Wine and food or food and wine? Which word order suits you better? No matter your choice, one thing is certain: Slovenia won't disappoint you here. We reveal the best spots and must tries for golfers.
Wine and food or food and wine? Which word order suits you better? When searching for new golf memories in Slovenia, amazing culinary experiences are probably on the top of a golfer’s bucket list. Each of Slovenian regions expresses its history and the natural resources as well as world top culinary chefs’ creativeness. So, it comes of no surprise that Slovenia has been selected for a European Region of Gastronomy for the year 2021 by The International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT).
Golfing in the Alps from early spring to late autumn
Fairytale green valley of river Sava is a home of the oldest and the most internationally known golf center Royal Golf Bled. It is just a few minutes away from idilic Lake Bled, the beautiful island and a castle, also seen from the highest point of golf course. Amazing Bled castle restaurant invites you to discover its historical and culinary delicacy. Royal Golf and Bled itself offer a diversity of culinary experiences with a wide range of the most excellent Slovenian vines from all regions.
Royal Golf Bled with its 80 years long tradition is a unique golfing and travel experience. It is “a-must-play” location with two courses - 18-hole Championship King’s course and 9-hole Lake’s course. In 2017, the King’s course reopened after an extensive 2-year renovation included dramatic changes and updates made to the original layout. Surrounded by the dramatic mountains and sweeping valleys of the Alps, the course offers perfectly manicured surfaces, a strategic layout and a rare opportunity to play golf in complete tranquility.
Another golf course in the Alps - Golf Bovec is located in the emerald green Soča River Valley. 9-hole golf centre is just a short drive away from the border with Italy on the west and Austria on the North. The scenery of the river is so magical that Disney filmed The Chronicles of Narnia. The valley is a home of Ana Roš, a chef of Hiša Franko, and World’s Best Female Chef in 2017. Her approach to cooking is almost scientific, as she allows the ingredients to be fully expressed in her dishes and to retain their authentic flavours. She swears by the philosophy “from the garden to the plate”, and whatever she doesn’t grow in her own herb and vegetable garden, she gets from her wide network of local suppliers.
Taste all-year Mediterraneanand the Karst golfing and culinary!
Just 45 minutes from the capital city of Ljubljana lies the oldest European stud farm Lipica, where you can play golf all year. The 9-hole golf course Lipica was built in 1989 in accordance with the designs of Donald Harradin, a worldwide known designer of golf courses. The Karst landscape hasn’t impact just the design of the golf course, but also the culinary which is closely related with winemaking of the genuine Slovenian wine Teran with a designated origin, produced from Refosco wine grapes. All-year sun and bora wind are two main reasons for air-dried ham called Karst pršut. Local prosciutto productions are open all year, but if you visit Slovenia in August, there is a-must-see Festival of Teran and Pršut - just come hungry and thirsty!
From Golf Lipica you can reach different golf courses in a nearby Italy and Croatia, but even more you can enjoy the summer vibe on the Slovenian coast. Your taste buds will beg you to make a stop between golfing sessions to visit Vipava Valley (Lonely Planet's Best in Europe 2018 Top 10 Destinations) and Restaurant Pri Lojzetu at Zemono Mansion. Owner and chef Tomaž Kavčič was declared as the most innovative European chef in 2017 by JRE (Jeunes Restaurateurs) congress.
Golfing between Pannonian Plain and vineyards
One of the most popular golf courses among many European golfers are in the northeast part of Slovenia, where after culinary indulgence you can relax in a diversity of thermal spa, wellness and health resorts. Livada Golf Course in Moravske Toplice surely is the most unique experience where you can relax in the black thermal mineral water of the thermal springs. The golf course is on the top list of golf lovers due to one of the longest fairway in Europe. Picturesque landscape with several pools and water fountains will be another added value of your new golf memories in Slovenia.
The region of Prekmurje is a home of amazing traditional culinary. Creative cooks often use pumpkin seed oil with untypical ingredients to express the local most popular vegetable - pumpkin. Fertile ground of the region is a source of other traditional and tasty dishes like buckwheat pie, bograč stew, meat stew and don’t forget to leave a space on your menu for the most popular dessert called Prekmurje layered cake.
Unforgettable golf sessions in the kings’ countryards
The oldest Slovenian town of Ptuj also boasts a 18-hole golf course and it impresses the golfers with creative water obstacles. Placed near the old medieval castle in the heart of pine forest you can enjoy the peacefulness of bird singing. Your sights from the golf course will enjoy the hilly landscape of vineyards around. The Ptuj wine cellar is one of the oldest of that kind in Slovenia. Not far away from Ptuj in Maribor, the second biggest town in Slovenia, you can see the oldest grapevine in the world.
Can you imagine yourself playing in the middle of vineyards? What a dreamy memories! Zlati grič golf course is located in the heart of a vineyards near northern border of Slovenia and Austria. Owned by a wine production company it offers amazing rosé wines and other white and red wines also on the golf course.
Does it sound like history and wineries are two main companion of Slovenian golf courses? There are two more proofs of that! Otočec Castle and Mokrice Castle are two impressive historical places that has been renovated into excellent hotels and both have 18-hole golf courses. Hilly landscape helped golf designers to create diverse playground for white-ball lovers. And the historical buildings are great place to bring your golfing memories of Slovenia to a next level!
Is it possible to reach a golf course in 20 minutes?
When searching for golf courses in Slovenia, you can find a suitable one for all levels of players in a really short distance. Even more: in a today’s world we want to have everything right now right here. In Slovenia the most faraway golf course is less than 100 minutes from the capital city of Ljubljana. What do you say about that two golf courses are just 20 minutes away from the premium and 5-star hotels in the capital city?
The first golf course close to the city centre is an 18-hole Golf Arboretum Ljubljana, 20 minutes from the capital city and the second is Diners Cubo Golf Ljubljana. It is located on a half way from the Ljubljana airport and city center and the course features 18 holes – each of them representing a story connected to the local historical background and folk’s legends. It is so impressive that you can enjoy such an amazing countryside views of the highest mountains of the Alps while playing golf. With the short distance to the centre of capital city the world of the best restaurants is your oyster.
If you want to taste all kinds of traditional dishes from all over Slovenia prepared in a modern way it is the best to visit Open kitchen event, food stands in the Ljubljana marketplace. The event runs every Friday from early spring to late autumn. If you prefer privacy and you are a romantic person choose Strelec restaurant at Ljubljana Castle or enjoy culinary masterpieces created by Janez Bratož, owner of JB restaurant. It has been the first Slovenian restaurant ranked on the list of World’s Best Restaurants.
Well, did we awake your exploring streak to spend your next golf holidays in Slovenia and to pamper your taste buds with Slovenian creative cuisine of World renowned chefs and tastefulness of wines?