Set off on an adventurous trip for two. Outside of the city, along the mighty Drava River, there are spots suitable for a relaxing getaway for two. Surprise your significant other by taking her to the Chocolate Village along the Drava River, where you will be pampered with chocolate products and wake up with a view of the Drava River. On hot days, cool off in the Radlje ob Dravi Water Park's natural swimming lake, where natural organisms maintain the water's cleanliness and quality. Swim among the water lilies, jump off the pier, or relax on the green beach.
Manors, castles, and mansions transport us to another era. They invite us to explore their magnificence on the banks of the Drava River. Slovenian castles are part of various historical stories, and their cold corridors evoke the mysterious Middle Ages. The castle walls, which whisper stories from history, are an excellent place to stop on your cycling trip.
Borl castle in Haloze, above the Drava River, is one of the oldest structures of its kind in Slovenian Styria. It has always played an important role due to its strategic location along the Hungarian-Croatian border. It is perched on a rocky pier above an ancient passageway across the Drava River. Its origins can be traced back to the 12th or 13th centuries. Following the war, it was nationalised. It was renovated in 1952 and began operating as a catering business before becoming a modern hotel in 1972. Both were closed after 1980, with the exception of occasional events held in the castle.
Fala Castle is located in the municipality of Ruše, above the River. It is situated on a viewing river terrace that is bounded on the west by the Fala cliff and on both sides of the river by ancient rock cliffs. The latter form a kind of rock gate to the central Drava Valley, representing both a geological and a climatic divide. Because of the difficult passage through the narrow gorge, the rocky gate served as a cultural border in the past.
The castle's design has not changed since it was built in the 17th century. The Teutonic Order primarily valued Muretinci Castle's economic and administrative significance in previous centuries. After World War II, the castle served as a retirement home. Members of the Baron Cultural and Artistic Society rent the castle building today. They organise mediaeval educational workshops for elementary school students and pensioners, as well as programmes and castle tours for individual groups.
The castle of Ormož was first mentioned in 1278. It was nationalised after 1945, and the following year, along with the park, it was protected and designated a cultural monument. It first opened its doors in 1996 as part of the Regional Museum Ptuj. The Ormož Museum operated in Ormož from 2006 to 2009, but in 2009 it re-joined the Regional Museum Ptuj and is now known as the Regional Museum Ptuj Ormož. The castle is surrounded by a park, which is one of our country's most beautiful landscape plantations. It supports about 140 tree species.
Visit old homesteads, uncover secrets in museums, or learn about the world's oldest vine.
Allow yourself to be enchanted by the charming round church. The Rotunda of St. John the Baptist is one of Slovenia's oldest churches, located in Spodnja Muta at the confluence of the Bistrica and Drava rivers. The church has a shingled roof with a roof tower and a round nave.
Learn about the history and operation of the Drava River's first hydroelectric power plant, which was also the largest in the Eastern Alps.
The Fala hydroelectric plant, the oldest on the Slovenian side of the Drava River, is now part of a chain of eight hydroelectric plants on the Drava. The inactive but originally preserved part of the hydroelectric power plant is now a museum that appeals to visitors of all ages by displaying original equipment as well as modern experiments that demonstrate how to convert energy.
THE OLDEST VINE MUSEUM
The Oldest Vine Museum tells the incredible story of the 460-year-old blue vine's tenacity, its caretakers, their skills, and extraordinary heritage. The Oldest Vine Museum highlights the oldest vine in the context of Lent and Maribor's urban development as a wine-growing centre in Styria. It does so by relying on the preserved movable heritage, which adds to the fact of its extraordinary age.
SOKOV MLIN (MILL) – KOTNI MLIN (MILL) (FORMIN)
The construction of the water mill dates back to 1775. The mill was rebuilt in 1874 and abandoned in 1946 under the name "Kotni mlin" in Formin. The mill underwent a thorough structural renovation in 2020, and the renovation of internal milling machines and mill wheels is still ongoing. The entire roof of the farmhouse's residential section was also replaced. In this way, the visitor can see the well-kept exterior of the farm and mill, as well as the equally well-kept surroundings. The old "wine press," neatly arranged and tidy, can be seen in the commercial part of the open area. The basement and other amenities are currently being renovated.
For thousands of years of coexistence, nature and man have been inextricably linked. The Natura 2000 network includes over 27,000 areas, 354 of which are in Slovenia, with 8 of them located along the Drava River.
