/From one of the most beautiful alpine valleys past the medieval castle inspirations of the Celje Counts to mysterious Kozjansko, the Savinjska region offers secret corners of unspoiled nature, thermal and climatic health resorts, towns and cities with interesting pasts and lively presents, hospitable farms, places with sporting challenges./
Logarska dolina, one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in Europe, surprises its visitors with the peaks of the Kamniške-Savinjske Alps, the Rinka and other waterfalls, and many natural and cultural features that also enrich the neighbouring valleys of Robanov kot and Matkov kot. The valley is a starting point for mountaineering and alpine climbing routes, and the valley itself offers bicycling, archery, riding, ski touring, cross-country skiing, sledding, and ice climbing on frozen waterfalls. In nearby Solčava, high-mountain village with many attractions, there is also an artificial ice-climbing course. From Luče, a trail leads to Snežna jama cave on Mount Raduha, which takes its visitors’ breath away with its 100-meter long cavern of frozen stalactites. In Ljubno ob Savinji, which still today lives with the tradition of lumbering, the Savinja River becomes friendly for many water sports. Not far away are Radmirje with its valuable church treasury and Gornji grad with its imposing church and museum exhibitions in the defense tower. In Nazarje, there is an interesting museum of lumbering and forestry in Vrbovec Castle. The center of the Upper Savinja Valley is Mozirje, where Mozirski gaj, an attractive botanical park of flowers and ethnological objects, is located. Rising above the city are Dobrovlje and Menina mountains and the protected region of the Golte plateau with its popular tourist recreation center and ski resort and wide offer of summer activities. From Gora Oljka pilgrimage church, to which trails lead from Šmartno ob Paki and Polzela, there are wonderful views of Golte, the Savinja Valley, and the Kamniške-Savinjske Alps.
The Lower Savinja valley is primarily renowned as the “valley of hops,” but also as the home territory of the famous Counts of Celje, originally the lords of Žovnek Castle near today’s Braslovče and its three attractive lakes. Nature and the remains of the past also draw visitors to Šempeter v Savinjski dolini. The Roman Necropolis Archeological Park here is considered one of the most wonderful archeological monuments in Slovenia, and the nearby Jama Pekel cave is a wonderful example of an isolated karst phenomenon. One of the oldest tourist sites in the valley, Prebold boasted a hotel soon after World War I. The center of the “valley of green gold” is Žalec, which offers a hops museum, plantations of medicinal herbs, the nearby Vrbje fishpond, the Oskar Kogoj Gallery, and many other points of interest in the town and its surroundings.
The Savinja River has been creating the unique appearance of the Celje Basin since prehistoric times. The center of the basin is Celje, the “City of Princes” below the renovated Celje Castle. A regional, economic, commercial, cultural, educational, and major fair center, it has an attractive medieval core with museums, galleries, old churches, . . . Close to the city is Šmartinsko jezero lake, the largest reservoir in Slovenia. Not far from Celje are several renowned health resorts: Dobrna, Topolšica, Laško, Rimske Toplice, Rogaška Slatina, and Olimia in Podčetrtek. The Šalek Valley is also worth visiting, along with lively Velenje, which draws people in with its outstanding underground Mining Museum of Slovenia, its excellent tourist-recreational centre by Velenje Lake, and the Velenje Museum, which houses eleven museum collections.
Toward the southern border, in addition to the health resorts with venerable traditions, you are invited to visit the town of Šentjur, which is famous for the largest archaeological finds from the late Antique period according to the European scale at Rifnik, for the composers of the Ipavec family, and for the blessed Bishop Slomšek. Other towns worth visiting are Šmarje pri Jelšah with its remarkable Calvary path below the Church of St. Roch (Sv. Rok), Olimje and its monastery with the oldest pharmacy in Slovenia at the picturesque Olimje Castle, Kozje with the nearby Kozjansko Regional Park and the mighty Podsreda Castle with the museum collection of glassware, Rogatec with the renovated Strmol Castle and open-air ethnological museum, and Bistrica ob Sotli with its Svete gore, one of the most important sacral monuments in Slovenia.
Radeče, now a centre of the paper industry, lies at the junction of road and rail routes and was once an important river port for traffic along Slovenia's longest river. Radeče is working hard to attract more visitors. Popular events include the World Sautéed Potato Festival. An elegant iron bridge over the Sava, built in 1893 and now protected as a monument of technical heritage, leads into the town below the steep Castle Hill. Attractive destinations in the vicinity of Radeče include the valley of the river Sopota, a protected area.
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