Focus On… Slovenia

Slovenia hikingLooking for adventures in Europe but want something different? Of course, Lake Bled has become a popular destination recently but Slovenia remains fairly undiscovered by the tourist herd and it is much more than just the one attraction. As beautiful and mesmerising as that attraction is! As its popularity is sure to grow, why not take a quick break there now?

I recently took part in destination training by the Slovenian Tourist Board and suddenly a whole new destination opportunity opened up. (And Slovenia was added to my ever growing list of places I want to go!) Firstly, they claimed Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia was one of Europe’s greenest – a fine declaration and, it turns out, absolutely true! That instantly pricked my ears up, these days sustainable tourism is no longer a luxury but a necessity and it’s wonderful to see a country be proud of their achievements. Rightly so! With 60% of Slovenia is forest, I would recommend visiting the Black Forest in Germany for the nature experience and I am certain Slovenia will be just as impressive.

slovenija domacijaFlights are available from Scotland, usually with one stop (Gatwick is most common) although alternates can be found and there are direct flights from Manchester. If you’d like a Slovenian adventure, tailor-made for you, then you know what to do although some suppliers have cottoned on to offer package deals! So sit back, grab a cup of tea, have a read of this (about 5-10 minutes) then contact me and let’s get going!

Now, as I said, Lake Bled and the iconic church would be where everyone would automatically think of going but here are a few other gems to consider (from I Feel Slovenia, module). These are only brief summaries or you’d be reading all night! –

Mysterious Karst – The Karst is the land between the Trieste Bay and the Vipava Valley and, at the same time, is also the name for all the amazing shapes created by waters in the fusible stone. Besides more than eight thousand known karst caves and potholes, there are also karst springs and intermittent springs, disappearing lakes, swallets and swallow holes, original karst poljes and apparently dry sinkholes.
Julian Alps and Soča Valley – Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain, towers above the Soča and the upper Sava river valleys. Lying between the two rivers is Triglav National Park, which protects numerous endemic animal and plant species in a stunning region of high rocky mountains, deeply cut river gorges, high-mountain karst shafts, and attractive low mountains that are ripe for exploration. Triglav National Park is home to Slovenia’s biggest glacial lake, Lake Bohinj, think watersports and hiking in the summer and ski resorts (such as Vogel) in the winter.

Slovenia LipizzanerLipizzaner horses – founded in 1580 the famous Lipica Stud Farm is home to about 400 Lipizzaner horses. Unique and of great international importance, take a guided tour, witness a performance of the classical riding school (April to October), there is even a 9-hole golf course as well as footpaths and bicycle trails.

Istria Slovenia – If you’ve taken a Meditteranean cruise it’s likely you may have experienced one of the coastal towns along this 46km stretch (and probably that would be Koper). A natural reserve, regional park, many bird species make this another fine destination for nature lovers. While the watersports available in Koper, historical Piran, Izola’s seaside resort and the tourist centre of Portorose will keep the culture vultures happy!

Natural Spas – Slovenia’s 15 certified natural health resorts offer a whole host of well-being programmes for the body and soul.

And we’ve not even discussed the culinary aspect – wine to make even Cersei content! So, whether it’s an active holiday you are after or a sightseeing break or a mixture of the two then I’m definitely going to suggest Slovenia and I just can’t wait to experience it myself. (I’ll be jealous of all you who go before!)