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 to good effect, 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 pumpkinseed oil, and multilayered gibanica, a wildly decadent dessert. Slovenian wine is an unheralded strength, and regional whites and reds pair well with local specialities.