TOURIST INFORMATION FROM SLOVENIA – June 2008
1. Slovenian tourism statistics for April 2008
2. Discover Slovenia through books
3. Kranjska Gora attractive year-round
4. Beautiful summer in mountain centres
5. What's new in Slovenian spas
6. Piran with a new look
7. Ugar 2008 fei world cup
8. Prem castle joins Slovenia’s renovated castles
9. Vrtojba watchtower nominated for European museum of the
1. SLOVENIAN TOURISM STATISTICS FOR APRIL 2008
Tourist accommodation facilities registered 659,121 tourist arrivals and 2,022,199
overnight stays in the first four months of 2008. The total number of overnight
stays in the first four-month period was down by 1% year on year. The number of
overnight stays of domestic tourists rose by 5%, whereas the number of overnight
stays of tourists from abroad dropped by 5%. In April 2008 compared to April
2007, tourist accommodation facilities registered an 11% drop both in tourist
arrivals and overnight stays.
Overnight stays of tourists from abroad accounted for 53% of the total number of
overnight stays recorded in the first four months of 2008. Sixty-nine percent of all
foreign overnight stays was accounted for by visitors from the following six
countries: Italy (23%), Austria (15%), Croatia (13%), Germany (8%), the United
Kingdom (6%) and Hungary (4%).
2. DISCOVER SLOVENIA THROUGH BOOKS
Several guidebooks and monographs have come out recently on Slovenia and its
natural splendours, attractions and distinctive features, by both Slovenian and
foreign authors and photographers.
Jože Plečnik – In Ljubljana and Slovenia, a guide and map to architectural masterpieces by Joţe Plečnik, a widely known and recognised architect at home
and abroad, was published in 2007 by Cankarjeva Zaloţba in the Slovene, English
and Italian languages. His work left an indelible, unique mark on Ljubljana,
matching it with the beauty of other European capitals.
Od dobre gostilne do nobel prenočišča (From a good inn to a great place to spend the night in Slovenia) is a tourist handbook by authors Drago Medved and Peter Rebernik, which came out in 2007 in four language versions
(Slovene, English, German and Italian). On 172 colour pages, it features a selection
of 160 good inns, guesthouses, tourist farms and hotels from all over Slovenia. It is
primarily intended for travelers who tour Slovenia without predefined itineraries,
who choose a place to take a break on the fly. Zaloţba Pozoj, 2007, tel. ++386 (0)3
897 01 22; firstname.lastname@example.org. An online version of the book is available at
Okusiti Slovenijo (Taste Slovenia), by Janez Bogataj, examines the overlapping influences of three distinct cultures (Alpine, Pannonian and
Mediterranean) from the viewpoint of Slovenian gastronomy. Published by Rokus
Publishing under the National Geographic trademark, the book is available in the
Slovene and English languages. It is divided into 24 chapters, each focusing on a
distinct gastronomic region, and includes 170 recipes and 190 colour photographs
on 452 pages. https://www.darila.com/default.cfm?Jezik=Si&Kat=00
Ustvarjalna Slovenija (Creative Slovenia), by Janez Bogataj, is written as a guidebook to Slovenia. It features presentations of individual regions, gives an
overview of the creativity of craftsmen, innkeepers, winemakers and
internationally renowned Slovenian companies, and lists all of Slovenia's patented
products. It was first published by Rokus Publishing in 2005. The book lists 162
craftsmen with detailed contact information and 193 inns and winemakers with
full addresses; it also boasts 27 maps and 464 photographs. Also available in
Slovenija v presežnikih (Slovenia in Superlatives) is a monograph by photographer Tomo Jeseničnik, whose photographs and descriptions feature
Slovenia's distinctive attributes, such as the most popular spot, the deepest natural
lake and the highest waterfall. The 223 pages contain 101 superlatives and 303
photographs. Published by Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House, Ljubljana, in 2008,
it will soon be available in English and German.
Preprosto Slovenija (Simply Slovenia), in print and CD versions, is a photo essay with 160 remarkable photographs by the well-known Slovenian
photographer Bogdan Kladnik, along with Slovene and English-language poems
dedicated to Slovenia, written and performed by Shirlie Roden. Published in 2007
by Zaklad Publishing, www.zaklad.si, tel.: ++00386 41 633 328.
Moja Slovenija (Slovenia, My Country) is a photo monograph by Joco Ţnidaršič, author of several photo monographs on Slovenia (The Lipizzan Horses, Slovenian Vineyards, See You at the Market, Golf in Slovenia), available in
English, and The Lipizzan Horses also in German. All the monographs were
published by Veduta AŢ, d.o.o.
