Our summer road trip was filled with adventures and new destinations. Our itinerary had places we longed to visit for a while, like Hvar Island, and others we didn’t consider visiting before, mainly because we never heard of, which was the case of the beautiful Slovenian region, Bela krajina.
Located in the border of Slovenia and Croatia, Bela krajina is tucked among mountains and the river Kolpa. The most famous cities are Metlika, Semic and Crnomelj. It’s a tranquil place, perfect for giving your mind some time to relax, and at the same time, it’s paradise for outdoor activities, which includes hiking, cycling, kayaking, and more. Its incredibly friendly population is always with open arms to host and show their home to travelers from all over the world.
We were particularly impressed with the beauty and the gems of this region, and were happy to have made the most of the three days we spent there thanks to BIG BERRY. We had the chance to visit abandoned castles, swim and kayak in the Kolpa river, try the local food, visit local producers of wine, oil and honey, admire beautiful views, to talk to the locals, and even to attend to a traditional school back in 1957!
For those of you who, like me, love finding hidden gems, especially in Europe, I give you 6 good reasons to visit Bela krajina, Slovenia:
1. The strategic location
Apart from being right on the border with Croatia, and only a few kilometers away from famous Croatian cities like Zagreb, Bela krajina is also pretty close to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana (only 95km from Metlika) and to the stunning Lake Bled (154km). It is possible to use the region as your base, and explore other parts of Slovenia and its neighboring country.
2. The wine
It’s no secret that W. and I are wine lovers, and if there is something we highly appreciate are small wineries with character. While in Beja krajina we visited Suklje winery, where we had one of our favorite wine tastings so far. We had the chance to chat with the family that produces the wine, tried some of them, and of course, bought a few bottles back home. The truth is that Bela krajina is on the wine roads of Slovenia, and for the wine lovers out there on the search to find something special and unique, you can’t miss this place.
3. The local culture
If like us you love to be in touch with the local culture, Bela krajina is a wonderful region to do this, as it’s still off the beaten path, and its locals are very interested on interacting with travelers. Whether you meet them at the local restaurants or when visiting their farms, they will happily tell you stories, help you with whatever you need, explain about their food, products, traditions and history, and provide you a memorable visit.
We had the unique chance to attend to a traditional Slovenian school from 1957, back when the country was still communist. One of the locals dresses up and behaves as one of the former teaches, and provide the curious travelers, the experience of being a student in communist Slovenia (very strict; not easy). It was a highlight in our visit, one that made us laugh, and think of how far this country has been after its difficult times.
4. To be in touch with nature
To me, Slovenia itself is all about nature, and in Bela krajina nature is all around. Rivers, waterfalls, mountains, vineyards, green everywhere, birds and wild animals, and, of course, pure air. For those searching for a place to escape the big cities and slow down, you might just have found it.
5. The beauty of the region
Yes, Bela krajina is beautiful, no question. It’s colorful and sunny, the landscape is incredible, there are castles and villages to discover, photogenic abandoned places, and more amazing natural sites waiting to be discovered.
6. To experience glamping at BIG BERRY
If you still haven’t gone glamping, here is your chance! BIG BERRY, a luxury glamping resort, is located steps away from the Kolpa river. It’s kids and pet friendly, relaxing, innovative, fun, they work closely with the locals, and it’s the perfect place to stay when visiting Bela krajina. Check out how was our glamping experience with BIG BERRY.
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We were guests of BIG BERRY while in Bela krajina in August 2016. As always, views and opinions are my own, and I only recommend what I like and believe my readers will like too.