How can you not fall in love with a country that has the word ‘love’ in it! Slovenia – a hidden gem of Eastern Europe, is still fresh and untouched, and draws backpackers to its shores due to its affordability. Though small, it has everything you can ask for. A green country that strives hard to keep it so, an adventurer’s delight, a foodie’s haven, and the charming Lake Bled! Do you still need more reasons to love Slovenia? Well, here are top 10 reasons to travel to this fairy-tale nation.
1. It’s so green 💚
After reading this most of the other cities in the world will turn green with envy! Slovenia was named the European Green Capital in the year 2016; it was also declared the world’s first green country. Slovenians take pride in keeping their country clean and green. There are methane-powered buses, electric boats, and electric bicycles with plenty of biking lanes and tracks. The country believe in zero waste policy for sustainable living – in every term, it’s an environment-friendly country! No matter where you are in Slovenia, you are always surrounded by greenery – isn’t this a reason enough to love Slovenia?
2. It’s capital city, Ljubljana
The literal translation of Ljubljana is ‘the loved one’ – no wonder it’s easy to fall in love with this small yet strikingly beautiful city. One of Europe’s smallest capital cities, Ljubljana is also one of the greenest and most livable cities. The summers are filled with festivals; cafes and pubs brims with locals and tourists alike. A bicycle-friendly city, it’s a pleasure to roam around the capital on a bicycle. There are dozens of Roman ruins, museums, and parks to keep you on your toes throughout the day.
3. Adventure junkies’ paradise
Slovenia is ‘the’ destination for those looking for some adrenaline rush. Bungee jump from the Solkan Bridge, whitewater rafting or kayaking down the Soča River, or try ziplining in Planica – the thrill you experience will be worth your every penny! The ones who are not very adventurous can go for the long- distance hikes in the picturesque Julian Alps or hike to the equally stunning Virje waterfall.
4. The surreal Lake Bled
It’s like you have landed in paradise, such is the feeling once you visit the town of Bled. The town is known for its beauty with picture-perfect settings of Lake Bled and the stunning Julian Alps in the background. Visit the island on a wooden traditional boat – pletnas, and climb 99 steps to reach the Assumption of Mary Church. Take a stroll around the lake or just sit by the lake shore to soak in the surreal views. The 12th century Bled Castle is another terrific highlight of the town and makes for a fairy tale wedding venue.
5. Dragons, castles, and folklore
You will not run short of fairy tales or stories on dragons and mythical creatures if you happen to be in Slovenia. There is a famous folktale and a legend about a ferocious dragon that lived in Ljubljana, who was killed by a prince, hence the emblem of Ljubljana bears a dragon. The iconic Dragon Bridge also bears four dragon statues. The stunning Lake Bled also has stories of fairies attached to it. And, of course not to forget the Pedjama Castle, a Renaissance fortress which is the largest in the world to be built into a cave – one of the most visited tourist attractions of Slovenia.
6. Wine, wine, and more wine
Fall in love with wine all over again in Slovenia! Harvested in the Mediterranean climate of Slovenia, the wine produced here is no less in comparison to that of Italy or France. Slovenians have been producing wine since the Illyrian and Celtic times and it’s an integral part of their tradition. Choose wine from the variety of family-owned vineyards or take a tour of the wineries – a great way to spend some time in the countryside. Be a part of the Old Vine Festival held between September and November in Maribor and enjoy the finest of wines.
7. It’s way cheaper than its neighbours
Slovenia is value for money. It is way cheaper than its neighbours – Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria. The alpine resort of Kranjska Gora and the ski resort of Vogel in the Julian Alps is much more reasonable than the ski resorts of Switzerland and will not burn a hole in your pocket. Backpackers prefer Slovenia over the other European nations as the accommodation, food, and the cafes are cheap and affordable – one of the major reasons to love Slovenia.
8. Tourist loving locals
The locals of Slovenia are extremely friendly and hospitable. They are more than happy to introduce the tourists to their culture, food, traditions, and help you with sightseeing as well. The locals are very sporty and competitive, don’t be surprised if they ask you for a sprint race. Try to find yourself an accommodation in a traditional farmhouse in the countryside to enjoy and experience the life of a Slovenian. The locals do speak English, so you will not face any problem in communicating with them.
9. The food is awesome
Come summer and you will find the locals flocking the main squares; best restaurants bring out their street version of their popular dishes. Slovenians love their food and are passionate about it; the locals are always game to show their culinary skills to their visitors. There are culinary schools that will help you master the Slovenian art of cooking in no time. Most of the food is made from the local ingredients, using fresh produce from the farms. The country boasts of over 170 local dishes; don’t forget to try the traditional dessert, Potica, it has about 80 different fillings – who is hungry?
10. It’s not so crowded!
Unlike its Italian neighbour, Slovenia receives less tourists – which means you can roam around the county without having to deal with the noisy crowd. There can be times when you will not see a soul on the streets, especially on weekends, as the locals are busy indulging in outdoor activities. You can enjoy the Mediterranean weather and eat delectable food sitting by the river or enjoy a glass of wine, or soak up some sun by the sea – sans tourists! As the nation is getting more spotlight, the traffic of visitors is slowly increasing, so make sure to head to Slovenia before everyone else does! We are sure you will fall in love with this little-known paradise!