Slovenia one the world's most romantic and sustainable destintationsSlovenia is all of the hotness proper now. This tiny Balkan nation made Nationwide Geographic’s Better of The World 2023, was named European Area of Gastronomy 2021, and its capital hit the primary spot for 2022 Greatest European Vacation spot. And because the first nation to be declared a “inexperienced vacation spot” and the one one with “love” in its title, Slovenia was a shoo-in for HoneyTrek’s listing of The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations. Although to ensure (and have some enjoyable alongside the best way), we rented a electrical car to discover the alpine peaks, Adriatic coast, wine nation, historic villages, and culinary scene round this little nation with a complete lot of coronary heart. Take pleasure in our Slovenia journey information with highlights from our 500-mile street journey and begin plotting your journey to one in all our new favourite locations!

Slovenia Historical past 101

Slovenia history 101Slovenia is a comparatively new nation with a wild historical past. Tucked between Italy, Croatia, Austria, and Hungary, the Slovenian territory is barely 7,827 sq. miles (smaller than New Jersey) and has been deeply influenced by its neighbors and quite a lot of rulers. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire for almost 1,000 years, below Hapsburg rule from the mid 1500s by way of 1918, and a part of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia till the Nineteen Nineties. Sharing Slavic languages and a spot on the Balkan peninsula, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia had been unified below the masterful (and a few say dictatorial) rule of president Josip Broz Tito. He suppressed non secular and ethnic variations, whereas rallying across the idea of 1 socialist nation, working in close to isolation from Europe and Russia. In some methods, Yugoslavia succeeded below Tito’s rule, however when he handed away within the Eighties, the younger nation began to crumble after which additional divided below the dictator Slobodan Milošević. The economically secure and European-minded Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991 and managed to perform it with solely 10 days of battle (not the years of battle endured by lots of their Yugoslav counterparts to the east). Slovenia shortly obtained on the street to democracy, grew to become part of the European Union in 2004, and has been thriving ever since.

Slovenia Street Journey Route

The alps, wine nation, seashores, lowlands and uplands, medieval villages, cosmopolitan cities, and Karst subterranean worlds, Slovenia packs loads inside its borders. The nation is barely 200 miles throughout from the Adriatic Sea within the southwest to the Hungarian border within the northeast, however we zigzagged over 500 miles to discover the perfect of this beautiful and charming nation. Renting an e-vechicle is unquestionably one of the best ways to discover this eco-minded vacation spot. Whereas we had been initially somewhat nervous counting on a VW e-Golf battery to scale the alps, Slovenia has charging stations all over and we’ve in depth rental automobile protection by way of our Allianz travel insurance, so we determined to was the time to offer it a go! We did this route over the course of 11 days and it deserved each little bit of that point, if no more!

TIP: Take a look at the tourism board’s wonderful web site for extra useful journey planning instruments and hold a watch out for his or her “Slovenia Inexperienced” label locations, lodges, and actions to floor probably the most sustainable experiences.


Slovenia’s Capital of Ljubljana

Ljubljana Slovenia travel guideConstructed alongside the foothills of the Kamnik Alps and Ljubljanica river, the capital of Slovenia is inherently lovely with superb structure courting again to the Romans. To protect its historical past and attraction, the previous city shut visitors to automobiles over a decade in the past and changed them with a implausible bike program and free electrical “Kavalir” shuttles for everytime you want a carry (one of many many causes they gained “Inexperienced Capital of Europe in 2016). There’s an energetic, youthful air concerning the metropolis—because of its 50,000 college college students. Everybody was out benefiting from the river, from stand-up paddleboarding to outside eating at one of many many waterfront bars and eating places. We crossed over the long-lasting triple bridge designed by Jože Plečnik, a Slovenian architect so ingenious that his work is protected by UNESCO, to Prešeren Sq.. The beautiful pink Seventeenth-century church and statue of the sq.’s namesake poet is the place everybody gathers, be it for concert events, protests, or to kickoff city-wide adventures. Slender streets result in the central market sq., bustling with produce distributors and surrounded by cafes, just like the yummy Moji štruklji. We ate conventional Slovenian dumplings (tightly rolled, not stuffed, with candy or savory fillings). For a day drink, we walked into an unsuspecting Artwork-Deco financial institution and took the elevator to the twelfth flooring the place the Neboticnik rooftop bar affords panoramic views of town. Ljubljana Castle on the hilltop dominated the vista and beckoned us nearer. It’s free to enter the medieval complicated, the place eating places and cultural occasions happen and the views get even higher. Purchase tickets to partake within the numerous displays and experiences—together with every thing from Slovenian Historical past to the Culinary Time Machine six-course tasting. After an ideal day, we retired to Hotel One66, lodging so sustainable it’s achieved the worldwide Inexperienced Key designation. Their diligent efforts to preserve power, scale back water, and reduce waste are spectacular, as is their hip design. We walked by way of a veritable artwork gallery to achieve our room. Daring colours and patterns accented mid-century furnishings for a retro Yugoslavia vibe. We obtained the {Couples} Objectives Package deal (suggest!) which got here with a bottle of glowing wine and a late checkout to get pleasure from our suite, a leisurely breakfast from their in-house Airstream meals truck, and take their free bikes for a spin earlier than we hit the freeway. (Take a look at their glamping cabins, coming quickly!)

