Snow-capped mountains, colourful rooftops, pine forests - there is no denying that Slovenia is a beautiful place. While it might not be the first place someone might think of when planning a vacation with family, friends, or a loved one, the small country has a huge character that is mirrored in its culinary scene, entertainment, medieval castles, and baroque buildings.
The young and old will enjoy their holiday in Slovenia, where a mini-train descends into the Postojna Cave on a daily basis. Take a stroll around the capital, Ljubljana, for an opportunity to see native architect Jože Plečnik's masterpiece - Triple Bridge. Better known as Tromostovje, this bridge arches over the Ljubljanica River and it is just one of many architectural wonders scattered around Slovenia.
A fairytale-like atmosphere will wash over you when you ascend to the clock tower at Ljubljana Castle, where panoramic views of the culture-rich landscape can be absorbed from a height. If you are not much of a skiing enthusiast, bask under the glorious Slovenian sunshine by heading to the Mediterranean coastline in the country's southwest.
Top resorts in Slovenia
Ljubljana from €476 pp
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Slovenian
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 50m
When to go
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Mother Nature has truly left her mark on Slovenia, where the scenery is nothing short of amazing. Postojna Cave and the Skocjan Caves entice photographers and nature lovers to this country in the Balkans, where you can roam around the banks of Lake Bled. This glacial lake is nourished by hot springs and if you venture to the Soča Valley region, you can grasp the opportunity to kayak along the 68-mile Soča River!
A picturesque pastoral setting awaits at Velika Planina - Europe's biggest herdsmen settlements. Slovenia is also very well-known for being home to the Triple Bridge, 11th-century Bled Castle, and popular hiking spot, the Karawank mountain range.
Wine and Dine
Sometime before the Celts roamed Slovenia territory, viticulture and wine-making was already taking place around the country, where the best wine-growing regions include the Littoral region, Lower Sava region, and Drava region. Terraced rows of vineyards add to the landscape's allure and due to the sloping terrain, Slovenian wine is usually produced with manual harvesting methods.
Make a toast by raising a glass of Teran, Blue Franconian, or Yellow Muscat, before tucking into food prepared with ingredients sourced from the rolling hills. Hungarian, Italian, Austrian, and Croatian cuisine influences the traditional food of Slovenia. Main course favourites include air-dried meat or chicken noodle soup. Try the cheese dumplings or seafood pilaf during your holiday in Slovenia, where the dandelion salad will satisfy vegetarians.
Admission to most attractions is free for young children, making Slovenia holidays a superb choice for families. The sprawling landscaped grounds at Tivoli City Park are perfect for a picnic with the family after a fairytale-like experience at Bled Castle and Museum. Cycle past a chapel and river along the Vršič Pass, or arrange a guided tour around western Slovenia's campgrounds and gorges.
Family-friendly attractions in the capital include a waterpark, zoo, and Ljubljana Castle. Access the castle by cable car or enjoy some seaside fun with the relatives in the Karst region. Head to to the east if you want to escape the crowds and if possible, spare some time to visit Krvavec ski centre for a lesson on the slopes.
Action and Adventure
Slovenia is a paradise beneath the Alps and with such a stunning location; it is not surprising that Slovenia holidays attract people who fancy an action-packed trip. White-water rafting is one of many extreme sports that you can participate in, not to mention hiking and canyoning at Triglav National Park. A hot air balloon ride above Lake Bled will offer awe-inspiring views of the Julian Alps, as will a paragliding experience. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, skydive above the lake or scuba dive beneath its surface!
Life's a Beach
Although a holiday to Slovenia will not necessarily be a beach break, its ski resorts, lakes, and marinas make up for its lack of beaches. With that being said, a handful of beaches do exist, with Portorož beach, Piran beach, Mesečev Zaliv beach, and Mestna beach blending into the Slovenian coastline. If you plan on visiting Izola fishing village, make sure you sample fresh seafood sourced directly from the Adriatic Sea. The Slovenian Riviera can be seen from the pebbly beach in this area, which is just a short stroll away from Strunjan Park.
The nightlife scene in Slovenia is just as diverse as the environment, so if you are craving a cocktail or a pint of Slovenian beer, why not get dressed up and spend a night in Ljubljana? As the capital, Ljubljana boasts more nightlife than other areas.
Live music venues, clubs, sports bars, and wine bars open their doors throughout the week, such as Godec Rock Pub, Daktari, and Pivnica Union. The award-winning establishment known as Aperitivo is worth a visit, as is Cirkus, where the theme changes all of the time! Set off on a pub crawl for a true taste of nightlife in Slovenia.
Couples who enjoy getting in touch with nature and hiking will have a memorable time traipsing around the Pannonian Plains. Slovenia was the world's first country to be given the Green Destination title and so, you can expect to stumble across more than one green space during your Slovenia holiday, including the Logar Valley Landscape Park. This is a serene spot in the Solčava Region where you can ride on horseback or hike amidst the mountains. Treat yourselves to a romantic spa day, before taking in views of the Krka River from Otočec Castle.
The Slovenian way of life is quite different to life in the United Kingdom, and anywhere else for that matter. Residents call the area Slovenija, but officially it is called the Republic of Slovenia. A Slavic language known as Slovene is the main language that you will hear when you are on holiday in Slovenia, although a small percentage of the residents converse in Serbo-Croatian. It's not just the language that is unique to the country but also, the rituals and pilgrimage places.
More than 70 percent of Slovenes are Roman Catholic, with the remaining percentage identifying as Jewish or Muslim. Every year on February 8, Prešeren Day takes places around the country. This is one of many annual events that will open your eyes to the independent nation's culture when you're on holiday in Slovenia. Literature, graphic arts, and performance arts are intertwined into the rich culture, with folk dances and fables being an integral part of local traditions.