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Honeymoon in Slovenia

Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst.

The changing landscape is constantly surprising, time and again. You can have one eye on the sea, then look in the other direction and be surrounded by high mountains. Heading up into the forests, you can see the green plains below you. From upland meadows your view stretches into river gorges. This proximity of opposites and contrasts is a hallmark of the country.

In Slovenia you can still walk through virgin forest, or watch the grapes ripen on the oldest vine in the world. You can hear tales of bears, and eat forest fruits that you have foraged yourself on a brief walk out of town. Here you can uncover the secrets of the land, and what lies beneath it. Here you are part of nature.

Slovenia has numerous sites of special natural interest, with features of all four main areas: the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst and the Pannonian Plain. It also has a wealth of diverse architecture and urban design. You can truly feel at home in Slovenia’s towns.

Slovenia is a land of greenery, which offers great opportunities for activity holidays. Its high-quality accommodation guarantees a comfortable stay. It is perfect for a summer holiday, a winter break or a weekend away.

Slovenia is famed for its excellent food, accompanied by one of its fine wines.

Getting to know Slovenia

Slovenia lies in the heart of Europe, where the Alps meet the Mediterranean and the Pannonian Plain meets the Karst. This small green country measures 20,273 km2 in area, and is home to sincere, hospitable people of great diligence. It has an exceptional number of top athletes, and a wealth of cultural creativity. In Slovenia it is not difficult to compare the value of goods and services, as they are priced in one of the world’s major currencies, the euro.

The diligent nation

Slovenia has a population of two million, of whom the vast majority are ethnic Slovenes. People hailing from the other former Yugoslav republics make up a significant minority, albeit than 10% of the total population. The Italian and Hungarian ethnic communities have protected minority status, despite their small size.

The majority of people live in towns and cities, but a significant number live in the countryside. Agriculture accounts for only a small proportion of the workforce, while the majority work in services and manufacturing.

Slovenes are renowned as a diligent, hard-working nation, part of the reason that Slovenia is the wealthiest of the new EU members. They constantly aim to prove themselves and to progress. Their toil and persistence has allowed many Slovenes to achieve at the global level. A very good example is the country’s athletes, particularly those involved in extreme sports, from mountaineering and extreme skiing to ultramarathon biking and swimming exploits.

Slovenes are also very thorough in learning foreign languages to make themselves understood. Even primary school students can speak foreign languages. The majority of people can speak good English, while most have a good grasp of German. A large share of the population can communicate in the languages of the old Yugoslavia, while there are many fluent Italian speakers in the areas bordering Italy.

Invigorating above and below

The collision of four major European geographical units has created a very invigorating landscape, much of it thickly forested. More than a third of the country’s area is protected.

The most mountainous region is the north, where the Alps begin. The Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps have many stunning sharp peaks. The peaks of the Karavanke, the mountains bordering Austria, are more gentle.

Much of the east of the country between Ljubljana and Maribor is uplands, as are the areas west and south of the capital.

There are gentler hills in the south-east and east, where the vine flourishes, while plains and basins populate the areas between the hills. The Ljubljana region lies in the largest basin.

Slovenia also has a large plains area, as the east of the country is part of the Pannonian Plain.

Not only is the land surface very invigorating, there are also wonders underground: some of the country’s 9,000 karstic caves are among the most beautiful in the world.

Slovenian landscapes

The exceptionally diverse landscapes of Slovenia have some common features that link a specific area into a whole. To help you decide which part of the country to visit, and to let you know what to see and what to do there, we have divided Slovenian landscapes into four groups: the Alpine world, the north-eastern uplands and lowlands, the Karst and the coast. The capital city is where all four groups meet, and is important enough to have been given its own section.

The Alpine world

Logarska valleyThe Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps are some of the most beautiful parts of Slovenia. Visitors love Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, and Blejski Vintgar, a gorge formed by the River Radovna. The Julian Alps are also home to the Soca Valley, which was the first destination in Slovenia to be awarded EDEN status. Another such destination is Solcavsko in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.

Other favourite tourist destinations in this area include Kranjska Gora and Bovec, which offer numerous outdoor pursuits, and the towns of Kranj and Škofja Loka.

