting to stay together for a reasonable price are well-suited to this pair of large apartments by the Dolenev Rut ski lift, right on the slopes. Each apartment has three bedrooms, a spacious living room and bathroom, with free use of the barbecue in the summer. Those on a budget will be pleased to hear about the generous 40% discount on bike rental (plus various others connected with the owner, Intersport), the apartments being right on the cycle main route to Ratee, Planica, Tarvisio (IT) and the Belopeka lakes. Book early for winter ski holidays here. Q 15-20 per person. TJA6LW

Fast food
328, pekarna-planika.si. Always welcome when the midmorning munchies comes a calling, the humble bakery can also be found in Kranjska Gora. Be it fresh bread, pastries, or a slice of cake, theres only a stroll down Kranjska Goras main thoroughfare required to fill that hole.QOpen 06:30 - 14:30, Sat 06:30 - 12:00, Sun 07:00 - 12:00.

Slovenian
Gostilna Frida Ratee 97a, Ratee-Planica, tel. +386 (0)4 587 60 51, info@gostilnafrida.com, www.gostilnafrida.com. This large restaurant lies on the main road between Planica and Italy (a few kilometres west of Kranjska Gora). The deserted Italian and Austrian borders are merely de jure boundaries these days, the whole area a heady mix of Slavic, Germanic and Romanic influences and people. Fittingly the menu we got was in Slovene, German and Italian, but not English. The fusion of influences continues with the cuisine and the building itself; its also a pizzeria, and the dcor inside is purely alpine. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. PUN 2013

Pekarna Planika Borovka 54, tel. +386 (0)51 383

Vitranc Apartments Borovka 93, tel. +386 (0)4 588 48 20/+386 (0)4 588 44 77, fax +386 (0)4 588 44 79, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. A sizeable and attractive block of holiday apartments located just 50m from the ski slopes, the typical alpine-looking Vitranc is a good option for those wanting to be in the thick of the action. Simple and clean, the accommodation is classed as three star, and you get your own kitchen with refrigerator, plus the apartments (sleeping up to four) have balconies. Slovenian Alps

Snack Bar Lani Kekec Smerinje 11, tel. +386 (0)41 36 72 11, janez.zlebir@gmail.com. Part of the Kekec ski school, Lani Kekec (Hungry Kekec) is a snack bar of the same theme, namely the local boy hero Kekec, created by slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

A typical dish of the region, Rateki krapi are delicious ravioli-like dumplings made from potato dough and stuffed with a variety of either savoury or sweet fillings, photo courtesy of BTB

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Kekec
Gostilna pri erjavu Ratee 39, tel. +386 (0)4 587 60 26, janja.dolhar@telemach.net, www.prizerjavu.si. Gorishly quirky would be an appropriate description of this alpine guest house. The walls of the bar room are adorned with figurines in traditional dress, the horns of mountain goats and deer, fish and stuffed birds. The restaurant is cosy with a wide choice and the bar is well stocked.They have six rooms available, starting at a pretty cheap 19.50 per person. Positioned in the village of Ratee, very close to Planica. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Breakfast from 08:00. AUB

Kranjska Gora
What to see
By virtue of the fact that Kranjska Gora borders Triglav National Park and is close to heart of the Julian Alps, there is incredible and abundant natural beauty all around it. Whether youre looking for snow capped peaks and slopes in the winter, or unspoiled alpine lakes and lush forest in the summer, the wonderful sights around Kranjska Gora will amaze and enchant.

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Slovenian Alpine Museum


(0)8 380 67 30, info@planinskimuzej.si, www. planinskimuzej.si. Perhaps the most popular passtime in Slovenia of course deserves to be documented and presented in museum fashion, the tradition of mountaineering finding its place in the hometown of many famous national sportsmen and sportswomen, Mojstrana. Housed in a building which performs the unusual feat of combining modern architecture with a natural theme (its shaped like a huge rock), youll find an old mountaineering equipment on display, safety and rescue equipment, an interactive display on protected mountain flora, legends, and also a storm simulator - in which your senses are bombarded while sitting in a mock mountain hut. There is a lot of information in English (including the interactive displays), and also up to date information on weather conditions/open mountain huts in Triglav National Park. Q Open 09:00-19:00 (MaySept), 09:00-17:00 (Oct-Apr). Admission 6 for adults, 3.60 children, 13 families. architectural element with the typical farmhouse layout of living room with small room, hall with black kitchen and granary. Notable original features include the front doors, pantry and black kitchen doors, a fresco of St Florian and a pretty sundial on the southern wall. Situated near the Planica ski jump. Q Open Tues-Sat 10:00-18:00 (May-Oct), 10:00-16:00 (Nov-Apr). Closed Sun-Mon and holidays. Admission 2.50 for adults, 2 children, 6 families.

Slovenian Alpine Museum (Slovenski Planinski Muzej) Triglavska 49, Mojstrana, tel. +386

Culture
Ambroi House Mojstrana. The once mighty house of renowned beekeeper Mihael Ambroi (1864-1904) certainly has historical value. A long structure which incorporated a barn and shed, bridge and mill, an arch connecting the two parts; there are decorated tiles with the places the said beekeeper gained international repute. Have a look at the house, reaching it by heading towards the Vrata valley from the junction in the middle of Mojstrana.
Borovka 76, Kranjska Gora, tel. +386 (0)45 80 94 40. Said to have been built in the earliest days of Kranjska Gora, the original church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is only attested by the original Romanesque-style bell tower. The late Gothic period saw the rest of the existing built (1510), in which can be seen a Carinthian influence.

Nightlife
A sleepy village-like vibe is inevitable for about half the year here. However, in ski season from December to March, and in July and August, its much more lively and happening. After an active day outdoors, be it hiking Triglav in summer or skiing in winter, Kranjska Gora offers plenty of options in the compact centre. Note that most of the lively venues line Borovka Cesta and Tiarjeva Ulica.

Photo by Klemen Griar courtesy of LTO Kranjska Gora The best known Slovenian childrens hero happens to be a shepherd boy, whose cunning and quest for justice in the mountains around Kranjska Gora gets him into all kinds of problems, but whose bravery and intelligence get him safely out of. Kekec (pronounced: kay-kats) runs into various other characters of the wilderness on his adventures, originally in several books (1918-1924) by the Slovene writer and poet, Josip Vandot, and later three films (1951, 1963 and 1968). While in Kranjska Gora, children can take a two hour adventure into the mountains, meeting the boy and his companions, including the wicked Bedanc (an evil poacher), mysterious wild mountain woman Pehta, gentle Mojca and Kekecs friend, a scared boy named Role, not to mention the goodie Brincelj, whose drawbridge trap set for Bedanc is the subject of much humour. The trip takes place at 16:00 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday (and on Sunday at 10:00) in July and August, the Bedanc bus leaving from the Julijana tourist agency, who you should contact for bookings (+386 51 62 37 01). Otherwise, theres always the Kekec Festival in June (see events), when the whole town goes Kekec crazy. Just remember, if you cant find him, you just need to shout louder: Keee- keeeeeeec!

Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Pubs
Pub Legende R-3/4, Borovka 93, tel. +386 (0)4588
44 27, info@hitholidays-kg.si, www.hitholidays-kg.si. The attention to detail in this English themed pub is impressive. Youll find regal old brass lamps, a newspaper rack, two English billiards tables and an imposingly large London clock behind the bar. Theres even an electronic dartboard in one corner of this spacious establishment. They have a large selection of reasonably priced beer. Situated downstairs in the same block as Kavarna London. QOpen 17:00 - 02:00. PJULEGW

Kajnk House (Kajnkova Hia) Ratee 43, RateePlanica, tel. +386 (0)4 587 61 48, www.gornjesavskimuzej.si. The former residence of a moderately well off farm, the Kajnk House underwent a long renovation which ended in 2004 and turned it into a preserved 19th-century

Vopa Pub R-3, Borovka 92, tel. +386 (0)41 840 806, vopa.pub@gmail.com. The place to party in Kranjska Gora. Open until the wee hours at weekends during ski season, this pub-disco combo has earned its reputation for being the best place to shake it till dawn after a day on the slopes. The tiny disco has cheap drinks, an indoor smoking room and plays different styles of music every night, with live bands on Fridays. In the pub, skiers taking a break sit at large picnic-style tables while couples reading newspapers relax in comfortable armchairs. QOpen 07:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 07:00 - 03:00. PJAULBW

Gostilna Joica Zgornje Rute 51, Gozd Martuljek, tel. +386 (0)4 588 01 26/+386 (0)41 62 05 25, info@ gostilnajozica.si, www.gostilna-jozica.si. This maze of an eatery (also with rooms available) is typically Slovenian. Conventional artefacts hang from the ceiling and walls, including dried sweet-corns and wooden wine barrels. Drink a coffee or beer on the indoor terrace at the front, or meander through several pine clad rooms to discover an open, south-facing terrace. The menu comprises a wide range of meat and fish dishes, and they also serve massive rustic pizzas (even if you order a small), to eat-in or take away. Located 3km east of Kranjska Gora. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00. TABW Gostilna pri Rudiju Log 12b, tel. +386 (0)4 58 85 74 0. The atmosphere of an evening is positively jovial; it attracts big groups of merry locals for dinner, the huge platters look sumptuous. Theres the customary (in these parts) ski memorabilia hanging from the walls and ceiling, including autographed portraits and skis of Slovenian winter-sports heroes. The menus pretty standard; entree, fish or meat with or without sauce, potatoes etc. and a selection of desserts. By the main road on the eastern outskirts of Kranjska Gora. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Tue. AUB Slovenian Alps

Casinos
Casino Korona S/T-4, Vrika 23, tel. +386 (0)4 587
80 00, fax +386 (0)4 588 13 22, marketing.korona@hit. si, www.hit.si. The choice of casinos in the town is limited to two main establishments, which are wildly popular with Italian tourists. Korona is the only casino in Kranjska Gora where you can play live table games. It also has slot machines, bingo every evening, a poker room and concerts/events every Friday and Saturday. Q Free admission. POAG

Casino Larix Borovka 99, tel. +386 (0)45 88 47 18, fax +386 (0)45 88 47 1, info@casino-larix.com, www. casino-larix.com. A synonym for hospitality and entertainment, if you like gambling you can do so at Larix 24 hours a day every day of the year. With 184 slot machines, two electronic roulette games, both mega- and mini-bingo and regular prize contests theres always something new to try. Sporting events are shown, and when it all becomes too much, theres the piano bar to forget your losses or celebrate your winnings, the likes of Diana Ross adding to a list of well known Slovene musicians to have graced the place with their presence. A slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

The Slovenian Alpine Museum in Mojstrana is a must-see for mountain enthusiasts, photo courtesy of LTO Kranjska Gora

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Kranjska Gora
Monument of Jakob Alja Not only a Roman Catholic
priest, but a composer and mountaineer, the achievements of Jakob Alja place the man firmly in the history of the Slovene people as a key figure. His most notable namesake is the tower, Aljaev Stolp, on top of the countrys highest mountain, Triglav. Not only that, but many mountain huts across the Julian Alps can be attributed to him, helping to cultivate a national love for hiking which can be seen to this day. Triglav as a centrepiece of the Slovene identity comes partly from his composition of the poem, Oj Triglav, moj dom (Oh Triglav, my home), and Alja was responsible for a system of marked alpine paths. A statue of him gazing in awe and respect at the mountains stands imposingly in his native Dovje, right beside the main Kranjska GoraJesenice road.

Kranjska Gora
Liznjek House (Liznjekova Hia) Borovka 63,
Kranjska Gora, tel. +386 (0)4 588 19 99, www.gornjesavskimuzej.si. Incredibly important in rural architectural terms, Liznjekova House was at the cutting edge in its time, and is preserved as an ethnographic museum in the centre of Kranjska Gora. More than 300 years-old, the wooden part dates back to the second half of the 17th century, a Baroque brick room added during the 18th century. Later many others followed the farmhouses layout; barn in the cellar, a brick ground floor and wooden living room, black kitchen, two small bedrooms, a hall and a heavy wooden pillar over the entrance. Once an inn, not much has been changed besides the addition of ground floor windows, the space also housing a permanent exhibition of the Kekec childrens stories author, Josip Vandot. Q Open Tues-Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun 10:00-17:00 (May-Oct), 09:30-16:00 and 10:00-16:00 (Nov-Apr). Closed Mon. Admission 2.50 for adults, 1.70 children, 6 families.

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Triglav National Park


Triglav National Park, the only one of its kind in Slovenia, covers only 4% o f t h e l a n d m a s s, yet what a spectacular proportion it is. Locate d i n t h e s o u t h e a s tern section of the Alps, the Eastern Julian Alps s t re tc h a c ros s m u c h of northwestern Slovenia, bordering Austria to the nor th and Italy to the west. The parks breathtaking landscape, including jagged peaks, expansive spruce forest, lush valleys and harmonious ecosystem has all been protected since the Alpine Conservation Park was founded back in 1924. Th e c e n t re pi e c e a n d inspiration for its name is Mount Triglav, the highest in Slovenia (2864 metres). The mountain is the symbol of Slovenia (it appears in the coat of arms), and the countrys flag was flown here on June 26th, 1991, the day Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The name, Triglav, means three-headed, as it looks to have three peaks when seen from the Bohinj valley. The first recorded ascent of Triglav was made on 26 August 1778, by Luka Koroec, Matija Kos, tefan Roi and Lovrenc Willomitzer, on the initiative of baron Sigismund Zois. Its height was first measured in 1808 by Valentin Stani. At the top of the mountain stands

Cycling
Our preferred mode of exploration, cycling is perhaps the best way to see the most in the Kranjska Gora and Triglav National Park area. Aside from the highest mountain pass in Slovenia, Vri, which will surely not escape serious bike lovers, there is a wonderful well kept cycle path from Zgornja Radovna (where the Pocar homestead lies) to Gorje, via which you can visit Bled lake. One of Slovenias few fully paved cycling paths runs the length of the valley from Jesenice to Ratee, passing Kranjska Gora. Built where a disused railway used to be, it is relatively flat and so ideal for families, allowing them to see beautiful natural attractions on the way such as Zelenci Nature Reserve (the source of Slovenias longest river). In fact, there are 200km of cycling tracks around Kranjska Gora, which all feature in a map available at local tourist information centres. For downhill enthusiasts theres the bike park with its jumps, tables and seesaws, accessible via the Vitranc 1 ski lift. Of course, bike rental is available at numerous places in town, including sports shops and many accommodation provider.

