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Big Berry: Glamping with a Twist in Slovenia

September 20, 2016
Big Berry Slovenia review

They say it’s the journey, not the destination that matters – those people have clearly never had the pleasure of visiting Big Berry in Slovenia!

Hidden away in Bela Krajina, Big Berry offers those looking for a more authentic insight into the country a touch of luxury whilst immersing them in nature. The concept of Big Berry is simple; they connect quality, homegrown Slovenian brands with disconcerting travellers.

big berry glamping slovenia

Activities

With the Kolpa River to one side and cattle paddocks to the other, massive trees punctuate the lush grounds of this ‘glampsite’, providing the perfect spot to unwind in between your included activities (of which there are plenty).  Swim from the Slovenian side of the Kolpa River over to Croatia and enjoy zipping down the waterslide or using the tarzan swing to re-enter the river ready for your paddle home again – speaking of paddling, you can also borrow one of Big Berry’s canoes to venture further down the river.  If you’d rather stay dry, Big Berry offer an amazing number of excursions (including local food and alcohol tastings, horse drawn carriage rides, canoeing tours just to name a few) or you can relax at the campsite one the swinging egg chairs or one a comfy bean-bag bed.

After a fun-filled day we loved returning to Big Berry. A snugly bed, fully equipped kitchen, satellite TV, included wifi and best of all, our own private spa pool on the deck – relaxing at camp was absolute bliss!

Food

At Big Berry, each morning was started perfectly with a hand-delivered goodie basket of local breakfast treats; breads and pastries, yoghurts, fresh fruit, cheese and eggs, each day looked forward to discovering the new goodies at would be awaiting us on our balcony.

Breakfast was only the beginning though – we’ve never been as well fed as we were at Big Berry!  Each and every meal was delicious and locally sourced.  Throughout our time by the river we were taken to local restaurants and cafes and each time, we were blown away by the food on offer.  We sampled a number of traditional meals and always had plenty of options on offer.

Thanks to the way Big Berry run their all inclusive programme, meals and activities are included which makes everything that much better!  There’s nothing like chowing down on a delicious meal or heading out on an exciting activity without having to dip into your pocket again.

The Big Berry Experience

At Big Berry, there are a number of cabins onsite, each highly specced, and designed to maximise relaxation and privacy.  Both Nathan and I spoke about how much we’d both like to take a cabin home with us, which is actually something you can do (well almost).  These portable buildings actually double as show-homes and are available for purchase – I can imagine just how perfect they’d be sitting near the ocean or nestled in the forest.

If you’re planning a trip to Slovenia, be sure to check out Big Berry!

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big berry review slovenia

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Big Berry for so generously hosting Nathan and I for the duration of our stay.  We had an absolute blast in Slovenia and enjoyed every minute of our experience.  As always, all thoughts are our own.

Europe Lake Bled Slovenia

Lake Bled: The Star of Slovenia

August 15, 2016

Lake Bled has become an icon, synonymous with Slovenia, for good reason – it is absolutely breathtaking.

The crystal clear waters are surprisingly warm in July and the mountains that surround the lake and the lush forest around it, frame it perfectly.

Lake Bled SloveniaHow Do I Get to Lake Bled?

To get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana, you can either drive yourself or hop on a bus.

The bus was the lowest cost option and meant that we could sit back and relax without the frustrations of navigating ourselves so was an easy decision!  To catch the bus, head to the main bus station in the capital of Ljubljana – you’re able to buy your ticket at the ticket office (which is a little more expensive) or if you keep your eyes peeled, you’re able to spot the bus yourself and purchase your ticket onboard.  We weren’t told there was a return ticket option but when we got off at Bled, we were told there was – ask your driver if there’s a discount for buying a return ticket to see if you can save yourself a few euros.  You’ll find the timetable here.

Lake Bled SloveniaWhat Can I Do Once I’m There?

The main attraction in Bled is no doubt the beautiful Lake but there are a number of ways that you can tackle it and other things to see and do in the area too (if you can tear your eyes away from the main attraction!)

Circumnavigate Lake Bled

You’re able to walk either way around the lake or may prefer to rent a bike or catch a ride on the little tourist cart that zips around the lake.  We also saw horse and carriage rides on offer, or if there’s a specific part of the lake that you’d like to visit, you could hire a taxi to take you directly there.

Lake Bled transportThe walk itself was fairly flat and very manageable.  It took us about an hour and 45 minutes to walk our way around the lake, with plenty of stops for photos (as if you hadn’t figured that out).

Lake Bled SloveniaSwim

You will find swimming spots not far to the right of the township (where there is an awesome setup that you’ll pay to access, including a waterslide) and free-of-charge swimming beaches just before you reach the half-way point around the lake, walking from the left.  Even on the rainy day that we visited, we were surprised by how warm the water was; on a sunny day, swimming would be an absolute must!

