DURATION: 4 days (3 nights)
The price includes all costs of organization, accommodation, meals, transport and guides, as well as all entrance fees and additional travel costs.
Assembly in Maribor, at the bus station and drive to accommodation in selected hotels Pohorje resort (in this part possible own transport)
Assembly under the Pohorje cable car and meeting in a guide and presentation of trekking.
10.30 – 13.30
Hike to Pečke with a stop at Meranovo. Presentation of the history of the place and enjoyment of locally produced dishes and excellent wine. Before we move on, we will understand the sentence of Archduke John: “… God save this divine land, in your hands are the pieces and happiness of this gracious landscape. You marked it with beauty and settled good people in it ..”
Archduke John (nadvojvoda Janez), born on January 20, 1782, in the Pitti Palace in Florence, among his many innovations, also nurtured his attitude towards viticulture with particular care. For the centre where the vines from the Rhineland would be introduced experimentally, he chose the slopes around Peker and Limbuš, where in 1822 he bought an estate now known as Meranovo. In 1823, new vines were planted in Pekre, and the remarkable success of this transfer was already evident at the first harvest in 1826, which Archduke John personally attended and then often lived there. The vineyards became so prestigious and well-known that a wine-growing school was established in Meranovo in 1832, which was later joined by a fund for rewarding winegrowers. Archduke John died in Graz on May 11, 1859, was buried there, and ten years later his remains were transferred to Schenna Castle in South Tyrol, today in Italy. Southern Styria paid tribute to Janez in 1883 with a monument in Maribor, which was removed from the city park in 1918 and is now in the Provincial Museum, but its copy has recently adorned Meranovo.
Pečke is an easily accessible peak located north of the main ridge of Pohorje. The view is limited due to the trees, but part of Maribor and Kozjak can be seen nicely, on the other hand, when the weather is nice, also Koralpe / Golica in Austria. At the top is a hunting lodge with tables, benches and playgrounds for children.
14.30 – 16.30
From Pečke we head towards Bolfenk.
The name Bolfenk comes from the German name Wolfgang. This name is interpreted as a compound of the Old High German words wolf meaning “wolf” and gangen “go”
Church of St. Bolfenka on Pohorje is a church from the end of the 15th century. The patron saint, St. Bolfenk, also gave the place where it is located, as it is called Bolfenk.
The church was originally Late Gothic with a cross-ribbed vaulted presbytery and a flat-ceilinged nave, but fell into disrepair at the end of the 18th century and quickly turned into a ruin. It has served as a mountain lodge since the end of the 19th century. At Ciglenci above Bolfenk, there is a lookout tower at the top of the mountain ridge at an altitude of 1146 meters, one of the first of its kind in Slovenia, which offers a great view over Kobansko and Slovenske gorice to Golica and Prekmurje. Bolfenk was a famous divine path in the 18th century. About halfway between Bolfenk and Areh, the Mariborska koča hut stands below the main Pohorje ridge, next to Ruška, the oldest on Pohorje. Like the lookout tower above Bolfenk, it was erected by the German-Austrian Mountaineering Association. When it passed into the hands of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association in 1921, it was renovated and enlarged.
Church of St. Bolfenka on Pohorje has undergone many changes over the centuries. In its immediate vicinity, a prehistoric path ran along the mountain ridge, as evidenced by the mounds, post trenches, Pohorje foundry and other finds all the way to St. Areh.
Today’s church was built in 1501 on the site of a small chapel. The first written documents about the beginning of the construction of the building on this site date back to 1291. The church was built by Wolfgang Herzenskraft Limbuški in the then typical German late Gothic style.
After the reforms of Joseph II. in 1785 it was abandoned and part of the interior was transferred to the surrounding churches. In 1856, when the building was already in a very poor condition, it became the property of the then mayor of Maribor and notary Otmar Reiser. He started renovating it five years later. On the north wall of the tower they installed a viewing balcony, a bridge, which was previously part of the then Pix café in Maribor.
The renovation was continued by Otmar Reiser Jr., who inherited the building. He placed a gilded head with a cross on the renovated roof of the tower, which was blessed by the then bishop Anton Martin Slomšek. In 1878, he arranged an apartment in the building for a logger and six rooms for mountaineers with a registration book. Therefore, Bolfenk can be considered the oldest mountain lodge on Pohorje, which recorded 600 to 1000 visitors a year. On March 29, 1950, a fire destroyed the building. In 1971, the workers of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments began the reconstruction of Bolfenk. The owner of the building, the Municipality of Maribor, continued the rehabilitation more intensively in 1991. The renovation was completed and the grand opening took place on March 29, 2000, exactly 50 years since Bolfenk burned down.
