Local food tours in Ljubljana with Ljubljananjam

Slovenia is magical for many reasons that you only discover when you visit it.

Typical Slovenian food explored with Ljubljananjam
Typical Slovenian food explored with Ljubljananjam

A magic you don’t want to miss is a food walking tour with Ljubljananjam to taste the yummy side of Ljubljana. Your friendly guide will be Iva Gruden who is also the founder.

Iva Gruden, tour guide and founder of Ljubljananjam
Iva Gruden, tour guide and founder of Ljubljananjam

Tour start: Prešeren Square, Ljubljanas best meeting point

You will visit incredible places and realize how deeply careful Slovenians are about what and how they eat. Gardening plays an important role in their life as well as organic food. They know the source and origins of food and most of it is made with their own hands or in their own village. Obviously, this helps keeping traditions alive and gathering families — not only around the table to eat but around the process of making food!

The central market in Ljubljana consists of a few parts. Ribarnica (fish market) is a place where locals can find their fish both from the Mediterranean sea and beyond. Pokrita tržnica (covered market) is in the lower level of seminary building – where the first public library is! – and it’s next to the fresh produce market, a paradise for your appetite!

You will be delighted by the delicatesses such as homemade flour. You will love the different tastes of goat and sheep cheeses and learn how to make them. You will try salami made of indigenous pork (the pigs were only fed with tree fruits) and more exotic salami made out of deer and even bear!

Every day Iva chooses a local restaurant. Each one is special because of the quality of their food and their particular story — usually related to social entrepreneurship.

If you analyze Slovenia’s gastronomy you will see that its geographic location (the bordering neighbors) had a strong influence on their cuisine, especially from the Italian side. Slovenia’s gastronomy is therefore diverse but also fragmented. Nevertheless, Iva combines all dishes, snacks and drinks into a perfect gastronomical adventure.

Ljubljananjam incorporates Slovenia’s many regional traditions in one unique experience. You travel around Slovenia through its food in a few hours while you enjoy the privilege of a small group with a very enjoyable guide. Iva is absolutely passionate about what she’s doing and a great ambassador of her country and its delicious food.

Bonus: Food specialities unique in Slovenia

Specialities that you can only find in Slovenia:

  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Orange wine
  • Special honey due to the unique bee hives (they have a national bee wasp)

Find more photos of the great tour on Facebook.

Day 24: Black lake, hike to waterfalls, Slovenian family time

It was the time to make a second attempt to visit the black lake and the waterfalls. Although it took us some time asking and finding how to get there, we managed to make it happen.

The wooden stairs to the lake
The wooden stairs to the lake
Wooden stairs leading into the woods
Wooden stairs leading into the woods

The black lake

The entrance to the lake was beautiful, a wooden path taking you deep into the woods ending in the black lake. Its phenomenon happened because it is “an artificial lake created 130 years ago by a dam. Count Windischgraetz, once the owner of a considerable part of Pohorje forests, had the dam built at the end of a hollow to accumulate the waters of the Črnava stream needed for bringing wood into the valley. Today, the lake is mainly a natural monument; the lake and its surroundings with marsh vegetation are a wildlife refuge.” (Source: Slovenia.info)

Continue reading Day 24: Black lake, hike to waterfalls, Slovenian family time

Day 23: Hitchhiking to Maribor, meeting our mentor Petra and her family

We had breakfast while watching the Why Slovenia video and then said goodbye to our lovely hosts.

Theater play "I Fear Slovenia" — persiflage to the official "I Feel Slovenia" campaign
Theater play “I Fear Slovenia” — persiflage to the official “I Feel Slovenia” campaign

We walked more than planned for hitchhiking (HH) until a car stopped to tell us that we couldn’t stop cars in the highway. They agreed to take us to Maribor but when we were crossing to join them they heard a siren and suddenly left without us – ups. Continue reading Day 23: Hitchhiking to Maribor, meeting our mentor Petra and her family

Day 21: Meeting Yuri in Ljubljana, author The Slovene Book, and workshop in Celje

We met Yuri, the writer of „The Slovenia Book“ at Kino Šiška.

He told us his story of how a guy from Seattle living in Beirut who ended up in Slovenia.

It happens to be that he came to Europe in 2006 for the World Cup. When he wanted to go back he couldn’t, war had started and airports were closed.

After some months of couch-surfing he called his mom to tell her that he will be traveling around Slovenia and the Balcans and she suggested to visit his family — his grandfather was from Slovenia.

