It feels weird promoting the country I was born in, since one tends to have strong emotional ties to it, but I just have to write about its beauty:) So without further ado, let’s start.
I honestly believe that Slovenia definitely belongs in the underrated countries section. It seems like the people responsible for promoting Slovenia aren’t doing a good enough job (sorry guys), but then again, let’s be honest, it’s kinda hard to compete against European classics like Paris, London or Rome. Anyway, since complaining about whether certain cities/countries deserve to be popular or not, doesn’t really help anyone, here are, what I consider to be, the top reasons you should visit what is sometimes described as the hidden gem of Europe, that goes by the name of Slovenia.
SEE ALSO: Living in Slovenia - Insider's View
Slovenia lies in the southern part of Central Europe and is therefore easily accessible from almost anywhere and is also a good “in between” stop for those of you, who are doing a Europe trip. It
has it’s own airport (20 min away from the capital Ljubljana), but you can also take a train or a bus from one of it’s neighbouring countries (Austria, Hungary,
Croatia and Italy). We’re also a proud member of the awesome European alliance called the European Union, so you won’t have to go through the boring and time consuming customs and border crossing
Once in Slovenia, due to it’s relative small size you can basically go mountain climbing and swimming in the same day. How cool is that? As a tip, I would advise you to consider renting a car, since there are many hidden corners to explore, that the public transport simply does not reach.
2. Stunning nature.
Not being the most popular country in existence also has it’s upsides. The lack of mass tourism is most definitely one of them (who like mass tourism anyway?). In Slovenia you’ll have a chance to experience nature without the massive white hotel complexes, people constantly wanting to sell you something and huge crowds. Due to Slovenia’s extremely diverse landscape, you can visit beautiful lakes surrounded by mountains like the lake Bohinj, experience breathtaking views of landscape, visit some of Europe’s biggest underground caves - the Postojna cave, take a swim in the sea in Izola, Piran or Portorož and countless more. And all of that in very close proximity.
Although things in general (clothes, electronics,...) tend to cost about the same as in other EU countries, going out for dinner or coffee is quite cheap. A regular cup of coffee with milk (a glass of water included and should be free of charge, since slovenian tap water is awesome!!!) should cost between 1.20 and 2.50 € (yeah, some places tend increase their prices due to popularity of the location, etc.) and for example a pizza (which is really good and I encourage you to try it) should be around 8 €. In addition, the transport in Slovenia is relatively cheap in comparison to western Europe. Expect to pay approx. 6 euros for a bus ride from Ljubljana to the famous Lake Bled. The train ticket from Ljubljana to the coastal city Koper should be around 10 euros.
All things considered I would say, Slovenia has very good price performance, meaning you definitely get your money’s worth.
In a nutshell:
Eating out in restaurants:
pizza: from 6 to 10 euros
pasta: from 8 to 12 euros
fish: from 10 Euros up
cappuccino (always with a glass of water): from 1.10 to 3 euros
beer (0.5l): from 2 to 4 euros
vine (0.1l): from 2 to 3 euros
i.e. bus ticket from Ljubljana - Bled (54 km): ca. 6 euros
i.e. train ticket from Ljubljana - Koper (106 km): ca. 10 euros
4. Great for hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing and paragliding
Slovenia is all about nature. If hiking, cycling, climbing, rafting and cross-country skiing is your hobby, Slovenia is definitely the country you should visit. If you visit the country in winter, travel to Pokljuka, it is just 20 minutes away from the world famous lake Bled. Take your cross-country skies with you and enjoy the winter experience in Slovenia!
There are so many possibilities if you want to go hiking. The Julian Alps are a must do. Drive to Vršič
and climb to Mojstrovka. Or enjoy the walk to the "Triglavska jezera" - Triglav lakes. Triglav is the highest mountain in Slovenia (2864 metres).
When I think of paragliding I would immediately choose the agencies near Lake Bohinj. It is so beautiful there!
