Big Berry, Luxury of Freedom: Glamping Detox Plus on Slovenian Border

Total Croatia News

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May 26, 2019 – Looking for the ultimate detox getaway in idyllic nature? Meet Big Berry, the Luxury of Freedom, right on the River Kupa which separates Slovenia from Croatia. 

Like most people online, my Facebook life is a lot more perfect than the realities of the daily grind.

I will confess, however, that real life is also pretty cool, and although I have never worked harder in my life than I am doing at present, TCN’s increasing popularity has led to more and more invitations to fascinating events and press trips. 

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Behind all the pretty pictures and videos posted online, of course, is the offline work and travel. I was thrilled to be invited on my first international trip, a four-day tour of parts of Slovenia, by the Association of Slovenian Travel Journalists, but after a brutal 10-days on the road – including speaking at two conferences in Budva and Zagreb, and attending another three-day conference in Split, the last thing I wanted to do was get back on the road again. Apart from missing my family, I was so behind on work that it was getting embarrassing. I was thinking of politely cancelling, but I am so glad I didn’t. Because the trip to Slovenia and the Big Berry resort near Metlika on the border with Croatia, was EXACTLY what I needed. 

Total detox. 

As you can see from the photo above, taken from the jacuzzi on my terrace, just 17m from the River Kupa (Kolpa in Slovenian) and the border between Slovenia and Croatia, there was not a lot of stress involved here. This place was sensational and had come at just the right moment in my life.


I rarely, if ever, look at a trip itinerary beyond working out where I have to be and when at the start, and so I set off for the Big Berry resort about 30 mins by car from Karlovac on the Slovenian side, with no concept of what I was about to experience. But within 5 minutes of arrival, I was hooked. 

Big Berry is a Slovenian company, whose concept is to offer authentic and natural experiences in idyllic nature with its luxury mobile home accommodation. This is their first resort, located along several hundred metres of the Kupa. With just seven homes on site and several wonderfully equipped leisure and relaxation areas, with no neighbours, the only noises you hear are birdsong and the occasional mooing of the nearby cows. I slept like a log in the very comfortable bed both nights, and was a delightful way to wake up and start the day. 

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So much space and natural beauty.  

And, as I contemplated life on the final morning, above, with my first coffee and uninterrupted view of the border river, I concluded something that had never occurred to me before. This was a multi-purpose destination which would fit so many aspects of life equally. My first thought to return was with my family, as this is the PERFECT resort for families whose unity and closeness has been interrupted by those essential electronic devices. For parents wanting their kids to put down those devices, the pure nature, space, and nature, make this a return to the childhood fun of the older generation. The houses are well-equipped and private, allowing the family unit to function as one. 

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But Big Berry is also a very popular teambuilding destination, whose clientele includes big business to art colony. As a place to stop off to break the tourism journey en route to the Croatian coast, it takes some beating. And my colleague, the editor of Total Slovenia News had exactly the same feeling as I did – we both wanted to return to write – the solitude and nature were the perfect backdrop. 

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Either in or out of the jacuzzi.

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There is no restaurant or bar at Big Berry per se, although drinks are available. The resort works with a number of local partners, and restaurants are close by. But far enough not to interfere with the tranquility, for this is a place without neighbours. 

The bond with local partners is very well-developed and crucial to the success of the concept. Breakfast is ordered the night before, a selection of local products from farmers in the neighbourhood. It is then delivered in a basket to your terrace, allowing you to enjoy at your own pace. 

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The neighbouring cows are perhaps a symbol of that natural and local approach, and they have proved a surprisingly popular attraction to destressing executives.  

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The emphasis is on either eating in the local restaurants, or self-catering, and barbecue maestros have come to the right place.  

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Of course, without any tourism content in the surrounding area, the art of relaxing might become a little boring after a while, and this was another aspect I loved about the trip – how Big Berry has managed to successfully integrate its concept into the local community, both for mutual benefit and for increased benefit to the visiting tourist. First up was a short drive and very friendly welcome to Gostisce Veselic. The welcome started with a refreshing spritzer before an introductory dinner with local specialities before this, one of the most unusual things I have come across here.  

