In 2019 Wildland Adventures explores the wild side and cultural complexities of Slovenia, a hidden gem of Central Europe that’s only a stone’s throw across the Adriatic Sea from over-visited Venice.
“Slovenia is surrounded by its more popular neighbors -- Croatia, Austria, Hungary and Italy – who left their marks here, but not the crowds,” says Kurt Kutay, Wildland Adventures’ CEO and President. “Whereas ancient caravans and modern nomads used to pass through here on their journeys east or west, today Slovenia rightly commands the attention of travelers.”
With Slovenia’s yet-to-be-discovered natural riches and diverse cultural influences in mind, Kutay and his team have created two itineraries that help distinguish Slovenia from its neighbors. Guests learn, for example, that Slovenia’s Slavic language uses the Latin – not Cyrillic – alphabet. They enjoy the culinary rewards of an explosive food culture with farm-to-table, slow-food presentations that mix up splashes of Italy and Austria along with a distinctive Slovenian slant. The historic relationship of people to their land is revealed through visits to an apiary, to vineyards and to farms where cheeses can be sampled.
Slovenia shares a 110-mile, north-south border with Italy; owns some 30 miles of Adriatic coastline on the Istrian Peninsula (across from Venice); embraces a climate spanning Mediterranean to alpine (the highest peak is 9,396 feet); and its main river, the Sava, courses from near the mountainous border shared with Austria on the north out to the Black Sea (via the Danube Basin). At her feet lie Croatia and the historical complexities of the late Yugoslavia (that included Slovenia.) Since 2004 Slovenia has been a member of the European Union while claiming a lineage that includes ancient Rome and the Habsburg Dynasty from the north across the mountains in Vienna.
These mountains, the hidden valleys, waterfalls, lakes and forests all harbor mysteries of culture and history that Wildland Adventures’ itineraries will reveal as guests...
- trek and cycle (on e-bikes) along unpopulated high alpine slopes and valleys,
- explore underground caverns near the Adriatic Sea,
- stay as guests in accommodations that reflect the energies of people who still work close to the land and with their hands,
- marvel while in the Julian Alps (named after Julius Caesar) at medieval Bled Castle towering over Lake Bled that embraces an island with its own pilgrimage church,
- sip wine at Vila Bled, the summer home of former Yugoslavian President Tito,
- meet the people behind one of the most exciting, emerging food cultures in the world,
- witness young people embracing entrepreneurship, and particularly tourism, after years of Communism,
- get to know the only country who can claim “love” in their name: sLOVEnia
Best of Slovenia: Alps to the Adriatic is an eight-day wine and culinary immersion including hiking and cycling that explores chapels and castles, samples cheeses on family farms, sips wines from Slovenia’s own Tuscany, dines in mountain huts and at the world-famous Hiša Franko restaurant in the Soča River Valley. This restaurant, among the top 50 restaurants of the world, supposedly is where Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms. Now a self-taught chef who originally trained as a diplomat breaks down culinary borders with a modern-international cuisine sourced locally from woods and streams. The trip ends in a Venetian Gothic town on the Adriatic – still in Slovenia. The per person double rate is from $4,995. See: https://www.wildland.com/trips/mediterranean/slovenia/best-of-slovenia--col---alps-to-the-adriatic/overview.aspx
Trekking the Julian Alps: Hut to Hut delivers 10 days of travel including four days of quintessential European-style trekking but with far fewer hikers sharing the trails than are found in Austria and Italy. The region is Triglav National Park in a remote corner of Slovenia’s spectacular Julian Alps that jut some 9,000 feet into the sky, eventually plunging west onto the warm Adriatic coast. Here lie the oldest hiking trails in Europe. Along a limestone ridge of the Komna Plateau, several days into the journey, guests are encouraged to imagine a legend of a magical white chamois buck with precious golden horns, Zlatorog, that lives among the outcrops of limestone. His likeness is found in statues, operas and on the label of Slovenia’s popular beer, Lasko Zlatorog. Days on the trails lead to mountain huts at night for hearty soups, fresh breads and local cheeses – and sleep. The per person double rate is from $4,595. See: https://www.wildland.com/trips/mediterranean/slovenia/trekking-slovenia--col---hut-to-hut/overview.aspx
About Wildland Adventures
Kurt Kutay, Founding CEO/President, and Anne Kutay, Vice-President, established Wildland Adventures in 1987. As active managing directors, they are continuously refining and evolving their Wild Style of travel. The ‘Wild Style’ is based on an ethic of sincerity, compassion and understanding that breaks down barriers of separation to build lasting intercultural, interpersonal, and environmental bonds designed to enhance rather than exploit the people and places where they travel.