Slovenia is squeezed in between Austria, Hungary and Croatia and crams in a great deal to explore within its borders.
With so much to see and do, it can feel overwhelming with where to start. To help you decide what to put on your list, here are my highlights of Slovenia…
Slovenia’s very walkable boutique capital.
- Explore the work of Jože Plečnik, Ljubljana’s city architect who designed many of the civic buildings in the city. His most iconic work was the Triple Bridge. Among his other works were the Žale cemetery, the banks of the Ljubljanica River and the Market Square.
- Climb up to the castle that looks out over the city to orientate yourself, and enjoy a meal at the restaurant there.
- Wander the streets of the Old Town from the Dragon Bridge to the Shoemakers Bridge. Exploring the cobbled side streets and lanes, enjoy the vibe and stop for a coffee at one of the many street cafes.
Bled and Bohinj
These two towns are set in the alpine beauty of the Julian and Kamnik Alps.
- Dine at the iconic Bled Castle which overlooks the alpine lake, where the town of Bled is built. You get the best views of the lake and the picturesque island where a church stands.
- Take a pletna (a type of boat) to the island, climb the 99 steps to the church, toll the bell and make a wish.
- Hike along the narrow chasm of Vintgar Gorge on suspended pathways and across bridges.
- Try the kremšnita, a deliciously decadent vanilla and cream pastry which Bled is known for.
- Visit the alpine Lake Bohinj in the Triglav National Park adored by Tito and Agatha Christie. Hike around the lake, visit Slap Savica waterfall or take a two-day hike to the summit of Triglav, Slovenia’s iconic three-peak mountain.
An alpine valley and centre of outdoor activities in Slovenia.
- Stay in Bovec, the adventure sports capital of Slovenia. White-water kayaking, rafting and mountain biking are just some of the adventure activities available.
- Explore the valley where some of the fiercest fighting of World War I took place between Italian and Austrian forces. Don’t be surprised to come across historic artillery pieces rusting away beside the road. Then visit the war museum at Kobarid.
The Karst Region
A region of limestone landscape that has given its name to other similar geological formations.
- Visit the caves at Postojna. The cave system is almost 15 miles long but only 3 miles are open to the public. See the world’s only underground post office, sightless amphibians and a cave so large (and with excellent acoustics) that it is used for concerts and recitals. Access to the caves is by train.
- Visit Predjama Castle is built up against the limestone cliffs and is full of secret passages that lead into the caves behind it.
- Stop at the Lipicia Stud Farm, famous for white Lipizzaner horses used by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The horses change colour as they mature.
A small, well-preserved and picturesque harbour town on a peninsula.
- People watch in the beautiful Tartini Square while admiring the Venetian architecture, for which the coastal port of Piran is famous.
- Pay a visit to the Parish Church of St. George to admire the 17th-century paintings and the marble altars. It has a clock tower reminiscent of the campanile in St. Mark’s Square, Venice.
- Soak up the atmosphere of the narrow streets, the waterfront and finish with a walk along the 7th-century defensive walls for magnificent views of Piran.
The Pannanonian Plain is where Slovenia meets Hungary, geographically, culturally and gastronomically.
- Visit Maribor, Slovenia’s second city, set in the country’s best known wine region. It’s also renowned for its excellent cuisine.
- With Maribor set in the Slovenian wine-producing region, it is de rigueur to visit the Old Vine House where the world’s oldest vine still produces grapes after 400 years.
- Visit Ptuj, the oldest town in Slovenia, which dates back to Roman times.
- Treat yourself to a relaxing stay at Terme Ptuj Spa, one of the many thermal springs found across Slovenia.
Wherever you go in Slovenia you are never far from a thermal, mineral or seawater spa.
- Visit Rimske Terme Spa where the Romans established hot and cold baths in 39AD making it one of the oldest spa resorts in Europe.
- Rogaška is a large health and wellness resort with beautiful parks, and is a source of the most magnesium-rich water in the world.
- Terme Čatež is a huge thermal metropolis with one of Europe’s largest outdoor pool complexes where the water from the thermal springs has to be cooled to make it bearable!
For such a small country Slovenia packs in more than many other larger countries. Once you visit you’ll want to return again and again…
Make sure you have travel insurance for Slovenia that covers your chosen activities and any health conditions you may have.