Pocar Homestead (Pocarjeva Domaija) Zgornja Radovna 25, Mojstrana. Those who romanticise the rustic charm of the countryside, present company included, will be thrilled to see one of the oldest homesteads in Triglav National Park, located in a spectacular valley. Now open as a museum, a permanent exhibition and guide introduces visitors to the work and architecture, and story (respectively) of the rural locals, the wonderful house also playing host to cultural events in the summertime. Rarely for homesteads, it has regular opening hours (weekends in summer) so you dont need to book in advance, although that is possible outside opening hours. QOpen , Fri, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 18:00 (summer). Open Sat-Sun and holidays from 29 June to 1 Sept from 11:00-18:00. Guided visits for groups can be arranged in advance. Russian Chapel (Ruska Kapelica) Vri. The Russian Chapel (Ruska Kapelica) was built to honour Russian prisoners of war who died here on the road to the Vri pass during the First World War. It was a strategic point for the Austrians, providing access (and arms) to the Soa Front. While keeping the road clear of snow an avalanche buried the soldiers, and ten guards. The small but beautiful structure is in the style of a traditional Russian church, situated 7km from Kranjska Gora, on the left just after a right-hand hairpin bend. pan House (panova hia) Mojstrana. Formerly a
large farm, the pan residence shows little indication these days of its once powerful role in the village. The Baroque frescos on its faade, sun dial and ornaments, date from 1747. stood here from the 11th century, which took its present form in the mid-17th century. Legend has it that the Apostles of the Slavs rested here en-route to Rome with the bones of the churchs namesake saint.

Photo courtesy of LTO Kranjska Gora a tiny metal structure, the Alja Tower. A storm shelter for climbers, it is named after Jakob Alja, a priest who bought the land at the Triglav peak for a single Austro-Hungarian florin from the then municipality of Dovje in 1895. Triglav today attracts skiers in winter (to nearby Vogel) and climbers in summer. The climb to the summit is not all that hard, but it is long. For most amateur climbers its a two-day ascent to the top, and requires an overnight stay in a mountain cabin. In short, its a special piece of nature, well worth visiting.

Nature
rna Voda Waterfall Part of a series of waterfalls in
Tamar, deeper into the valley from Planica, the rna voda falls spring from the rock face under the Slemenova pica mountain (1909m). The largest drop is 70m, below which the water suddenly disappears. Tamar is 5.5km from Ratee, and the falls are just 550m from the mountain hut, so suitable for families.

St Clements Church Mojstrana. A small Roman chapel

the parish church of Dovje was moved to the edge of the village after the one in the centre collapsed several times. The current neo-renaissance structure dates from 1829, and houses a well preserved fresco of the crucifixion. Jakob Alja, the local patron and pioneer was based here, and many Triglav mountaineers from around Europe are buried here.

St Michaels Church Dovje. According to local legend,

The Former merc Inn Mojstrana. Now fully restored,


in its heyday the merc inn was legendary in these parts. It was here that the story of the golden-horned mountain goat (Zlatorog) was penned. The famous Italian mountaineer and author of several books on the Slovenian Alps, Julius Kugy, was also a guest. The house was first built out of wood by the Bavarian merc, and these days frescos of St Mary of Viarje, St Florian and St Michael still adorn the walls.

Jasna Lake They say a picture tells a thousand words, in which case, seeing the magnificent Jasna lake in reality must tell a million. Purity, colour, serenity, clarity do not go any way to describing the setting, the mixed spruce and deciduous covered slopes in the near-distance giving way to soaring rocky peaks in the dramatic background. This paradise is a quick escape from Kranjska Gora, only a 20 minute walk up the winding road toward Vri. You are greeted at the lakes shore by the gruff face of the zlatorog (mountain goat), looking contentedly northwards from his rock. While away an hour on one of the benches lining the shore, then get a drink in one of the nearby bars and soak up that view for even longer. Martuljek Waterfalls (Martuljki Slapovi) By virtue
of an excellent beauty to effort ratio, ie stunning scenery with relatively easy accessibility, the site of the Martuljek waterfalls is one of Kranjska Goras more popular. Several

falls run through a picturesque gorge, the Upper Martuljek waterfall cascading 110m down a cliff face, and later down a 50m drop, the Lower Martuljek waterfall. The spectacular Martuljek or pik dramatically overlooks the spectacle, which is now all part of Triglav National Park. To reach the falls, head from the village of Gozd Martuljek near Kranjska Gora, take either the direct gorge path (can be dangerous because of falling rocks), or the path via Planina Jesenje, where you can stop for lunch at the alpine farmhouse (Brunarica Pri Ingotu) followed by a left turn and steep 5-minute walk down to the lower Martuljek waterfall.

Nadia Waterfall (Slap Nadia) The first source of

the Sava Dolinka river springs from a crack in the rock here at Tamar, under the Zadnja Ponca mountain. With only a 300m surface course, the mountain stream then passes underground to reemerge at Zelenci near Ratee. Located near the Tamar mountain hut. waterfall in one of the most spectacular valleys in Slovenia (Vrata), the Perinik falls actually include one drop of 16m and then the main 52m descent, a spectacular spray from a point in the rock face, best seen during the spring snow-melt. Located deep in the valley from the main road at Mojstrana, under the north wall of Triglav.

Perinik Waterfall (Slap Perinik) A magnificent

Photo by Iztok No, courtesy of LTO Kranjska Gora

Slovenian Alps

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Kranjska Gora
Hiking
Probably the most popular outdoor activity you can do around Kranjska Gora. There are 121km of marked paths in the adjoining valleys, namely Planica, Pinica and Krnica, and walks range from easy strolls to full blown hikes (some with equipment necessary). The tourist office, as always, is a good starting point, where you can pick up a map with 20 marked trails, which meander in and out of national park territory. Paths starting in Kranjska Gora include Srednji Vrh (960m), above Gozd Martuljek; towards Podkoren through the Stan valley; the Krnica valley via the winding road towards Vri, turning left over the Pinica river after the second bridge and traversing the foothills of Prisank and Razor - mighty peaks; and from the Vitranc chairlift a footpath along the winter cross-country ski track and through forest brings you to an alpine hut in Tamar. And then there are the magnificent valleys of Vrata, Kot and Krma so be discovered. its a must see. Ajdovska Deklica (Buckwheat Girl), Ruska Kapelica (The Russian Chapel) and Prisank mountain window are all sights to be seen on the way. Indeed it is known as Ruska Cesta, having been built by Russian prisoners of war to supply the Soa Front during WWI. There are numerous marked paths accessible from the pass, leading to the high peaks in the vicinity. overlooking the sleepy former agricultural villages. Some of the best views of the Martuljek mountain range can be had from Srednji Vrh, on the opposite slope.

Kranjska Gora
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Zelenci This nature reserve is home of the serene and pristine source of the Sava Dolinka river, tributary to the longest in Slovenia, the Sava. However, its not the original source, there is a secret lurking beneath the pure green waters. If you look closely, you will see what look like little volcanoes on the bed of the lake. Dont be alarmed, this is just water seeping out from the Nadia underground stream, which comes from the Planica valley. A mere 5-6C all year round, its not warm as you might have been expecting. The immediate surroundings are covered in woods, long reeds and grass, and are home to such fauna as the whiskered bat and sand lizard, thankfully neither of which preys on tourists. The flora is also diverse; early summer when the white blossoms reach full bloom is a good time to visit. Having walked for about seven minutes from the main Kranjska Gora-Planica road to get here, its convenient yet a little noisy, making early morning a favourable time to fully experience the mystique of this gem.

Podkoren Idyllic and serene, Podkoren is almost a world away from its larger neighbour, Kranjska Gora. Actually older than the latter, Koren was important for its Medieval road. Indeed Korensko sedlo (saddle) was, until the completion of the Karavanke tunnel in 1990, the main transport route between central and northern Europe. Now it represents an attractive retreat from the bustle of Kranjska Gora, unless its ski world cup weekend that is! Radovna A 20km valley connected to two adjacent valleys, Kot and Krma, Radovna is also the name for the local river and village, where you can find the 500 year old Gogal linden tree, which is 25 metres tall. You can also pay a visit the Pocar farm here, and do a cycling trip to Bled. Ratee Best known for the adjacent Planica and one of the
largest ski jumping hills in the world, the village of Ratee is the last on the road to the Italian border, in fact being located by the tri-border (also with Austria). To the south, the source of the Sava Dolinka river springs out as the Nadia waterfall at Tamar. Ratee is one of the coldest places in Slovenia, with harsh alpine winters, but plenty of sunny days on which to enjoy walks across the pastures and through the forests. Some of the first official records in the Slovene language originate here, copies of which are on display at the church of St. Toma (the originals being in Klagenfurt).

Photo courtesy of BTB At heart, Kranjska Gora was and is essentially a ski town. The winter season sees the town at its height, bustling with winter sports enthusiasts from Slovenia and abroad. The slopes are spread along the Vitranc mountain ridge from Kranjska Gora all the way to Planica (800-1215m), and are served by 5 chairlifts and 13 drag lifts. Aside from a range of Alpine ski slopes, including the World Cup run at Podkoren, cross-country skiers can take advantage of a beautiful trail, made where the train tracks used to lie, at the bottom of the valley. Ever popular with trendy snowboarders, the boardpark here features enough carved up piste, jumps and grinding rails to satisfy the needs of the most chronic carvaholics and those who prize showing off their slash-and-burn turns. The best part is, theres no long gondola ride to get access to the slopes in Kranjska Gora, with just a snow beach between you and the piste when you roll out of bed in the morning. as well as diving courses and van rental. There are also three apartment houses in Kranjska Gora managed by Bernik (see accommodation).

For Kids
Buckwheat Girl (Ajdovska Deklica) One of the best
known local legends goes like this: a kind-hearted local girl used to lead mountaineers and travellers through winter storms, safely over the mountains to Trenta. The twist is that she was also a Pagan deity, Sojenica, who foretold the fortunes of newborns. A boy from Trenta was prophesised as a formidable hunter (common on the Soa side of the mountains, as opposed to the farmers in Zgornjosavje), who would later go on to kill a sacred chamois known as the Goldhorn (or Zlatorog in Slovene). She was damned and cursed, upon her return to Prisank hill having been turned to stone. Her terrified face is best seen from Potarska Koa, a mountain hut on Vri.

Sport & Activities


Courtesy of the dramatic mountainous terrain, there are numerous sports opportunities to be found in and around Kranjska Gora. Should you decide to make the town your base, you can (and probably should) venture onto the peaks for summertime hiking, climbing or cycling - and wintertime skiing or boarding (checkout the local board-park). For watersports, the upper part of the Sava river, or the nearby Soa (over Vri), offer great opportunities. Fishing permits are available at the tourist office and you can take up to three home for dinner. Theres also a golf course near Kranjska Gora. So active holidays are something of a must here, and probably the reason you came in the first place! Check out further descriptions of the most popular of Kranjska Goras outdoor pursuits below.

Around Kranjska Gora


Photo by Bobo courtesy of LTO Kranjska Gora

is a window in the rock, through which the sky is visible, but from that long distance it doesnt look as mighty is it is close up. A massive 80m by 40m, it is a matter of speculation as to the origin of the hole, though a landslide and puncturing of a weak point in the rock seem feasible. Known as both Prisank and Prisojnik.

