Europe, Itineraries, Short Breaks, Slovenia
The best kept secret of Slovenia | Bela Krajina
Slovenia is at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists because of its beautiful nature. Places such as Bled and Ljubljana are already world famous and attract many tourists every year. But Slovenia has so much more to offer. As the saying goes search and you shall find, you can still discover many hidden gems to travel off the beaten path in Slovenia.
BIG BERRY invited us to Bella Krajina, a lesser-known region in the south of Slovenia, located at the Kolpa river which is also the border with Croatia. In my most recent post I already told you all about our stay at BIG BERRY.
For those who have already read it, a little reminder 😉
The concept of BIG BERRY is to offer sustainable, healthy and local experiences to travellers through food, culture and outdoor activities and to put this less known area of Slovenia on the map.
BIG BERRY and their partners completely immersed us in the culture of the region with different activities.
Local product tasting
We visited Oljarna pečarič, a local oil mill. They produce a wide range of cold press oils. They all have a beneficial effect on health and on the body. After a short explanation we were able to taste the different oils. We even played a blind tasting game, which Jan really loved.
We also got a guided tour in Kmetija Pavlovič, a Berry farm where we could look at how the berries are grown. When it stopped raining we could even pick our own little stash for snacking during the tour.
Afterwards we could taste the many delicious products made from the different berries (strawberries, raspberries, red currant berries and aronia berries) such as marmalade, juice and of course the famous raspberry wine.
In Domača obrt Cvitkovič we received a demonstration how the local women make linen from plant to finished product. We also could admire the traditional costumes of Bella Krajina.
Afterwards we ventured into a workshop to decorate the traditional Easter eggs with beeswax. Jan and I competed by trying to make the most beautiful egg. Eventually Tjaša won!
Dining and wining
Big Berry spoiled us with local food. We visited 3 very different restaurants with traditional dishes.
Gostišče Veselič is an authentic and cosy restaurant close by the BIG BERRY domain. It is a more modest restaurant that offers daily traditional menus for brunch, lunch and dinner for a very reasonable price. We ate a 3 meal course for lunch and the food is truly delicious.
Gostilna Muller is beautiful wooden restaurant located next to a little river. If the weather is good, take place outside on the terrace. Enjoy a salad from the saladbar and try one of the traditional dishes from the extensive menu.
Last but not last BIG BERRY introduced us to izletniška kmetija zupančič . This is a trout farm where you can eat fresh trout on the barbeque. Fresher that this isn’t really possible, I think. The is by far the best-prepared trout I ever ate. And the setting is just sublime! I highly recommend this restaurant when you visit the region.
On a guided photo tour we witnessed some of the most beautiful hidden gems in Bela Krajina.
Izvir Reke Krupe, the spring of the Kolpa river.
These pictures were taken at one of the entrances of the Lahinja nature park.
As icing on the cake we visited Domačija KUZMA, an old mill where flour is still being produced. This authentic setting in the middle of a beautiful area along the Kolpa river is definitely worth a visit. It is also a campsite, so for those who prefer to discover Bella Krajina by tent, this is the place to be.
Our hostess was the beautiful daughter of the miller. She is studying to be an engineer but during the vacation she likes to come home to lead guests around the mill. Her technical background and enthusiasm are contagious and before you know it you understand the whole process from grain to flower.
You end your vistit with a homemade rakija. The specialty here is rakija with spices or chilli pepper rakija
The most beautiful thing about visiting all the local initiatives and partners, according to me, is the heritage that Slovenians still pass on from generation to generation.
How we experienced Bela Krajina and our stay at Big Berry
After our short stay of 3 nights we have the feeling we experienced the Bella Krajina region as much as possible. When traveling, it isn’t always easy to find these local opportunities. That’s why the concept of BIG BERRY and their partners is so successful in creating a customized authentic experience.
Are planning a trip to Slovenia or even through the Balkan, check out our Balkan road trip itinerary with photo guide.
If you have questions or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below.
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