Travel Guide to Slovenia: What to See and Do in Slovenia
General Information About Slovenia
Slovenia, officially called the Republic of Slovenia, is a country of the European Union that was formed in 1991 after gaining independence from Yugoslavia. This country is bordered by: Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, and finally, Italy to the west.
The currency used in the country is the Euro and its official language is Slovenian. In the border regions with Hungary and Italy, Hungarian and Italian is co-official. As for religion, the most professed is Catholicism, although there are some Muslim and Orthodox communities.
Geographically, Slovenia stands out for its wealth in terms of natural resources, as it is considered the green heart of Europe and is home to four regions with different landscapes, whose juncture occurs in the country's capital: Ljubljana. These four regions are: the northeastern mountains and plains, the alpine sector, the karstic zone, and the coast.
Location of Slovenia
Here's where Slovenia is located:
Map of Slovenia en Google Maps
What to See in Slovenia?
Do you want to explore a nation full of lakes, mountains and beautiful architecture that blends with its exuberant landscapes? Slovenia is that and much more. This European country offers you a relaxed lifestyle, adventures in nature, hiking, skiing, swimming and a unique gastronomy.
Traveling to Slovenia is also an experience of comfort, where you will find spas and resorts everywhere, as well as lakes and swimming pools. The food is magnificent and his name is very friendly. For these reasons, Slovenia is one of our favorite destinations to recommend in Greca.
Here are some of the most beautiful cities in Slovenia so you don't miss a thing during your trip.
Slovenia does a very good job of coexisting with nature, and you can clearly see this in the country's capital, Ljubljana.
Sometimes it is difficult to know if the city was built in nature or if nature grew around it. Arts events and festivals are very popular in the city, as are its many parks and riverside cafes.
Bled is a city on the edge of the lake with the same name. Lake Bled is the most iconic and impressive site in Slovenia. The city is a paradise for the people who live there, who enjoy the lake view and fresh air.
A place that you cannot stop admiring while visiting is the Bled Castle. This city looks like something out of a fairy tale, we warned you.
Bohinj is a municipality with a lot to do and see. It is the capital of Bohinjska Bistrica, and is nestled in a lush valley of dense forests. The Bohinj railway, which takes you directly to Italy, passes through this area and offers one of the best views of the Alps.
Lake Bohinj is one of the most peaceful and picturesque places in Slovenia, and is the perfect place for hiking and relaxation especially in spring. When you get there, be sure to visit the Savice waterfall and the Sava River, which means the end of the world in Slovenian. Lake Bohinj is located 30 minutes drive from Lake Bled.
It is the second largest city in Slovenia, and honestly its beauty looks like something out of a Renaissance painting. The oldest vine in the world, known as The Old Wine, grows just outside a house in the center of the city.
Wine is a part of life in this region, and the city of Maribor itself is a very exciting place to explore.
Bovec is located on the edge of the beautiful Triglav National Park, which is reason enough to visit and stay for a couple of days. The views of the high mountains from every street are incredible. The inhabitants of this city are sports lovers –everyone you can imagine.
There are also festivals in case sports are not your thing. Another interesting fact is that Bovec served as a location to record scenes from the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008).
It is a city steeped in history. The Battle of Caporetto, in Kobarid, was captured in Ernest Hemingway's iconic novel A Farewell to Arms. Apart from that, there are many restaurants and beautiful views, such as the amazing Soča valley; a dramatic destination that you cannot stop watching.
This is an alpine station famous for being one of the best ski sites in Europe. Its most dramatic mountain is called Spik, and it is a paradise for ski lovers from all over the world.
Apart from skiing, you will be able to get an incredible Russian chapel built by the prisoners of the First World War on the Vršič mountain pass, and the beautiful Jasna Lake.
This small town is a rural community near Kobarid. It is more remote than the rest of the cities, but its people are very friendly and receptive, and you will be able to get to the Sacred Heart Church and admire the beautiful local architecture.
In a region that borders Italy, Medana is famous for its excellent vineyards and laid-back lifestyle. In August, there is an annual Poetry and Wine Festival, celebrated there since two of the most recognized poets in Slovenia, Alojz Gradnik and Ludvik Zorzut, were born there – and in the same house.
