slovenia, travel

Postcards from Ptuj and Maribor

February 19, 2020

Seven whole days in Slovenia meant we had plenty of time to explore. Ljubljana and Lake Bled were the first places on our radar closely followed by a day in Soca Valley and a trip to Piran. I narrowed down our itinerary to focus on six days in those places which left one day free to explore somewhere else. I noticed the places I’d picked were all very West Slovenia, surely the East of the country has something to offer too?

After some research I’d narrowed down a few places in the East. We had quite a few to choose from and only a day to see them in. We decided to do two towns of which Ptuj and Maribor won the vote. I can’t say exactly why we picked those towns. I think Maribor won simply because I’d seen road signs pointing towards it and I was excited to see how Siri would pronounce ‘Ptuj’ when directing us there.

First up, Ptuj.

Ptuj

The first thing you should know about Slovenia is that every single town is colourful, quiet and picturesque. Of course Ptuj, being the oldest town in Slovenia, is no exception. It is, however, extremely small.

The East of Slovenia is famous for it’s wine towns and is often a place to come wine tasting. For the rest of us non-wine-lovers and designated drivers, the number of attractions in the towns are somewhat limited. Instead of trying the local nectar, we opted to wander around the colourful little streets, snapping shots of the scenery, all the while quite sober.

To get the best views of the town, you’ll need to take a short walk up to the castle on the hill. Afterwards, on our journey back again, a pink monastery caught my eye. Call me girly and shallow, but I’m often tempted by the colour pink just as I am with signs that read ‘vegan cupcakes’, so we nipped inside to take a look.

Although Ptuj was a tiny little town with little to do, it stood out to me as one of the most beautiful towns I’ve visited in a while. Still, the next destination was calling and I was eager to see what Maribor had to offer.

Maribor

Maribor is Slovenia’s second largest city after Ljubljana and is a stalk difference from Ptuj for this reason. As soon as we entered, traffic greeted us. Poor Siri tried to take us down a road that had recently been demolished. All that Ptuj must have exhausted her.

From the car, I saw a hill and decided that we should aim to park somewhere around there because I wanted to climb it of course, and that we did.

Maribor is another famous Slovenian wine town and this particular hill, Piramida, has a vineyard growing on it. There’s also a religious sculpture at the very top. Having said that, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hill in Slovenia without some sort of holy structure on top.

After a short walk up the hill, we wandered around town. If you like big cities, there’s plenty to do in Maribor. Unfortunately I’m more of a nature girl than a city girl and we had already explored Maribor’s largest green space. For this reason (and the fact we had spent so much time in traffic earlier and the sun was threatening to set), we decided to head back to Ljubljana for the evening.

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