Novo mesto Experience
Dolenjska region is the land of gentle wine-growing hills, cviček wine, numerous hayracks, Krka riverwith tufa barrages, thermal water spring and zidanice vineyard cottages. And of course, much more. Welcome to Dolenjska!
My top 11 things to do and see in Dolenjska region
Novo mesto, a town of situlae, is embraced by Krka river and rolling wine hills. It is the center of Dolenjska region. We were strolling around the old picturesque town and enjoying an ice cream while admiring a small boat passing by.
Klevevž natural hot spring
Klevevž natural hot spring can be found close to Šmarješke toplice. It is a popular spot for Slovenians all year round because the water source has a constant temperature of 24,8 degrees. Take a warm water bath in the nature.
At the foot of the Gorjanci Mountains, you will find majestic Carthusian Pleterje Monastery. The oldest part of the monastery is the gothic church. The monks are cultivating 30 ha of the land. They produce fruits (grape, apple, pear), fruit juice, wine (you will not believe, but their wine cellar is one of the oldest cellars in Slovenia!), brandy and spirits, raise sheep, bees (for honey products and candles) and fish. Their special seller is Pleterje pear which grows inside the bottle before topped off with pear brandy. They produce mass wine as well. You can hike 4 kilometers Pleterje trail that is going around Pleterje monastery.
Kostanjevica na Krki
Kostanjevica na Krki is the only Slovenian town set on a tiny island. The town is connected with the main land with 2 oak wooden bridges. It is a pleasant walk through the town where you can admire St. Jacob and St. Nicolas church. If you are more into art, you should definitely visit Božidar Jakac Art Museum, the largest gallery complex in Slovenia. It is located in the former Cistercian Monastery.
During the long and hot summer days you should definitely rent a canoe or stand up paddling board and paddle around the town. Or simply jump into Krka river.
Otočec castle, declared as a cultural monument of national importance, is the only castle surrounded by water in Slovenia. It was built one the island on Krka river (it is the only tufa-forming river in Slovenia!) and changed owners many times. Today it is operating as a 5* hotel resort. On a sunny day you can enjoy walking around the castle park, feed the swans and taking a coffee in the castle bar.
The land of hayracks in Šentrupert
The land of hayracks (Dežela kozolcev) is the first open air museum dedicated to the hayracks. It consists of 19 different drying structures. Here you can deepen your knowledge about the development of hayracks through time: from simple drying structures to complex forms of toplars. What is more, you can hit the road to Nebesa hill above Šentrupert. This is one of the best view points in Dolenjska region.
Opening hours: From Tuesdays to Sundays between 9am and 4pm.
Price: 4 EUR/adult; 3 EUR/children, students and retired; 8 EUR for family ticket.
Once in Šentrupert, do not miss to visit Nebesa hill, a perfect view point on Dolenjska region.
Andreja, a beekeeper and local artist from Novo mesto, opened her beehouse on the edge of Krakovski pragozd for us. Bees were buzzing around us while we tasted honey products and inhaling aerosol.
Berryshka liquer experience
Berryshka is a family run destillery and chocolate shop close to Dolenjske toplice. Once you enter the destillary the whole new world about liquers and brandy opens. Keep in mind that they are producing essential oils as well. We pampered our taste buds with top-quality chocolate products, spirits, fruit liquers and home made desserts.
Opening hours: Friday to Sunday, and holidays: 12pm (noon) to 9pm.
Guided tours: 3pm, 5pm, 7pm.
Price: 7 EUR/person.
If you don’t taste cviček, then you didn’t experience Dolenjska region. Cviček wine is made of red and white grape variety in Dolenjska wineregion. Cviček is Slovenian wine ambassador. With its light red colour it has long and rich tradition. Cheers!
If you want to experience Slovenian cuisine with a twist, you should book a table at Oštarija Herbelier in Dolenjske Toplice. Warm ambience with artistic touch, selected wines from all Slovenian regions, and always in a good mood chef Robert will make your culinary adventure unforgetable.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday between 12pm (noon) and 9pm, Sundays between 12pm (noon) and 4pm. Closed on Mondays.
Dolenjska region offers many great accommodation options but we decided to stay at Šeruga farmstay which lies in a remote and green valley, surrounded by forest and encircled by stream. It was in the early afternoon when we arrived to dream like place called Šeruga farmstay. It is located in Sela pri Ratežu. We were greeted by Rok and Eva who were busy but with a great smile on their faces catering a small group of Slovenians who were celebrating grandfather’s 80th birthday. The weather was sunny so Lucija and I decided to explore the farm a bit. Lucija could not resist climbing up the steep stairs to find out what is hidden in the hayrack. Well, the farm exploring ended as soon as Lucija spotted a swing and a slide. I took an advantage of enjoying the peace while sitting on the summer chair and observing happy fishes swimming in the brook.
Šeruga farmstay offers 10 nicely decorated double rooms and beautiful wooden granary house, built in 1831. A granary house situated on the forest clearing which can host 4 people is a perfect accommodation for everyone who loves being connected with nature. The aroma of wood intertwined with the sound of a stream and morning mooing of cows that are passing by on the way to the neighboring pasture. Nicely decorated and fully-equipped granary house with rustic furniture has a perfect rural charm. Šeruga farmstay is known among Slovenians for finger-licking home-cooked food. Meals (for the guests and daily trippers) are served indoors and outdoors.
We treated our taste buds with beef soup and home-made noodles, pogača bread topped with dry tomatoes and salami, baked spring potatoes, green beans, peas, cottage cheese struklji, boiled carrots, chickpeas with tomatoes sauce, baked chicken, pie topped with elder flowers fresh salad. Of course, a glass of cviček wine was on our table as well. We ended our yummy meal with a chocolate cake. 100 % organic food produced directly at Šeruga farm.
Nutritionful self-service breakfast consists of locally produced salami, cheese and other dairy products (cottage cheese, yogurt, butter), pates, honey, yummy jams, pickles, freshly baked breads and pastries, cereals, nuts, eggs, dry and fresh fruits. Delicious breakfast provides a great start for a day.
Šeruga farmstay is a welcoming retreat for nature lovers and local cuisine afficinados.
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