17.00 – 19.00
Followed by a descent from Bolfenk to Trikotna jasa (triangular clearing). There we will put down our backpacks and get ready for a well-deserved party under the stars.
The triangular clearing lies above the Arena Hotel by the altitude polygon, where there is a beautiful view of the city of Maribor and the surrounding wine-growing hills of northeastern Slovenia. It is an extremely popular hiking spot. Anyone who would like to embrace Maribor and Styria should just look at the valley and a thousand lights will greet him.
In cottage at Trikotna jasa you will be treated to dinner, which we deserved after a full day of hiking (Pohorje pisker and homemade apple pie).
Departure by bus to hotels.
Bus transfer to Svečina – a beautiful hamlet on the border with Austria, where we will prepare for the second day of hiking.
Svečina, a village in the municipality of Kungota, which consists of small hamlets and individual farms on the hills along the border with Austria, is not familiar to most. It is therefore all the more well-known photography, which tries to symbolically say how attractive and hospitable Slovenia is – a road that winds between the local hills and forms, if you look at it from a certain place, the image of a heart. Except that to the slight displeasure of the locals, not many people know where this heart actually is.
Festive people also like to remind visitors of their history. Already in Roman times, a route was supposed to run across here, which connected the area of today’s central Slovenia with Austrian Styria and led further towards Vienna. In 1270, the name Svečina first appeared in German or. Latin written documents; in the Middle Ages her name was written as Witschein or Wetschina. In the early 17th century, a castle was built here, which until recently housed an agricultural school, and today is used for occasional exhibitions and cultural events. Culture is also highly valued in Svečina. The Jože Stupnik Cultural Society is active in the field of theater, and concerts, exhibitions, Christmas cribs and various other social events are organized in the nearby, now abandoned Pruh quarry. This ambiance is especially attractive at night.
You can get acquainted with the wine tradition in the small wine museum Kebl, which stands on a hill right next to the border with Austria. It was created by remodeling a 200-year-old farmhouse, which shows what the current knowledge of the people of Svečin in wine production is based on. Quality requires tradition, and ‘winemaking’ here has it. How old she is, no one knows for sure, but judging by the records of the sale of the vineyards, her beard is already quite long. The first half of the 19th century is considered a turning point. It was then that Archduke John, Deputy Habsburg Emperor, began to modernize viticulture in the area of what was then southern Styria – which stretches on both sides of the Slovenian-Austrian border. He introduced top-quality vine varieties from the Rhineland and took care of the transfer of knowledge there.
10.00 – 18.00
Nordic Walking Wine Tour. In the meantime, we will often worship the god Bakhs, and the hike will end in Pruh with an outdoor picnic.
It is no surprise that the people of Svečinci named the beautifully marked footpath between their hills Vinotour. We will choose all three versions, 11 to 24 kilometers long. Which doesn’t say much about the time the chosen version will take you. Along the way there are several wine cellars and tourist farms, where there is no shortage of good wine or homemade food. From the lookout hills, beautiful weather offers beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards.
Vinotour is the first international Nordic walking route among vineyards. It consists of paths that lead through the courtyards of Slovenian wine farms.
Departure by bus to hotels.
Bus transferto Oplotnica where we will prepare for the third day of hiking.
9.30 – 13.00
Hike to Osankarica past the high moor at Black Lake.
The beginning of the trail and the first red mountain signpost will be seen in the center of Oplotnica, from where we continue east along Ulica Pohorskega bataljona. We walk along the mentioned road to the place where the signs for Lačna Gora direct us to the left up to Vinogradniška ulica, after which we reach the mentioned village in two bends.
For a while we climb steeply on the asphalt, and then when the asphalt road starts to descend, we just leave it and continue to the right past the sign to the winding path (there are signs for the Black Lake along the path). After about a minute of further walking, we turn left into the forest (marking and arrow on the birch) through which we begin to climb steeply to the forest road, which we just cross. Above the road, the path turns left and gradually passes into a more overgrown part, through which we quickly reach the church of St. Mohor.
From the church we continue to the north along the initially flat path, which passes into the spruce forest and begins to climb steeply. The forest ends soon and the path leads us across the meadows to the village of Kebelj.
When we reach the first houses in the village, we cross the main road (on the other side of the road there are mountain signs that show us the further way) and ascend towards the nearby residential house. In front of the yard, turn right onto a path that leads us to a larger meadow (this part is not marked). We walk along a poor path across the meadow towards a smaller wooden house, which is located next to the first larger tree.
