After a cold winter, the town of Novo Mesto and its surrounding areas invite patrons to experience its rolling hills and natural beauty. Soak in a thermal spa or take a short walk to the natural outdoor rock pools where warm water and minerals will keep you soaking. Hiking trails, wineries, and plenty of history will keep visitors returning to Novo Mesto. Only about an hour from either Ljubljana or Zagreb the centrally located town of history, elegance, and natural beauty is sure to please visitors of Slovenia. Read more about this Slovenian beauty spot.
I first came to Novo Mesto because back in the early 1900s both my great-grandmother and great-grandfather left this charming town. My great-grandmother walked all the way to Trieste Italy to catch the boat to America. I’m not sure how my great-grandfather left, but in Reading Pennsylvania, they met and that was that. I was visiting cousins who still live in Novo Mesto with my mother, and we were smitten. The town is too cute, so tidy and clean with plenty of lovely restaurants and cafes. The amazing aspect of Novo Mesto is the outskirts. Unbelievable beauty in this area.
We stayed in Šmarjeta at the Dvorec Gregorčič hotel in 2021 and then again in the Spring of 2022 with my brother and his wife. The hotel is an old manor with a wine fountain and event space outside of it. Truly a cool area. About an eight-minute drive from the hotel is the local natural hot springs Klevevž, a pool of warm water that’s around 24.8 degrees Celsius, or 76.6 degrees Fahrenheit. We found it perfect to soak and enjoy the forest surroundings on a nice spring day. The spring is not of volcanic origin, it’s just a lovely warm spring coming out of the rocks for us to enjoy a swim outside.
About eleven minutes from Novo Mesto and eight minutes from Dvorec Gregorčič hotel is the Otočec Castle. This castle is amazing, resting on an island nestled inside the Krka River the structure stands out of the river like the victor. They have a hotel for about $300-$450 depending on the time of the year, a lovely café, a restaurant, and a golf course. For a high-end luxury experience, this is the hotel of the area.
The hills outside Novo Mesto are just breath taking rolling wine hills covered in friendly wineries. We visited the famous Domaine Slapšak, an unforgettable winery at the highest elevation where grapes are grown in Slovenia. The winery is run by a French winemaker who after graduating from university to become a winemaker joined his friends on a celebratory trip to Ljubljana. On his trip, he met his now wife, fell in love, and then moved to their family winery where he revolutionized the Slovenian winemaking of the area with traditional French methods. The wines are lovely and the views from their cosy tasting room are exceptional.
The famous wine of the area is Cviček, it’s not a tasty wine, but it’s said to be very healthy and filled with heart-healthy vitamins. Driving through the hills of Dolenjska visitors are hospitably welcomed by many wineries that are often open and happy to share their wines with tourists. Of all the Slovenian wine regions this region is the friendliest for walk-ins.
As I mentioned before the hotel Dvorec Gregorčič has a very good restaurant, their tasting menu is just perfect, but a la carte is very good too. We are obsessed with the mushroom štruklji, a traditional rolled dough wrapped around fresh cheese mixed with diced wild mushrooms that have been boiled and then baked to perfection. So good! Hiša Fink is near the river and very good, they participate in Restaurant Week so be sure to check that out of you’re in Slovenia during the spring or autumn.
Read more about Novo Mesto, subscribe for more posts about travel, and some tips on where to go in Slovenia. Have a lovely day.