Slovenia…No, not Slovakia, but the little country nestled between Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary often goes unnoticed! Anonymously sitting their nestled between countries that people flock to year round, a little piece of land with a culture, history and breath taking scenery that can sometimes feel forgotten. It has the Alps…but so does Switzerland, Italy, France and Austria! It has an Adriatic coast…but so does Italy and Croatia. Then there are is the cultured filled and historic capital…but doesn’t every country have one of those! Well here’s why Slovenia is different and why it is the most underrated country in Europe!
Just like many of the surrounding countries, the Alps dive into Slovenia and leave the country a mountainous and nature filled delight. These are some fierce and stunning mountains too with challenging peaks, climbs and hikes to be hard for all levels. The mountainous Julian Alps can be seen from pretty much everywhere in this small country and are accessible from all 4 corners. Skiing is popular in the winter and climbing in the summer with the snow covered peaks casting a stunning backdrop to this green and lush country.
With mountains comes lakes, Slovenia has too many to count (though I am sure someone has!), but two of the most stunning lie in the Triglav national park in the Alpine region. These glacial lakes formed over millenia are absolutely stunning! The water in them is so clear and clean, you can actually drink from them! The most famous is probably Lake Bled, the castle that sits above resembles something from a fairytale and the little island in the middle is just magical. But the most beautiful has to be Bohinj, this crystal clear lake is surrounded by mountains and is much quieter too.
Well, with lakes comes rivers! Slovenia is a country that has many, many wonderful rivers that snake their way across the country. From the emerald green Ljubljanica river that we canoed down, the stunningly clear Sava that flows from Bohinj all the way to Belgrade and the wonderful light blue Soca deep in the mountains. Many of the rivers have carved out equally impressive canyons over the years. We explored the Vintgar gorge near Bled, a place we can old describe as one of the most amazing, beautiful and magical we have ever seen!
Believe it or not, Slovenia also has a coast! Nearby to Trieste in Italy is the small area of coastline which belongs to Slovenia. Here you will find white sandy beaches and your own slice of paradise. Alongside that is the medieval coastal town of Piran which sits on the deep blue Adriatic and is dotted full of the customary terracotta tiled traditional homes.
The epic adventures you can have
Craving adventure, well look no further! In Slovenia every adrenaline racing sport is catered for. We explored the canyons of Bohinj with a local guide for a trek we will never forget. The water sports don’t end there though with canoeing, SUP, Kayaking and rafting popular on the wonderful lakes and rivers. Then there is climbing, mountaineering and hiking. Or maybe paragliding off the main peaks, you can even do it close by to the capital! Then in the winter the snow sports begin with Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing available all over the country!
The wonderful capital city
Ljubljana is one of the most amazing cities we have ever visited, hands down! The atmosphere here is just so chilled out, freindly and creative! It doesn’t really feel like a capital city in many ways, it has non of the over bearing traffic, crowds, stuffy public transport nor is it a concrete covered jungle! It is alternative, green (in both colour and environmentally), creative, bohemian and totally approachable, as well as being easily walkable too. Areas like Metelcova give you a good idea on how open and welcoming this city is to creative culture, we totally fell in love with it!