Slovenia: Europe’s Hidden Gem

Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps (known for its mountains, forests and rivers), the Mediterranean (known for its beaches, wines, olives and fruit), the Pannonian Plain (known for its thermal springs), and the Karst (known for its caves). This proximity of opposites and contrasts is a hallmark of Slovenia. It is just a 2-hour drive from Venice airport and 4 hours from Vienna. By plane it takes only 1 hour from Rome, Munich, Frankfurt, or Dubrovnik and only 2 hours from Paris or Amsterdam.

Some of Slovenia’s opposites and contrasts include:

Ljubljana: Vibrantly Modern yet Authentically Traditional

Ljubljana is in Central Slovenia. It is small, beautiful, easy to get around, and full of surprises. During winter it has a dreamy central European character, during summer it has a relaxed Mediterranean feel. It is remarkable for its rich tradition, youthful vibrancy, cultural creativity, arts and entertainment, and numerous green spaces. Central Slovenia is where the alpine and karst landscapes meet. It features the Ljubljana Marshes, the Velika planina in the Kamnik Alps, subterranean caves, and the Polhov Gradec’s mysterious forests.  Festivals abound with the most highly acclaimed being Druga Godba (one of Europe’s best world music festivals) and Ljubljana Jazz Festival.

Lake Bohinj and Julian Alps: The Sunny Side of the Alps

Bohinj is in the heart of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park. It is ideal for all sorts of day experiences, walking on the trails that run throughout the valley, mountaineering and climbing tours as well as skiing, kayaking, or fishing. It offers wonderful options for rest and relaxation in all seasons, too. Relax on the beach. Meander through the 13th century town of Ribcev Laz. Enjoy the spectacular views. In winter, the valley transforms into a winter sports center. During the summer, Lake Bohinj, named one of the best wild swimming spots in Europe, invites bathers while the Sava Bohinjka River attracts kayakers and anglers.

Goriška Brda: Charming Vineyards and Fabulous Wines

The Goriška Brda region in western Slovenia features stunning Alpine peaks and valleys, enchanting wine-growing areas, beautiful hills around Cerkno and Idrija, and the distinctive emerald river Soča. It tempts your tastebuds with high-quality wines, the tempting flavors of Mediterranean cuisine; healthy, fresh and home-made Brda food; as well as locally grown olive oil and fruit. Continue to awaken your senses by exploring nature or simply relaxing in the sun or walking around vineyards or socializing with locals.  The traditional Cheery Festival is the region’s biggest cultural and tourist event. It has ethnological, cultural and sports events, and entertainment for all ages.

Slovenian Riviera — The Best of Istrian Peninsula

While the Slovenian Riviera only stretches twenty-eight miles along the Adriatic Sea, it never fails to surprise and delight with its idyllic beaches, picturesque sights and towns, and lively nightlife. The notable towns on Slovenia’s Riviera are Piran, Portoroz, Izola, and Koper. They’re all within half an hour’s drive of each other. Strunjan Cliff is the highest flysch wall on the Adriatic coast. Fourteenth-century Sečovlje saltworks still inspire. Nature sanctuaries protect more than 150 bird species. Towns and villages offer fully equipped marinas, thermal baths, a casino, medieval landmarks, modern hotels, Gothic frescoes, and a beautifully preserved Danse Macabre.

Lower Carniola – Love Itself, with Thermal Springs

There is a saying – the sky dreams of stars, the earth dreams of love. Lower Carniola does not dream of love – it is love itself. Nowhere is there grass as green, streams as babbling, birds as melodic, fields as abundant, and nowhere are the ripples of life as profound as here. Hillside vineyards, hilltop churches, castles and monasteries, sparkling green rivers, broad forests, and groves of birch trees give southeastern Slovenia a unique charm. Its deep springs bubble up restorative and healing thermal waters. Castles, religious buildings, monuments, gardens, and historical architecture form the jewels of its crown.

Karst – Enchanted Underground World

The Karst is between the Trieste Bay and the Vipav-ska Valley in southwest Slovenia.  More than one thousand caves can be found in the Karst region, the most famous being the Škocjan Caves, the Postojna Cave, and the Križna jama Cave. At Kaninski podi there are potholes considered the deepest in the world. The Snežna jama Cave under Raduha reveals mighty underground halls with ice dripstones and lakes.  The Postojna Cave is the most-visited cave in Europe. It has a network of 12.5 miles of passages, galleries, and chambers. The Vilenica cave is the first cave in Europe open for tourists – it has been welcoming guests since 1633.

Source: Luxury Slovenia