Slovenia from A to Z

Little-know Slovenia is bursting with spectacular natural beauty, interesting history and wonderful architecture, making for a delight for travelers of all types. On Europe Expert, Rachael’s recent trip to this lovely destination, she discovered just what makes it so special. Here’s here guide to Slovenia from A to Z. 

Slovenia is a nation of bee keepers… Sound strange? This tiny country has put sustainable tourism and the environment at its forefront – and it really shows. Protecting its bees is just one of the steps Slovenia has taken. In 2016 the nation’s capital, Ljubljana, was the first in the world to receive the designation of European Green Capital, and it continues to expand its environmental initiatives. If sustainable tourism, pristine landscapes, outdoor pursuits, and eco-friendly vacations are important to you, then Slovenia should be next on your wish-list.

Wedged between the Adriatic Sea and the Alps, and bordering Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary, Slovenia offers plenty of diversity in its 7,800 square miles. The food covers everything from seafood and pasta, to schnitzel, goulash and dumplings. In fact, one of the 50 best restaurants in the world is here – Hiša Franko. This location has the best chef in Slovenia and utilizes only locally sourced ingredients. It is also allegedly the same building that Ernest Hemingway wrote part of “Farewell to Arms” as he recovered from war injuries.  In Slovenia, there is something for everyone.

Picturesque, and oozing old Europe charm, Ljubljana is a romantic destination that is graced with exquisite stone bridges that hover over an emerald-green river. With a bustling café scene, lively fresh food markets, all under the watchful eye of the Ljubljana castle, this old-world city feels like a modern-day fairy tale. Over 45% of Ljubljana is dedicated to green space and the ever-expanding pedestrian zone is made easy to navigate with the new zero-emission electric tourist buggies – a great no-footprint way to get around the city. In the winter months, renowned Christmas markets offer up traditional food and drink, and a fun selection of holiday gifts. The city center Christmas tree even has a name; it’s called “Melania.”

Embraced by the Julian Alps, the wondrous region of Bled and Bohinj is abundant with Alpine forest, sparkling lakes, spired buildings, and chalet-style houses. Possibly the most iconic scene from Slovenia is the perfectly situated Gothic church floating on Bled Island in the middle of the lake. To get to the island, oarsman row an eco-friendly pletna boat. This tradition has been around since the 16th century and the title of oarsman is passed down from one generation to the next. Bohinj is spectacular from any angle: it can be explored from the lake by boat, by the many miles of hiking trails that occupy the area, and also from the cable car that goes up some 1,535m to Mount Vogel. With hiking, biking, and water activities in summer, and skiing in the winter, this region is a true outdoor lovers paradise.

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