It is a quiet fishing village, and is now one of the most visited places in Slovenia – for obvious reasons. Sitting on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, this city has everything from Venetian architecture, wellness spa, and fantastic cuisine.
Piran is known for having some of the best restaurants in the country, as well as promenades near the sea to enjoy every corner of this beautiful city.
Things to Do in Slovenia
Slovenia offers wonderful attractions and things to do for all types of travelers, whether it is for those who enjoy an adrenaline-pumping holiday, those who enjoy relaxing and gazing at the most beautiful landscapes, or the curious, lovers of history and culture.
Here we mention some of the most entertaining activities that you can carry out in this incredible country.
Adventures in the Soča Valley
If you are looking for adventure, visit the Vipaba Valley. Here you can enjoy rafting, zip lining and paragliding activities, or go for a relaxing hike.
Skiing in Vogel
Vogel is a ski resort in the Triglav National Park. It is where tourists from all over Europe go to experience one of the best places to ski and snowboard. Visit during the winter months and blaze your own trails through the snow, beginners welcome too.
This beautiful Renaissance castle is found at the mouth of a cave. You will also get the best views of the Balkan Sea. Finding out how this 800 year old cave still exists is half the fun of visiting it, the other is being in awe of how beautiful it is.
Chase Dragons in Ljubljana
Ljubljana is full of dragon statues. The four most impressive are those located on the Dragon Bridge. They are beautifully carved and amazingly detailed beasts and tracking them down is quite an adventure through the city and certainly worth doing. Also, Ljubljana has its own funky art area called Metelkova. Here you can stay in an old prison.
Postojna Caves Adventures
In the same area where the Predjama Castle is located, there are also the beautiful caves. These diverse and magical caves are surely what Jules Verne was envisioning when he wrote Journey to the Center of the Earth. The caves are large and diverse, so much so that you can take a small train to see them completely.
Glamping on Lake Bled
Lake Bled offers the chance to return to nature while still living a fairytale adventure, amid the stunning tranquility. All this is possible in complete comfort, with interesting options such as campfires, Jacuzzis and picnic breakfasts.
Biking on Lake Bohinj
Riding bikes around Lake Bohinj will give you every possible view of the lake, the beaches, the forests, and the mountains that surround the area. You will surely love this experience.
Visit Triglav National Park
This National Park must be seen to be believed, as it looks like something out of a video game. Dramatic landscapes, rugged mountains and serene lakes will be the perfect destination for walking and exploring.
Visit the Enchanting Vintgar Gorge
Through this calm gorge runs a green river with rapids, waterfalls and pools. You can stroll along the base of the gorge, at the water's edge, taking in the view and feeling the steam from its relaxing waters.
It's a totally different atmosphere than outdoor mountain ranges, and a very serene yet exciting experience. The Vintgar Gorge is located a few kilometers from Lake Bled.
Hiking in the Julian Alps
The Julian Alps of Slovenia are made to be explored. There are many hiking trails in the middle of these mountains that you can explore for days and never get to know the whole area. But don't worry, each view you will see is unique and special.
What to Eat and Drink in Slovenia
Soups, pastries, cakes and cheese, these are some of the best things to try in Slovenian gastronomy, and believe us, everything is delicious. If you visit Bled, you have to try the Bled Cream Cake, a very indulgent French-style sweet. Other delicious foods like Strukliji – a cake that can be savory or sweet – can be found in all parts of the country.
These are some of the main things to taste in Slovenia:
Strukliji: As we mentioned, it is a cake that is often sweet or savory. You can find them stuffed with apples or other fruits if you like them sweet, or cheese and meat if you prefer salty. Think of them as similar to English cakes.
Bleki: its pasta, but not the pasta you know from Italy. This style of pasta is unique to Slovenia. It is made of small square-shaped leaves cooked with various types of pork.
Bosman: It's traditional braided bread. Its appearance is beautiful and it is traditionally eaten in family celebrations. However, it is common to get it in many bakeries in Slovenia.
Jota: This exquisite soup is a hearty meal traditionally made by mothers in their homes. It is made from various types of grains, herbs, spices, and potatoes. It is an indispensable dish in winter.
