Always alluring and devastatingly beautiful, you can't help but be seduced by the charms of Slovenia. Snow-capped peaks and turquoise-green rivers away, along with an Adriatic stretch of coastline that boasts a rural rustic charm.
From its most picturesque villages to its stunning cities, you'll encounter traces of Slovenia's history. One of the first things you'll notice is the way you will come across various historical eras at every turn. The country has done well to preserve truly old items in museums, but things like archeological finds are often displayed where they were found - whether out in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of town. You'll spot countless castles, churches and other important buildings in villages, cities and on hilltops - they're just begging to be explored.Get a sense of the medieval by visiting Bled Castle, Ljubljana Castle and Celie's Old Castle, dive into ancient history by seeking out an archeological park - these are very common throughout the country - or pay tribute to the dead who lost their lives during Slovenia's dark and troubled past by visiting the cemeteries on the River Soca.
Despite the fact the country's population only stands at around two million, Slovenia performs well above its weight in terms of education, international sport, science, academics and even philosophy. Wherever you go, you can be expected to be treated to a smile and (often) an English greeting. People here are proud of their country and happy to show it off.Living as they do in such a stunning nation that positively oozes with natural beauty, Slovenians are well-attuned to nature. Food influences come from the neighbours - Austria, the Balkans, Hungary and Italy - and fresh ingredients are used wherever possible. Try a delicious salad or a rich red wine - this is a great foodie destination. The people value being outside and you may be invited - or expected - to participate in whatever sporting activity they're doing on a particular day. Lake Bled is a particularly stunning area to enjoy cycling.
Slovenia is situated in central Europe and touching the Alps, bordering the Mediterranean. These include the Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Karavanke chain. As previously mentioned, Slovenia is absolutely stunning to look at, wherever you go, with emerald-green rolling hills and imposing mountains taking up around 90 per cent of it. While this makes for a great playground for sports fanatics who want to get the blood pumping, there are also beautiful beaches lying against the coast - great stretches of white sand against turquoise ocean - that are quite frankly in a class of their own.
Slovenia is very much a rural destination first and a city destination second, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of sights, sounds and sensations to experience in its towns and urban areas. Ljubljana is the capital and makes a fascinating destination all on its own. Many festivals, celebrations and markets take place here, so seek out a calendar of events upon arrival. Your hotel staff should be able to suitably inform you if you can't find one.Other places worth visiting include Piran, an old Mediterranean town on the coast. There are many narrow streets to explore and there is certainly a spirit of history. Maribor is also an incredible place to spend some time - its quaint little squares dominated by impressive architecture from all sides are quite something.
Passports & Visas
Passports need to be valid for the proposed duration of your stay - no other validity is required. British nationals do not require a visa to travel to Slovenia. However, there are certain customs and laws to be aware of. Carry your passport at all times as a form of identification. It is important to register your arrival at a police station within three days of getting to Slovenia - this will usually be done by your hotel, but if you're in self-catering, it's worth checking the arrangements with the booking agent. There are also heavy on-the-spot fines for jaywalking, so get used to crossing at a designated point. If you're intending to drive during your holiday in Slovenia, you must use a vehicle fitted with winter equipment including snow tyres, to cope with the harsh conditions.
Since 2007, the euro has been the currency of Slovenia, replacing the tolar. Euros are very easy to get hold of at foreign exchanges, although you may find there are other options that might be cheaper to explore. Never trade money at airports on the way to your destination - you'll always receive the worst rates.