Cerkniško jezero (Lake Cerknica) is a 247-page photo monograph by Andreja Peklaj, with Slovene and English-language descriptions of the intermittent Lake
Cerknica, an unmatched phenomenon in this part of the globe, whose dry bed
during the year is a place of ploughing, planting, harvesting, mowing, hunting and
fishing. The Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO crowned the book with
the Decade Label in recognition of its important contribution to the protection and
preservation of Slovenia's natural and cultural heritage.
Best of Ljubljana is a 2006 guidebook published by Lonely Planet
(www.lonelyplanet.com), one of the world's leading publishers of quality tourist
guides. Fionn Davenport takes readers on a walking tour of Ljubljana, highlighting
its special attractions, which are sometimes overlooked even by the locals.
Slovenia is the tourist guide from the Lonely Planet series, in which author Steve
Fallon describes Slovenian cities, towns and wine regions, and lists adventure sites
and interesting places to stay. It comes complete with maps.
The Rough Guide to Slovenia, from the Rough Guides series, written by Norm Longley, discovers Slovenia, from the capital Ljubljana to magnificent lakes and
mountains, karst phenomena and possibilities for adventure and exploration.
3. KRANJSKA GORA ATTRACTIVE YEAR-ROUND
In spring and summer, the Upper Sava Valley is a perfect spot for all nature
lovers. The spectacular panorama and rich natural and cultural heritage offer
endless possibilities for individual or family trips, on foot or by bicycle. Tourism
operators make sure that ski slopes are interesting in the summer too.
Kranjska Gora, known primarily for its winter sports activities, offers many
possibilities in other seasons as well. Children will love the Besna Pehta summer
toboggan run. At 1,500 metres in length, it offers both adrenaline-filled and slow,
relaxed toboggan rides. At the Bedančeva drča chute, a conveyor belt brings you to
the starting position before plunging down the 70-metre-long slide on an air
cushion. Kekec Days, held from 22 to 29 June, will attract people of all ages. Along
with children's dance and folklore groups and popular Slovenian musical acts, the
programme of events and visitor animation will also include sporting activities
such as cycling, walks, rollerblading, climbing school for children, canoeing,
bathing, archery, orienteering, horseback riding, golf, themed excursions (e.g.
Pehta's Day, In the Footsteps of Josip Vandot, and a visit to Kekec land) and
Thrill-seekers will love Kranjska Gora for its bike park, offering freeride mountain
biking as well as adrenaline-rushing downhill rides over drops, jumps, swings and
Juriš na Vršič is a traditional annual cycling event that takes place on the first
Saturday in September. The race attracts more than 1,000 iron-willed and devoted
cyclists ready to tackle the steep and meandering 12-km course. This year the race
will be held on 6 September. More information: www.bikepark.si.
The Gathering at Tromeja will take place on 14 September atop Peč above Rateče,
where the three-way border between Slovenia, Austria and Italy is located. Hikers
from the three countries will meet at the top for a number of celebrations and fun.
The event is organised by the tourist societies of Rateče-Planica, Podklošter and
Trbiţ. Refreshments and drinks will be made available for several thousand hikers,
who simply love to dance the lively polka on the Slovenian side. More information
4. BEAUTIFUL SUMMER IN MOUNTAIN CENTRES
Slovenian mountain centres too have prepared interesting summer mountain
biking, hiking, tobogganing, horseback riding and adrenaline sports
programmes. Each mountain centre has something unique and remarkable to
offer, and all of them serve good food, rent out sporting equipment, and have
guides and instructors for different activities. The summer snow hotline: ++386
41 031 18 25 00.
Mariborsko Pohorje, reachable by circular cable car every day from 8.00 to 20.00, boasts the longest freeride mountain bike course in Slovenia, as well as an
adrenaline park with elevated training ground, Monster Roller for runs down the
Kordek track from the top of Pohorje to the valley, air adrenaline activities,
summer adrenaline tobogganing run (1 km long with 63% slopes, with speeds of up
to 40 kph), and the special Eagle's Nest Indian village for children. The Bolfenk
wellness centre is there to relax your body and soul.
th cycling marathon around Pohorje will take place on 28 June 2008. More
Rogla is situated at the heart of the scenic Zreče Pohorje and offers a rich and
diverse array of possibilities for active holidays, relaxation, recreation and a good
time. Thanks to its pleasant and healthy climate and health-giving mountain air,
Rogla is rightfully recognised as a climatic resort. Rogla also features an Olympic
centre, indoor sport arena, football stadium and athletics track, hiking and bicycle
trails, Nordic walking routes, tennis courts, fitness studios, horseback riding and
fishing. Visitors can take a free panoramic ride on the Planja chairlift, which runs
every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 25 June and 14 September.
