On this fabulous 7 day hiking trip, you will be able to enjoy bathing in thermal waters, freshwater rafting and maybe a little wine tasting from 3 special and very diﬀerent regions of 2 countries.
Oh, and yes, some hiking! So polish your boots, pack the sunscreen and look forward to hiking some of Slovenias stunning hidden trails.
Day 1 - Arrival, airport to Bad Radkersburg Austria.
We collect you and your luggage from the airport and transport you to one of the beautiful hotels in the Spa town of Bad Radkersburg.
Here you can relax and unwind in the healing thermal waters that naturally occur across both Austria and Slovenia. The special properties of these waters are a joy to aching bones and muscles.
Later on that day, we will meet to discuss your route, and if you’re self-guiding go through the maps and Garmin GPS system.
The rest of the evening is then yours to explore this small quaint town, and enjoy some of the local wines and food.
Day 2 - Bad Radkersburg - Kloch
Today’s hiking includes going further into Austria’s hills.
First, after a delicious breakfast, we begin by walking through the beautiful town of Bad Radkersburg, perhaps visiting the museum with its rich history or stopping for a coffee in one of the cafes in this picture postcard pretty place.
For those who want a few more kilometres, we can offer a short hike to the near castle “Chateua Agata” in Gornja Radgona, Slovenia, and a little refreshment of Sekt (sparkling wine) under the Waterfall in the worldwide famous wine cellar Radgonske gorice.
We leave Bad Radkersburg and we are already on a “Wine road Klöch” that spreads all the way to Fehring in the north. It is best known for the Traminer grape.
The soil here is full of minerals, deriving from once active volcanos in this area. This gives locals an extra advantage, and their wine is famous all around the Globe.
We enjoy our lunch in one of traditional Austrian “buschenschank” in the small town of Halbenrain or Altneudörfl where dishes are prepared from local, seasonal produce and served on a terrace with a view to neighbouring vineyards. Good for the stomach and soul.
From here, we hike further north, deeper into the volcanic landscapes of Austrian Styria to Klöch, where we find our hotel for this night’s stay. Before our sleep, we try some golden drop, treated by sun’s rays (this region is the sunniest in whole of Austria).
Day 3 - Kloch, Austria to Grad, Slovenia
Today’s hike takes us through to Slovenia, crossing the Kucnica stream. All of a sudden, the breathtaking beauty of the Goricko region spreads before us, with its undulating paths winding through pristine villages. Look out for a badger or red deer!
Goricko is Slovenia’s Natural park, and therefore under protection. This gives us the privilege to admire rare species of plants and animals, depending on the time of our visit. Its picturesque cultural landscape with typical scattered farms and mosaics of meadows, fields, orchards and vineyards that intertwine with streams and mixed coniferous-deciduous forests, will surely inspire us to explore Goricko as much as possible.
After a traditional lunch, we head towards Grad castle, so important in the region that the whole village was named after it. Grad means Castle in Slovene. Grad castle is the largest castle in Slovenia, and beautifully preserved. Here are also healing energetic spots and lines, said to be the most powerful in Slovenia.
If you feel like a bit more of a challenge, it is possible to continue on to Sotina. Here you can see a stonecutter with the oldest stones in Slovenia. Furthermore, a pair of extremely rare birds nest there, and we may spot them flying as we hike. Which ones? You will have to see if you can figure that out yourself!
Three countries – Austria, Hungary and Slovenia – meet together only 10 km away.
We fill our bodies with pure energy during the day and then sleep at the castle, just to experience the unique vibes in some of its countless rooms.
Day 4 - Exploring the Goricko National Park
This days hiking remains in the Goricko area, following stunning but peaceful trails. People have lived and farmed in this region since pre-historic times, and it feels as if you are almost stepping back in time as you walk in this lovely untouched region. Goricko also has the largest number of otters in Slovenia!
Goricko really has a lot to offer. For more experienced hikers we recommend visit of Ledavsko jezero (Ledava lake), an artificial accumulative lake on river Ledava. This extends our hiking for few miles, but makes it worthwhile. Plenty of birds nest there and Irises might be in bloom at the time.
Our afternoon hiking trail leads to Gederovci, where we will look forward to a good night sleep, to prepare us for next day’s rafting!
Day 5 - Merrily Merrily life is but a dream.
Today’s trip takes us to the river Mura, which divides Styrian region of Prlekija with Prekmurje (once under Hungary), but combines them both into sub region Pomurje.
