Unforgettable Holiday Experiences at Slovenian Tourist Farms

Triglav Mountain. Photo credit: K. Kunaver
Triglav Mountain. Photo credit: K. Kunaver

Try something different this summer and stay in any of the 200 tourist farms spread across the Slovenian countryside.  Staying at a tourist farm gives travellers a real insight into the customs and traditions of Slovenian life, plus a chance to get closer to the country’s nature and landscapes.

Tourist farms are genuine working farms that welcome help from their guests – including children.  Some jobs which guests can get involved in include fruit picking, egg collecting, mushroom picking, grape harvesting and animal feeding.  As well as traditional bed and breakfast accommodation, evening meals are also available.  These are usually traditional homemade Slovene dishes that are produced from fresh organic ingredients, grown on the farm’s land.

Being based in the Slovenian countryside offers the perfect opportunity for holidaymakers to make the most of Slovenia’s outdoor activities including hiking in the Julian Alps, rowing on Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, white-water rafting and kayaking on the Soča River, or horse riding and mountain biking in the Triglav National Park.  With over 7,000km of marked mountain trails in Slovenia which vary in difficulty and length, there are also options for everyone from gentle walkers to serious hikers.

Lake Bled. Photo credit: J. Skok
Lake Bled. Photo credit: J. Skok

With a wide and varied mix of tourist farms, visitors will find something to suit all tastes and needs.  The Hlebec tourist farm in the hamlet of Kog, in northeastern Slovenia close to the Croatian border, is the perfect base for travellers wanting to explore the eastern wine routes.  The farm is owned by the Hlebec family, who cultivate 20,000 vintage vines to produce Renski, Laski Rizling, Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines.  There are seven bedrooms and guests are served traditional meals specially selected to complement the different wines.

Travellers in search of an active break in Slovenia’s mountains and national parks might like the Pr’Gorjup Farm near Lake Bohinj.  The farm is located on a wooded mountain plateau and boasts panoramic views across the valley.  The farm has four guest bedrooms and offers home grown produce including traditional Bohinj meats and cheeses.  The Pr’Gorjup Farm is within easy reach of excellent hiking and mountain biking trails, horse riding and canoeing on Lake Bohinj.

Tourist farms can be booked directly, or via a tour operator. A list of tour operators can be found atwww.slovenia.info/en/Foreign-Travel-Agents

For more information about Slovenia and the tourist farms visit www.slovenia.info or call 020 7928 6108

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Discover Poland

discover-poland-magFortis Media Ltd has announced that its English language publication, Discover Poland, will now be available at distribution points in the three largest airports serving London and the South East of England.

Working with media distribution specialist, Green Bug Media, Discover Poland will be available at 40 different distribution points at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted airports. The distribution points can be found near to check-in desks, departure lounges, gates and arrivals halls.

Published monthly, Discover Poland is an 84 page magazine that promotes Poland as the ideal destination for business and leisure travel, and provides news and information on culture, lifestyle and travel in Poland.  Discover Poland is published in co-operation with the Polish National Tourist Office in London.

Fortis Media is the largest Polish language publisher in the United Kingdom. It publishes a number of popular Polish language publications and information portals and online resources. For further information, visit www.fortis-media.com

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Learn to Cook Polish Recipes

poland-culinary-vacations-logoWhen you travel with Poland Culinary Vacations, you’ll know that your Polish experience will be culturally rich, casually elegant, and truly unique.  This unique holiday company will whisk you away to specially selected regions of Poland to learn about the roots of regional fare and explore how modern chefs are transitioning traditional dishes to contemporary cuisine.

Traditional Polish Bread
Traditional Polish Bread

The world-class vacations let you indulge your foodie side with hands-on and demonstration-style cooking lessons with country housewives in their village homes and professional chefs in the cities, as well as taking you food enthusiasts on trips to local markets, farms and festivals.

Along the way visits are made to Polish bakers, farmers, shop owners and chefs to learn the secrets, and collect the recipes, of this outstanding culinary culture.  Between culinary pursuits, including vodka and beer tastings, your cultural side is indulged with trips to enjoy art, architecture, and even sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  To relax and rejuvenate each evening, guests stay in comfortable, chic accommodation, ranging from charming hotels to genuine castles and palaces.  Each trip is personally designed and escorted by Malgorzata ‘Sarna’ Rose, a native of Poland and founder of Poland Culinary Vacations.

Polish sweet pierogi
Polish sweet pierogi

This year Poland Culinary Vacations launched two new exciting foodie adventures: a 7-day cooking vacation in the Lesser region “Cooking Your Way From Krakow To Zakopane” and one-day cooking classes, a cooperative venture with “The Culinary Institute in Cracow”.

