Weekend near Sežana

A few weeks back, we spent a sunny weekend in the area of Sežana: attending the marriage of my friend from last year’s Slovene course with her Slovenian partner (woot!). We also took the opportunity for a small getaway and  celebrate our first wedding anniversary!

A weekend filled with Love ❤ and adventures!

First, we went Zip-line in Bovec for an amazing adrenaline adventure around river Soča, then settled in Sežana.

The Noble horses in Lipica

One of my favorite places in Slovenia is indeed Lipica Stud Farm, the oldest stud farm in Europe that breeds the prized “white” horses of Slovenia: the Lipicanec. The paths leading to the stud farm are surrounded by endless pastures where horses roam freely.

I just love spending quality time strolling near the pastures, admiring the beautiful Lipicanec and of course, taking photographs of them.

Štanjel, the old town on the hills

Another place that I wanted to visit again was the village of Štanjel, one of the oldest settlements in the area. Located on top of a hill, the village can be seen from afar.

In the 15th century, a fortified wall was built around the village to protect it during the Turkish Invasions. Nowadays, remains of the structure can still be seen. The Castle of Štanjel and the beautiful Church of St. Daniel are the main features of the village.

Walking through the very narrow streets of the village was really relaxing and lovely. From the top of the hill, the view of the surrounding Krast is also fantastic!

I had an awesome and beautiful weekend getaway, celebrating our first wedding anniversary with much love and many adventures. (And once again, congratulations to the newlyweds!!)

With love ❤ ,

Sečovlje Salina Nature Park in Photos

These photos were taken during our visit of the Traditional Salt-Making in Slovenia at the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, end of April 2016.

Traditional Salt-Making in Slovenia

One of the my favorite souvenirs “made in Slovenia” that I love to bring back to my friends and family in Canada is indeed the solni cvet – fleur de sel, from Piranske Soline – the Piran Salt. This gourmet salt is delicately harvest following a traditional and centuries-old process in the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park.

Traditional Salt-Making

The traditional salt-making consists of a system of evaporation and crystallization basins. Seawater is led by gravity or pumped channels into a big basin, which is interconnected to a system of smaller evaporation basins by movable wooden gates.

Under the warm of the sun and the breeze from the wind, the seawater evaporates gradually and becomes more concentrated as it moves through the smaller evaporation basins. After a few times of repeating the same process, it goes into the crystallization basin where the salt is finally harvested.

The solni cvet – fleur de sel in Sečovlje is hand-crafted by scrapping the top layer of the salt that collects in the salt pans. Solni cvet is a World renown gourmet delicacy due to its lovely crystallized shape and its intensified taste, aroma and flavor.

Sečovlje Salina Nature Park

The Sečovlje Salina Nature Park has a surface of approximately 750 hectares and it is located at the southwest part of Slovenia, outlining the Croatian borders.

Sečovlje Salt Pans

The beautiful salt pans of Sečovlje are one of two rare salt pans that still follow the traditional harvest of the salt in Worldwide. Slovenia has two active salt pans on its coastline: Sečovlje Salt Pans and Strunjan Salt Pans. The salt pans in the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park are divided into two areas: Lera on the north and Fontanigge on the south.

Beautiful Salt Pans in Lera

Beautiful Salt Pans in Lera

The Lera area is where the salt-making pans are still active. The sight of what seems like endless salt fields was truly beautiful and impressive. Point of interest in that part of the park include the Lera Gift Shop, where different Piranske Solina products could be purchased, the Multimedia Visitor Center, where a short documentary of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park could be visioned and the Viewing Platform, which gave a nice outlook of the surrounding.

Getting to the Fontanigge area was a bit strange and unexpected:  we had to cross the Slovenian control point and turn right before reaching the Croatian borders to find the entrance. I was glad that I went through and back without much problems as I didn’t have my passport with me! 🙂

The landscape along the bicycle trails (free rental at the entrance) in the Fontanigge area was simply breathtaking: remains of the saltmakers’ houses dating from the 14th century, surrounded by abandoned salt fields. Points of interest includes the Museum of Salt-Making and a Restored Saltmarker’s House, where old tools were exhibited.

Remains of Saltmakers House

Remains of Saltmakers House

The unique saline water ecosystem of Fontanigge attracts many salt-loving animals as well as vegetation. Another interesting activities to do in the park is indeed bird watching –  especially for photographers. The Sečovlje Salina Nature Park is home to  approximately 300 species of birds!

We biked along the beautiful Dragonja river, which flows between Slovenia and Croatia, all the way to the Adriatic Sea, where we had a very nice view on Portorož. There is also a wooden bridges walking path on the other side of the Fontanigge entrance that leads closer to the remains of saltmakers houses.

