Slovenia is a very special country in Europe: it covers a small area if compared to the nearby countries, but the landscape is extraordinarly varied. You can go hiking in the mountains in the morning and have a swim at the seaside in the afternoon: every season is perfect for a visit, but summer is the most exciting for sure.
These are the best places and the experiences you should try during your journey to Slovenia
#1 – Skocjan and Postojna caves
The karstic caves are a unique scenary hard to find elsewhere. There are more than 8.000 caves in the country, but the number is increasing due to new discoveries.
The most famous is Postojna cave: it has 20 km of galleries and it is home of the proteus salamander, a rare and endangered amphibian. Thanks to the electric lighting, you can admire not only the stalactites and stalagmites but also the graffiti written by visitors and explorers over the centuries.
Skocjan caves are less famous but even more thrilling and represent a unique underground phenomena in the Karst region, having been created by the flow of a river inside the mountains. The underground channel created by the river is approximately 3.5 km long, 10 to 60 m wide and over 140 m high. It also expands into huge underground chambers, considered some of the largest in the world.
#2 – Baza 20
Inside the forest of Kocevski Rog several partisan houses, hospitals and barracks were hidden during the II World War. The former commanding structures now host a museum with original or replicated equipment from the war period and panels explaining everyday life during the war.
#3 – Lake Bled
Bled is a gem with splendid views, thanks to the Castel Hill and a tiny island. The 6 km long trail around the lake is really pleasant and you can take a rest or do water sports.
The town is also close to some other interesting destinations, such as Vingtar Gorge and Triglav National Park.
#4 – Idrija mercury mine
The village of Idrija has been an important mercury mining site since late 15th century and there are many historical monuments and museums about it.
Idrija also hosts a lace festival (usually in june) and has a good local cuisine (try the zlikrofi).
#5 – Hrastovlje
The Church of the Holy Trinity is a historical building in Hrastovlje. It was built in the 12th century and is surrounded by a wall that the local population built to protect itself from Turkish attacks in the 16th century.
It is worth a visit thanks to the gothic frescoes inside the church, painted in the 15th century. The most famous represent a Danse Macabre and were discovered in 1949 under layers of plasters.
#6 – The charming cities of Ljubljana and Maribor
Ljubljana, the capital, and Maribor, the second largest city in the country, are two gems and offer a lot of cultural attractions and shopping options.
Whereas the capital city is more lively and has many tourists visiting it, Maribor has a more relaxing vibe thanks to the surrounding parks and hills.
In Maribor you can also try the famous cevapcici, a mouthwatering typical dish from the region: go to Grill Ranca and have a relaxing dinner there.
#7 – Soza river and the Great War trenches
If you are passionate about I World War, you can’t miss the Soza river valley and Kobarid, with its museum, the historical trail and the battle line trenches.
This area is also famous and very well organized for many sports: paragliding, climbing, hiking, fishing and other water sports.
#8 – Seaside: Piran and Izola
The coast is rather short in Slovenia and the seaside can’t be compared to Italy or Croatia.
Nevertheless Piran is a beautiful small town with narrow streets and white buildings and Izola has a tiny beach and excellent (and cheap) restaurants.
#9 – Vingtar gorge
The gorge is a very popular natural feature in Slovenia and it’s quite close to Lake Bled.
Tourists can walk the trail that runs through the 1,6km long gorge and see cascades, rapids and pools.
#10 – Triglav National Park
If you are fond of nature, this is a not to be missed place. The park gaines its name from Slovenia’s highest mountain, Triglav, which stands 2.864 metres high. The landscape is impressive and you can find also many small villages and emerald green pastures.
You can find this article also on One World 365