Exploring Bela Krajina with Big Berry

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Bela Krajina is a small area of Southeastern Slovenia where Big Berry Lifestyle Camp is located.  Bela Krajina is home to many local producers and artisans keeping Slovenian traditions alive.  At Big Berry guests have the opportunity to visit these local artisans and really get a feel for the culture of the region.  There are so many wonderful places to visit and so little time.  I was only at the camp for 4 days short days, and I’m already itching to go back and experience more of this charming region, especially the brewery, which I unfortunately didn’t have time for this trip.

 

Čebelarstvo Veselič- The Beekeeper

 

Learn about beekeeping at Čebelarstvo Veselič in Metlika, Slovenia

Bees!

Apparently bee tourism is a real thing and Slovenia is swarming with it.  (See what I did there?)   Čebelarstvo Veselič in Metlika has been producing honey for 4 generations, so they’ve gotten pretty good at it.  With the help of some of the Big Berry interns as translators, the senior beekeeper gave us a very thorough tour of the property and a look at the honey making/harvesting process.

 

Learn about beekeeping at Čebelarstvo Veselič in Metlika, Slovenia

 

We were taken inside to learn how the honey is extracted from the honey comb, and of course we got to try some fresh honey.  Then we got a tour of the grounds, including the bee houses.  Obviously, the first thing you notice about Čebelarstvo Veselič is the bees.  There are bees buzzing around EVERYWHERE.  I know this goes without saying, but it’s a bit unsettling.  Turns out, bees are less menacing than they appear, and no one in our group got stung!

 

Local Honey for sale at Čebelarstvo Veselič in Metlika, Slovenia

 

After the tour there is a small shop where guests can purchase a variety of fresh honey.  If I wasn’t traveling so much I would have brought some home.  I was just certain that sometime during my next 11 flights all my clothes would end up covered in broken glass and honey.  Normally I would risk it, but since my next stop was Tbex, I figured that was not a great first impression with travel industry professionals.

 

Local Honey for sale at Čebelarstvo Veselič in Metlika, Slovenia

 

We ended our tour with a toast and a bit of honey liquor from our guide.  He even offered to let me marry one of his 3 sons (sight unseen), and stay there.  It’s not the worst offer I’ve received and Bela Krajina is beautiful enough that it might be worth signing on to a lifetime covered in bees.

 

Learn about beekeeping at Čebelarstvo Veselič in Metlika, Slovenia

 

 

Šokčev Dvor – Open Air Museum/ Traditional Farmhouse

 

 

Start the day with some fresh pogača at Šokčev dvor open air museum in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

Here at Šokčev dvor we were transported back in time to learn about the history of the Bela Krajina region and those who populated it.  We arrived early in the morning and were greeted with schnapps and pogača.  I already love it here.

 

Nothing wrong with a little breakfast schnapps at Šokčev dvor open air museum in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

Morning Schnapps, Breakfast of champions.

Here we learned about the traditional dress of the region.  “Bela” means white, and and the “Bela” in Bela Krajina actually refers so the white linen worn by the people.  We were taken through the process of how the linen was made before modern technology and given a change to tour the farm house to see how people in the region would have lived.

 

Šokčev dvor open air museum in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

I’m not sure if the dog is native to the area

 

Decorating Pisanice- Colored Eggs

 

Decorating pisanice in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

Decorating Easter eggs is common practice in many cultures, but Bela Krajina blows the others out of the water.  They use a sharpened tool and melted wax to create mindblowingly intricate designs.  These eggs are synonymous with the area and make for a very popular souvenir.  I had the opportunity to try my had at it, but I don’t think tourist will purchasing my handy work anytime soon.

 

Decorating pisanice in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

 

First wax is applied to the egg, in the areas you wish to remain white.  Then the egg is soaked in a red dye.  Next, a second layer of wax is applied to the areas of the egg you wish to remain red.  Finally the eggs are boiled in a solution that turns the unwaxed shell black.  The finally result is that all of the Bela Krajina pisanice are black, red, and white.  Of course, some are still a little better than others.

 

Decorating pisanice (dyed eggs) in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

Oil Mill Pečarič- Oils

 

 

 
Sample homemade oils at Oil MIll Pečarič in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

At Oil Mill Pečarič, we got to sample loads of oils made from just about anything you can think of.  Each oil had a different healing or medicinal quality when consumed or rubbed on the skin, and the family running Oil Mill Pečarič is happy to prescribe the perfect oil or combination for what ails you, but most importantly they are all delicious.

 

Sample homemade oils at Oil MIll Pečarič in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

One recipe shared with us was a sauce made from the oils for increased energy, which we could all use!
Just mix Walnut, Grape Seed, and Olive Oils together with garlic, parsley, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and lemon juice, salt and serve with bread.  As long as you don’t have a nut allergy, you’re good to go.

 

Sample homemade oils at Oil MIll Pečarič in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

Here guests are given an opportunity to purchase the oils to take home, and yet again I cursed myself for not being responsible enough to travel with glass bottles.

