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CHILD AND YOUTH TOURISM IN SLOVENIA

Child and youth tourism constitutes in Slovenia a small but very significant part of the overall tourist offer. The number of young tourists has risen in the past two years by as much as 22%. Slovenia has no ambitions to develop itself as a destination of mass youth tourism but as a destination that offers quality and variety in the centre of Europe. The Slovenian educational system has an exceptionally well developed system of professional excursions and field education implemented by the Centre for school and after-school activities (ČŠOD) established by the Slovenian Government in 1992. ČŠOD specializes in the organization of outdoor school programmes and other field programmes. Its basic mission is to assist the schools in the organization of outdoor classes while the main goal is to provide education in nature by using special methods that contribute towards the targets set out in the curriculum. ČŠOD programmes are implemented in 14 day centres and 23 student's hostels for several-day stays.
There is also a large number of providers of tourist attractions in Slovenia who have adapted their offers to children of various ages, from kindergarten to university students In the excursion programme that we would like to propose to you, you will see something of the interesting offers for child and youth tourism in Slovenia. We suggest using the accommodation of ČŠOD centres (at least for a night or two) and also to make arrangements with them for some of their activities. We can also organize a visit to selected primary, secondary or higher schools. The excursion is age appropriate.

Excursion programme

Day 1: ARRIVAL

Arrival in Slovenia, accommodation and dinner. Before or after dinner a presentation of the forthcoming programme.

Day 2: DOLENJSKA

After breakfast a visit to the agricultural school Kmetijske šole Grm. A tour of the estate and an introduction to the curriculum of the largest agricultural school in Slovenia.

Rudolph’s Raft Rafting on the river Krka. After a snack we will learn about life in and along the river as well as in the old city of Novo mesto situated on the bend of the river. A special programme tailored to children who will learn along the way about the significance of the river for the development of the town, how to take care of its purity, life in it (fish) and along it (birds), the coexistence of man and nature ... At the end the group will be split into two teams for a prize quiz about the facts they have learned.

Voglar beekeeping The Voglar family business is a highly interesting and successful story. The whole family joins in and produces high quality honey and honey products. The children observe the exceptionally interesting life of the bees that are said to be very important for mankind (when there are no bees – there will be no man...). An interesting story about bees and medicinal honey products.

Skansen Pleterje A 200-year-old homestead that is also the home of some very friendly domestic animals, the “black kitchen” in which granny introduces us to how bread is prepared and baked in the old-fashioned way. Nearby is the monastery Pleterje Charterhouse in which children learn about the spiritual life of the priests in the monastery (film, gothic church). Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: BELA KRAJINA

After breakfast an optional visit to the Brusnice primary school to learn about the school system with emphasis on classes in nature and day excursions for children as a component of the curriculum.

Primary school “Clever head”: The old primary school features a class that is furnished like it used to be in the 1950s. This class is held for the primary and secondary school as it once was, but also for adult education – there is peace and quiet in the class, if not, the cane will help. During the one hour class the children will learn about the historical, cultural, ethnological and musical features of the Bela krajina region and will receive a certificate of attendance at the end.

Lahinja landscape park: Instead of entrance tickets the children will receive a cake “belokranjska povitica” as it was made by the grannies of Bela krajina. A tour of an old wooden house and learn about the simple life that the inhabitants of Bela krajina used to live. A visit to a home crafts and clay processing workshop: making a “vodomac” /kingfisher/ a typical bird of this region. At the end, the children will board a horse-drawn farm wagon, the “lojtrnik” and drive around the nature park learning about the flora and fauna. Snack at the homestead. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4: GORENJSKA

Kamnik: School groups are in for a treat in the medieval Kamnik – a special orientation hunt for the hidden treasure of Veronika, that is ultimately found in the castle.

Velika Planina: The idyllic world of shepherds in their village that is one among the very few of its kind in Europe. The typical architecture is interesting and is the hallmark of Velika Planina. It is especially lively in June when the shepherds arrive at these huts and stay for the pasture until the end of September. The programme is age appropriate. In addition to the village and its architecture they learn about the life of shepherds in the mountains, taste sour milk and polenta and go with a guide for a walk through Planina. A cable car climbs up to Planina, which is an experience in itself.

Budnar’s Homestead: (http://www.domacija.com/) An over 100-year-old house, with a black kitchen that is still smoking and the ancient, original equipment shows the simple life of our ancestors. A special programme and workshops for school and kindergarten children (bread baking – fairy-tale day) and workshops dedicated to various festivities (egg painting and making Palm Sunday bundles called “butarica” for Easter, Advent wreaths, doll making ... dinner and overnight accommodation.

Day 5: PRIMORSKA

Postojnska jama (cave): After a classical tour of the international beauty with the underground train, the children will go on to passages that are otherwise closed to tourists. This is “cave tourism” that lasts for an additional hour and during which the children will discover the vivarium – cave animals in their natural habitat. A special programme of activities in the cave with the Cave dragon.

Aquarium in Piran: The children will learn about 200 sea animals and 140 various sea organisms and algae. Dinner.

Soline (salt pans):The group of children will be met by the environmental warden who will guide them through the salt pans: gives a tour of the park, its natural features, history and the significance of traditional salt production, how salt is obtained ... The group is then divided into smaller groups that make a model of the habitat for endangered birds (nests). The children learn what ecological factors influence the successful nesting of birds in the area of the salt pans. Appropriate for kids in the second triad of primary school. The aim of the workshop is to learn about the living environment, endangered species, nesting places, the water system, recognize the dependence of living species from conditions in the environment and understand the coexistence between man and nature. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 6: ŠTAJERSKA

Velenje mine: A multivisual museum tour that is also very interesting for the children, displaying the life of the miners who did a hard job throughout the generations. The children will learn in the coal mines about the coal mining process with all the difficulties, even accidents that happened underground ... There is an interesting exhibition in the building. A special programme is in place tailored to all classes from primary and secondary school. An extended programme is possible too: working with water waste (water sanitation, purification devices) “from coal to electricity” ... Snack.

Kaja and Grom ranch: The ranch that is mostly known for its horses offers various programmes for various ages of children. In addition to horses you will get to know the pig ČunČun, the goat Liza, the sheep Julia, peacocks, chickens, dogs ... The children will learn through the programme the language of animals, their habits, how things work in the stable, how to take care of animals, how to feed them ... The possibility to ride and to practice archery. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7: RETURN

Return home after lunch.

Note:

The programme can be tailored to your wishes (shortened, changed...) also you can select only some of the locations or days.