Bela krajina or in English White Carniola is one of those Slovenian regions, where you can relax in unspoiled and wilderness nature, without being afraid it will get too crowded. This SE region in Slovenia is not even known to many domestic tourist, what really makes it perfect for everyone looking for the hidden gems.
Best things to do in Bela krajina
Hike around the Lahinja regional park
The best way to explore the Lahinja regional park is to stop at the tourist information center which is set in 250 year old house in the village of Veliki Nerajec. Getting all the information and maps you need and also learn more about the old way of living, you can see the Lahinja regional park on foot or by bicycle. You can decide for the complete area, but if you are in a hurry, make sure to visit the Nerajski Lugi, where a nice wooden path above the moor is set up.
Learn about the history in Semič
You will be able to enjoy Bela krajina much more when you get a deeper insight into the destination. The museum collection in Semič will take you through the history and characteristics of Bela krajina, the town and at the end you will also learn more about the local wine tradition.
Enjoy the views at Mirna Gora
With 1047 meters af altitude Mirna Gora is one of the highest peaks in Bela krajina and that is why you will have amazing views from the top. You can hike or cycle up, but you can also reach the peak by car. There is a nice mountain hut on top and a bell tower for even better views. Make sure to ring the bell for good luck.
Rent a canoe at the Kolpa River
Most people I know decide to visit Bela krajina for the Kolpa River. There are several camping grounds along the river, which are popular during the summer season – the Kolpa River is the warmest river in Slovenia and perfect for swimming. A very popular activity on the Kolpa River is also renting a canoe to do long or short trips. The embankments of the Kolpa River are lush green and a habitat for many birds and other animals – we even spot a fox. As soon as you will learn more about the Kolpa River you will realize why Bela krajina has got the Green Destination certificate.
Take a photo at the Krupa River spring
One of the most instagramable places in Bela krajina is the Krupa river spring. The reasons is the amazing 30 meter white cliff. The Krupa River springs right underneath the cliff and its vivid blue-green water is amazing indeed. If you head up towards the viewing point (razgledna točka), you will cross the river on the picturesque suspension bridge.
Find the black olm / proteus
Underground caves in the Karst region are not the only places where we can find the famous human fish – olm or proteus. There are many in Bela krajina too, but to make things even more inviting and unique, the area around the town of Črnomelj is home to one of a kind black olm, which you will not find anywhere else in the world. You can get more information about the black olm at the new developing center, set at the foot of the Jelševniščica spring.
Take part in tradition
Bela krajina still has many traditions and folk customs. What makes everything more inviting is the fact, you can take part in some of them too. Have you ever wondered how clothes from flax had been made or how the weaving baskets looks like? Bela krajina is well known for its beautiful artistically colored Easter eggs too. You can learn all of these and more at the Šokčev dvor – the old traditional farmer house.
Take in the views over the vineyards
If there is one place where you will be lost for words because of the amazing views, it is the area around church St. Anne in Vidošiči. Make sure you will not be in a hurry when reaching the place.
Admire the landscape
Bela krajina is a destination where green meets white and where you can find true mystical scenes. The area is home to birches, limestone and white traditional dresses. These are also the main reasons why the destination got its name – Bela krajina (White Carniola).
Visit the firefighter museum
You will not find a better place in Slovenia for a firefighter museum than Metlika town. The reason is that the very first volunteer fire department in 1869 was established here.
Enjoy in traditional food
If you still have not been convinced with all the amazing things to do in Bela krajina, you will for sure not be disappointed by the amazing and traditional food you can find there. Forget about the fancy dishes as Bela krajina is home of hard working people, who needs to eat well. You can be sure you will not leave the table hungry. Make sure not to pass the pogača – traditional flatbread covered with salt and cumin. It is a sign of welcome and it is almost more often than a hand shake. A really unique is also a special dumpling soup. A popular dish is lamb, trout and dishes made out of buckwheat and hemp.
A good way to taste the local cuisine is an event »Tastes of Bela krajina« where four restaurants (Veselič, Muller, Kapušin, Camping Bela krajina) serve with traditional food. Unfortunately this event is just one time per year – at least for now. But luckily there are still places, where you can get a traditional meals – I would recommend you to book a meal at Turizem Zeleni Jurij in a small village of Vinica.
If you are impressed over the traditional tastes, you can stop in Metlika in Hiša Dobrot, where you can buy all kinds of local products – from cheeses, oils, wine, cookies, pasta, brandy – all made by farmers and entrepreneurs from Bela krajina.
Wine, brandy and juices
With all the vineyards we can find in Bela krajina, the area is rich with wine too – a very good wine actually. Make sure to try the Metliška Črnina (autochthone sort of red wine) and Belokranjec (white wine). Bela krajina is also home of delicious homemade apple juices and a special sort of birch brandy and juice too.
A visit to Bela krajina is a true experience as this forgotten area is full of amazing views, friendly people, secret corners, wilderness nature and delicious food. Most people plan two days for the area, but as soon as you will lay your foot there, you will know that Bela krajina deserves much more of your time.
Video – Bela krajina / White Carniola
A visit to Bela krajina was done as an invite from the destination, but nevetheless, everything written is based on our own thoughts and experiences.