Sample homemade oils at Oil MIll Pečarič in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

Wineries

 

 

Gorgeous vineyards in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

There are a few different vineyards and wineries in Bela Krajina and I’m sure all are worth a visit.  Unfortunately, I did not get to go during visiting hours and missed out on the tasting room.  I did however, get to enjoy the vineyard after hours with some of the ladies from the camp and a few bottles of wine.

 

Gorgeous vineyards in Bela Krajina, Slovenia

 

I can’t think of a better way to end my lovely stay at Big Berry than watching the sunset over the rolling hills of Bela Krajina, wine in hand.

 

Gorgeous vineyards in Bela Krajina, Slovenia
~
I was kindly invited as a guest of Big Berry, but all opinions expressed are my own and I would recommend this once in a lifetime experience to anyone!

 

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33 thoughts on “Exploring Bela Krajina with Big Berry

  1. Looks like a really great place! I could spend the whole day there.

  2. Wineries are my favourite thing in the world! This one has such a fantastic view, I’d love to watch the sunset in that place

  3. Slovenia looks absolutely beautiful! I used to love decorating easter eggs when I was a kid. I always had those beautiful ideas in my head, but they never quite turned out the way I imagined 😉

  4. We love visiting Wineries. Taste the local culture i call it lol. Don’t believe i have ever tried a wine from Slovenia i will now be on the look out for one.

  5. What a great place to explore! I love checking out new places when we travel, it’s fun to see what the citys have to offer.

  6. Oh wow, I’d have a blast there. We have a bee keeper here but I’ve never met him. I’ve always wanted to ask him a dozen questions though.

  7. Very interesting, thank you! I love MED(honey) and I am russian) this is essential part of my diet!

  8. Bee tourism sounds really interesting. I am sure the honey is fresh and as pure as can be. It . I am also fascinated by the painted eggs.

  9. victoria

    This is so interesting for me, I’d love to visit there I like the colorful eggs

  10. I love that they are promoting what the locals have to offer. One way to truly enjoy a place is to get to know the locals and what they do for a living. I would love to stay here for a couple of days and just go around the country, from the farm to the wineries!

  11. CourtneyLynne

    Ooooo how cool are these eggs!!!! So pretty.

  12. Liquor for breakfast? Count me in! It all sounds amazing actually. Looks like you had a great time!

  13. Swarming with the bee business….. LOL!

  14. This looks like a great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at daily life in Slovenia! Getting to know the locals is such an important part of travel that is often overlooked when trying to check items off a bucket list. I’d love to visit!

  15. I would have such a great time with all of these activities! That honey looks so delicious!

  16. I guess I should not have not have looked at this article before I made my lunch. Wow, that honey, bread, and olive oils look so enticing.

  17. Wow, now I want to go to this place all that amazing good wine, honey and other amazing local foods, I need to get back to Slovenia.

  18. This is really nice and I am in Vienna not far from Slovenia so it would be great to be able to see and visit here. I also love honey!

  19. What a fun and immersing experience! Let us know about the brewery when you return and check it out.

  20. This looks like such an amazing trip! I am in love with the beautiful eggs 🙂

  21. I’ve only been to Bled, but SO wish I would have known about all of this before going to Slovenia! All of these activities are right down my alley and I love how local it all seems!

  22. Great to know about Bela Krajina in Slovenia. I grew up in the neighbourhood region, in North East Italy, but didn’t know about this place. Love those special oils and the local produce.

  23. That last photo is stunning! Definitely giving me strong “time to open a bottle of wine and enjoy” vibes. Also, decorating your own Easter egg must have been so much fun! This sounds like a very cool cultural experience.

  24. Love visiting wineries though it can be hard esp with the kids… However, if there’s a will, there’s always a way:) Thanks for sharing!!!

  25. You know what I like about this? It is just so real and rustic. There are so many fancy tours around, but this seems to be a great to get to know local culture.

  26. Beautiful trip! I love how they show the honey being pressed. Also, that egg painting thing was cool! Definitely looks like a fun adventure.

  27. Wow! Looks like an amazing place. I love how you were able to experience the history and culture while you were there. Would love to taste that honey!

  28. Big Berry looks so cool! I would love to visit and do all of these activities! The bee farm visit sounds like fun–I always love learning how things are made. The vineyards look gorgeous, too!

  29. Wow! The place is amazing! Are all the products handmade and organic. They looked like it to me! What a wonder their traditions have survived!

  30. Honey liquor- yum. I know bees make people nervous, my kids tend to run and yell. I find if you leave them alone and ignore them when they are close they leave you alone. Now if I could get my kids to follow that:)

  31. Slovenia looks absolutely gorgeous! Love visiting wineries and that sunset is the perfect finish to a beautiful day!

  32. I’ve never had honey liquor before! I can imagine it would be great in a summer cocktail. Bela Krajina looks right up my alley.

  33. kathy kenny ngo

    If I would given a chance to travel to this place, I would be honored. What a great place. Very fun and traditional.

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