PODČETRTEK: Award-winning wellness

terme olimia podcetrtek

Precariously wedged between the Sotla river (and Schengen border with Croatia) to the east and the wine-growing hills of Šmarje to the west, Podčetrtek is a curious little place. Aside from having one of the stranger sounding names in Slovenia (literally meaning ‘on Thursday’ in reference to when its market days were held during medieval times), the village of Podčetrtek is mostly known for being home to one of the country’s premier spa and wellness resorts. The rest of the municipality has plenty of things to see and do as well.

From the Kozanjsko Regional Park and vineyard-covered hills in the south to the settlement named for the Slovenian-born St Emma in the north and of course the numerous sites in and around the village of Olimje, metre-for-metre Podčetrtek might just be the most impressive tourist destination in all of Slovenia. Info: Turizem Podčetrtek, +386 (0)3 810 90 13, [email protected], www.turizem-podcetrtek.si.

WELLNESS ORHIDELIA: Modern, chic, grown-up and full of funky designer touches, this is the newest and most modern addition to the Terme Olimia spa. With its unusual flowing shape the complex blends into the landscape and wouldn’t be out of place in a book on design. Lots of wood and glass make you feel as if it’s an organic part of the landscape. Not surprisingly it has won design awards.

Thermal treatments and pampering treats include steam baths that wouldn’t look out of place in a 5-star hotel, with their mood lighting and trendy tiles. There are a variety of different sauna programmes, from an algae detox to a mineral mud therapy. And there are a variety of steam baths and saunas, including a bio bath and a Finnish sauna. There are other cool touches such as light caves and underwater music that we love. Info: +386 3 829 78 05, www.terme-olimia.com, [email protected].

TERME OLIMIA: Eastern Slovenia is blessed with a number of great spa and wellness resorts, but Terme Olimia stands out amongst the rest, and has consistently been chosen as one of the country’s best in various polls and competitions. Its modern facilities have been carefully designed to co-exist in harmony with the natural surroundings – with Wellness Orhidelia among the finalists in the category of Holidays at the World Architectural Festival in 2009. Guests are treated to a true four-star experience whether they are in their hotel, at the pools or enjoying a romantic dinner. Comfort and relaxation at its finest. Info: Zdraviliška 24, +386 (0)3 829 70 00 [email protected], www.terme-olimia. com.

HIŠA VIN EMINO: Part of a new agricultural cooperative a few kilometres south of Podčetrtek itself, the ‘house of wine’ in Imeno (yes the play on the village’s name is intentional) invites guests to its cellar for tastings. Admission for groups can also include the organization of special events such as weddings, birthdays, christenings and the like. The co-operative behind Emino, coming from a several Century old co-operative heritage, is based in the village of Šmarje. ‘Kmetijska Zadruga Šmarje’ provides services for farmers including machinery, servicing, agricultural advice and bulk purchase of market products. The oenological arm of the organisation boasts a shiny new venue at which one can be impressed with the ambience and modern surroundings, delighted with the degustation, and merry with up to 70 others.. Info: Imeno 84A, Podčetrtek, +386 (0)38 18 38 82, +386 (0)41 36 94 82, [email protected].

To discover other unique places in Slovenia, check out THE SLOVENIA BOOK – AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE BEST OF SLOVENIA