The Bela Krajina region is a rural and traditional region in southeastern Slovenia on the border with Croatia.
It has a range of charming towns and beautifully diverse landscapes located along the River Kolpa.
This under-the-radar destination is a slice of authentic Slovenia with handicrafts, local wines, small villages, regional food and traditional events.
3 days in Bela Krajina Slovenia
Outside of Slovenia the region is not hugely well known and is a perfect ‘off the beaten track’ region for travellers who love exploring untouristy destinations.
3 days in Bela Krajina is a great amount of time to explore the area and to base yourself at the wonderful BIG BERRY Kolpa Luxury Lifestyle Resort.
Long weekend in Bela Krajina Slovenia
Bela Krajina is home to picturesque towns and villages that all have a unique cultural heritage. The main towns in the area include Črnomelj, Metlika and Semič.
It’s a mostly karst landscape with rolling hills, wineries and a diverse variety of flora and fauna.
It’s a very quiet region in Slovenia and is a perfect destination if you are looking for a countryside escape.
Things to do in Bela Krajina Slovenia
Bela Krajina is a nature lover’s paradise with rivers, rolling hills and hiking and biking trails to explore.
There are 25 marked hiking trails in Bela Krajina, so there are lots of walking opportunities in the area.
You can grab a hiking trail map at any of the Tourist Information Centres in Bela Krajina.
The area also has its own distinctive cultural, linguistic, and historical features just waiting to be discovered.
If you base yourself at the Big Berry Resort, they can help you organise visits to local producers or cultural centres.
Bela Krajina travel planning
3 days in Bela Krajina will require a little travel planning and scheduling. I would make a list of the Bela Krajina attractions you want to visit and the destinations you want to see in the region.
We talk more about travel planning on my weekly travel podcast – Travel Goals. Subscribe now and catch up on all episodes.
How to get to Bela Krajina
The Bela Krajina region is around 156km from Lake Bled and is 100km from Ljubljana. If you are spending one week in Slovenia, 3 days in the Bela Krajina region should be plenty of time.
The easiest way to get to Bela Krajina is to hire a car, this will also make exploring the region a lot easier.
Other transport options include getting a direct train from Ljubljana to the town of Metlika, the journey takes around 2h 40m.
Or you can take the bus from Ljubljana to Metlika, more information can be found online.
BIG BERRY Resort Primostek
When visiting the Bela Krajina region, I highly recommend you stay at the BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Resort in Primostek.
We were invited to stay at this upscale resort and we really impressed with the location, facilities and hospitality.
Big Berry is a fantastic, laid back base in the region and they can also help you organise activities and trips in the area.
At the risk of sounding frightfully hipster, Big Berry is more than just a glamping site, it’s a concept.
Why you should stay at Big Berry
Staying at Big Berry is a living, authentic experience that’s in partnership with the local community, suppliers and artists.
Staying at Big Berry is an opportunity to get to know the region better and experience the heritage, gastronomy and produce in the area.
Stay in one of their luxury lodges that are located right on the River Kolpa and let the friendly staff help you plan your Bela Krajina itinerary.
You can drive to Big Berry from Lake Bled and park on the site for free. Alternatively, if you are arriving by public transport, get in touch to enquire about shuttle services and pickups?
Explore the River Kopla
The River Kolpa is one of the cleanest and warmest rivers in Slovenia, it was awarded Slovenia’s European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) in 2010 for sustainable tourism.
The River Kolpa is over 292km long and 113km of it runs along the country border with Croatia.
The river is also considered the longest Slovenian “coastline” and is a popular holiday spot and day trip for locals.
Watersports on the River Kopla
It’s an ideal location for a range of watersports like paddleboarding, kayaking and even rafting in parts.
There are numerous places along the river where you can hire kayaks and canoes. Ask your accommodation for watersports rental locations and also for organised canoe and rafting trips.
The river is also so clean that you can even go swimming in the river during the hotter summer months.
River Kopla hiking routes
If you want to really connect with nature, why not stay in one of the many campsites or glamping sites that are located right on the river?
