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Gourmet Slovenia Tour – Taste the best food in Slovenia

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Location:
Lake Bled, Alpine Slovenia
Description:

Learn about the great food in Slovenia and experience the country through its world-class cuisine.

An unforgettable gastronomic experience - 7 days / 6 nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

THEY SAY THE best way to experience a country’s history and culture is through its food. This is especially true in Slovenia, where the varied landscape, prime location in the heart of Europe and proximity to countries like Italy, Austria, and Hungary are the perfect recipe for rich culinary journeys.

With mountains, rivers, forests, and the sea - all within a two-hour drive - Slovenian dishes vary vastly from one region to the next, creating a tasty menu on a national scale.

The country’s culinary creations have lately ignited a fire of international attention and Slovenian chefs themselves have earned an array of accolades, too - all of which is inspiring foodies to flock here and find out what the fuss is about.

But whether you’re a passionate foodie or casual traveller, life here tastes better. Come and try the food in Slovenia for yourself.

GENERAL INFORMATION

SLOVENIA – Green, diverse, unique, boutique

The country of Slovenia lies in the heart of south-central Europe. It has a border with Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The capital Ljubljana is a modern, fresh, young, creative and vibrant city.

Slovenia, a green and diverse country between the Alps and the Mediterranean, boasts all the beauties of the old world. When you want to experience Europe in one stroke, come to Slovenia. In just 20,000 square kilometres you can find snow-covered mountains, lakes, narrow canyons and white-water rivers. When you explore further you get to the Adriatic coast, beautiful karst caves, thermal springs and the only primeval forest in Europe. All over the country, there are quaint villages, medieval cities, antique castles and modern entertainment. For wine lovers, there are countless vineyards with top quality wines. In this small and easily accessible area, where hundreds of birds migrating south make a brief stop and where dozens of unique indigenous plants find their home, more diverse experiences await you all year round.

ITINERARY

  • Arrival to Bled
  • Check into glamping resort Garden village
  • Late lunch at Vila Podvin
  • Visit Bled island by pletna boat and Bled castle by car
  • Return to the hotel
  • Hotel’s restaurant is open until 21h00 if you would like to have dinner (not included)
  • Overnight in Bled

BLED – Crown jewel of the Alps

The picture-postcard alpine town of Bled was once the preferred choice for the Austro-Hungarian empire’s elite. Its many charms include a medieval castle, perched high on a rocky cliff, a scenic lake studded by a tiny wooded island and the alpine splendour of the nearby Triglav National Park. A natural wonderland of glacial valleys, glittering peaks, limestone canyons, ice-cold tarns, flowered meadows, alpine forests, pretty hamlets and cascading waterfalls. It is a tourist place, surrounded by the wreaths of the Julian Alps and Karavanke Alps, placed in a dish shaped basin of a glacial lake, the warmest in Europe.

VILA PODVIN

The culinary delights at Vila Podvin, which is surrounded by a spacious garden, are created by one of Slovenia's finest chefs, Uroš Štefelin. The spacious garden is ideal for numerous events and is a popular venue for various celebrations.

Day 2

  • Breakfast in the hotel and check-out
  • Visit a beekeeper – Impact tourism activity
  • Drive to Ljubljana
  • Ljubljana culinary tour (optional: wine pairing)
  • Check into hotel Cubo
  • Time for relaxation
  • Dinner at the restaurant Strelec at Ljubljana castle
  • Overnight in Ljubljana

A VISIT TO A BEEKEEPER

On the way to Bled you will visit an organic beekeeper that has a very long honey tradition in the region. Beekeeping occupies a special place in Slovenia's economy as one of its oldest traditional crafts. According to the statistics, Slovenians are a genuine beekeeping nation, as a relatively significant four out of every thousand of its residents are engaged in this activity. You will see all the phases of honey production.

LJUBLJANA – The city of dragons

Ljubljana is a lively green city combining the charm of a small capital and the self-confidence of large European cities. It is the green capital of a green country. It is called the city of dragons, because they can be found all over the city.

Ljubljana lies at the very heart of Slovenia and boasts a diverse history that traces 3,000 years of Roman, Medieval and Austrian influences. A friendly and cosmopolitan city, it offers a broad selection of things to do. Enjoy a calming walk along the slow moving Ljubljanica river, one of the cities numerous parks or a more cultural walk along the century’s old buildings in the old quarter. There is also a lively café society to be enjoyed in addition to plenty of atmospheric bars, a broad range of regional restaurants and a host of cultural events.