From the house we walk to the nearby cross, where we go left (right cemetery near the village Kebelj and water). For some time now, the gentle path begins to climb steeply and passes into the forest. When we are in the forest, the Kebel transversal joins us almost imperceptibly (the path markings are Yellow-green from here on out for a while). At the end of the steep part we will come to the ruins of Zajc Castle.
We go around the castle on the left side and pass into the forest, where our path begins to descend. At the end of the descent, we step on the asphalt and arrive in the village of Nadgrad.
A little further we reach the right turn, where the Kebeljska pot branches off to the left (Kebeljska pot leads past the Litič farm), and we continue to the right towards the Štefanija farm, near which we continue to the left into the forest. When the forest ends, we arrive at the Strnad farm and follow it to the road. Follow the road up to the next right turn, where the signpost directs us to the left to a meadow. We walk along the meadow for a while (there is a beautiful view behind us), then past the log cabin we arrive at the next house, where we step on the road again. This time we walk along the asphalt to the crossroads at the Juhart farm.
From the mentioned crossroads we continue to the left along a wider forest road (straight to Sv. Trije Kralji – St. Three Kings), which descends slightly, and we walk along it to the place where the markings lead us to the right. At first we ascend through a sparse forest, and then through a more dense forest, where we follow the markings at crossroads. We arrive higher to the Kos farm, where we temporarily step on the asphalt road, which we walk on for only about half a minute, and then the signs take us back to the forest. Through the forest, the path begins to climb steeper, and the base becomes slightly more rocky. For a while we climb relatively steeply along the old partly stone trains, and then we arrive at a less steep wooded cart track. In the continuation, the forest is thinned several times, and the path leads us through several wells. Slightly higher we will reach a wider macadam road that leads from Osankarica to Sv. To the Three Kings (when we reach the road we are at the highest point of our path) and we just cross it. From the crossing of the road onwards, the path begins to descend slightly along the often rather muddy path. In the future, the terrain becomes more swampy, and occasionally wooden bridges help us.
Following such a route, we soon reach Black Lake.
The path continues along the northern side of the lake and then over the bridge, from which we can see a small barrier, due to which the lake was formed.
From the lake onwards, we are led by a well-maintained path, which is mostly paved due to the swamp. At first, the path from the lake barely rises significantly, but then, when the swamp gradually ends, it starts to descend towards the nearby parking lot, from which it is only a minute’s walk to Dom na Osankarici.
We will treat ourselves to a short stop and have a snack and a drink from the backpack. Then we will visit the Museum extension of Dom na Osankarici.
In the museum extension of the home in Osankarica, we can see the exhibition Partizansko Pohorje, which in a picturesque way shows the occupation and the national liberation struggle in this part of Pohorje. The fall of the Pohorje Battalion on January 8, 1943, went down in history as a symbol of the struggle against the occupier. The story presented in the exhibition tells us vividly about the conditions in which the fighters fought and the consequences that the fight left on people, nature and social memory. In addition to pictorial and textual material, the exhibition also includes a model of a dugout with museums, a model of the last land and a projection of a documentary film.
A 20-minute walk from the museum is the site of the last camp and the last battle of the Pohorje Battalion, where a monument was unveiled on July 4, 1959. The central monument stands in the immediate vicinity of the city next to the former dugout of the headquarters of this battalion. Larger granite blocks indicate the locations of other dugouts, while smaller ones mark positions around the camp. On these are the partisan names of the fighters and fighters who fell in the last battle.
14.30 – 16.30
Hike to Domačija Gora pod lipo (country cottage Gora pod Lipo), where we will end the hike with a hearty feast of local delicacies.
The mountain on this side of Pohorje, below the Three Kings, was sometimes called a wine cellar, and the byte is also old, which the Gregorič’s, with their black kitchen and grandmother’s room, transferred from the herb garden, and everything else on the homestead on Tinjska gora is very youthful and quite different. Pohorje bunka is dried and crispy like chips, sage is fried in honey, and buckwheat mash is a thin crispy bread on which homemade cottage cheese is melted. And then there’s the veal tongue, which has been in brine for five days and then flambéed with home-made brandy, to which hot peppers have been added two years ago. In front of the poppy’s fragile bottom, creamy yoghurt core and fresh fruit cover, there is mainly pork shank, which has such a crust that it overpowers the collision with a semi-dry rhizomat from the mountain – the cellar underfoot.
It is true, everything is in the sign of the mandala, the flower of life, which is on old wood, young wines and in the ideas and future of Lena and Primož. Remember to visit the sales exhibitions of cured meats, pumpkin oil, juices, honey, egg pasta and homemade brandy before saying goodbye to quinces in jelly and homemade brandy, which has been in the barrel for years.
Departure by bus to hotels.
Rest and end of the trek.