Holidays in Slovenia
Splish Splash Nom Nom Silver: Crazy by day, Lazy by night.
Mixing adrenalin sports, fine dining and some of Europe's most exciting wineries (but not all at the same time) makes this one of the best holidays you've never been on. Yet.
Use the buttons for a glimpse of your discovery tour of Slovenia...
- Dobra Vila
- Dining at Dobra Vila
- Topli Val
- River Sports
- Hiša Franko
- Kendov Dvorec
- Dining at Kendov Dvorec
- Vipava Valley wine tasting
One of the most beautiful hotels in Slovenia, Dobra Vila is also a very rare thing indeed: a Slovenian name with a double meaning ('Good House' or 'Good Fairy').
The management team of brothers Matjaž and Juri have taken what was already a great hotel and elevated it to being one of Slovenia's very best. And if the decor, dining, wine cellar and welcome aren't enough, Dobra Vila is situated in the middle of one of the most beautiful valleys on earth: the Soča.
On your first evening you'll be dining at the hotel, served by one of Slovenia's newest fine chefs. The dining room is lovely, the winter garden is grand... but if the weather is clement, you'll be on the terrace taking in the gorgeous views.
Who'd have thought? The very best fish restaurant in the country is just a little way down the valley in Kobarid at the Hvala hotel. Topli Val (Heat Wave) has been cooking the contents of the Adriatic for well over twenty years. Of course, those of you who prefer your protein to have had legs will also be delighted by the traditional local fare (and even vegetarians will find much to salivate over)... but it's the fish that is the star of the show.
Flippy-flappy fishes, cephalopods, crustacians and molluscs are delivered fresh every day from the Adriatic (plus local trout, natch) to be perfectly baked, sauteed, steamed and carpaccio'ed into delightful dishes that will have you swooning with yumminess.
Reckoned to be one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, it's funny that many people, on first viewing, assume that the Soča is possibly polluted with something nasty enough to turn it a vivid irridescant turquoise!
There are many very good activity companies nearby, and we'll book you in for white water rafting, kayaking, hydrospeed, canyoning - whatever it is that floats (or overturns) your boat.
If, however, you would prefer to keep dry, there's always ziplining, paragliding, biking, hiking...
... or maybe just a light amble.
This is where life takes a turn for the better, as we arrange for transport down to Kobarid, where you'll be dining at the magical Hiša Franko.
Since our first meal here way back in the mists of time (2000 I think), we always knew the owner/chef, Ana Roš, would transform both herself and her restaurant into something very special. We've said it before and we'll probably say it again, but those people from the tyre company really should get off their lardy arses and get over here.
Talking of magic, since our first stay at Kendov Dvorec we thought we'd found Slovenia's best hotel. True, there are now a number of new or re-jigged places that vie for that title, but while Bogdan Tončič is still there, it's going to take some beating.
What used to be a farm manor house has been beautifully refurbished in keeping with the local style. All of the furniture is authentically local, and it's prettily draped with equally authentic Idrijan lace. The whole place exudes calm, charm and elegance - but with an element of relaxed comfort (i.e. it's posh but t-shirts are OK).
Which is why Relais & Chateaux are proud to have Kendov Dvorec as a member.
The chef at Kendov Dvorec, Franci Pivk, applies exactly the same approach to his cooking as the owners have to the hotel itself: local ingredients and recipes refined into twenty-first century gastronomy will have you mmmm-ing all through dinner.
We'd recommend a walk down by the Idrjica river between dinner and bed!
Bogdan also keeps a very good wine cellar - and he'll also be sending you on a wine-tasting trip to the Vipava valley, home to many of Slovenia's finest wine makers.
Certainly one of the finest restaurants in Slovenia, Zemono is also one of our favourites. Having eaten there a couple of times before we were married, we took our best man and his partner there for an extended lunch the day after our wedding.
This was the first time we met the chef, Tomi Kavčič, a man of great passion, great wit and talents of a very special kind. Still one of the greatest meals of all our lives, we think you might like to eat there too.
What you get...
- 7 nights in two of Slovenia's finest hotels
- White water rafting
- Five tasting menus
- Transfers for dining (where applicable)
- Price per person (based on two sharing)
Prices are the best estimate, depending on availability, season, exchange rate and personal preferences.
Does not include flights or car hire.