I had an fantastic day at the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park despite the crazy Snowstorm at the end of April that caught us on the way back. I would like to visit the Salt Pans again during the harvest season, which generally occurs from June to mid-September! More photos can be found on my Gallery.

Until next time,

Day 3 – Predjama Castle, Lipica & Piran

Visiting more at a lesser cost, looking for free/low-cost activities alternatives is what motivated me to write my series “Slovenia on Budget”. It’s for people with a car, that like to visit many highlights and spend less. I don’t include accommodations or transports in this post.

If you want, you can first read

Day 3 – Predjama Castle, Lipica & Piran

Impressive View of the Largest Castle above a Cave

Today, we’re going to the southwest part of Slovenia, visiting two regions: (Coast-Karst and Notranjska-Karst. Don’t forget your camera, sun cream and your brilliant smile! Let’s go!

Predjama Castle above a Cave

The simple view of the 800 years old Predjama Castle is astonishing. It holds the title of the largest cave castle in the world. Its position is also peculiar: in the middle of a 123 m cliff and above a cave.

The ticket to visit the Predjama Castle is 11€, but we preferred to take photos from outside. After all, some sites are prettier from the outside

We didn’t go inside the Postojna Cave or Predjama Castle due to our tight schedule.

Lipicanec, the Noble Horse

Graceful Lipicanec gazing in the Endless Pasture

I’ve always been fascinated by horses, therefore, Lipica near Sežana was a must-must-go for me. In Lipica, the horses roam “freely” within very large pastures. You can therefore walk from the parking lot and easily admire them for the whole day (and for free).

You can also go inside the Lipica Stud Farm with a guided tour (12€) and learn about their history. It is good to mention that the Lipica is the oldest stud farm in Europe that breed only one breed of horse: the Lipicanec, a breed of noble dressing horses from the 16th century.

Nowadays, all modern Lippizans trace their bloodlines to only 8 stallions and 35 mares. The Lipicanec are born dark and as they grown, they gradually become grey (not pure white as some might think) with white hair.

If you choose your day of visit well, you will be able to see a 45 mins presentation of the Lipica Classical Riding School combined with a guided tour (19€). From April to October, every Sunday at 3pm. From May to the end of September, every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 3pm.

My parents were happy by photographing the Lipicanec from the pastures (for free) and they do come very very close, so you can pet and take selfies with them!

Piran, the Sea Coast

Slovenia only has a 46 km long coast along the Adriatic Sea, the main cities in that region are Piran, Izola, Portorož and Koper. Walking by the sea, smelling the salty air, taking a good dose of Vitamin D, watching the boats, suntanning, swimming, eating ice cream… is so relaxing.

Piran is the last town, at the edge of Slovenia and it attracts a lot of tourists every year. Driving to Piran, you will pass by some very pretty streets sheltered by tall trees. Finding a parking in Piran is a bit tricky, that’s why we park at Fornace, which is about 800 m from Piran main square – Tartini Square. There’s also a free shuttle bus between Fornace and Tartini Square.

Sunny Day at the Slovenian Coast

The streets in Piran are very smalls and paved with stones. It gives a feel of being in Venice, Italy. The architecture of the houses is also very similar.

You can easily visit the St-George Church and have a very nice view at the Adriatic Sea. You can also walk up to the Piran Town Walls and climb it for a mere 1€ , from there you can easily see the amazing peninsula of Piran.

If you’re looking for a souvenir, make sure to visit the store Piranske SolineSlovenia is famous for its gourmet salt, which is called Solni cvet – Fleur de Sel or Flower of Salt. (More information: Traditional Salt-Making in Slovenia.)

BONUS: Slovenian Caves

Indeed, the World Famous Touristic Cave in Slovenia is Postojnska Jama, with its train across the cave do attract a lot of people. The admission fee is not for free (22.90€), although you can get a small discount if you get combined package (details).

The Škocjan Cave is a good alternative, it is part of the UNESCO’s natural and cultural world heritage protected sites since 1986. The admission fee is  (varies from 6 to 16€, depending on which path you choose to go) and it’s a walking path.

When visiting caves, please dress warm as the temperature are much colder (8-10°C) and wear a very good pair of shoes, as the terrain will be quite slippery.

Don’t forget to check the weather before you go, especially if you’re going to be outside for the whole day! Don’t forget to bring your sun cream and let me know how you enjoyed your day, via the comment box below!

Have a look at my Gallery and our next destination: Day 4 – Tolmin & Around.

Let’s travel,

Slovenia on Budget in Pictures


These photos were taken all around Slovenia, when my parents came visit me, at the end of August 2015.