So he ended up meeting his cousins after 26 years while the family had never heard from one another. He didn’t even know he had roots in Slovenia. Continue reading Day 21: Meeting Yuri in Ljubljana, author The Slovene Book, and workshop in Celje

Day 20: Sunday in the Doljenske region

We had a Sunday road trip with Ivana, Živa and our friend Nicolas from Colombia who has been traveling on his own before.

Novo Mesto

We visited Novo Mesto, had breakfast in a very nice place with crunchy toasts and a menu full of delicious teas. We walked around and learned more about its history and then headed down south to the Dolenjske region.

Novo Mesto: Delicious home-made sandwich / toast
Novo Mesto: Delicious home-made sandwich / toast
Novo Mesto: Energy tea
Novo Mesto: Energy tea
Novo Mesto: Breakfast table
Novo Mesto: Breakfast table
Novo Mesto: Church
Novo Mesto: Church

Kolpa river

We stopped at the Kolpa river on the border to Croatia and refreshed a bit in its not so cold water – Soča river is still our reference in terms of being *freezing*.

River Kolpa: inside
River Kolpa: inside
River Kolpa: Border to Croatia
River Kolpa: Border to Croatia

Continue reading Day 20: Sunday in the Doljenske region

Day 19: At BIVAK festival in Ljubljana

We headed towards the festival place to prepare our ON BOARD stand at BIVAK, a festival for backpackers and journalists!

Preparing our On Board stand at the BIVAK backpacker and journalists festival
Preparing our On Board stand at the BIVAK backpacker and journalists festival

We decorated our stand with the ON BOARD shirts, manifesto and world with the school bus. We did some graffiti art on the floor to invite people to come. Continue reading Day 19: At BIVAK festival in Ljubljana

Day 18: Škocjan Caves and hitchhiking to Ljubljana

It was time to leave the coast and start heading towards Ljubljana — not directly because we stopped in the famous Škocjan caves, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1986. It’s pronounced like “Schkotzjahn”.

Izola to Škocjan caves

We used Prevoz.org of course and had a very friendly driver!

Sandy, our carpooling angel via Prevoz
Sandy, our carpooling angel via Prevoz

This caves are different from Postojna because they are more natured-based and in a way more protected since they have to follow the strict Unesco rules. For instance no pictures were allowed.

The cave is 6 km long, only 3 km are open for tourists. It is divided into the silent cave where there is no river and where there is water.

The river is called river (in Slovenen: reka reka), a simple name but a complicated river that can create floods inside the cave and historically there have been some that have covered almost the complete cave. One flood even made it to 120 meters with the cave being 140 meter high in total.

It is more intimate and rough than Postojna and if course it has no tourist train and therefore less visitors.

The landscape was incredible. It was a total Indiana Jones meets The Goonies feeling.

We took some photos from the outside of the cave which looked nice as well. Yet, Škocjan Caves is definitely worth the 16 Euros. Some impressions from areas where we were allowed to take photos.

Stairs that took us out of the cave
Stairs that took us out of the cave
The area after the Škocjan caves: Still in a cave
The area after the Škocjan caves: Still in a cave
The area after the Škocjan caves: Almost outside
The area after the Škocjan caves: Almost outside

Continue reading Day 18: Škocjan Caves and hitchhiking to Ljubljana

Day 17: Day trip to Trieste, Italy

We woke up early to take the first bus to Trieste, one hour far from Izola.

Early morning in Trieste: 6 am
Early morning in Trieste: 6 am

Trieste was windy and cold until the sun came out later.

We waited until the tourism office was open at 9 am to find a map and move around getting to see the main places!

The first impressions were very nice: a mix of port and unique architecture.

Trieste City Hall
Trieste City Hall

The cathedral (San Giusto) was very nice inside also showing different periods of time.

Trieste, Cathedral San Giusto
Trieste, Cathedral San Giusto

Continue reading Day 17: Day trip to Trieste, Italy

Day 16: Discovering Izola by foot, Piran and Portorož by bike

We were determinde to do a bike tour as suggested by Tina in the “Parenzana”. What used to be a railroad connecting Trieste with the Slovenian coast turned into a bike-friendly road.

Finding bikes

Finding the bikes wasn’t an easy task but we discovered a bit of Izola while finding where could we rent them and having some helping hands along the day.

Through the historic center of Izola to find bikes
Through the historic center of Izola to find bikes
In Izola: The mik-making machine we love so much
In Izola: The mik-making machine we love so much

Continue reading Day 16: Discovering Izola by foot, Piran and Portorož by bike