Slovenia might be a small country, but there’s many places worth visiting, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot, which give me the idea to write “Slovenia on Budget”. Although you will need a car, as I don’t cover the transport and accommodations.
If you want, you can read my previous posts
- Day 1 – Ljubljana,
- Day 2 – Bled & Bohinj,
- Day 3 – Predjama Castle, Lipica & Piran,
- Day 4 – Tolmin & Around.
Day 5 – Ptuj & Maribor
Slovenia looks like a chicken on the maps, and today we’re going around its neck, in the Podravska region. As you drive, you will notice how the landscape will change.
Ptuj, the Home of the Kurant
When I think about Ptuj, the first thing that come into my mind is Pust, the Carnival. Pust is a very traditional celebration where children and adults wear disguises and roam the streets. It is similar to Halloween, only their goal is not to get treats but to chase the winter away.
Every year, 46 days before Easter, the Carnival is celebrated in grand in Ptuj. Visitors from all around come to take place in the celebration.
The mascot of Pust is the Kurant, a figure with a colorful mask, cows bells and ribbons on its head, wearing sheep skin.
While visiting the Ptuj Castle, you can pass by the Slovenian traditional costumes Exhibition (near the Gift Shop). Make sure to go all the way to ring the lucky bells and take a picture!
The Ptuj Castle is sitting on a hills, the walk up is fairly easy. From there you can have a nice look over Ptuj and the River Drava, one of the most important river in Slovenia.
You can visit the collections inside the Ptuj Castle (5€), but we decided not to go in.
Maribor, the Oldest Vine
Maribor is the second most important city in Slovenia. Walking along Drava, you will find one of the local attraction: the House of the Stara Trta, the Old Vine – in fact, it is THE oldest, still producing vine in the World.
During the harvest season, a lot of people come to Maribor to witness the careful harvest of the Old Vine. The wine produced from its grapes is a highly valuable protocol gift. Therefore, not for sale for us, the commoners. Although, you can get your hand on a bottle of Modra Kavčin, which is produced from the same sort.
Extra Info: Slovenia has two wine-producing regions: Podravska and Coast – Primorska, there’s a lot of “wine roads” that you can follow and discover the vineyards – do not drink and drive though. The famous wine in Primorska is indeed the teran, and in Podravska, the cviček and a variety of white wines. Also, in Slovenia, on November 11th, the Feast of St. Martin celebrates the “turning of wine”.
Bonus: Slovenian Toplice
There’s many nice Toplice, Spa in Slovenia, and a lot of them can be found in Podravska and Savinjska . I’ve been to only two spas in Slovenia: Olimia Thermal Spa, a more high-end natural spa and to Terme Vivat, which is smaller but cozy.
If you’re in for a relaxing 3hrs break, you can visit one of the many Slovenia spa for about 10€ (you can also look for special discount with Spar Discount Card or on 1nadan).
In five short days, I tried to show my parents as much as possible of Slovenia, in a hopefully expenses-wise way.
We also went hiking in the Dovžanova Soteska – The Hiking Path near our house. My parents were amazed by the closest of the water and the nature.
I hope you enjoyed reading my series “Slovenia on Budget”, if you have any questions/comments/suggestions or personal experiences about Slovenia that you would like to share, please write to me via the comment box below!
Until next adventure,