Mozirski gaj, Japanese garden; Photo: Maja Horvat

Savinjska valley, valley of green gold

Savinjska valley, which we poetically call the "valley of green gold", is one of the greenest valleys in Slovenia. You can take a walk on the bright green meadows sprinkled with colorful meadow flowers, explore the surrounding hills and forests, or admire the hop fields. Hops are also the ones that give the Savinja Valley its poetic name. Through all this greenery, the lively Savinja River winds, which in recent years has again been much cleaner in the lower part of the river.

The story of hops and the Romans in the Lower Savinja Valley

Fountain of beers Zeleno zlato Žalec
Beer Fountain Green Gold Žalec; photo: Žalec tourism

Center of the Lower Savinja valleys is the town of Žalec. This is a city with a rich hop tradition, so it is not unusual if the world's first beer fountain was created here, the Green Gold Beer Fountain, which has been attracting domestic and foreign guests for 6 years. Due to the epidemic, she opened her tap a little later this year, but since last Saturday, May 10, the beer has been flowing there again. The beer fountain offers beers made from Slovenian hops. In the new season, 20 brewers with 27 different beers will present themselves. In the town you will also find the Eco Museum of Hops and Brewing Žalec, where you will learn the story of hops, which will surely take you by surprise. Otherwise, the town of Žalec itself is very interesting, we can find quite a few sights in it. In the neighboring village there is also an interesting pond Vrbje.

Near Žalec there is an even smaller town Šempeter, which boasts a Roman necropolis. It is an open-air museum where you can see the tombs of the Romans, which are the work of top masters of the time and are among the most important and best preserved monuments of the Roman era in Slovenia and Central Europe. In the vicinity of Šempeter there is also a natural karst cave Pekel. It was named after the image of the devil above the entrance to the cave. Of course, in order to see it, we need to have at least a hint of imagination.

As we continue our way towards the Upper Savinjska valley, you can also drive to Mount Oljka, where they have an excellent "strudel" and a church with a mysterious underground chapel, or to Žovnek Castle, which has been completely renovated in recent years.

Picturesque Upper Savinja Valley

Mozirski gaj, Začarana vas
Mozirski gaj, Začarana vas; photo: Maja Horvat

More as we approach the Upper Savinjska valley, we are closer to unspoiled nature, attractive mountains and the murmur of the Savinja. But before we turn into the mountains, we must stop in Mozirski gaj. This is a flower park that has been writing its story for 42 years. They are not only a flower park, but also an open-air museum, as it houses many historically important buildings, including the oldest house in Mozirje. In addition to beautiful flowers, unique gardens and antique buildings, Mozirski gaj also boasts the largest tuned wind chimes in Europe. In recent years, however, more and more efforts are being made to entertain visitors with other attractions as well. Thus, on the occasion of their 40th anniversary, they set up a beautiful Enchanted Village, in which fairytale houses and magical fairies are hidden. The enchanted village is getting bigger every season. This year, they wanted to surprise visitors with three huge Easter eggs, which, because the park had to remain closed until 1 May, remained unpainted. The management of the park assures that they will be painted in the future and will become a permanent attraction of Mozirski gaj.

For many people, Mozirski gaj is most beautiful in the spring, when thousands of tulips bloom in it. Also this year, as many as 200.000 were planted in addition to all other flowers. Unable to show them live to visitors, however, they prepared a virtual opening of the park that you can view here .

When you rest your eyes on the beautiful Mozirski gaj, you can also go to Golte, where an interesting alpine garden will be waiting for you. Among other things, you will find a real wooden throne there, woven by spruces. You can also continue your journey towards Logarska dolina, one of the most beautiful Slovenian valleys, where you will be able to relax your thoughts while the roar of the Rinka waterfall.

Logarska valley; photo: Maja Horvat

Savinjska valley she hides many other secrets that will enchant you, just give her a chance.

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