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Julian Alps January Blog

Look After Yourself and Look After the Planet

Yoga by Lake Bohinj

As a new year begins, now is the perfect time to think about setting some meaningful resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. One of the most important things to prioritise is yourself - whether you pledge to exercise more, get outside or take time to relax, your physical and mental health is key. Why not also make a bigger resolution to look after the planet? Travelling responsibly is a proactive way to minimise damage to the environment. 

 

Many of the experiences that the Julian Alps have to offer prove that wellness and sustainability don’t have to be exclusive, but rather that they go hand-in-hand. From spas and eco-hotels to eating local food and choosing to cycle, embrace a greener and more relaxed future when visiting the Julian Alps!

Wellness in the Julian Alps

From being more mindful and improving your mental health to eating healthy and joining the gym, everyone is keen to improve their wellness and get a fresh start at the beginning of a new year. The Julian Alps has both inside and outside offerings to boost your wellness this year:

Wellness in Bled
Wellness in Bled
Photo: Jost Gantar, Visit Bled

Spas and health resorts

 

Bled has a large selection of wellness resorts and hotels to try. Resorts such as Wellness Astoria provide fully encompassing relaxation experiences for adults, including massages and skin treatments, and a sensory path where you can embrace nature. In the ‘experience showers’ you can select different options to feel like you are in tropical rain or a waterfall! At Wellness Živa you can relax in their thermal baths or saunas with a view of wintery Lake Bled. If you’re looking for some amazing pampering, Wellness Essence Bled and Spa Luisa provide everything from Thai massages to hot wax and chocolate massages! For more information on Bled’s wellness offerings, please visit: https://www.bled.si/en/what-to-see-do/wellness/ 

In Kranjska Gora, Ramada Resort creates a comfortable, relaxing stay for guests while located in the middle of a bustling ski resort. After a long day of skiing, visitors can unwind in their Larix Wellness Centre, in one of their four saunas and enjoy a refreshing massage. Hotel Špik has extensive wellness facilities, which include alpine themed relaxation rooms and squash courts available to book, a fun way to improve cardio fitness.

Photo: Anže Čokl, Turizem Bohinj

Aquapark & Wellness Bohinj encourages family-friendly wellness, with swimming pools and slides to go alongside the saunas. They also offer massages, face and body treatments, and a range of relaxation packages. Hotel Bohinj offers both indoor and outdoor wellness experiences; relax in their indoor salt room and saunas before heading out to their outdoor pool, where you can try a floating breakfast while surrounded by the mountains. See more of Bohinj’s wellness experiences here: https://www.bohinj.si/en/wellness-centres-in-bohinj/ 

Lambergh Wellness & Spa centre offers a relaxation experience in Finnish, Turkish and Infrared saunas, and afterwards you can take a dip in the onsite swimming pool. Many believe that Slovenian water has healing properties which will invigorate and nourish your skin and your mind. For more information on wellness in Radovljica, visit: https://www.radolca.si/en/activities-and-experiences/wellness 

Alpine massage Photo: Dean Dubokovič, Sava Turizem

Wellness activities

 

The easiest way to boost your wellness is simply taking time for yourself. Whether you treat yourself to a massage or just spend some alone time reflecting, self-care always improves your mood. Feel ultimate inner peace by trying yoga! Surrounded by the beauty of the Triglav National Park, Yoga Bohinj runs classes which embrace nature. They range from meditation in the forests of Bohinj to sunrise and sunset sessions. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, they provide group and  individual sessions so everyone can get the most out of the healing powers of the Julian Alps.

Meditation and mindfulness are alternative methods used to focus on your breathing, push away your worries and find clarity in your thoughts. Hotel Špik in Kranjska Gora runs evening meditation sessions every Monday and Saturday, which are free and just need advance booking. The one hour expert guided session allows you to calm your body and your mind.

Getting outside and active 

 

Take a deep breath in…and out. Breathing in the fresh mountain air which flows through the trees and across the lakes of the Julian Alps is guaranteed to positively affect your health and wellbeing. Being surrounded by the Julian Alps’ scenic beauty means you won’t need much persuasion to escape into nature and get active in one of the world’s most incredible natural playgrounds!

