Api Tourism is a niche tourism, but it has proved to have great potential. Holidays with honey bring together nature and tourism for travelers who are looking for unique experiences, in the name of ecology and wellness. In the Middle Ages, honey was used as a currency of exchange, having a very high value. In this collection of 10 fascinating adventures with bees you will discover the beneficial properties of bee products and the ancient traditions of beekeeping.
1. One day with a beekeeper on the island of Šolta where you can pick up your honey pot.
On the island of Šolta, together with the Tvrdić family, the third generation of beekeepers known for their rosemary honey called Olynthio. You can get close to the hives and visit the beekeeper who will teach you how to extract the honey and take it home. You can also adopt a beehive, write your name and receive organic honey in personalised jars. Give the bees a chance and visit the world’s largest honey collection, made possible by the many guests from around the world who allow it to expand every year.
Where to stay green?
Tvrdić honey apartments are located in an api-friendly location in the heart of the island of Šolta, Croatia. This family is very committed to sustainability and takes a waste-free approach to everyday life. All the interiors have refined designs and chic furnishings. From this location you can enjoy the Mediterranean flora, with the ancient olive grove all around, with all the modern comforts.
2. A holiday with bees, breathing the air of the hives
Bee therapy is a form of homeopathy that uses the aroma from the hives to help treat asthma and many other types of respiratory problems. Bee Houses are transformed into therapy rooms, where you can breathe in the aerosol directly from the hives and relax while listening to the buzz of the bees. You can visit one of the many beehives in Slovenia – the leading country of bee-keeping in Europe – and relax your lungs for a while.
Where to stay green?
Hotel Ribno is the first zero-waste hotel in Slovenia, located near the apiary Selo pri Bledu, a stone’s throw from the emblematic Bled Lake. You can also book a charming suspended cottage with a wooden pool with heated water and relax in the evening surrounded by nature.
3. Enjoy a honey massage in the buzz of bees
Honey has been used since ancient times for skin care and is having a great comeback today. The luxurious honey massage keeps the skin elastic and slows down the effects of age. It works as a magical elixir for youth that nourishes and refreshes the skin. Free yourself from the stresses of everyday life and let yourself go to the industrious buzz of bees. Meanwhile, honey will give you the energy you need to get back on track. That’s where you can find your honey-based wellness experience in Slovenia.
4. An unusual stay in the honeycomb chalet at the Honey Village
In these chalets you can spend a day as a bee in the honeycombs of a large honeycomb. Visit the Honey Village in Mozirje with its characteristic honeycomb-shaped cabins. Here you can be pampered by honey and other bee products from every corner and enjoy the natural pool.
5. Visit Ljubljana – the most api-friendly capital in the world
Bees are an indication of a clean environment. This is a good sign of how Ljubljana is one of the cleanest cities in the world, with its renowned urban beekeeping. You can meet the urban beekeeper and follow the Bee Trail. If you suspect that the honey produced in the city can only be black with smog, you will be happily surprised to discover that Ljubljana honey has been considered of excellent quality and has won several awards. Urban bees can produce even healthier honey than country honey because they do not come into contact with pesticides. There are forests around Ljubljana within a radius of no more than 3 kilometres in all directions and it is the ideal distance for bees to be effective in collecting pollen. Thanks to the cooperation with the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, the local authorities are now only planting trees that attract bees.
Where to stay green in Ljubljana?
Our green recommendation is the B&B Ljubljana Park, the first api-friendly place in Ljubljana, with an apiary on the roof. From here you can enter the lively atmosphere of Ljubljana and enjoy a pleasant stay in the refined and eco-friendly rooms of the B&B.
6. Come and discover the traditions of bee-folklore and paint your own hive
A very special aspect of beekeeping in Slovenia are the colourful paintings on the front panels of the hives. The themes of the paintings are mostly biblical or scenes from popular stories. It was much easier to remember the position of a colony of bees with each panel having its own subject. During your honey holiday, in this workshop you can stimulate your creativity and paint your panel.
7. Learn the secrets of beeswax by shaping your honeycomb in Honey Heaven.
Slovenj Gradec is the place where you can meet the only producer of beeswax candles in Europe to family tradition passed down over the years for 9 generations. You can see how the members of the family produce the beeswax and their handmade candles sought and appreciated by all fans. The beeswax is of the highest quality and the scent of honey is obtained with a secret formula. The candles convey peace and love given by a continuous family innovation, with a quality that can compete globally. In addition to candles, you can also taste homemade cakes without preservatives or artificial colorings.
Where to stay green in your honey holiday?
Rotovnik Plesnik vacation farm is a family-friendly farm with a two-century-old tradition. Located in the idyllic valley below the Pohorje mountains, it offers a spectacular panorama in direct contact with wild nature.
8. Beekeeping museum in the sweetest town in Slovenia
Radovljica, the sweetest town in Slovenia, is a charming old town, known for its Beekeeping Museum, which brings together all the tradition of Slovenian beekeeping. The museum is housed in a Baroque villa in the old town of Radovljica. The numerous hive looms on display allow a closer look at the Carnic bee, native to Slovenia and known throughout Europe for its resistance.
9. Learn how to make your own bled – a honey bread in the shape of a heart, a unique souvenir.
“Lectarstvo” is a type of traditional Slovenian pastry shop. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, lect, honey bread, was popular among nobles as a symbol of passion and affection. It is made from honey dough, cooked and decorated by hand. The color red symbolizes love, the yellow ribbon represents infinity and the green ribbon with flowers represents growth. The Lectar Museum, which specializes in the production of lect, offers the opportunity to participate in a workshop with the masters of lect where you can create your own sweet souvenir.
10. Spa and wellness center to experience the thousand properties of honey
Health and beauty go hand in hand with honey holidays. Discover the only wellness centre in the world that uses honey and beer, the Hotel Thermana Laško. Your stay will be able to give you beauty and energy thanks to honey wraps, baths, sauna and a bath under the stars.
Try to be a responsible consumer and buy honey from the nearest local producer.
Among beekeepers, there is a rule that says leave some of the honey in the hive during the winter. The basis of this tradition is cooperation and mutual respect between man and bees, who work hard throughout the year and need part of the honey to feed themselves in the cold winter. In the industrial production of honey, on the other hand, the honey is collected entirely and replaced with sugar, in order to maximize profit. Try to see things from the bee’s perspective too. Buying honey from local beekeepers is not only better, it also makes you feel better.