New Year’s Eve in Slovenia – How, Where and Hangover Cures!

Generally speaking, Slovenes love New Year’s Eve and really go to town when it comes to celebrating! So, if you are going to be, or are thinking about, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Slovenia, here are some ideas of how, and where, to see in the new year in style.

You won’t have to go far to find new year’s celebrations, since pretty much every village, town, and city has some kind of celebration. And even if you don’t see them, you will certainly hear them!

The biggest crowds gather in the Slovene capital, Ljubljana, where numerous events take place, the highlight being the fireworks display launched from the Ljubljana Castle hill. Find more information about New Year’s Even in Ljubljana here –


There are New Year’s Eve concerts held in several of the city centre squares from 9pm onwards.


Lake Bled is another popular place to spend New Year’s Eve. I saw in the new year there a few years back; first taking a (brisk!) walk around the lake, then settling down with a friend and a mug of mulled wine to watch the fireworks display above the lake.


There are New Year’s Eve celebrations in all the major cities, including Maribor, Celje, Novo Mesto, Nova Gorica, Piran, Kranj, Velenje etc., as well as smaller local events.


New Year’s Eve in Maribor, Photo: (Profoto studio)

A more unique way to see in the new year is to visit the mountains. Quite a few of Slovenia’s mountain huts hold house parties on New Year’s Eve. Expect hearty food alongside the wood-burner, plenty of schnapps, and obligatory singing! Of course, don’t forget that the next morning – yes, the one after the night before – you will have to hike back down!

You might find the hut half buried in snow, as I did here on the Pokljuka plateau, but that’s all part of the fun! A pair of snowshoes, as seen below, definitely aids access when conditions are like this.


If it’s a nice sunny New Year’s Day, what better hangover cure can there be than this!

If you prefer a ‘hair of the dog’ style hangover cure, then be sure to try out one of numerous kinds of Slovenian homemade fruit schnapps, but beware, the homemade versions are often strong enough to blow your socks off!


I have to admit to being a bit of a killjoy when it comes to New Year’s Eve. I can take it or leave it, preferring Christmas and time spent with family to loud parties and – as we all know – the world is always still the same the next day, despite all the new year’s resolutions! However, since I’ve been in Slovenia, I have tried to embrace New Year’s Eve a little more, and have tried a number of different ways of celebrating.

If you’ve been a good girl or boy, then Old Man Winter (Dedek Mraz) may visit on New Year’s Eve! I met him at Vila Podvin on New Year’s Eve 2014/2015, whilst enjoying a gourmet dinner prepared by one of Slovenia’s top chefs, Uroš Štefelin. Families with young children especially enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Vila Podvin. This year the fun begins at 7pm – reservations essential.


New Year 2015/2016 was spent at another local restaurant, Kunstelj Inn, whilst other years I have just walked from home into the heart of my hometown of Radovljica where the celebrations are focused around the historic old town centre, with live music and merriment. This year in Linhart Square, the heart of the medieval old town, there will be live music and merriment with the Gašperji Ensemble from 11pm – 2am.


There have been a couple of times when temperatures having been well below freezing and I couldn’t face going out in the cold and the appeal of staying home in the warm won over! If you do venture out in the cold at midnight, be sure to wrap up well!


Wherever and however you choose to celebrate, I wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and a healthy and prosperous 2017!

© Adele in Slovenia

Adventures on Kum – Slovenia’s Best Mountain Hut and Mountain Dessert!

Hiking is very popular in Slovenia. There are over 170 mountain huts spread across the hills and mountains of the Julian Alps, the Karavanke, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, the Pohorje, Jelovica and Pokljuka plateaus and all the other areas. The huts range in facilities, in general the higher you go the more basic they become. Some, particularly the higher lying ones, are only open in the high season (July-September), others are open year-round though, out of season just at weekends, whilst a small handful, including this one, are open all year round, regardless of the season.

Every year in Slovenia the public votes for their favourite mountain hut to win the title of ‘Best Mountain Hut’. This year the competition was won by the mountain hut on Kum (Koča na Kumu) and since I’d never been there, and since the warm autumn weather we’ve been experiencing of late has meant the hills and mountains beckoning for hiking, I visited Kum last weekend and, well – wow – now I know why!

