Choosing your next travel destination can be both exciting and daunting. After all, with so many fantastic options available, how do you pick just one? Well, look no further than Slovenia. This small European country is astonishingly gorgeous, massively underrated, and will instantly win your heart. In this article, I share the top ten reasons to visit Slovenia and why it might be a perfect destination for your next holiday.
- So, Why Visit Slovenia?
- Slovenia is Breathtakingly Beautiful
- There Is Something for Everybody
- Slovenia Is Small and Easy to Travel
- It is Still a Hidden Gem
- Slovenia is Incredibly Charming
- It Offers Some Truly Unique Experiences
- There are Amazing Hiking Opportunities
- It is Insanely Picturesque
- Slovenia is Safe and Affordable
- Wine and Food Are Top-Notch
- When to Visit Slovenia
- How Long to Spend in Slovenia
- Where to Stay in Slovenia
- Conclusion – Is Slovenia Worth Visiting?
So, Why Visit Slovenia?
I ended up in Slovenia almost by accident. I was initially considering a trip elsewhere but the plan fell through, and I had to look for an alternative. Not entirely sure how I stumbled upon Slovenia but I’m extremely happy that I did.
The country completely blew my mind. There is so much to do, see and experience in Slovenia that you never get bored for a second. The trip has by far exceeded all of my expectations. Slovenia truly is a special place, and I came back mightily impressed.
Well, what exactly makes it so special, you might wonder? Without further ado, here are some of the top reasons why Slovenia is such a remarkable destination.
Slovenia is Breathtakingly Beautiful
Slovenia is a breathtakingly beautiful country. From the magnificent peaks of the Julian Alps in the north to immense cave systems in the south, the landscapes you will encounter are insanely striking.
Slovenia is also home to two of Europe’s most picturesque lakes — Bled and Bohinj. The former, in particular, has become a truly iconic location and Instagrammer’s favorite in recent years.
Yet Slovenia is far more than just Lake Bled. There are countless other lakes, waterfalls, gorges, and ravines waiting to be discovered. Especially in the northwestern part of Slovenia where the amazing Triglav national park spans hundreds of square kilometers.
I was astounded by the number of gorgeous spots in Slovenia that are still largely unknown in the travel community. For an outdoor enthusiast or landscape photographer, it is truly a treasure trove worth exploring.
There Is Something for Everybody
Lovely as they are, the landscapes aren’t the only reason to visit Slovenia. Far from it. There are vibrant towns to enjoy, adventure tours for adrenaline junkies, medieval castles, winding mountain roads, and even seaside resorts for a relaxing beach vacation.
Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana is a lively modern city with an exciting mix of cultures and traditions. It’s one of Europe’s greenest capitals and is fun to explore on the bike, electric train, or even on foot. And, it’s an awesome destination for foodies, with no less than 17 restaurants featured in the world-famous Michelin Guide.
Down south, the town of Piran on the Adriatic coast is a fantastic place to soak in the sun for a few worry-free days. With its colorful roofs, medieval architecture, and plenty of seafood restaurants, it can rival popular Italian and Croatian resorts.
Add to this winter ski resorts, spa and health retreats, speleological and river rafting activities, numerous hikes, and idyllic countryside, and you get a diverse and exciting travel destination that has something in store for just about everyone.
Slovenia Is Small and Easy to Travel
Despite its diversity, Slovenia is very small. From Ljubljana, you can reach almost anywhere by car in under two hours. This means Slovenia is extremely easy to travel and navigate around. Whatever you put on your itinerary, it’s never too far away!
This is incredibly useful when you are short on time. No need to put aside half a day to get where you want. In Slovenia, you can combine a day trip to lake Bled with an evening in the capital Ljubljana. Or, explore both Postojna and Škocjan caves, then watch the sunset in Piran.
In other words, you can cover most of what Slovenia has to offer in about a week without feeling overwhelmed. This is perfect, considering there are Italy, Croatia, and Austria nearby. These are all excellent options to extend your vacation.
As a side note, while a car is probably the most convenient way to get around Slovenia, it’s not strictly required. Public transport in Slovenia is well-organized and reliable, with bus and train connections available to most of the sights.
It is Still a Hidden Gem
With all that, it’s somewhat surprising that Slovenia still feels like a hidden gem. Unlike many other European countries, it doesn’t attract hordes of holiday-seekers every summer. Occasionally, places do get crowded, but all in all, you can expect a very laid-back experience.
