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Slovenia could also be a small nation, however what it lacks in dimension, 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 gorgeous Triglav Nationwide Park. In the meantime within the southwest you’ll discover the attractive karst area, which is understood for its wine route and noble white horses.
After all 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 every week right here so you possibly can cowl all the pieces in a single journey. The best option 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 would possibly 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 may not be your traditional thought of a seaside.
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 includes 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 picket boats, referred to as a pletna.
Triglav Nationwide Park
Triglav Nationwide Park is Slovenia’s solely nationwide park, masking 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 by way of the park you’ll come throughout distant villages with chalet-style homes and log piles.
There are many outside actions you are able to do right here equivalent to mountaineering, white water rafting, horse driving and mountaineering.
Slap Sevica Waterfall
On the western facet of Lake Bohinj, you’ll discover a mountaineering to Slap Savica waterfall, which is likely one of the prime points of interest in Slovenia. This double waterfall is 78 meters (250ft) excessive, and will be reached by way of a brief, uphill mountaineering 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 can be interconnected by an underground river. Contained in the cave you possibly can see all types of fantastic rock formations, together with stalactites and stalagmites.
The Postojna Cave tour entails a practice experience by way of 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 (purple 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 stunning white Lipizzaner horses. Over 300 horses dwell 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 driving college, the paddocks and the indoor area. The farm additionally affords numerous particular experiences, together with driving 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 way in which of seashores right here, but it surely nonetheless has three very fairly cities to go to, together with Piran, Izola and Koper.
Piran is probably the most stunning of all, with an enthralling major sq., a picturesque harbor and quite a few waterfront eating places serving contemporary seafood. In case you do wish to lay on the sand and sunbathe, head over to the stylish seaside city of Portoroz, which has a man-made seaside with picket 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 often called “Metelkova Metropolis Autonomous Cultural Centre”.
Wandering across the space, you’ll discover the buildings are embellished in cool graffiti and artwork. There are all types of strange issues masking them, together with mosaics, ghouls and ghosts.
Metelkova can also be dwelling to numerous golf equipment, internet hosting underground membership nights, techno events and DJs from around the globe.
This enchanting baroque citadel is over 800 years outdated and sits in a sheer, 123 meter-high cliff face. Listed within the Guinness Guide of World Information 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 prospect to study concerning the legend of Erazem of Predjama – a courageous and daring knight who holed up in Predjama Citadel 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 will have appeared like all these years in the past.
Slovenia’s capital metropolis, Ljubljana, is a small, walkable metropolis with a river working by way of it. Have a cup of espresso in one of many riverside cafes and be sure to get a photograph of the well-known Dragon Bridge.
Town boasts outside markets promoting contemporary fruit and flowers, in addition to indoor markets promoting meats and cheeses. Many 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 Citadel, which affords panoramic views of town and past.
Maribor – Residence to the World’s Oldest Grapevine
When you’ve got 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 the planet, which grows exterior the Outdated Vine Home. The vine is over 450 years outdated and was entered into the Guinness Guide of Information 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 Competition.
Drive the Vrsic Go
In case you plan on renting a automotive, then it’s possible you’ll wish to take into account driving the Vrsic Go – a scenic mountain street that passes by way of the Julian Alps. This street is the best move in Slovenia, with an altitude of 1,611 meters.
The street begins in Kranjska Gora and ends within the Soča valley, passing lakes, church buildings, forests and spectacular mountain peaks alongside the way in which. The surroundings is totally gorgeous, and there are a variety of viewpoints the place you may get out and take images.
With over 50 hairpins, it is a difficult drive, and will provide you with movement illness should you’re sitting within the passenger seat! It’s price noting that the street isn’t open all 12 months spherical, as snow makes it impassable within the winter.
Situated in Slovenia’s karst area, the Skocjan Caves Regional Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site 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.
Some of the spectacular options of the cave system is the big Martel Chamber, which is over two million cubic meters in quantity. A variety of animal species inhabit the caves, together with Cave Salamanders, bats, invertebrates and crustaceans.
Lake Jasna is a panoramic alpine lake space consisting of two interconnected synthetic lakes surrounded by stunning mountain surroundings. Guarding the lake is a statue of a Zlatorog – a legendary white chamois buck who was stated to dwell within the heights of Mount Triglav.
In summertime Lake Jesna is a well-liked spot for swimming and sunbathing, boasting seaside areas, a picket 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 it’s essential to go to Lake Bohinj – the biggest 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 major spot for fly fishing. A variety of watersports are additionally obtainable, 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 by way of western Slovenia.
Identified for its emerald-green coloration, this stunning river options canyons, waterfalls and slim rocky gorges, making it good for journey actions equivalent to kayaking, riverboarding, canyoning and rafting.
Resulting from 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 mountaineering 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 about 60m excessive above the Tolminka River. One other hanging 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 likely one of the nation’s finest 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 obtainable. Along with snowboarding, Vogel additionally affords numerous 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 accommodates at the least 70% to 85% pork, and not more than 20% bacon. Different elements embrace water, sea salt from Sečovlje salt pans, black pepper, garlic and potassium nitrate.
In case you’re a meat eater, positively give this one a strive whilst you’re visiting Slovenia!
Keep in a Jail Hostel
For an attention-grabbing evening’s keep, guide an evening at Ljubljana’s Hostel Celica – a hostel housed in a transformed army jail. That is your probability to spend the evening behind bars, with out ever entering into hassle!
20 former jail cells have been utterly redesigned with funky art work and comfier beds to make the entire expertise a bit extra cozy. In case you fancy some privateness, the hostel affords double and triple rooms, in addition to multi-bed dorm rooms for guests who’re touring solo.
A full-breakfast buffet is on the market every morning, and there’s an on-site restaurant the place friends can take pleasure in Mexican tortillas, all-you-can-eat BBQ and scrumptious connoisseur 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 by way of it.
Guests can observe the path and picket statement walkways all the way in which to Šum Falls (translating as ‘noisy falls’), which is the biggest river waterfall in Slovenia. The hike to Šum Falls takes round 30 to 45 minutes relying in your health stage and what number of stops you make.
Wish to uncover extra about Slovenia? Try my Slovenia journey information, which is full of sensible information and guides to the nation’s prime points of interest.
A Ultimate 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 case 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 brief distances, you possibly can simply cowl quite a lot of the nation in only one week.
Outdoorsy varieties will discover loads of adventurous issues to do in Slovenia, together with horse driving, mountaineering, rafting and snowboarding. And should you love wine, there are tons of wineries to find on Slovenia’s karst wine route.
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