Prisank Mountain Window Visible from the Vri road

Recurrent Lake of Ledine Not far from Ratee and Planica, there is an attractive recurrent lake. Full of water in autumn and spring (from the Sava Dolinka and Nadia rivers), with the warm summer air it evaporates, leaving just a patch of grass for the local farmers to mow. In winter the lake freezes over. Vri Where to start, well the word epic springs to mind, with 50 hairpin bends making up this high mountain pass between Upper Carniola and the Trenta valley. Its the highest in Slovenia, and the Eastern Julian Alps, reaching 1611m, with five mountain huts along the way. Whether you cycle it, offering the best views and rewarding descent, or go by car, Slovenian Alps

Dovje and Mojstrana Two villages on opposing sides of the Sava Dolinka river, Dovje and Mojstrana are important agricultural and (formerly) industrial sites, respectively. The latter developed in the 14th century around the growing mining and iron industry, the former has a thousand year history of agriculture, its terraced fields sitting under the towering cliffs and slopes of the Karavanke mountains. Three spectacular valleys lead from Mojstrana into the Julian Alps: Krma (good access to Triglav and good for ski tours), Kot (shaded serenity) and Vrata (sheer beauty and the sheer northern wall of Triglav). Indeed, the area is a great starting point for exploring. Both the Kredarica and and Vrata mountain lodges were built under the famous Jakob Alja around the turn of the 20th century. Also a composer and poet, the said man was responsible for the tower on top of Triglav, and his monument can be seen from the main road between the two villages. Located some 15km east of Kranjska Gora, on the main road to Jesenice (10km away).
few kilometres east of Kranjska Gora comprise interesting stories of Carinthian herdsmen and pilgrims on their way to Viarje. At the end of the First World War, there were 19 mills and 4 sawmills in Rute. At that point, Gozd Martuljek was renamed as such. Nowadays they can serve as the starting point for hiking (theres also a nearby waterfall), or picturesque destinations in themselves, the Martuljek and pik peaks

Agencies
1005 Smerinje 11, tel. +386 (0)41 36 72 11, janez.zlebir@gmail.com. Part of the Kekec complex, well if you count a ski school, equipment rental place, night sledding organiser and snack bar sporting the boys name as such! Extreme Outdoor Adventures Borovka 95, tel./fax +386 (0)42 50 53 59, tel. +386 (0)31 26 12 63, exo@ siol.net, www.exo-adventures.com. An agency in the centre of Kranjska Gora, focussing on the those sports with a little bit more adrenaline involved, namely: trekking, horse riding, hunt safari, paintball, sailing, alpine biking, sledding. Plus they organise a cross-country ski school, courses and workshops, and mini bus rental. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00. Intersport Bernik Borovka 88a, tel. +386 (0)4 588 47 80, fax +386 (0)4 588 47 81, info@intersportbernik.com, www.intersport-bernik.com. Specialists for ski related services in the winter, be it equipment rental, servicing or skiing lessons, Bernik does it all. The summer programme includes packages combining cycling (with bike rental) and rafting, the adrenaline park or summer toboggan, slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Julijana Turizem Borovka 93b, tel. +386 (0)45 88

13 25/+386 (0)41 62 37 01, fax +386 (0)45 82 03 18, julijanaturizem@gmail.com, www.julijana.info. Established just as Slovenia gained independence, in 1991, Julijana is one of the best dedicated sports agencies in Kranjska Gora. Aside from Kekec land, a fairytale theme park in honour of the so-named childrens national hero, they organise ski tours, sledding, rafting, trips by torches, mountain biking, mountaineering and even offer a snow taxi service (presumably featuring icy wind in your face at no extra charge). Picture hunts are also conducted, courtesy of the photogenic surroundings. Located in the centre.

Gozd Martuljek and Srednji Vrh Two settlements a

Kofler Sport Kurirska Pot 20, tel. +386 (0)41 60 82 97/+386 (0)31 36 49 80, info@kofler-sport.si, www. kofler-sport.si. A Mojstrana based outdoor sports agency, offering summertime activities including sport climbing, guided mountaineering, downhill mountainbiking, watersports; and in the winter all manner of ski-related activities, sledding and ice climbing. Theres a special childrens program, and additional services such as climbing equipment rental and ski servicing are offered. 2013

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Kekec story baddie) is a 70m chute on air cushions. Both are guaranteed to keep your kids satisfied (or hyperactive) all afternoon.

TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK


In the Kingdom of the Goldenhorn
Shopping
Duty free and luxury
Kompas Shop Podkoren 50a, MMP Korensko Sedlo, tel. +386 (0)4 58 81 19 6, ks_koren@kompas-mts.si, www. kompas-mts.si. These two border stores at Korensko Sedlo (Austrian border) and near Ratee (Italian) are a honey-pot for citizens of the neighbouring European states. Predominantly they come for cheaper (albeit to a lesser extent these days) cigarettes. Alcohol and other duty free type commodities are also on sale: perfume, jewellery, chocolate, luggage, toys and home-wares. Both shops, and indeed borders, are conveniently only a 20-25 minute drive from Kranjska Gora. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. PAL

magnificent Triglav glacier - also called the Zeleni Sneg (Green snow) by the locals - the highest peaks take your breath away. Hidden between are typical high-mountain karstic phenomena and a subterranean world with over 600 caves discovered to date. Heres also the north face of Triglav, the second highest in the Julian Alps, and a number of natural windows, the largest being in Prisank (2,547 m) together with the famous Ajdovska Deklica rock formation that resembles the face of a young woman. The park has a wealth of plant species: indigenous alpine flowers, the remains of virgin forests, larches over a millennium old, the most southern swamplands in Europe, a number of wetlands It is also the habitat of numerous animal species, such as chamois, mountain goat, golden eagle, wildcat, western capercaillie, hazel grouse, Tengmalms owl... Cultural features: The architecture of rock and timber In the park area, the architecture of rock and timer join together, with over 300 units of real-estate cultural heritage. It has 25 settlements, each with distinctive characteristics

Art & Souvenirs


322 518/+386 (0)41 790 292, fax +386 (0)4588 20 67, radman.ivica@siol.net. Art enthusiasts can browse through a tasteful selection of Slovenian art in this small, but quality shop and gallery, as well as an interesting selection of prints, souvenirs, antiques, gifts and memorabilia. QOpen 09:00 - 12:00 & 15:00 - 19:00.

Shop and Gallery Kekec Borovka 82, tel. +386 (0)41

There are lots of family-friendly places to discover around Kranjska Gora, photo courtesy of LTO Kranjska Gora

RTC inice Kranjska Gora Borovka 103a, tel. +386 (0)4 580 94 00, fax +386 (0)4 580 94 10, info@kr-gora. si, www.kr-gora.si. If theres an outdoor activity that can be done in or around Kranjska Gora, then these guys can help make arrangements for it. From leisurely hiking and Nordic walking to more extreme climbing, canyoning and cycling in the summer, they also operate two summer toboggan runs and an extreme bike park. In the winter months, they provide info about the various different skiing opportunities available.

Souvenir & Workshop Prezlc R/S-3, Borovka 91, tel./fax +386 (0)4 588 53 50, tel. +386 (0)41 330 063, prezlc@siol.net, www.prezlc.si. Dont forget to get a souvenir or two to remember the wonderful memories youve collected during your stay in Kranjska Gora. Pop into this little souvenir shop and look through traditional and unique products such as ceramics made of glass and wood, books, maps, guides, postcards and more. Many products are carefully handmade at their very own in-house workshop, in which you can usually take a peek during the working months. QOpen 09:00 - 20:00. JA

All genuine fairy-tales begin with Once upon a time... and end And they lived happily ever after. When you enter the Triglav National Park, you realize that theres no end to a fairy-tale, and that you are indeed its main character. Traversing blooming pastures swept by a warm Mediterranean wind, relishing the reflection in crystal clear mountain lakes, and in every contact with the dazzling-white mountains whose breath-taking walls reach to the sky, bring you closer and closer to your true self. Triglav National Park which connects botanists and romantics the world over is one of the oldest such parks in Europe. The high hanging valley of Sedmera Jezera where the story of the park actually started is one of the gems of the entire Alps. The park is a synonym for untamed and heterogeneous nature which can be discovered by way of enjoyable wellmarked scenic routes. Here your children will realize that cows are not purple and there is no need to check the expiry dates on the dairy products. Every visit to the Triglav National Park will make you feel as though this was your first: such perfect beauty can never be familiar. And this is why theres no end to this fairytale! TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK: UNIQUE The only national park in Slovenia protects the last area of original alpine nature. Its international significance is confirmed by the European Diploma of the Council of Europe, listing as a Natura 2000 site and in particular, UNESCOs decision to include the park in the international network of biosphere reserves, MAB in 2003. Natural features: More than a thousand valuable natural features Situated in an area of glacial lakes and valleys, karst springs and waterfalls and the remains of the once

Sportswear & Equipment


Intersport Borovka 92, tel. +386 (0)51 285 453, www.intersport.si. One of Slovenias largest sporting retailers has a shop conveniently located in the middle of Kranjska Gora, which is also conveniently open every day of the week. A wide selection of clothing, shoes and equipment are all found here. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00, Sun 08:00 - 13:00.
(0)4 588 13 73, monarh@monarhsport.si, www.monarhsport.si. Conveniently located in the small shopping centre (Naselje Slavka erneta) by the main road through Kranjska Gora, this sports shop is a very good all-rounder. The friendly staff sell everything you might need for an outdoor pursuit in the rugged surrounding Julian and Karavanke Alps. Famousbrand skis, equipment, outdoor clothing and footwear are all supplied in abundance. Bike/scooter rental is also available in the summer. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. In summer Sundays 09:00-13:00.

Sport Centres
Olimpijski portni Center Planica Ratee 167, Ratee-Planica, tel. +386 (0)4 58 84 57 0, planica@ csod.si, www.osc-planica.si. Aside from the obvious winter attraction - the annual Planica world ski jumping championship - you have so many other opportunities at this sports centre and hotel: gym, indoor and outdoor sports areas (basketball, volleyball and football), massage rooms, snack bar, function room (100 persons) and seminar room (30 persons). Other facilities include sports equipment rental and hypoxia simulation, which recreates a high altitude environment of up to 6000m. Room rates are a good value, and include a visit to the sauna! Located 5km from Kranjska Gora. Q From 31 per person. PAUW

Monarh Sport Naselje Slavka erneta 34, tel. +386

and herdsmens settlements. Special mention should be made of the Pocar homestead in Zgornja Radovna, whilst the sacred architecture includes the Church of St. John and the Church of the Holy Spirit at Lake Bohinj, the small Memorial Church of the Holy Spirit at Javorca and the Russian chapel under the Vri pass. A very special reminder of the past is the metal Alja Tower on the peak of Triglav, the highest Slovenian mountain (2,864 m), which gave the park its name. Administration and information centre at Bled Triglav national park Ljubljanska 27, 4260 Bled Tel.: + 386 (0) 4 57 80 200 E-mail: triglavski-narodni-park@tnp.gov.si

Summer Toboggan Rides


There are two places to get an instant thrill out of the slopes during the summer months. The Besna Pehta (Furious Pehta) runs 1500m down the Vitranc 1 slope, the Bedaneva Dra (the Slide of Bedanc - the infamous

Sport Point Borovka 93a, tel. +386 (0)51 348 000/+386 (0)31 388 488, www.sport-point.si. This family-run shop has been selling sports equipment and fashionable sportswear for more than a dozen years, also offering ski rentals during the winter and bike rentals in the summer. They additionally run a charming little caf and let a two-bedroom apartment. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

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Duplje Castle Spodnje Duplje 36, tel. +386 (0)4
2571 503, info@grascina-duplje.si, www.grascinaduplje.si. While it has officially been bestowed with the title of castle, Duplje more closely resembles a stately countryside mansion. This former noblemans residence is privately owned and houses a museum dedicated to the history of Duplje and the castle itself. The exposition includes old weaponry (like halberds and lances), several regional coats of arms, richly decorated medieval costumes, old pictures of this and other regional castles and much more. The castle is superbly renovated and the collection radiates passion for the local and regional history. Visits are by appointment only. One of the things we love about Slovenia is that it offers a bit of everything, and like some kind of geographic Russian nesting doll the small town of Preddvor has a bit of everything too - beautiful natural wonders, historic castles and cute churches with a good dose of local folklore thrown in. Visitors can relax besides the picturesque rnava Lake and take a stroll along the four castles path or for a more demanding hike head up Mt Zaplata to the mysterious Devils Forest. Preddvor is also a popular destination for newlyweds as a stroll along the towns ash tree promenade is said to guarantee 50 years of faithfulness and love. The town, or village really with just over 800 inhabitants, is located some 10 kilometres north of Kranj.

Preddvor
Baroque tower, whilst the medieval interior is one of the best preserved in Slovenia. It is worth popping into to check out the original 15th century frescos which include a scene of St George fighting a dragon. One church a day is enough for us, though if they are your thing then there are plenty more historic churches in the area. Check with the tourist information office in the centre of town for more details.

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The Four Castles Path In a country as rich in castles as

Pod Krivo Jelko Pod Krivo Jelko is a spot in the Udin Bort forest which was a renowned meeting and party place for 19th-century bandits, most of whom were actuall y sons of regional farmers attempting to evade military service and were covertly given assistance by their families. However, in due time more people joined and the general movement turned into an ordinary gang of ruffians with their own codes and language, who often resorted to violence to gain wealth. Recently Pod Krivo Jelko has been transformed into a popular place for picnics and other gatherings, ideal for seeking refuge from the infamous summer heat. Noteworthy is also the nearby walking path which leads along local Karst landscape that features sinkholes and caves. Vogvar House Spodnje Duplje 47, tel. +386 (0)41
517 476. The Vogvar House, constructed from wooden beams and logs, is a typical 19th-century farmhouse which nowadays serves as an ethnographic museum and gives you the chance to take a peek into the daily life of the olden days. The exhibition is small but thorough, consisting of an historical shoemakers corner with all the equipment, an authentic black kitchen (people didnt have a cooker hood, hence the term black kitchen) and a room that was used as a living and sleeping area. Traditional costumes, old photos and antique everyday utensils enrich this interesting exhibit. One further interesting detail is that the home was still inhabited until only two decades ago.

What to See
rnava Lake This picturesque artificial lake is a popular year round destination and picnic spot. In warmer months Slovenes pack the banks sunning themselves and swimming, whilst in winter brave souls venture onto the ice to skate the natural way. Hotel Bor next to Castle Hrib on the shore of the lake is a good spot to grab an ice cream on a sunny day or flee the ice in winter for a warming local brandy. Mt Zaplata and the Devils Forest Preddvor sits at the base of the mysterious Mt Zaplata, famous for the isolated patch of woods on its steep slope, known locally by the more menacing moniker Devils Forest. Legend has it that two brothers from the plains below Mt Zaplata were quarrelling over a forested plot of land near their farm when one of them bemoaned to hell with it! at which point the Devil himself picked up the forest and carried it on his back up the mountain. However, before he reached the top the day broke, causing him to lose his strength and drop the six hectare patch of forest where it still rests today. Its remoteness and superstition mean that it has remained a beautiful untouched virgin forest and is a popular hiking destination, some two and a half hours away from Preddvor on foot. The Church of St Leonard It seems like there is cute
church on almost every hill and in every town in Slovenia, but St Leonards Church is particularly impressive. Dating back to around 1400 it mixes styles with a Roman design and

Slovenia, Preddvor still manages to boast far more than its fair share, with four in total on its territory, or one for every 200 or so residents: Hrib Castle, Turn Castle, Dvor Castle and the remains of the 12th-century Pusti Castle, which are connected by an easily navigable walking path. Castle Turn overlooking the village of Potoe is probably the most impressive of the bunch. Built in the mid-14th century, its long storied history includes time spent under the ownership of the Counts of Celje (when it was damaged during an ongoing feud with the Habsburgs), raids by Ottoman Turks, and being sold by Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian I. During the 19th century it was also the home of one of Slovenias first female writers, poets and composers - Josipina Urbani Turnograjska. Walking the castle path is a nice way to explore the local villages and take in the beautiful natural surroundings.

