I’ve visited Slovenia many times, but this country still surprises me in many ways. Slovenia is always an excellent choice for your vacation, it offers varied landscapes that are worth to explore. It’s a small country bordered by Croatia, Hungary, Austria and Italy and a home to just 2 million people. It has a tiny but beautiful bit of coastline along the Adriatic Sea. I love Slovenia for its diverse landscapes, the Alps meet the Mediterranean and beautiful uplands and lowlands meet the Karst. The locals joke that in May you could spend the morning skiing on the snowy peaks and then spend the afternoon swimming in the sea.
Ljubljana, the capital city, is considered to be a hidden gem of Europe. It became the European Green Capital for 2016 because of the large number of beautiful parks and gardens. Tivoli is the largest and most popular park where you can relax yourself. Ljubljana is often compared with Prague due to its magnificent architecture. The center can be best experienced on a tourist boat cruise. Or you can just walk along the Ljubljanica River, and discover the beautiful architectonical pieces of the famous architect Jože Plečnik, his famous is the Triple Bridge, a group of three bridges across the Ljubljanica River.
The symbol of Ljubljana is the dragon, which dominates the Dragon Bridge and the city’s most prominent attraction Ljubljana Castle, whose Outlook Tower offers one of the most amazing views of the city. There are also several museum exhibitions on Slovenian history, a puppet museum a number of historical rooms such as the Chapel of St. George, the Prison, and a video presentation room called Virtual Castle. The dragon symbolizes the strength, courage and greatness. The legend says that the dragon was the monster that Jason and Argonauts, the Greek mythological heroes,struck down on their return home after founding the Golden fleece. I also recommend you to visit the Nebotičnik skyscraper in the center of Ljubljana, where you can have a cup of good coffee with a beautiful view of the city and Ljubljana’s Castle.
The Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps are one of the most beautiful parts of Slovenia. Bled, a Slovenian very popular resort town in the foothills of the Julian Alps, is set along the Lake Bled. In the center of an emerald green mountain lake is located medieval Bled Castle from the 11th century. It´s an access point for the Triglav National Park, Triglav is the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps. The Julian Alps are also home to incredible Soča Valley, which offers a plenty of outdoor activities like zip lining, hiking, paragliding, mountain biking, climbing, canyoning and much more. Especially rafting on the wild waters of the emerald Soča River is an unforgettable experience.
Due to a plenty of ski areas is Slovenia an ideal country for skiing. Planica is considered to be a cradle of Slovenian Sport. Planica Nordic Center is a complex with a flying hill, seven ski jumping hills and cross-country skiing track. If you like adventure, you have to try the biggest Zipline and fly over the Planica Large Hill. Other favorite tourist destination in this area is Kranjska Gora, the Alpine village with the real winter atmosphere and beautiful nature, where you can enjoy skiing and wellness. Krvavec Ski resort is the second largest Slovenian ski resort, located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, near the city of Kranj and just 25 km from Ljubljana.
From the ski slopes you can get to the seaside in just a few hours. The towns on the coast – Piran, Portorož, Koper and Izola are definitely worth to visit. The coast is ideal for water sports and there also also natural health resorts in Strunjan and Portorož. I recommend you to visit especially the pictersque Piran.
You will be charmed by the narrow streets within the old town wall, beautiful main square with the statue of the famous composer and virtuoso violinist Giuseppe Tartini, who was born there and several beaches where you can relax. You can have a coffee, lunch or dinner surrounded by sounds of the sea. The local restaurants offers a plenty of fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea, meat, delicious vegetables and fruits and tasty wine Malvazija.
Maribor is the second largest city surrounded by the green slopes of Pohorje Mountain and three natural health resorts: Zreče, Dobrna and Topolšica. Other resorts that have grown up around natural springs are Radenci and Rogaška Slatina. In Pohorje Mountain you can find the biggest ski center in Slovenia which offers excellent ski slopes and spa centers. Other destinations that are worth to visit are Celje with its Old Castle, medieval city Škofja Loka where is the Loka Castle, built before 1202, and the historical city of Kranj. There is also the biggest wine-growing region of Podravje in Eastern Slovenia, where the premium quality wines are produced.
Slovenia has over 11,000 karst caves, including Postojna Cave, which is considered to be the queen of Slovenian caves. With its length 24 kilometres it´s the largest and most visited cave in Europe. The unique underground world of this cave can be experienced by a train. Above the cave you can admire the Predjama Castle which was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cave castle in the world! Visit also the Škocjan Cave which entered on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites in 1986. Other worth seeing place is the town of Lipica, which is home of the famous Lipizzaner horses, there is a recreational center and a riding school.
Written by Michaela Kawanová