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Garlic and pumpkin oil ice cream. It was delicious and strangely addictive, just one of the dishes available in the annual garlic festival each July.  

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The region Bela Krajina is famed for its excellent wines, and there are no shortage of fine wines to be sampled. One of the most entertaining wine tastings I have enjoyed for several years came from this man, Jozef Prus, who is one of Slovenia’s top producers. As we worked our way through no less than 15 of his 45 wine range, I was amazed at both his stamina and ability to come up with a great story with each. The most interesting was a wine called Beli Trio – a cuvee of Muscat, Traminac and Sauvignon. It wasn’t just me that enjoyed the sensation of three different aromas and tastes in the same glass. 

Deep in his cellar, Jozef keeps a wine ‘safe’. Top clients can hire one of the 24 wine safes in his cellar if they spend 500 euro a year here. The wines are kept at optimum temperatures and guarded by padlock and the watchful eye of St. Martin, the patron saint of wine.  

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A highly entertaining evening, and then a return to Big Berry bliss.


Day two started with a visit to Gostiona Petra Badovinca, a family hostelry with 120 years of tradition. Included in that was the welcoming rakija, made from no less than 16 different herbs. I am not a rakija man in general, but this one was superb.

And then things got interesting… 

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I thought we were back in former Yugoslavia, as our host disappeared only to reappear dressed like this. it turned out that it was a wonderful tourism trick – a passport for the Free Territory of Bela Krajina. These can be issued for 6 euros, not only as a reminder of this beautiful region, but also to obtain discounts in many participating tourism businesses and restaurants in the region. Each business signs and stamps the passport as you visit. 

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Meet proud new citizens of the Free Territory of Bela Krajina.  

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We hadn’t had a glass of wine for at least three minutes, so next up was a visit to Vinski Klet Simunic, a Slovenian winery which produces only sparkling wines. They have a range of eight, and the selection we tried were not only superb, but very competitively priced. 

Lunch was looking very far away…

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But before lunch, it turned out that we were going back to former Yugoslavia after all, to the Socialist Republic of Slovenia in 1957, in fact.  

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A very innovative example of how to create an authentic tourism product using local history and a little imagination. A VERY strict teacher took us through some of the history of the region, but beware those who were not paying full attention and sitting up straight. 

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The legendary Slovenian travel journalist, Drago Bulc, was caught talking in class and summoned to the board, where he was instructed to draw an aeroplane. 

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All good fun, and the teacher then proceeded to hand out exam results for each pupil. I hope my kids never see mine, or I will lose whatever authority I have left. 

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The Bistra Buca school was impressively set in an old traditional building. Great thinking and a lot of fun all round. 

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And lunch was coming… 

Back to Big Berry and an aperitif or two while the lamb was prepared. It was a splendid affair, enjoyed by all on the spacious Big Berry terrace overlooking the river. 


Big Berry is not a glamping resort per se, but I have included glamping in the title, as it will certainly appeal to the glamping crowd. But it is so much more than that, and such a multi-purpose destination, that it appeals to people and groups from all backgrounds. 


You can check out some of the promo videos from the company, promoting its teambuilding and art colony credentials.  


One additional thing I really liked about the visit was the nature of cross-border cooperation. 


As you can see on the above map of suppliers, Big Berry has several local partners on the Croatian side of the border. Given all the political tensions between the two countries in recent months, such initiatives are heartening. It turns out that Big Berry is not the only cross-border initiative. While visiting, a Croatian agency from Ozalj invited us to visit so that we could see what both sides are doing to promote tourism in the region together. 

So will I return with my family, for TCN teambuilding, or to finally finish my next book? I am not sure at the moment, but one thing is for sure – a return visit is imminent.

Big Berry is expanding, and its first house will be opening on the island of Ugljan in Croatia this summer. Its sister company, Hosekra, makes the homes. I predict a big future for both companies. 

You can learn more about Big Berry on the official website

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