Tourist Information
Tourist Information Centre Dvorski Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)59 14 88 46, info@preddvor-tourism.si, www.preddvor-tourism.si. As well as offering local knowledge and helpful advice, the Preddvor Tourist Information Centre also rents bicycles and sells local souvenirs, such as honey, dried fruits, hand-blown glass products and postcards. Open in the mornings seven days a week as well as the afternoons at the weekends, theyre also the best people to talk to about the numerous walking, hiking and cycling paths in the area. QOpen 09:00 - 12:00, Sat, Sun 09:00-12:00 & 14:00-17:00. Rates for standard and electric bike rentals: 4.50 for 1 hour, 10 up to 6 hours, 15 per day.

In the middle of it all stands the charming town of Naklo, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia First mentioned in 1241, Naklo had a turbulent history for its first seven centuries or so, due mainly to waves of unwanted visitors who were interested in the towns strategic location: Turkish raiders, French troops, unscrupulous bandits and German soldiers all once terrorized the landscape here. Nowadays tourism is high on the agenda and visitors with good intentions are more than welcome in this inviting municipality. Centrally located between several of Slovenias most famous tourist destinations and with excellent bike routes leading past its own highlights, Naklo is a perfect starting point for day trips of even longer holidays. Abundant traditional inns and craft workshops add to the rural charm of this picturesque town.

Where to Stay & Eat


Hotel Marinek Glavna 2, tel. +386 (0)5 9234 100,
fax +386 (0)4 2577 720, info@marinsek.net, www. marinsek.net. This luxurious 61-room hotel boasts a wide range of facilities. The rooms are tidy and comfortable, and include cable television and wifi. Famished travellers will most definitely be satisfied with the extensive choice of traditional homemade or international cuisine in the restaurant and pizzeria. For recreation one can head to the bowling centre, play pool or go to the gym for some fitness. Relaxation is possible in the wellness centre, which offers saunas, treatments and massages.

What to See & Do


Church of St Mary of the Seven Sorrows Podbrezje 193, tel. +386 (0)41 875 118. On a hill in Podbrezje stands the old fortified church of St Mary of the Seven Sorrows. Built in the 15th century as a safe haven for the surrounding populace in case of Turkish attacks. What remains of the fortifications is a guard tower and the defensive wall. Alongside the wall visitors can admire 11 chapels depicting the Way of the Cross, all of which feature artworks by contemporary Slovene artists. Inside the church is an eye-catching altar with St Mary of the Seven Sorrows, which has been a famous pilgrimage shrine for some 150 years, as well as several beautiful stylistically diverse frescos ranging from the 18th to the mid-20th century. The interior of the church is further adorned with a painting of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, a personal gift from famous Slovene artist Ivana Kobilca. Slovenian Alps

Kamp Trnovc Zgornje Duplje 4, tel. +386 (0)4 533

10 00, info@trnovc.com, www.trnovc.com. The campground at the Trnovc Farm is conveniently located near the main motorway, but once youve checked in youll feel surrounded by nature thanks to relaxing murmur of the river which flows next to the site. Guests can also expect to receive a hospitable welcome from the family who runs the camp, which makes settling in for your stay all the more pleasant. Besides having shaded places, clean and neat sanitary fittings, and the option to buy refreshments, the camp is an ideal place to discover Naklo and surrounding highlights like Bled, Kranj, Bohinj and even Ljubljana. Q Open from 1 May to 30 Sept.

If a quiet communion with nature is what youre after, than Preddvor is the place to head, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia

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parking. The conservative rooms come armed with all the expected mod-cons, and Internet access is available thoughout. The views from the rooftop terrace are excellent. Q 34 rooms (singles 48-60, doubles 69-85, triples 99-122). PJARULG Begunje na Gorenjskem, tel. +386 (0)8 200 5000, fax +386 (0)4 532 5907, info@hotel-lambergh.com, www.hotel-lambergh.com. Set on a vast estate at the foothills of the Alps, Lambergh doesnt so much combine classical and contemporary style as it actually offers both at the same time - with an elegant modern hotel built alongside a exquisitely restored 13th century manor. The hotel offers guests large, bright rooms, all with balconies and most with glorious views of the countr yside and mountains in the distance. The manor, or castle as it is sometimes called, has nine superior rooms with an authentic Renaissance ambience. However, the most attractive part of the premises may be the luxurious spa centre on the ground floor of the hotel, which in addition to various saunas and massage rooms, has a full pool and jacuzzi where you can take in panoramic views of the landscape while you swim. Q Hotel: 43 rooms (singles 105-140, doubles 140-190, suites 200-240). Manor: 9 rooms (singles 120-195, doubles 160-260, suites 280-320). PHARLKDCW 4051/+386 (0)4 531 4120, sport.manca@siol.net, www.manca-sp.si. This large family run guest house has everything one could want for an active holiday - theres a swimming pool, tennis court and elegantly-designed sauna facilities on the premises and bikes are on hand for trips into the surrounding countryside, including Bled, which is only 6km away. They also specialise in arranging a number of other activities, such as hiking excursions, rafting, golfing and even panoramic flights and sky diving. Most rooms have balconies and views towards the mountains, and if youre lucky the familys enormous black Newfoundland will keep you company while youre poolside or relaxing in the garden. Q 16 rooms (singles 39-70, doubles 60104, triples 79-138, suites 80-140). Rates depend on season and whether or not breakfast is included. TJA6LBDCW

Radovljica
ideal for taking advantage for the range of outdoor activities on offer, such as hiking, cycling, rafting and fishing - all of which can be arranged with advanced notice. Q 9 chalets 75-105, does not include breakfast or mandatory 20 cleaning fee. TAL vidic.miran@gmail.com, www.vidichouse.com. Despite being called a hostel and even having official HI status, as it mostly offers private accommodation its really more of a guest house. But semantics aside, you can find cheap accommodation here right on Radovljicas main square. The Renaissance mansion dates from the early 17th century, and rooms tidy if a bit dated. The caf and sweets shop on the ground floor should be a mandatory stop for those with children. The premises are open year-round, but reception closes at 22:00 in the summer and 21:00 in the winter. Q 2 rooms and 3 apartments (17-22 per person). Breakfast and tourist tax not included. TJA

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Lambergh Chteau & Hotel Dvorska vas 37a,

Vidic House Linhartov Trg 3, tel. +386 (0)31 810 767,

Apartments
18 878/+386 (0)41 606 155, info@apartmaji-vidmar. si, www.apartmaji-vidmar.si. These spacious modern apartments are situated in the old town centre of Lesce, just across the street from the Church of St Mary of the Assumption. At 45m the four apartments can accommodate two to four people each. Perhaps more interesting the socalled Legat House next door. Dating from the 17th century, it is the oldest building in town and can also be rented for use by larger groups. It can accommodate up to 12 people in five bedrooms, and also has two kitchens, one of which has a traditional black fireplace, as well as a garden. Q 4 apartments (doubles 55, each additional person 10). Pets and breakfast are each 6. Legat House (10-12 people) has a weekly rate of 1050-1200, plus cleaning costs.

Apartmaji Vidmar Begunjska 6b, tel. +386 (0)4 53

Sport Hotel Manca Gradnikova 2, tel. +386 (0)4 531

Named for an 18th-century playwright, Linhart Square is one of the most picture-perfect public spaces in Slovenia

Tourist Information
TIC Radovljica Linhartov Trg 9, tel. +386 (0)4 531
51 12, fax +386 (0)8 205 13 36, info@radolca.si, radolca.si. Radovljicas tourist information centre can be conveniently found near the main entrance to Linhart Square. Located on the ground floor of the Mrak House, the shiny new office provides a whole host of information and services for the town, municipality and entire Gorenjska region, including accommodation, excursions, maps, tickets and free internet. It also has a wide selection of typical Slovene souvenirs, as well as products made under its own brand, and free guided tours of the old town depart from here every Sunday at 14:00. Q Open every day 09:00-19:00 from May to October, 10:00-16:00 from November to April.

Hop-On Hop-Off Radolca Linhartov Trg 9, tel. +386 (0)4 153 151 12/+386 (0)40 460 675, info@ radolca.si, www.radolca.si. While the hop-on, hop-off tourist bus concept is a familiar sight in most of the worlds major cities, its not often that you see such a thing in rural areas and small towns. However, Radovljicas forward thinking tourist office has realised that this is the perfect way for visitors to discover some of the regions hidden corners and off the beaten path venues. Operating from the beginning of July till late August, every Tuesday and Friday the bus makes four circular journeys along a route covering Bled, Radovljica, Begunje, Brezje and Kropa, before returning to Bled via Radovljica, taking in all the sights along the way. Special guided tours and other activities can also be arranged in advance. For more info and full programme see the website of Tourism Radovljica. Q All day tickets are 4 for adults, free for children. Slovenian Alps

Radovljica, or Radolca as it is more affectionately known, may not be as well-known as nearby Bled, but it boasts a wide range of sights and activities, and also offers something that its more famous neighbour simply cant: peace, quiet and a relaxing medieval town atmosphere. An administrative centre since the 16th century, today the municipality of Radovljica comprises some four dozen individual settlements and nearly 20,000 people. At the centre of it all, and of most interest to tourists, is the picturesque old town situated on a hilltop overlooking the Deela plain to the east and the Sava river valley to the west, with perfect views of the Julian Alps dominating the background in seemingly all directions. The compact city centre is a veritable open air museum of beautifully restored buildings, narrow sloping streets and pleasant sidewalk cafs. The wider area is home to countless hiking and cycling paths, some great accommodation options (including an award-winning campsite, a newly built tourist farm and several old town guest houses), an airport offering scenic flights and the Bled-Lesce train station. All of this, plus the genuinely welcoming spirit of its residents, should lead many visitors to consider choosing Radolca as their base for the region and making Bled a day trip, rather than vice versa.

Guest Houses & Pensions


+386 (0)4 537 88 40, info@tulipan-azman.si, www. tulipan-azman.si. The nine rooms located above a wellknown restaurant of the same name are clean and comfortable. The family rooms - which are essentially two-room suites - are a good value since they can be had for the same price as a double. There are also some gorgeous views to be had of the Julian Alps, in fact, the rooms are named for which peaks can be seen from the windows. Easy to find just off the motorway on the main north-south road going through Lesce. Q 9 rooms (singles 35, doubles 50). Breakfast 5 per person. TALK

Tulipan Alpska 8, Lesce, tel. +386 (0)4 537 88 00, fax

Where to stay
Hotels
Krek Hraka 15, tel. +386 (0)45 30 23 45, fax +386 (0)45 30 23 49, hotel@krek.si, www.hotel.krek.si. Situated in the village of Lesce, Krek is a great option for business travellers with their own cars - who are in town for business but would rather avoid the tourists in Bled. Its large rounded glass faade is hard to miss, and there is plenty of slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Turistino Naselje Dole Poljica 6, Podnart, tel. +386 (0)41 680 925, alenka.brazda@gmail.com, www.naselje-dole.si. Experience the tranquillity of nature at this newly built tourist village outside the village of Podnart. The nine chalets measure 70m, with a kitchen, living room and bathroom on the ground floor and with private balconies on the first floor. They are situated a symmetrically on a hillside, to provide the feeling of privacy and unobstructed views of the countryside. The location is slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

The ivec House is the towns main gallery space

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Camping
+386 (0)45 35 37 01, sobec@siol.net, sobec.si. Located in a thick pine forest, this camping ground with its very own lake is located on the road out of Bled towards Lesce. You can either pitch a tent or rent one of the bungalows that feel and smell pine-wood fresh during the summer time. Plenty of family-friendly activities can be organised, as well as just relaxing in the campsite itself. A supermarket, restaurant and laundry are located on the grounds. Q Tents/person 8.10-13.80, bungalows 75-150.

Radovljica
treasure: the Gala In beer. The culinary concept of refined pub food and pizzas also melts down perfectly with a pint. A popular establishment amongst locals, who have acquired a habit of returning night after night. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. (6-18). TAUIB

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Lectar Inn Linhartov Trg 2, tel. +386 (0)45 37 48 00,

Camp obec obeva 25, tel. +386 (0)45 35 37 00, fax

Gostilna Kunstelj Gorenjska 9, tel. +386 (0)4 53

Where to eat
33 34 02, www.avsenik.com. The Avsenik Brothers are the worlds reining kings of Oberkrainer polka (with gold and platinum records abounding), and their centuries-old family restaurant, in their hometown of Begunje, draws crowds from around the world not only for its homemade regional food but also for its regular polka performances, dance floor and annual festival. Avsenik is a great way to experience Slovenias particular form of Alpine culture, but if youre looking for a quiet place to dine and chat, this isnt it; the jolly sound of the accordion pervades throughout. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon. (6-15).