TIP: Profit from your time within the metropolis with the Ljubljana Card which will get you into 20 main sights, affords a metropolis tour, and just about each mode of transit (together with 4-hours of free bike rental, a ship cruise, and the funicular to the citadel.) Both means, set your self up with town’s BicikeLJ bike system—it’s just one euro for the week!

Kamnik-Savinja Alps & Vila Planinka

Jezersko Slovenia Travel GuideInside an hour’s drive of town, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps got here into view and pastures became slim canyons. Not a standard cease on the vacationer circuit, Jezersko Valley is a coveted spot for mountaineers and luxurious vacationers within the know. We examine Vila Planinka in some journey journal which raved about their meals, wine, and sustainability ethos and simply knew we needed to get there sometime. We walked into this Nineteen Thirties chalet turned up to date boutique resort and will really feel the optimistic vibes of this place, from the power factors it’s constructed on to the convivial sommelier. He handed us a glass of wine to kick off the check-in course of on the patio, the place the sheer peaks appeared to spring from the pavers and convey the Skuta Glacier so shut we may really feel its chill. He advised us about their restaurant, pure wine workshops, spa companies, and journey choices, then led us to our room, The Woman Slipper. A kitchen, lounge with a fire, wrap-around porch and bed room with mountain view had our jaws on the ground. “Take pleasure in your keep and we are going to see you downstairs on your Orange Revolution Wine Tasting.” The resort’s cellar holds over 250 Slovenian wines with an emphasis on “orange wines,” a Slovenian biodynamic custom of winemaking that predates Roman settlement and has been having a renaissance in current many years. Sommelier and completed wine professional, Marko Koren, set the desk with not simply glasses and spittoons, however lemons, salt, radicchio and extra instruments to deliver out the traits of the wines. Maps coated the 9 Slovenian wine-making areas from coastal to karst, and our seven-stage tasting featured iconic wineries from Mlečnik to Gravner showcasing the perfect of those natural, sluggish maceration wines. It was the daddy of Slovenian biodynamic wine Rudolf Steiner’s perception {that a} winery just isn’t a plot however a dwelling organism affected by the minerality, astrality, spirituality, and ideas of life. With mom nature and historic custom as their information, Slovenian biodynamic wines can’t be mass produced or mass exported across the globe…it’s a must to come right here to expertise them! Our tasting flowed right into a dinner at their Michelin-rated restaurant the place course after course of vegan dishes appeared like artwork on a platter.

Jezersko Valley

Jezersko Slovenia Travel GuideThe subsequent morning we did a motorcycle and hike combo to benefit from the alps and village life. The Villa Planinka receptionist can also be historical past buff and native information who tipped us off to go to St Oswald’s Church (which boasts among the oldest frescoes in Slovenia), the locals hangout of Planšarsko Lake cafe, and the village’s pure mineral water springs. After a 20-minute experience by way of the beautiful Ravenske Kocne Glacial Valley we reached the trailhead to Golvinar Peak. Ever go on a hike the place the bottom is so fairly you’re feeling such as you’ve already made it to the top? That’s how we felt right here, however we nonetheless did the steep climb by way of the forest and reached (and crossed) the border of Austria! A ranger had carved a coronary heart bench on the ridge, which enticed to take a seat and watch the clouds swirl across the peaks for nearly an hour. These identical mountains are the place famend Slovenian alpinists educated to be the primary individuals to ski Annapurna Mountain and Mount Everest from peak to basecamp! Perhaps we should always come again within the winter and convey our skis…

