Summer in Slovenia is in full swing. Most locals and tourists migrate to the sea coast or to the local lakes. We chose to swim in a river for a change. River Kolpa is located in the southern region of Slovenia and is one of the warmest rivers in Slovenia.
It was less than two hours drive from Ljubljana, when there were long car congestion in the sea coast direction. After standing in long line to exit Croatia one week before, this became a very important factor in choosing our next short break. Kolpa was a great choice.
Why Bela krajina?
Do you like sports?
Bela Krajina region is a bit less developed than the rest of the country. That makes it harder for locals to find a job, but there is abundance of opportunities to really relax in the nature.
Bela krajina is perfect place for active holidays. Stand-up paddle-boarding on the river is the new hype. There are also more traditional options like canoeing and rafting. You can rent a bicycle and enjoy one of many diverse cycle trails, ranging from flat to very uphill.
Visiting with a toddler, a baby and one very pregnant Goblinette, we only swam and did some sightseeing this time.
What about delicious local food?
Being close to Croatia and a bit isolated (motorway ends in Novo mesto, local roads only), natives still speak in a very specific dialect and cook dishes you will probably not find in other regions. Do visit one of the local Inns or touristic farms and try belokranjska pogača, belokranjska povitica or one any other local specialities.
Here is a video from ZIK Črnomelj about how belokranjska pogača (a flatbread sprinkled with caraway and coarse salt) is made:
Where did we stay?
We stayed at Camp Podzemelj. River Kolpa is slow and very warm there.
Further up it gets colder and also cleaner. There are numerous camps to chose from. We keep returning to this one, since it has great children’s playground. The camp has evolved a lot during the years, this year we stayed in the new mobile houses and for the first time booked in advance. Do you prefer hotels or glamping? There are plenty of affordable places listed on Airbnb (use this link for a discount) and on Booking (10% off with this link). Sadly, our favorite camp has bit outdated booking methods, but they seem to get enough customers that way. Once we are rich and famous, we might try Big berry glamping site in Primostek.
Where were all the migrants we keep reading about?
Beautiful region of Bela Krajina gets mentioned on Slovenian media a lot. Kolpa is a beautiful river but located on the border of Slovenia and Croatia. That makes it perfect crossing point for migrants on their way to better life in Europe. Some parts of the river have not very scenic looking fences on the Slovenian side and there are occasional police and military border patrols. Barbed wire was replaced with more local fauna friendly solution.
We spent relaxing weekend there and haven’t noticed any patrols or suspicions people anywhere. I guess people smugglers are smart enough to avoid touristic areas like camping and glamping sites on the river. Locals did start locking their houses, which was not usually done a few years ago.
Do we recommend visiting Bela krajina? Certainly.
Since goblins love to travel, but usually do it on a budget, we use Airbnb. By using this link to subscribe, you get discount on your first trip, and we get one on our next. If you are not into Airbnb, here is a 10% percent discount on your next booking. Travel as much as you can.