Gostilna Avsenik Begunje 21, Begunje, tel. +386 (0)45

15 178, fax +386 (0)4 53 04 151, gostilna@kunstelj.net, www.kunstelj.si. First opened in 1873, this friendly family-run guesthouse can be found in the centre of Radovljicas old town, just north of Linhartov Trg. The menu is focussed on traditional Slovene favourites and also includes a number of house specialties as well as set multi-course menus for groups, all of which can be viewed in advance on their website. There are a number of separate themed dining spaces (hunters, poets and golfers all have their own rooms), but the real standout here is the glorious summer terrace out back, which offers some of the finest views of any restaurant in Slovenia. Accommodation in modernly renovated rooms upstairs is also available. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon, Thu. PTJAILEB

info@lectar.com, www.lectar.com. Serving a selection of delicious Slovene cuisine and wines, Lectar is an impressive option for any occasion, event or business social. Folk music and dancing is arranged most evenings for some light entertainment for the restaurants guests. The restaurant is conveniently divided into several rooms, perfect for those coming in larger gatherings or families. A must see here is museum in the basement. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Tue. PTJAUG

Events
Boljak Flea Market Linhartov Trg, tel. +386 (0)4 531 51 12, info@radolca.si, radolca.si. Held on the last Sunday of every month on the towns main square, the flea market is one of the largest in the area and attracts both buyers and sellers from as far as Ljubljana. The programme also includes free workshops for children, and in the event of rain the entire affair is moved inside to the lobby and atrium of the adjacent Radovljica Mansion.QOpen Sun 08:00 - 13:00.
The gingerbread workshop at the Lectar Inn is a must for families or anyone with a sweet tooth tel. +386 41 54 57 48/+386 40 73 69 30, globocnik.turizem@gmail.com, www.globocnik.si. About as traditional as you can get. This beautiful old cottage, built in 1628, has been restored to its former glory by friendly, round-cheeked local artist and chef Cena Globonik. Having been handed down through generations, its now a restaurant, featuring an authentic black kitchen (used for smoking meat) and a huge clay furnace, for warming the charming dining room. Every inch of the interior and exterior is truly inspiring; youll find wooden wheel chandeliers, antique farming tools, and even an ancient pair of wooden skis hanging above the picturesque bar. The rustic farm food is all home-made and the atmosphere is always merry and cheerful. Q Open 11:00-24:00 Fri-Sun, Mon-Thur by prior arrangement only. Full course home-made meal from about 10 per person. 6INBK

Gostilna Gala In Hraka 13, Lesce, tel. +386 (0)45

31 60 00, fax +386 (0)45 31 60 01, galain.nida@ gmail.com. Tucked away outside Lesce, this complex is a pub, restaurant, pizzeria and brewery all housed under one roof. The environment here provides a perfect sanctuary for beer lovers gulping down pints of the establishments

Gostie Tulipan Alpska 8, Lesce, tel. +386 (0)4 537 88 00, info@tulipan-azman.si, www.tulipan-azman.si. Easy to find just off the motorway on the main north-south road going through Lesce, the newly-renovated Tulipan serves up a menu full of filling Slovene and international cuisine in its wood-covered dining areas and intimate outdoor terraces. The house specialities are game dishes, including several venison choices and some excellent wild boar. Rooms are also available upstairs. Q Open Mon-Thur 11:00-22:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00 and Sun 12:00-22:00. (6-18). TALB

Radovljica Chocolate Festival Linhartov Trg,

Izletnika Kmetija Globonik Globoko 9, Radovljica,

tel. +386 (0)4 531 5112, www.radolca.si. First held in 2012, in a few short years the Radovljica Chocolate Festival has already become the largest event of its kind in Slovenia, as well as one of the overall tastiest events of any kind. Bringing together the countrys top chocolate producers (of which there are surprisingly quite a few, especially on a per capita basis!), visitors can taste chocolate of every shape, size and consistency, including as an ingredient in various drinks, pralines, biscuits, muffins, ice cream, liquors and more. The festival includes a packed programme of both chocolate-related events, such as cooking shows, workshops, chocolate sculpting and even a chocolate fashion show (with models wearing the stuff), and entertainment for the whole family. The festivities take place in Radovljicas main square each April. Society, Linhartov Trg 1, tel. +386 (0)4 531 22 91, info@radolca.si, www.festival-radovljica.si. Radovljica has been a top destination for early music enthusiasts for more than 30 years, as each August the town hosts two weeks of concerts by top musicians from around world, making it the longest running festival of its kind in the country. Performances are held in the magnificent Baroque Hall at Radovljica Mansion as well as in the Church of St Peter nearby, and each year at least one concert usually also takes place at the Church of the Annunciation in the town of Veselovo near Kranj, which boasts one of the fin est pipe organs in Slovenia. In addition to the formal early music concerts, the diverse festival programme also includes contemporary music, theatre and dance performances. During the events there is a free festival bus that brings guests to Radovljica from Kranj and Ljubljana.

Radovljica Festival Radovljica Early Music

Krma Mexico Begunjska 6b, tel. +386 (0)8 38

70 644, krcmamexico10@gmail.com, www.mexicoprebacevo-lesce.si/lesce.html. Who would have thought that Slovenias best Mexican restaurant would be found near Bled in the village of Lesce? Definitely not us, but thats the conclusion we (quite easily) came to after eating here for the first time. The brightly coloured interior is packed with a fine collection of the somewhat kitschy bric-a-brac that is more or less required of any good Mexican eatery, and the portions are so large that even the most famished American will have trouble saving room for dessert - and speaking of dessert, do try the home-made crpes, made with your choice of some 40 fillings! Highly recommended. Q Open Mon-Fri 12:0023:00, Sat 11:30-23:00 and Sun 11:30-22:00. (6.50-15). PTALBS

Shopping the old-fashioned way on Linhart Square

Krek Hraka 15, Lesce, tel. +386 (0)45 30 23 45, krek@krek.si, www.krek.si. Sit on the roof terrace at the Krek and enjoy home-made ice cream as you sit back and think that life is quite wonderful. In these surroundings and with these views they could get away with serving anything here; instead they come up with a wide range of great local dishes, with pork and lamb to the fore. Choose from the long line of them placed on the buffet counter at this self-service restaurant. QOpen 06:00 - 22:00. AULB slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Summer Concert Series Linhartov Trg. Every Thursday during July there are live open air concerts held on the main square starting at 20:00. In August every Thursday you can hear Slovene folk music and watch couple wearing traditional costumes dance the night away starting at 18:00. Q Admission free. 2013

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Radovljica
Vila Podvin Monje 1, tel. +386 (0)41 747 636, vilapodvin@gmail.com, www.vilapodvin.si. Just opened in June 2013, Vila Podvin is set in a beautifully restored 14th-century castle some 2km east of Radovljica, and just a shor t drive nor th of Ljubljana. There are seven comfortable guests rooms and suites available, but the real highlight here is in the kitchen, which is run by one of Slovenias top chefs, Uro tefelin. Renowned for transforming traditional Slovene cuisine using modern culinary techniques, tefelin prepares his own unique dishes with local ingredients and ample creativity. Already a popular venue for weddings, the Podvin estate also hosts other private events, offers horseback riding and cooking workshops, and even has a selection of souvenirs representing Slovenias rich cultural heritage. Q Open 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon.
16th century. Back in medieval times they were considered prestigious gestures of romance, these days they make great gifts and can be personalised. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Tue. Open every day in July and August.

Radovljica
Kropa

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Radovljica Mansion is a popular venue for weddings and other important events

Lean Alpska 33, Lesce, tel. +386 (0)45 31 70 00, pizzerija-lescan@bagi.si, www.bagi.si/pizzerija-lescan. Perfect for lovers of big portions, the Vienna schnitzel comes on an enormous wooden platter, definitely requiring a break halfway through. Despite being a self-styled Italian restaurant, the menu covers many European options. The dcor is Mediterranean, with lots of tiles and terracotta, the pizza wood-fired and the staff friendly. The location is ideal if youre travelling to/from Bled by train with Lesce Bled station being just a stones throw away. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. PTALB

What to see
Old Town
Lectar Inn Museum Linhartov Trg 2, tel. +386 (0)4 537 48 00, fax +386 (0)4 537 48 04, info@lectar.com, www. lectar.com. Gostilna Lectars very own living museum makes a traditional Slovene craft, gingerbread from honey dough. The hospitable family, dressed in everyday medieval clothing, will give you a tour of the museum. Tools dating back over 100 years are still used to produce these uniquely decorated cakes and the oldest preserved wooden mould is from the

Linhart Square (Linhartov Trg) The towns main square is one of the best-preserved medieval squares in Slovenia, and home to the majority of its sights, the tourist information office, several cafs and even a couple of accommodation options. Named for Anton Toma Linhart, an 18th century playwright, historian and Radovljicas most famous son, who among other achievements penned the first Slovene comedy, the square is lined with historic buildings dating from the 15th to 19th centuries and is a veritable open air museum of different architectural styles. It was renovated and turned into a pedestrian-only zone a couple of years ago. Radovljica Mansion Linhartov Trg 1, tel. + 386 41 695 011, www.radolca.si. Originally built by the wealthy Counts of Ortenburg in the middle of the 15th-century in what was then a small German settlement, nowadays Radovljica Mansion dominates the upper section of Linhart Square and is one of the centres of cultural life in the region. Expanded and renovated over the centuries, much of its appearance dates from the mid-17th century, while the High Baroque faade was added in the early 18th century. In 2002, the premises were completely restored and refurbished with locally sourced materials, and it is now home to part of the permanent collection of the Municipal Museum of Radovljica and the Apiculture Museum. However, the mansions single most famous element is likely the glorious Baroque Hall on the first floor, with sweeping views of the mountains in the distance it is a popular venues for weddings, concerts and other events. Radovljica Municipality Museums Linhartov Trg
1, tel. +386 (0)4 532 05 20, fax +386 (0)4 532 05 24, mro@siol. net, www.muzeji-radovljica.si. Under the auspices of the Institute of Radovljica Municipality Museums, and only a short drive from Bled, there are five separate historical museums. In the centre of Radovljica, is the Radovljica Municipal Museum with a permanent exhibition of the first Slovene playwright, historian and pedagogue Anton Toma Linhart (1756-1795), the Museum of Apiculture which presents, among other things, the unique tradition of Slovene folk culture, and the ivec House Art Gallery with a rich collection of book illustrations and monthly exhibitions. Eleven kilometers south of Radovljica, in Kropa, is the Iron Forging Museum, which recreates the towns hundred-yearold tradition of iron work. And last but not least, some seven kilometers to the north of Radovljica, in Begunje na Gorenjskem, one can visit the Museum of Hostages, a memorial to the victims of Nazi terror during the Second World War. See the institutes English language website for directions, opening times and admission fees.

The centuries-old tradition of iron forging is alive and well in Kropa This little village is a hidden gem tucked away in the narrow Lipnica valley below the Jelovica plateau, a 20minute drive south of Radovljica. Kropas rich technical heritage and unique preserved architecture led it to be the first settlement in Slovenia to be named as a protected cultural monument. Known as the cradle of Slovene iron-forging, the area was a busy industrial hub with numerous small scale foundries and ironworks operating between the 14th and 19th centuries. These days things are somewhat quieter, though the stream continues to roar and the occasional sound of a hammer on anvil attests that the tradition of working iron continues. On our first visit we were admittedly a bit sceptical about how interesting iron-forging could be but we were pleasantly surprised. The Iron Forging Museum makes it all very interesting with informative displays covering the whole process of working iron as well as the social, economic and historical development of Kropa. You can also find interesting examples of local contemporary wrought iron and perhaps even a nice souvenir, maybe an iron dragon, at the UKO Kropa wrought-iron shop. The village itself is also very interesting and picturesque, the old town is nestled along the banks of the gushing Kroparica stream and is full of well-preserved architecture, including the grand old houses of wealthy foundry owners. Its worth having a stroll around to absorb the quaint atmosphere and check out the decorative wrought iron features adorning the buildings as well as the recently commissioned street furniture - all of which is made of iron and locally designed and wrought of course.

Begunje na Gorenjskem
Sitting in the foothills of the spectacular Karavanke mountains and Kamnik Alps, Begunje na Gorenjskem, or just Begne to the locals, first appeared in the historical records around the 11th century. The village and surrounding countryside is rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage including a number of significant archaeological sites. At the heart of Begunje is the impressive Katzenstein Mansion and gardens, the onetime home of the Lamberg Counts the building also served as a penitentiary for women before the Second World War and then as an infamous Gestapo prison during the war. The mansion is closed to the public apart from a wing which has been transformed into the Museum of Hostages, where displays detail the horrifying experiences of the more than 11,000 prisoners who suffered at the mansion. Also make sure to have a stroll through the mansions gardens which house a magnificent pavilion designed by the famous Slovene architect, Joe Plenik. Before taking residence at Katzenstein the Lamberg Counts resided in the nearby Kamen Stone Castle, which dates from the 12th century when it was built by the counts of Ortenburg. Located at the entrance of the picturesque Draga Valley, it is well worth visiting the imposing ruins of the castle and climbing the preserved Romanesque tower. Visiting the ruins is free though be careful as you enter and climb at your own risk. The Draga Valley is the starting point for some excellent hikes up into the mountains and there are many other great walks nearby including themed trails, check at tourist information centre for details. In addition to its castles and mansions Begunje is also famous for being home to Elan, one of the worlds leading ski manufacturers, and Slavko Avsenik, a pioneer of popular Slovene folk music. You can purchase a set of award winning skis directly from the Elan factory and there are weekly folk music concerts held at the Avsenik Restaurant, or if you miss the show check out the fascinating little Avsenik Museum, which is found next to the restaurant.

Avsenik Museum Begunje 22, tel. +386 (0)4 530 73 00, galerija@avsenik.com, www.avsenik.com. Q Open Tue-Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun and holidays 10:00-17:00. Admission 1.50. Museum of Hostages Begunje 55, tel. +386 (0)4 53 33 790, mro@siol.net, www.muzeji-radovljica.si. Q Admission 2.

