It’s not usually the first country people think of when deciding where to spend the summer, but the small country of Slovenia, which lies at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe. The diverse landscape and fantastic variety of flora and fauna make it a prime destination for a self-catering holiday in Eastern Europe.
For a country of its size, Slovenia offers a remarkable variety of landscapes, from beaches along the west coast to the snow-capped mountains and vineyards, forests and sunflower fields in between. Here in the heart of Europe you’ll find historic castles, gothic churches and baroque palaces, as well as welcoming smiles and a unique culture. It’s the ideal place for a summer holiday.
Explore Upper Carniola
Slovenia has a great variety of attractions and activities to make a memorable summer holiday. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Slovenia is Bled, located in the Upper Carniola region (known as Gorenjska in Slovenian). Majestic peaks surround this romantic Alpine resort and on the Lake Bled is a small island with a gorgeous little church and steeple. Bled is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling along bike routes, white water rafting, canoeing and there is even a golf course. Bled is also a great access point for Triglav National Park, which is popular with mountaineers who come to climb Mount Triglav.
When you explore the peaks, ridges and gorges of the Upper Carniola region you’ll discover beautiful, fairytale castles and historical monuments, as well as delightful little villages with charming bars and restaurants. The most popular attractions in the region include Vintgar Gorge, Lake Bohinj, Pokljuka Ravine, Savica Waterfall, Kluže Fortress and the Church of St. John the Baptist.
Go sightseeing in Ljubljana
A great way to explore the history and culture of Slovenia is by visiting some of the country’s many museums, churches and galleries. In the capital city of Ljubljana, you’ll find the 12th century Ljubljana Castle and attractive churches such as St. Nicholas Cathedral, St Peter’s Church and the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. The Vienna Secession style Dragon Bridge, as well as Butcher Bridge, are popular landmarks in Ljubljana.
The city also has a number of fine museums and galleries to explore such as the Museum of Modern Art, Slovenian Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery. When you’ve had enough of museums and monuments, take a picnic to Tivoli Park or the Ljubljana Botanic Gardens.
Become a wine connoisseur in Goriska
Near the Slovenia Italian border you’ll find Goriska, Slovenia’s wine country. The hospitality, gastronomy and scenery are equal to Tuscany and it’s a much cheaper option. Spending a summer holiday in a Goriska self-catering chalet will give you the chance to sample local vintages, visiting winemakers homes. Hire a car, and an interpreter and spend the day wine tasting in beautiful Goriska.
Go Underground in Postojna
One hour west of Ljubljana is the town of Postojna. It’s a popular place to visit thanks to the world famous Postojna Caves. Tours of the underground galleries, chambers and corridors begin with a train ride into the 20km cave system. Visitors then get off and take a guided walking tour through caverns, before hopping back on the train to return to the surface. The tour is 90 minutes long. The town of Postojna is a great base if you want to explore the remarkable Predjama Castle, only a few kilometers away.
Whether you want to spend your time sightseeing or just enjoy the beautiful surroundings, a summer holiday in Slovenia could be the refreshing break you need.