Dom na kumu

At 1220m Kum is the highest peak in the Posavje region. It can be reached from a number of places, including from Trbovlje, Radeče and Zagorje ob Savi. However, having read about the mini-cabin used to cross the Sava river at Zidani most, where one of the routes begins, I decided that sounded like an adventure with my name on it! This little cabin (for want of a better word) is also used by locals wishing to cross the river to avoid an otherwise lengthy detour.


As I wanted to make an early start on Sunday morning, and also because I wanted to suss out the cabin in advance, I decided to stay the night before at my new favourite hotel, Rimske terme in Rimske Toplice. I say ‘favourite hotel’ because I visited once and liked it so much, and there was so much to see and do, that I returned a week later, hence there’ll be much more about that in a coming blog.

Zidani most is one of Slovenia’s most important railway junctions, and is also known for its 3 bridges – two railway and one road – as well as being at the confluence of the Savinja and Sava rivers. Though surrounded by wonderful nature, to be honest, from what I saw of the place, there’s not really an awful lot else to see or do there, though I might be doing it a disservice since I only used it as a base for my walk.

If arriving by train, on exiting the station turn left then walk along the road for about 1km to where the road crosses the railway. If arriving by car then you can park on the dirt road beside the Sava river. Then, its a quick hop into the cabin to wizz (ahem!) over the river to begin the hike. Well, at least that was the plan! If there is a group of you, it would be far easier as those on the opposite side of the river bank can help by winching the cabin if (and when!) it doesn’t quite make it over the river!


So, just get in, take the obligatory photo, close the ‘door’ and let gravity do its thing!

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The cabin is just big enough for 2 people. If, however, you are alone, you might want to ask a friend to help (or flutter your eyelids at a friendly local – though you could have a bit of a wait, there aren’t many!) when you (inevitably) get stuck halfway across the river and don’t have the strength to pull yourself the rest of the way!

The path leads up alongside a stream, steeply at first, crossing the stream in several places (I’d advise against taking this path after heavy rainfall as imagine it gets pretty slippery and treacherous). It emerges to meet a road then continues up along a sunny balcony, passes weekend houses from where the endless and rewarding views begin.


The panoramic views are breath-taking and, despite not being that high, you really do feel on top of the world. On a clear day, you can see all of Slovenia’s mountain ranges and Slovenia’s highest mountain, Triglav, as well as peaks in neighbouring Croatia and Austria.


On the top there is a large antenna, the mountain hut and St. Neža’s church. There is also a small play area for children, farm animals and an orientation table.


Inside the hut, where I was warmly greeted, the first thing that caught my eye was the chiller cabinet full of cakes! That in itself is a rare sight as most mountain huts have the usual fare of soups, stews and strudel. It’s not surprising then that the hut’s kremšnita (a cream slice, otherwise known as ‘Bled cake’) was declared the best mountain dessert of 2015. Of course there’s plenty of other tasty food on offer too.

kremsnita naj sladica


Kum is also popular destination during the winter and the hut is open all-year round, so, what are you waiting for?!

Useful links – Kum Mountain Hut –


Hiking and mountain huts in Slovenia

Hiking is a very popular past time in Slovenia. One might even go so far as to call it a national passion and none more so than here, where I live, in the Gorenjska region, home to the Karavanke and the Julian Alps.

There are over 170 mountain huts in Slovenia and many people base their trips to the mountains around visiting one of the huts. The huts vary in their style, accommodation and the food and drink on offer. However, at the very least there is always a cup of warming local tea and some type of soup or stew available.

Whilst the food varies from hut to hut, typical food found in most of the Slovene mountain huts includes ‘jota – a thick soup containing sauerkraut, and potato, ričet – a thick soup containing pearl barley and vegetables – usually these soups can be ordered with meat (sausage or other pork meat) or without (for vegetarians) and various types of sausage. For something sweet, the staple offerings include ‘jabolčni zavitek – apple strudel and/or ‘palačinke – pancakes. The food is pretty standard throughout the year, its isn’t seasonally adjusted, often due to the constraints of getting the food to the huts and the limited storage facilities within so even in the height of summer be prepared for steaming hot soup and comfort food!