Grad Kamen is one of several castles to be found in and around Radovljica

ivec House Gallery (Galerija iveva hia) Linhartov Trg 22, tel. +386 (0)4 532 05 20, galerija@muzejiradovljica.si, www.muzeji-radovljica.si. Part of the Radovljica Municipal Museum, the beautifully restored 16th century house is the towns main gallery space, hosting up to a dozen exhibitions every year in the vaulted hall on the ground floor. Visitors can also see the ornately-furnished wood-panelled former living quarters on the first floor, which nowadays can be hired for weddings. Q Open Tues-Sun 10:00-13:00 & 17:0020:00 during July and August, 10:00-13:00 & 16:00-19:00 in May, June, Sept and Oct, and 10:00-12:00 & 16:00-18:00 from Jan-Apr, Nov and Dec. Closed Mondays. Admission to the gallery free of charge. Admission for the 1st floor 3/2 for adults/children and 7 for families. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Iron Forging Museum Kropa 10, tel. +386 (0)4 533 7200, kropa@muzeji-radovljica.si. Q Admission 3 adults, 2 children. UKO Wrought Iron shop Kropa 7a, tel. +386 (0)4 533 7310, www.uko.si. Q Open Mon-Fri 07:00-15:00 (till 18:00 in July-Aug), Sat 09:00-12:00. Closed Sun. 2013

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Radovljica
Around Radovljica
50a, Lesce, tel. +386 (0)8 38 57 164, cebelarski. center@gmail.com, w w w.radolca.si. I f youre like most visitors to Slovenia you have a vague understanding that the country is famous for its traditional beekeeping practices and of course its honey, and you may have even seen some painted beehive panels for sale in a gift shop, but youre not sure where to go to see a comprehensive presentation of this fascinating field - at least this is the feeling we once had. However, with the opening of the Beekeeping Centre (or as it is officially called, the Beekeeping Development and Training Centre of Gorenjska) in Radovljica in 2012, all the education, development, demonstration and promotional activities related to beekeeping that you could possibly imagine can all be found in the same place. Learn about long history of beekeeping and see how honey gets from the flower to the jar, and is nowadays used for a diverse range of purposes in addition to sweetening your tea. For most people the highlight of any visit will be tasting the different varieties of honey, but many other activities, workshops and short trips can be arranged with advanced notice. Definitely one of the sweetest destinations in Slovenia! Q Open Mon-Fri 08:00-12:00 and 14:00-20:00, Sat 08:00-13:00, and by prior arrangement. Closed Sun and holidays.

enur
around 100 all the way up to 750 (or at least there was last time we stopped by). QOpen 09:00 - 12:00, 15:00-19:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00, Sun 15:00 - 19:00.

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Beekeeping Centre (ebelar ski Ra zvojnoIzobraevalni Center Gorenjske) Rona Dolina

Wine Shops
Vinoteka Sodek Linhartov Trg 8, tel. +386 (0)4 531 59
71/+386 (0)41 678 408, info@vinoteka-sodcek.si, www. vinoteka-sodcek.si. While the largely mountainous Gorenjska region is not one of the Slovenias major wine growing areas, that doesnt mean that the locals are any bit less enthusiastic about drinking the stuff - as evidenced by this combination wine shop and bar at the edge of Radovljicas main square. If youd like a liquid souvenir theres a fine selection of bottles from across Slovenia, and theres also the option of filling up multilitre jugs for those staying at a nearby campsite or apartment. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun.

Sport & Activities


Panoramic Flights
Alpski Letalski Center Lesce Begunjska 10, Lesce,
tel. +386 (0)4 53 20 100, info@alc-lesce.si, www.alclesce.si. Theres no better way to see the Slovenian Alps than from the sky. Panoramic flights from Lesce aiport near Radovljica start from only 90 for up to three passengers for a quick tour of Bled, up to 270 for a one hour tour of Bled, Bohinj, Triglav and most of the rest of the region. The Church of St Radegund and St Catherine has more than a few stories to tell, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia The municipality of enur is endearingly nicknamed Potatoland, as the fertile area surrounding the beautiful Kokra river is mainly used to grow spuds and a large part of the population depends on agriculture and typical rural trade occupations as a means of income. This does not imply that it is located in the middle of nowhere, on the contrary, it is conveniently close to Brnik Airport and Kranj, with Ljubljana also within easy driving distance. All told enur offers beautiful nature and rural tranquility, while not being far away from the major urban centres. body of water also lends itself perfectly for some relaxation, as visitors can enjoy refreshments and take in the lovely scenery at one of five catering establishments on or near the shores of the lake.

Shopping
Second-Hand
+386 (0)31 479 618, bojan_valter@t-2.net. If youre looking for some kind of offbeat gift or souvenir from Slovenia, then this is the place to head. Theyve got everything you could expect from a small town second-hand store - and more! Old Yugoslav records, original paintings, antique tea sets, pre-World War Two bibles and all kinds of other trinkets and knick-knacks line the shelves - all with the prices prominently displayed. If you want to splurge on something truly Slovene, theres a large selection of accordions ranging in price from

Rafting
Tina Raft Preernova 4, tel. +386 (0)4 53 00 870/+386
(0)41 646 255, info@tinaraft.si, www.tinaraft.si. With more than 25 years in the business, Tina Raft can arrange pretty much any water-based activity youre interested in, as well as paintball, canyoning, zorbing and transfers.

Komisijska Trgovina parovc Linhartov Trg 10, tel.

Monument to the Potato Pipanova 1 The monument to

Sports Agencies
JMB Sport Linhartov trg 4, tel. +386 (0)41 227 798, info@jmb-sport.si, jmb-sport.si. Organises paintball, rafting and zorbing, or rolling down a hill inside of a large rubber ball.

What to See & Do


Bvagne House Pipanova 2, tel. +386 (0)4 25 19
100. Noteworthy for being the last structure remaining in or around enur area that is representative of the classic building style of the late-18th century. Typical is the large farmhouses wooden first floor, and as a whole the building is considered an important element of the cultural heritage of farm architecture in the region. Currently Bvagne House is not in use, but the municipality is planning to make it the cultural epicentre of the area in the near future.

the potato is one of a kind and clear proof of the love Slovenians have for the humble vegetable, which is an essential part of a standard Slovene diet. The monument is centrally placed in the town centre, but easily overlooked when passing by. From a distance one might think its a run-of-the-mill monument, but it is truly unique in its historical significance as well as subject matter. The monument was erected as a sign of gratitude to Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled the Habsburg lands in the mid-18th century and reduced famine by giving the famous imperial decree on 16 May 1767 that potatoes should be grown throughout Slovenia. This odd memorial was an initiative by the municipality and the Association for Recognition of Roasted Potatoes as an Independent Dish.

Church of St Radegund and St Catherine On the outskirts of Srednja Vas lie two picturesque churches with a shared steeple located between them. The Church of St Radegund is the older of the two, and by a remarkable twist of faith a lightning strike that hit the church in 1961 revealed gothic frescos on the north wall dating back to 1440. One of the magnificent altars in this church is dedicated to St Stephen and the village people have restored the old tradition of blessing horses on his name day. The gothic church of St Catherine is just as interesting, especially notable are the beautiful series of eight paintings depicting the Station of the Cross. Lake Trboje www.trbojsko-jezero.si. This artificial lake was created in 1986 by the construction of a dam for the benefit of the hydroelectric plant at Mavie, and is nowadays the habitat for numerous species of birds, fish and plants. The amount of flora and fauna is impressive, but the lake is also suitable for recreational purposes, with fishing and rowing being amongst the most popular activities here. The slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Museum of the enur Pipanova 6, tel. +386 (0)4 25 19 100. This is definitely not your ordinary small town municipal museum. The top floor of the institution is dedicated to modern ceramics, boasting a unique permanent exhibition with contributions by international artists from nearly two dozen countries. Different techniques and styles have been applied to articles of everyday use as well as to modernistic pieces of art. Around 80 pieces are currently on display in total, and the collection is continually being expanded. The ground floor is reserved for temporary expositions of the work of local and national artists. Q Open 17:00-19:00 Tues and Fri, 10:00-12:00 Sun. Closed Mon, Wed, Thur and Sat. Free admission. Visoko Walking Path Tel. +386 (0)51 273 476. The small village of Visoko is an excellent starting point for a nice walk, horse or bike ride along the riverbanks of the river Kokra, which boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna and runs for total of 36km before meeting the Sava river at Kranj. There is an educational and informative path which starts at the bridge over the Kokra in Visoko and ends near the bridge at Hotemae. Along the way you can find several signs explaining everything about what lives and grows in and around the river. 2013

Learn all about Gorenjskas apiculture heritage at the Beekeeping Centre in Lesce

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kofja Loka
What to see
Old Town
Capuchin Library Kapucinski Trg 1. Just north of the
old town across the river Sora is one of the most interesting sights in kofja Loka: the 18th-century Capuchin monastery and its famed library, which houses the original manuscript of what is considered to be the oldest drama written in the Slovene language. The monastery itself is quite new by monastery standards, having been built in 1709 it is actually the youngest such institution in the country. It was just more than a decade after its establishment that Friar Romuald penned his epic play The Passion of kofja Loka, which was performed for the first time in more than two centuries in 1999 and most recently in 2009. Based on the history of mankind from the time of Adam and Eve until the crucifixion of Christ, the production requires more than 1000 participants, and the next performance is scheduled for 2015. A bibliophiles dream, the monastery library also contains countless other priceless tomes, which comprise the largest collection of its kind in the country.

kofja Loka
Since 1959 the castle has been the home of the Loka Museum, which makes great use of the space to present a collection ranging from history and archeology to ethnology and natural history to fine arts and local crafts. Highlights include artefacts from the Palaeolithic Era, a copy of the founding deed in which German Emperor Otto II granted Loko and the surrounding lands to Freising Bishop Abraham, scale models of kofja Lokas development from the middle ages to modern times, well-presented exhibitions of the towns early guilds and industries, and a great collection of modern art in a unique basement-level exhibition space. The panoramic views of the rugged snowcapped mountains in the distance, green fields and forests all around and the old town directly below is worth the price of admission alone. Q Open 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. In summer open 10:00 - 18:00, Mon 10:00 - 16:00. Admission 3/5 or only 4/5.20 with a guide.

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Path to Putal

A panoramic view of one of Slovenias most photogenic towns, photo by Jana Jocif One of the oldest settlements in Slovenia, kofja Loka (Slovene for Bishops Meadow) is a picture perfect medieval town that is both one of the easiest and most rewarding day trips from Ljubljana. The incredibly well-preserved old town is the main attraction here, followed by the great museum collection contained in the enormous castle ensconced on the hill above. But the devil is in the details, as seemingly every building, bridge and alleyway in the old town has a story to tell, and its well worth engaging a local guide through the tourist office to provide a more in-depth explanation of the towns intriguing history, culture and legends than we can fit within the following pages - you can also find out why the coat-of-arms somewhat bizarrely depicts an African man wearing a crown!

Arriving
Only 26km northwest of Ljubljana and well-connected by public transport, kofja Loka is probably just about the easiest place to visit if youre already in the capital. Buses depart from the main station in Ljubljana over 30 times per day (but only 12 at the weekends) between 5:20 and 23:00 and will drop you just outside the old town in kofja Loka. A one-way ticket is 3.10, and can be purchased from the driver. Trains are almost as frequent (19 on weekdays and 9 at weekends), cheaper (a weekend return is as little as 2.46) and faster (between 15-24mins compared with 37mins for the bus), but unfortunately the train station in kofja Loka is over 3km east of the old town gates, adding a 30min walk to your journey. If you come by car there is a large car park just north of the old town, but even this has a tendency to fill up with workers on weekdays.

(0)4 511 24 60, katka.zbogar@skofja-loka.com, www. skofja-loka.com. This small gallery and working space can be found on the main square in the heart of medieval kofja Loka. In addition to viewing and purchasing a widerange of hand crafted items, visitors can also participate in workshops and various organised courses, or just observe one of the two resident masters at work during normal business hours. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Mon, Sun.

Duo Arts & Crafts Centre Mestni Trg 34, tel. +386

Mestni Trg Unlike some other old towns in Slovenia,

Tourist Information
Tourism kofja Loka Kidrieva 1a, tel. +386
(0)4 517 06 00/+386 (0)51 427 827, info@ skofja-loka.com, www.skofja-loka.com. Dont be deceived by the fact that its located in a former petrol station, as kofja Lokas tourist information centre is an essential first stop for all first-time visitors. Packed with an assortment of multi-lingual brochures, maps, leaflets, guide books and catalogues, youll find everything you need to explore kofja Loka and the wider region on your own, or you can have the cheerful English-speaking staff arrange guides, tours and/or accommodation for you. The latter option is especially recommendable if you plan to visit any tourist farms - which you definitely should. Youll find it situated on your right-hand side just before reaching the parking lots outside the old town walls.

kofja Lokas main square is still the active centre of the citys social life, where even during summer month locals going about their daily business outnumber camera-toting tourists such as yourself (and us). This fact, coupled with the colourful faades of the buildings facing the long narrow square, have led the town to be affectionately nicknamed colourful Loka. Most of the buildings on the square exhibit late Gothic architectural elements and were constructed in the early and mid-16th century, as a powerful earthquake in 1511 destroyed nearly everything that had previously been built. The most notable individual building is likely Homan House, which sits at the far north end of the square. The imposing manor house is actually composed of three separate buildings, and once counted the painter Ivan Grohar as a resident - his work Loka in the Snow captures the view from one of the upper floor windows. Other points of interest include a very active cultural centre, a still-working cinema, several art galleries and of course a so-called Plague column built after the last bout of Black Death in 1751 and dedicated to Mother Mary.