Experienced climbers can scale the climbing wall in the sport arena, and there are
climbing courses and instructor-led climbing sessions available for beginners. For
thermal spa relaxation, there is Terme Zreče. More information: www.rogla.si;
Krvavec can be reached by cable car every day from June to October. Apart from
sports, Krvavec is also known for its diverse offer of homemade delicacies and
pleasant mountain atmosphere. Meadows thrive with medicinal herbs such as
thyme, St John's wort, lady's mantle, kidney vetch and oregano. The summer pulse
on Krvavec can be further enhanced by a visit to Plečnik's Chapel of St Mary of the
Snows, constructed in 1929, where a service is held every Sunday. More
Golte can be reached by a gondola lift or three-seat chairlift every day in July and
August. The trail around Golte has been renovated, and especially recommended is
the tour of the Alpine garden, which includes more than one hundred clearly
labelled plants in their native environment. Golte has exceptional natural
conditions for parachuting or tandem paragliding. More information: www.golte.si.
In summer, the Vogel Ski Centre is reachable by cable car every day between 7.00
and 18.00. Vogel boasts one of the most spectacular take-off spots, and tandem
parachute jumps are also available. More information: www.vogel.si.
Velika Planina, reachable by cable car and two-seat chairlift, is a true recreation
hub. You can visit a charming shepherd settlement and taste delicious dairy
products, or visit the Preskar hut, which is a shepherd's hut converted into a
museum; there is also a motorhome rest area at the bottom station of the gondola
lift. More information: www.velikaplanina.si. At the foot of Velika Planina lies Terme Snovik, the highest-altitude thermal spa in Slovenia, with a rich wellness
offer in an unspoiled landscape. More information: www.terme-snovik.si.
The summer season at Kanin opens on 13 June; the circular cable car will run
every hour on the hour from 8.00 to 15.00. Trips around the spectacular high-
altitude karst landscape, mountaineering tours, visits to the local landmarks and
remains of the WWI Isonzo Front, and paragliding or mountain biking down the
slopes of Kanin are only some of the possibilities on offer. The MTB Park, divided
into three parts based on the degree of difficulty, runs courses to improve riding
techniques and mountain biking safety. Tour operators around Bovec offer trips to
as many as eight canyons of different degrees of difficulty and run multi-day
canyoning courses, where participants learn all about handling ropes, abseiling,
securing and safety. Also interesting are water sports such as kayaking, canyoning
and rafting. More information: www.boveckanin.si.
The Cerkno Ski Centre with its surrounding area is a great summer place to pick
herbs, blueberries or mushrooms. The six-seat chairlift Počivalo runs Sundays from mid-June to mid-September. More information: http://www.ski-cerkno.com/. There are ample possibilities for relaxation and active holidays in the
town of Cerkno as well: thermal water pools, a fitness studio, saunas, a tennis court
and well-kept walking routes in and around town. The cycling tour of the Cerkno
region is set to take place on 16 August. More information: www.hotel-cerkno.si.
5. WHAT'S NEW IN SLOVENIAN SPAS
Terme & Wellness LifeClass, Portorož, offers a comprehensive range of thermal and wellness services for beauty, health and well-being. It combines all the
natural assets of a seaside destination and the Mediterranean climate with the
tradition of the Sečovlje saltpans, Asia and the Far East. Its rich offer – Thalasso
Centre, Wai Thai, Beauty Centre, Medical and Physiotherapy Centre, Sauna Park,
Fitness, Pilates and the Kinesis Centre, pools with thermal mineral water and
seawater – was expanded with the Shakti-Ayurveda Centre, which boasts a unique
ambience and skilled professional therapists who use the holistic approach on
individual patients to put their body and mind into balance. Take special Ayurveda
massages, four-hand massages with oil baths, packages for couples and selected
natural products, and you will feel the pulse of India right there in Portoroţ. More
With over 11,000 square metres of water areas, Slovenia's largest thermal resort,
the summer Thermal Riviera in Terme Čatež, has new attractions in store for
visitors this year. The new adrenaline-ride boomerang toboggan opened, with loud
cheers, on Saturday, 24 May. First you climb up 14 metres above water, plunge
down a 30-metre black hole on a rubber hoop, and then continue down on a
toboggan shaped like a boomerang. The investment was estimated at EUR
700,000. Along with the renovation of campsite amenities came an improvement
in the quality of services, and the campsite was reclassified from a three- to a five-
star campsite (campsite*****). More information: www.terme-catez.si.