Bled Cream Cake or Blejska kremšnita: This delicious sweet is something you cannot miss when visiting Slovenia.
Celebrations of Slovenia
The celebrations in Slovenia are very peculiar and are linked to the beliefs of the inhabitants. We tell you about some of them:
- Cow Ball: A celebration that started very small to celebrate the herdsmen after they came back from the mountains and bring the cattle back to the village and then turned into a big tourist event where the locals of the Bohinj Valley gather in the middle of September together with travelers from all over.
- Bonfires on April 30: A tradition of lighting bonfires in a ritual that seeks to help the sun become more resplendent in the spring.
- Blessing of the motorcycles: a celebration in which the cities of Slovenia house up to more than 10 thousand motorcycles each and these are blessed.
How to Get Around Slovenia
Rent a car
Taking into account how quiet Slovenia is, and how much nature there is to explore, renting a car is a good option. It is a country to get lost in its paths and enjoy each of its corners on your own.
Buses and Minibuses
If you're not comfortable with the idea of renting a car, or don't have a driver's license, don't worry. In Slovenia you can go anywhere using public transport, and they are very comfortable.
If you want to take a bus to one of the quieter rural towns, you can do it without problem. They are slightly cheaper than trains, and will take you to places where there is no train access. So if you decide to travel by bus, be clear that this will not affect the excitement of getting to know the country.
Best Time to Visit Slovenia
Slovenia is one of the coolest and calmest countries of the Balkan countries. You can visit this paradise in any season, since there are two main ones: summer and winter, with small changes between one and the other.
If you want to visit the ski resorts in the mountains, you should ideally visit Slovenia between November and March. From April to October the weather is comfortable enough to enjoy hiking, exploring and biking through its forests, valleys and mountains.
What to Give If You Travel to Slovenia
If you travel to Slovenia and you would like to surprise your loved ones with some typical gift from the place, the key word that you should not forget while you walk through this beautiful country in search of gifts is: Wood.
Yes, wood. And it is that at first glance it might seem like something very common, but you should not forget that, as Slovenia is famous for its forests, wood is a resource that is absolutely characteristic of this region and the way in which artisans work it is part of its cultural capital.
Feel free to bring your wooden homeware, accessories and jewelry from Slovenia!
Cultural Aspects of Slovenia
History of Slovenia
The cultural richness of Slovenia stems from its fascinating history, because, although this small country is only 32 years old, its origins date back thousands of years. Proof of this is some stone tools from the year 250,000 BC, found in a cave, indicating that the territory was already inhabited in the Paleolithic.
Likewise, through these lands the passage of the Romans, the Huns, the Ostrogoths, the Germanics, the Longobards and the Slovenes, the main ancestors of the current Slovenes, who until just a few decades ago were considered inhabitants of Yugoslavia, are recorded.
As you will see, this beautiful land has been a source of dispute between different peoples, hence its young age as an independent country. However, their youth is not without wisdom, especially if one considers that, even before sustainability was talked about, this country was already following the guidelines of green development.
If you are a lover of getting to know different societies and discovering their intertwined culture, you will love Slovenia, since the past and its traditions coexist with a present full of vitality and you look towards a sustainable future.
The Value of Culture in Slovenia
In Slovenia society gives a primary place to culture. This is so because, thanks to the preservation of traditions and the support of institutions dedicated to promoting art and different cultural manifestations, this country was able to maintain its identity even when it lacked a state and its own jurisdiction.
This is why Prešeren Day is celebrated in this nation, a day of culture that takes place every year on February 8, the date on which the Slovenian poet France Prešeren died.
During this festivity, prizes are awarded to the main exponents of the different branches of art and concerts, festivals and poetry recitals take place throughout the country.
If you are an art lover you will find your second home in Slovenia.
Is It Worth Visiting Slovenia?
Definitely yes! Slovenia is an amazing country noted for its incredible landscapes and fascinating history. Some of its most interesting sites are Ljubljana and Lake Bled, so you will find these places in some of our packages.
You also have day tours of the places of interest in Slovenia. Do not wait any longer to book your excursions through this beautiful land!