So here we are at the start of another exciting year in the Radovljica area, with plenty of events to look forward to.
In this blog I’ve provided a month-by-month guide to some of the highlights, dates to note in your diary, and things to look forward to in this calendar year.
Why not go skiing at the small Kamna Gorica ski area in the Lipnica Valley, at the foot of the Jelovica plateau. The area has a drag lift, 400 metres of easy and 500 metres of slightly more challenging skiing terrain, and is particularly suitable for families. It’s also a bargain at just €6 per half day for children and €8 for adults. Find more information here (in Slovene only) – http://kamnagorica.si/smucisce/
It’s carnival time! Known as ‘Pust‘, the main day is pustni torek (Shrove Tuesday) when, wherever you are in Slovenia, you could be forgiven for thinking it is Halloween as children go to school dressed up as all kinds of ghosts and gouls, and some can be seen going from door-to-door trick-or-treating. However, there is actually a point to pust; the idea being to help drive winter away by scaring it with various costumes and masks – something I whole-heartedly support – roll on spring! The traditional annual carnival procession will take place in Radovljica this year on Saturday 25th February.
Head to Kamna Gorica and/or Kropa on 11th March to watch the celebrations on the eve of St. Gregory’s Day, when local children make and float model vessels in the village streams. This age-old iron-forging custom takes place annually. The models, which are a mixture of unique art creations made from paper, cardboard and wood with candles affixed either on the exterior or interior, create a colourful effect against the dusk setting. This custom dates back to the era of manual iron-forging, before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, when the name day of St. Gregory was considered the first day of spring.
The Radovljica Chocolate Festival is by far the biggest event of Radovljica’s calendar year, and one of the biggest events of its kind in the country. This year the festival will take place over three days from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April. You can be sure I’ll be writing plenty more about it nearer the time!
Various workshops take place during the course of the week-long International Ceramics Festival, with the main day – Market Day – taking place this year on Saturday 27th May.
It’s time to get outdoors and enjoy the best that the Radovljica area has to offer – hiking in the Karavanke Alps, road cycling or off-road mountain biking, rafting and kayaking on the Sava river, caving, fishing, take a panoramic flight on go skydiving at Lesce Sports Airfield, go horseriding, or just lie back beside the river or on a terrace somewhere and enjoy the views. There’s so much choice!
It’s summer and that means Fresh Thursdays in the Square! Every Thursday during July there are live concerts in Linhart Square, the heart of Radovlijca’s medieval old town.
The Hop-On Hop-Off Tourist Bus runs during July and August. At the time of writing, there is no official information about this year’s schedule, but I’ll be sure to let you know more about that too!
The opening ceremony of the 35th Radovljica Festival of Early Music will take place on Saturday 5th August, with concerts taking place throughout the month ending on 23rd August. The majority of concerts take place in the magnificent setting of Radovljica Manor.
It’s all things sweet on Saturday 23rd September, when the annual Festival of Honey and Honey Dishes takes place in Lesce at the Gorenjska Beekeeping Education Centre. Expect cookery demonstrations, workshop, honey and honey products to try and buy, and something for all the family.
Even if there are no major events, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. For example, every first Saturday in the month visit the Farmer’s Market at Vila Podvin, where you can meet local suppliers and buy and taste their produce and products. Following the market, why not stay on for lunch prepared using ingredients sold at the market, and cooked by one of Slovenia’s top chefs, Uroš Štefelin.
Every first Sunday in the month a flea market takes place in Linhart Square, Radovljica (or in the Radovljica Mansion in the event of rain).
Or how about attending one of the regular evenings with the Avsenik House Ensemble in Begunje na Gorenjskem, the home of Slovenian folk music.
It’s time to TASTE RADOL’CA – yippee! For the whole month of November the talented chefs at all the participating Taste Radol’ca restaurants – of which last year there were 13 – rustle up amazing 3- or 4-course menus available a set price (last year €16). The opening and closing events are always a sell-out too. Taste Radol’ca goes from strength-to-strength each year, so I’m confident that 2017 will definitely be something not to miss!
The festive season has come round again, which means its time for the Advent Market, Christmas concerts, street entertainment and plenty more festive fun! The old town centre always looks particularly magical at this time of year.
Of course, this is just a selection of the events taking place in the Radovljica area, but I hope it has at least whetted your appetite to include Radovljica on your list of places to visit this year!
© Adele in Slovenia