Mountaineer in Julian Alps
Photo: Jošt Gantar, The Julian Alps

The cooler months are the ideal time to take hikes around the crystal-clear Lake Bled or explore Triglav National Park. The frosty countryside and snow-covered mountains create a tranquil setting which is sure to help you relax. Take a hike to see sites such as the stunning Savica Waterfall, or to reach the top of Mount Vogel. For winter hike inspiration, visit: https://julian-alps.com/en/winter-hikes/julian-alps/winter-hikes-in-the-julian-alps/235268213/ 

Skiing on Vogel, Bohinj for families
Photo: Ski Centre Vogel, Turizem Bohinj

Winter is the best time to hit the slopes- and the Julian Alps provides plenty of breathtaking ones, ranging in ability. Outside winter sports like skiing and snowboarding are extremely popular and a great way to stay active. The Juliana Ski Tour offers an incredible four-day touring exhibition, or discover cross country skiing in locations such as Planica which allow you to follow set-trails through the countryside.

Why not try a unique guided skiing experience in Radovljica, new for this winter? Choose from one-day or three-day guided trips across the Jelovica alpine plateau. Following unmarked forest roads covered in a blanket of snow will give you a truly ‘wild’ experience, and accompanied by an experienced local skiing guide you will sense the peace that the winter mountain pastures release. For more information: https://www.radolca.si/en/activities-and-experiences/winter-activities/guided-ski-hikes 

Snowshoeing - Winter hiking in Bohinj
Photo: Mitja Sodja, Turizem Bohinj

Strap on your snowshoes and hike around Lake Bohinj for a real life winter fairytale. Take in the sun, blue sky and fresh snow that reflects perfectly off the glassy surface of the lake as you explore the wonders of the Bohinj valley. What more could you want from a winter adventure in one of Europe’s most beautiful areas? For more information: https://julian-alps.com/en/snowshoe-walks/julian-alps/snowshoe-walks-in-the-julian-alps/12578490/ 

Sustainability in the Julian Alps

Slovenia was the first country to have been declared a Green Destination of the World. The Julian Alps is no exception when it comes to sustainability: Bohinj was the very first destination in Slovenia to receive a prestigious platinum Slovenia Green Destination Label, while Bled, Brda, Kranjska Gora, Radovljica and the Soča Valley are all proud owners of gold labels.

Holder of Slovenia green accommodation label
Photo: Ciril Jazbec, CJ STUDIO d.o.o.

Eco-Hotels

 

One of the easiest ways to be more of a green-traveller is to choose an eco-friendly accommodation - and the Julian Alps is home to a wide selection. Find a green place to stay using the Julian Alps accommodation searcher, where you can easily see which places have been eco-certified with certificates such as the Slovenia Green Scheme Accommodation or the Green Key. Here is just a small taster of some of the Julian Alps’ most sustainable places to stay:

Boutique hotel Sunrose 7 in Bohinj
Photo: Anže Čokl, SHD d.o.o

The sister properties of Sunrose 7 and Bohinj ECO Hotel show that wellness and sustainability don’t have to be exclusive. Sunrose 7 has won various prestigious awards for its ‘green’ accommodation, also offers a range of intimate spa and wellness experiences which are situated inside their boutique hotel. They use ‘natural pampering techniques’ which include relaxation therapy using the sounds of Bohinj forests, pearl bath therapy using ionized air from the Pokljuka plateau, and aromatherapy with local herbs. This year, they plan to open a new bio-swimming pool free from chemicals, the first of its kind in the Bohinj region. This comfortable adult-only hotel also offers a digital-detox experience, so visitors can escape from technology and truly enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them.

Bohinj ECO Hotel Panoramic Pool
Photo: The Julian Alps

Bohinj ECO Hotel boasts a panoramic infinity pool with stunning views of the mountain peaks which bring you closer to nature, as well as other wellness features such as a Finnish sauna. Most importantly, the hotel uses a 430m deep energy well and heat pump which provides water and heating for the 102-room hotel. Along with other features such as LED lighting, its renewable energy practices make it one of the most eco-friendly hotels in Slovenia. Guests can feel fully relaxed in the knowledge that they are minimising the impact to the environment that surrounds them!

If you’re looking for somewhere you can connect even more with the outdoors, Eco Campsite Koren is located in Kobarid, right next to the Soča River. It provides a great base for active travellers, with tent plots, camper and caravan sites and even eco-chalets! The campsite strives to protect nature and sells local ecological products onsite.

Camping Šobec, which re-opens in April 2023, has 400 camping pitches and is located around 2km from Bled. They obtained the Green Key for sustainability in 2020 - proving their dedication to the unspoilt nature that surrounds them.

