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Slovenia could also be a small nation, however what it lacks in measurement, it makes up for in magnificence. From serene lakes to majestic mountains, Slovenia boasts a charming panorama and is dwelling to greater than 10,000 underground caves.
Within the north west nook of the nation lies the jewel in Slovenia’s crown, Lake Bled, in addition to the beautiful Triglav Nationwide Park. In the meantime within the southwest you’ll discover the gorgeous karst area, which is understood for its wine route and noble white horses.
In fact you possibly can’t go to Slovenia with out spending a day or two within the quirky capital of Ljubljana, pronounced [lyoo-BLYAH-nah],which is positioned within the heart of the nation. This laid-back metropolis is understood for its Dragon bridge, riverside cafés and colourful graffiti, and is dwelling to a well-known hostel housed in a transformed jail.
There are fairly just a few attention-grabbing issues to do in Slovenia, so I’d counsel spending at the least per week right here so you possibly can cowl all the things in a single journey. The best technique to get round is by renting a automotive, or you may get round utilizing the nation’s bus system, which covers most cities and even the countryside.
The place is Slovenia?
“I’ve heard of it, however the place is it precisely?” you may ask. Slovenia was a part of the previous Yugoslavia and sits between Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. It does have a small shoreline on the Mediterranean, though the ‘seashores’ of rocks and pebbles won’t be your typical concept of a seashore.
Issues to Do in Slovenia
The #1 factor to do in Slovenia is go to Lake Bled – an especially fairly lake in North West Slovenia on the sting of Triglav Nationwide Park. It incorporates a medieval fairytale citadel on the north facet and an island within the center. If you wish to get a more in-depth look, arrange a experience throughout the lake in one of many conventional wood boats, known as a pletna.
Triglav Nationwide Park
Triglav Nationwide Park is Slovenia’s solely nationwide park, overlaying an space of 880 km² (4% of the nation) within the northwest a part of Slovenia. It’s a wonderful inexperienced space that includes forests, streams, lakes and mountain peaks. As you drive via the park you’ll come throughout distant villages with chalet-style homes and log piles.
There are many out of doors actions you are able to do right here reminiscent of climbing, white water rafting, horse using and mountain climbing.
Slap Sevica Waterfall
On the western facet of Lake Bohinj, you’ll discover a climbing to Slap Savica waterfall, which is among the prime sights in Slovenia. This double waterfall is 78 meters (250ft) excessive, and will be reached through a brief, uphill climbing path. The path options over 500 steps, and takes round 20 minutes to finish.
The Postojna cave system is the second longest cave system within the nation, made up of 4 caves which might be interconnected by an underground river. Contained in the cave you possibly can see all kinds of fantastic rock formations, together with stalactites and stalagmites.
The Postojna Cave tour entails a prepare experience via a part of the cave, adopted by a guided stroll.
Wine Tasting in Karst
If you wish to style some domestically produced wine, go to the Kras (Karst) wine district, which is positioned within the western a part of the nation, near the border with Italy. The district lies on a limestone plateau and has been making wine for hundreds of years. between the Vipava Valley and the Gulf of Trieste.
Cease at a vineyard to style some Teran wine (crimson wine), a particular Slovenian wine which comes from the refošk vine.
Lipica Stud Farm
Lipica Stud Farm, positioned within the Karst area of Slovenia, breeds lovely white Lipizzaner horses. Over 300 horses reside on the farm, which has been in existence since 1580.
Guests can take a guided tour across the stud farm to see the stables, the using college, the paddocks and the indoor area. The farm additionally presents a lot of particular experiences, together with using college performances and horse and carriage rides.
Go to Piran and the Coast
Slovenia has a small 47-km stretch of shoreline that sits on the Adriatic Sea. You received’t discover a lot in the best way of seashores right here, nevertheless it nonetheless has three very fairly cities to go to, together with Piran, Izola and Koper.
Piran is essentially the most lovely of all, with an enthralling foremost sq., a picturesque harbor and quite a few waterfront eating places serving recent seafood. In the event you do need to lay on the sand and sunbathe, head over to the stylish seaside city of Portoroz, which has a man-made seashore with wood piers.
Metelkova Metropolis is a residential squat in a former military barracks behind the Hostel Celica in Ljubljana. The buildings right here have been squatted since 1993 and the location is now formally generally known as “Metelkova Metropolis Autonomous Cultural Centre”.
