Slovenia and Croatia don’t top many people’s lists of places to go, but this taster rocketed these two countries up our “visit again” list.
You might not be able to cover a lot of ground in a week or so, but you can pack a whole lot into that time when you stick to the northernmost part of Croatia.
We threw our time in Slovenia and Croatia open to all as we prepared for IndieRail, and we’re glad we did. The three recommended places we had time to visit each had a unique charm, and balanced city and countryside perfectly.
The highlights of Maribor
One of this year’s European Cities of Culture, Maribor is small and easily walkable. There’s plenty of cute little streets where old and new collide, a lively street-art scene, and the river-valley is pleasantly surrounded by vineyards and forest.
Vinag Wine Cellar
Arrive at 1pm to tour these cellars – one of the most exclusive in the old Czechoslovakia. Your €3.50 tour fee also gets you a glass of wine to finish off with.
Visiting the world’s oldest vine
The oldest grape vine in the world is still producing grapes, and they are still being made into wine! Arrive in early March for the annual cutting festival, and join the party.
Walking up Piramide hill
One of the several hills, Piramide has several walking paths, so you can choose your route and escape the city for as long as you like. We spent an hour up here, looking through the ruins, the vines, and enjoying the view.
The top 10 monuments and things to do
Linda’s put together this video of the top 10 things to do in Maribor.
The highlights of Bohinj
You’ve heard of Bled? This quieter neighbour helps you to avoid the resorts while still enjoying everything that Lake Bled has to offer.
It’s just as beautiful as everyone says.
Forest, farms, local produce… What’s not to like? We’ll be back here with a week or two of hiking in mind.
The highlights of Zagreb
We first visited Croatia’s capital in 2007, but it seemed like a different city this time around. We loved its grungy energy, and specifically enjoyed…
Bridging the upper and lower towns, these huge outdoor markets bring in local farmers and little old ladies who have been out collecting mushrooms or making fresh cheeses. The grill restaurants on the stairs are highly recommended.
Religious buildings and artworks
Luckily, many of Zagreb’s religious buildings survived the Communist era. We were surprised by the beauty of many, as we ducked inside.
A beer at Jarun
The large lake and water-sports complex south of the city is an easy tram ride away from the centre. The perfect place to have a wander, and sit lakeside with a beer.
Two very different museums
The Museum of Broken Relationships is certainly unique, showcasing dozens of items representing the grief, anger, and sometimes joy, of the break-up. The Archeology Museum is sometimes poorly curated, but houses some fascinating exhibits, including the longest Etruscan text in the world.
To hear the stories behind the highlights, hit play above or search for “indie travel” in any podcast app. This is episode 255, and it’s free in iTunes.
IndieRail is brought to you by ACPRail.com, providers of a wide range of rail passes and train tickets including Eurail, BritRail, Rail Australia, Japan Rail and more. Great pricing, friendly service. We’re glad to be working with them. Local day trips are provided by Urban Adventures. We’re sharing stories as they happen thanks to Droam: mobile data without boundaries. Check out our next destination…