Service Tour to Slovenia
June 12-23, 2017
Registration Deadline: April 7, 2017
Slovenia is the top green tourism destination in the heart of Europe and its capital Ljubljana was named European Green Capital 2016. As part of this year’s trip to Slovenia, you will not only see this beautiful green country – 60% of which is covered with forests – but will also be participating in a GeoBioBlitz at Slovenia’s Triglav National Park in the beautiful Julian Alps. Explore the most beautiful and secret places of Slovenia, the hidden gem of Central Europe. The Service Trip will take you from the Capital City of Ljubljana, to the Julian Alps, to the Adriatic Sea to Eastern rolling hills and farmlands. From the spectacular rocky limestone peaks to the medieval towns, this ancient country includes castles, vineyards and glistening lakes. Add to the equation a mix of culinary, history and active adventure experience!
The BioBlitz concept was created by the US National Park Service and National Geographic in order to document biodiversity in US National Parks through citizen science – we simply add in the geographic and geological components to bring a deeper understanding of nature! Our GeoBioBlitz will bring together Fulbright Alumni from the US and Slovenia, as well as Slovenian and American school children on June 17 in Triglav National park. We will use the iNaturalist app to catalogue biodiversity and encourage future visitors to the park to document their discoveries there as well! We need you – especially biologists, naturalists, geographers and citizen scientists – to help us document biodiversity in this protected area and educate future generations on the importance of knowing what we have, so that we better understand what we need to conserve! Climate change is changing the habitats of plant and animal species in mountain environments, so it is becoming ever more urgent to document biodiversity in these pristine areas. Please join us on this green adventure to safe and beautiful Slovenia!
Slovenia has become the world’s first country to be declared a green destination, based on an assessment by the Netherlands-based organization Green Destinations which established 96%-compliance across 100 criteria.
Day 1: Ljubljana (June 12th, 2017) TRIP START DATE
Upon arriving in Ljubljana, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the old part of the city. You will stay overnight in a comfortable hotel in Ljubljana.
(Welcome dinner in the city center)
Hotel: City Hotel
Day 2: Explore Ljubljana (June 13th, 2017)
With quick introduction we will start our Adventure of Ljubljana. At the turn of the 20th century, a new architectural style appeared in Ljubljana under the direct influence of Viennese Secession. Known under the name of “secesija”, this local variant of Art Nouveau accounts for a large number of sights that importantly contribute to the appearance of Ljubljana. The walking tour of Art Nouveau Ljubljana takes you past most of the city’s characteristic Art Nouveau sights including City Hall with with Robba fountain, Tromostovje (Three bridges) with Prešern Square, the buildings lining the Slovenski trg square and Miklošič Park (the latter designed by Max Fabiani), the famous facades of the Grand Hotel Union, the buildings of the Cooperative Business Bank (Zadružna gospodarska banka) and the Centromerkur department store and Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most), a masterful Art Nouveau construction adorned with bronze dragons symbolizing the city and many other beautiful sights.
Hotel: City Hotel
Meals: B and L
Day 3: Ljubljana Marsh (Barje) (June 14th, 2017)
The marshes extend over the south and southeast part of the Ljubljana Basin between the towns of Škofljica, Ig, Podpeč, Borovnica, Vrhnika, Drenov Grič and Brezovica and measure approximately 160 square kilometers. The Ljubljanica River influenced the creation of the marshes and its stream even nowadays marks their image. Due to the unique characteristics of the marsh soil and of the bottom of the Ljubljanica River, the marshes have preserved evidence from all historical periods and cultures. The preservation of organic substances like wood, fibers, vegetal remains and skeletons was rendered possible by water. Archaeologists found more than 10,000 artifacts from different historical periods, which are kept in museums in Ljubljana and abroad. The most important find of all is the world’s oldest wooden wheel, dating approximately between 3,350 and 3,100 B.C. In Afternoon you will have free time to explore the city of Ljubljana
Hotel: City hotel
Meals: B and L
Day 2 or 3 Coffee with US Ambassador to Slovenia HON Brent Hartley at the Ambassador’s Residence approximately 4-5:30 pm (to be scheduled)
Day 4: Bled (June 15th, 2017)
In the morning you will be met by your guide and transferred to the Bled. We start our journey with a Island visit – undoubtedly the most popular tourist site in Slovenia situated on Lake Bled, which boasts the only real island in the country. To get there, we will board a traditional wooden oared boat called Pletna, whose origins date back as far as the 12th century. A monumental 1655 stone staircase will take us to the Church of Mary’s Assumption situated at the island’s highest point. We can then make a wish to the sound of the wishing bell set up in 1534 and taste the fresh water from the well built in honor of a princess who passed away prematurely. We will proceed with a leisurely walk to the Bled Castle built high up on a magnificent cliff overlooking the lake. According to written sources, this is the oldest castle in Slovenia and was first mentioned in written records as early as 1011. The former residential quarters now host a restaurant and a museum collection with objects depicting the region’s historical development from the Bronze Age to present day.
