Hooray, I am finally the bearer of some good news…it feels like a while since I’ve been able to say that!
Writing this feels a bit like groundhog day, as it was around this time last year that Slovenia began to exit its first lockdown and I published a similar blog on the subject. And here we are today, almost a year later and only now Radovljica, as well as the rest of Slovenia, is slowly beginning to re-open after three, seemingly endless, lockdowns.
Unfortunately, the vaccination programme is still going slowly – to date around one-fifth of the country’s 2 million residents has received at least one shot of a vaccine – but, notwithstanding, things are steadily moving in the right direction and finally, after 6 long months, the terraces of restaurants/bars etc. were able to re-open last week and as of yesterday (Monday 26 April) hotels and other accommodation facilities are able to open up to 30 rooms (regardless of the size of the property). Note, however, that a negative test or proof of vaccination is required to stay in an type of accommodation (camps included).
So, now you, well we if I include myself, can actually begin to start thinking about planning holidays, something that has seemed unthinkable for a long time now. And since most of us will no doubt – sensibly – prefer to avoid places overrun by mass tourism, it is destinations such as Radol’ca that come into their own with its boutique accommodation and numerous hiking trails and other off the beaten track attractions. So, here are a few ideas to help you in planning your visit to Radovljica – whether for a few hours, a few days, or even longer!
The Radovljica Tourist Information Centre has now, too, reopened, and is ready and waiting to help, whether you make contact by mail, by phone or drop in in person. The tourist office is at the entrance to the old town centre, which is the obvious place to start your visit to the area. Visit one of the museums or galleries in Linhart Square, admire the frescoes on the facades of townhouses, ‘Follow a bee through Radovljica‘, visit the Lectar honeybread workshop, see the baroque St. Peter’s church, and soak up the views of the Jelovica plateau and the Julian Alps from the viewpoint.
After taking in the sights of the old town, you can head off to explore the surrounding countryside. Take your pick from theme trails, hiking trails, the network of cycle routes, water sports, equestrian pursuits, mini-golf and more.
After record snowfall in some places, it’s still very much winter in Slovenia’s high mountains, fortunately here in Radol’ca there are plenty of hiking trails at lower altitudes. I’ve written about such trails on numerous occasions, so a quick search back through previous blog posts using key words will turn up plenty of info on hikes to, for example, Suharna, the Vodiška planina mountain hut, the Roblekov dom mountain hut, St. Peter’s church above Begunje na Gorenjskem, and more.
Of course, after all that fresh air and activity you will be in need of some sustenance, and you certainly won’t go hungry at Taste Radol’ca restaurants, the ethos of which is using seasonal, locally sourced, ingredients. At the time of writing, some of the restaurants have yet to re-open, since they are currently only allowed to serve customers outside on the terrace and for those with smaller terraces it is not worth their while re-opening. However, it is to be hoped that it won’t be too long until they are able to fully re-open. Radol’ca even has a Michelin-starred restaurant – Vila Podvin – as well as several other fine dining restaurants and numerous rural inns.
In terms of accommodation, there’s plenty to choose, from river-side camps to apartments, guest houses and other boutique accommodation.
In terms of events, it’s still a bit early to say what will and won’t take place this year. The Radovljica Chocolate Festival, which was cancelled last year and postponed this year, is provisionally scheduled to take place on 11th and 12th September this year, while the organisers are hoping that others events, such as the Craft Beer Festival and live music and food on Thursdays evenings in the square, will be able to go ahead in summer, in some form or another. But at the moment it’s a case of watch this space to see how things pan out.
Of course, all the above-mentioned are in the Radol’ca area itself, meaning there’s still a whole host of other places waiting to be explored in the surrounding areas; the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park are on the doorstep, Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj are close, Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana is just a cca. 40 minute drive, and even places such as the Postojna caves, the Soča valley, and Slovenia’s coast are all within a 1-2 hour drive – nothing is that far away in Slovenia!
