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July 8th, 2020 | Taylor Randolph
If you are looking for a holiday destination with gorgeous nature to explore, mysterious caves to discover and a generous mix of fascinating history, then Slovenia is the place to go. This small country has a lot to offer and due to its size, you can easily see a lot of it during a short holiday. It has something to offer all year round with great skiing in the winter and natural parks and beaches in the summer. Still not convinced? Read on for 10 reasons you should visit Slovenia.
Visitors can enjoy over 10,000 km of marked mountain paths across Slovenia’s three mountain ranges, the Julian Alps, the Karavanke Alps and the Kamnik and Savinja Alps. There are hikes suitable for all levels of ability and you simply cannot visit Slovenia without exploring its breath-taking mountain valleys! Imagine pristine mountain landscapes with green pastures, thick forests and thundering waterfalls. Enjoy some of the best views from the hike to Mount Triglav, which at 2864 m is the country’s highest mountain. Or take a walk on Mount Golica in the spring when it is transformed by thousands upon thousands of daffodils.
These mountain landscapes make Slovenia one of the best places to enjoy the special thrill of canyoning. This exhilarating adventure sport will see you sliding, scrambling, jumping, swimming and abseiling through natural rock formations, down streams and even waterfalls! It is a fantastic way to experience the wild and beautiful nature of Slovenia and is best enjoyed with a professional local guide. Canyoning with Slovenia Activities is a great choice as they provide several different canyoning expeditions from Ljubljana and Bled and have something that is suitable for all levels. The friendly guides will ensure that you see some of Slovenia’s hidden mountain gems over 2 to 3 hours. All equipment is provided and they take your safety seriously so that you can have the best time and come back in one piece!
Wine has been made in Slovenia for thousands of years, even before the arrival of the Romans, so Slovenians know how to make a good vintage! The reason you have not heard of it is that most of the wine produced in Slovenia is consumed domestically. It is often produced from grape varieties unique to the region, such as Zelen and Pinela, and the majority of it is considered premium quality wine. The best way to experience it is with a wine tour and tasting with Wine Tours Slovenia in the Vipava Valley, just an hour from Ljubljana. You will learn about the wine making process with visits to two family estates, a tour of the facilities and the grapevines and most importantly you will get to taste the different types of wine produced. The tour also includes some delicious local snacks and the transfer to and from Ljubljana.
Considered one of the new seven wonders of the world, Lake Bled is an alpine lake with a picturesque island at its centre topped by a striking church. Surrounding the island are soaring mountain peaks and wild forests, making it one of the most beautiful sights in Europe. Visitors can take a trip to the island on a traditional wooden pletna boat, climb the 99 steps to the Assumption of Mary church and ring the church bell. Ringing the bell is said to make your wishes come true and when surrounded by such beauty it is hard not to believe it! Take a hike around the lake, enjoy some of the best views from the 12th century Bled Castle on a cliff above the lake and relax in the lake’s natural hot springs.
Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, is one of Europe’s greenest cities with 542 m2 of public green areas per capita. The centre is also closed to traffic and you are encouraged to explore the city on foot or by bike. This makes its charming old centre even more of a delight to explore! It has some fantastic works of art to explore in the handsome National Gallery, a fascinating history to discover at the 900-year-old castle that broods over the city and numerous fun active ways to experience the city whether through a cycle tour or paddle boarding on the river. During the summer months Ljubljana is also know for its free outdoor festivals with artists from around the country hosting a variety of events. There are plenty of things to do in Ljubljana, just check out the official tourism website.
Slovenia has only a short coast line but it is a gorgeous one! Along the blue waters of the Adriatic you will find lovely beaches and the region’s famous salt pans. Head for the stunning former Venetian port town of Piran for some splendid medieval architecture, breathtaking sea views and some truly delicious fresh fish and seafood! It is a region where you can both relax on the beach and take part in some active adventures in the sea. Nearby Portorož is well known for its spa and wellness industry and is the place to go to relax and unwind.
Slovenia is home to some of the most magical caves in the world, home to towering stalagmites and stalactites, ghostly underground lakes and even baby dragons! If you only have time to visit one, make sure it is Postojna Cave. Venture into its depths on the 140 year old train that will take you through the high halls, curving corridors and glittering galleries 5 km into the cave. You get to see the country’s unique olm, also known as the human fish, that make their home in the darkness. These strange creatures resemble baby dragons, can live for up to 100 years and are the largest underground predator. You can also visit the impressive nearby Predjama Castle perched on its cliff face 123 m up. It is the world’s oldest cave castle with intriguing corridors running into the labyrinth of tunnels and caves beneath the fortress.
Slovenia is packed full with castles from a range of periods and visiting them transports you back to another era. Some of the most interesting have already been mentioned above but if you want a real adventure, head to Posavje. This region is home to a host of fantastic castles that are now open to the public or have been transformed into hotels. Don’t miss out on Snežnik Castle set in idyllic grounds and a moat reflecting its brilliant white towers, Loka Castle dominating the town of Škofja Loka and the beguiling Velenje Castle that where fairytales come to life.
Over 60% of Slovenia is covered in forest, especially in the south of the country and these wildernesses are rich in wildlife. This includes large mammals, such as the brown bear, wolves and the Eurasian lynx. In the Notranjska and Kočevsko forests there are around 500 recorded brown bears and it is a great chance to spot them in the wild. If you are lucky and take an excursion with an experienced local guide, you could get to see them in their natural habitat. Many of these tours will teach you about the bears, what they eat, where they live and the about the forests themselves.
Slovenia is a small country that is easy to access. You can fly in directly to Ljubljana’s Jože Pučnik Airport or to one of the nearby airports, such as Graz, Trieste, Venice or Zagreb. There are plenty of great value flights with budget carriers, such as Easyjet, Wizzair and Transavia, and easy transport from the airport to the main parts of the country. You have plenty of choice, giving you greater flexibility for organising your trip. If you are not planning to fly, then make Slovenia part of your Interrail route or take a Flixbus with many connections from major European cities.Back to overview
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.