Possible excursions may include Radovljica and Bohinj.
Hotel: City Hotel
Meals: B and L
Day 5 (June 16)
Workshop GeoBioBlitz in Triglav National Park, Julian Alps. Arrive in Triglav National Park
Day 6 ( June 17)
Workshop GeoBioBlitz in Triglav National Park, Julian Alps. Stay in accommodations arranged by the US Embassy in Slovenia in collaboration with the Triglav National Park Service in Slovenia. (June 16th ,17). Accommodations with be hostel style shared lodging in the Aljažev and Šlajmarjev lodges and meals. Interact with Fulbright Alumni from the US and Slovenia, as well as Slovenian and American school children on June 17 in Triglav National park.
Meals: 2 dinners, 2 overnights with breakfast ; one lunch
Transfer provided to your workshop on 16th and 17th from Ljubljana with stop at Planica Nordic Center and then towards Soča Valley.
Day 7 (June 18)
Piran and Slovenian Coast. Morning of June 18th departure Triglav National Park to Bovec and Kobarid (World War 1 museum). Optional lunch at Hiša Franko for amazing lunch experience. Travel to Piran (Adriatic Sea) late afternoon.
Hotel: Hotel Piran
Meals: L and D
Day 8, (June 19)
Piran and Slovenian Coast. In the morning, we depart towards Secovlje Salina Nature Park. The Secovlje saltpans are the only ones of their kind in this part of the Adriatic Sea where, as part of the Museum of Salt‐making, salt is still harvested in the traditional way originating from the 14th century. In addition to playing an important role in the preservation ofcultural heritage, the Secovlje Salina Nature Park is also home to more than 270 birdspecies, numerous marine crabs, and even the second smallest mammal in the world: the 2 gram pygmy whit toothed shrew (Suncus etruscus). After saltpans we embark on the boat and start our ride along the Slovenian coast with lunch aboard.
Hotel: Hotel Piran
Meals: B, L and D
Day 9: Škocjan caves and Predjama castle (June 20th, 2017)
In morning we will drive to Karst region to visit Skocjan Caves as we will descend into the fascinating network of tunnels that make up the Skocjan Caves. The Reka River winding through the karst landscape over centuries shaped the tunnels as well as one of the largest underground canyons in Europe. The Skocjan Caves are a remarkable natural phenomenon whose global significance was recognized by their inclusion in UNESCO’s list of world cultural and natural heritage sites. Lunch in Lipica with possibility of Stud farm excursion (extra cost) We will also visit the mysterious Predjama Castle which was built into a cliff and whose many secret passages and old legends have excited the imaginations of many. The oldest part of the castle dates back to the 11th century and is called “Erazem’s Den” after the legendary robber knight who was under siege here and fought off the emperor’s army for a long time in 1484. Depart towards Otočec Hotel Otočec or Šmarješke Toplice
Meal: B, L and D
Day 10: (June 21st, 2017)
Morning departure towards Podsreda castle, which is “Slovenia’s most castle-like castle”, has a special place among the castles in the area of the Kozjansko park, since it is still alive today due to rich cultural activities. It is one of the few cultural monuments originating from the Romanesque period in Slovenia that in the past 30 years, thanks to its complete renovation, has evolved from an almost dilapidated state to an important holder of cultural, promotional, educational, social and tourist events. Since 2010, the Kozjansko and Obsotelje regions have enjoyed the status of a biosphere reserve under the protection of UNESCO (MAB programme – Man and Biosphere). After Podsreda we depart towards Rogaška Slatina where we have lunch. After delicious meal, local guide awaits us. For the beginning we will take a walk along the Health resort, which has for centuries been offering relaxation and a glass of healing mineral water. We will visit the Forest and Ivan’s spring (the springs in nature), and then we will go to drinking hall of mineral waters. We will spend a short time in the Crystal hall of the Grand Hotel Rogaška and take the time to see a shiny glass-making past of these parts. The unique products of masters in glass making will be presented to us in the Glass-factory Rogaška.