Lake Bled

Bled Slovenia Travel GuideHeading towards the Julian Alps, Lake Bled begins this area like a fairy story. Jagged peaks encompass the remarkably teal waters and in the course of the lake a Seventeenth-century church is perched on Slovenia’s solely island. It’s a practice for newlyweds to paddle in a conventional picket boat to the Church of the Assumption of Mary and for the groom to hold his bride up the 99 steps and ring the bell for good luck. As a lot as I’m positive Mike wished to throw me over his shoulder for historic StairMaster, it was raining so we opted for the simpler and equally romantic Bled Fortress for lunch. Atop the lake cliffs and partitions of the 1,000-year previous Holy Roman fortress is perched Bled Castle Restaurant. He reserved a window desk overlooking the waters and the vegan tasting menu, with every thing from eggplant roulade to strawberry pistachio cake. After a whirl across the citadel museum, we went to close by Kralov Med…among the many finest locations to get a style of Slovenian beekeeping! The world’s first beekeeping faculty started in Slovenia and its grasp trainer’s birthday was chosen because the date of the UN acknowledged World Bee Day. Understanding their contribution to beekeeping and the significance of bees’ function in biodiversity, Slovenia has extra beekeepers per capita than some other nation. The household behind Kralov Med has been beekeeping for over a century and goals to make this custom extra approachable, with honey harvesting demonstrations, beeswax candle-making, even apitherapy, the place you possibly can meditate among the many hives. We laid down on the beds subsequent to the bee packing containers, listening to the whirl of exercise and respiratory within the aromatic air, adopted by a tasting of honey merchandise comprised of the very bees we bonded with.


Bohinj Valley & The Julian Alps

Too many individuals attain Bled and suppose, “It may possibly’t get higher than this,” however it does, so hold going guys! All of Slovenia’s Julian Alps are a wonderland of hovering peaks, waterfalls, and wealthy alpine tradition…and all of it culminates within the Bohinj Valley. Residence to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Slovenia’s solely nationwide park, and its largest pure lake, this area had us climbing and biking our hearts out. Staying at Hotel Bohinj, we had been completely located alongside the lake and in hanging distance to the historic Voje Valley, the snaking Mostnica Gorge, and the 255-foot excessive Savica Waterfall. By evening, we refueled with their farm-to-table delicacies, divine spa, and attractive suites. The icing on the cake of our Bohinj getaway? The Cows’ Ball! We caught the valley’s largest (and loveliest!) annual pageant of alpine tradition, with the farmers in conventional gown and everybody dancing their knee-socks off. Watch this video to really feel the power and enjoyable of this must-experience occasion.

TIP: Plan your Bohinj adventures with Hike & Bike. They lead implausible journeys, from multi-day biking or day hikes to the beautiful Triglav Lakes. And if you’re seeking to keep tucked within the mountains, additionally they have cute chalets.

Soča River Valley: The Land of Narnia

Soca Valley, Slovenia Travel GuideDriving again out of the valley by way of Bled (so good, we had been comfortable to see it twice), we didn’t notice that our GPS had us going by way of the Italian alps to get to our subsequent Slovenian vacation spot! What began as a little bit of panic, as all of the indicators modified languages and our mobile phone plans stopped working, turned out to be a surprising drive by way of Travesio, again in direction of Slovenia’s tallest mountain, Mount Triglav. Every bend within the street revealed a brand new jaw-dropping view, all the best way to the journey hub of Bovec village. Hotel Soča is a superb jumping-off level and clothes shop for the Soča River’s many adventures. If this beautiful river seems to be like one thing out of the Chronicles of Narnia film, it’s as a result of the Soča was one in all their filming places! Canyoneering, abseiling down waterfalls and sliding into swimming holes, is meant to be completely unimaginable right here (we will likely be again!), as was the hike we took alongside the Soča Path.

