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Tourist News From Slovenia - TOURIST INFORMATION FROM SLOVENIA

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Tourist News From Slovenia - TOURIST INFORMATION FROM SLOVENIA ...

TOURIST INFORMATION FROM SLOVENIA June 2008

     www.slovenia.info

    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

    year

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; info@zalozba-pozoj.si. An online version of the book is available at

    www.dobre-gostilne.si.

    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

    English.

    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

    creative workshops.

    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

    other obstacles.

    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

    at www.kr-gora.si.

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.

The 30

    th cycling marathon around Pohorje will take place on 28 June 2008. More

    information: www.pohorje.org.

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;

    www.terme-zreče.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

    information: www.rtc-krvavec.si.

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

    information: www.lifeclass.net.

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

    metres deep.

    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:

    http://www.h-bernardin.si/paradise_spa.

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

    plans.

    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

    September.

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 (1921 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

    summer Olympics.

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

    information: http://www.burger.si/SLOGradovi_eng.html.

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:

    Brina Čehovin

    Marketing & Communications Director

    Slovenska turistična organizacija/Slovenian Tourist Board

    Dunajska 156, 1000 Ljubljana

    Tel.: +386 1 5891 843, Fax.: +386 1 5891 841

    http://www.slovenia.info

     e-mail: brina.cehovin@slovenia.info

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