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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

LifeClass Hotels Portoroz: The “World of Healthy Pleasures” in Slovenia.

“Al mar, al mar …!” Driving & listening to my favourite haunting melody of a song from Catalonia, I really wonder about the fastest way to “reach the sea” here in Slovenia. After all, Slovenia, our country’s neighbour to the south, has successfully managed to wedge in some 40 kilometres of coastline between Italy and Croatia. It is one of the fastest access routes to the sea for us Austrians. This time, we are headed to a city named Portoroz: The “port of the rose”. From Graz, it is only a three hours drive to see the sea …

Slovenia itself has a lot to offer, too, as my most recent exploration of the magic Soča valley has shown.

If headed to Slovenia from Styria, you will not notice much difference in the (cultural) landscape at first. Stopping in a town named Ptuj, we learn that Ptuj has furthermore become known for … Roman festivals, wine & coffee beans!

Who would have thought? After enjoying delicious lunch at the Gostilna Ribič restaurant right by the river Drava, our local guide Boris is happy to show us the picturesque old town of Ptuj. He talks to us about authentic Roman dress up parties, whose fame has spread all the way to Rome (!), from the early proliferation of coffee as well as the many cultural and historical ties with Austria. In fact, the entire area is even called “Slovenian Styria”. Check this out.

Die Stadt Ptuj (Pettau) liegt malerisch am Fluss Drau, nur eine knappe Autostunde von Graz entfernt.

The city of Ptuj, at just about an hour south of Graz, is located peacefully at the Drava river.

 

Für den (kulinarischen) Einstieg lohnt ein Besuch in der "Gostilna Ribic", dem Gasthaus direkt am Drauufer gelegen.

Check out “Gostilna Ribic” for a gourmet lunch stop right by the river, at the entrance to the old town.

 

Beim Besuch der Altstadt von Ptuj erklärt uns Boris ...

Visiting the old town of Ptuj, Boris tells us that the city …

 

… was es mit der Verkörperung zahlreicher Römerfeste hier so auf sich hat.

… has really taken to reenact its Roman history and legacy!

 

Schließlich finden wir uns direkt am Hotel Mitra wieder ...

Finally, at Hotel Mitra …

 

… welches mit einer eigenen Kaffee(haus)-Geschichte, Café Kipertz, aufwarten kann ...

… we are introduced to the city’s coffee heritage: Welcome to Café Kipertz …

 

… und einen überaus guten Weinkeller beschickt. Hier erfahre ich zudem mehr über die Weinregionen Sloweniens - Wir müssen wieder kommen!

… as well as a great selection of local wines from around Slovenia: The country is quite strong in producing wine, I really have to come back to try more!

 

Travelling from Ptuj to Portoroz is like a pretty cross-section of what Slovenia is all about: Forests, flowers, hills, fields, mountains and valleys alternate until finally dropping to meet up with … the sea.

What a beautiful road trip through Slovenia, especially the last few stretches before reaching the coastline. It is here where the mighty alps finally make way for the lush overgrow of southern Pine forests, complete with Mediterranean cypress trees. A sweet scent of sea breeze infuses the air. Portoroz, we have arrived … three days of resting and exploring the area around LifeClass Hotels Portoroz as well as their “World of Healthy Pleasures”. Whatever this may be?

Genussvoll und zufrieden: So posieren Reiseblogger auf dem Weg in die "Welt der Gesunden Genüsse" (noch schnell ein Krapfen …)!

Happy travel bloggers on their way to reaching the “World of Healthy Pleasures” (let’s have another sweet bite first, just in case …)!

 

… bevor wir hier ankommen: Gemütlich laden die Hotelzimmer des LifeClass Hotel Apollo ein, uns auszuruhen. Ich muss schon sagen, ich habe mich selten in einem Hotelzimmer so rundum wohl gefühlt !!

… before arriving here: Modern comfort is what makes us feel welcome at LifeClass Hotel Apollo !!

 

Die "Welt der Gesunden Genüsse", bestehend aus ionisierter Meeresluft, einem reichhaltigen Gourmetangebot und zahlreichen Gesundheitsbehandlungen ...

The “World of Healthy Pleasures” is made up of a mixture of components, such as ionized sea air, dedicated spa and health treatments, as well as healthy, local organic food …

 

… beginnt für mich erst mal humorvoll: Blick auf die Meerespromenade von Portoroz.

… but first of all, let’s not take things too seriously: Morning walk by the waterfront in Portoroz.

 

Zum (vegetarischen), köstlich-leichten Mittagessen ...

Enjoying our light (vegetarian) lunch …

 

… gesellen sich gesunde Drinks ...

… as well as refreshing drinks …

 

… und entspannende, wirklich wohltuende Behandlungen wie die Ayurveda-Ölmassage im Ayurveda Zentrum des Hotels.