So, I hope I have provided you with some food for thought and ideas to help your holiday planning and, as and when there is (even) more news about more things opening up, I’ll be in touch with more up-to-date info, or, in the meantime, do feel free to drop me a line if you need more info. Always happy to help, well, within reason that is!
© Adele in Slovenia
5 thoughts on “Radol’ca Re-opens!”
Good to see Slovenia – I miss it a lot!
I don’t doubt it!
[Arrrrgh. I hate it when I craft a good note and WP mishandles it somehow and it evaporates into the ether! C’est l’vie, try again.:)]
So you have shared great news! I can truly empathize with how good it must feel to, once again, have hope and to socialize and to sense the return of normalcy. I only hope that you have better luck than we did here in Michigan. We reopened (with reduced capacities) restaurants, cafes, bars on March 1. People busted out with so much exuberance that they quickly abandoned all the things that had been keeping them safe. Mask wearing disappeared, social distancing was ignored. The result is that our numbers, cases and deaths, have shot through the roof for a painful third wave making Michigan the hottest of hot spots in the US. Lost another neighbor, a young person in her 30s. I’m weary of the sadness and the grieving. Sigh.
But finally the numbers seem to be trending back down and Spring has sprung and hope returns. So I truly am happy for your excitement and doubly happy that small business owners/families will begin to see their income flow and all of you will enjoy a return to some sense of normalcy. This has be so difficult for so many. I would only gently suggest that any promotion also include a reminder that this virus and its variants remains out there waiting and that it isn’t yet under control let alone over. Enjoy the freedom thoughtfully, responsibly and continue to be safe. You have, no doubt, all lost enough.
To add to the bright side, I am feeling a new cautious kind of optimism. Enough that I have myself booked to the sunny and hot Caribbean coast of Mexico in coming days. I have lived there off and on and its time for a visit. I am also mindful that Mexico is a COVID mess, so while I am fully vaxed I am also totally cautious and plan to be careful just the same. If the lifestyle there (tropical beach) wasn’t completely outdoors I don’t think I’d be going.
More importantly, thanks to you and your most excellent blog, I have also booked myself on a flight to LJU for the last two weeks of September! I just couldn’t turn down the ridiculously low airfare without cancellation penalty or change fees. So I’m really excited about my first visit to sLOVEnia and am busy planning. WIth your permission—and respecting your role and the value that you bring to us all—I will contact you privately. I’m not yet clear on what help I need, but I think it will become clear soon.
Until then, I wish you all the very best with the reopening and with swift vaccination progress. It may not yet be sunny, but Spring has truly arrived in a meaningful way, eh? We need smiles, laughter, conversation and hugs more than ever. Enjoy!
P.S. This time I remembered to draft my text elsewhere and paste it in before posting. How many times do I have to learn that lesson? LOL
Hi there Green Traveller! Nice to hear from you and am delighted that my blog has been of help to you in planning your trip to Slovenia. September is a nice time to come as the touristy places are (usually) less crowded. Out of interest, what route are you taking to get here and what do you consider a “ridiculously low airfare” – if you don’t mind sharing such info! I’m still hesitant to make any travel plans, as don’t expect to be vaccinated for a while yet as the vaccination programme is going agonisingly slowly here. It’s getter harder by the day not having seen my parents for well over a year so, as and when it’s possible, the first place I will head is to the UK. And yes, you are certainly right, we need smiles, laughter, conversation and hugs more than ever! Enjoy your trip to Mexico!
Thanks for the response, Adele. That has to be challenging—not seeing family. And I’m sorry to hear that the vax program is moving so slowly. Ours’ was as well, but its amazing what can be done with a new and competent government. If you can hop on a flight, you can walk into the pharmacy nearby and get one free. That, of course, highlights the glaring disparity between the haves and the have nots. I surely wish compassion and generosity were more fundamental in our policy making. I hope you’ll get jabbed soon and that your parents have benefitted already. May you reunite in London soon! Until then….. please continue to mask up and be safe. Cheers!