This week’s property is one you can view from two angles – as a buyer or renter – since it’s on the market as both a rental property and one you can own outright,
Located in Bohinj, the third most popular place for a holiday home in Slovenia (with more details on that data here), the Villa Belica is a three-bedroom chalet that sleeps up to six, and can be rented at from €140 a night. There’s a spacious enclosed garden enclosed by a forest on one side of the chalet, while on the other side there’s a panoramic view of the Julian Alps, including Mount Triglav. Anyone who knows Slovenia knows the appeal of this part of the country, but if you haven’t visited then it’s right in the middle of all the most picturesque and active parts the country for those who enjoy mountain views, clear lakes, turquoise rivers, and the fresh air of the great outdoors, with a full range of seasonal sports, activities and adventures on offer. It really is the place to be if you like that kind of thing, and even if you wouldn’t want to live there full time it’s somewhere you have to visit if you want to know what makes this country special.
And if you fall in love with the area, and Villa Belica in particular, you can also buy it for €330,000, with both options being handed by Think Slovenia, who describe it as follows online.
Beautifully renovated three- bedroom Bohinj chalet in the village of Bohinj Polje, just a few minutes’ drive from Lake Bohin,j one of Slovenia's most stunning natural treasures and in close proximity to quality skiing at Vogel and a huge range of river, lake and mountain activities in summer. The chalet consists of an entry room, WC, double bedroom with en suite shower room, kitchen, large living / dining room with access onto the beautiful terrace on the ground floor.
On the first floor are one double bedroom with lovely balcony, one twin bedroom and bathroom. In the basement is the second living room, plus laundry room and the boiler room. The terrace continues into a spacious enclosed garden on the edge of the forest with views over Triglav. On the edge of the plot is also a small shed, used as a storage.
The tranquil village of Bohinj Polje lies just a few minutes’ drive or a short walk (2.5 km) via a scenic forest path to Lake Bohinj. In summer the lake offers the opportunity for kayaking, sailing and rowing, as well as fly-fishing, swimming or just relaxing on the lake shore. The mountains of Lake Bohinj are fantastic for walking and also offer scope for great mountain biking, canyoning, paragliding as well as skiing. The ski resort Vogel above Lake Bohinj is one of Slovenia’s best with good lift infrastructure and snow record. It is 5-10 minutes’ drive from the house to the Vogel cable car, which is also open in the summer giving easy access to high altitude walking and mountain biking.
Five minutes’ drive away is Bohinjska Bistrica offering a modern water park with ample pool / spa facilities and other amenities including shops, bars, restaurants and bank. There are a wide range of other ski areas in Slovenia / Italy / Austria within day-trip distance from the property. Twenty minutes’ drive from the house is the world famous Lake Bled. An excellent holiday chalet in a sought after location and with great tourist rental potential and a solid rental history over recent years.
Any list of Europe’s most beautiful places that wants some geographic variety is almost certain to include somewhere from Slovenia, and nine times out of ten that place will be Lake Bled. To its credit, CNN Travel has chosen to highlight another of the country’s increasingly less hidden gems, Lake Bohinji, although can’t resist a passing mention of the home of kremšnita:
Lake Bohinj is often disregarded in favor of the more popular Lake Bled.
But Slovenia's largest lake, set within the majestic Triglav National Park, is arguably just as spectacular.
Visitors can hire a bike or walk along the trails running around the lake to the impressive Savica waterfall or charming village Stara Fuzina.
Meanwhile, mountaineers have the option to strike out for the summit of Triglav if the weather is good.
Other places on the list include the Lofoten Islands (Norway), Shetland Isles (Scotland), Yorkshire Dales (England), Loire Valley (France), the Bavarian Forest National Park (Germany) and Barmouth (Wales).
STA, 22 July 2019 - The first of four run-down hotels in the Alpine valley of Bohinj bought in March by Slovenian crypto millionaire Damian Merlak opened its doors after major renovation on Monday.
Aparthotel Triglav, located in Stara Fužina on the eastern side of lake Bohinj and featuring 27 self-catering units, has a new roof, facade, floors, new kitchens, bathrooms as well as equipment. A three- to four-star hotel, it will be slightly more expensive than in the past.
Talks are meanwhile under way for the renovation of Hotel Zlatorog, a 43-room hotel located on the western side, adjacent to the lake's campsite. While the hotel has been closed since 2011 and needs the most work, Merlak's team hopes it will open again in three years.
Also slated for renovation are Hotel Bohinj, which is located east of the lake and is being leased until November, and Ski Hotel Vogel, located some 50 metres away from the ski slopes on Mount Vogel above the lake.
