A perfect base for exploring Slovenia: Central Slovenia Region

Ljubljana lies at the center of Slovenia, a scenic and diverse country where distances are short and major attractions easily accessible. The green outskirt of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is composed of 25 municipalities. This diverse area combines the mountains of the Kamnik Alps, pre-alpine hills, plains of the Ljubljana Basin, the unique natural environment of the Ljubljana Marshes, karst fields, subterranean caves, rivers and lakes. As these natural sights are not far away from towns and villages, the area is appropriate for interesting day excursions, as well as for longer explorations since the landscapes in the region are exceptionally diverse.

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One of the lovely areas to visit in the region is Kamnik, a picturesque small town situated along the Kamniška Bistrica River, which had its heyday in the middle Ages, when for a time it was the capital of Carniola. Its former glory can still be seen in the medieval urban design of its old city centre, Zaprice Castle (Grad Zaprice) and Little Castle (Mali grad).

The major attractions of the town's surrounding area are the Volčji Potok Arboretum, the Terme Snovik health resort, the Tunjice Healing Grove, renowned for its beneficial energies, and the scenic Velika planina high mountain plateau.

The origin and development of Vrhnika, a small town lying on the south-western edge of the Ljubljana Moors, near the source of the Ljubljanica River, are closely connected to boat traffic on the Ljubljanica. Vrhnika is surrounded by the Ljubljana Moors, remarkable for their natural and historical attractions. In the vicinity of the town you can still find some primary raised bog areas and typical peat bogs. Most of the peat which used to cover the Ljubljana Moors in the past is now gone due to being harvested for fuel in the 19th and 20th centuries. On the western end of the Ljubljana Moors lies the hilly Zaplana area, criss-crossed with hiking trails. Its summits offer stunning views of the Slovenian Alps.

The Ljubljana Marshes is a natural area of wetlands and peat bogs, known for its rare animal and vegetal species and for the remains of the prehistoric pile dwellings, which are inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The marshes extend over the south and southeast part of the Ljubljana Basin between the towns of Škofljica, Ig, Podpeč, Borovnica, Vrhnika, Drenov Grič and Brezovica and measure approximately 160 square kilometers. The creation of the marshes was influenced by the Ljubljanica River and their image is even nowadays marked by its stream. Due to the unique characteristics of the marsh soil and of the bottom of the Ljubljanica River, the marshes have preserved evidence from all the historical periods and cultures.

The preservation of organic substances like wood, fibres, vegetal remains and skeletons was rendered possible by water. Archaeologists found more than 10,000 artefacts from different historical periods, which are kept in museums in Ljubljana and abroad. The most important find of all is the world’s oldest wooden wheel, dating approximately between 3,350 and 3,100 B.C.

4 Experiences in the Central Slovenian Region

Ljubljana Tourism also encourages the development of the tourist offer outside the city centre. A wider offer of experience in the broader surroundings of Slovenia’s capital would also encourage the further development of tourism in the region (number of visitors and overnight stays), and it could increase the duration that tourists spend in Ljubljana. We prepared 4 experiences for the spring of 2019:

  1. Bogenšperk and the healthy energies of Valvasor’s land
    The famous polymath J. V. Valvasor lived near Ljubljana. His reputation travelled all the way to the British Crown. The scenic Bogenšperk Castle stands in the location where his monumental work, The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, a precious record of Slovenia during that period in the past, was created. Participants may enjoy the healthy Valvasor’s breakfast and replenish their strength in a land which is brimming with energy. They can experience the unique relaxation of apitherapy and visit the workshop of a herbalist, who will help them enhance their life expectations. The day ends with gourmet treatment in the style of a count. A day for celebrating the blessing of a healthy body and spirit!

  2. A day among the shepherds on Velika Planina
    Experience an authentic herding tradition in a scenic alpine environment on Ljubljana’s doorstep. No plain in the world has such unique cottages and shepherds. One of the most beautiful Slovenian mountains invites visitors among pastures, shepherds, and cattle to enjoy traditional shepherds’ meals, delve into the past, and savour the benefits of fresh mountain air and an abundance of charming views. They can also listen to the story about ‘trnič’, a special cheese which is all about love. At the end, their breath will be taken away by the exquisite sight of a beautiful cove and the spring of the crystal-clear river called Kamniška Bistrica, and they will end the day with some culinary pampering. The mountains take care of the body and the Tastes of Kamnik charm the soul!

  3. Blagaj’s land of delicacies
    In the green hilly hinterland of the Slovenian capital, participants will learn about all the taste bud pampering delicacies of Blagaj’s land and enjoy other activities which will provide vivid memories of the place long after returning home. The locals will open their doors and accept visitors into their community to learn that a countryside tradition with a special local essence still thrives just a stone’s throw from the capital – encompassing all aspects from lifestyle to cuisine. Participants visit a family cheese factory and taste excellent goat milk cheeses, they are pampered with excellent local dishes, they indulge themselves with the honey made by Slovenian bees and, at the end of the day, absorb the spirit of the past in conversation with the esteemed count Blagaj and learn why they were invited to Blagaj’s land!

    Dormouse Adventure Park for families
    An amazing family adventure is awaiting you in the village of Polhov Gradec, next to the Polhov Gradec Mansion. Get to know a roistering dormous and help him find his new home. On your way through the park, meet numerous other forest animals with the help of the Little is great fun for all the family.
    Read the picture book The Roistering Dormouse to learn the story of the mischievous little dormouse and visit the Polhov Gradec Mansion to explore the incredibly interesting Museum of Post and Telecommunications.

  4. Three fascinating mysteries - the Ljubljanica River, writer Ivan Cankar and president Tito
    Three big stories live in Vrhnika, on Ljubljana’s doorstep: the fascinating Ljubljanica River, the only river with seven names and the longest sinking river in Europe; the greatest Slovenian writer Ivan Cankar; and a glimpse into the luxurious life of the most famous Yugoslav president, Tito. The whole-day experience brings together the scent of the excellent Cankar coffee, the pampering of taste buds with local delicacies, experiencing the Ljubljanica beneath its surface and at its spring, visiting the oldest wheel in the world and the largest trunk boat, beer tasting at the local Humanfish brewery and the opportunity to admire Tito’s luxury cars.

Comprehensive visitor information on Ljubljana is available on the official website of Ljubljana and the Central Slovenia Region.