Slovenia, a country green across and in between. Leaving Maribor to be surrounded by nature is not necessary – greenery is all around you; under your feet, with the head among the leaves or with a majestic view of the neighboring hills.
The Town Park
The park has a unique vibe in every season, be it because of the diverse events held in the summer months, colorful autumn leaves or winter tranquility. The way to the park is easy to find, and once you enter it you can go wherever your heart leads you. Trees of many varieties grow here, that’s why small plates with some detailed information are attached to them. Benches carry their own messages as well – even in Braille!
The park is also a peculiar town monument evolving since 1872, benches and little bridges in late Biedermeier style have been preserved to this day. In the 1950s a music pavilion and a promenade were added and the former Café Park was transformed into the town aquarium, later expanded to include a terrarium. These days there’s another specialty on offer – confectionery for dogs.
The Three Ponds
Ponds are a special feature of the park, they follow each other along the promenade and are hard to miss during a walk through the park. They are a home to ducks, fish, turtles and even swans during the winter months. Benches near the ponds are a popular place for sitting.
The Drava River Path
The footpath along the Drava, finally set up on both sides of the riverbed is a popular running track, promenade for people in love, young families with strollers and even biology students, who frequently do all kinds of research in the vegetation on the river banks. It takes some skill to suc-cessfully dodge all users of the path rushing by and grim-mooded swans who often start to pur-suit innocent passers-by.
The Maribor Island
If you’ve never been to an island before and you think this is finally your chance, don’t be disap-pointed! The Maribor Island is a curious phenomenon, lying in the middle of the Drava River. It’s accessi-ble by bridge. In the summer, a spa with three outdoor swimming pools operates there. During the other seasons you can let out the pirate inside you and explore the paths and terrain between bushes and mysterious bays. But you will meet Captain Jack Sparrow only if you finish a bottle of rum first!
The Kalvarija Hill
Otherwise also known as the “stairway to heaven”, but that is not how it feels while conquering the 455 steps to the top. You can also choose an easier path. Both of them will reward you with magnificent views of Maribor.
The Piramida Hill (“Pyramid”)
Not only that the Egyptians had nothing to do with it, it also has never been build. Throughout the year, it is a splendid place for stretching your legs on the path through the vineyards. At Christmas time it is decorated with bright lights, so even during a midnight stroll visibility will not be a problem and the view of the town below will certainly get you in the festive mood. At the top are the remains of a castle, uncovered by the hands of archaeologists.
The Pohorje Hills
If the Kalvarija Hill or the Piramida Hill did not prove to be a challenge, you can test your hiking skills by climbing the Pohorje Hills. In addition to many recreational hikers, you will also meet bikers, and in winter skiers and snowboarders. Pohorje is a popular recreational spot in all seasons. If you fall in love with its green, you can find a warm bed in one of the hotels there.
The gardens, where locals grow organic vegetables, were created as part of the Urban Furrows in the year when Maribor was the European Capital of Culture. At a time when the words local and self-sufficiency regained the place they deserve, the gardens are of great importance for the peo-ple living in the apartment buildings, because they can rent and cultivate them.
The Pekrska Gorca Hill
Legend has it that the Pekrska Gorca Hill is a broken summit of Pohorje. In short: people of Ma-ribor have become arrogant and the devil intended to settle the score with them by flooding the town. His plans were crossed by Holy Mary, so he left the summit in the middle of fields and ran away. If you do not believe the legend, believe that it is a wonderful place for walks and sports activities. In the past, there was a ski jump where the local boys trained.
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