It is known as the town of flowers and wine, and there really is an abundance of both in Slovenske Konjice. The town regularly wins awards for its public floral displays, including the gold medal in the pan-European Entente Florale competition.
It has also won the Most Beautiful Excursion Destination award from the Tourist Association of Slovenia for many years in row. And as for the wine – it lies near the wine-growing hills of Škalce. This is vineyard country so be prepared to enjoy a glass or two.
Slovenske Konjice’s patron saint is George, known from the local legend as a hero who rode into town on a white horse, killed a horrifying dragon and saved the people of Konjice from the beast’s intimidation. The name of the town is derived from the word “konj”, which is “horse” in translation and the symbol of the town is a white horse, which you can also find on local coat of arms. The town is divided between the new town centre (Mestni Trg or Town Square) and the old town (Stari Trg or Old Square) and is easy to navigate by foot. With the Slovenske Konjice mountain on one side and the sunny golden hills of Škalce on the other, it’s in a charming location. It enjoys good weather too, with an average summer temperature of around 28°C and at least 90 sunny days a year.
The town and its surrounding villages boast an abundance of cultural and arts events, from music and theatre to art exhibitions, literature and poetry evenings, creating a lovely atmosphere throughout the year for visitors. More info can be found on the website of the tourist information centre or in person at their old town location, where you can also book tickets and shop for souvenirs. Info: TIC Slovenske Konjice, Stari trg 27, +386 (0)51 444 141, [email protected], tic.konjice.si.
ZLATI GRIČ: This new winery covers the entire region to the east and is set amidst beautiful countryside. Being new, everything is modern and state-of-theart. The grapes are used to cultivate vintage wines, and although this winery is new, the tradition for producing wine here dates back eight hundred years. The winery is known for its high-quality red, white and sparkling wines – you can try these in the huge tasting room. The wine cellar and visitor centre are located at the lower end of the vineyards in a large modern building that is mostly underground. There’s also a restaurant within an old vineyard cottage, in the middle of vineyards. And if you like golf there’s a challenging 9-hole golf course surrounding the vineyards. If you fall in love with the scenery as well as the wine, you can stay over. A centuries-old villa in the middle of the vineyards offers three apartments for rent. It looks like something from a painting or a movie and the rates are remarkably cheap. Info: Škalce 80, Slovenske Konjice, +386 (0)3 758 03 50, [email protected], www.zlati-gric.si.
STARI GRAD: The Stari Grad (Old Castle in translation) is notable as one of the oldest castles in Slovenia. Standing high on a hill above the town, it is in ruins, but still good enough condition that it is currently being restored. Dating from the 12th century, its first inhabitants were the Lords of Konjice. In 1597 it passed into the hands of the Tattenbach family. When Prince Windischgraetz became the owner in 1828, it was already in ruins. The current restoration will ensure it doesn’t suffer from any more deterioration and it can retain its position as a landmark site.