… and truly relaxing spa treatments, such as this one at the Ayurveda Centre of LifeClass Hotels Portoroz.

 

Nicht außer Acht lassen dürft Ihr jedoch dieses Stück Torte, eines der besten (und größten!) die ich in letzter Zeit probiert habe …!

Not to be missed: The selection of fresh cakes from the coffee shop right at the waterfront …!

 

Und wo wäre die "Welt der Gesunden Genüsse" ...

And where would the “World of Healthy Pleasures” be …

 

… läge sie nicht einen Fokus auf ausgezeichnete, regionale Küche ...

… if not for its focus on regional, quality cuisine …

 

… und Köstliches aus der Region rund um Portoroz: Abendessen im wirklich feinen Hotel-Restaurant des Grand Hotel Portoroz.

… and delicious treats such as this one: Dinner at the fine dining restaurant of the Grand Hotel Portoroz.

 

Check out Portoroz’ perfect location along the Istrian coastline on the map here:

 

It also shows you that Portoroz itself is a perfect starting point for trips into the neighbourhood, such as cute little Piran, Izola or Koper nearby. Piran has easily impressed me the most; do make a point of visiting the “Venice of Slovenia“, as they call this romantic little town by the sea.

Abends in Piran ...

Nighttime in Piran …

 

… verwöhnt uns der Himmel mit gewaltigen Kulissen wie diesen ...

… spoils us to perfect sunset views such as this one …

 

… oder diesen.

… or quite simply, moments of peace like these.

 

Die Einheimischen bitten zu Tisch ...

Locals ask us out for dinner: Step aboard …

 

… wenn der buchstäblich letzte, frische Fisch des Tages für uns ...

… a dinner table that has the freshest fish – the day’s catch! – being served to you …

 

… frisch und köstlich zubereitet wird: Mahlzeit auf einem sich wiegenden Boot im Hafen von Piran!

… is always a true pleasure: Enjoy your meal on a local fisherman’s boat in Piran!

 

The next day, we continue our exploration of fish and the sea: Off we go meeting local lady Irena Fonda and her fish farm, whose organic sea bass has become known far across the borders of Portoroz, and indeed Slovenia.

Irena Fonda has a truly unique story to tell. Daring, almost, as she traces her early hardships in moving against the current and starting to grow fish naturally, at an organic aquaculture farm. A doctor in molecular biology, she reveals that it was actually herself who ended up questioning her own dad in the family business: “An organic, slow-growing fish farm?! To sustain marine life?” How was this going to work?

The answer is: It does. With many years of persistence, hard work and faith in … the fish. Allowing it to grow naturally, feeding it only organic produce so that no chemicals will ever end mixed up in its meat. Informing the public about this particular type of sea bass that they raise and sell here – through kayak trips around the farm, boat trips, even cooking classes with guests from nearby hotels. Irena really enjoys sharing her story and perpetuating the legacy of her visionary father: Full of drive, vision and personality herself. Check this out.

Irene Fonda, passionierte Biologin & Fischzüchterin ...

Irene Fonda, a passionate biologist and fish farmer …

 

… nimmt uns mit auf "ihre" Fischfarm auf hoher See, wo gerade eine (recht spektakuläre) Fischfütterung (aus Biofutter, versteht sich) stattfindet ...

… takes us out on her farm, highlighting how the Slovenian sea bass is being fed by hand, each & every day …

 

… neben die Fischfarm reihen sich übrigens auch Bojen um Bojen an Muschelzucht ...

… as well as pointing out many more aquaculture shellfish and mussels near the coastline of Portoroz …

 

… wir lernen beim Geruchstest, dass frischer Fisch, so er richtig frisch ist, nach … gar nichts! riechen darf ..!

… we learn during the olfactory test that fresh fish should not smell at all..!

 

Und greifen bei der Verkostung beherzt zu ...

And really enjoy tasting this unique sushi meat quality with a dazzle of extra virgin olive oil …

 

… die zudem von einer Selektion verschiedener, heimischer Olivenöle abgerundet wird. Ein richtiger Genussreisetipp also: http://www.fonda.si

… a selection of high-class oils that we are invited to try, together with a good glass of wine. Check out the website for more: http://www.fonda.si

 

Vielen Dank für die tolle Vermittlung, lieber Janez Jager ...

Thank you so much for the great organization, dear Janez Jager …

 

… bis bald in den schönen LifeClass Hotels Portoroz!

… we shall gladly return to the LifeClass Hotels of Portoroz!

 

Check out even more stunning travel photography from our trip to Slovenia here …

… as well as more travel stories from Slovenia from these travel blogs:

Dobrodošli & see you soon in Slovenia!

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by LifeClass Hotels Portoroz on this trip to Slovenia. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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