Sweet Apples from Kozjansko Park
Sweet Apples from Kozjansko Park
The Kozjansko Park lies in the eastern part of Slovenia. This region of many faces is embraced by the Alpine and Pannonian world. Welcome to the land of sweet apples!
The Kozjansko Park lies in the eastern part of Slovenia. This region of many faces is embraced by the Alpine and Pannonian world. The landscape created here by nature includes blossoming meadows, hillsides covered with forests and clear streams. People have planted orchards, built homesteads and created paths which lead to castles and churches. The Kozjanjsko Park is one of the oldest and the largest protected areas in Slovenia. Welcome to the land of sweet apples!
The regionally protected area, the Kozjanski Park is bounded by Rudnica, a panoramic hill to the north, the Sotla river to the east and the Bizeljsko hills to the east. This is where vineyards and orchards flourish. The Kozjansko apple is an old apple variety recognised as a distinctive feature of the landscape. The traditional Kozjansko Apple Feast is organized in October in Podsreda. Take a bite of this sweet fruit which here represents the symbol of nature’s protection, the continuation of the ancestors` tradition and the identification of the locals with the protected area of Kozjanski Park. Do visit the nearby homesteads where locals will be pleased to show you the production of apple fruit juice and the production of fruit brandy. You will be able to pour the refreshing apple juice straight from the barrel.
Go on a walk on one of the paths which run across the park. The Podsreda Path connects the sights in the vicinity of Podsreda’s medieval squar. Learn about the geological peculiarities of the Kozjansko at the Geological Educational Path. Cross the park`s protected area by taking the Slomšek Path which leads from Bizeljsko at the south to the most northern point of the Park near Olimje. The European long-distance path E7, which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea, also runs across Kozjansko. You may observe the surroundings and you may see the black stork or a colourful woodpecker. There are as many as 120 various bird species living in the Kozjan Park and its surroundings, from which 25 of them are categorised as rare or endangered species.
The archaeological sites, pilgrimage churches and castles from the Middle Ages hide varied historical developments of eastern Slovenia. You may ask about stories and legends of the Ajdje Giants who were supposed to live here prior to the humans, or about Guzaj the Bandit and the peasant revolts and dragons. You may relax during the Music Summer at Podsreda Castle. Numerous musical workshops are held in summer months as well as performances during which the castle halls and rooms and the courtyard become lively again. On Saturdays you may witness the celebrations of newly-weds while also having a glimpse of the nature summer camp with workshops on flowers, butterflies, birds and the forest.
In the neighbourhood you may visit the Olimje Minorite Monastery with the oldest pharmacy in Slovenia. The monks have preserved the tradition of monastery pharmaceutical activity with healing plants, teas and creams. You may try a hand-made chocolate in the Olimje House of Chocolate. In the vicinity you may relax in the Olimia spa (Terme Olimia), with the largest sauna world in Slovenia.