From a practical standpoint, this means that prices are still lower than elsewhere in Europe. Make no mistake, Slovenia is by no means cheap, but it’s definitely more affordable than its neighbors. The hotels are easier to book, and you can mostly get away without planning your tours well in advance.
Also, on an emotional level, it is very nice to discover locations that not a whole lot of people know about. It’s exciting and feels like an adventure. And trust me, you will be amazed by some of the things you’ll encounter in Slovenia.
All I’m trying to say is that in my opinion, Slovenia is hugely underrated. I have no doubt it will be growing in popularity as a travel destination over the coming years. So grab this chance and visit it now — you won’t regret it.
Slovenia is Incredibly Charming
There is something unique and special about Slovenia that instantly wins you over. Perhaps because of how underrated it is, it feels authentic and real, unlike the many tourist traps out there.
The people of Slovenia are friendly and welcoming, always willing to help. And so are the tourists who come here. I’d go as far as to say that a lot of people coming here are well-versed in traveling and thus good-mannered and pleasant to deal with.
Either way, Slovenia is an incredibly charming country with its own laid-back and benevolent vibe. Simply put, it’s a nice place to be. I’ve been there twice now and always felt right at home.
It Offers Some Truly Unique Experiences
Despite its modest size, there are things in Slovenia that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. For example, I was most impressed by the massive underground halls of the Postojna and Škocjan caves.
Imagine vast chambers the size of a dome full of stalactites and stalagmites that span dozens of kilometers under the surface of the earth. As you descend into this labyrinth, it’s as if a brand new world opens up in front of you.
Honestly, I’ve never seen anything even remotely similar. But it doesn’t stop there. For the true adventure seekers, there are even underground biking and kayaking trails to try.
Caves aren’t your thing? No problem. How about spending a night behind bars in a former military prison, now converted into a fancy hostel by various artists and designers? Or perhaps grabbing a beer from the world’s only beer fountain?
There are Amazing Hiking Opportunities
To outdoor enthusiasts, Slovenia offers some truly remarkable hiking trails. In the Julian Alps and Triglav national park especially, you will have no shortage of excellent options. From undemanding half-day outings to multi-day endeavors, there’s something for every taste and skill level.
I spent several days in the area and wish I could stay longer. It’s so lovely out there! My two favorites are the Seven Lake Valley hike and the ascent to Mount Vogel. Though very different, both offer exceptional views and a chance to spend a rewarding day in the Alps.
But of course, there are countless others as well. Have a look at this article for some inspiration. And be sure to set aside some time for enjoying the mountains when planning your trip to Slovenia. I, for one, can’t wait to try and reach the summit of Triglav when I’m back there.
It is Insanely Picturesque
If you’re someone like me who brings the camera everywhere, you will have lots to occupy yourself with. Because of how gorgeous it is, Slovenia is a pure pleasure to photograph. You will have no shortage of fabulous landscapes to capture.
Be that misty morning in the mountains, a church perched on a hill against a backdrop of the setting sun, or the underground chambers reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings Moria in Škocjan Caves — there is always something to ensure that your camera doesn’t remain idle for too long.
So it’s not at all surprising that there are several photo tours and workshops available in Slovenia, with even the likes of Daniel Kordan offering one. If that’s something you’re interested in, try to book early, as they tend to sell out quickly.
That said, you don’t need to be a part of a workshop to bring home astonishing photos from Slovenia. It’s often enough to simply show up with your camera, and let the amazing nature surprise you. Which it will — mark my word.
Slovenia is Safe and Affordable
Slovenia is an extremely safe place to travel to. In fact, it ranks as the 7th safest country in the world according to Global Peace Index, higher than even Switzerland. This means you can enjoy all of its perks without ever getting worried.
Of course, nowhere is 100% safe, so following the basic precautions is always a good practice. But personally, I never felt threatened in Slovenia, both as a tourist and as a photographer. Having a lot of valuable gear in your backpack or inside the car isn’t a problem either.
The people are generally very friendly and open. I haven’t seen anybody trying to cheat on tourists or take advantage of them in any way. All in all, Slovenia is just a very pleasant country to be in.
