The beautiful landscapes of Slovenia have placed the country on many bucket lists. Visitors flock from all over the world to admire the magnificent beauty of Lake Bled and to feel the vibe of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s vibrant capital. But most visitors, follow the same tourist route missing an opportunity to explore Slovenia’s lesser-known destinations.
Bela Krajina – the heart of Slovenian Cultural Heritage
Bela Krajina, or White Carniola, located in Slovenia’s southeast – on the border of Slovenia and Croatia – is a region with a rich cultural heritage that’s often left out of the typical Slovenian itinerary. The region encompasses an area of 596sq km and is characterized by low karst and birch forest landscape punctuated by the Kolpa River.
It’s a beautiful area with over 220 small settlements and a peaceful laidback atmosphere that’s loved by locals and frequented by domestic tourists.
Big Berry – a Mobile Home Resort and a Hub of activity in Bela Krajina
The area around the Kolpa River is a popular camping destination, but those that don’t want to spend their days roughing it in a tent will definitely appreciate a stay at Big Berry, a mobile home resort located right on the river. We know we did!
Big Berry resort consists of 6 individual mobile homes, each one fully equipped with all amenities necessary for a self-catered stay. There is a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, and 2 bedrooms and can accommodate up to 6 people. The jacuzzi on the front porch offered a nice touch of luxury.
The resort offers free kayaks for rent, has yoga classes, and keeps their guests entertained with a variety of activities throughout the summer.
And as we found out throughout our stay, Big Berry isn’t just a place to stay while in Bela Krajina, the resort is a unique hub that helps connect its guests with local providers and activities in the area.
Local producers in Bela Krajina
We didn’t have to go far for our first taste of goodies from the local producers. A basket of goodies with some samples of beer, cookies, ghee butter and cold pressed oil awaited for us inside our mobile home. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on it!
Over the course of our stay in Bela Krajina, Big Berry organized our visits to a number of small local producers who helped us discover more about the cultural heritage of this region.
At Domace Dobrote Mojca, we watched a step-by-step demonstration of the traditional Pogača bread making and had a chance to sample freshly baked Pogača bread straight out of the oven.
At Oljarna Pečarič, a local family farm, we had an opportunity to sample over 20 varieties of local cold pressed oils, whose benefits ranged from heart health to skin treatments.
We also had an opportunity to tour a local flour mill, the sample of our heir home-baked goodies along with Slovenia’s favourite alcoholic beverage: Raika.
Food in Bela Krajina
Amazing food experiences were plentiful in Bela Krajina and luckily for us, Big Berry knew the best restaurants and the most authentic eateries to take us to during our visit.
In the mornings, we started our day with a locally sourced basket of goodies, delivered fresh to our door that morning. There was yogurt, seed mix, bread, honey, ghee butter, cheese, salami, and eggs. We whipped up breakfast in our mobile kitchen and enjoyed our meal on our terrace overlooking the Kolpa River.
For one of our lunches, we visited a local family at Domačija Šrajf who runs a small museum about the history of the town and offer home cooked meals right in their dining room. Over lunch, we listened to stories about the local wedding ceremonies and traditions and learned how this family plays a role in the conservation of traditions and culture in the area.
Other meals were less informative, but were equally as good. Whether it was a freshly caught simple grilled fish dinner at Kmetija Zupančič or a more elaborate meal at Gostilna Muller, our meals were always fresh, always locally sourced, and always delicious.
And when we thought we were beyond full, Big Berry would take us to a local family-owned ice cream shop, Tik Tak Cafe that produces the best homemade ice cream in the region. Their ice cream is made with local ingredients and they even had vegan varieties!
Activities in Bela Krajina
Summer in Bela Krajina is all about the outdoors and staying at the Big Berry resort allowed us to make the best of good weather. The resort offered free yoga classes, which we were stoked to join. There was also lots of outdoor hangout areas, beach volleyball set up, free kayaks for rent, and plenty of other activities.
And outside of the resort, the Kolpa River served as the biggest attraction in the summer, drawing visitors from all over Slovenia and beyond to its quiet shores away from touristy areas of the Slovenian seaside.
It was a perfect destination to explore for a few days and one that we highly recommend to anyone looking to immerse in local culture and culinary traditions!
Have you ever visited Slovenia before? Did you make your way to Bela Krajina?
Disclaimer: While in Bela Krajina, we were hosted by Big Berry and its partners, but all opinions expressed in this article are, of course, our own!