Nestling in central Europe, Slovenia is a country well known for its breathtaking landscape. Being the first country in the world to have been declared a green tourist destination, it is rich in water resources it is home to some of the most picturesque lakes and rivers. With a vibrant history behind it and pristine nature Slovenia is the perfect choice for both winter and summer months.
We have explored this nature lovers paradise and want to help you plan your trip across Slovenia. Here are some of the must-visit destination in Slovenia.
Photo by Sami C
Ljubljana the capital city of Slovenia is the ideal base if you are planning a long weekend or midweek break. Sitting on the bank of the Ljubljanica River, there is plenty to see and do in the capital as well a taking an excursion to one of the many popular attractions. Its Old Town is perfect for a stroll and Ljubljana Castle offers magnificent views over the rooftops of the Old Town.
The city is home to many museums and galleries which range from the Museum of Contemporary History to the Union Beer Museum. All of them are fascinating and reveal the country’s long and colourful history as well as the local way of life.
Lake Bled is one of the country’s most popular attractions. This stunning lake has waters of emerald green, a pretty town on its banks that shares its name and a beautiful little church that perches on a tiny islet in the middle of the water. 100 metres above the water, on rocky crags, stands an impressive medieval castle with ramparts, towers, moat and spectacular views. Surrounding the lake are some of the highest peaks in the Slovenian Alps.
There are traditional gondola style boats called pletnas that take you out to the church which is located in the middle of the lake on the island. Although lake bled is a year around destination the best time to visit is between May and September.
During the summer months, Lake Bled is the ideal place to simply relax on its shores with a good book, or take the plunge and enjoy its clear waters. For those who are feeling more energetic, there are a number of hiking and cycling routes. If you are looking to avoid the crowd and travel off-peak we highly recommend travelling around the Autumn months.
Tip: If you are planning to visit lake bled and not sure which month to visit. Around July every year, the lake Bled is covered with floating candles while fireworks light up the in the night. It is truly a magical experience which you will remember for the years to come.
The Soca Valley
The Soca Valley is another jewel of Slovenia, which hosts the impressive Soca river – also known as the ’emerald river’ because of its deep jewel colour. The Soca valley is a great destination in Slovenia with a plethora of activities on offer for the more adventurous ones there is paragliding which offers some of the best views of the valley, water rafting in the mesmerising green water is one of the most popular activities in the valley along with zip lining, mountain biking and hiking. For something a little more relaxing the Soca valley offers a picture-perfect spot for a picnic by the river, there is also horse riding and fishing is a popular activity on the river.
If you are looking to take a break from nature and outdoor activities. Piran is a lovely coastal town lined with Venetian buildings and a view across the Adriatic Sea towards Italy. Piran is small and quaint and perfect for wandering in before choosing a seat at one of the restaurants for some great seafood.
The town originally developed because of the salt pans close by. Salt and fleur de sel (flower of salt) are still made using the same methods that have been passed down through the generations and visitors can see the salt being gathered. Thalasso Spa is a spa by the sea which gives you the chance to experience the healing benefits of the salt.
Photo by Iztok_medja
Postojna is a unique destination and a must visit in Slovenia. Popular for its extensive cave system that is open to the public. Postojna has an extensive cave system with 24 kilometres of chambers. It is great fun to explore it aboard an underground train, marvelling at the beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Postojna also has a mysterious medieval castle known as the – Predjama Castle which is also worth exploring. The castle stands 123 metres high on a clifftop and has 700 years of history to reveal. Each July, it is the setting of a medieval jousting tournament which attracts spectators from all over the world making it a great time to visit.
Zelenci Natural Reserve
Zelenci is another popular town to visit at any time of the year, as it is well known for its natural reserve and also for its traditional Slovenian food. Including bograc the rich goulash flavoured with paprika. Tuck into the Slovenian traditional food such as kranjska klobasa (Carniolan sausage) which is a must try in the region. For your sweet tooth Polica is the most popular dessert made from sweetened pastry and filled with one of 80 different fillings.
Just 10 minutes drive from the Zelenci natural reserve is the Kranjska Gora During the summer months, it has everything for those who love the outdoors can enjoy, including good hikes, mountain bike trails and excellent rafting. In the winter, a thick dusting of snow transforms it into a great ski resort. The town is home to many luxury hotels and some of the country’s finest restaurants.
Photo by: Dean Dobokovic
Lipica is a small village which is well known for horses, Lipizzaner horses in particular. Lipica Stud Farm homes these beautiful white horses which have been bred since the 16th century and were always used by royalty. It is the ideal opportunity to attend one of the riding schools which take place three times a week and to relax and enjoy the precision and grace of the horses.
Triglav National Park
Photo by: Nick Upton
Triglav is the country’s only National Park and one of the largest in Europe. You can plan a whole holiday around this natural park with plenty to do from exploring the nearby villages, hiking to exploring waterfalls, calm lakes, canyons and much more.
Some of the highlights of Triglav National Park include:
Vintgar Gorge: Part of the Triglav National Park and located just 2 miles from Lake Bled is the most picturesque boardwalk through the canyon with clear water rushing underneath.
Lake Bohinj: This lake is very much loved by the locals, bigger than lake bled and less touristy. Towards the west end of the lake, you will find one of Slovenia’s most visited waterfall, Savica waterfall.
Vogel Cable Car: Enjoy the panoramic view from the top of Mount Vogel. You can take the cable car or even hike to the top.
The Soca valley mentioned earlier in this article is also part of the national park but worth explored separately.
With so much to see and enjoy in Slovenia, it is best to relax and take your time and perhaps see lees, because as many people find, once you have discovered Slovenia, it is hard to resist the temptation to visit a second time….