Discover Slovenia – Europe’s hidden gem
With its 20 square kilometers and 2 million inhabitants, Slovenia remains often below the radar for tourists. Did you know that this small country has ski resorts, coastal towns and world-renowned caves? After my 4 days visit, I am truly convinced that Slovenia has something to offer to any type of traveller. On top of that, distances are so small that you can even combine hiking in the mountains with a sunny afternoon at the coast.
According to an old Slovene tale, when the world was created every country was apportioned an abundance of one thing: one was given the mountains, another the sea, another endless plains and another dense forests. But Slovenia, the only country in Europe that unites the Alps and the Mediterranean, the Karst and the Pannonian Plain, was given everything that was left over: the best of everything!
My highlights of this chicken-shaped country
- Outdoor activities in Golte ski resort
- Fairytale towns and medieval castles
- Postojna caves
- Lake Bohinj
Nature and winter sport
If you love nature and winter sport, you should climb up the mountains and try out Golte area. Golte Ski Resort is a Slovenian ski resort located just above Mozirje on mountain range Kamnik-Savinja Alps. It has 8,5 km of ski slopes, 5 km of cross-country skiing tracks and the area is situated at ca. 1000-1500m. During summer, the area offers plenty of hiking trails and magnificent views over Savinja and Šalek valley. Furthermore, you can hike to one of Slovenia’s protected areas such as Smrekovec, the country’s only volcanic highland ridge. Did you know that the area also hosts Europe’s highest mini golf court?
If you are rather into fairytales with medieval castles, cozy town squares and charming bell towers, Slovenia will surprise you. Piran and Bled are the two places where the country’s magic is captured. Piran is Slovenia’s cutest coast town and Bled has a stunning lake and medieval castle to offer. Further in the castle chapter, Predjama Castle leads you back to the era of knights and sieges, located in south-central Slovenia close to Postojna. Read more about it here.
Postojna is the number one hotspot covered in every tourist guide you read. And it should be! Imagine 24 kilometers of underground passages, galleries and magnificent halls. And shadows playing with your imagination, creating mysterious shapes and figures all around you. Read more about my underground experiences here.
Lake Bohinj is Slovenia’s largest permanent lake, covering 318 hectares and located in the Bohinj Valley of the Julian Alps. The interesting thing about it is the fact that it is a glacial lake, dammed by a moraine. When I visited Lake Bled, I thought, “Slovenia won’t get more beautiful than this”. Wrong thought. Take a good look at Lake Bonhinj, only 26km southwest of Lake Bled. It’s less crowded and in several ways more authentic. Imagine crystal-clear blue-green water and charming villages around the lake. The lake area offers plenty of activities such as cycling, kayaking, hiking and horseback riding. An ideal summer holiday destination!
- You can easily book a flight to Ljubljana Airport.
- Alternatively, Zaghbreb airport is only a 2 hours drive away from Slovenia’s capital
- You can pay in Euros (they even have a 3 EUR coin!) and most people speak fluently English
- Don’t rely too much on the weather forecast! Due to the mountains, weather conditions can change rapidly.
- Bring good walking shoes, as you will walk a lot
- Bring warm clothes to the Postojna caves, average temperatures are around 10°C!