Meanwhile, another dilapidating closed hotel in the Bohinj area, which lies further west of the much more touristic Bled lake, is Hotel Bellevue. Also located at the eastern entry point to the lake, it has been owned since 2017 by Podjetje Pokljuka, which is connected to forestry company Gozdno Gospodarstvo Bled and the Ljubljana Archdiocese.
Aleš Kadunc of Gozdno Gospodarstvo Bled has told the STA that part of the hotel will be torn down, part of it reconstructed, while one segment is under heritage protection. Permits are being applied for and it is not yet clear if construction work can begin next year.
STA, 21 May 2019 - The 13th Wild Flower Festival, held in Bohinj between 24 May and 9 June, aims to answer some of the key questions in tourism and society. It is an excellent example of how natural heritage can be preserved and included into tourism with the collaboration of the local community.
The festival that will last a fortnight will offer visitors a bouquet of events, organised into three main sections, all aimed at showcasing the botanical riches of Bohinj.
Flowers in Art will host concerts and exhibitions, as well as workshops during which visitors will be able to experience traditional customs such as village singing; Flowers in Everyday Life will show how alpine flowers can be used in the kitchen, to make handicrafts etc. and Flowers in Science will host a series of seminars and conferences on the theme of sustainable development.
These numerous events aim to promote the recognition and importance of preserving national heritage, develop out-of-season tourism, and show how ecotourism and alpine farming can ensure long-term economic prosperity for the region.
"We want to encourage youths to take up farming in a way that does not harm the environment; something the people of Bohinj have known how to do for the past 3,000 years," Klemen Langus, the director of Bohinj Tourism, said at Tuesday's press conference,
Agriculture in Bohinj had suffered a downturn in recent years, however, small farms are making a comeback, according to Bohinj mayor Jože Sodja.
Farmers also play a key role in the success of the Wild Flower Festival. They make sure some meadows are mown later and not fertilized with chemical fertilizers, which enables the growth of wild-flowers, Bohinj's trademark. Its amazing biodiversity is famous among experts the world over as an area rich with over 1,000 plant species.
Aside from farmers, locals, associations and centres that support sustainable living collaborate with the festival. The Janez Mencinger Primary School has been a partner of the festival since the very beginning. Its aim is to teach future generations about the importance of environmental preservation; this year, their main themes will be mountain pastoralism and cheese-making.
Visitors to the festival can see the sights during one of the many guided tours. Organizers have received more than 100 bookings, mostly from visitors from England and Germany.
You can learn more about the festival here
STA, 8 March - Young Slovenian businessman Damian Merlak, who has made more than 100 million euro with last year's sale of Bitstamp, one of the world's largest crypto currency exchanges, has bought four run-down hotels in the Alpine valley of Bohinj, north-western Slovenia, for 8.4 million euro.
Merlak bought Zlatorog Hotel, Bohinj Hotel, Bohinj Apartment Hotel and Ski Hotel Vogel, at excellent locations near Lake Bohinj, from businessman Zmago Pačnik and his family, news portal Siol reported on Friday.
While it did not report how much Merlak paid for them, business newspaper Finance said the deal, involving the purchase of three firms managing the hotels, was worth 8.4 million euro.
Back in 2016, the Pačniks wanted to sell them for 15 million euro, putting the highest price tag of seven million euro on Zlatorog Hotel, which needs the most repairs.
Merlak told the STA he had bought the hotels to renovate and re-launch them. The ones being leased will continue to operate in the same way, while the rest will be managed by his team after renovation.
He also noted the 43-room Zlatorog Hotel, located above the lake and closed since 2011, would be the most demanding project.
It is not only in an extremely poor condition, having been stripped bare over the past few years, "but also unsuitable for 2019 in terms of design", he added.
The value of its renovation will depend on which of the variants architects are working on is chosen, but "I'd be very happy if Zlatorog is ready for use in two years' time".
Bohinj Hotel, situated by the lake, has 20 rooms and 34 suites. Bohinj Apartment Hotel with 27 self-catering units is said to be in a state similar to Zlatorog's.
The 28-room Ski Hotel Vogel is located some 50 metres from the ski slopes on Mount Vogel above the lake.
According to Siol, the hotels used to be managed by the Alpinum company, which the state sold cheap to the Pačnik family in 2002.
The Pačniks had been leasing them and invested practically nothing into them, so the Bohinj municipality had urged the state to take measures to save them from ruin.
For Merlak, the hotels are not his first investment in Bohinj. In 2016 he bought the Tuba self-catering units near the well-known Savica waterfall.
Even before that, he and his former Bitstamp partner Nejc Kodrič bought several farms with 1,300 cattle. He also bought a veterinary clinic.
All out stories on blockchain and Slovenia are here
This week’s photo is from Mesmerized, a team of photographers and videographers from Croatia who we first encountered a year ago, with this particular shot being taken by Petar Krešimir Furjan.