Lonely Planet’s six reasons to visit Slovenia

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Lake Bled - Slovenia's largest lake ambassador
Lake Bled - Slovenia's largest lake ambassador

Slovenia’s specialties are the incredible diversity gathered in a small geographical area. It is this position, together with the natural resources, sights, and diverse cultural heritage has given us an exceptional basis for the development of varied and unique offers to both foreign and domestic visitors.

One of the most prestigious and well-known guides Lonely Planet has released an article where they named six reasons to visit Slovenia.

Slovenia is without a doubt one of the most unique countries in the world. Due to its compact size, you can go skiing in the Julian Alps in the morning, go to work in the capital city of Ljubljana and finish the day by eating an amazing dinner at the beautiful Slovenian seaside. Even the toughest tourist or visitor will find something to see, eat or do in Slovenia.

Slovenia is most known for its breathtaking natural beauty. Slovenia is also one of the cleanest countries in the world, which comes to no surprise as there are several initiatives that look after the green and unspoiled nature. Furthermore, the country on the sunny side of the Alps, which is less than a tenth of the size of the United Kingdom is also known as one of the safest countries in the world, making your “pit stop” in Slovenia a safe haven for your family.

With all this in mind, Lonely Planet has composed a list of six reasons to visit Slovenia. Lonely Planet has named Slovenia a gem at the heart of Europe, where you will find towering mountains, picture-perfect lakes, vast caves, elegant cities, and fast-running rivers. Long story, short. Slovenia has it all and despite Slovenia being on the smaller size it is filled with many sights to see. Without further ado, here are the six reasons to visit Slovenia according to Lonely Planet.

Lake Bled

The first reason to visit Slovenia based on Lonely Planet guide is Lake Bled. The famous Lonely Planet guide wrote about Lake Bled in Slovenia as one of the reasons to visit Slovenia: “Chances are if you’ve only seen one photo of Slovenia, it’s of Lake Bled. And the turquoise lake, embellished with a steepled church on a tiny tear-shaped islet, set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, is just as gorgeous in real life. Fill your lungs with fresh mountain air as you glide across the lake to the island aboard a traditional pletna rowing boat, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, or hike up the hill to storybook medieval Bled Castle and enjoy the magnificent views. For active types, the area offers many hiking opportunities, as well as mountain-biking and canyoning. And if Lake Bled is a little touristy for your liking, you might find you agree with the many locals who prefer Lake Bohinj, just a 26km drive away, which has a similar alpine beauty and is just as great for swimming, kayaking, cycling, and hiking.

Ljubljana

The second reason to visit Slovenia is Ljubljana. Our green capital of Slovenia invites you to take a stroll through its stunning streets. Lonely Planet stated about the reason to visit Slovenia: “Some European capitals can seem overwhelming, unfriendly or even ugly when you first arrive, but not Ljubljana, which is clustered in a compact pedestrianized area on a bend in the pretty Ljubljanica river.  For superb views of the city, take the glass funicular up to Ljubljana Castle, where you can also dine in two of the city’s top restaurants – Gostilna na Gradu and Strelec. Beneath the castle lies the Old Town, a warren of 19th-century wooden shop fronts, quiet courtyards and cobblestone passageways, as well as the city’s various markets, where you can stock up on delicious fresh fruit, meats, fish, and cheeses. A stroll or boat ride along the Ljubljanica river, flanked by elegant colonnades and squares, and crossed by several pretty bridges, is a great way to familiarise yourself with the city. The lively riverside cafes and bars are the perfect places to relax after a busy day of sightseeing. Later on, head north of the center to quirky Metelkova Mesto, where art installations, nightclubs, and live music venues bring a former army garrison to life at night.

