Welcome to Slovenia
A land full of nature, caves and charming cities
An earthly paradise of snow-capped peaks, turquoise-green rivers and Venetian-style coastline, Slovenia enriches its natural treasures with harmonious architecture, charming rustic culture and sophisticated cuisine.
From the soaring peaks of the Julian Alps and the subterranean magic of Postojna and Škocjan caves to the sparkling emerald-green lakes and rivers and the short but sweet coastline along the Adriatic Sea, tiny Slovenia really does have it all. An incredible mixture of climates brings warm Mediterranean breezes up to the foothills of the Alps, where it can snow even in summer. And with more than half of its total surface still covered in forest, Slovenia does more than simply claim it’s ‘green’, it really is one of the greenest countries on earth.
Slovenia is first and foremost an outdoor destination. Local people favour active holidays, and you’ll be invited – even expected – to join in. The list of activities on offer is endless, with the most popular pursuits being skiing, walking and hiking in the mountains, and increasingly, cycling. Fast rivers like the Soča cry out to be rafted and there are ample chances to try out more niche activities like horse riding, ballooning, caving and canyoning. If all this sounds a bit much, you can always decamp to the coast and sunbathe on the Adriatic.
Architectural & Cultural Treasures
You might be forgiven for thinking that anything of beauty in this greenest of green lands is, well, all-natural. But it isn’t necessarily so. Where man intrudes is often too good effects, such as at Lake Bled, where a tiny baroque chapel on a picturesque island and a dramatic castle looming above complete a harmonious whole. The architecture is wonderfully varied: from the Venetian harbour towns of the coast and the rustic Hungarian-style farmhouses of Prekmurje to the Gothic churches of the Julian Alps and the art nouveau splendours of Ljubljana. The museums are rich and the culture vibrant.
A Matter of Taste
Slovenian cooking borrows a little something from each of its neighbours – Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Balkans – synthesising and reinventing dishes that emerge both familiar and unique. Slovenes have an obsession for using only fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The result is a terrific foodie destination, where you’ll sample dishes in unusual combinations, featuring items like scrumptious pasta dumplings of potato, chives and bacon, salads drizzled with nutty pumpkin seed oil, and multilayered gibanica, a wildly decadent dessert. Slovenian wine is an unheralded strength, and regional whites and reds pair well with local specialities.
Planning your trip to Slovenia, but not so sure about which are the best places to visit?
What to visit in Slovenia?
And make no mistake, despite being a small country, Slovenia is full of natural wonders; historical cities; resorts and spas; wineries and casinos.
The second largest city in Slovenia is Maribor, with approximately 95.000 inhabitants. The city is located in a famous region of wine production and several spas. Some of them are Rogaška Slatina, Radenci, Čatež ob Savi, Dobrna and Moravske Toplice. Maribor is also known for the Maribor Pohorje ski resort. Which in January hosts the Women’s Slalom competitions and the Giant Slalom of the Alpine Skiing World Cup, also known as The Golden Fox. For the more adventurous Maribor also has several sports parks. Some of them are the Adrenaline Park Pohorje (Park Adrenalinski Pohorje); Pohorje Bike Park; and Betnava Adventure Park (Pustolovski Park Betnava).
Slovenia has some incredible nature. From beautiful caves that hide endangered species to amazing lakes with natural islands, surrounded by mountains.
The charming Lake Bled is World famous for having a natural island right in the center of the lake, with a picturesque church. The small church can only be visited after facing 100 steps, but it’s worth! The Bled Castle, at the top of the hill, is also a must for anyone visiting the city. It is a very nice castle, with the most beautiful view of the lake. It has museums, a restaurant/cafe, and very interesting facilities!
Descending towards the Karst plateau, the country’s coastline, be sure to visit the Postojna Caves, one of the most famous in Europe. Make a stop also for the Predjama Castle. For those who are fans of caves and who like to visit unusual places, it is also worth visiting the Škocjan Caves. Listed by UNESCO as World Natural and Cultural Heritage since 1986. Continuing towards the sea, you will find the Slovenian Istria. Visit the small town of Piran and, if it is summer, enjoy your sunbathing time in Portorož.
Triglav National Park
In the north-western corner of the country is the Triglav National Park. It is the country’s only national park. Almost in the middle of the park is Mount Triglav, the highest peak of the Julian Alps, a treat for those who love outdoor walks and adventure.
In Ljubljana, the average temperature in January is 0 °C (32 °F), during winter. Snow falls often and fogs are also frequent in the region, bringing intense frosts.
At summer the average temperature in the capital is 21 °C (70 °F) in July. Rainfall is abundant during the whole year, in fact, this is one of the rainiest capitals in Europe. So during summer, you can count on afternoon thunderstorms, although the sun also appears frequently. On the high summer season can happen some short heat waves, with peaks of 35 °C (95 °F). The sun in Ljubljana is rarely seen in winter, while in the summer it shines quite often, though not as often as along the coast.
The area closer to the sea can be described as the transitional Mediterranean climate. So, winter is quite mild in cities such as Portorož, Piran, Izola, Koper. The average temperature in January in this region is around 5/6 °C (41/43 °F). But, as is common in the Balkans, this area is exposed to a very strong and cold wind, Bura. When Bura, a cold furious wind, blows the temperature undergoes sudden drops. Snowfall in this area is rare.
On the other hand, rainfall in Portorož is fairly abundant and well distributed throughout the year. So summer rains, like thunderstorms can be expected. However, in this region the rainiest season is autumn.
The sea temperature is high and great for swimming in July and August, and sometimes even in September.