Celjska koca is classic Sunday destination for people from and around Celje, who loves fresh air. It will take you about one and a half hour from railway station to the top of the hill. On top is restaurant where you can eat or drink something. In winter time Celjska koca become popular skiing resort.
Beautiful lake just 12 km north from the town and with shore of more than 20 km is second longest shore in Slovenia next to Adriatic one.
It was made decades ago as water reservoir for the town and gradually became popular spot for many inhabitants.
In the summer you can sail, windsurf, row or swim there and in the winter skating is very popular.
There are couple of restaurans and pubs, you can rent boats or just wander in the woods and pick mushrooms.
Put simply, the Logar Valley is a strong contender for the most beautiful spot that I've yet had the privilege to visit.
One reads a great deal about the beauty of the Julian Alps around Bled - and indeed they are - but there seems to be less written (in English at least) about the Logar Valley. Perhaps because I didn't really know what to expect, the element of surprise just enhanced the experience, and as we turned into the valley, the view was so stupendous that I caught my breath in awe.
This is classic alpine scenery: a U shaped valley, whose walls have been steepened to near verticality by glacial erosion during the last Ice Age (textbook geomorphology, which transported me back to my geological roots). We visited in summer, when the grass was lush and the meadows were carpeted with flowers: yet little pockets of snow were visible in shady hollows high up on the rockface and hint at how severe the weather must be in this area must be in winter.
Sadly we were only able to visit for a few hours as we were working to a tight schedule and had to get to Skofja Loka that evening. We would dearly have loved to have stayed a couple of days as it seemed the ideal place to unwind. There is a well established network of paths through the forest, which would be ideal for hiking or cycling, and it is a child's paradise, with streams and meadows to explore. I would presume that there are also fishing and winter sports options.
The Logar valley is about two hours drive from Celj on a good road - it may look shorter on the map, the second part of the journey in particular is lovely, so you won't want to drive fast (and the twisty road probably wouldn't allow you to either). There seems to be a lot of farmstay and guest house accommodation available, so my advice is to learn from our mistake and make sure that you allow yourself enough time to enjoy this most gorgeous of spots - you won't regret it!
I am not a great linguist at the best of times, and so it is disappointing (but unsurprising) that I found Slovenian less than accessible. However, there is one word that I had no trouble in picking up: 'slap', which means waterfall. It is such an onomatopoeic word (one which sounds like its meaning) that it is probably the only Slovenian word that I recall a year later!
Anyway, one of the highest 'slap' in Slovenia is located at the head of the awe inspiring Logar valley. The Rinka waterfall is 90m high and cascades down through a cleft in the rockface into the valley below. It is a beautiful spot, and it would be easy to spend the best part of a day here, hiking through the forest and playing in the river, so be sure to pack a picnic so that you can make the most of your time.
It's a bit of a hike from the car park to the base of the waterfall, but anyone of reasonable fitness should be able to manage this provided that they pace themselves. It is always difficult to estimate walking times, but if you allow 45 minutes each way (the round trip is 6km), then you should be fine. The hike is fairly steep, along a well maintained path through the forest: take heart that this is scenic enough that those who are worried about keeping up appearances can probably pass off rests to catch their breath as stops to admire the scenery!
It comes as something of a surprise to discover that there is a restaurant at the base of the waterfall - if you look carefully, you can see the overhead cableway that is used to transport produce up from the car park! We were unfortunately working to a tight schedule, so we didn't get the chance to stop here, but given the location, I suspect that it would be hard not to enjoy having something to eat or drink against such a backdrop!
There is also a kiosk at the car park which sells basic foodstuffs, postcards and curios.
In beautiful, sunny, ice cold winter days many people sit in the car, bike or walk to the lake and just spend some quality time there.
It's always great fun to watch hockey games between "local" teams and drink punch.
This is the look of the Old Acqua Tower from the front side.
Pokušao sam, ali nažalost uzaludno, saznati nešto više o ovoj neobicnoj i vrlo atraktivnoj graðevini. Na prednjem dijelu, tik uz ulazni luk, nalaze se ostaci nekadašnje cesme koja je bila umomponirana i od ostataka rimskih iskopina. Zacudno je da niti jedna turisticka brošura o Celju ništa ne navodi o ovom spomeniku kulture.
The old Aqua Tower, view from the inner side of the building.
Unutrašnji dio Vodenog tornja, s prostranim dvorištem, daleko je atraktivniji od vanjskog. Na procelju se isticu prekrasne drvene stepenice i isto takva vrata. Bilo bi lijepo saznati nešto o povijesti ove graðevine.
The town of Laško, in the vicinity of Celje, is known by its brewery which is one of the largest in Slovenia. The brewery was established in the year 1825 and it is producing the best quality Slovenian beer, known under the trad-mark of "Laško".
The old part of the town Laško is situated on the left bank of the Savinja River. The town is known by the warm springs which were known in the time of the ancient Rome. Above the town, on the hill, stands the old castle Tabor, worth to see.
The Logar valley is an enchanting place, and we succumbed to the first of its many attractions as soon as we turned into the valley and encountered a herd of these amazing cattle grazing in a field just by the road. I have no idea what breed they are, but we immediately dubbed them 'teddy bear cows' on account of their extremely long coats!
We were much taken with them - especially by the calfs - but the length of the parents' horns quickly dispelled any suggestion that we might go and pat them to find out whether their coats were really as soft and cuddly as they looked (nice to see that sometimes even small kids can appreciate a logical argument)!
I'm not sure if Lasko's off the beaten path in relation to Celje, but I cannot say it enough times - drop by if you're ever near! And I'm seizing the opportunity to remind you of its famous beer festival taking place in mid-July. Convinced? I bet!
Sempeter, a village situated about 10 km before Celje if you're coming from Ljubljana, boasts a fine Roman necropolis which every archaeological freak must see. (Sorry Marc, we're going there next time!) Another interesting and quite visited sight in Sempeter is also the cave called 'Pekel', which in Slovenian means 'hell'. And who wouldn't like to check out what Hell is like???
(Photo taken from www.burger.si)
Zolnek castle - or better, its ruins - is situated about 20 km south of Celje in Savinja valley, overlooking an artificial Zolnek lake. It offers pleasant walks and sights and is just great for a day trip. Leave the motorway near Vransko and then head for Braslovce. If you get lost, just ask the locals, they'll help you out.
It`s all off the beaten path, just wander the streets, be happy no one is in your way for pictures, and enjoy it.
Here you see two more churches located on the South bank of the Savinja, not far from the castle and the Kapucinska cerkev, whose names I couldn't find in my guidebook. Can anyone help?