LJUBLJANA CULINARY TOUR

Get to know Ljubljana through its favorite food, wine, craft beer, coffee and desserts spots. Take a guided walk through the medieval part of Ljubljana and stop in several local establishments to sample traditional as well as modern Slovenian cuisine.

This is your best start to understand what Ljubljana cuisine, and its people, are all about. You will eat, drink, share the dishes and stories: while passing most of Ljubljana’s main sights you’ll explore what it means to live in Slovenia and Ljubljana. Through talking to your foodie guide and the people behind tabletops, you will discover small businesses with daily fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, their unique dishes and stories that differentiate them from the rest. Sample their hand-selected goodies, learn all about making the best espresso, chat with vendors at the farmers market, taste 3-5 Slovenian wines from prime Slovenian wine regions, and much more – from high end cuisine to lip-smacking comfort food, Ljubljana has it all. And it’s yours to discover.

LJUBLJANA CASTLE

Perched on top of Castle Hill and dominating the city skyline to the south, Ljubljana’s magnificent castle stands on the site of several former defensive buildings in a hilly area of land stretching away to the south of the Old Town. The castle was built in the second half of the 15th century. The fortress was used to defend against increasing incursions of the Ottoman Army.

RESTAURANT STRELEC

Perched high up in the archer's tower, this award-winning restaurant at Ljubljana Castle overlooks the city from a grand position. A combination of the Roman Emona, Medieval and modern in terms of both cuisine and ambiance, the menu was created with the help of top ethnology professor Dr Janez Bogataj. Historically reminiscent dishes of slick gourmet modernity are crafted with ingredients from Ljubljana's fa med market by the star of the show: Igor Jagodic. Recognised as one of the top three chefs in Slovenia, he was previously at the renowned Vila Bled, and now takes care of the sublime offerings at Strelec.

Day 3

  • After breakfast transfer towards South Eastern part of Slovenia, so called Dolenjska region
  • Prime salami tasting at BioSing
  • Continue to Otocec castle for lunch
  • Return to Ljubljana
  • Free time or Private boat cruise on Ljubljanica river (a glass of sparkling wine included)
  • Dinner at the restaurant JB
  • Overnight in Ljubljana

BIOSING PRIME SALAMI

The BioSing creations come from a centuries-old tradition of Ribnica, where men used to travel to far places to sell their wooden wares. Of course, they wanted to eat well, so they were taking the best with them they had: home sausages, that were carefully produced with old, natural drying and curing techniques, and 500 years ago there were no artificial preservatives.

And David is using the same traditional methods. Indeed, we are talking about boutique organic products that make your taste buds sing.

OTOCEC CASTLE – A fortress on the river

A jewel rising from the mists of the river Krka is the only castle on the water in Slovenia. Its earliest foundations were built in the Middle Ages, but its present appearance was created during the Renaissance when it became the property of Baron Ivan Lenkovic, the chief commander of the Croatia-Slavonia march. Today, the castle is a five-star hotel and part of the Relais & Chateaux collection, where rooms and apartments with period furniture unveil past centuries. The hotel’s restaurant is renowned for its selection of the best Slovene wines, its domestic and foreign dishes, particularly game and mushroom specialities.

OPTIONAL: EXCLUSIVE BOAT RIDE ON LJUBLJANICA RIVER

A boat cruise on the Ljubljanica river offers a ride through the old town of Ljubljana. During the day Ljubljanica boat serves as a sightseeing boat, but it can also be privatized.

RESTAURANT JB

One of the pioneers of classic Slovenian fine dining, family run JB restaurant is located in a 1920s secessionist building in downtown Ljubljana. The restaurant is a real gourmet's paradise. Its focus on modern techniques and fresh, local ingredients from the city’s farmers’ market have garnered recognition. It was the first Slovenian restaurant to make the World's 50 Best Restaurants.

Owner chef Janez Bratovz says his menus are based on the four elements of earth, water, air and fire, representing sweet, salty, sour and bitter tastes.

