Wacky and Wonderful Rainy Day Ideas in Slovenia – The Sunny Side of the Alps!

Autumn can be one of the nicest times of year here in Slovenia. The heat of the summer has subsided, and with it the risk of afternoon showers, the roads and tourist hotspots are less crowded, and the leaves falling from the trees are a wonderful kaleidoscope of autumn gold and russet colours.

However, although Slovenia is often called ‘The Sunny Side of the Alps’, let’s face it, it does also rain at times!

Bohinj Lake in Autumn – Photo: Dunja Wedam_3099_orig

Much of Slovenia’s natural beauty lies in the great outdoors. So, as I know only too well, it can be frustrating when it isn’t possible to get out there and enjoy it. But, it doesn’t have to spell disaster! There are still plenty of things to see and do, whatever the weather. So, in this blog, I’ve listed a few ideas for what to do on those gloomy, rainy, and maybe even snowy, days!

MUSEUMS – There are hundreds to choose from, thus it’s nigh-on impossible to single one out, so I’ve whittled down the choice somewhat, though, of course, the list is far from exhaustive. Below are just a few of the largest and most popular.

The Park of Military History in Pivka – even those who don’t consider themselves fans of military history, will find something here. The highlight is the chance to go inside the P-913 Zeta submarine. Read more about my recent visit here – http://goo.gl/nWm3Mq and find more information here – http://parkvojaskezgodovine.si/en/


Photo: Simon Avsec http://www.slovenia.info

The UNESCO-listed Anthony’s Shaft Idria Mercury Mine – more than 700kms of tunnels, and 500 years of mercury mining. More information here – http://www.antonijevrov.si/index.php/en

Photo: Visitidrija.si

Photo: Visitidrija.si

The Museum of Apiculture in Radovljica – housed in the magnificent Baroque Radovljica Mansion. Learn about beekeeping in Slovenia and see the oldest beehive panel in the world.

Radovljica SLO 2011

Photo: Tourism Radovljica

Škofja Loka Museum – housed in Loka Castle, one of Slovenia’s finest castles in the heart of the historic medieval old town. It boasts extensive and impressive museum collections. More information here – http://www.loski-muzej.si/en/

Photo: Jana Jocif

Photo: Jana Jocif

The Ptuj-Ormož Museum – housed in Ptuj Castle, in Slovenia’s oldest city. Highlights include the collections of traditional carnival masks, musical instruments and glass paintings, as well as the Castle Gallery. More information here – http://pmpo.si/en/


Bistra Castle and the Technical Museum of Slovenia. The castle was originally a Carthusian monastery during the period from 1260 – 1782 and was later changed into a manor house. It houses an eclectic mix of exhibitions including the Slovenian Hunting Museum and a collection of ex-President Tito’s cars. Read more here – http://wp.me/p3005k-NM and find more information here – http://www.tms.si/index.php


Ljubljana’s museums and galleries – being the capital city, there is a wide choice, among them the National Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the City Art Museum, and the Railway Museum. Find out more here – http://goo.gl/WCnyYn

EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY! – It certainly doesn’t have to be bad weather to ‘Eat, Drink and Be Merry’, but a dose of traditional hearty Slovene food on a cold damp day is sure to lift your spirits!

Suggested traditional dishes and foods include; bograč, štruklji, jota, ričet, žlikrofi, kremšnita, gibanica. Read more in this previous blog entitled ‘Love Food – Love Slovenia: 10 Must Try Foodshttps://adeleinslovenia.com/2016/02/18/love-food-love-slovenia-10-must-try-slovene-foods/


WINE or CRAFT BEER TASTING – Take your pick! There is plenty to choose from! You could head to one of the many wine-growing areas, such as Goriška Brda and the Vipava Valley, or, if you are in the capital, leave the choice to an expert and set off on a Ljubljananjam guided food walk, which can be tailored to suit. Read more here http://goo.gl/KqwmVo and find more information here – http://www.ljubljananjam.si/


EXPLORE A CAVE OR TWO – With a constant temperature year-round, a visit to one of Slovenia’s tourist caves isn’t weather dependant. The Postojna Caves and the UNESCO-listed Škocjan Caves are the most popular, though there are also hundreds of other smaller caves.

Photo: Iztok Medja for Postojnska jama

SOMETHING DIFFERENT – Not necessarily ‘wacky’ but here are a few ‘out there’ ideas for a different way to spend a rainy day.

