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Best things to do in Slovenia
Slovenia borders the northern part of Croatia and although it’s small in size, it is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes, extensive forests, and interesting cities. The highlight destinations in Slovenia include its capital Ljublijana, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the iconic Lake Bled. That said, there are lots of great things to in Slovenia and here is a guide to some of them.
Visit Lake Bled
The shining blue tones on the water contrast against the vibrant leafy shores of Lake Bled, making it one of the most photographed destinations in all of Eastern Europe. The lake can be accessed from Ljubljana which is approximately an hour’s drive (we can organize private transfers) and is certainly worth a whole day to enjoy.
There are lots of things to do at Lake Bled. Top of the list is to walk around the lake which can take anywhere between one and two hours depending your pace and how often you stop. You will see plenty of other travelers doing the same and on a summers day with blue skies and warm temperatures, it will be one of the most enjoyable walks you have ever done.
Row across picturesque Lake Bled
Another activity to do at Lake Bled is to hire a rowing boat and row over to the small island in the middle of the lake. In the middle of the island is a church which, regardless of its size, is one of the most visited and photographed churches in all of Slovenia. Honeymoon couples will often walk up the church steps together and it’s even a popular place for wedding ceremonies.
If you don’t like the idea of rowing over to the island, you can hire a small wooden boat called a Pletna. These are similar to the gondolas that take you around Italy’s Venice. These pletna boats are often handmade by locals, with the design and materials dating back to the 16th century. These boats have been modified and today, all feature their own awning roof. This is a piece of material that stretches of the boat, protecting tourists from the strong Mediterranean sun. The Pletna boats are usually around 7 meters long and can carry up to 18-20 people comfortably.
Visit Bled Castle
Just a short walk from Lake Bled is the mighty Bled Castle which is categorized as the oldest castle in the country. The historic architecture, the ancient ruins and the stunning views out to the Dezela region, the Julian Alps and the Karavanke mountain range are the epitome of Slovenia. No wonder a visit to Bled Castle is rated one of the best things to do during your stay here.
The Castle stands at an impressive 130 meters and is framed by the vibrant mountains and the glistening lake. The castle was built in 1004 and was signed and declared by Henry II – a German King. Although the castle was passed on to other owners throughout its lifespan, it was always regarded as one of the most iconic landmarks in the country and held so much power itself. A fire in 1947 meant that a huge part of the castle was destroyed, but since then, restoration and building projects have been taken on so that tourists can safely visit the impressive Bled Castle.
Walk the tree-lined streets of Ljubljana
Once voted as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in Europe, exploring Ljubljana is a great thing to do in Slovenia. The Prešeren Square Monument was designed by an Italian-Slovenian architect and features a Slovenian poet and intricate statues. The monument is in the center and either sides of the streets are lined with tall and architectural-striking buildings.
Architectural points of interest and also worth visiting during your time in Ljubljana are Plečnik House, Križanke Summer Theatre, and the Trnovo Pier Embankment. In the summer months, there is nothing more enjoyable than wandering the streets of Ljubljana and walking across some of the iconic bridges like Triple Bridge and Cobblers’ Bridge.
Hike the Soca Trail in Triglav National Park
Triglav National Park is situated in the north-western part of Slovenia, near the borders of Italy and Austria, and is for active travelers, it is a must-do activity when you are in Slovenia. Although it is one of the oldest national parks in Europe, hiking trails in Triglav are very kept and every so often, new trails and paths are discovered.
One of the most popular hiking trails include the Soca trail which takes approximately 7 hours (one way). This trail, which is approximately 25 kilometers in length, starts from the Soca River. You will walk through native forests, steep valleys and pass turquoise-colored streams and rivers along the way. At the end of the trail you will reach Bovec which is a small town where you can do lots of adrenaline-fueled activities. These include rafting, kayaking, mountain biking and skiing in the winter months.
Ride the underground train in Postojna Cave
The Postojna Caves are worth visiting in Slovenia, but these are not your average caves to walk through. This is the only cave which has a underground railway built through it. As obscure as it may sound, the train through Postojna Caves attracts thousands of tourists each year – in particular, families with children. The train ride, which lasts around an hour, will take you through the karst cave network of corridors, halls and even hidden cave entrances.
A tour through the Postonjna Caves and the Predjama Castle will give you an insight into what life would have been life in the medieval days. Slovenia hosts a Knight Tournament every year here, in which a heroic actors play their role as knights and swordsmen. Markets with local food, wine and handmade crafts are also held during the summer months.
Taste Slovenian wine
Slovenia has certainly made its name for itself in the wine industry across the Eastern European countries. There are three main winemaking regions in the country – the Littoral Region, the Slovene Littoral, and the Lower Sava Region. These are located on the borders of Slovenia – both the eastern and western borders. Each region has unique characteristics, environments and weather which all contribute to the varying tastes in Slovenian wines. A wine tour in Slovenia is a great thing to do as it will give you an insight into the history, production and market of Slovenian wine in todays world.
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