The Big Berry Resort is located right on the river and also offers canoe hire and plenty of places to swim.
There are also many scenic hiking routes along the river and in the surrounding areas.
Some of the more popular hikes include the Trška path that begins in Stari trg ob Kolpi and ends in Sodevci.
The southernmost Slovenian path winds from Radenci to Damelj, and is followed by the Mlinarska path from Damelj to Vinica.
Wine tasting at Kmetija Pavlovič Farm
Visit the family-run Kmetija Pavlovič farm for a spot of raspberry wine. tasting, jam sampling and cuddles with bunnies. It’s pretty much a perfect evening in Bela Krajina.
The farm is a partner of the Big Berry Resort and they can organise a trip to the farm for you.
This rustic farm grows a variety of fruits and vegetables and produces different berry products such as jam, juice and super sweet raspberry wine.
You can have a wine tasting session at the farm sampling their homemade Raspberry Pnina wine, which is pretty darn special. I was extremely chatty after a glass or 3.
Kmetija Pavlovič Farm produce
Another speciality at the farm is Marmalades and jams, they are made from a traditional recipe of the Pavlovič family.
The jams are cooked exclusively from the farms very own fruits and berries and are available in a range of flavours. Popular flavours include Strawberry, raspberry and chokeberries.
You can sample their jams and also buy your favourite flavours directly from the farm.
Wine tasting in Bela Krajina
Bela Krajina is a wine-producing region in Slovenia that is home to several boutique wineries.
Winegrowers here produce a range of wines from classic white and red varieties to straw wines.
The traditional Belokranjec PTP and Metliška črnina PTP also have a protected geographical origin.
Bela Krajina winery
There are several wineries you can visit in Bela Krajina including Malnarič vineyard, one of the biggest wineries in the region.
If you visit this vineyard at the right time of year you can help with picking the grapes that will become Belokranjec wine.
After a few hours of grape picking, we were able to sample some of their excellent wines including some Modri Pinot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon.
Learn history at Domacija Kuzma
You should definitely pay a visit to the tranquil Domacija Kuzma, a historic, family-run mill in the most gorgeous surroundings.
Here you can watch a mill demonstration, have a go at sharpening a millstone, rent a canoe and do a rakia tasting. Be warned, rakia is bloody strong, I was most lively after a few glasses.
It’s a really unique activity in Bela Krajina and is a great way of getting know the history and the local culture and heritage.
The mill is right by Kolpa River and is also a lovely place for a stroll along the pebble beach and the river banks.
Olive Oil tasting at Oljarna Pečarič
Sample local cold-pressed oils at the Pečarič family farm, located in the heart of Metlika’s vineyards.
They have over 22 different types of oils, special chocolates, seeds and kernels for you to sample and to buy.
Their tasting oils include walnut, hazelnut, apricot, poppy, almond, and sesame.
For a unique foodie experience in Bela Krajina visit the Pečarič farm for olive oil tasting and a tour of the farm.
A guided tour will also include taking a stroll around their walnut and hazelnut plantation and then a tasting in their renovated, 130-year old cottage.
Explore the River Krupa Spring
Take a hike to the source of the Reka Krupa‘ [River Krupa], to see the most unreal scenery in Slovenia.
The source lake is located beneath a picturesque 30-meter rock cliff and is one of the most beautiful Slovenian Karst springs around.
I admit, I had to google what exactly a Karst spring is? Apparently it’s a spring that is part of a karst hydrological system. You learn something new every day right?
The area also has a biological significance as it is home unique species, such as the cave oyster (Congeria kuscri).
Take a stroll around the dreamy scenery and bring a picnic if you can? The water is incredibly blue here and looks like something straight out of a fairytale, I’ve not seen water quite like it before?
Go for a picturesque hike around the river canyon, there are plenty of photo opportunities as you walk around this ethereal area.
Try traditional dishes of Bela Krajina
There are a variety of traditional dishes of Bela Krajina that you can try when visiting the region.
Big Berry can help you organise trips to local restaurants and to food producers in the area for tastings.