Cycle through a mountain! Just because it’s not cycling weather, it doesn’t mean you can’t cycle! For a unique experience try mountain biking through the former lead, zinc and iron ore mines under the Peca massif in Koroška. Read more here – http://goo.gl/DOvjXl


Try and escape the Enigmarium Escape Rooms – Literally lock yourself in (or rather someone else locks you in!) a room, or even an igloo, and try to escape by solving clues before the time runs out. Don’t get locked in! Find out more here – http://escape-room.si/?lang=en

Photo: Enigmarium.si

Photo: Enigmarium.si

And finally, if its wet outside, how about some pampering and/or water-based enjoyment at one of Slovenia’s thermal spas. This year I have been on a journey of discovery of them all – well almost all, just one to go! You can follow my journey here – https://spasinslovenia.com/


© Adele in Slovenia


Keeping cool in Hell! + Bistra Castle and Technical Museum

One wouldn’t immediately think of going to Hell to keep cool, so, let me explain.

It was stiflingly hot last weekend, not that I’m complaining, and so I got to thinking where I could go to see some new sights and to also keep cool and the Hell Gorge (Soteska Pekel) was just the ticket – especially as it’s been on my personal list of places to go in Slovenia for a while.


Near the entrance to the Hell Gorge. ‘Pekel’ in Slovene means Hell! Photo: Adele in Slovenia

From where I live in Radovljica it took me about an hour –  from Ljubljana it’s just 23km – to reach the small town of Borovnica, where the last solitary column of the Borovnica railway viaduct can be seen. The first train travelled across the viaduct in 1856 and, at that time, the 561 metre-long viaduct was considered a technical and architectural masterpiece.


The solitary remaining column of the Borovnica viaduct. Photo: Adele in Slovenia

From Borovnica its a further 4kms to reach Hell Gorge, just near the village of Ohonica. The gorge was formed due to subsidence of the Ljubljana Marshes (Ljubljansko Barje). The steep gorge was carved out by the rushing waters of the Otavščica, which springs from the Bloke plateau and falls over the walls and rocks of the gorge. On the flat plains near Dražica it then joins with the Prušnica and flows towards the Ljubljana Marshes and onwards into the Ljubljanica river.

The highlight of Hell Gorge is its five waterfalls, four of which fall over 15 metres and the highest over 22 metres. The first two waterfalls are easily accessible and its only takes about 15 minutes from the car park to reach the 2nd waterfall. The path is a little rough in places so good footwear is a must. To access the 3rd, 4th, and 5th waterfalls, however, the path is more rigorous, ascends from 335m to 650m and, in places, pegs, ladders and steel ropes are in place to assist and it is advisable only for those used to hiking and with good hiking shoes – a walk in the park it is not!


The first waterfall – a mere 4m. Photo: Adele in Slovenia


The 2nd waterfall.


The first of the ladders. This one leads from the 2nd waterfall up towards the 3rd.

On the way back I also stopped at Bistra Castle, since the road travels, literally, through the middle of the castle. These days the castle houses the Technical Museum of Slovenia – one of Slovenia’s most important and visited museums.


The Technical Museum of Slovenia in Bistra. Photo: Adele in Slovenia

The castle, built in the 13th century, was originally a Carthusian monastery during the period from 1260 – 1782 until the Carthusian order was dissolved. It was later purchased by the businessman, Franc Galle, who changed the building into a manor house. Since 1953 it has been open to the public in its current form as the Technical Museum of Slovenia.


The park which is part of the grounds of the Technical Museum. Photo: Adele in Slovenia


A few minutes uphill for great views – worth the climb! Photo: Adele in Slovenia

The museum houses an eclectic mix of exhibitions with departments of forestry, woodworking, fishing, electrical engineering, textiles, printing, traffic, and agriculture, as well as the Slovenian Hunting Museum and a collection of ex-President Tito’s cars.


One of ex-President Tito’s many cars. Photo: Adele in Slovenia

More information about the museum can be found here – http://www.tms.si/

There is also another gorge around the Ljubljana Marshes area – the Iški Vintgar gorge. You can read more about that here – http://bit.ly/1UJjnd5 and about the Ljubljana Marshes here – http://bit.ly/1HjYn5I

© AdeleinSlovenia 2015