Bees and the Belokranjska Pogača Caraway Cake

Bees and the Belokranjska Pogača Caraway Cake

Bela krajina is a part of Slovenia that is less known, but nevertheless has many interesting things to offer travellers. Its location on the sunny side of the mythical Gorjanci mountain range is certain to amaze you with its variety of natural and cultural heritage. Its name is derived from the slim white birch trees that thrive there and the white flaxen clothing once worn by the inhabitants of the region. The nearly 600 km² of the Karst peneplain is embraced on the southern side by the warmest Slovenian river, Kolpa, that is great for swimming, boating or hiking along its banks. In 2010, Kolpa became the proud holder of the prestigious title of European Destination of Excellence.

OVERVIEW

DAY 1:
Slovenians like to say that bees prefer being among good people. In Bela krajina, they have been fostering the symbiosis between people and the hardworking bees for a long time. The locals like to welcome visitors with the Semič honey sparkling wine and the Belokranjska pogača caraway cake. You will visit the local beekeeper who will show you in detail how honey is made and you will also have the opportunity to taste many bee products. After lunch, you will take a tour of the Kolpa Landscape Park and see the river that runs along the border and changes its character several times along its path through the park. It is the warmest Slovenian river where locals often come to cool down in the summer. We will visit Šokčev dvor in Žuniči which is a farmhouse typical of the Bela krajina region that lies along the Kolpa River. The farmhouse is one of the protected cultural monuments of the Kolpa Landscape Park. It is a closed-type farmhouse comprising a house, a shed and a barn. The house is connected by a wall with a gate to the courtyard which is enclosed on all sides. The house features a furnished farmer's room with antique furniture, a crib, old farmer's apparel, homemade canvas and the like. We will finish off the day in a traditional way by dining on the bank of the Kolpa River and tasting the homemade flavours of Bela krajina.

DAY 2:
Sightseeing of Metlika and its attractions is planned after breakfast, including a workshop where your will learn how to bake traditional gingerbread cookies and the Belokranjska pogača caraway cake. The amazing smells are certain to make you hungry so we will take the time after the workshop to have a spot of lunch. You will then drive to the old school where they will show you what education was like in the previous century. The creation of the school and the idea of establishing the Bistra buča primary school required a lot of effort and perseverance, and it now shows visitors how people were taught in the past. The classroom is equipped as a classroom from the sixties of the previous century, with only the tables and benches being replicas of the original tables and benches. The teacher is, as a matter of course, serious and strict because teachers at that time were not to be trifled with, and his clothes and cane emphasise authority wielded by a teacher in those times. If the cane starts whistling through the air because you were not obedient, do not be afraid as you will leave the Bistra buča school healthy and with a smile on your face. At the end of class and even if you were a bit naughty, you will receive a certificate reminding you of this special day.



PACKAGE PRICE PER PERSON

  • Individually, with own transport: from 189 €
  • VIP package with a guide and transportation: from 288 €
  • Group trip: from 229 €

THE ADVENTURE/PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Welcome drink - sparkling wine with honey from Semič and Bela krajina cake
  • Visit to the local beekeeper
  • Visit to the Kolpa Landscape Park
  • Presentation of Bela krajina handicraft
  • Bakery workshop - baking gingerbread biscuits or Bela krajina cake
  • Sightseeing in Metlika
  • Visit to Bistra glava school
  • 2 x lunch in the selected restaurant
  • 1 x dinner
  • 1 x overnight stay with breakfast at the hotel ****

For more information about trips and activities click here.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • the program is available and runs from 1 April to 31 October, arrivals are possible every day of the week
  • the program is intended for individual passengers, groups of 2–7 persons and larger groups for which the program can be adapted
  • possibility to combine two or more packages
  • tourist tax is included in the price

Hotel Bela krajina ***

You will find Hotel Bela krajina in the old town centre of Metlika, near the Kolpa River.

The hotel has been open continuously for more than 50 years and it embodies the traditional Bela krajina hospitality. It was renovated in its entirety in 2008 and all of its furnishing and details testify to the authenticity of tradition for which Bela krajina is so well known. Not far from Metlika, the hotel operates its own camping Podzemelj where you can use the sports grounds free of charge. You can also rent bicycles for free and wander the area to your heart's desire.

The friendly staff is always happy to help visitors discover the hidden stories of the region. The Kolpa River is really close by. It is one of the most beautiful and warmest rivers in Slovenia in which you can cool down in the summer months or rent a small boat or raft to see the area from a different perspective.

There are 20 air conditioned rooms that feature a satellite TV, telephone, hairdryer and free WiFi.