Tandem skydiving can be done from the airport in Lesce. We did it several years ago and it was awesome. Free falling with a view, what more can one ask for :)
If you are more into climbing and you need some information where to go, please let us know and we will introduce you to some of our friends. Many of them are Slovenian alpinists.
Biking from Mojstrana to Kranjska Gora is a very nice experience. It is easy and the views are incredible.
The photo below was taken at the panorama road from the Logar Valley via Solcava to Robanov kot. It should not be a problem for experienced bikers but there are some hills to climb, so don't expect it to be a "Sunday ride".
The best rafting in Slovenia can be done at the Soca River in Bovec. There are tons of agencies which offer you rafting, canyoning, kayaking, hydrospeed etc. The rafting itself lasts approx. 1 h 30 min and costs about 40 euros.
5. Delicious food.
Food is awesome. I'm proud to say there is a lot of healthy food available in Slovenia - from cabbage, beans, lentils to quinoa and amaranth. If you have the
chance, stop at a country side restaurant that serves home grown fresh food. It takes like food (weird, I know). Yeah, there is also a McDonald's but not in every corner. I really hope we can
keep it like that...:)
Last time in Slovenia I enjoyed delicious smoothies. In Ljubljana there are a few places where you can order a smoothie. One example is the Cacao bar. Yummi :)
One of my favourite things in Slovenia is ordering fresh smoothies for breakfast. Call Fruti Smoothie and your body will appreciate your healthy move! ;)
The cuisine consists of all sorts of meals, with influences from all around Europe. Due to closiness to Italy we eat a lot of Italian food like pizza, spaghetti, lasagna etc. Try the pizza from a stone oven. It's brilliant. Try some pasta with home grown vegetables. It can stand side by side with the best Italian specialities. Since Hungary is also one of our neighbour countries, you can find Gulasch on our plates once in a while. What is more, Slovenians love Balkan food - cevapcici, pleskavica, burek. Am I right, Slovenians? ;) A barbecue without cevapcici is not a barbecue! :P And there is of course fish which is a sign of sea closiness. From trout, octopus to calamari. We love sea food! I can go on and on but I will rather stop because I'm getting hungry.. :)
5. Friendly and well-educated people.
Almost everyone in Slovenia speaks English (expect elders who will probably more likely speak German). In the north of Slovenia besides English people will at least understand German or even speak it. West and south west Slovenians are mostly fluent in Italian. South Slovenians might understand Croatian and Serbian while in east Slovenia people will probably know some Hungarian.
In the title I've mentioned "well-educated people". Most youngsters decide to study after high school. In Slovenia you can still study for free, so there are no tuition fees. I guess this is one of the main reasons why so many people go studying.
The Slovenians are mostly known as open-minded, helpful and friendly people. There might be some exceptions but I think that's the case in every country.
6. A bit of everything for everyone
Mountains, cities, lakes, rivers, sea, caves, lowland, vineyards..all reachable within 1-2 hours or even less from the airport!
Due to it’s geographical diversity there are a lot of different things to do. Should you fancy an delicious dinner by the river with candles in the capital city Ljubljana, you can do it. Do you want to do a cheap backpacking version and do some sports, while you’re here, you can do it. Are you here to breathe some fresh air on the countryside and try some local delicacies, you guessed it - you can do it.
And voila, that’s about it. So to sum up, it’s easy to access, full of fun adventures waiting to be done, relatively cheap, small, full of friendly people and good food. And that’s not even mentioning the view. After that, the only question I have for you is: What are you waiting for?
Travelling to Slovenia? Let us know in the comments below
In case your next destination is Slovenia, let us know! We would be more than happy to answer your questions and give you some advice about lodging and tours in the country!
Travelling tip across Slovenia: Rent a custom camper at affordable price with electricity, kitchenware for preparing food and a refrigerator to make your road trip in Slovenia unforgettable and even more comfortable! Check out Vanvoyage!
Did you like this blog post? Get informed about the latest blog posts on our Facebook page!