Visit Ptuj in Slovenia aka Pettau, Poetovio, Petovio, Petabio, Petavio, Poetavio, Potabio, Patavio
Why go there?
Ptuj is the oldest city of Slovenia and one of the oldest of whole Europe, inhabited by the celts long before the romans conquered the area. Furthermore, it really is not far from Austria, Hungary as well as Croatia. While you can reach it in less than an hour from Austria, you can still enjoy the lower prices.
What to do?
First, of course you have to explore the City and visit the beautiful castle on the hill. Inside the castle there is a Museum to check out and from there you can look over the inner city with its beautiful red roofs and the Drava river. To get a better view on the old town and the castle hill, you can do a boat trip on the lake directly next to the city. It made me feel as if it was still a medieval town and I traveled back in time. Also I could see that Ptuj is way bigger than just the inner city, but they arranged it that the modern buildings cannot be seen from the river to retain the medieval flair.
Furthermore, there are various old roman relics in and around the city which are waiting to be explored by you. People there actually dress up as romans and tell you about the age of the romans in Ptuj. Also, you can learn a little bit about the religion they believed and walk along old roman streets.
To see more of the nature, there is the Drava biking trail that goes from Austria to Croatia straight through Ptuj. So if you like, you can just do a short daytrip to Maribor or even Croatia by bike. Don't worry, it is not that far, only about 25 km in each direction. Also, there are lots of hiking trails in the region that lead either to national parks or vineyards.
A must-see is the wine region of Jeruzalem. Make sure to visit it when there is good weather so you can enjoy a stunning view over the vineyards around and even have a look to Croatia. Also, you have to taste the wines there – they are really good!
comment by Viki: make sure to have somebody to drive you home afterwards, because you really don't want to miss out on that excellent wine! My recommendation: wine by Dveri Pax.
Also, there is the pumpkin seed oil manufacture Kocbek, quite close to Ptuj, where you can see how it is produced and taste different oils. This is especially interesting for people who have never tasted pumpkin seed oil before, and Styrians because the oil is different to the Styrian one. Really, you need to taste it, because there is nothing like pumpkin seed oil!
And of course, there is still the opportunity to relax at the thermal springs Terme Ptuj or have fun at the many water slides.
When to go?
I recommend you either visit Ptuj in the spring as soon as it is warm enough for biking. Or in the autumn when it’s harvesting time for the grapes, pumpkins, apples and pears. This gives you the opportunity to taste the freshly made wine or pumpkin seed oil straight after production.
Of course any other time will be great as well, but keep in mind that it might get too hot in the summer or too snowy in the winter to do anything else than relaxing in the thermal springs.
Where to stay?
For those who like to feel the flair of traveling, there is the MuziKafe in the inner city. It was founded by a family that was traveling the world and when they realised that home is still the best place to be, they used all the impressions they got on their trip to style and open the MuziKafe which is also a hotel. It is probably the most cozy hotel I have seen so far.
If you want to experience something completely different, the Primus Hotel offers glamping at their camping area. Here you can sleep in an old wine barrel where they used to store their wine in the huge wine cellars. Don’t worry about space, those wine barrels are huge.
So take your chances and go the short way to Ptuj to escape your everyday life!
Note: I was invited to take part in this trip to discover the beauty of Slovenia. All experiences and opinions about the trip and the country and region are my very own.
Pictures by Moni Kindslehner.