Some of the traditional dishes from Bela Krajina include:
- Belokranjska pogača: a flat round sharing bread topped with salt and cumin and scored with lines.
- Belokranjska povitica: rolled filo pastry with cheese and clotted cream filling.
- Belokranjski žlinkrofi: pasta dough dumplings
- Belokranjska šara: Vegetable and bacon stew
One of the most famous specialities in Bela Krajina is pogača. This is a flat round bread topped with egg and sprinkled with caraway and coarse-grain salt.
The bread is scored in such a way that makes it easy to tear off in chunks and share with people.
It’s widely available in most restaurants and cafes in the region and is absolutely moreish.
Where to eat in Bela Krajina
If you are looking to try traditional food in Bela Krajina then Big berry can recommend local restaurants that serve authentic dishes and marvellous local wines.
Some of the best places to eat in Bela Krajina include:
- Gostilna Műller
- Restavracija Štajdohar
- Gostilna Pezdirc
- Gostišče Veselič
- Gostišče Kapušin
- Hotel Bela krajina
Where to stay in Bela Krajina
There is a range of lodges, hotels guest houses and campsites available in the Bela Krajina region.
A popular option is to go glamping and camping near the River Kopla, one of the warmest and cleanest rivers in Europe. One of the best campsites in the area is Camping Bela Krajina.
Stay at BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Resort
We stayed at the upscale and eco-friendly BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Resort, located right on the Kopla River.
This unique resort consists of a reception and 7 contemporary, self-catering lodges that can suit a selection of group sizes.
Each lodge is air-conditioned and features a number of amenities including:
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Common area
- Flat-screen satellite TV
- Private bathroom
- Safe deposit box
Our lodge came with its own private jacuzzi, which I was a huge fan of, especially with a glass of fizz.
A lovely breakfast spread is provided, full of fresh, local produce. You can choose from a breakfast menu the day before and the next morning a wooden box arrives full of items from local producers.
We feasted on delicious cheese, bread, salami, milk, yoghurt, fruit, jam and honey. A fantastic way to start the day.
Why stay at Big Berry?
Big Berry is a really unique experience, you really feel as if you are part of a small community rather than just being a guest.
The staff and interns do a great job of helping you plan local activities that will really introduce you to the culture and the nature of the region.
Their site is partnered with numerous local activity providers, businesses and food producers that will all enhance your experience.
It’s a great place to base yourself for 3 nights as you can take time to explore the area, or simply relax in dreamy surroundings.
Getting to Slovenia
You can take a direct flight to Ljubljana Airport if you are flying into Slovenia but this isn’t always the cheapest option.
I found that it was a lot cheaper to fly into either Istria in Croatia, or Venice in Italy and then take a flix bus to Ljubljana.
You can also take a train to Ljubljana from many major European cities such as Zagreb, Budapest, Vienna and Venice.
Airport Parking and lounges
Save money on your Slovenia trip by booking your airport parking in advance. You can find great airport parking deals online with Holiday Extras.
Get up to 70% off airport parking when you book in advance online. Keep your car secure and safe whilst you are on your holidays in an official airport car park.
You could also park your car at the airport with Car & Away. It’s the first person to person car-sharing service that matches car renters to car owners in a very simple and transparent way.
The service gives airport parking customers the opportunity to ‘rent and earn’ whilst on holiday. It’s a unique way to save money for travel, that’s for sure.
Why not spoil yourself with airport lounge access before your flight? Lounges don’t have to be super expensive, book online with Holiday Extras to save money on your lounge splurge.
Planning your trip to Slovenia
Ready to book your trip to Slovenia? Use these awesome travel resources to get you started:
- Search for the best flight deals with Skyscanner
- Search for the best hotel deals on HotelsCombined
- Get the best Hague travel tips with a travel guidebook
- Book an Airbnb and have £25 towards your first booking
- Get the best destination recommendations from TripAdvisor
Check out all the best travel resources on my bumper travel resources page!
Love this post? Why not pin it and share it?
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.
We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.