We’ve spent the last 4 nights in Bohinj in Slovenia, and we’ve had a really lovely relaxing time.
We were lucky enough to get rooms in the wonderful Hotel Gasperin, a family run hotel who welcomes families with open arms. We have a room of 4 and a room of 2 here, and nothing has been too much trouble. The owners both speak English, there is free WiFi in all the rooms, the breakfast selection is filling and the hotel is 5 minutes walk from the town, lake and restaurants.
I really had no idea what to expect of Slovenia when it came to catering for families. In fact I knew very little about the Country before we came here. All I had was a faint inkling that there would be mountains and lakes.
I worried that the roads and signposts wouldn’t be very good, that we’d have trouble finding our way around, that we might struggle to find people who speak English and that it might be a bit, well… boring.
I was right about the mountains and lakes but totally wrong about everything else. Our satnav is behaving beautifully, everything is well signposted, most people speak English better than I do ( they learn it in school from the age of 8) and we’ve found plenty to do.
In Bohinj we have done a lot of swimming in lakes, going up ski lifts, admiring views, messing about with boats, jumping off piers, walking and eating.
But if you felt like being more active, there is also cycling, yachting, horse riding, fishing, mini golf, white water rafting, paragliding, kayaking and rock climbing on offer.
We also drove to Bled, about 20 minutes away, and took a tourist boat across to the only natural island in Slovenia and the little pilgrimage church built there. The church has a 52 m tall tower and there is a stairway with 99 steps leading up to the building. Weddings are held there regularly. Traditionally it is considered good luck for the groom to carry his bride up the 99 steps on the day of their wedding before ringing the bell and making a wish inside the church.
There was indeed a wedding occurring when we visited and we thought we were going to see a fine Slovenian tradition reenacted before our eyes, so imagine our disappointment when we realised that the parties involved were Welsh!
Lake Bled is smaller than Lake Bohinj but is a lot busier and more touristy. After our 90 min trip out to the island and back, we found our way to the local Funbob track, where DH and the kids spent a happy couple of hours taking the chair lift up to the top of the slope and hurtling down on the specially built sled on rails.
But one of the downsides to Slovenia is that you are required to drive with your lights on at all times, and turning them off when you get out of the car takes some getting used to. When we’d finished sledding, we returned to the car to find that we had left our lights on and so had another flat battery to deal with.
Luckily a couple parked nearby gave us a jump start so we didn’t have to use up an RAC call out, but I have now instructed everyone to remind me to turn off the lights every time we get out of the car. Not all of us will remember of course, but there are six of us, so surely someone should.
We have loved our short time in Slovenia and it now sits high on our ‘must return to’ list.
If you are looking for fresh air, fabulous scenery, lots of activity but also plenty of opportunity for relaxation then take a good hard look at Slovenia if you fancy somewhere a little ‘different’.