Talking of food, you know you must be eating too much pizza when you actually end up having a pizza named after you, as I now have! Pizza Adele, as seen below, now features on the new menu at one of my favourite restaurants, Pizzeria Ema in Srednja vas pri Bohinju, where they have HUGE pizzas. I probably should add that I didn’t eat the whole thing – half lasted until the next day! Give it a try if your passing!


Woops, went slightly off topic there – back to mountain huts! Češka koča, located in the KamnikSavinja Alps, above Jezersko, has a very different appearance to the other mountain huts in Slovenia, due to it having been built by the Czech Branch of the mountain association, hence the name Češka koča, meaning Czech hut. It was officially opened in 1900 and has been renovated several times since then, but still retains its original appearance.    


There are a number of options for reaching Češka koča. Together with 2 friends, we took one of the 3 paths which begin at Ravenska kočna (1080m) and climbs up to the hut at 1542m. The path is marked with the usual red and white circular markations and is easy to follow. The path begins rather steeply up through the forest and later, in places there are wooden ladders and a few exposed sections where this is steel cable to assist, but it is well secured and is not technically demanding.

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From the hut, there are also a number of other tours that can be made, such as to hut Kranjska koča na Ledinah or to the peaks of Grintovec, Kočna or Skuta. However, all the paths from here are rated as ranging from partly to highly demanding and should therefore only be undertaken by experienced and well-equipped hikers.

This coming week, Lambergh Chateau and Hotel in Dvorska vas, near Begunje are hosting 2 events. On Tuesday its the Pool Party featuring night swimming, music and cocktails whilst on Friday, they are holding a Chateau Dinner. The theme for the 5 course dinner, with matching wines, is honey and there will additionally be music, storytelling and a visit from the Radovljica Beekeeping Association. More information about the hotel and their events can be found here –

Radovljica and Beekeeping

Beekeeping in Slovenia is hugely popular. According to statistics, there are around 8,000 beekeepers which, for a population of just 2 million people, equates to around 4 beekeepers per 1,000 inhabitants.

The reason I am writing about this today is that I was once again reminded of the importance of bees when I saw the trailer for a new film, ‘More than Honey’, which has just been released and is now showing in cinemas in the UK. It looks well worth a view. I have sent the link onwards within Slovenia in the hope that maybe someone will consider bringing it to audiences in Slovenia too. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer here –

Radovljica, where I live, is home to not only the Apiculture Museum (that’s beekeeping to you and me), housed in the Radovljica Mansion (seen below) but also the Gorenjska Beekeeping Centre where, on Saturday 21st September, the Festival of Honey and Day of Honey Cuisine will take place. The event, which begins at 10am, will include lectures, presentations and honey themed cookery workshops, as well as a market selling honey related products and an accompanying entertainment programme. More information about the Museum of Apiculture in Radovljica can be found here –


Radovljica is also ideally suited for hikes into the surrounding Julian Alps and the Karavanke range. I spend a lot of my free time hiking, and am particularly fond of the Karavanke, which are literally on my doorstep. At this time of year, I often make a trip to the peak of Dovška Baba (1891m) which stands above the village of Dovje. The views across to the village of Mojstrana, the Vrata valley and its surrounding high mountains, including Triglav, are simply stunning. 


Its a pretty steep hike up through the forest, but nowhere is it technically demanding. There are no mountain huts enroute although there is a herdsmen’s hut at the Dovška Rožca Highland, which is sometimes open at weekends, but this isn’t to be relied on. After passing the highland, it is about a further 20-30 minutes up to the peak where you are richly rewarded with views on one side of Slovenia and the other side across into Austria. However, on its northern side, Dovška Baba is highly eroded (as seen in the picture below) so one should take great care not to get to close to its edge.

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There are also hundreds of other walks in the Karavanke range which are as, if not even more, rewarding. I also like the fact the Karavanke are lesser known, and therefore less crowded, than the Julian Alps. I have written numerous times about walks there, and will of course continue to do so too.

On Saturday of the coming week, 14th September, the central event of the Langus Days Festival (Langusovi dnevi) will take place at 5pm in the village of Kamna Gorica with a fete and entertainment being provided by a local choir whilst amateur painters, who have spent the previous week at the artists colony, display their works of art.