Lake Bled SloveniaMake Your Way Over to the Church of the Assumption of Mary

If you’d like to get a closer view of the church sitting proudly on Slovenia’s only island, you’re able to hire your own rowboat, jump on a covered, shared boat (known as a pletna), paddleboard, kayak or even swim over (just head to the laned-off area on the far side of the lake).  We decided that we’d seen enough from a distance so saved our precious travel funds for another adventure, but I don’t doubt it would be even more beautiful up close.

To hire your own boat, you’ll pay €15 for an hour or to join a group with others, you’ll be looking at approximately €14 per person for the journey across the lake.  Boats leave both from the end nearest the bus station and the other side of the lake, so you can decide how much of the lake you want to walk around.

Enjoy a Bite to Eat

There are a number of places to stop for lunch around the lake; from bakeries and a supermarket to fancy restaurants, you’ll be sorted regardless of your tastes or budget.

We had breakfast at the bakery just around the corner from the bus stop (and it was amazing!) and finished up back in the same area for lunch – the kebab’s looked too good to pass up and they didn’t disappoint!

Wherever you decide to chow down, there’s on treat you have to try whilst in Bled.  The Bled cream cake (Blejska kremna rezina) is a delicious concoction of custard cream, cream and pastry.  It’s found in a few other parts of Europe but Bled is definitely the place to track down the very best cream cakes so don’t leave without trying one.

Hit the Slopes on a Toboggan

As you stand with your back to town, you’ll notice tracks crossing their way down the hill to the left of Lake Bled.  You’re able to take a chairlift to the top and, in the summer time, zip your way down the track on a toboggan – it looks like serious fun!!

Lake Bled; Put it on Your Travel-List Now…

Infact, do one better, do your best to get to Slovenia in general.  It’s a beautiful country with warm and welcoming people and a great example of what a meaningful European visit can be.  Lake Bled it the crown in Slovenia’s crown and one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited, but one could say the same for practically all of this gorgeous country.

Bela Krajina Europe Slovenia

Drifting Down the Kolpa: Canoeing in Slovenia

August 5, 2016

As the second greenest country within Europe, Slovenia is home to some of the most striking natural beauty found anywhere in the region.  Pristine rivers, crystal clear lakes, natural springs, rich farmland and untouched forests; Slovenia is a nature-lover’s paradise.  Even better, is the Kolpa River – it’s like Slovenia’s highly guarded secret, only we’re going to let you in on it.

When visiting Slovenia, two key locations come to mind for most travellers – Ljubljana and Lake Bled. Though these spots are absolutely worth your time, there is so much more to this beautiful and friendly country.

The Bela Krajina region, located to the South-East of the country (bordering Croatia) plays host to countless beautiful locations, just waiting for you to explore them. This area is rich in history and natural beauty and thanks to Big Berry, we managed to get out and discover much of what the region offers.

On our second day at the eco camp we were told that canoeing was on the agenda and though our preference for activities is normally more on the adventurous side, who could resist immersing oneself in nature as beautiful as is found in Slovenia!  Without a second thought, we donned our togs (or swimming costumes), grabbed a paddle and headed for the water.

canoe kolpa river sloveniaThe Kolpa River is clean, safe and both the warmest and most biologically diverse in Slovenia – the perfect setting for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Though it’s the warmest water in Slovenia, it is fed by natural springs (which sit at 8 degrees throughout the year) which adds a touch of chill – perfect for a hot summers day of fun in the sun.

Having been driven upstream, we spent a number of hours meandering back to our base, stopping along the way to enjoy an ice old drink and to munch on traditional focaccia and gingerbread.

canoe kolpa river sloveniaThe Kolpa itself is dammed periodically which adds a fantastic touch of excitement to an otherwise relaxing ride down the river.  In years gone by, these dams were used to divert the river water towards waterwheels and mills, but now they create still pools of water enjoyed by swimmers as sunbathers rest on their banks.  On one side is Slovenia and on the other bank sits Croatia.

canoe kolpa river sloveniacanoe kolpa river sloveniacanoe kolpa river sloveniacanoe kolpa river sloveniaStopping off at the end of our canoe, we waded up a little side-stream to one of the natural springs that feeds the river and enjoyed cool water, as fresh as you can get.

Back upstream we finished off with some locally caught fish and chips – Slovenian style!  Though I must admit, I wasn’t excited about trout initially, it ended up being delicious and a great choice.  If you’re in the area, we can recommend stopping off at Madronič for an ice cold drink and delicious lunch/dinner.

spring kolpa river slovenia

Thank you to Big Berry for so kindly arranging this excursion on the Kolpa for us and to Peter and Lidija from RIC Bela Krajina for showing us around this gorgeous part of the world.

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