A.M.S. Beagle Ship is a four-star eco-hotel which prides itself on being built on sustainable models. They believe that less is more, using energy and water saving methods, such as using rainwater to flush the toilets. They are eco-minded, using organic and locally sourced food and eco-certified products, as well as providing an electric vehicle charging station. Wellness is also considered, with spa-baths provided inside every room.

Bled’s offering of sustainable accommodations means you will not struggle to find somewhere eco-friendly to stay! Hotel Savica Garni is one of the many green hotels in Bled, and its sustainable practices are based around their philosophy of ‘Green for a better tomorrow’. They encourage their guests to take the green habits practised at the hotel home with them, such as limited towel washing. Another notable green accommodation is the Ribno Alpine Resort, the first and only hotel and glamping resort in Slovenia to hold the Zero Waste Hotel Certificate. They are also a specialised cycling resort, and encourage guests to discover the Julian Alps using this sustainable method of travel.

If you’re looking for a more intimate, authentic stay in Radovljica, they have a selection of small, family-run guest houses which have impressive sustainability credentials. Gostišče Tulipan Guest House and Draga Inn both hold certificates for their eco-friendly practices, both serving traditional Slovenian cuisine. 

Plate detail - chef Uroš Štefelin
Photo: Ciril Jazbec, The Julian Alps

Hotel Linhart is the best place to stay if you are looking for a modern, innovative eating experience using traditional ingredients.  Hiša Linhart celebrates and preserves traditional Slovenian dishes and uses local, sustainable ingredients in order to preserve them for future generations. The renowned MICHELIN star restaurant of this hotel is run by Uroš Štefelin, one of Slovenia’s top chefs. The restaurant also holds a Green MICHELIN star for sustainability, proving its eco-friendly attitude towards sourcing ingredients and dishes.

Kayaking, Soca river, Kobarid
Photo: Aleš Fevžer, The Julian Alps

Sustainable experiences

 

As well as accommodation, there are plenty of sustainable experiences on the doorstep of the Julian Alps which allow you to travel responsibly. Triglav National Park is Slovenia’s only national park, holding endless lakes, forests and breathtaking green space, while the turquoise Soča River is ideal for kayaking and other water sports. Enjoying these natural, unspoilt places responsibly is one of the best eco-friendly activities the Julian Alps offers.

Hiker on the Juliana Trail
Photo: Alex Strohl, The Julian Alps

Outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and skiing described above, are great ways to enjoy the Julian Alps without damaging it, and are also great alternative ways to travel across the region. The Juliana Trail allows you to travel through the Julian Alps on foot, following marked trails and local roads which don’t cause any damage to your unspoilt natural surroundings. For a slightly faster pace, the Juliana Bike Trail allows you to travel on wheels, and this long-distance hiking loop through the Julian Alps countryside and similarly respects nature by following biking trails. Rail travel is also encouraged as a public transport which is more friendly to the environment. Often, free shuttle buses run to popular towns and tourist destinations to replace car travel.

Fresh and local food on your table
Photo: Ciril Jazbec, The Julian Alps

Eat green in the Julian Alps 

 

Eating green doesn’t always mean eating your vegetables! Another great way to ‘eat green’ and reduce your environmental impact on your visit to the Julian Alps is through eating local food. Fresh produce which has been grown locally is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint, while also supporting local farmers and growers from the region. Eating at restaurants and cafes which produce authentic recipes is a good way to practise responsible tourism, as you are supporting the use of local ingredients and are keeping traditional recipes alive for future generations. Slovenia was even crowned European Region of Gastronomy in 2021 due to its commitment to sustainable cuisine!

You can also make more responsible and eco-friendly choices when it comes to consumption. Avoid single-use plastics which damage the environment, and choose reusable alternatives instead. Remember to always recycle when possible and reduce your food-waste.

 

Also, you can easily identify which restaurants have eco-friendly practices through the Slovenia Green Cuisine Label. It is given to establishments which try to reduce their waste, use natural resources, and avoid single-use plastics. Check out all the restaurants and eateries which hold the label here: https://www.tasteslovenia.si/en/taste-slovenia/european-region-of-gastronomy-2021/slovenia-green-cuisine/  

With wellness and eco-friendly travel trends becoming increasingly popular, the Julian Alps is an area where you can find plentiful activities, experiences and ideas to satisfy both. Why not getaway this winter to one of the world's greenest and most relaxing destinations?

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