Explore The Magic Of Bela Krajina Slovenia

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Explore The Magic Of Bela Krajina Slovenia

Slovenia is well known for its beautiful lakes, sprawling landscapes, wonderful people, and Ljubljana’s quirky capital. But, a region you’ve probably never heard about, Bela Krajina, stole my heart.

Bela Krajina is located in the far South-East of Slovenia. It is nestled against the Kolpa River, which forms the natural border with Croatia and which is one of the cleanest and surprisingly warmest rivers in Slovenia. As the rest of the country is becoming more widely explored by tourists and travelers, Bela Krajina Slovenia lies unassumingly peaceful and charming.

Renowned for the color white both in its unique forests made of white birch and their traditional white costumes, Bela Krajina stuns its visitors with its beauty.

This region has a rich history in wine. Drive around the area, and you’ll be greeted with sprawling, beautiful vineyard after sprawling beautiful vineyard. The best-known varietals from this region are the red Metliška Črnina and the white Belokranjsko Belo. Both are served with every meal and often mixed with sparkling water. It’s an interesting quirk of the region to be handed a bottle of sparkling water when ordering a glass of vino!

If you get the opportunity to visit during harvest time, do not pass it up. Not only is the harvest a celebration in itself, but Slovenians really make it extra special! If you can, seek out a community vineyard. Often, in a town, there will be a vineyard set up as a “community grape bank” of sorts that everyone in the area contributes to, so if one vineyard has a tough season, they can pull from these extra grapes, so they don’t lose an entire harvesting!

The wine flows, there are actual accordion players usually in the vines, and afterward, plenty more wine, music, dancing, and tons of food! The people of the region are known for their friendliness, and you’ll be accepted with open arms!

Bela Krajina’s largest towns are Črnomelj, Metlika, and Semič. Metlika and Semič are where you can find the majority of the vineyards and stunning fields and landscapes. I urge you to take a drive up a large hill to take in the views of the surrounding area. There are small parks nestled on some of these hills with watchtowers that are an absolute dream to look at the sunset from.

Bela Krajina - Church in Srednja vas near Semic, Slovenia.

Metlika is well worth a visit, especially because it is home to the Bela Krajina Museum and the National Museum of Firefighting. The first volunteer firefighter brigade in Slovenia was formed in 1869!

The Bela Krajina Museum calls Metlika home because it is arguably the most important city in the region. There are actually strong indicators that the city was inhabited in prehistoric times and played a major role in defending the area against the Turks in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The most fascinating part of the region is its people. Each shop owner, restaurant owner, and tradesperson has a unique story in how they wound up doing what they do.

Within Bela Krajina, you can visit many honey producers, a truly unique oil maker who makes edibles oils from seeds, nuts, berries, and grains that you wouldn’t typically find, bakers, and so much more!

Craft beer is even starting to make its way into Slovenia mostly due to one truly successful brewer that paved the way for the hundreds of breweries popping up throughout the country. Vizir is the oldest craft brewery in the country and single-handedly opened the locals’ palates up to Pale Ales, Lagers, IPAs, and even Stouts. As you may have guessed, the owners came from winemakers, but they are more than happy brewing mostly beer nowadays.

Berryshka Liqueur Distiller Slovenia | Slovenia Travel Blog
Berryshka Liqueur Distiller

Berryshka is another genuinely interesting vendor from the region. This liqueur distillery makes some of the most interesting drinks. Try the Black Currant flavor out of one of their own homemade edible chocolate shot glasses. Did I mention that they also produce handmade chocolate as well? Keep on the lookout in the next couple of years as they are supposedly in the works to start producing whiskeys!

Finally, the Slovenian food of Bela Krajina! Bread is a staple in this region, specifically Belokranjska Pogača, a type of focaccia-style bread with cumin seeds sprinkled on top. It’s served up alongside practically every meal, especially with breakfast!

One of arguably the best restaurants in the region is Gostišče Veselič. Owned by the vivacious Andrea, lunch is typically a choice between meat, fish, or vegetable main and a soup or salad full of cabbage to start. It’s often simple yet incredibly delicious. Don’t just come for the food, though; go for Andrea and her wild side!

Bela Krajina, Slovenia

If you are looking for a place to stay to explore the Bela Krajina region, look no further than Big Berry. The camp is nestled in Primostek along the Kolpa river.

The camp consists of individual modular-style homes with a beautiful backdrop. Resort goers can leave their swanky dresses behind and soak in the hot tubs that are actually produced by a local vendor, munch on the delicious breakfast treats served up in individual baskets and left on your doorstep each morning; or go on one of the limitless adventures the resort offers!

Each day we were greeted with a beautiful view, activities to choose from that included kayaking, hiking, visiting local vendors, sampling wines, and most importantly, eating! The camp is the perfect place to relax and experience the simpler side of life in the Bela Krajina.


Comments (8)

  1. Nice article. Bela Krajina is one of our favourite areas to spend time exploring and relaxing in.
    We live in the Upper Savina Valley, nestled on the slopes of Golte, Europe’s most southerly Alp – which is totally different to Bela Krajina.
    Pogača, I feel I should point out, has Caraway seeds (‘Kumina’ in Slovenian) on top which gives it it’s distinctive aniseedy flavour. It’s something we make at home since having it on our visits.
    Nice pictures from Uroš, by the way.

  2. I loved Bela Krajina – it is the most underdeveloped and rural area of Slovenia – but I believe that is what makes this off-the-beaten path the absolute best. I went to find out about the oil making too and loved it!

  3. Beautiful photographs. Slovenia is on the top of my list for where I want to go. The landscape is so varied and breathtaking!

  4. These pictures are really great and the article very good. Bela Krajina Slovenia is a place that must be visited. Thank you.

  5. Can I say thank you for using my pictures? 🙂

    P.S.: I’d wish you’d used my other picture of Kolpa river valley taken from Kozice view point..it’s just better 🙂

    Thanks again, glad you had a great time in Bela krajina, come back soon! 🙂

      1. Thank you for using my pictures and sorry for the long reply, I never got an email you replied to my comment. Anyway, I meant this picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kharak/25354034685/in/dateposted-public/

        The first picture you used as the head for this post is from “Sodevska stena” which is visible from the picture in the link (right of the church, the white spot above the valley) I just think the picture in the link is better 🙂

        I was never truly happy with the picture from Sodevska stena, but it’s strangely popular anyway. 😀

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