Wandering across the space, you’ll discover the buildings are embellished in cool graffiti and artwork. There are all kinds of bizarre issues overlaying them, together with mosaics, ghouls and ghosts.
Metelkova can also be dwelling to a lot of golf equipment, internet hosting underground membership nights, techno events and DJs from around the globe.
Drive the Vrsic Move
In the event you plan on renting a automotive, then you could need to contemplate driving the Vrsic Move – a scenic mountain highway that passes via the Julian Alps. This highway is the best move in Slovenia, with an altitude of 1,611 meters.
The highway begins in Kranjska Gora and ends within the Soča valley, passing lakes, church buildings, forests and spectacular mountain peaks alongside the best way. The surroundings is completely beautiful, and there are a selection of viewpoints the place you may get out and take images.
With over 50 hairpins, it is a difficult drive, and will offer you movement illness in the event you’re sitting within the passenger seat! It’s value noting that the highway isn’t open all yr spherical, as snow makes it impassable within the winter.
You will need to be aware that you’ll want a legitimate vignette for Slovenia earlier than hitting the highway. This can be a sticker that you simply buy to have the ability to drive on the motorways and expressways. These days, you should buy a paperless model generally known as an ‘e-vignette’ from the official web site. A vignette is required for all autos, together with rental vehicles, and is offered for a set time frame starting from 7 days to a yr. With a rental automotive and a vignette, you possibly can simply journey from one city to a different, having fun with the scenic views and native sights alongside the best way.
This enchanting baroque citadel is over 800 years previous and sits in a sheer, 123 meter-high cliff face. Listed within the Guinness Ebook of World Data because the world’s largest cave citadel, Predjama is kind of merely breathtaking and worthy of a go to. Behind it lies a cave with a secret tunnel that was used as a useful hiding place.
When visiting the citadel you’ll have the possibility to be taught concerning the legend of Erazem of Predjama – a courageous and daring knight who holed up in Predjama Fort whereas it was underneath siege from the imperial military.
Entrance to the citadel contains an audio-guided tour, permitting guests to discover the inside and picture what it might have seemed like all these years in the past.
Slovenia’s capital metropolis, Ljubljana, is a small, walkable metropolis with a river working via it. Have a cup of espresso in one of many riverside cafes and ensure you get a photograph of the well-known Dragon Bridge.
The town boasts out of doors markets promoting recent fruit and flowers, in addition to indoor markets promoting meats and cheeses. A lot of the motion takes place round Prešeren Sq., the place buskers entertain passers by with performances and music. A spotlight of visiting Ljubljana is taking the elevator as much as Ljubljana Fort, which presents panoramic views of the town and past.
Maribor – Dwelling to the World’s Oldest Grapevine
When you have time, head over to the northeast of Slovenia to discover the nation’s second largest city – Maribor.
Maribor is dwelling to the oldest grapevine on this planet, which grows exterior the Outdated Vine Home. The vine is over 450 years previous and was entered into the Guinness Ebook of Data in 1999. It even has quite a few occasions devoted to it, together with Pruning of the Outdated Vine, St. Martin’s Day, and the Outdated Vine Pageant.
Positioned in Slovenia’s karst area, the Skocjan Caves Regional Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Website that includes a powerful system of limestone caves. The Skocjan caves are dwelling to one of many world’s largest recognized underground river canyons, which was carved out of the limestone bedrock by the Reka River.
One of the vital spectacular options of the cave system is the massive Martel Chamber, which is over two million cubic meters in quantity. A lot of animal species inhabit the caves, together with Cave Salamanders, bats, invertebrates and crustaceans.
Lake Jasna is a wide ranging alpine lake space consisting of two interconnected synthetic lakes surrounded by lovely mountain surroundings. Guarding the lake is a statue of a Zlatorog – a legendary white chamois buck who was stated to reside within the heights of Mount Triglav.
In summertime Lake Jesna is a well-liked spot for swimming and sunbathing, boasting seashore areas, a wood diving platform and even an ice-cream parlor. Guests can take a stroll alongside the lake’s well-maintained paths or soak within the views of the Julian Alps from a 6-meter-high viewing platform.
