Slovenia is absolutely country that non-European citizens rarely heard of it before. When I was traveling and talking with other travelers that came from different places around the world, you could see little bit confused expression on their face when I gave them my answer to a question- Where do you come from? I explain to everybody that this is small, but really beautiful and unspoiled country in central Europe, and that in the past was part of former Yugoslavia. Most of them got very interested in it and wanted to know more about it.
Slovenia is the crossroad of 4 different worlds, and is so small, that you can visit all of them in just one day. You can see the majestic mountains, sea coast, magnificent caves, hills covered with vineyards, lake with little island, turquoise rivers and small but beautiful, historical cities.
Because Slovenia is pretty unknown, I am going to introduce you some facts and interesting things about Slovenian and Slovenians:
- It is the only country with the word LOVE in its name
- Forests cover more than 55% country surface
- We have plenty of dialects, so it is possible that two Slovenians won’t understand each other
- We have over 10.000 caves
- Going out for a coffee is a big part of our social life, we grab coffee with friends multiple times per day and it is part of our everyday life
- People are very hospitable, they will welcome you in their home and always prepare heaps of food
- I have to admit, we like to drink, a lot. Mostly beer, or home made spirits like walnut or plum spirit. We have to toast with it at every occasion, when you get a new job, when you become a father, at farewell party, even if you’re sick. YES, we believe a good home made spirit can wave away the flu. If it don’t go away, you should have one more.
- Our music is terrible
- For a small country we produce large amounts of high quality wine, and loads of hills are covered with vineyards.
- Despite our cost line is only 49km long or should I say short, you can feel pure Mediterranean influence
- If you want to see wild boar, brown bear, wolf, fox or a lynx just go to a nearest forest and pay attention 😉
- If you are welcome in Slovenian home make sure that you put off your shoes when enter the house. We spend a lot of time cleaning and tiding the house, so even if you hear ‘’no there is no need to take your shoes off’ we will really appreciate if you do.
- We like sports and are always cheering and supporting for our contestants.
- Because cities are very small, is it common to know a lot of people. So if you’ll have a local guide be prepared to some stopes for small talk and a lot of greeting.
- If you like hiking, Slovenia is the right country for you. We have more than 7000km of hiking tracks, with amazing views, unspoiled nature, clean rivers and mountains tipped with snow.
- I am sure that more than 90% of people have same lunch every Sunday. Homemade beef soup with noodles, roast pork, sauté potatoes and salad are part of our eating habits on Sunday or least once a week.
- Even though our cost line is only 49km long or should I say short, you can feel pure Mediterranean influence.
- Heaps of people is superstitious.
- Every part of our country has their own folk customs and habits
- Balkan influence is huge in here. Specially visible at partying and cooking.
- And when we mentioned the yummy things, I have to admit we have some pretty delicious traditional foods. Need to try some famous sweets Gibanica, Blejske kremšnite, Ajdovi štruklji, potica,
- if you look closely, Slovenia actually have shape of chicken.
As I mention before Slovenia is small, but has a lot worth seeing places. Those are not top sightseeing places in Slovenia, but little bit more calm and unspoiled spots. The ones I would like to see as a tourist.
For some help below are my top picks you must visit in Slovenia.
If you like nature and hiking:
Definitely you need to see magnificent Škocjan caves. Beside the cave there is also very nice light hiking track with breathtaking view.
Next one is Triglav National park. Where my top picks are: Bovec valley, Bohinj lake, Vršič, Kranjska Gora, Bohinjski vintgar and Korita mostnice.
On the other site there is Logarska valley with waterfall, Velika planina and Rogla.
If you like art, culture and history:
For sure capital city Ljubljana, with art streets, small urban cafes and museums and promenade beside Ljubljanica river.
My home city Celje, with wealthy history. Our Counts of Celje were known all over the world. If you are interested in them you can visit large Old castle on top of the hill. From here you can see old town square, which was fully restored last year.
Piran is small, beautifully town beside sea coast. From there is nice path along the sea, that leads to next city Portorož which is worth visiting in the summer, where you can relax on sandy beach and sip cocktails in numerous fancy bars at the beach.
For Wine lovers:
Karst wine road with unique landscape and some special sorts of wine. The Goričko Wine Tourist Road in is the northernmost Slovenian district and of course World’s Oldest Vine in Maribor.
For conclusion I have to say more you travel, more things you get to noticed in your own country. You start to look at everything trough travelers eyes. You want to take more pictures, visit more places and try some new food and that tasty local wine. And that is how I am going to spend my few months back home.
I sincerely love my country, but not only because it has word love in it- Slovenia