In the pleasant ambiance of white birch trees and the views of the old town centre, you can enjoy the flavours of Bela krajina and excellent local wines. And you must be sure to try the tasty Belokranjska Pogača Caraway Cake.

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Visit to the local beekeeper

Beekeeping is a traditional agricultural activity in Slovenia; the beekeeper's main task is to harvest bee products (mostly honey) from the hives.

Picking honey from hives depends on hives, usually the back or upper part of the hive is removed. To keep the bees calm, they need to be "smoked", which means the bee smoker is used to calm them down. Then the beekeeper takes out the boxes with honey cells from the hive. He takes out full frames, and inserts the empty ones, so that bees can fill them. With a special tool he opens the cells and extracts the honey, which is then filtered, and the result is a dense sweet honey that is ready for use.

Most beekeepers occupy themselves with beekeeping because of the production of honey, but beekeeping is much more than just honey production. This is a very diversified activity and because of this, beekeepers have a good chance of developing entrepreneurial ideas in beekeeping. They can opt for a larger number of queens and bee families, focus on marketing and in the opening of sales space - e.g. home-made beekeeping rooms or produce quality Slovenian honey with a protected geographical indication. They may opt for the production of pollen or royal jelly.

Among the beekeeping devices are personal equipment and tools with which the beekeeper takes care for a tidy beehive. Personal equipment is necessary, each beginner as well as a beekeeper with several hives needs to have it, because he must be protected from bee stings. The basic equipment includes a protective net or headgear that can be placed on another headgear or is placed on a hat with wide ends. For the protection of hands, special gloves are needed, which have suitable design, with rubber above the palms, as they protect against the stings.
Among the tools is a hive chisel which is used to open the hive parts that are glued with propolis. It is also used to remove wax extensions. Small whisk broom is used to remove the bees from the honeycombs when the honey is poured. A small ash tool on a longer handle is used to clean the bottom of the hive. In addition to the basic tools, special claws can be used to pull out the honeycombs, while the paint spatula is used to clean the hives. The beekeeper also needs a source of smoke to sooth the bees. To this end, he uses bee smokers: manual bellows or bellows driven by a special mechanism.

In the past, beekeepers were using the cooked and dried wood mushroom. Among the beekeeper tools there are also accessories for marking the queen bees. In the accessories, there are four colours and nets to catch the queen during painting and drying of the paint. This device is not used if the wings of the queen are trimmed. Beekeeper ensures that the inventory, tools and equipment are always in good condition, and if necessary, the tools and equipment are further disinfected before use. The documents of the beekeeper are: the production plan, the analysis of the profitability of individual products, the calculation of operations, the list of investments in the new season, etc.


Beekeeper produces honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax and bee venom. (Bee venom is used for pharmaceuticals and homeopathy).

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Kolpa Regional Park

The Kolpa Regional Park extends along the border river Kolpa, in the area between Stari trg and Dragoša, entirely within the municipality of Črnomelj. The main attraction of the Kolpa Regional Park is certainly the Kolpa River with its valley, which changes its character several times through the area of the park. At the beginning of the considered area between the Učakovci and Vinica, the valley opens towards the central Bela krajina plain and again narrows down at Podklanc. There, Kolpa flows in a narrow valley below Zilje and Preloka all the way to Žuniči, where the valley towards Miliči is even more pronounced and forms a canyon with high, overhanging rocky walls alternately on both banks. Here the river makes the greatest rotation in its course and then runs towards north and northwest. At the Fučkovci, the lowland flow begins slowly along the planar world of alluvial deposits, where the valley widens the most.

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Šokčev dvor

Šokčev dvor in Žuniči is a typical Bela krajina farm house of the near Kolpa region and is one of protected cultural monuments of the Kolpa Regional Park. This is a farm house with an enclosed courtyard, consisting of a house, a shed, and a barn. The house and all is connected by a wall with an entrance door, which makes the courtyard closed from all sides. The house is restored. In this renovated house you can see the farm room, where old furniture, cradle, old farm clothes, and home-made linen have been put on display. The other room with an old baker's oven serves as a dining room, which is perfect for groups and all other visitors.

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Metlika

Where to look for paradise nowadays, if not in remote and pristine landscapes, where tranquillity, diversity and rich natural and cultural heritage intertwine? Therefore, welcome to the heart of Bela krajina, where the ancient Metlika is hidden between the Gorjanci and the Kolpa river. You will be touched by its diverse history, culture and friendly people.