Bibliophiles will definitely want to pay a visit to kofja Lokas Capuchin Library, photo by Jana Kuhar

kofja Loka Castle & Museum Grajska Pot 13, tel. +386 (0)4 51 70 400, www.loski-muzej.si. Dominating the town below and visible from the entire surrounding countryside, Loka Castle is not only one of the finest castles in all of Slovenia, but also houses one of the countrys most impressive museum collections. First officialy mentioned in the early 13th century, it served as the administrative seat for the vast feudal estates that were under the domain of the powerful Bishops of Freising from Bavaria for more than eight centuries. As with the rest of the old town, the castle had to be completely restored after the great earthquake of 1511, so the current ground plan dates from just after this time. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Theres much more to kofja Loka than just its (most) famous castle and historic medieval town centre. While outsiders may think it slightly bizarre that the neighbourhood just across the Poljane Sora river from kofja Loka proper is thought of as a separate settlement, for much of its history Putal was under the control of a different lord, and thus developed its own unique cultural heritage. Through the centuries the residents here, so-called Putuci, were known largely for two very disparate cottage industries: comb making and frog catching, the latter being found in a natural abundance on this side of the river. Not unexpectedly, the Putuci were subjected to quite a bit of good-natured ribbing from their neighbours on account of their professions, but they were known to give as well as receive, mocking the people of kofja Loka for their traditional turnip dish known as smojka. Today the best way to take in the sights of Putal is by following the organised Path of Putal, which takes an hour to an hour and a half to cover some 2km. Beginning at the southernmost corner of kofja Lokas town square, it first passes several interesting historical houses along a quiet residential street, before crossing the ominously named Devils footbridge over the river. The photogenic wooden structure got its name thanks to frequent appearances by the Devil himself in the immediate vicinity, but the area is now safe thanks to a shrine to St John Nepomuk (the patron saint of bridges) that has been placed in the middle of the span. Now in Putal, the the path passes several more historic houses, including the one of a kind Naces House, before passing the impressive Putal Castle and finishing high above the town on Hribec hill.

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Putal
Naces House (Nacetova Hia) Putal 74, tel. +386 (0)41 756 955/+386 (0)41 769 425, info@nacetovahisa.com, www.nacetovahisa.com. In 1755, Ignacij Homan - who was known as Nace to his neighbours - had his home extensively renovated in the village of Putal just across the river from kofja Loka, and since then the house has remained almost unchanged. In fact, it is not only the best preserved Slovene homestead from this time kofja Loka, but all of central Slovenia. Although the mid-18th century renovations gave the exterior an unmistakably Baroque appearance, evidence suggests that structure had actually been built some 200 years early, with rare late Gothic stone detailing in the cellar and two still functioning black kitchens the most obvious testament to this. The interior still includes furniture and other personal objects collected by its occupants over the centuries, and is open to the public as a highly authentic ethnographical museum. With advanced reservations groups can arrange to try a meal prepared in the 400 year-old oven. Q Open by appointment only. Admission 2-3.50.

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Arrange a trip to Naces House, the best preserved 18thcentury homestead in the region, photo by Jana Jocif

Three Castles Path Connecting Loka Castle with the

overgrown ruins of nearby Krancelj Tower and the so-called Wild Loka Castle hidden away in the hills high above the town, the Three Castles Path is a great way to learn a bit about the history of kofja Loka and enjoy a pleasant hike through the countryside and forests. Of the three structures, Loka Castle is the youngest, dating back to only the late-12th century, while the other two were originally built during the previous century. However, only Loka Castle was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake that occurred in 1511. The marked path begins just outside the main entrance of Loka Castle, where there is an information board and map, as well as directions to Krancelj Tower, which is only a short walk up the hill. The remains of the tower were largely forgotten about until the middle of the 20th century, when excavation works were undertaken by a team of Slovenian archaeologists, who discovered many long-buried objects ranging from medieval weapons and equipment to household items and childrens toys. From here the path leads past a local farm, two abysses and into the woods, which is marked with a monument to Slavko Fils, an early supporter of tourism in the area and founder of the pathway. After some 20 minutes, the trail winds its way to Wild Loka Castle, which is also known simply as the Old Castle. Even after more than five centuries of being left to the elements, the castles once mighty walls still remain partially intact, and offer some idea of the structures original size. A popular spot to stop for a picnic lunch, from here the path descends quite quickly into the village of Vincarje and then leads back to the starting point. In total, the entire route covers around 5km and takes about two hours to complete at a relatively leisurely pace. In addition to the info boards found along the way, the local tourist information office also has brochures with maps and more details about each of the sites.

Tourist Farms
Tri is the so-called Venice of Gorenjska, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia Beautiful Tri is situated near the ancient route that for centuries led over the Ljubelj pass and connected Carinthia with the plains of Gorenjska. Nowadays the route over the mountains may no longer be trodden (as travellers instead opt to use the tunnel which goes through the Karavanke mountain range), but Tri has always profited from its location on this old trade route, and the town is still a regional centre for trade and crafts. Although a big fire destroyed a large part of the town centre in 1811, the population overcame this setback with financial help of Austrian Field Marshall Joseph Radetzky. He owned a mansion in the town and is immortalized by the famous Radetzky March, which was composed by Johann Strauss and dedicated to this brilliant army leader. The town centre of Tri has been protected since 1985 as a cultural and historical monument and this is clear proof of its rich past and architecture, and due to its many little canals with bridges the town is often referred to as the Venice of Gorenjska. A staggering 80% of the municipality of Tri is considered a protected area as part of the European Natura 2000 project, which aims to protect important areas where flora and fauna can thrive. The town and surrounding area is an excellent destination thanks to its breathtaking landscape, rich history and cultural heritage. tragedy all new buildings had to be built according to strict regulations in the year following the fire. Nowadays, on most of the old houses you can see steel doors and window shutters, while the door and window frames are made from a fireproof green volcanic rock known as tuff. Most of the dwellings have a unique feature called jostle stone, these were placed to protect the buildings from carriages which could scrape and hit the faade. The prevalent architecture is classicist. Therefore there are many small details, for instance portals decorated with rosettes and images of the all-seeing eye bearing the house number. Several of the old buildings, which used to be tanneries and dyers, have characteristic holes just below the roof where textile and hides were dried. Situated between the streams of the Trika Bistrica and Moenik rivers this picturesque town centre with its colourful authentic buildings is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The local tourist office offers excellent guided tours. 176, trziski.muzej@guest.arness.si, www.trziski-muzej.si. Located in a well-preserved 150 year-old manor once owned by the influential Pollak family, the museum presents a clear insight into the cultural and ethnographic heritage of the Tri area through a variety of exhibits. Crafts like shoemaking, charcoal burning, leather tanning, wheel-making, weaving and dyeing have a long tradition and were important means of income in the region. The different guilds responsible for these professions were very influential in Tri and their legacy can still be seen today. The exhibitions in the museum paint a vivid picture of how these traditional occupations were performed, as well as the living and working conditions of the workers. Very interesting and entertaining at the same time. Q Open 09:00-15:00, Wed 09:00-17:00. Closed Sat-Sun. Admission 2.90, children/students 1.50.

Lunch at a tourist farm, photo by YMB If youre looking for the most authentic experience possible whilst in the countryside, a visit to one or more of Slovenias officially recognised tourist farms is a must. In the valleys and hills to the west of kofja Loka there are over a dozen of these farms to choose from, most of which are situated within sight of each other near the Stari Vrh ski resort. While the phrase tourist farm may conjure up images of masochistic urban dwellers paying their hard-earned money to willing be put to work getting their hands dirty tending to animals or toiling in the fields, in most cases Slovenias tourist farms are more akin to delightful little rural guesthouses that also happen to be working farms. They generally come in two categories, tourist farms (turistina kmetija) and open door farms (kmetija odprtih vrat), with the only difference being that the former has both rooms and board, while the latter only serves food. In either case, be prepared to enjoy one of the best meals youve ever had, with simple but incredibly flavourful food heaped on your plate until you cant possibly raise another bite to your mouth. Calling ahead for reservations (and perhaps directions) is not technically required, but strongly recommended.

Museum of Tri Muzejska 11, tel. +386 (0)4 53 15

TIC Tri Trg Svobode 18, tel. +386 (0)4 597 15 36/ +386
(0)51 627 057, informacije@trzic.si, www.trzic.si.

What to See & Do


Tri Old Town Centre Tri gained market rights in 1492
and was a booming trade and crafts town, favourably located near the Ljubelj pass which was an important trade route connecting Central Europe with the Mediterranean. Originally the old town centre consisted mostly of wooden buildings, which turned out to be an important catalyst for an enormous tragedy in 1811, when a gigantic fire broke out devastating the town, resulting in the destruction of more than 200 buildings and the deaths of 75 people. To avoid a repetition of this

Dovanova Soteska Gorge Just a short drive from

Watch the masters at work at the Duo Arts & Crafts Centre, photo by Jana Kuhar

Tri in the heart of the Karavanke mountain range lies the Dovanova Soteska Gorge, a site of immense natural beauty. Throughout time the wild Trika Bistrica river has cut itself deep into the limestone here, creating this unique spot and

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uncovering rich geological treasures. Since 1988, it has officially been a protected natural monument. A wide range of fossils and stones dating back to the Paleozoic era have been uncovered here and can still be found in and around the gorge. Most notable are fossils of the Schwagerina carniolica, a micro-organism which used to thrive in a shallow sea that covered this area and can only be found here. Its advisable to take the educational path, which leads past all the geological highlights and ends at the Exhibition and Educational Centre in the Dolina Valley, where the staff can tell you everything about the origins of the fossils and creation of this breathtaking landscape. Nearby is the impressive sight of the Trika Bistrica river cascading down huge flint rocks and some enormous limestone pyramids. Q Dolina Educational Centre open June - Sept on Sat, Sun and holidays, or by prior arrangement.

elezniki
Mauthausen Memorial Park
www.trzic.si. The park is situated at the location where the Ljubelj concentration camp (part of Mauthausen) once stood. The camp was built to house the prisoners who were charged with carving out a 1.5km long tunnel through the Karavanke mountain range. Although there was also a small contingent of civilian engineers and workers, the largest part of the workforce consisted of political prisoners and captured combatants, who were forced to work on the tunnel in deplorable and inhumane conditions. Between 1943 and 1945 the mostly Polish, French, Russian, Yugoslav and Norwegian prisoners worked without any respite on the strategically important tunnel. Nowadays the site of the concentration camp, the only one on Slovene territory, is marked by an impressive sculpture. The monument is in the shape of a skeleton with a heart, raising its arms to the sky accompanied by the inscription on the pedestal: jaccuse (I accuse). Across the road the foundations of a large part of the camp still remain and information signs specify the exact layout of the camp and the function of the buildings. In the cellar of the nearby Koren restaurant is a memorial room with an exhibition consisting of the prisoners personal belongings, the tools they used and photographs of the camp and its detainees. The whole site is a monumental place and we would recommend a visit to this historically important location.

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Ivan Grohar
One of the leadin g members o f Slovenias Impressionist movement, I va n G roh a r l e d a stereotypically impoverished and tumultuous life that was tragically cut short at the age of 43, just as he seemed poised to gain wider recognition for his work. Born in 1867 in the picturesque hillside village of Spodnja Sorica, which now lies in the municipality of elezniki, Grohar demonstrated a keen interest in art at a young age, but was only able to pursue his passion in fits and starts after being orphaned and left in the care of the state. His first break came in 1888, when he was able to spend the summer working in the town of kofja Loka with a local church painter, which led to a further opportunity in Zagreb shortly thereafter. Then, after briefly being conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian Army, deserting and serving a short prison term, Grohar continued his studies in Graz with financial assistance from the state. After graduating he opened his own atelier in kofja Loka and befriend Richard Jakopi, who is largely considered the founder of Slovene Impressionism. Over the next decade, Grohar and the other core member of the movement enjoyed increasing success and exhibited their works in cities across Europe, including Vienna, Belgrade, London, Krakow, Warsaw, Trieste and Berlin. However, Grohar was never able to escape financial difficulties, and finally succumbed to tuberculosis just before embarking on a trip to Italy in 1911. Today, his most recognisable works - including the Sower, which is also enshrined on the five cent Euro coin - can be found in the National Gallery in Ljubljana. The house Grohars family lived in is now a protected cultural site, with a small museum and gallery dedicated to the artist on the ground floor. The place is managed by respected local artist Miro Kaar, who, along with the help of his son, runs very popular painting and music workshops for both children and adults on the houses upper floors.

Ljubelj Adrenaline Park Pot na Bistriko Planino 10, tel. +386 (0)31 513 645/+386 (0)4 59 22 700, info@koren-sports.si, www.koren-sports.si. A visit to the adrenaline park is not for the faint of heart nor people who have a fear of heights. You are guaranteed to find yourself dangling, balancing and crawling several meters above the ground on this action packed course. Luckily visitors are supervised by an experienced instructor, and due to the nature of the track there are also some age and height restrictions. St Anna Mine www.trzic.si. This once valuable source of mercury has not been in use for almost a century and is nowadays opened for guided tours. The mine was first exploited in the 16th century and was used intensively for some four hundred years. There are several disused entrances to the mine, along all of which visitors can see stones containing small amounts of cinnabar, the ore from which mercury is extracted. Only one entrance is accessible, which leads to a 300m deep horizontal shaft and ends in an impressive limestone room inhabited by bats. Along the way the path passes by many newly formed stalactites and little creepie crawlies like spiders and grasshoppers, who have adapted to a world without daylight. The tour takes you to the heart of this eerie environment and is not for the squeamish.

elezniki might be known first and foremost for its historical ironworks, but this hidden municipality is also blessed with many beautiful views, photo by Jana Jocif With some 7000 inhabitants elezniki is the main town of the Selka Valley, and has a long proud history dating back to the middle of the 10th century when the German Emperor donated it to the Bishops of Freisburg. Its not a coincidence that the towns name is derived from the Slovene word for iron, as elezniki owes its existence to the rich deposits of iron ore in the surrounding hills and the related ironworks industry that dates back nearly 700 years. While the ironworks was shuttered at the beginning of the 20th century, the towns most recognisable sight is the perfectly preserved smelting furnace that still stands defiantly in the main square - the only remaining structure of its type in Europe and now a protected technical monument. Nowadays elezniki is thriving once again, and is home to several leading Slovenian firms, most notably the furniture maker Alples, and Domel, which manufacturers electronic motors and other components. The towns museum, which details its rich historical, cultural and industrial heritage, is reason enough to visit, but the municipal region also extends high up into the mountains to the idyllic village of Sorica, which was the birthplace of famed Slovene impressionist painter Ivan Grohar.

