Jeruzalem Slovenia Experience
Jeruzalem is the land of sun, counts and wine. It lies on the northeastern part of Slovenia between Mura and Drava rivers. With its rolling wine hills, hospitable people and endless natural and cultural attractions it is a perfect destination for wine and food lovers, natural enthusiasts and active families.
My top things to do while exploring Jeruzalem destination
Visit a tourist farm or two or three in Prlekija
We were driving through the narrow village roads before we ended at Tourist farm Ozmec. »You can not start your day without taking a breakfast.” said Sonja and offered us a huge Prlekija breakfast consisting of salami, 3 types of spreads, cheeses. Let the photos tell you a yummy story. In the family they are dealing with farming, tourism and carpentry. Believe it or not, the most photographed item on the farm is a tractor, red Porsche.
Another great tourist farm is Puklavec in Zasavci village where we were enjoying nice views over neatly vineyards, admiring huge rattle and indulging our taste buds in local specialties. In Prlekija you will eat well. Do not leave Prlekija without tasting sweets (Gibanica pogača, kvasenica), meat delicacies (tünka, zobl, postržjača) and other local treats (čurke, prezvuršt, pocane murke, sireki, pumpkin seed oil). And of course wine!
Do not miss tourist farm Na koncu vasi. Suzana and Joze are running a tourist farm Na koncu vasi in Cven village. Recently they opened a glamping (it is placed under the shade of a red oak with a view on the endless wheat field) which can host a family with 2 children. On the 25m2 this luxury glamping house offers everything you need for your perfect holidays (even a wine bar and 3 e-bikes!).
What is more, you are coming to the tourist farm Na koncu vasi (keep in mind they are serving food only during the weekends and that there is no a la carte menu) to indulge your taste buds with the local specialties. We were treated by 2 yummy soups (beef soup and zucchini soup). While waiting for the next dish, Lucija and Filip were happily playing with toys and Robi and me indulged in a glass of wine. Pork fillet in plum sauce, fried chicken, chicken roll, buckwheat wrap, potatoe semolina slice, baked potatoes, panna cotta with home grown strawberries … shall I continue? In Prlekija region the food tastes right. Tourist farm Na koncu vasi is a perfect place to treat a “not-so-skinny” and “I-want-to-try-everything” tourists… including myself.
Wine tasting in Prlekija
We visited family-run Kogl winery 1542. Firstly, you will fall in love with its exterior. The estate is based on the hill surrounded by the terraced vineyards and artistic items. It offers endless and spectacular views over the Prlekija countryside and even further to Štajerska region. »The wine and art goes hand in hand at Kogl winery.« greeted us Špela and Franc who invited us into the wine cellar. But before we entered into the winery, we spotted a huge wall. On the wall there are written all sorts of wine that are produced at Kogl winery. Secondly, you will fall in love with its interior of Kogl wine cellar. Kogl winery is one of those small wineries you will never forget. Because it just stands out too much. The vineyards in Prlekija have great conditions to grow: abundance of sunshine, cool nights and mineral-rich soil of the Pannonian sea. One is for sure! You can not leave Prlekija without tasting local grape variety called Šipon (Furmint) which is a pride of Jeruzalem and Prlekija region.
Tasting pumpkin seed oil at the Oil mill Jeruzalem
After a short 12 minutes long movie presentation of more than 110-year-old Oil mill Jeruzalem that is annually producing 90.000 liters of pumpkin seed oil (I was surprised that Lucija was focused on the presentation the whole time and even afterwards asked many questions on pumpkin seed oil production), we tasted delicacies prepared with pumpkin seed oil.
I tasted pumpkin seed liquor (while Lucija was already having apple juice), then we proceeded with pumpkin seeds with different flavors (chocolate and orange, white chocolate, caramel, coffee, vanilla and cinnamon, chocolate and mint, chocolate and coconut, chocolate and chili, rosemary, chili, onion, garlic). My favorite one were pumpkin seeds with rosemary while Lucija felt in love with pumpkin seeds with chocolate and orange (she almost emptied the whole box!). Bucotela or pumpkin seeds spreads is a best seller among the young visitors. You can choose between different flavors – classic, sauer cherry, orange, cinnamon. Did you know that you need 3.5 kilos of pumpkin seeds or 33 pumpkins to produce 1 liter of pumpkin seed oil? Deeping pieces of bread into green gold of 100 % Styrian-Prekmurje pumpkin seed oil which has EU Protected Designation of Origin is a truly culinary treat.
I totally felt in love with pumpkin seed oil with onion and pumpkin seed oil with garlic – ideal for salad dressing – and other cold pressed oils such as walnut oil, hemp oil, grape seed oil and black cumin oil. We ended our pumpkin seed oil tasting experience with desserts made out of, of course, pumpkin seed oil. But the best dessert according to Lucija was vanilla ice cream with pumpkin seed oil. I couldn’t agree more.
The lagoons of Ormož
The lagoons of Ormož, once wastewater basins from Ormož sugar factory, are a nature reserve and a wetland of national and international importance due to numerous endangered species of birds. They are managed by BirdLife Slovenia who (after the sugar factory was closed down in 2006) installed new water system and constructed 6 large breeding islands with the total surface of 10000m2. The lagoons of Ormož are part of Drava Natura 2000 area and are one of the most important stopover and breeding sites for water birds in Slovenia. Believe it or not, the biggest attractions are 26 buffalos which are freely roaming around, grazing along the banks and maintaining low vegetation in pools with shallower water. It is a quiet and peaceful place for relaxing and observing animals in their natural habitat. Along the pools you can follow the education path on foot, by bike or on horseback. There are observation points and a visitor center.
Staying in the holiday house Podhamer
Podhamer holiday house, located on the top of the hill, is a perfect accommodation for exploring Prlekija region. Sebastian greeted us in front of his heaven. Sebastian is offering 2 unique holiday houses overlooking Jeruzalem wine hills: Marijan and Boris.
We chose to stay in the holiday house Marijan. It is a traditional vineyard cottage with spacious panoramic sun terrace (we were eating our meals here, playing billiards and enjoying the sunset while swinging in the hammock), steep stairs that are leading to the sleeping area under the roof (in the morning we were admiring the sun rise through the panoramic window), unique wine cellar, wood-fired oven, u-pick garden with vegetables and orchard (it was flourishing in June so we could taste currant, shadberry, blueberry, cherries) and exclusive wellness with a breathtaking view, hot tube, Finnish sauna and Japanese style bed.
We felt in love with the interior design, peaceful environment, breathtaking views on the surrounding vineyards and hospitable owner Sebastian. The accommodation is super clean (Filip is a perfect indicator if the place is clean because he is crawling around all the time) and offers everything you need for your pleasant stay.
Every morning we collected fresh fruits for the breakfast. And the biggest surprise was when Sebastian prepared a small swimming pool. The children were waiting the water to get warmer and sprinkling it all over the place. Beside the pool the second most popular place for the children was a slide and a climbing wall.
Moreover, Sebastian is offering different local experiences so you can choose between jeep wine safari, horseback riding, cycling, MTB, rafting on Mura river or you simply enjoy the massage under the open sky. Our weekend at Podhamer holiday house exceeded our expectations.
_____________ Thank you for reading! ___________
If you crave some more local experiences, join my local experiences! What is more, if you need help with your travel planning to Soca valley and/or Slovenia beyond the usual tourist menu , do not hesitate to contact me. Welcome/Dobrodošli!