The Metlika municipality is a land of many faces. Because of its remoteness, it is mysterious, unspoilt and clean, and its diverse world is full of magical corners that offer rest and entertainment. Although geographically remote, it has been in the area for many centuries. Even today, it is rich with folklore, culinary specialities and events that are not found even in highly developed and rich places. In winter it is white and tranquil; offering views of the building and cultural heritage, in the spring it is flowering and inviting you to drive along the hiking and cycling routes, and in the warm months, the green and clean beauty of Kolpa is perfect for chilling. It is especially beautiful in autumn colours, when the Bela Krajina granaries and wine huts are filled. Winemakers in Bela Krajina produce wines that satisfy even the most demanding drinkers, while delicious home-made food and hospitality persuade travellers to return to us again and again.

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Bakery workshop - baking gingerbread biscuits or Bela Krajina cake

Uskoki, which settled as a protection from the Turks, on the slopes of the Gorjanci, brought the Bela krajina cake to Bela Krajina. Later, individuals moved to the lower villages and thus transferred their habits and also the baking of the cake.

What is a good Bela Krajina cake? It is a cake that was made by a skilful housewife. The appearance of the cake reflects effort and energy. It is round, which means unity and infinity. If you cut the cake, each receives the same proportion. The appearance of the slice reflects the mode of preparation and the energy that was released while the housewife was kneading the dough. Salt and cumin, scattered in the cake, show the housewife's accuracy. The taste of the cake tells a lot about the quality of raw materials. Of course, the smell of cake is also important, which takes us to the grandmother's kitchen. The Bela krajina cake is a welcome food that shows the housewife's mood. The traditional way of serving with breaking, however, connects everyone present.

Members of DKŽ Metlika protected the Bela Krajina cake at the European level. We can meet them every year and attend a bakery workshop at the event of Vinska vigred and Mlada portugalka when the entire old town core of Metlika smells of warm bread, cakes and homemade delicacies.

A certificate for a protected dish has already been received by 23 producers. It is expanding its reputation and it seems to be well connected with wonderful wines and sparkling wines produced by diligent Bela Krajina winemakers.

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Primary school Brihtna buča (Clever head)

In 2014, the Primary School Bistra buča opened its doors at Radovica near Metlika, which in its nests cultivates the diversity of the southern corner of Slovenia - Bela Krajina. The school is intended to promote and get to know Bela krajina in a playful and fun way. You will get to know Bela krajina in the Primary School Bistra buča in Radovica under the "strict" eye of the teacher, who is portrayed by Jože Matekovič. The idea of creating this kind of school was born to the famous Bela krajina humourist, writer, cultural worker and man of many gifts - Toni Gašperič.

The programs in the school that are being adapted are carried out by a "strict" teacher. Well, except in cases when the nagging headmaster comes to school, who occasionally visits unannounced at the school of Bistra buča and intervenes the classes for both the teacher and the visitors of the Primary school Bistra buča. At that time, even the teacher's stick, resourcefulness and strict gaze do not help much. A school caretaker may also come unannounced, but he is generally not that important. The Primary school Bistra buča invites all those who want to know how the lessons were held in the sixties of the last century, and get to know, in a unique way, the tourist destination and the heritage of Bela krajina and make a good laugh.

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  • 1 Visit to the local beekeeper
  • 2 Kolpa Regional Park
  • 3 Šokčev dvor
  • 4 Metlika
  • 5 Bakery workshop - baking gingerbread biscuits or Bela Krajina cake
  • 6 Primary school Brihtna buča (Clever head)

Transfer from the airport

Guests arriving by air will be offered comfortable transfers at competitive prices from close by airports. Our chauffeur will meet you at the arrival and will bring you back safely and on time
to the airport at the departure. You can cancel the transfer from your home to the hotel without expenses within 72 hours prior to scheduled transfer. You will receive the information about the exact time of departure a day before the scheduled transfer.

  • One-way transfer
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  • Type of transfer:
    One-way transfer
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    € per person
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    km
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    h
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  • Type of transfer:
    Return transfer
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    € per person
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Total for all passangers: 0€ Confirm the selection
No, thank you

Transfer from home to the hotel

Guests from northern Italy are offered the possibility of transport from home to the hotel. You can choose between
morning or afternoon directory term, the carriage is available for 2-7 passengers, reservation up to 5 days prior to departure. The notice of the exact time and location of departure one day prior to the tour.

  • One-way transfer
  • From - to:
    BENETKE - MORAVSKE TOPLICE
  • Distance:
    km
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    h
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  • Type of transfer:
    One-way transfer
  • Price:
    € per person
  • Number of people:
  • Return transfer
  • From - to:
    BENETKE - MORAVSKE TOPLICE
  • Distance:
    550 km
  • Travel time:
    5,5h
  •  
  • Type of transfer:
    Return transfer
  • Price:
    € per person
  • Number of people:
Total for all passangers: 0 € Confirm the selection
No, thank you