Vipava Valley & Theodosius Glamping

Theodosius Forest Village Glamping SloveniaLeaving the mountains, the panorama rolls into Slovenia’s premier vineyards and dives deep into their karst panorama. To get the perfect of the Primorska wine area and the nation’s spectacular cave methods, we positioned ourselves in Vipava Valley and Theodosius Forest Village. This glamping camp is about excessive within the hills, amongst a 100-year-old pine forest and a sea of grape vines. To construct this property to Inexperienced-Key requirements, they didn’t lower down any timber or use heavy equipment on the land, and hand-carried native supplies to every forested web site. The cabins are the right steadiness of rustic and trendy, together with their showstopping mirrored dice. With partitions that replicate again the encompassing timber, it just about vanished within the forest, but referred to as to us like a secret hiding place. The entrance was all home windows with a patio for valley views that appeared to stretch to the Adriatic. For breakfast they ready an ITALICS TK spectacular vegan unfold of grilled veggies, plant-based sausages, butter-free croissants, and recent fruit from Vipava’s fertile valley. We requested the hostess concerning the origin of the property title and it seems that in 394 AD this village is the place Theodosius gained the Battle of Frigidus with the assistance of the valley’s robust “burja” wind. For extra Roman historical past, you possibly can go to the close by stays of the Castra Fortress, which has the most important surviving Roman wall in Slovenia, and study their legacy within the close by Ajdovščina Museum Assortment.

The Mom of Slovenian Caves: Postonja

Postojna cave tour, SloveniaWhereas it was tempting to begin wine tasting across the 40+ vineyards of the Vipava Valley, we had a tour to catch on the legendary Postojna Cave. Found in 1818 and nonetheless the most important present collapse Europe, that is the place the examine of caves (speleology) actually started! We had been issued our exhausting hats and boarded a prepare into the 24 km-long cave system. The prepare has been in operation for over 140 years, bringing everybody from King Ferdinand I to Thomas Cook dinner, who included it on his first journey all over the world within the 1873. We traveled by way of the labyrinth of stalactites and stalagmites, right into a subterranean ballroom and live performance corridor which might be nonetheless used right this moment, and reached the principle cave. Our information identified spectacular options like “The Sensible,” a thick, bright-white limestone formation and “The Skyscraper” standing at 52-feet tall. The primary cave is definitely 1 of 5 within the system and so they have a slew of journey excursions the place you possibly can even go legit caving with ropes and river crossings. The river was too full for abseiling throughout our go to (take the “Within the Footsteps of Luka Čeč” tour in the event you can!), so we opted for the Double Karst Marvel Expertise by way of the Pivka and Crna Caves…and it was superior! The “Crna” or Black Cave boasts great flowstone formations, whereas the Pivka Cave path follows a vanishing subterranean river. What began as a drip by way of the porous rocks three-million years in the past has change into one of the crucial dazzling cave methods on the planet. This distinctive ecosystem has additionally created habitat for 150 animal species, together with the “child dragons,” which may stay for as much as a century and go for eight years with out meals. This place is definitely one in all extremes and definitely worth the hype!

TIP: Lengthen your journey at Park Postojnska Jama and spring for the combo ticket to Predjama Castle, an enormous medieval marvel constructed right into a 400-foot-high cliff and with a community of secret tunnels.

The Slovenian Coast & Dazzling Piran

Piran Slovenia Travel GuideSlovenia could solely have 29 miles of coast however it connects them to a bigger Istrian tradition that extends from Croatia to Italy. In reality, this space was a part of the Venetian Republic for over 500 years, Italians had been the ethnic majority right here till the twentieth century, and the area continues to be bilingual! Piran is the gem of the Slovenian coast, a walled medieval metropolis with extra boats than automobiles. To attenuate visitors and protect their historic ambiance, they’ve made the previous city streets virtually completely pedestrian and provide free shuttles to and from the middle. (FYI If you’re driving right here, there’s a huge parking storage by the beginning of the bus route). We had been dropped off at Tartini Sq., and we instantly felt the Italian affect, with its pointed arches and colonnaded balconies, a clock tower that mimics that of Piazza San Marco, and Venice’s signature winged lion overlooking city. We joined a beautiful tour with Jan of Piran Walking Tours, who took us by way of the slim streets to First of Could Sq., the Convent of San Francisco, and as much as the Cathedral of St George for views to a few nations! You can even stroll the city partitions for a small charge and even higher views of the coast. For dinner we had been handled to an eight-course tasting menu at Stara Gostilna, house of Slovenia’s youngest Michelin-awarded chef and one of many metropolis’s oldest residences. Every dish arrived like artistic endeavors–from the handmade ceramics the meals was plated to the interactive means every dish was served. Tomato tartare with pickled grapes and pistachio crust, barley risotto with peach gazpacho, pumpkin terrine with mango caviar, and rhubarb mousse with caramelized walnuts had been simply among the divine programs. We obtained chatting with proprietor Donata, and earlier than you realize it she was exhibiting us her kitchen herb backyard, images from the early days of the restaurant (in its twenty sixth 12 months) and her secret B&B upstairs. Lengthy story, however we didn’t have a spot to sleep that evening and she or he insisted we be her visitor. Thanks on your unimaginable hospitality, Donata!