When you’re in Slovenia you could go to Lake Bohinj – the most important everlasting lake in Slovenia. Measuring 318 hectares, this serene lake is a well-liked summertime spot for swimming and sunbathing.
Its clear waters are dwelling to brown trout, burbot, European chub, frequent minnow and Arctic char, making it a main spot for fly fishing. A lot of watersports are additionally accessible, together with paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing.
For an adrenaline-fuelled journey, have a go at white water rafting on the Soca River – a 138-kilometer lengthy river that flows via western Slovenia.
Recognized for its emerald-green shade, this lovely river options canyons, waterfalls and slim rocky gorges, making it excellent for journey actions reminiscent of kayaking, riverboarding, canyoning and rafting.
As a consequence of its scenic magnificence, the Soča river has hosted quite a few kayaking competitions and was even used as a backdrop for scenes in Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Tolmin Gorge Path
One of many prime issues to do in Triglav Nationwide Park is climbing the Tolmin Gorges – two deep gorges carved by the Tolminka and Zadlascica Rivers. These canyons merge right into a confluence on the lowest level of the park, at an altitude of 180m.
Highlights of the gorges embrace Zadlaška Cave – named after the poet Dante Alighieri – and the Satan’s Bridge, which is ready 60m excessive above the Tolminka River. One other putting characteristic is Bears Head – a big rock wedged between the partitions of Zadlaščica gorge.
Snowboarding in Vogel
Visiting Slovenia in winter? Vogel Ski Resort is among the nation’s greatest ski resorts, providing well-maintained slopes and spectacular views. The resort is nestled beneath Vogel mountain in Bohinj, which is positioned within the southern Julian Alps.
Guests can ski on 78 ha of skiable terrain, with 22 kilometers of slopes accessible. Along with snowboarding, Vogel additionally presents a lot of different winter actions, together with winter paragliding, snow tubing and airboarding.
Strive Carniolan Sausage
One among Slovenia’s most well-known meals is the Carniolan sausage, which is a bit like Polish kielbasa. This scrumptious sausage incorporates at the least 70% to 85% pork, and not more than 20% bacon. Different substances embrace water, sea salt from Sečovlje salt pans, black pepper, garlic and potassium nitrate.
In the event you’re a meat eater, undoubtedly give this one a strive when you’re visiting Slovenia!
Keep in a Jail Hostel
For an attention-grabbing night time’s keep, guide an evening at Ljubljana’s Hostel Celica – a hostel housed in a transformed navy jail. That is your probability to spend the night time behind bars, with out ever moving into bother!
20 former jail cells have been fully redesigned with funky paintings and comfier beds to make the entire expertise a bit extra cozy. In the event you fancy some privateness, the hostel presents double and triple rooms, in addition to multi-bed dorm rooms for guests who’re touring solo.
A full-breakfast buffet is offered every morning, and there’s an on-site restaurant the place company can take pleasure in Mexican tortillas, all-you-can-eat BBQ and scrumptious gourmand burgers. Undoubtedly an improve from jail meals! Hostel Celica has a enjoyable and social vibe too, that includes its personal bar and common occasions all through the week.
Vintgar Gorge (Soteska Vintgar)
4 kilometers northwest of Lake Bled you’ll discover Vintgar Gorge – a wonderful gorge carved by the Radovna River. This very deep gorge has steep partitions measuring 50 to 100 meters (160 to 330 ft) excessive, together with a wonderful stream flowing via it.
Guests can observe the path and wood remark walkways all the best way to Šum Falls (translating as ‘noisy falls’), which is the most important river waterfall in Slovenia. The hike to Šum Falls takes round 30 to 45 minutes relying in your health degree and what number of stops you make.
Need to uncover extra about Slovenia? Try my Slovenia journey information, which is full of sensible information and guides to the nation’s prime sights.
A Remaining Phrase…
The great thing about visiting Slovenia is that it’s really easy to get round, and the sights are by no means too removed from one another. In the event you’re driving from Ljubljana, you possibly can attain the coast in round 1 hour half-hour, or Lake Bled in slightly below 40 minutes. With such quick distances, you possibly can simply cowl lots of the nation in only one week.
Outdoorsy sorts will discover loads of adventurous issues to do in Slovenia, together with horse using, climbing, rafting and snowboarding. And in the event you love wine, there are tons of wineries to find on Slovenia’s karst wine route.