An exciting trip to Lower Silesia region of Poland, “The Flavors of Lower Silesia”, is also available.  To watch a video from the 2008 cooking trip to Lower Silesia go to www.polandculinaryvacations.com/vacations.php

Traditional Polish Feast
Traditional Polish Feast

Plus, the holiday company is offering super discounts this summer. Just book your culinary getaway to Poland by 31 July 2009 and save $500 per couple on all 2009 trips.

To check the dates for 2009 culinary vacations in Lesser Poland, and the cooking classes,go to, www.PolandCulinaryVacations.com or email info@polandculinary.com for complete details.

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Austrian Spa Holiday Offer

If you are yet to book your getaway this summer, you are in luck because Wahanda has teamed up with Austria’s Finest Spa Hotels and Resorts to round up a whole host of great spa packages to send you on a holistic journey to remember. What’s more, Wahanda are offering a free signature facial during your spa break at a selection of their hotels when you mention Wahanda with your booking.

wahanda-1

Austria offers a world-class wellbeing experience with a breath of fresh air and proves to be an ideal location whether you are searching for a short family break, a short retreat or a longer relaxing holiday.  Charlotte’s VVeb and Wahanda have teamed up to provide you with exclusive summer offers so you can enjoy exquisite alpine waters and soothing thermal pools, combined with an abundance of outdoor activities and top cuisine.

Read more…

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Romania: Volunteering & Luxurious Sightseeing

Mural Painting
Mural Painting

Hands Up Holidays is currently offering you the opportunity to combine a period of meaningful volunteering with luxurious sightseeing, giving you an inspiring holiday. One of the holidays on offer is to Romania, which will captivate you with its stunning monasteries, castles and medieval towns, while the people regale you with stories of legendary Count Dracula and his haunts in Transylvania and the surrounding Carpathian and Fagaras Mountains.

The holiday begins with a panoramic tour of Bucharest, capping off the day with a welcome dinner at the Count Dracula Club. Brasov, the next stop has one of the largest Gothic churches and proves to be an ideal base for visiting Dracula’s Castle: Bran Castle. The trip also takes you to the monasteries of Voronet and Nearnt which are among the greatest artistic monuments to Europe. Then, on to Sighsisoara is a gorgeous medieval town before reaching the Danube where the day is spent on the river. Constanta, the base for volunteering located on the Black Sea, where you can make a positive difference to the lives of orphans. The amazing adventure ends back in Bucharest on Day 9.

Painting orphanage
Painting orphanage

Day by Day Itinerary:

Day 1 Bucharest – Arrival and City Tour (D)

Day 2 Bucharest-Sinaia-Bran-Poiana Brasov-Brasov-Tusnad (B,D)

Day 3 Tusnad-Sighisoara-Mediasch-Sibiu-Sighisoara (B,D)

Day 4 Sighisoara-Piatra Neamt-Suceava-Baia Mare (B,D)

Day 5 Baia Mare-Bacau-Braila -Tulcea (B,D)

Day 6 Danube Delta boat trip (B,L,D)

Day 7 Volunteering in an Orphanage in Constanta (B,D)

Day 8 Volunteering in an Orphanage in Constanta (B,D)

Day 9 Bucharest; tour ends (B)

B = Breakfast, L= Lunch, D = Dinner

The next trip takes place on 22nd August.

For more information go to www.handsupholiday.com

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Affordable Hospitality in Germany

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Credit: Krüger, Norbert
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Credit: Krüger, Norbert

The German National Tourist Office in London has published a new “Holidays and Short Breaks” brochure containing a wide selection of affordable Germany holiday and short break offers for 2009. The publication is part of the “Affordable hospitality – Destination Germany.  Great deals.  Easy booking.” campaign, highlighting the country’s excellent value for money offers for international visitors.

The easy to use brochure features a variety of different types of holidays in Germany’s regions, including “Northern Highlights”, “Eastern Promises”, “Western Delights” and “Southern Comfort”. UK travellers can choose from city breaks, walking and cycling holidays, 20 years fall of the Wall tours, family holidays or special Oberammergau Passion Play 2010 packages.

The free brochure can be ordered from the German National Tourist Office, gntolon@d-z-t.com, phone 020 7317 0908.

Germany holiday offers also on www.germany-tourism.co.uk/specialoffers

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The easyGuide to Croatia

croatia-flagLow-fares airline easyJet is encouraging Brits to explore the delights of the Dalmatian Coast after it was revealed that less than three per cent of the nine million tourists that visit Croatia each year come from the UK.  With summer temperatures ranging from 26 to 30°C, a stunning coastline dotted with hundreds of beautiful islands and the Croatian kuna still providing exceptionally good value for British tourists, the reasons to visit Dalmatia are seemingly never-ending.