Day 4

  • After breakfast check-out and drive towards Vipava valley
  • On the way visit Postojna caves
  • Lunch at the restaurant Podfarovz
  • Continue to Goriska Brda
  • Walk through Smartno village (one of the region's most appealing historic small towns) and up to Gonjace tower
  • Check into hotel Gredic
  • Wine tasting at hotel’s vinotheque
  • Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant
  • Overnight in Goriska Brda

POSTOJNA CAVE – A masterpiece of nature

The Postojna cave system is the largest known cave system in Slovenia. A visit to a cave such as Postojna deserves full attention due to the diversity of shapes, expansive cave areas, stalactite and stalagmite formations and water characteristics. Admire its unique Karst underground world of beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites. You can also see an unusual and rare underground animal Proteus Anguinus, the so-called “human fish”. A visit to Postojna cave is a special experience, as an electric train takes visitors to their hour and a half circle visit of the cave. From the train station inside the cave guides accompany visitors as they walk amongst magnificent creations of nature.

VIPAVA VALLEY - A must-visit

Vipava Valley offers magnificent rural scenery from hills and mountains, to ruined castles, beautifully preserved gothic churches and charming villages with tiled roofs weighed down with stones to prevent them from being blown off by the strong north-easterly “burja” wind that reaches speeds as high as 200 km/h.

The unique climate of the valley has encouraged vibrant viticulture, with over 3,000 acres of the valley covered with grape vines. Romans started winemaking in the area over 2,000 years ago. Infact, winemaking is regarded a way of life there. The valley’s mild climate also encourages the cultivation of stone fruits such as peaches and apricots – the trees are pretty with blossoms in spring, while autumn foliage is deeply colourful and photogenic.

It is an excellent place to tour by car or bike, with outstanding gourmet treats.

RESTAURANT PODFAROVZ

Gostilna Podfarovz is located in a unique location in Vipava, behind the Lanthieri Manor, right next to one of the seven springs of the Vipava River and next to the most famous and oldest bridge in Slovenia.

Right here, in this natural idyll by the spring pool of the Vipava River, Gostilna Podfarovz indulges its guests with the culinary specialties of the Vipava Valley, based on traditional recipes, with a touch of modernity in preparation and presentation. The ingredients are mostly local. Delicious dishes are accompanied by a selection of top-quality local wines.

GORISKA BRDA – A wine region like no other

This fairy tale landscape is nested on the very western corner of Slovenia, halfway between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, with an abundance of beauties, attractions and experiences. It stretches on 72 square kilometres and extends through the state border with Italy. Brda is mostly cultivated with vineyards and orchards. This hilly landscape is speckled with villages, some clustered like birds’ nests, some elongated and dispersed, with houses spread along the ridges, but all of them surrounded by the greenery of vineyards and orchards with paths winding among them.

Day 5

  • Breakfast in the hotel and check-out
  • Free time to relax in a pleasant environment
  • Drive towards the coast
  • Visit Lisjak olive oil farm (oil tasting and snack included)
  • Continue to Piran
  • Check-in to hotel Piran
  • Guided walk through the streets of Piran
  • Dinner at the restaurant Stara gostilna
  • Overnight in Piran

PREMIUM OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION LISJAK

Lisjak family is dedicated to olive oils and olive trees. For generations they have produced premium quality olive oils that are respected and awarded in all parts of the world – from Europe, to USA, China, Russia... In the world of olive oils their name is a synonym for luxury. Nowadays the company is led by two brothers that are the heart and soul of the company. They are dedicated to sustainability and expanding the company. They have added to their business a selection of exclusive wooden products from olive wood, cosmetics and much more.

PIRAN – A taste of Venice

Piran is a typical Mediterranean town characterised by the lovely St. Georges Church and square, named after Piran’s most famous citizen, musician Giuseppe Tartini. It is situated at the cape of the Piran peninsula on the northern side of Istria. The town is one large museum with the medieval architecture and rich culture heritage. Narrow streets and packed houses form a special charm. Piran is also an administrative centre of the local area and important Slovenian tourist centre.

STARA GOSTILNA RESTAURANT

Stara gostilna is one of the oldest restaurants in Piran. But old is actually modern – comfortable Philipp Starck chairs, original lighting and designer details in a mostly black-and-white combination are a part of an Istrian, homely vibe of a house with stone walls. In such an environment, the plate design is of course a sensible continuation: the dishes imitate contemporary trends and the chef’s signature are luxurious ingredients.

