Exploring Bela Krajina in Slovenia with Big Berry
We have visited picturesque Slovenia for the first time this summer and absolutely fell in love with this lovely country! We have to admit that we hadn’t done so much research before departing from Bulgaria (as we usually do when visiting a new place) but in this case maybe it was the better option because we were so pleasantly surprised by this so well-arranged country. Because its territory isn’t so big, Bela Krajina is a strategic place to explore both Croatia as well as Slovenia. Everything is in close proximity and suitable for day trips to the capital Ljubljana, the small but mesmerizing seaside, Postojna cave, the built in rocks Predjama Castle, the famous lake Bled and many more. A post about these sites is coming up soon!
During our stay at the lifestyle camp Big Berry, we were lucky to be shown around the Bela Krajina region located right next to the Croatian border. We were truly amazed by how beautiful were all the villages there and the never ending energy of the welcoming and heartwarming locals who are constantly organising different events from goulash cooking and firefighter competitions to wine tasting festivals and open museum nights. Don’t be afraid to stop someone and ask anything – they will be more than happy to show you around or tell you a bit more about the history and the places you can visit in Bela Krajina.
The true beauty of the region lies in the stunning natural sites which are not at all overcrowded by tourists, quite the contrary – for example you can enjoy the astonishing view of the Krupa source and have it all to yourself, there is not a single soul around.
Thanks to our nice guide Vit we visited so many cool places – from meeting with local producers to breathtaking views like the Magdalenska stena. There are numerous hiking and cycling trails you could take on, swim or sail with a boat or a canoe in the many lovely rivers. The Regional museum in Metlika, situated in a former castle, is also a very interesting and beautiful place to visit where you can get a true sense about the local history and traditions. The Vidovec and Zdenc karst caves located near the Magdalenska Stena and the village Božakovo are also worth visiting. Although they aren’t so big it’s quite fun exploring them, just watch out for your head and try not to fall on the slippery rocks. The stream passing through them disappears underground and flows into the beautiful river Kolpa.
Krupa source (Izvor Krupe)
This magical place is about only half an hour from the village Primostek and it’s definitely a must-see! We’ve been to a lot of places but this is truly some of the bluest water we’ve ever seen! In a river though. You can immerse yourself in this amazing nature while exploring the river coast and take stroll to the source of the river Krupa where there’s a house right next to it which was even for sale! We almost didn’t want to tell you about it since we’re still daydreaming of buying it one day but chances are it’s not happening anytime soon.
The legend tells that there used to be a chapel on the top of the Magdalenska stena. During the Ottoman rule it was destroyed and the bell from the tower fell down into the river. They say that if you listen careful enough you could still hear the bell ringing from the deep teal water.
If you enjoy architecture and abandoned places be sure to visit the Gradac castle. Slovenians are trying to completely renovate the building and restore the garden for many years but unfortunately haven’t been so successful. Hopefully they will succeed because the site has a real potential to become a modern historic site or a museum if renovated.
Built more than 700 years ago, the three pilgrimage churches in the village Rosalnice are a must-visit landmark. Nobody knows why exactly there are not one but 3 of them in one relatively small village. The theories vary from the site being created by the Knights Templar to being established as a part of the Bishopric of Zagreb. Curious fact: only one of the three churches has been mentioned in the documents. This beautifully renovated complex is not open everyday but you can call and arrange a visit if interested.
Local products and farms
The lifestyle luxury camp Big Berry has partnered with a lot of local producers in order to enhance the whole region and its active spirit. It is a breath of fresh air when brands are not taking everything and everyone as a competition but partnering to provide visitors with the best of the region. Since most people living in the city have lost touch with nature and the simple life, this is a great chance to see how the products you use on daily basis are made, get close to the process, know what goes behind the food you eat, observe local craftsmanship and start caring more about your health. We, as such foodies, were in heaven with all these delicious organic food and drinks!
An oil for every problem
When we arrived, we were welcomed with a table perfectly prepared for a degustation. But the tasty oils with fresh bread were not the only thing that impressed us. Mr. Pečarič totally won us with his cheerful explanations about the healing properties of the oils. We are always so happy to see when people are doing their job with such passion and especially happy to buy products that are created with such care and love. Our personal favorites were the mustard and apricot oil. We got two bottles for home and already using it for all types of healthy recipes.
Craft beer to challenge your taste buds
Vizir Brewery is a must stop for every beer lover! It is not just an ordinary brewery but a family owned small company that looks a bit like beer magic factory. Especially the beer laboratory where you can just imagine how the good ideas and experiments are born. The craft beer that is created here has nothing to do with the commercial type of beers that you can buy at the supermarket. They have they own brand with quite a variety of beers – from light India pale ale and imperial IPA to a very special black IPA. We were surprised to find and taste a Bulgarian beer produced here that is yet to come out at the market. Lucky exclusive tasting!
For all the dairy lovers
This local farm is producing organic and fresh milk, yogurt, cheese, almost everything that you can think of consisting milk. But the showstoppers here are all the different tastes of the milk and yogurt – from different fruits to our beloved stracciatella. We all know where the milk comes from but you will be surprised how many things you probably don’t know about the animals and the whole process. Visiting a cow farm is a really interesting and educational experience whether you are vegan or eating dairy products on a daily basis.
They say that almost every family in the Bela Krajina region produces wine so it was a pity we didn’t manage to go for a wine tasting. But we got a lovely farewell gift from our hosts. We took a bottle of sweet red wine from Kmetijska Zadruga Metlika winery all the way to Bulgaria. If you are a wine lover you will definitely have a chance to arrange a private tasting in one of the partner wineries.
Hemp products for happy people
Not that happy, no worries here everything is legal. Who knew that you could make so many things out of hemp? There are hemp liqueurs, unrefined hemp oil, hemp flour… It is very nutritious with lots of vitamin B, magnesium, phosphorus and essential unsaturated fats. It is also very interesting to know that hemp seed is actually providing a lot of protein in only 100 grams. Quite a superfood and a tasty one, we must say!
The essence of milk, as they call it, is butter. Organic, handmade, without gluten or any preservatives, this is simply amazing! We’re just mentioning it and not getting into details because there will be a separate post on this little jar of paradise pretty soon. Stay tuned!
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