Uplands and lowlands

The green slopes of the Pohorje massif are home to Maribor, Slovenia’s second city, and also to three natural health resorts: Zrece, Dobrna and Topolšica. Eastern Slovenia has other natural health resorts that have grown up around thermal springs. Healing mineral waters are a feature of Radenci and Rogaška Slatina.

The major attraction of Slovenia’s third city, Celje, is its Old Castle, once home to the sole Slovenian noble family, the Counts of Celje. The Podravje wine region is packed with wineries and tourist farms, whose excellent food and wine are a welcome treat for hikers and bikers.

The coast

Slovenia’s coastline is short, but has a number of attractions. Next to Strunjan Cliff, the highest flysch wall on the Adriatic, lie the Secovlje Salt Pans, a regional park and a bird sanctuary.

Several towns on the coast are worth a visit. In addition to Piran and Portorož, Koper and Izola are also attractive destinations. The coast is ideal forwater sports, while the hills of the hinterland could have been designed for biking. There are also natural health resorts in Strunjan and Portorož.

The Karst

The world of the Karst encompasses most of the southern part of Slovenia. The south-west is home to the largest number of karstic caves, including Postojna Cave and Škocjan Caves, which are well worth seeing. Another amazing attraction is Predjama Castle, built into a cliff concealing an intricate cave system.

The little town of Lipica is where breeding of the famous Lipizzaner horses began more than 400 years ago. The Lipica Stud Farm is a welcoming recreational centre and a riding school.

The heart of the country

Ljubljana, Slovenia’s picturesque capital city, is sure to enthuse you with its relaxed yet lively atmosphere. In the very heart of the country, it is an ideal base for getting to know the immediate surroundings, and also the other parts of Slovenia.

Nature

The friendly, hospitable and attentive locals will guarantee you a pleasant stay. You can feel Slovenia.

Slovenia is best experienced in nature, in the open air. There are many natural attractions all over the country. The diverse plant and animal life and the varied landscapes are attractive all year round. When you set out on themed trails to the countryside or natural parks, be aware of the importance of the fact that other people also want to enjoy nature. You are also part of a green Slovenia.

Green Slovenia

Slovenia is green mainly due to forests. They cover almost 60 percent of the land, and include virgin forests. The unspoilt nature is no accident, but is the fruit of hard work and conscious behavior.
Every year more than a million trees are planted in Slovenia, and various campaigns aim to raise awareness that more needs to be done for nature than just picking up your own rubbish. Learn about Slovenian tourism operators already doing this. Visiting them is also a way of expressing support for their efforts and encouraging them and everyone else to further strengthen green tourism, which is becoming an increasingly powerful advantage of Slovenia over other tourist destinations.

Next exit

You can visit various parts of Slovenia with the help of the themed trails linked under the joint slogan Next exit. All six regions have attractive educational trails and cultural and natural heritage trails. Walking the Next Exit routes includes visiting numerous natural parks by following varied walking trails. Many natural attractions in Slovenia are hidden underground. The beautiful Karst caves found in Slovenia are hard to match elsewhere.

Away from towns

One major advantage of Slovenia is the friendly countryside. Tourist farms are just part of the wealth of attractions that allow you to relax and recharge your batteries. This wealth of experiences all over Slovenia is accompanied by tasty food. Try it and feel Slovenia.

Active holidays

Slovenia offers the chance to take part in sports activities, and enjoy unforgettable experiences, every day of the year. A vital element is that they take place in nature, and thus have a beneficial impact on your feelings and health. Of course, some activities depend on the season. In the winter there are the ski slopes, in the summer water sports and aerial adventures, and in the spring and autumn the vivid colors of hiking and biking trails.

Aquatic attractions

In Slovenia the favorite water sports are those that get the adrenalin flowing. The Soca is the best choice for whitewater rafting and hydrospeeding. Its smaller tributaries offer the excitement of canyoning. The Sava, the Savinja and the Krka are all good for kayaking. For hectic pursuits such as canoeing and wood rafting, the Kolpa and the Drava are highly recommended.

