Myths & MinesNE Slovenia: Velenje – Slovenj Gradec – Mežica

from 119 €

Visit forgotten Koroška (Carinthia) with its 3 valleys and 3 mountain ranges, infinite forests and many local legends. Visit communist city of Velenje and experience a unique adventure: explore a disused lead mine by bicycle!


  • Off the beaten track tour through region unknown even to most Slovenians
  • Undergound bicycle ride
  • Stunning scenery
  • Velenje, a blend of Medieval and Communist architecture

Why visit Carinthia (Koroška)?

“Off the beaten track” is the main feature of this day trip. Even most Slovenians have never visited these places. The morning drive towards Mežica is marked by stunning scenery, as we climb through mountainous landscape. Koroška (Carinthia) consists of three mountain ranges divided by three river valleys, dotted with small villages and covered by infinite forests. Slovenia is one of the most forested countries in Europe and these green treasures provide the basis of green tourism, one of Slovenia’s main competitive advantages.

Trip description

In Mežica we enter the Underworld of the Peca mountain. We will find out how King Matthias (Kralj Matjaž), mythological Slovenian folk hero of the Middle Ages, escaped his enemies and entered this Underworld, when Peca opened before him and offered him a shelter. According to the myth, King Matthias still sleeps behind a stone table underneath mount Peca. When his beard grows around the table nine times, he will wake up and bring good times to Slovenians yet again.

We choose a unique way to explore the underworld, as we ride bicycles deep into the mine, following the mine shafts. Bikes, helmets and head lamps are provied and experienced local guides take us into the underground maze. This is a matchless adventure, quite worthy of King Matthias.

After a traditional miner’s lunch we visit Velenje, Slovenia’s youngest town. Although being an important settlement in the Middle ages, the modern town of Velenje was planned as an industrial settlement in the 1950s, catering to the needs of the workers of the local coal mine. Aimed to be the worker’s paradise, Velenje is a great place to get to know the Socialist-Realist architectural design: leafy parks, imposing government buildings, monumental Communist statues and uniform apartment blocks.

To enjoy a panoramic view of Velenje we take a walk up to the impressive medieval castle perched upon the city. The castle is one of the best preserved in Slovenia and it also houses a museum, where we get a feel of town history as well as enjoy some interesting and eclectic exhibitions, like the best collection of African art in the country.