The Slovenia Times

Health spa, hiking and tourist farms



Amid the vineyard hillsides of the Slovenian-Croatian border, along the Sotla River, lies the community of Podcetrtek. The area combines centuries old heritage with beautiful nature. It is revered for its sparkling clean environment, around which its health and hiking tourism are based. Most visitors come to the Terme Olimia health spa, which offers its hospitality through hotels, lodgings and campgrounds. This relaxation and body care health centre has a wealth of swimming pools and saunas. Terme Olimia features the Termalija wellness centre, a complex of swimming pools, all variety of saunas and everything else one would expect from a premier health facility (solarium, fitness rooms, Oriental hamams). In the summertime, fun moves outdoors to Thermal Park Aqualuna, offering more swimming pools and their exciting "fastest and most twisted" water slides. Olimia offers a variety of lodging (hotels, apartments and a camp) suitable for all sorts of guests-from backpackers to families and more demanding guests seeking luxury. Olimia Complex also makes a ideal location for congresses and meetings. Nature Hillocks with vineyards alongside the river Sotla extending into Kozjansko Natural Park make the environment pleasant and a perfect place for hiking. There are several hiking and bicycling paths inside the Podcetek tourist zone, allowing a visitor with a tourist border crossing permit to explore both the Croatian and Slovenian sides. The Sotla River Valley is advertised as "The valley of the springs of health". It offers many thermal water springs, surrounded with reminders of a rich historical and cultural heritage. History and Activites The third oldest pharmacy in Europe is located on castle premises by the magnificent Baroque parish church of Maryïs Assumption in the town of Olimje. If you have a sweet tooth, you can treat yourself to homemade Olimje chocolate, families can visit the Land of Fairy Tales and Imagination. Deer Farm offers a taste of homemade beer, and anyone that happens to be in a sporting mood should head for the golf course. The area's rich past reveals itself on nearly every corner. The medieval castle Podcetrtek proudly overlooks the old town, which was first mentioned in the beginning of the eleventh century. Churches appear on nearly every hill. Podcetrtek (translated as Under-Thursday) got its name from Thursdays, which were dedicated in the feudal times to open markets and court activities under the castle. The area is rich with inns, bars and ever-hospitable tourist farms alongside the Smarsko-Vristanjska wine route, where you can taste Vristanjcan, Renski and Laski rizling, Chardonnay, Traminec, Sauvignon and other wines, together with selected food. The environment of Podcetrtek provides something for anyone. Guests who reside in the community for several days have the opportunity to cycle, take short and long hikes on marked paths, all of which have numerous natural and cultural sights and panoramic views. For those who come only for a day trip, the swimming and water slides will leave them in an excellent mood.


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