Marvels of the Kras and the Mediterranean

Nature sheds its winter attire, donning a lively green dress to perform its dazzling dance. There’s something wonderful in the air, something exciting, the moment calls for adventure in the wilderness. Slovenia is especially motley during this season, with its amazing diversity of geography on full display. All across, the land reveals various options for activities in the open, with fantastic natural sights and gentle climate breathing enthusiasm into incentive experiences under the open sky. The springtime romance of the Mediterranean and the Kras leaves no one indifferent! 

The Kras is simply terrific

Each little part of Slovenia has its own character, especially when talking about the vivid Kras, a proper microcosm of the land. Nestled between the Brkini Hills, the Bay of Trieste, the Vipava Valley and the Slovenian Istria, at the airy crossroads of comfort, the Kras is the home of Teran wine, Kras prosciutto and Bora wind. Not to forget, it is populated by a people so good-natured and friendly they get their own nickname, the kraševci with their unique piece of the world whose many caves, sinkholes and landscape of typical Karstic phenomena amaze and impress.

How about a thrilling adventure through mysterious caves and vanishing lakes? Or a picnic in Lipica, surrounded by snow-white Lipizzaner horses? Imagine hunting for truffles in Istria in the morning, riding an old-timer across the Kras landscape in the afternoon, arriving at an elegant castle in the evening to enjoy a gala dinner prepared just for you by the world’s top female chef. A perfect ending to a perfect day!

Spring picnic goodies are best found in Istria

The seaside landscape offers many opportunities for active leisure outdoors. Stroll along the walls of Piran, uncover hidden treasures of local culture, or set out to explore the fragrance of olive tree orchards and vineyards of the colourful Istrian countryside. Venture the secret corners of steep marine cliffs or take a bicycle ride down a scenic landscape along the Parenzana cycling route. Feel the perfume, passion and warmth of the Mediterranean!

While strolling the Šavrin Hills, make sure to peek into the bushes where you might discover tasty asparagus. A picnic in view of the Piran Bay, in the pleasantly aromatic shade of the olive trees is perfect with a basket of Mediterranean treats. We’ve got artichoke, mangold, dandelion, truffles and other local delicacies. Of course, amidst the sprawling vineyards, one simply has to taste the staple local wines – red Refošk and white Malvasia.

Is the sea your preferred delight? Yoga next to the murmuring waves or simply a walk by the sea does wonders for your body, with as many as 10 billion healthy aerosols inhaled in a seaside day. For a closer touch of the waters, we’ll take you for a sailboat or fishing trip, perhaps a fun regatta on the azure Adriatic to strengthen the team spirit. You can also try your hand at building a raft, setting out to catch and grill your own dinner. Add just a touch of salt flower, and the European bass is a heavenly treat! Have you heard of a fish named Fonda? Piran is introducing the world’s first named cultivated fish – the Fonda bass. What else to complete your stay in the city of roses than a glass of rosé– with hints of the Portorož rose. Spice up your socialising with one of the active adventurous relaxation programmes in our pinch of the Mediterranean.

The Sečovlje Salt Pans are home to centuries of saltworking tradition and some unique open-air wellness capacities. Relax in the saltwater pools that promote circulation, helping flush toxins from your body while you enjoy the calm vista of the salt flats. In addition to the pleasant surroundings, they can arrange for a themed gala dinner that is sure to liven up your event. Let’s add that the Sečovlje Salt Pans is also an extraordinary special venue.

The valley of boutique winemaking

The Vipava Valley is a hidden pearl of Slovenia, whispered of in superlatives. No wonder it was this year picked by the Lonely Planet for its prestigious list of top European summer destinations Best in Europe 2018. The ten gems of the Old Continent feature the Vipava Valley as a “surprisingly tucked-away jewel that never fails to impress the lovers of wine and outdoors adventure.” Indeed, the valley is an outstanding choice for incentives, in addition to its breathtaking sights and gourmet wine and culinary offer providing also for a colourful palette of outdoor activities: from countryside cycling routes – with stops for the tasting of home delicacies and a chat with the locals – to fishing, climbing, hiking, orchard and vineyard tours, horse riding, paragliding, hang-gliding and many other exciting feats in the local spirit.

“The Vipava Valley is a great example of a hidden gem, right in the heart of Europe. This is a region rich in appeal and charm, offering great food experiences, exciting adventure activities, and stunning scenery – all just a short journey from Ljubljana. With so much to offer, it’s perhaps a surprise that more travellers haven’t yet discovered the delights of this area. Verdant gorges and white-grey rock stacks litter the limestone Karst area to the south. Further west, nudging against the Italian border, micro-region Goriška Brda’s hills roll deeper, pocked with cypress trees, their brows adorned with gothic stone towers that call to mind picture-perfect Tuscan landscapes – but without the crowds.” wrote Jessica Cole, Lonely Planet magazine’s Features Editor.

Easygoing, hospitable, fertile

The people of Vipavska like to point out that their valley has for centuries been the paradise garden of the neighbouring countries, growing the fist ripe cherries, delicious apricots, pears, apples and all kinds of vegetables. Today, grapes and winegrowing are absolutely booming in the valley, with its distinctive mix of climates providing for a unique set of viticultural conditions. On the sunny sites, the diligent winemakers of the valley, friends and allies of nature, are nurturing growing numbers of top-shelf premium wines.

Truly, the Slovenian Mediterranean and the Kras provide a treasure trove of natural and cultural landmarks to enjoy in an atmosphere of peaceful content. As our famous poet Oton Župančič once put it: “My soul is as jolly as if it were drinking Kras Teran!” Well, he was right. Come and see for yourself! Here, a splendid mood is all but guaranteed.

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