And it’s affordable, too. As I already mentioned, it’s not at all cheap, especially when compared to other Eastern European countries. But you’ll certainly be paying significantly less than in Italy, Austria or Switzerland, for example.
Wine and Food Are Top-Notch
Last but not least, I absolutely cannot talk about Slovenia without mentioning the local food and wine. Both are awesome and another reason a holiday in Slovenia is so memorable.
The cuisine is very diverse, borrowing the best ideas from Italy, Austria, and Croatia, yet always adding a unique twist. Whether you prefer fish, meat, pasta, or something vegetarian, there will undoubtedly be a Slovenian variation available.
One undeniable classic is of course the Carniolan sausage (Kranjska klobasa), a traditional dish cooked according to a highly specific recipe with a particular blend of ingredients and flavors. Be sure to give it a try.
And then there’s Slovenian wine. Surprisingly, Slovenian winemaking tradition dates back to the era of the Celts (4th-5th century BC) and is thus way older than that of France or Spain. So when it comes to wines, Slovenians clearly know what they’re doing!
When to Visit Slovenia
I’ve been to Slovenia both in summer and in winter. Each season has its benefits, but if I had to choose one, that would probably be summer. Simply because it’s warmer, and the range of activities is therefore much wider.
Swimming in the lakes, hiking in the Alps, or sipping beer outside in the sun — all of that is better done in summer. Better still, come in September. It’s still pleasantly warm, but the peak of the tourist season has already passed.
Granted, winter also has its perks. The skiing slopes of Vogel and Kranjska Gora are open, and lake Bled looks absolutely magical when covered in snow. It is also much quieter with prices significantly lower than in summer, even though many attractions are accessible year-round.
So there honestly is no bad time to come to Slovenia. Whatever month you choose, you will surely have a delightful trip. The rest is up to you and your preferences.
How Long to Spend in Slovenia
Because Slovenia is so small and compact, one week is generally enough to cover the most prominent sites. Spend two-three days in the Alps, stay overnight near lake Bled, visit Ljubljana, then head south to Piran, making a stop at Škocjan caves.
With two weeks timeframe, you can include the Šoca Valley, head to the famous wine region of Maribor, or devote more time to some locations. Might sound like a long stay, but you will find it worth your while.
If you plan carefully, you can generally also get away with a shorter 5-6 day trip. But I wouldn’t recommend cutting it even more. Slovenia is a wonderful country, and you won’t be doing it proper justice in such a short period.
Where to Stay in Slovenia
This largely depends on what you plan on doing. For culture, food, and history, the capital Ljubljana is an obvious choice. You’re right in the middle of the action, while other parts of Slovenia are still comfortably in reach.
But to those who prefer the great outdoors, I strongly recommend Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj as your home base. It’s a beautiful area right on the outskirts of the Julian Alps, so all the good stuff is conveniently nearby.
Besides, the traffic between Ljubljana and Bled often gets congested, especially in the evenings or over weekends. If you book accommodation near the lake, you’ll be avoiding lots of annoying traffic jams.
Conclusion – Is Slovenia Worth Visiting?
After everything I’ve mentioned so far, the answer is probably obvious — absolutely! Slovenia is a fantastic travel destination that will surprise and delight even the most seasoned travelers. The nature, the food, the culture, the people, and the atmosphere are all phenomenal.
For me, a trip to Slovenia is one of the most memorable recent experiences. I had great fun there and loved it. So if you’re not sure where to go next, consider it. There are many great reasons to travel to Slovenia, and I’m sure you’ll find your own in addition to those I already stated.
I hope you enjoyed the article and got something useful out of it. If so, please share it with your friends and on social media, I would greatly appreciate it. And in case of any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Also, feel free to explore the blog. I have more articles about Slovenia as well as other destinations and think you’ll find many of them entertaining. Here are some I recommend:
- Hiking the Julian Alps: 7 Best Trails Near Lake Bled and Bohinj
- Seven Lakes Valley: a Gorgeous Full Day Hike in the Julian Alps
- Into the Glorious Abyss: Why You Must Visit the Škocjan Caves
- Top Of Mount Vogel: A Perfect Day Hike in the Julian Alps
- One day itinerary for landscape photography in Southern Bavaria
- Sunrise on Top of the World: Photography Guide to Mt. Pilatus
- Mont Saint-Michel Photography Guide: Best Locations and Tips
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With that, happy travels and let’s see each other soon!