Slovenia’s rivers and lakes are a paradise for anglers. There are 25 different species that can be fished with artificial flies.

 

In the green countryside

Slovenia is crisscrossed by count trails running through unspoilt countryside. Hiking is one of the most popular sports and recreations, from easier short hikes along the valleys and hills, to challenging protected trails in the high mountains.

You can get to know Slovenia’s natural beauty and cultural attractions by bike, choosing the relaxation of the valleys and lowlands, the exercise of the rolling hills, or the challenges of the mountain slopes according to your experience and fitness. In addition to road biking trails, there are more and more mountain biking trails, which can also pass by biking parks.

Slovenia is also a good place to play golf. There are more than ten golf courses, and numerous driving ranges. All are well-designed and within easy reach, and cater for beginners and experienced players alike.

Experiencing Slovenia in the saddle is a pleasure offered by numerous equestrian centers, tourist farms and ranches in the cradle of the world-renowned Lipizzaners.

In the winter landscape

Slovenia’s ski resorts are mostly equipped with snow cannons for making manmade snow. Ski schools can help all skiers and snowboarders to improve their skills. Slovenia’s mountains are safe for ski touring, in the company of a mountain guide. Sledging and cross-country skiing are also popular winter pastimes.

Underground

The rich underground world of the Karst offers not just tours of caves, but also real caving exploits, such as cave trekking and teambuilding. You can even bike in the galleries of the abandoned mine beneath Mt Peca.

In the air

You can see the landscape from above in a hot-air balloon, or a light sport aircraft. The more courageous can try an aerobatic flight, or for a real adrenalin rush, a tandem parachute jump.

Food and wine

As you enjoy Slovenian food and wine, the circumstances that resulted in the Slovenian proverb that love comes through the stomach will become clear. The delights of Slovenian cooking, hidden in old recipes, are now available at almost every turn. Food with tradition can be seen in family inns, special events called osmice and rural experiences. Its faithful companions are the excellent Slovenian wines.

Almost everywhere you go in Slovenia you can find tasty and varied dishes, and Slovenian wines can enthuse even the most demanding wine connoisseur. Slovenia's varied cuisine developed at the meeting place of influences from the cuisines of the Mediterranean, the Pannonian plain, the Alps and the Balkans. You can discover its specialties and tourist farms.

Hospitality and satisfaction

Inns are a little more common in the country than in towns. Many of them are family-run, some with a tradition going back a hundred years or more. The range of food offered by inns is very varied, and each offers at least three dishes typical of the district or region.

In Slovenia you will also leave restaurants happy. Anyone interested in other cuisines as well as Slovenian food is well catered for. There are many Italian spaghetti and pizza restaurants, Serbian restaurants with grilled food, international restaurants and numerous Asian restaurants, particularly Chinese.

One special feature of Slovenian cuisine is the osmice in the Karst. At these social events, for eight days farmers serve home-made wine at extremely low prices. Cheeses and dried meat products, particularly the outstanding kraški pršut (air-dried ham), are always available.

Learning about wine

Learn directly about Slovenian winemaking traditions and knowledge on the picturesque wine roads in all 14 wine-growing regions. In places along the way you can visit wine cellars.

Cross the border or in a peaceful shelter

Given that Slovenia is part of the Schengen area, it is easy to try the hospitality on offer across the northern border in Austrian Carinthia. The Let's enjoy without borders guide, divided into 11 regions, includes more than 1100 recommendations and suggestions on both sides of the border.

For a peaceful moment in Slovenian towns, you must visit one of the cafés, which have undergone a renaissance in recent years. If you want to try preparing traditional Slovenian dishes, many useful recipes are available.

Weather and Climate in Slovenia

The weather in Slovenia varies from season to season. There are also three climatic influences that meet in the country. A harsh Alpine climate prevails in the mountains, the coast has a sub-Mediterranean climate, and the north-east lowlands have a continental climate. The average temperature is above 20°C in July, and around 0°C in January. It is worth checking the current weather, so that you can dress and equip yourself appropriately.

Source: www.slovenia.info/

 

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