The Autumn Shine of the Mediterranean and the Kras

When nature dons an autumn cloak, performing its dance of ripe plenty, the fertile winegrowing hills resemble dry gold. 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 autumn romance of the Mediterranean and the Kras leaves no one indifferent! 

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 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 sights, winegrowing tradition and gourmet offer providing also for a range of outdoor activities: from countryside cycling routes with stops for the tasting of delicacies, premium wines 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.

Each little part of Slovenia has its own character, especially 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. The Kras is simply terrific!

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, then 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.

Is the sea your preferred delight? 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. 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, resting 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 a great special venue. Oh, and did you know the salt of the Piran Salt Pans is used by culinary aces like the famous Jamie Oliver or Ana Roš, World’s Best Female Chef?

Feel the perfume, passion and warmth of the Mediterranean!

Mediterranean Slovenia thus offers, alongside its many other marvels, a journey into the past when time ran a slower, more genuine course. On top of authenticity, isn’t a pause from the frantic pace of modern life precisely what the planners and, not least, the attendees of business meetings are after? New digital paradigms flood us with ubiquitous new horizons. And yet, sometimes, it’s all just a little too much. We have to escape, revisit the first principles. Nature. The genuine charm of personal presence, face-to-face conversation and human warmth. The Slovenian Mediterranean and the Kras provide an atmosphere of peaceful content, perfect for the task.

As poet Oton Župančič once put it: “My soul is as jolly as if it were drinking Kras Teran!” Well, he was right. Here, a splendid mood is all but guaranteed.

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Author: Jasna Jašič, Marketing & Communications Manager, Slovenian Convention Bureau, photo: Arhiv ZTKMŠ Brda