The Slovenian part of the river was recognised and designated as an UNESCO world heritage area, and therefore presents an immense influence for locals, who all share love for this river. Poets, singers, writers and directors find inspiration for their work right here. This is the last big river in Slovenia that has not been cut in half by hydropower dams, this alone makes it a rare sight!
If you never been rafting before, do not worry! The river flows gently and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the sound of the water beneath and the bird singing all around you. Keep an eye out for the sudden blue flash of a kingfisher or black stork high above! We might even notice europes biggest eagle, the white-tailed eagle. Although only few pairs nest in this area, it is still the biggest population of this bird in Slovenia.
For those who would like to, there is a chance of swimming in the river.
The river Mura takes us pass the last functioning mill on this river that still grinds cereals, to the Island of Love in Ižakovci, where we can enjoy refreshments including local specialties such as “langaš” and “pajani kruj”. These culinary delicacies are made on the open fire and are typical food for this region. Langaš is made out of potato, fried in oil and “seasoned” with garlic and sour cream or cheese. Pajani kruj was originally a dish of the workers who reinforced the banks of river Mura in the past, called büjraši.
Since they were out in the field for days, their bread turned crusty, so they warmed it on the fire, put on some pork lard and added garlic. Before you think too much about it, you have to take a bite and see how delicious it is!
Leaving the Island, we return to land again via yet another mode of transport. The ferry on Island of love is one of four ferries still working on Mura. The ferry is made of wood and steel, and it moves using river’s flow. We pass yet another lake, a man-made gravel-pit.
Our last visit of the day is to the Bee Museum in Krapje. Bees are highly protected in Slovenia, and of great importance to the farmers. The Slovenian indigenous subspecies of bees are Carniola bees (Apis mellifera carnica), on which the beekeeping thrived in these lands long time ago. Carniola bees are very peaceful and produce big amounts of honey, and are therefore extremely popular with beekeepers. Today, it is the second most spread specie of bees in the world! Here you will be able to see how they live and are protected, while enjoying a few nibbles that include the local honey!
Our day ends at the thermal Spa of Banovci resort. Another opportunity to soak weary feet and body.
Day 6 - Lakes and ponds of Prlekija
Our hiking trail for this day is full of divine streams and lakes, and areas that surround them with all the lush vegetation.
We visit the gravel-pit that turned into a lake, where locals spend their summer days oﬀ. Crystal-clear blue waters, swans gently gliding, so peaceful and at one with nature.
From here, we pass an amazing forest of Babji Ložič and learn some interesting facts about the ecosystem of this ancient forest, once part of a huge woodland that expanded all around what is Ljutomer.
From here, we walk into the town of Ljutomer, where we can visit the harness racing museum and learn about Ljutomers own trotting horses, or walk through Main Park, where the idea of united Slovenian nation and language began in 1868.
In 1905, the first Slovenian film was made here, directed by Dr. Karol Grossmann, to whom annual Fantastic film and wine festival is now dedicated.
Exploring the old and new squares leaves us just one mile left to walk to our residence for this evening. We end the day with the relaxing view on the Podgradje ponds, horses and gorgeous local dinner and wine.
Day 7 - To Jeruzalem!
To the final day of hiking, and what a day! From tourism farm, we walk the sometimes steep but breathtaking hills into Jeruzalem. Short stops at local wine and cheese producers will ease our travel.
Legend has it, that crusaders on their way to the holy land, stopped on one of these beautiful hills to rest. Here they were met by hospitable locals, who oﬀered them good wine and food, and that is when they decided never to leave this place. They claimed the region as their own and named it Jeruzalem. To this day, it remains one of the most striking places in Slovenia.
The last day leaves us feeling we could have stepped into a fairytale with hilly vineyard region, incredible views of tiny villages and churches on the horizon and in the valleys. At the top, an amazing panoramic restaurant to sit back and enjoy the local food and beverages before heading off to our final hotel of the trip. The botanical garden with rare trees, perennials and shrubs spreads on the top of Jeruzalem to make it even more dramatic. In addition, we might glimpse some of the surrounding countries, not divided with boundaries, but just expanding over the panorama, combining into one of the most romantic sceneries in the world.
Once again, the views will leave us wanting to come back time and time again to discover more of this tiny, incredibly beautiful, well-kept secret of Slovenia.
Day 8 - Departure
Transfer to airport.