Slovenian caves

The third reason to visit Slovenia according to the Lonely Planet guide are the famous and magical Slovenian caves. Slovenia has around 10,000 caves in the country. Lonely Planet wrote about the third reason to visit Slovenia, well Slovenian caves: “Slovenia’s Karst region hides a treasure chest of secrets under its relatively unassuming surface. Whole rivers have been swallowed up by the porous limestone bedrock and once underground the water has carved out vast subterranean landscapes. Slovenia’s most famous cavern, and a fantastic place to see these geological processes at work, is Postojna Cave. The enormous cave has been receiving tour groups since 1819 when the Emperor of Austria Ferdinand I came to visit, and it shows in the impressively slick operation. Each hour hundreds of visitors are whisked into the cave on a 3.7km-long underground railway. Inside there are vast caverns filled with elaborate stalagmites and stalactites, as well as more unusual rock formations, such as huge pillars, translucent curtains, and spaghetti-like strands hanging from the ceiling. Extra packages are available if you want to encounter strange pink cave salamanders or embark on a potholing adventure deeper into the cave. Whilst Postojna brings to mind a baroque cathedral dripping with elaborate mouldings, visiting nearby Unesco-listed Škocjan Caves is like stepping into the pages of The Lord of the Rings. The highlight of a visit is crossing the jaw-dropping 150m-deep underground canyon carved out by the river Reka – you might wish you had Gandalf with you as you stare into the abyss from the narrow Cerkevnik bridge.

Slovenian seaside with its beautiful sunsets and saltwater spas

The fourth reason to visit Slovenia based on Lonely Planet is the stunning Slovenian seaside, where you will find and enjoy breathtaking sunsets after a long day of relaxing in salt water spas. Lonely Planet has written about the stunning Slovenian seaside as one of the reasons to visit Slovenia: “Slovenia has just 47km of coastline, but what it lacks in range it makes up for with beautiful Venetian Gothic architecture. The jewel in the crown is Piran, which is set on a narrow peninsula jutting out into the Adriatic. At the base of the peninsula is a pretty marina crammed with colorful boats, and the marble-paved Tartinijev Square surrounded by pastel-hued Venetian-style buildings. For superb views over the town, wind your way up through the narrow streets behind the square to the Cathedral of St George and its San Marco Campanile-inspired bell tower. As the sun begins to set, head down to one of the restaurants or bars on the southern promenade to admire the round-towered church at the tip of the peninsula perfectly silhouetted against the fiery sky. Piran is at its best in the shoulder seasons and can become overcrowded at the height of summer. For some peace retreat to the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, a large wetland area traditionally used for salt production and home to a wealth of birdlife. You can explore its pathways on foot or by bike, or book into the open-air Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa for a relaxing saltwater treatment.

Soča river adventures in Soča Valley

The fifth reason to visit Slovenia is the many adventures on the Soča river. The famous Lonely Planet guide written about Soča river adventures as one of the reasons to visit Slovenia: “Snaking through the far west of the country like an aquamarine serpent, the Soča river is a haven for watersports enthusiasts. Its pure waters swirl through canyons, plunge over waterfalls and gush along pine-forested valleys, providing plenty of spectacle for sightseers and action for thrillseekers. Bovec is the main adventure hub in the Soča Valley, with numerous operators, including Aktivni Planet and Bovec Rafting Team, offering a host of exhilarating activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, canyoning and riverboarding.

Wine tasting in Vipava Valley

The sixth reason to visit Slovenia is the amazing wine tasting in Vipava Valley, at some of the best wineries in the country. Lonely Planet stated about going wine tasting in Vipava Valley as one of the reasons to visit Slovenia: “The fertile and picturesque Vipava Valley nestles near the Italian border in the west of the country. The valley’s mild climate, combined with its proximity to the sea and the strong winter Bora winds, makes it perfect for winemaking. Excellent reds and whites are both produced here, but for something unique to the valley try one of the fragrant white wines made from the indigenous Zelen or Pinela grape varieties. In addition to wine, the valley is also famous for stone fruits such as cherries, apricots, and peaches. The valley’s main hub towns are Ajdovščina and Vipava. The tourist information centers here can help you arrange a walking, cycling, or driving tour of the surrounding villages and vineyards. Each town also has a wine shop and tasting room (Faladur in Ajdovščina, Vinoteka Vipava in Vipava), where you can try wines and other products from the valley. Winestronaut run tours of wine cellars, including the opportunity to meet local winemakers.

Vipava valley