Full of Impressions: Vacations in the Secret Land of Slovenia

Slovenia can be named an unknown European country. The thumbnail size land, hidden between Austria and Italy, still stays an uncovered diamond for most tourists while visiting Europe. If you are looking for a fresh destination, free of crowds and full of relaxation, Slovenia must be the first choice for you.

Only in Slovenia you can get all in one and visit all sorts of nature and culture attractions during your vacation. Mountains, valleys, sea coast, lakes, caves, castles, churches, farms are conveniently assembled together on the teeny Slovenian territory, so you can enjoy all this without exhausting long lasting traveling.

Geographically Slovenia is an Alpine foothill. From here, starting at the Adriatic sea coast, the great European Mountains of Alps are growing, reaching their full size in Austria and Switzerland. It takes just a few hours to drive from one border of the country to the other, so you will need just a couple of hours to get from one attraction to the other.

By the way, traveling across Slovenia is a pure pleasure. Considering that all man-made objects here are tiny, small and even diminutive, you will get a full impression of driving through the real dwarf land. Weeny towns, toy houses, dollish castles, tight driveways – you will definitely feel yourself in the country of fairy tales.

The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is a huge contrast to provincial rural architecture, presented all around the state. In the beginning of the 20th century the famous Slovene architect Joze Plečnik planned and fulfilled the renovation of the city, being influenced of the ideal of that time, ancient Athens; so the center of the city looks like an ensemble where each part makes the other shine brighter. You will love the Triple Bridge, the Central Market, the University building, the embankments along the Ljubljanica River built in with cozy cafes and restaurants – city center is not very big, but it gives Ljubljana a special identity.

The second largest city in Slovenia, Maribor, is located at the north board of Slovenia close to Austria. This country made a great influence to Maribor; the city is built in Renaissance style and the Baroque and is very different from Ljubljana. It has its own spirit and even the language here vary from Slovenian dialect in the central part of the country.

The rest of Slovenia represents a unique chance to experience different nature views, climate zones and culture variations at a time. First of all, it is a paradise for those who enjoy nature, eco-farming, picturesque landscapes, and beautiful views. Unlike the man-made things, objects created by nature can be really impressive here. Here are main attractions that can influence your decision to visit Slovenia.

Go high: the Triglav Mount and mountain lakes

The only Slovenian national park, the Triglav National Park presents a real Alpine experience. Before you enter the park itself, you will pass the famous lake of Bled, which is the most picturesque sight you have ever seen in your life. Regardless of the weather, the silent lake surrounded by hills with a small island in the middle and the veritable castle on the side will take your breath away.

Another amazing mountain lake is waiting for you just a few miles ahead. 45 meters deep lake of Bohinj is a real pearl of Slovenian Alps. The 11 km walk around the lake through the forest and hills will be a pleasure for those who love hiking. From here starts a way to the highest mountain of the National park, the Triglav. The summit which is 2864 m high was named “Triglav” (“three-headed”) because of its funny shape: it has kind of three peaks instead of one. Slovenians are very proud of this unusual mountain and they made it a true national symbol, you can see it on the national flag of Slovenia. The Triglav National Park is one of the oldest in Europe, so nature here is thoroughly protected and conserved in its primitive wilderness. 

Go deep: the Postojna Cave

On the way from the Triglav National Park to the capital city of Ljubljana, you can find the Postojna Cave, namely the deepest point of Slovenia. Popular international attraction, the Postojna Cave is 115 m deep and has 24 kilometers of underground passages, galleries and stone halls. They say the Postojna Cave belongs to one of the most diverse cave systems in the world. Visitors can explore the subterranean world on a train, which has been operating here already for 140 years. The railway tour is five kilometers long and lasts an hour and a half: you will go 3,5 km by rail and 1,5 km by foot. This amazing life experience will be crowned with the view of a beautiful stalagmite called the Brilliant. Thousands of years old, this 5 m high white limestone formation is one of the rarest things created by nature.

Almost all Slovenian attractions are equipped with castles. In medieval times every village here had a king or a prince. Of course, there were princes in Postojna too. 800 years ago they built themselves a fortress: the 123 meters high Predjama Castle, which is the biggest cave castle in the world.

Go wide: the Logarska Dolina

The Logar Valley is the typical example of classic Alpine glacial valleys: a huge green plateau in surrounding of steep stone mountain walls. Traditional Alpine architecture, special mountain farming, peasant food and breathtaking views make this place perfect for relaxation. Walk on the trail through the forests and meadows of the Logar Valley will lead you to numerous nature sights. The Valley is just packed with waterfalls; one of them, the Rinka Falls, is the highest in Slovenia. In spring and in summer the Valley is covered with endangered Alpine flowers: narcissus, edelweisses, and orchids.

Apart from the photo hunting and sightseeing, the Logar Valley is a great place for sports activities. Mountain hiking, cycling, horseback riding together with the fresh alpine air will make you feel good.

Go green: Soca Valley

You will fall in love with the blue-turquoise waters of the Soča River, twisting bed of which is embraced by the mountain walls covered with green trees. These distinct emerald green color will mesmerize you; no wonder Soča is one the most beautiful European rivers. It is a real mountain river, full of cascades, rapids, rocks, waterfalls, and pools. Ideal for all sorts of extreme wild water sports, rafting, canyoning, kayaking, and even diving. The Valley of Soča River is also a great attraction for those who love fishing. People from all over the world come here to fish for the famous Soča Trout.

Go blue: Adriatic sea cost

Slovenia owns only 30 miles of the Adriatic shore and tries to get all out of it. Here is located the only one Slovenian sea port, the city of Koper. Here one can find famous Slovenian saltpans, where locals have been producing salt for food and medicine since 13 century. Almost all sea coast was covered with them, this business was fundamental for the development of local towns. All about traditional salt production in medieval times you can learn at the Sečovlje Salt Pans and in the Museum of Salt-Making. Nowadays, of course, the production is not so huge anymore, but still Slovenian sea salt and products made with it – from chocolate to soap and body oils – are well known regional products and one of the best souvenirs you can bring with you back home from your vacation.

Today Slovenian sea coast used more for recreational purposes. It is not as popular as Croatian Adriatic shore, which makes it not so overcrowded and much more pleasant. A wide range of services are presented here: from lux hotels in Portoroz to apartments in Piran or camp grounds for camping and motor homes in Izola and Ankaran. The Adriatic sea is known with its extreme saltiness, bathing here is a pure pleasure and is good for your health.

Go abroad

If you stay in Slovenia longer and want to see more, it is reasonable to take the advantage of a small size of the country and visit neighbors: Croatia, Italy, and Austria.

Zagreb, the beautiful capital of Croatia, is only 2 h drive from Ljubljana. In 4 h you can get to Venice, one of the most known cities of Italy. If you don’t want to drive long, take the boat from Slovenian coastal town Piran and go to Trieste, the ancient Italian city with its huge palaces and castles. If you are visiting Maribor, take another hour and drive to Graz, the second largest city of Austria, amazing sights of which are the part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Slovenia is a different world, where time goes slowly; people here are nicely relaxed and enjoy every moment of life. Make your vacation really remarkable and go feel Slovenia.