Bioterme Mala Nedelja is situated in the beautiful rolling landscape in north-eastern Slovenia, in the municipality of Ljutomer. A small but popular swimming
facility for several decades, it has now grown into a 1,400-square-metre pool
complex with as many as nine new pools, a wellness centre, restaurant and new
thermal spring with warmer and higher-quality thermal water running from 2,273
At the source, the thermal water is 43ºC and is not mineralised, while the bathing
thermal water is between 27ºC and 38ºC, to suit different tastes and needs.
Construction of a new 150-room hotel is starting in autumn this year. Both
investments have been part-financed by EU grants for tourism infrastructure.
More information: www.bioterme.si.
The Paradise Spa in the prestige Grand Hotel Bernardin, in Portoroţ, opened its
doors in May to give the true feeling of what paradise is like to individuals and
couples. Start by relaxing in the saunas. Choose from Mediterranean, Turkish and
Thai saunas, or the tepidarium and laconium, all perfect spots for relaxed one-on-
one chats. Special features are the Rasul with the Oriental mud wrap and steam
ritual, and the hamam room for peelings and special soapsud massages. Feel the
healing properties of seawater in thalassotherapy. Also available are Finnish sauna
and chromotherapy, which uses colours and light to strike a balance between the
body and mind. The varied programmes combine eastern tradition with western
science. There is a wide range of traditional Thai treatments available: healing
herbs, essential oils and therapeutic massages. For well-being and vitality, there
are also sun beds and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. More information:
6. PIRAN WITH A NEW LOOK
Piran's renovated Tartini Square was officially unveiled on 31 May. Plans for the
renovation were drawn up by the Slovenian architect Boris Podrecca, based
abroad, who designed the first reconstruction of the square some years ago. The
Piran Gallery and Café in Tartini Square are also going to be renovated to his
th Piran Days of
Paying a tribute to the renowned architect Podrecca, Piran again proved that it Architecture, with presentations of the prestigious Piranesi awards in recognition lives for and with architecture, as this year it hosts the 26of Europe's top modern architectural ideas. With the renovation of Piran, Podrecca
followed his vision to free this wonderful seaside town of stationary traffic in the
town centre, which should become the focal point for meeting and greeting.
September will be a particularly lively month for Piran, as the following events take
place: the 11th Festival of Slovenian Film from 12 to 19 September, organised by the
Slovenian Film Fund (++386 1 234 32 00); Days of European Cultural Heritage on
th20 September; the Portoroţ Yacht Club is hosting the 28 International Portoroţ–
Lignano Sailing Regatta from 12 to 14 September (tel.: ++386 5 676 15 08); and 32
teams from Slovenia, Croatia and Italy will play in the International Boules
Tournament in Lucija (Balinarsko društvo Lucija, tel.: ++386 41 614 139) on 4
7. UGAR 2008 FEI WORLD CUP
A true sporting spectacle, the UGAR 2008 FEI World Cup (CSI3*-W) will take
place at the Ugar Estate near Ribnica na Dolenjskem over the third weekend in
September (19–21 September 2008).
Having successfully hosted two UGAR FEI World Cup competitions, the Ugar
Estate turned over a new leaf in the history of Slovenian sport and put this
Slovenian equestrian spectacle on the map of Central European World Cup
qualifying tournaments of the International Equestrian Federation (Federation
Equestre Internationale – FEI). According to the president of the International
Equestrian Federation, H.R.H. Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the world of top
equestrian sport sees Slovenia as one of the leading developing countries in this
remarkable sport. And jumping is one of three equestrian events included in the
The competition is a series of international CSI tournaments, ranked with one to
five stars (from CSI1*-W to CSI5*-W) based on the tournament's prize fund and
importance. Competitors in the World Cup tournaments collect points to reach the
final tournament, which features the best 40 riders in the world.
The Ugar Estate is one of the biggest and most modern equestrian centres in this
part of Europe. On the estate spanning 1,500 hectares of land, a modern 5,000-
square-metre competition area was built in recent years. The covered riding
ground is perfect for year-round training. In the stables there are several
promising competition horses of different ages. More information: www.ugar.si.
