Why Slovenia is THE must-visit country in 2013
Diversity is the main appeal of this area, and with such a wide range to see and do on offer, it can be a little overwhelming to decide where to visit.
Luckily, Inghams’ Slovenia Manager Zuber Sameja is on hand to tell us all about the top-five unmissable highlights in this beautiful country.
Lake Bled is regarded by many to be one of the most beautiful natural locations in the country. The glacial lake is based in north-western Slovenia and is only a short trip from the capital city of Ljubljana.
The island in the centre of the lake is the only natural island in the country and is home to the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary, a 15th century church that is an unsurprisingly common spot for weddings.
Zuber feels the lake is “amazingly picturesque”, so you’re guaranteed a host of fantastic photo opportunities as well as a chance to immerse yourself in a truly natural and beautiful location.
Zuber cites the range of wildlife and mountainous ranges as reasons to visit the Triglav National Park as it is one of the best locations in Europe for a truly wild experience.
Hikers and climbers are sure to be challenged by the range of foothills and mountains to explore, making it a must for interested in outdoor activities.
The wildlife you may be able to witness includes brown bears, red deer and eagles, though if you’re also interested in plant life and flora you’re also in for a treat. Much work in botanical studies is carried out in this area, so keen photographers will want to take their equipment.
Waterfalls, lakes and rivers can also be found in the park and all are of glacial origins, so make sure you visit with a picnic to enjoy the natural shows provided by these features in the depths of the valleys.
Postojna Cave is one of the largest caves in the world so it’s a great location for anyone looking to explore underground! It was first discovered in the 17th century, while a separate area was actually discovered accidently in 1818.
The cave has long been a huge attraction to tourists; Luka Cec, who made the accidental discovery, became the first official tour guide of the cave, and it was actually installed with electric lighting before even the capital city!
“Enjoy a train ride seeing the wonderful colours of stalagmites and stalactites,” says Zuber, as most resorts have a spot from which the train departs.
Beyond these features of the cave, Postojna is also home to the endemic olm, which is the largest amphibian in the world. To ensure you get a chance to see this amphibian, make sure you check out the in-cave aquarium containing some of the species.
For history and culture…
The capital city of Ljubljana is considered as one of the best locations for seeing historically and culturally significant landmarks in the country.
With museums galore, any history buff will be pleased with those on offer which cover the city’s history, dating back from prehistory, antiquity, the middle ages, and right up to modern history.
Ljubljana Castle is also a fantastic sightseeing landmark, which is based at the top of a hill overlooking the rest of the city. The history of the castle dates back to 1112, though in the 15th century it was almost entirely demolished and rebuilt.
For a look at some of the modern history of the country, it’s time to put on your walking boots.
Zuber suggests that anyone interested in World War I history should travel the two-mile walk between Bovec and Moznica to witness first-hand the footpaths and tunnels used during the conflict, as well as visit the Kluze Fortress that was built by the Austrians at the time.
The Julian Alps provide the perfect location for picturesque activities that can be enjoyed by all.
Zuber recommends easy strolls around the lakes for a stunning afternoon of enjoyment, whilst those looking for a little more adventure can take the guided tours through the meadows, rivers and waterfalls.
The Alps themselves feature extensive footpaths of varying difficulty, while the surrounding villages are great places to try out some traditional Slovenian pastries and beers.
For great food…
Anyone visiting Slovenia would be foolish not to try out some of the local cuisine on offer.
Naturally, the capital of the country contains the greatest range of restaurants and cafes, so if you’re a foodie, consider staying in Ljubljana for some excellent food tourism.
Zuber advises the streets near the river for a general place to explore the food on offer in the capital, where tasty food and wine is on offer at reasonable prices. More specifically, take a trip to Castle Guesthouse for Slovenian dishes which he describes as “superb”.
If you’re not staying in the capital, a trip to Lake Bled is a must. Pension Mlino offers mouth-watering examples of the local delicacies, and are priced extremely reasonably. Sounds tasty!
When you’re holidaying with the whole family, it’s important to know that you’re going to have enough activities that will please everyone. If you’re considering taking your family on a trip to Slovenia, you’ve made the right choice!
The majority of the hotels in the country are extremely family friendly as they provide large family rooms and swimming pools for everyone to enjoy. Fairgrounds and guided excursions are a great way to explore as a family safely and with the comfort of a tour guide who knows their way around.
Given the prominence of outdoor activities in the country, you and your kids can try out trekking, cycling, carting, canoeing and horse riding if you’re all a little adventurous. For those who like to keep a slower pace, nature watching is a great way to engage the kids with animals and plant, as well as enjoying some peace and quiet.
There’s a tonne on offer for couples looking to take a romantic break together.
Many of the hotels include spas so you can relax together in a hot tub, or take a sensual massage. If you even want to leave the hotel, there’s also plenty on offer outside.
Lake Bled is renowned for being a truly romantic location, which is why so many marriages take place there! Explore the lake, forestry and tiny island to feel inspired for any future proposals which may occur…
For something a little more upbeat, try the seaside resorts of Pirn and Portoroz. Nightlife is the main trade in this area, so whether you’re into bars, clubs or casinos, there’s something on offer for everyone. You could also try out some wine sampling and get to known the local delicacies a little better.
For solo travellers…
Sometimes you just want to take a break on your own, and Slovenia is an ideal location to do so. The majority of the hotels are used to travellers going solo, and so offer discount rooms for single people.
You can relax at the spas and bars within the hotel resorts, so you can truly get to know yourself again. If you’re looking to get to know some of the other travellers and locals, try out the hustling nightlife in the seaside resorts.
Slovenia clearly has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a solo adventure, or want to introduce the family to something new, Slovenia is the place to be in 2013. Late deals to Slovenia start at £387 with Inghams, so be sure to check out their range of deals.