We hadn’t originally planned on visiting Slovenia again on this trip. After our time in Italy we opted to train to Central Europe vs. flying. It saved money and we heard that the train ride was rated as one of the most beautiful train routes in the world. After our magical trip to Slovenia in 2011 we were more than happy to pass through some new parts of the country and to experience Slovenian life beyond our previous visits to Ljubljana and Lake Bled.
We decided to break up the trip and spend a few days in Bohinj Bistrica. We found it with the assistance of the Slovenia Tourism’s website and knew it was along the train route so it would be easy to navigate without a car. As we pulled into the station we were floored by how beautiful our surroundings were.
Bohinj Bistrica is a ski town during the winter. Our trip was in July and we were greeted with green meadows, large pine trees and sparkling blue rivers and brooks. The area features the Triglav National Park, which is stunning and offers climbing tours, hiking biking, kayaking and many other outdoor activities.
After a quick visit to the tourism office we were connected with a local woman who rents out rooms in her house. These homes are known as “sobes” and can be found throughout the region to accommodate travelers. Think of a bed and breakfast but with out the meal or the pricetag.
We paid $40 usd a night for a beautiful large room with a balcony and an incredible view of the Julian Alps. There are lots of apartments and rooms to rent in people’s homes which allows you to get to know the locals and see what a real Slovenian home looks, sounds and smells like.
There is only one hotel, two grocery stores and three restaurants in town. We ate at all of them and they were each truly tasty. We enjoyed typical Slovenian dishes like goulash, sausage and many different types of grilled meat. Oh, and of course some delicious Slovenian beer.
From Bohinj Bistrica we took a breathtaking three-mile hike through the Triglav National Park to Lake Bohinj. The lake was a spectrum of different colors. The beach was full of tiny pebbles and crystal clear water. As the water became deeper it turned to an emerald green then continued to a beautiful dark blue.
We also discovered a Slovenian milk vending machine. Check out the video of us getting fresh, local, delicious milk.
After we left the Alps we kept moving until we reached medieval Maribor, also in Slovenia. As wine enthusiasts we couldn’t miss this place, which is the record holder for the oldest grapevine in the world. The vine is 440 years old and is prominently displayed in town in front of a tasting room.
Maribor is the second biggest city in Slovenia after Ljubljana and was the 2012 European Capital of Culture. In a separate area of town from the famous vine you will find the Vinag Wine Cellar which holds 5.5 million liters of wine. No, that’s not a typo. 5.5 MILLION liters of wine! The cellar is a mile in length.
If you make it to Maribor you must also check out the Pohorje Adrenaline Park. It has thrilling attractions like a high ropes course, summer sledding, a bike park and many other fun activities.
A big thanks to the Slovenian Tourist Board who helped us plan a wonderful trip to the region. To get more info check out their website here. You can follow their tweets here or fan them on Facebook here.