8. PREM CASTLE JOINS SLOVENIA'S RENOVATED CASTLES
Slovenia is dotted with castles. Standing in silence on hilltops, in forests and on
riverbanks, they are the splendour of the Slovenian landscape. There used to be
as many as 800 castles and mansions in the area of present-day Slovenia, which
testifies to our country's strategic importance, as well as its natural attraction.
Some of them have fallen into ruin, while many have withstood the ravages of
time to become artistic, cultural, tourism or administrative centres.
Among castles of historical and monumental value, which form part of the modern
local cultural and social environment, the best-known castles, mansions and
palaces are: Bogenšperk, Turjak, Breţice, Ptuj, Slovenska Bistrica, Betnava, Velenje,
Celje, Štatenberg, Idrija, Kamen, Fuţine, Bistra, Predjama, Štanjel, Zemono
Besenghi, Kromberk, Bled, Škofja Loka, Ţuţemberk, Otočec and Sneţnik. More
Thanks to EU funding, among others, the renovation and revival of castles
continue. Sevnica Castle, which was renovated last year, has been joined by Prem
Castle in the municipality of Ilirska Bistrica. The renovation of Prem Castle was
completed in the beginning of May, after a year and a half. The renovation was
carried out as part of the Overlapping Borders (Prekrižane meje) project, and the
castle's rich military heritage is now a tourist attraction. The project also includes
the WWI History Park in the municipality of Pivka and a fortified Roman
settlement in the Croatian municipality of Klana. The municipality of Ilirska
Bistrica has already invested EUR 400,000 in the roof, staircase, frescoes, function
room with Multivision facility, new museum collection and information office, and
another EUR 500,000 will be needed to restore the exterior wall and the
surrounding area. This 13
th century castle housed the headquarters of the district administration and court up until 1840. The core of the castle is a former
Romanesque tower with a chapel and a two-story residential section nestling
against the eastern part of the built-up castle area, where the courtyard is situated;
in the Gothic period, another residential area was erected against the north wall.
The archway and west wall are of a later date. Also interesting for visitors is the
church added later, whose frescoes were painted by Tone Kralj in 1921. The village
houses packed between the castle and church are built in the building style of the
Primorska region and arranged in a cross, as seen from a bird's-eye view. The
castle is open to visitors on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between noon
and 19.00. For individual arrangements call ++386 (0)5 710 1384.
9. VRTOJBA WATCHTOWER NOMINATED FOR EUROPEAN
MUSEUM OF THE YEAR
The museum in the Vrtojba military watchtower, which opened in December
2006, is arguably the smallest museum in the world. The Museum of Gorica and
the municipality of Šempeter-Vrtojba submitted the watchtower in the contest for the title European Museum of the Year. The watchtower is among the 36
nominations that the European Museum Forum announced from among 240
institutions, which is a great success. In Dublin on 18 May, World Museum Day, the European Museum Forum awarded the title Museum of the Year to the Kumu
Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia.
The municipality of Šempeter-Vrtojba declared the Vrtojba watchtower a cultural
monument of local importance in October 2004, and renovated it and opened it to
the public in December 2006. The tower, at 17.7 square metres of interior floor
surface and eight metres in height, making it the world's smallest museum, houses
a photographic exhibition set up by the Museum of Gorica on the lives of people in
the Gorica borderland after WWII. The tower's distinctive characteristic is that
visitors can show themselves in. Visitors can get the key to the tower in five places
in Šempeter and Vrtojba and see the museum free of charge. The nominated
museum is part of the historical border trail which the Museum of Gorica plans to
build in order to link the Vrtojba watchtower to the former police guardhouse and
customs office at Rafut, where a museum of smuggling is to open, and to the
museum of Gorica border crossings, which is already open to visitors and can be
found at the Nova Gorica train station. More information: www.muzej-vrtojba.si.
The Museum of Gorica is active in fifteen municipalities of the Primorska region
and works on individual projects with the Slovene minority in Italy. In the
municipality of Nova Gorica, the museum is in charge of looking after museum
collections at Kromberk Castle, Vila Bartolomei in Solkan and the Isonzo Front
museum collection at Sveta Gora. More information: www.goriskimuzej.si.
For more information:
Marketing & Communications Director
Slovenska turistična organizacija/Slovenian Tourist Board
Dunajska 156, 1000 Ljubljana
Tel.: +386 1 5891 843, Fax.: +386 1 5891 841