Day 6

  • After breakfast a morning visit of Fonda seabass farm
  • Continue to Korenika & Moskon winery for wine tasting
  • Stop at the restaurant Torkla for lunch
  • Return to the hotel
  • Free time
  • Overnight in Piran

FONDA SEABASS FARM – One of a kind experience

Family owned company Fonda was established due to their love for the sea and fish, rather than for the sake of business. The basic guideline in setting up the fish farm was that that the fish must live in a pleasant environment, which was supported by Ugo Fonda‘s knowledge in the field of marine biology and nutrition. At the very beginning they decided to go in the direction of breeding quality fish and meat which is much more expensive and time consuming than to raise large amounts of fish, not minding their quality. With good quality fish feed, high quality offspring and their careful selection, minimizing the use of anti-foul funds on networks that are harmful to nature and, consequently, man, and the unique conditions offered by this northern corner of the Adriatic sea, they actually succeeded in what they set for themselves: to breed the best bass in the world.

WINERY KORENIKA & MOSKON

Korenika and Moskon winemaking and wine production came to life in 1984, when Korenika Miran and Muskon Ignac joined forces and began cultivating Malvasia on seven hectares of land. Today Malvasia is still their main variety, but they also cultivate two other autochthonous varieties – Refosk and Muscat. The estate is nowadays spread over 25 hectares. They have moved from conventional viticulture to organic, and the whole farm boasts of biodynamic grape production.

RESTAURANT HOUSE TORKLA

This 19th century restaurant, created from an old oil mill house is located in Slovenian Istria, in the village of Korte and is furnished in the traditional Istrian style with a modern touch. The food is made from fresh ingredients that come from local farmers and the offer is always seasonal, so guests can enjoy fresh asparagus, wild garlic, mushrooms, pumpkins, etc. The restaurant prepares various meat dishes under the lid like lamb, veal shank or octopus and steaks from Slovenian beef. As the restaurant is located in one of the most beautiful landscapes with the richest wine selection in Slovenia, it has a wine cellar full of sparkling wines, and wines made by Istrian winemakers.

Day 7

  • After breakfast check-out
  • Before departure we recommend a coffee and ice cream morning stop in Portoroz, at Cacao beach bar / Be early to avoid the crowd (not included)
  • Departure

PORTOROZ – The Slovenian riviera

Sea, wind, salt, Mediterranean odours, palms, roses and evergreen plants, relaxation, entertainment and companionship are the words with which we can easily describe Portoroz, a seaside resort in the heart of Europe. The intermingling of various cultures and music expressions, nature, culinary delights and turbulent historical events create an atmosphere, in which the everyday life stress and tensions disappear in a relaxed state of mind. The relaxing stroll on the shoreline, recuperating run on the beach, swimming in the sea and pools, beauty and health programs in spas, or sports and recreational activities, will fill you with new energy. Portoroz is also a great departure point for sailing in the Adriatic.

 

Additional info:

SERVICES

INCLUDED:

ACCOMMODATION (in DBL rooms / breakfast and tourist taxes included):

  • 1 night at hotel Garden village in Bled (glamping tent)
  • 2 nights at hotel Cubo in Ljubljana (standard room)
  • 1 night at hotel Gredic in Goriska Brda (standard room)
  • 2 nights at hotel Piran in Piran (sea view room with a balcony)

GUIDES:

  • English speaking guide for Piran sightseeing

OTHER:

  • Parking at the hotels and shuttle bus transfer from parking to hotel Piran
  • Pletna boat ride in Bled
  • Entrance fees to Bled island, Bled castle and Postojna caves
  • Beekeeper visit with honey tasting, prime salami tasting at BioSing, oil tasting and snack at Lisjak olive oil farm, a visit with degustation at Fonda fish farm
  • Ljubljana culinary food walk
  • Table reservations for meals at the restaurants Vila Podvin, Strelec, Otocec, JB, Podfarovz, Stara gostilna and Torkla
  • Wine tastings at Gredic vinotheque and Korenika & Moskon winery

OTHER:

  • Organization of the tour and VAT

EXCLUDED:

  • Services not mentioned in the program
  • Porterage
  • Tips

OPTIONAL SERVICES:

  • Private boat cruise on Ljubljanica river (a glass of sparkling wine included): 300 EUR for all
  • Wine pairing along Ljubljana culinary food walk: EUR per person
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