Old Castle of Celje

Castles make up an essential part of European culture. Every castle stands as a witness to the country’s history and development. Setting high on the three hills in Celje, the Old Castle of Celje entrenching on the hilltop like a flying dragon was once the largest fortification on Slovenian territory. It was erected to protect the country since the 14th century.

The earliest reference to the medieval Celje Old Castle dated back to the early 14th century. The original design only included a Romanesque palace and the walls. Later during the Counts of Celje, the most renowned noble dynasty in Slovenian history, its first Count of Celje started refurbishing the Celje Old Castle into a more comfortable residence after moving to it with his family. In the following decades, the castle was gradually developed into its scope and appearance today.

After undergoing different dynasties and World Wars, the old castle has become one of the most popular attractions in the country. A tourist information centre and a café were added during the renovation. Tourists are drawn to reach the castle for the stunning city view and green woods from the top. Every last Saturday in August, the Celje Old Castle is the venue of a traditional medieval festival. Throughout the summer, a programme taking place there offers visitors an immersive experience of the Medieval Period. You can take part in a sword fight with the knights, shoot with bows, enjoy a royal feast, and unleash your creativity in a wide range of workshops to have a taste of medieval life.

Postojna Cave

In Slovenia, there is a vast “subterranean paradise” - Postojna Cave. It is where you can admire the breathtaking stalagmite formations and take a ride on the world’s only double-track cave railway.

There are more than 8,000 karst caves across Slovenia, with the Postojna Cave, the second largest in Europe, being one of the most visited ones. Opened to the public in 1819, the Postojna Cave has been operating the world’s first underground cave railway since 1872 that takes you 200m down the earth’s surface. After reaching the subterrane, you can start exploring this captivating underground castle along the footpath. The temperature inside the cave is constant at 10℃ throughout the year, so warm clothing is recommended.

The 27km-long karst cave houses a huge natural concert hall, accommodating some 10,000 people at the same time. Symphony orchestras and different music events are staged in this hall known for its exceptional acoustics attributed to the echo effect, which is a feast to the audience’s ears. The massive “Big Mountain Hall” exhibits a collection of stalagmite formations that will have visitors dazzled by the creativity of nature. When walking into the “Spaghetti Hall”, raise your head and you’ll see the delicate stalagmite deposits as thin as spaghetti. Another unmissable attraction in the cave is the bright-white exquisite stalagmite called “Brilliant”, a symbol of Postojna Cave. It looks like an ivory sculpture and also a bride in a wedding dress. Before you leave, why not write down what you have in mind on a postcard and have it posted in the world’s only underground post office? It will be the best souvenir for your little cave journey!

The Old Vine “Stara trta”

Not only is Slovenia a paradise of nature lovers, but also a place that wine lovers long for. “Stara trta”, the world’s oldest vine, was planted in Maribor, the second-largest city of the country, as early as 400 years ago. Even the medieval fires, world wars and vine louse did not harm it. It is a legendary place full of the scent of grapes.

The old vine is located in Maribor’s old town. Standing by the River Drava is an old medieval house known as “the Old Vine House”. You can enjoy wine tasting of some of the best wines from all over Slovenia there, and buy your favourites as souvenirs. There is a museum exhibiting the winemaking process and the old vine’s history. Every year when it comes to the grape harvest, a festival that lasts for a month is to be held, usually starting at the end of September until Saint Martin’s day on the 11th of November. The buzzing festival offers wine tasting, as well as numerous stands with culinary delights for visitors’ enjoyment. There are also fantastic performances from well-known ensembles, brass bands, folklore groups and more. You will definitely have a wonderful time experiencing the beautiful Slovenian culture in this joyful ambience.

Tartini Square

The picturesque old town of Piran on the Adriatic coast sits between Croatia and Italy. Since Piran was once a part of the Republic of Venice, the Venetian culture has a far-reaching impact on the old town, which is immediately apparent in its architecture and winding cobbled streets. In this town much loved by tourists, Tartini Square is the most lively area.

The beautiful old town of Piran grew with the help of salt production. The world-famous “flower of salt” is still produced today using age-old methods. Not far from the coast stands the vibrant Tartini Square. It was named after the renowned Italian composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini, born in Piran, to honour his achievement. The bronze statue of him holding a violin overlooking the Adriatic Sea was erected in the square’s centre. The square is a venue for regular concerts and events. It is such an impressive experience to enjoy a cultural feast with the sea breeze.

Paved with white marble, the square is surrounded by charming Venetian buildings. Leading from the houses with tangerine roofs huddling close together are some narrow Venetian Gothic alleyways. Tourists are strolling through them under the Mediterranean sun while looking for the seafood restaurants they like. Having a drink at a café to continue with your enjoyment or shopping for local produce would be some wonderful ideas. If you are looking for something energetic, biking along the coast, horse riding and even hiking are some great choices too. When reaching a higher lookout point, you can rest your eyes on the stunning Mediterranean scenery.

Lake Bled

Lake Bled is the most iconic lake in Slovenia. Flanked by snow-capped mountains, the glittering lake is surrounded by wooded trails, creating a picturesque scenery as if it was out of a dream.

To embrace the enchanting lake scenery, it would be wonderful to have a few kilometre-bike ride along the lake. The Bled Castle standing on the cliff by the lake was built in the medieval period. You can have a full view of the lake from the castle. What is the most intriguing “Lake Bled experience”? It has to be riding on the traditional wooden boat that takes you to the island in the middle of the lake. It is the only island in Slovenia. After setting your feet on the island, you need to climb 99 stone steps to reach the Assumption of Mary Church, where murals of a few hundred years of history are boasted. In the church tower, you can enjoy the fresh lake breeze, listen to the church bell and ring it yourself. Legend has it that this will make your wishes come true. Attributed to its mountain climate and pristine nature, Lake Bled was once considered a health resort. The thermal springs in the north-eastern part of the lake supply the swimming pools of Bled hotels. After visiting the castle and the church, you may enjoy the unmissable culinary delight - the Bled Cream Cake. What a marvellous feast for the eyes and the taste buds! Savour the lake scenery and the cake made from an original recipe of more than 60 years!