Slovenia is a proud beekeeping nation. On 20 May, we celebrate the World's Bee Day and this is why now is the perfect time to tell you, why Slovenia is Europe’s best spot for an api-tourism adventure in 2019.
Home to over 10,000 beekeepers, 12,500 apiaries and nearly 170,000 hive colonies, bees have played a huge role in Slovenian culture for centuries. Today the country is home to a huge variety of bee-related activities, from relaxing honey massage and beehive air inhalation to staying overnight in your very own private honeycomb!
Here are the top ten reasons why Slovenia is Europe’s best spot for an api-tourism adventure in 2019:
- Take an apitherapy tour – Embark on an apitherapy tour to learn all about the curative effects of Slovenia’s ancient beekeeping tradition – from honey massages to spas and tastings.
- Stay overnight in a honeycomb – In the green Savinja Valley you can transform yourself into a bee and live among the shelter of honeycomb-shaped cabins in Honey Village.
- Spoil your senses with honey– At Topolšica Spa you can experience the soothing effects of a honey spa or stay overnight in the company of bees and let the soothing buzz help send you off to sleep.
- Bohinj International Wildflower Festival – Europe’s first wildflower festival celebrates bees with a varied programme of events with a ‘wild meadow theme’. 24 May – 9 June 2019.
- Honey tasting trails – Slovenia produces 2400kg of honey each year. Sample sparkling chestnut honey-based wine in Maribor and watch traditional honey lectarstvo being made in Radovljica.
- Inhale healthy beehive air – Pamper your respiratory system and inhale soothing beehive air at the apiaries in Selo pri Bledu or the Pule Estate in Dolenjska.
- Visit Radovljica – Slovenia’s ‘sweetest town’ is the ideal location for exploring Slovenia’s rich beekeeping tradition, home to The Museum of Apiculture and 600 hand-painted bee-houses.
- Take part in an api-artwork workshop- Visit Selo and meet local beekeeper Blaž Ambrožič, with the opportunity to hand paint beehive panels. You can also learn to make wax candles and inhale air directly from the hives.
- Visit the Slovenian Beekeeping Centre– Established in 1873 the centre showcases Slovenia’s beekeeping history and offers nature trails, as well as the opportunity to sample traditional honey liqueurs.
- Explore Slovenia’s vast landscapes– From the Julian Alps to the Pannonian Basin, explore native flora that makes Slovenia a haven for bees.
Let's celebrate together!
After having successfully gained UN backing for the event in May 2018, Slovenia will celebrate the first anniversary of World Bee Day on 20 May. The annual day will continue to celebrate the environmental value of bees around the world, while showcasing Slovenia’s beekeeping attractions.
Here's our little treat for you: an itinerary providing a fascinating 4-day insight into Slovenia’s beekeeping heritage.
Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana
Following your arrival into Ljubljana, you’ll then be taken on a guided tour of Ljubljana, including the medieval old town (full of Baroque and Renaissance architecture, museums, and galleries), and cross the Triple Bridge designed by famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik. As evening approaches, you will meet with a member of the Urban Beekeeping Club. Spend the night at B&B Hotel Park Ljubljana, which houses beehives on its rooftop.
Day 2: Lake Bled and Carnolia
After taking in the wonderful sights of Lake Bled (including a ride on a traditional ‘pletna’ boat), you’ll visit a local forester and beekeeper to witness traditional painted beehouses and taste delicious honey-based products.
You’ll then move on to Radovljica’s Gingerbread Museum and the Museum of Apiculture, which houses Slovenia’s entire beekeeping heritage, including around 600 original hive fronts painted with scenes depicting the lives and beliefs of local people at that time. Continue on to Žirovnica, where you will visit the memorial apiary of Anton Janša. Janša is known as a pioneer of modern apiculture and a great expert in the field. He was educated as a painter but was employed as a teacher of apiculture at the Habsburg court in Vienna. The World Bee Day is celebrated on the date of his birth.
Dinner at the traditional Avsenik restaurant, famous for its live music.
Day 3: Experience Styria and Maribor
Head to Styria this morning via Skok wellness centre in Mozirje, whose stylish chalets are based on honeycomb designs and come complete with saunas and Jacuzzis. Next stop is a herbal beekeeping farm near Maribor where you’ll discover many bee-friendly plants grown for honey production, their herbs and herbal remedies. You’re invited to taste the local honey and sample delicious homemade goods before a little sightseeing in Maribor. Return to Ljubljana in the evening.
Day 4: Experience Goriška Brda & Soča Valley
Head south-west and visit Skubin Beekeeping in the village of Hlevnik in Goriška Brda. Years long family tradition will inspire you, while you will relax in the apitherapy accompanied by the bee buzzing sounds.
Continue on to Bovec, to visit the Bee Happy Bee House in Bovec. You will be introduced to highly organized Apis melifera Carnica – Carnolian bees and get to know more about the meaning of the bee existence in modern world.
Bees also in the forefront of the Slovenian presentation at Expo Dubai 2020
The Slovenian pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020 will present the country as a green heart of Europe, which lies at the crossroads of diverse landscapes. In the pavilion, three elements will be put into forefront: water as a symbol of life, vitality, the flow of materials and ideas, a floating forest, a nature that is the heart of Slovenia and the soul of Europe; and a large parasol or a wooden shade that is a technological invention with a strong Slovenian identity. More information available here.