Kocevje, Slovenia, the place popularly known as the town of the bear forest, is a small settlement in the Southern part of Slovenia, located in the historic Lower Carniola region, near the Croatian border. While it is situated relatively close to the capital city of Ljubljana, it is best to have your own transportation; while getting here by bus is easy, to get the most out your time in the region, it is best not to rely on public transportation as it tends to be rather erratic. The town borders the Kočevski Rog karst plateau and the River Rinža flows through the center.
Most visitors arrive here to experience the magical beauty of the primeval Dinaric fir and beech forests the areas has to offer. In fact, the region boasts with some of the best-preserved and rounded forests of Europe with an incredible diversity of wildlife. You can choose from a variety of marked hiking routes and nature learning trails that will help you explore the area. You can also hire a guide and go on a bear-watching trek to see these fluffy animals in their natural habitat.
At the same time, a visit to the town can give you a glimpse of the rich history of this region of Slovenia. As it's an isolated and hard-to-access place, it was not until the thirteenth century that it became settled by the Count of Ortenburg, who brought a group of Gottschee Germans with him, creating an ethnic enclave that persisted well into the nineteenth century. You can learn about their cultural heritage at the Kočevje Regional Museum. If you are staying in the town, you should definitely pay a visit to the Fridrikstein Castle, which commemorates the unhappy love story of Veronika of Desenice and Frederick of Celje. Another worthwhile sight is the Ice Cave where you will find a frozen world all year through. It is also possible to explore the area on horseback or by bike -- there is a cycling network of four hundred twenty-five kilometres around the area! And to close a nice day in nature, why not try a local game dish in one of the traditional restaurants of the town?
If you are planning to do at least a few of these activities, it is convenient to base yourself in the town, which boasts at least one nice Kocevje, Slovenia youth hostel complete with a tourist information centre. Your hostel in Kocevje, Slovenia, offers eight-bed dorms, four-bed dorms, and a few private rooms as well. However, you can also do a day trip here from either Ljubljana or Novo Mesto, choosing one of the many hostels these cities have to offer.
Hi, I'm JudyM,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Kocevje hostels. Welcome.