Where to Stay & Eat


damo-catering.si. Koren is one of the last pit stop opportunities before crossing the border with Austria and an excellent choice if you are a lover of tasty hearty cuisine. The restaurant is charmingly authentic and the cosy interior is decorated with icons and photos of Titos numerous hunting trips to Podljubelj. The long-serving chef prepares every meal from fresh ingredients and uses only local products, thus guaranteeing exquisite, high quality dishes cooked with passion and served with a smile. The menu offers a wide range of choices, including house specialities like wild boar goulash, river trout and lamb stew with buckwheat. The owners also rent out a wooden lodge for parties, run a small hostel, which offers beds to weary travellers and have an authentic Finnish sauna on their premises. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon.

Koren Podljubelj 297, tel. +386 (0)4 596 22 75, www.

Sightseeing
Museum of elezniki Na Plavu 58, elezniki, tel. +386 (0)4 514 73 56, muzej.zelezniki@siol.net, www. zelezniki.si. Even for those who are not normally interested in ethnographical or technical museums (which is a group we somewhat shamefully admit belonging to), the collection at eleznikis town museum is a worthwhile stop if youre passing through. The well-presented exhibitions are spread across 12 rooms on three floors, and give visitors an in-depth overview of the regions main products over the past 700 or so years, namely iron ore, timber, lace and decorative cookies - a diverse offering if there ever was one! Other exhibits include famous people from elezniki, a room dedicated to the national liberation fight during WWII, a functioning model smelting factory, and a huge machine that methodically transforms a spool of wire into paperclips - one at a time. Perhaps the only downside may be the lack of English, so make sure to bring along a guide or someone who can translate, as nearly everything here is in Slovene. Q April to October open Tues-Thur 09:00-15:00, Fri 09:00-17:00, Sat 09:00-14:00 (17:00 in July & Aug), Sun 13:00-17:00. Closed Mondays and holidays. November to March open Tues-Fri 09:00-14:00, Sat 09:00-13:00. Closed Sundays and Mondays. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

Stegovnik Waterfall is one of the many beautiful natural sights to discover in the unspoiled nature surrounding Tri, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia

torman Apartments Lom pod Storiem 10, tel. +386 (0)41 786 269/+386 (0)51 667 693, kmetija.storman@ siol.net. Situated on an idyllic location with a grandiose view of the Alps, this family-run farm boasts two brand new apartments for tourists and a multi-media conference room for groups. Each apartment is outfitted with all the comforts of home and accommodates up to four guests, who can also take advantage of a Finnish sauna. There is also one more basic room for up to four guests, intended for single night stays. The owners do some small scale ecological farming and visitors are more than welcome to taste their homegrown asparagus and homemade honey and schnapps. The surroundings are perfect for hiking, cycling and sightseeing. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

A statue of painter Ivan Grohar proudly stands outside his home village of Sorica, photo by Jana Jocif

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iri
Located just a 10-minute drive north of Bled, irovnica sits in the picturesque foothills of Mt Stol, the highest peak in the Karavanke Mountains. Known as the cradle of Slovene culture, it seems like every village in this clustered settlement was home to an important historical figure of Slovene literature and culture, most notably Dr France Preeren from Vrba. The region is also well-known for its long history of beekeeping which continues today, and the locally produced honey and particularly honey liquor are definitely worth sampling. The valleys and mountains surrounding irovnica are also popular with hikers and mountain bikers.

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irovnica Tourism and Cultural Office irovnica 14, tel. +386 (0)4 580 15 03, info@zirovnica.eu, www. zirovnica.eu.

What to See & Do


Dr France Preerens Birth House Vrba. Most visitors to
Slovenia first encounter Dr France Preeren as an imposing bronze statue in the heart of Ljubljana, although more than just being at the heart of the capital, Preeren is at the heart of Slovene identity and culture. Described as the Shakespeare of Slovene literature, Preerens poetry articulates the spirit of Slovenia and the Slovenes, and a stanza from his poem A Toast is used as the lyrics for the national anthem. Born in Vrba in 1800, his birth house has become a popular tourist destination. The house was built in the 16th century though its current form dates from 1856 when it was rebuilt following a fire. Opened as a museum in 1939, Slovenias first protected cultural site continues to attract thousands of visitors annually. Whilst its mainly Slovenes who make the pilgrimage here the museum offers all visitors a window into the life and times of this literary master, with its collection of 19th-century artefacts including Preerens crib and an informative exhibition of the great mans life. QOpen 09:00 - 16:00, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Admission 2.50, children/seniors 2.

A border town between the First and Second World Wars, in the latter half of the 20th century iri became famous for its production of award-winning footwear, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia If Slovenia is situated at the geographical crossroads of Europe - with the Alps, great eastern plains and Mediterranean all converging within its borders - then iri is at the crossroads of Slovenia, which by our calculation makes this small town of just under 5000 inhabitants the unofficial centre of Europe! While this may be a slight exaggeration, iri is set in an enviable location in a small basin at the end of the Poljanska Valley, just a few minutes drive away from kofja Loka to east, Vrhnika to the south and Idrija to west. But iri wasnt always in the centre of things, in fact, for much of its history it has been a border town between the great empires of the east and west - most recently during the period between WWI and WWII, when it was only a couple of kilometres from the border separating Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In the years immediately following the Second World War, the borders once again receded and gave iri a bit more breathing room. It was at this time that the towns most recognisable company, Alpina, began to grow from a small cooperative of local shoemakers into the international firm that it is today. A repeat winner of the prestigious Red Dot award for design, many of Alpinas award winning models can be seen in a special exhibit at the city museum. ings by local artists, most of which date from the past few decades, as well as perhaps the most complete presentation of shoemaking that weve ever seen. In addition to tracing the history of the craft, visitors can also see several large display cases of shoes and boots produced by the local Alpina factory - including those worn by the first Slovene to reach the summit of Mt Everest, the pair of red ski boots responsible for the companys first Red Dot award in 2008 and some unexpectedly elegant items of ladys evening wear. Q Admission 2.00-2.20. 510 69 50, a.primozic@siol.net. iri may be best known for its tradition of high-quality shoe production, but the lacemaking trade also has a long history in the region - which is understandable given that its less than 20km from Slovenias undisputed lace-making capital, Idrija. The best place to view this finest of handicrafts in iri is the small but well-stocked Primoi Gallery, located just opposite the Church of St Martin right in the centre of town. Boasting a fine collection of various lace creations and associated paraphernalia from the 19th and 20th centuries, the gallery also sells replica patterns from the Primoi family archive, modern lace patterns and of course countless pieces of lacework. Q Open Mon-Fri 16:3019:00, Sat 09:00-12:00 and Sun by appointment only.

Sleepy irovnica is the birthplace of poet and Slovene cultural icon France Preeren, photo by Jot Gantar courtesy of Picture Slovenia

irovnica Cultural Heritage Path The cultural heritage

Primoi Gallery of Lace Jobstova 29, tel. +386 (0)4

Valvasorjev Dom & Ajdna Archaeological Park,

Sightseeing
iri Museum (Muzej iri) Tabor 2, iri, tel. +386 (0)4
519 10 83. The main tourist sight within the town of iri itself is the well-maintained city museum, which is arranged thematically to present the main topics of importance for the city and wider area. It is set at the far south end of town in what was originally a country manor house for the noble families of kofja Loka before being converted to a school and then finally a museum in 1970. On the ground floor there is a presentation of iris history, including its time as a border town, and its possible to watch a short film on the topic with a voiceover in English. If you plan to take a tour of Rupniks line and its famous bunkers, we recommend making a stop here first. Here you can also find collections detailing lace-making and the events of the Second World War. The first floor holds a small but impressive exhibition of paint-

tel. +386 (0)40 618 756, valvasor.dom@gmail.com. This mountain lodge 5km north of Zavrnica is the perfect base for hikers setting off into the mountains and is a great place to try the local cuisine. Accommodation is also available, so dont fret about enjoying a post hike beer or trying the local honey liqueur. A 30-minute walk from Valvasorjev Dom, the Ajdna archaeological park is one of Slovenias best archaeological sites and provides a window into late-Antiquity and Middle Ages. Excavations have uncovered the remnants of an old walled Christian settlement, including 25 buildings and an early church from the 5th or 6th century. The site sheds light on the plight of early Romanised inhabitants who sheltered in the regions rugged landscape from marauding Germanic tribes. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 21:00, Sun 07:00 - 18:00.

See iris long shoemaking tradition first-hand at the towns fine museum, photo by YMB

Zavrnica Recreational Park Zavrnica (Zavrh to locals) shares its name with the stream that winds its way through this beautiful valley. In bygone years the valley was a hive of activity with the stream powering many mills. The valley is also beautified with a reservoir that powered Slovenias first public hydroelectric plant. These days Zavrnica is a popular year-round excursion destination with opportunities for mountain biking, horse riding, hiking and sledging in winter. And if that isnt enough, the valley also now offers visitors even more, with a new recreation park opened in the spring 2013. The Zavrnica Recreation Park includes a childrens playground, jogging paths with exercise equipment, volleyball courts and picnic facilities. slovenian-alps.inyourpocket.com

path begins at the birth house of Matija op and snakes its way for 6km through many of the areas quaint villages taking in historically significant houses and churches. The path is a pleasant walk or scoot around it on an electric bicycle available for hire (reservation required) at the irovnica tourism office (located in Matija ops birth house). Before setting off check at the tourism office about opening hours of museums on the route as many are open only by appointment. The first sight is the birth house of Matija op, a linguist (speaking a staggering 19 languages!), writer and Slovenias first librarian, as well as being a friend and mentor of France Preeren. From irovnica the path heads to Selo where you can catch magnificent views of the cliffs above the town, and the 15th-century fresco in the Church of St Cantianus is well worth viewing too. The next village is Breznica, birth place of Anton Jana an 18th-century artist and pioneer of modern beekeeping, indeed the first teacher of beekeeping by royal decree. Whilst a reconstructed apiary sits in the place of the original, a number of the original beehive panels painted with traditional motifs are on display, and also make great souvenirs. The next stop on the path is Doslove, the smallest village in the region, though keeping with the way of irovnica it too is the birth place of a significant Slovene author and playwright, Fran Saleki Fingar. Those doing the path on foot will enjoy the walking trail from Doslove and Rodine, which offers beautiful views of the country side and the Julian Alps. Rodine dates back to the 10th century and it too has a museum dedicated to its famous local literary figure, author and playwright Janez Jalen. The final village on the path is Vrba, and while Preerens birth house is the star attraction, the more than 200 hundred year old linden tree (Slovenias national tree) and village meeting place are also worth checking out.

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Maps
Arrival & Transport
Situated at the historical and geographical crossroads of western, northern and southern Europe, its not surprising that the Gorenjska region is well connected to the rest of the continent in all directions, as well as to all corners of Slovenia via the capital Ljubljana. In this section we give some basic info on getting to the region from abroad, while more detailed info about getting to and from individual municipalities can be found in the relevant chapters. Slovenias main international terminal, the Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport (LJU), is located in the Gorenjska region just outside of the village of Brnik near Kranj - making access to all of the cities, towns and sights included this guide convenient from most anywhere in the world. Lots of info for the airport, including all onward ground transport options, can be found at www.lju-airport.si. Alternatively, the nearby airports in Klagenfurt, Austria (KLU) and Trieste, Italy (TRS) are also popular points of arrival for travellers headed to the Slovenian Alps, as they offer many connections on European budget airlines, while Venices Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is less than 2.5hrs away by car and has the best international connections in the wider region. yond calling at both Kranj and Jesenice, where transfers can be made to local transport (ie trains, buses or taxis). A full timetable and price info can be found on Slovenian Railways very user-friendly site at www.slo-zeleznice.si.

By Bus

By Air

Most of Slovenias international bus connections go directly to Ljubljana, where transfers can be made to national bus operators. Prices and journey times from Ljubljana to the major towns in Gorenjska are comparable to trains, but run much less frequently at the weekends. With a little luck, timetables and some prices can be found on the official website of Ljubljana Bus Station at www.ap-ljubljana.si.

By Car

By Train

Slovenias main railway line to western and northern Europe passes directly through the centre of Gorenjska, with most international trains to/from Austria, Italy, Germany and be-

Driving is by far the most convenient way to get around the Slovenian Alps, especially for those who would like to explore the countryside outside of the handful of cities and towns in the region. As with the rest of Slovenia, road are generally in good condition and well-marked, and if you ever find yourself lost (and without a GPS device) friendly locals are usually glad to point you in the right direction. The A2 motorway runs the length of the region, from the Karavanke Tunnel at the Austrian border to Ljubljana, a total distance of some 72km. If arriving from abroad, dont forget to immediately purchase a vinjeta sticker for your winscreen, which is used on Slovenian motorways in lieu of paying tolls.

KRANJSKA GORA

JESENICE IROVNICA GORJE TRI BLED RADOVLJICA PREDDVOR JEZERSKO

BOHINJ

NAKLO

NA GORENJSKEM

CERKLJE

KRANJ ELEZNIKI

ENUR

KOFJA LOKA GORENJA VAS - POLJANE

IRI

Slovenian Alps

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