Events Project Executive Caroline Phillips recently travelled to Slovenia and Croatian Istria as part of an Educational trip hosted by Moulden Marketing and Intours DMC. We ask Caroline to share the highlights of her latest travels and what makes these two locations an ideal place to organise an event.
I had never been to Slovenia or Croatia before and colleagues who have been there said it was an amazing destination with beautiful scenery, great local culture and cuisine and it certainly didn’t disappoint!
When is the best time to go to Slovenia and Croatian Istria?
The best part about this destination is you can go all year round. It’s a great winter destination and you have the beautiful snowy mountain scenery ideal for a range of winter sports and other activities. It’s also a lovely summer destination where you can participate in a range of activities such as a jeep safari, a boat trip, wine tasting, truffle hunting, a visit the famous Lipica horses or the Postojna caves.
Why would you take a group to both locations?
Slovenia and Croatian Istria are clean, safe and unspoilt and are two great places to visit which can be combined for an incentive programme or other type of event. Travel between the two is easy and a quick show of your passport will get you across the border from one to the other. Centrally located in Europe, there is good flight access. Quality service is readily offered for affordable prices and everything is within easy reach. Almost everyone speaks English and the locals are very welcoming and proud of where they live. Ljubljana is the green capital of Europe 2016 and Slovenia’s capital city. Only pedestrians, bicycles and buses are allowed in Ljubjana’s centre, this makes it a great city for exploring and getting around without having to worry too much about the traffic.
What was the food and drink like?
The local cuisine is delicious! With Italian and Austrian influences offering a variety of fresh fish and meat dishes accompanied by locally produced wines, you’re spoilt for choice and there is no problem with finding somewhere unique and impressive to eat or drink. Whether it be a rustic local farm house lunch, dinner in an historic ballroom or castle or out in the open air taking in the stunning scenery, there are countless possibilities for a great dining experience. Slovenia has over 28,000 wineries! You can visit the local vineyards and taste locally made liqueurs and wines. We visited Kozlovic vinery and with breathtaking views, combined with a modern design it is an ideal addition to a programme. This trip involved a lot of food and wine tasting at various places. We had the opportunity to go truffle hunting where we were taken to a forest by a local family and accompanied by a couple of excellently trained (and very cute) dogs who were able to sniff out the truffles so they could be carefully and skilfully dug out from the ground. There was such a great sense of achievement when a truffle was found. This is a great activity for groups and to experience the exclusive local delicacies. Once you’ve been truffle hunting, you can then head to a local restaurant and include truffles into a dining experience as well as learn how to cook them.
We enjoyed another culinary highlight after exploring the Slovenian countryside and testing our driving skills off the beaten track on a jeep safari. We were dropped off by a stunning lake where white clothed tables with beautiful table décor awaited us for lunch. Whilst taking in the spectacular views, it was great to experience the outdoors in the middle of nowhere and taste the local cuisine. It was as if by magic, beautifully presented food appeared out of nowhere.