This year easyJet has expanded its routes to Croatia and now operates regular flights from Liverpool and Gatwick to Dubrovnik, and flights from Bristol and Gatwick to Split.  Both destinations have a flight time from the UK of less than three hours and offer the perfect starting place for island hopping beach holidays, with regular water taxis operating up and down the coastline.  Dalmatia has a long rugged coast, backed by high mountains with hundreds of offshore islands, each one with its own character from trendy hotspots to secluded getaways.

Hvar

Hvar Island is one of Dalmatia’s most popular islands with a combination of beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches, olive groves and pine forests, quiet secluded coves and larger bustling beaches littered with bars and cafes.  Hvar Town is one of busiest resorts, with some of the best bars and clubs in Dalmatia. Its regular beach parties are infamous, as are its chic bars and restaurants.

Read more…

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Holiday Offer of the Week

slovakia-bear

Mountain Paradise is currently offering £200 off new wildlife watching tours in the Slovakian Tatras meaning you only need spend £995 for a week or £699 for a short break in a spectacular region with incredible wildlife.  The High Tatras are unspoilt and one of the smallest mountain ranges in the world.  They are situated in the northern part of the Slovak republic on the border with Poland.  The region is rich with flora featuring almost 1400 species of plants.  However, the real ornament of the Tatras is the Cedar pine.  It is an alpine species of pine tree, which grows on the steepest parts of hillsides.  Wildlife is also in abundance; above the rocky relief of the Tatras you can often see a Golden Eagle and Chamois and Marmots are both endemic to the area.  Wolves and brown bears can also be found in the Tatra’s forests.

Mountain Paradise, (www.mountainparadise.co.uk 0161 408 8988) is offering exhilarating wildlife tours in Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains for the first time this summer with a special introductory discount of £200 off of a week’s stay and £100 off a short break if booked by 30 June.  Packages start at £995 for a seven night holiday and £699 for a three night break.
Packages comprise: return flights from London, Luton or Manchester, airport transfers, full board accommodation in private rangers’ cottages and in chalets, transport to wildlife locations, two days of wildlife watching on the short break and five on the week stay.

These unique tours, led by expert guides and mountain rangers, take participants to areas of the Western and Belianske Tatra National Park previously inaccessible to tourists.  They offer the chance to see a selection of Slovakia’s abundant and diverse wildlife including: brown bears, wolves, roe and red deer, the elusive lynx and the endangered Tatra chamois.  Pine martins and many birds of prey including golden eagles and falcons also inhabit the area.  The tours run on selected dates between June and October.

slovakia-cat

Mountain Paradise does not use animal hides or bait the wildlife instead they rely of the expertise of the rangers to track animals ensuring that clients see them in their natural habitat. The company also restricts numbers to six per guided group.  The tours are part of the bear research programme being carried out by Tatra foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that provides funding for conservation initiatives throughout Tatra Mountains National Park. Clients will be able to see the results of some of the bear research while on these tours. Mountain Paradise will also donates £100 to the Tatra Foundation for every booking made.

The wildlife tours require a moderate level of fitness as they feature walks of approximately three hours around the valleys of the Tatra National Park with ascents and descents during wildlife watching.  The holidays are not suitable for children under the age of 14.

Despite being in the Euro zone, Slovakia represents excellent value for money with a pint of beer, a vodka, soft drink or large sandwich costing only €1, a main course in a restaurant around €3 and an ice cream just €0.50.  Slovakia is just 2-hours by air from the UK (flights from London, Luton or Manchester) and the short transfer to the mountains means that holidaymakers spend the maximum amount of time on location.

Mountain Paradise’s 2009 wildlife tours are running on the following dates:
27 June to 4 July, 7 nights, ppp £995 if booked before 30/6, £1200 after
14-17 August, 3 nights, ppp £699 if booked before 30/6, £799 after
22-29 August, 7 nights, ppp £995 if booked before 30/6, £1200 after
29 Aug-5 Sept, 7 nights, ppp £995 if booked before 30/6, £1200 after
5-12 September, 7 nights, ppp £995 if booked before 30/6, £1200 after
12-19 September, 7 nights, ppp £995 if booked before 30/6 £1200 after
25-28 September, 3 nights, ppp £699 if booked before 30/6, £799 after
2-5 October, 3 nights, ppp £699 if booked before 30/6, £799 after
9-12 October, 3 nights, ppp £699 if booked before 30/6, £799 after
17-24 October, 7 nights, ppp £995 if booked before 30/6, £1200 after
24-31 October, 7 nights, ppp £995 if booked before 30/6, £1200 after

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