DRAVOGRAD LAKE (ČRNEŠKO LAKE)
Dravograd Lake (also Črneško Lake) is an HPP Dravograd containment reservoir on the Drava River. In addition to the left natural bend, the dam slowed the river, causing it to deposit more sediments and become almost stagnant inland water, hence the name Dravograd Lake.
The lake's surface has gradually turned into a swamp with islands and reeds, resembling a delicate and rich wetland ecosystem. This is a valuable habitat for both common and rare and special plants and animals. Many water birds find shelter and a breeding ground here. There are over 150 known species. These are resident birds that nest and spend the winter here, but there are also many migratory birds that nest here and migrate to warmer climates in the winter.
Slovenia's largest artificial lake on the Drava River is magnificent. The lake is part of Natura 2000 because many birds nest there. Among them are the Common tern and the Black-headed gull.
A birdwatching station on the right bank of Ptuj Lake allows us to observe a variety of bird species in the area. Artificial nesting islands for Common terns, Black-headed gulls, and Mediterranean gulls have been constructed on the lake. A 12 km long path circles the lake, and an ornithological observatory houses all of the most important bird information.
The artificial lake, which is one of Slovenia's largest reservoir lakes and also serves as the border between Slovenia and Croatia, along with the Ormož Lagoons, is the largest Slovenian resting place for migratory water birds.
Larger reed beds, grasslands, and a swamp forest can be found along the lake's shore. Many water birds have made this their home, and the rare Pygmy cormorant spends the winter here as well.
KAMENŠČAK LANDSCAPE PARK – HRASTOVEC
In 1992, the 851-hectare landscape park was added to the list of protected areas. It has exceptional conservation value, owing to the preserved connection between the aquatic and forest ecosystems. This is very important for amphibians, as they have both suitable water and land habitats available. It includes the municipalities of Pesnica, Duplek, and Lenart in Slovenske gorice.
MARIBOR LAKE LANDSCAPE PARK AND UNIQUE DRAVA RIVER ISLAND
The damming of the Drava River by the Maribor Island Hydroelectric Plant created Maribor Lake or Bresternica Lake above Maribor Island. It is now protected as a landscape park. The lake is a popular recreation area for Maribor residents and visitors alike. Along the lake's shore, there are numerous activities to choose from, including rowing, surfing, sailing, swimming in a pool, walking, cycling, and running.
ORMOŽ LAGOON NATURE RESERVE
The Ormož Lagoons are a 55-hectare anthropogenic wetland located in the Drava River ecosystem by the Ormož Lake.
It is a rare remnant of a softwood river arch in Slovenia, consisting of shallow pools with reedbeds and stands of reeds surrounded by floodplain forest. The Ormož Lagoons are also an important migratory bird stopover in Slovenia. The regular appearance of the otter (Lutra lutra) and two endangered species of invertebrates, as well as the existence of some protected habitat types, deserve the most attention of the other groups of animals.
ŠTEHARSKI VRH ABOVE DRAVOGRAD
Šteharski vrh, 1018 m high, invites us to follow a well-marked path from Radlje ob Dravi. The path takes us past numerous farms, meadows, and through forest paths. We reach the top after one and a half hours and are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Drava valley.
SKALA ABOVE DRAVOGRAD
We must climb the Skala above Dravograd to get a good view of Dravograd and the Drava River. In good weather, the half-hour hike is suitable for slightly older children and makes an excellent family outing.
We begin our journey in Dravograd and proceed along the dirt road that leads into the forest. Follow the signs to the narrower hiking trail that leads us through the woods to Skala.
At the top, there is a wooden table and benches where we can rest and enjoy the view of the Drava River.
ON THE WAY TO KOŠENJAK
The mountain path to Košenjak is about eight kilometres long and takes us to the highest point in the municipality of Dravograd. It takes about three hours to walk there from Dravograd via Ojstrica or from Vič via Goriški vrh. You walk along forest and meadow slopes on the way to Košenjak, and from the top, in good weather, you can see the Pohorje, Mount St. Ursula, Peca, Raduha, and all the way to the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.
BRICNIK PEAK ABOVE MUTA
Bricnik peak is located in the Kozjak hills above Muta. A beautiful view of the Drava Valley can be found a little below the peak, which is also the main reason for visiting this peak.
