We often divulge secret travel destinations that are not necessarily known to the everyday traveler, but are locations that serious travelers keep dear to their hearts, and often to themselves. Slovenia is a country that offers so much to travelers, yet is not as popular a destination as the four countries that it borders: Italy (West), Austria (North), Croatia (South), and Hungary (Northeast). Having these popular cultural and travel spots literally surrounding Slovenia, the country has absorbed the best of nearby culture, architecture, cuisine, and traditions — though has remained relatively quiet a country… The perfect destination for a traveler who wants a big vacation experience, with comfortable and less trafficked paths. Though we will take you on a tour of Slovenia completely, we will also concentrate on some of our favorite city destinations.
Ljubljana is the capital of modern Slovenia, and is the only town in all of Slovenia that is categorized as a “large city,” though the population is only around 250,000. Ljubljana is a perfect example of why Slovenia is one of the top tourist destinations you’ve never heard of: it is a playground of beauty, history, and culture that is only experienced by the small amount of year-round residents, and the even fewer amounts of tourists that come through the area every year.
The biggest attraction to sightseers that Ljubljana offers, is its array of castles, mansions, historic churches, and ancient bridges. The city’s famous architect, Jože Plečnik, aspired to revive the ancient Greco-Roman style of architecture in the area, and gave the city its unique, yet ancient look. The area in and around Ljubljana is a lush and fertile green landscape that can be compared to both the Lower Italian Alps, and the interior of the French Riviera.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
If there ever was an image of Slovenia that may look vaguely familiar to a traveler who has not yet visited the country, that image would be of Lake Bled. This iconic lake is known through paintings and photographs for its Bled island. The red roofs on this small, forested island beckon to boaters to tour this ancient island fortress and retreat. The nearby town of Bled is a classic Eastern European town in the countryside that offers travelers good local food, country-style lodging, and hiking and outdoor recreation that fill up an entire week’s vacation.
The Slovenian Istria is the name given to the small peninsula that just out into the Adriatic/Mediterranean Sea in a thin line in between two bordering countries: Italy (at it’s extreme Easterly border), and Croatia directly south. Though Slovenia only has this small portion of land on the coast, and is otherwise landlocked, the area around Piran is extremely impressive. Often, Piran is compare to the Croation Riviera, as the two regions are located on the same coastline and mimic the same styles of architecture and natural landscapes.
Other Great Travel Regions in Slovenia
- Koper — Home to the Praetorian Palace
- Reka River
- Soca River
- The Julian Alps — Skiing, Restaurants, Mountain Climbing, Hiking, Alpine Cabins and Lodging