End of May this year my boyfriend and I were invited to a wedding which took place in Zagreb, Croatia. However, we decided to fly to Graz, because the flights timetable fitted us better. Our idea was to rent a car and drive a small circle Graz – Zagreb – Rijeka – Trieste – Ljubljana – Bled – Graz. The plan was fulfilled to 120% and here are some tips what to see on the way from Graz to Zagreb (other segments of the trip will follow shortly).
The drive from Graz to Zagreb lasts around 2,5 hours if you drive directly. If you make short stops in Maribor and Ptuj, it will take about 4 hours.
Important: if you decide to drive through Slovenia, don’t forget to buy a vignette at any tank station next to the border – it costs only 15 € for 7 days and will allow you to drive (almost) everywhere in Slovenia without additional expenses.
Maribor is the second-largest city in Slovenia and is more than 800 years old. The city’s Renaissance-style Town Hall dates from 1515. Visit it on Glavni Trg, the old town’s main square.
Maribor is famous for wine and culinary specialties: you can try here some dishes from the traditional Slovenian cuisine: sour soup or mushroom soup with buckwheat mush, tripe, cheese dumplings and gibanica – a special cheese cake.
This city accommodates the world’s oldest growing grapevine at Hiša stare trte, the house of the oldest grapevine in the world (sorry for the tautology). The grapevine of žametovka is about 440 years old. This red wine sort is one of the oldest domesticated grape varieties in Slovenia.
Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to visit the Vinag Wine Cellar (Vinagova vinska klet), one of the hugest wine cellars in Europe where 5,5 million liters of wine are stored.
When we were leaving Maribor, we captured a beautiful sight of the 100-years-old Old Bridge (Stari Most) crossing the Drava River.
Parking in Maribor cost us about 0,5 €/hour (and that was in the city center!).
Ptuj, another cozy Slovenian city if situated less than half an hour drive from Maribor and is worth a short walk through.