Departure to Moravske Toplice
Hotel: Hotel Livada in Moravske Toplice
Meal: B, L and D
Day 11: Goričko, Prekmurje and back to Ljubljana (June 22nd, 2017)
In the morning a local guide will wait you so let yourself be enchanted by the rolling hills of Goričko. We will start our trip in the village of Selo, one of the most beautiful parts of eastern Goričko. The village prides itself with a Romanesque rotunda from the first half of the 13th century. Next up will be a visit to one of the many oil mills and distilleries in Prekmurje, where we will be shown how pumpkin seed oil, home made liquor and home made marmalade are produced here. You will also have the chance to buy genuine pumpkin seed oil, liquor and marmalade. We will then stop at the .Stag house. (Jelenov hram) for refreshments and visit village Grad in Goričko, where the largest Slovene castle with its 365 rooms is located. Each year, the largest Slovene Halloween event takes place at the castle and around it. After our visit to the castle we will drive back over the hills again to the golden fields of the Pannonian basin for some wine tasting in local winery.
Departure to Ljubljana
A goodbye lunch will be held enroute to Ljubljana.
Hotel: City Hotel
Meals: B and L
Day 12: Goodbye Slovenia (June 23rd, 2017) TRIP END DATE
After breakfast you will be transferred to airport or train station for your next
Cost: $3558 (for shared room); $3989 (optional single room)
Tour partner: STA Potovanja
-Double room accommodations in comfortable hotels (2 occupants per room). Single rooms are available for an additional 350€ ($375.00) for the entire trip
-Hostel style lodging accommodations/ group meals will be provided by Triglav National Park -2 dinners, 2 overnights with breakfast, one lunch)
-9 Breakfasts; 8 lunches and 5 dinners
-Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach/minibus/van, as well as group transfers as appropriate
-English speaking guide(s)/interpreter(s) to accompany participants through the whole Tour period; and extra local guides when visiting certain attractions
-Preparatory reading materials
-Admission and fees to museums and program activities as listed in the itinerary
-Honoraria for speakers booked by STA POTOVANJA
-Twice daily transfers from the LJU airport upon arrival and departure from the trip
-In-country personal liability insurance, not including: health and travel insurance, airlift or emergency evacuation to the US
What’s Not Included
-Flights to/from Slovenia
-Expenses of a purely personal nature
-Room service charges
-Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance
-Gratuities to the bellmen and waiters
-Travel Cancellation Insurance and Health Insurance
-Gratuities for guides
-Daily meals that are not organized for the group
-Extra beverages at group meals
-Lunch at Hiša Franko
-Additional entry fees, etc.
-Visas or other necessary entry documents
To register, the following items should be sent to the Fulbright Association Office by the registration deadline of March 31, 2017:
-A 30% deposit: $1068 (shared room) or $1197 (single room)
-Registration packet: Registration, Health, and Travel Liability Forms (click to download)
Checks should be made payable to the Fulbright Association. Please list “Tour to Slovenia” in the memo. Registration packets and checks should be sent to the Fulbright Association office in Washington, DC. The address is:
1900 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
You may also click here to pay the deposit or full registration cost online. Alternatively, you can call our office in DC (202.775.0725) to pay with a card over the phone.
Once you have registered and submitted both your deposit and registration forms to the Fulbright Association, we will contact you with additional information about the trip.
Please also note that you must be a current member of the Fulbright Association in order to join the tour. If you are not a member, you can click here to join, or if you are a lapsed member, please click here to renew your annual membership. Not a Fulbright alumn? No problem! The Fulbright Association welcomes all supporters of the mission of the Fulbright Program to join as Friends of Fulbright. Tour registrants may also bring one non-member guest. Please indicate who your guest is in your registration materials.
If you have any questions, please give us a call at (202) 775-0725 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.