When I first visited Slovenia on holiday in 2006, I came on a cycling trip to Radovljica. I immediately fell in love with the small, medieval old town and especially the views from towards the Jelovica plateau and the Julian Alps.
When I decided to move to Slovenia in 2007, I initially set out on a journey around the Gorenjska region to decide where to base myself in order to be reasonably close to Ljubljana, where I was due to be working, but also within close proximity to the countryside and mountains, in order to be able to easily pursue my passion for hiking and cycling, and to enjoy the peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Despite visiting several other areas, Radovljica was always the one that stuck out for me as it has a little of everything: It’s not too big but also not too small and occupies an idyllic location on the broad plains nestled between the Karavanke range, the Jelovica plateau and the Julian Alps. The motorway is on the doorstep but not obtrusively so. There’s a cinema, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a medical centre, numerous cafes and restaurants, and a small but sufficient range of shops. The medieval old town centre is one of the three best preserved of its kind in Slovenia and, most importantly for me, there are endless places to walk, hike, cycle and enjoy nature.
Radol’ca is the name for the tourist area which includes the largest town, Radovljica, and the surrounding villages of Lesce, Begunje, Kropa, Kamna Gorica, Brezje as well as other smaller settlements such as Mosnje, Podnart, Ljubno and Lancovo.
Below I have listed just some of the highlights and things to see and do for visitors to the area:
* Radovljica old town – the frescoed renaissance and gothic townhouses in Linhart Square, the Radovljica Manor housing the Museum of Apiculture and the Municipal Museum, the Šivec House Gallery, St. Peter’s Church, the Town Moat (the only of its kind in Slovenia). Find out more about Radovljica here – http://www.radolca.si/en/radovljica/
* Begunje – The home of Slavko Avsenik, the pioneer of Slovene popular folk music, the Avsenik Restaurant and Museum. St. Ulrich’s Church, Katzenstein Mansion and Park, the ruins of Kamen Castle, the Drava Valley – the start point for numerous hikes in the Karavanke mountains. Begunje is also home to the headquarters of Elan, the world renowned innovative sports manufacturer. More information can be found here – http://www.radolca.si/en/begunje/
* Brezje – Most known for its Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. It is one of, it not the, most renowned pilgrimage destinations in Slovenia. Visit the Canticle of the Sun Museum or walk the Path of Peace. More information can be read here – http://www.radolca.si/en/brezje/
* Kropa – This quaint village is nestled snuggly beneath the Jelovica plateau and is known as the cradle of iron-forging in Slovenia. Visit the Iron-Forging Museum, the Vice Spike Forge, hike up to the Vodiška highland. Read more about Kropa here – http://www.radolca.si/en/kropa/
Radovljica is also just 7kms from the popular tourist town of Bled, with its famous lake, island and fairytale castle.
A variety of accommodation is available in the Radol’ca area, including tourist farms, apartments, small boutique hotels, guest houses, bed & breakfasts, private houses and camping.
The Radol’ca Accommodation Catalogue with full details can be found here – http://www.radolca.si/db/radolca/file/accommodation%20catalogue.pdf