A short 30-minute hike to the 1017-meter-high Bricnik peak rewards us with breathtaking views of the Drava River at the top. The ascent is also suitable for small children and makes an excellent family outing.
SVETI PRIMOŽ NAD MUTO
We recommend a visit to Sveti Primož nad Muto for young hikers and their parents visiting Carinthia. There are numerous well-marked hiking and biking trails that lead up the hill. We guarantee a breathtaking view of the Drava River, Pohorje, Peca, and Mount St. Ursula, as well as the enjoyment of beautiful nature.
LOVE BENCH ABOVE VUHRED
The bench is on the right bank of the Drava River on the way to Barnik. In the centre of Vuhred, at an elevation of 340 metres above sea level, there is a sign on a walnut tree on the right side of the road below the Markač inn that marks the start of the path to Janževski vrh. The sign points us in the direction of the fire station and the Vuhred cable car. We cross the track at the cable car and start climbing steeply towards the Barnik farm (753 m above sea level), which is also the steepest climb on the entire route. We have a spectacular view of Pohorje and Kozjak, as well as the majority of the Drava Valley, from the Barnik farm.
Ruta is a 4.5-kilometre circular forest learning trail. It begins at homestead Matec and continues along the trail to the Štiblerjev vrh forest reserve's border. It then descends to the Štibler homestead along the hunting trail, which follows the former walking paths of the Fala mansion. From the Štibler homestead, it continues along the forest road past Lobnik (forest glade) to the starting point at Matec. Beautiful views of the Drava River open up from the path in all seasons
DEVIL'S ROCKS ABOVE KAMNICA
On the mountain trail to Tojzlov vrh, the Devil's Rocks are a popular hiking destination. They provide a stunning view of Maribor Island and Maribor Lake. The Drava River flowed much higher than it does now. The gravel and sand deposited along the riverbed eventually consolidated into a rock conglomerate. The Devil's Rocks were formed as the rock cracked and weathered.
Stolni vrh rises above Maribor, providing an excellent vantage point for escaping the city's hustle and bustle, with views of the city, Pohorje, and Drava. The 382-meter-high hill, crowned by a monument commemorating the country's fifth anniversary of independence, is suitable for both young and old visitors.
The Ptuj Castle towers over Slovenia's oldest town. A picnic spot for those curious about the secrets hidden within the mediaeval walls. The walls of Ptuj Castle provide a view of the Drava River.
We climb the Ptuj Castle hill for 10 - 15 minutes directly from the old town centre of Ptuj.
Go on a cycling adventure along the Drava River. The undemanding sections of the Drava Cycling Route, which are suitable for the elderly and our youngest visitors, provide a variety of experiences for the entire family. Visit museums, manors, and castles, go for a walk along learning trails, or cool off in the Radlje ob Dravi Water Park. Discover the history of rafting on the Drava River, explore the river's hidden corners with kayaks and paddleboards, or explore the landscape parks and wildlife.
We find corners along the Drava that are suitable even for those who transport their home on four wheels. Stop, park your mobile-home, and take the Drava Cycling Route.
Slovenian cuisine along the Drava Cycling Route is distinguished by a variety of traditional dishes. "Natural, homemade, traditional" are the culinary qualities that distinguish Koroška and Štajerska cuisine.
Habits, food, and dishes prepared according to traditional recipes are especially valued here. Koroška hosts can still prepare traditional dishes with unusual names (klocavi nudlni, štruklji, ožejeni žganci, mavželni, mežerli, tovsti grumpi...) that invite you to a new gourmet experience. Štajerska traditional dishes with strong flavours frequently include pork, sauerkraut and turnip, beans, eggs, cream and cottage cheese, various porridges, and, of course, potatoes.
Koroška is well-known for its excellent must, a traditional drink made from the alcoholic fermentation of juices from old apple varieties. Štajerska reputation has been built over the centuries on a rich treasury of indigenous cuisine and famous Štajerska wines.
As a result, you can easily find a good inn, a top restaurant, a local tourist farm, or a wine cellar of a renowned winemaker in Štajerska, where you will be spoiled with masterpieces on plates and in glasses, as well as typical Štajerska hospitality. The Old Vine, the world's oldest vine, has been thriving for more than 400 years on the banks of the Drava River in Lent, Maribor, symbolising the rich tradition of wine production. Maribor and Ptuj both have a rich wine tradition and represent the Drava Cycling Route's wine and culinary areas. Ptuj is also the oldest Slovenian town.