From the River Castle to the Zidanica

Slovenia is sprinkled with manors, forts and castles, a land of timeless walls built in various epochs of the Middle Ages, in the Renaissance and the Baroque, the earliest ones even in Antiquity. This nook of the world boasts over a hundred residences, bastions and chateaus; many were restored or turned into museums, hotels and event spaces. In the current edition, we’ll be looking at a fascinating Renaissance castle and the traditional zidanice countryside cottages. In pristine nature, on an islet on the River Krka stands the single castle on the water in Slovenia, reigning over the fertile winegrowing lands of Dolenjska with elegance and the flair of another age. A special setting for special events.

Trends in the meetings industry have long advised concepts that are off the beaten track. Event attendees certainly like to walk into a fresh, original programme – starting with the landscape. Whether it’s a partner meeting, automotive showcase or teambuilding session, the right choice of venue is a key ingredient for stellar success. It’s where you can set up a smooth schedule with the best speakers, attract your perfect audience, treat them to great cuisine and fabulous music, deliver flawless execution; yet the deepest impressions will come from the place, the backdrop where life is happening in the moment.

It could be a cliff overlooking the azure Adriatic, or a secret urban garden within rooftops of the city core, perhaps you’ll be staging your event inside a castle for that “legendary” feeling? How to deliver even more added value? With a location that brings value on its own. Slovenia boasts a number of such distinct venues, among them the Otočec Castle, the pearl of the emerald Krka as it’s called by the cheerful locals – the Dolenjci, always in a jolly mood. Energetic!

Dolenjska is also the land of thermal springs by the River Krka, leading from the salubrious Šmarješke Toplice and Dolenjske Toplice health spas to Novo Mesto, the town of the Iron Age artefact situla and global archaeological heritage. The atmosphere of the Otočec Castle cultural monument leaves few visitors indifferent, yet it’s not just a castle but also a hotel, member of the prestigious hotel and restaurant chain Relais & Châteaux with a certified high-end boutique offer. Luxury all the way! Next to the stylish chambers, guests enjoy immaculate surroundings offering many different outdoor activities. Once reserved for the leisure of the nobility, the pleasant forests of Dolenjska now accommodate a modern golf course where beginners and masters alike can practice their skills in peace. Alternatively, adrenaline will give you a kick on your quest across the Otočec Adventure Park; and since winegrowing is a cherished tradition in this part of Slovenia, too, tasting superior Slovenian wines and the Cviček – red & white blend, famous specialty of Dolenjska –, is practically a must. In the Wine Tower, accompanied by delicious cuisine and spiced with local character and tradition, naturally. An experience and then some!

Dolenjska offers magnificent natural scenery: serene views across rolling hills sprinkled with zidanice, characteristic cottages built amongst the vineyards. The little houses store barrels of exquisite wine, while some have been refurbished into petite accommodations, conference rooms and other multi-purpose facilities of the boutique format. Zidanice are a unique choice for small groups of meeting attendees, teambuilding and incentives, while also representing a great addition to programmes organized in one of Dolenjska’s castles.

So, choose a venue as colourful as the imagination; a venue you, dearest event organizers, and your guests can keep in fond memory. Compliments, joy and excitement are frequent pleasures of an event staged in a distinctive setting like the castle or the estate. As the old adage goes – good news travels fast. What are you waiting for, then? The fable on the sunny side of the Alps awaits!

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Author: Jasna Jašič, Marketing & Communications Manager, Slovenian Convention Bureau