Portoroz: Salt, Olives, & Spas

Slovenia Travel guide and road trip to Piran

Do you know the world “wage” derives from being paid in salt (as soon as among the many most dear currencies)? Piran’s wealth and affect goes again to its salt pans in close by Portoroz. Not the area’s important business, however nonetheless an vital a part of the world’s historical past and wetland habitat, Sečovlje Salt Pans at the moment are a nature park, Museum of Salt-Making, and a thalassotherapy spa to capitalize on the water’s well being advantages. Set in the course of historic salt pans and wildlife sanctuary, Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa is pure serenity–from its beautiful setting to laid again vibe. With out the pretension of many spas, they provide salt swimming pools, brine baths, stone therapies & beautiful lounge areas at a mere €25 for 2 hours! We leveled it up with an out of doors mud wrap, having fun with the ocean views, birdlife, and Slovenian wine, leaving with a sense of rejuvenation (and the softest pores and skin!). One other speciality of this space? Olives. Simply above the salt pans, the fourth-generation Gramona Eco farm has orchards of olives in a dozen varieties. They’ve gained tons of awards for his or her oils and tapenades and say their secret is tough work, solar, sea breeze, and the saline microclimate. They confirmed us across the grounds, shared their permaculture processes, and completed with a wine and olive tasting overlooking the salt pans at sundown.

Northeast Slovenia Street Journey: Celje & Ptuj

Northeast Slovenia travel guideOur eight-day automobile rental was up, however we didn’t wish to go away! So we returned it in Ljubljana and joined our Slovenian associates Ana & Jernej for a street journey to their favourite locations within the northeast (the place few vacationers go and don’t know what they’re lacking!). First cease, Celje: Slovenia’s largest medieval citadel and the previous house to the nation’s most influential dynasty. The construction is magnificent with a really properly accomplished museum, together with Center-Ages craft demonstrations, the craziest medieval torture exhibit, and breathtaking views from the tower. (You’d suppose the mountains wouldn’t be too spectacular exterior the alps however wrong-o!) With a pageant to catch, we pressed on to Ptuj, the oldest recorded metropolis in Slovenia (est third century BCE). Their calm, shallow spot alongside the Drava River made it a key level on the prehistoric commerce route between the Baltic and the Adriatic Seas. They’re fairly pleased with their historical past and have festivals all year long (the pagan Kurentovanje parade is meant to be unimaginable) and we occurred to be there for the Ptuj Fortress Video games, the place archery and broadsword preventing are accompanied by artwork demonstrations, a winemaking competitors, and conventional music and dance. With no People on the pageant, we had been shortly adopted by a household of knights and maidens and clinking ceramic mugs of mead. Slovenians are so darn good.

Radgonsko-Kapelski: Vineyards & Farmstay

Firbas farmstayThat evening we slept at Domačija Firbas of their cute A-frame glamping cabins tucked amongst the apple orchards of this household farm. We wakened for breakfast, a wonderful unfold cooked over an open-fire, accompanied by selfmade jams, breads, juices, and extra delights from their backyard. The son Bojan gave us a tour of the property together with the hayloft house, the place you possibly can sleep above animals, hearken to their rumblings and watch them by way of the glass flooring! After assembly the sheep, pigs, cows, and rabbits, he confirmed us to the e-bike barn for our day’s adventures. Being situated within the Radgonsko–Kapelski wine-growing area, vineyards had been a brief experience away, as had been castles, mineral springs, and cute cities. We weren’t pedaling for greater than quarter-hour and had been pulled right into a grape-harvesting and wine tasting session with an area household! They despatched us away with two bottles of their Riesling wine and advised us the normal method to drink it’s so as to add mineral water from the close by springs. We biked till we noticed a fountain by the stream, and low and behold the water was popping out bubbly! We combined ourselves an iron-fortified wine spritz and determined we would have liked a bit extra wine with a tasting at Vinska Fontana. Perched on a hill subsequent to a gorgeous previous church and overlooking the vines, it’s a implausible wine bar serving native wines, together with that of the lovable younger homeowners. Not simply any tasting room, it’s a serve-yourself wine fountain dispenser the place you scan a barcode and out comes the wine of your selection. Make sure to attempt Jurka, a regional and historic grape varietal, and kickback of their garden chairs to benefit from the view!

Slovenian Meals & Wine

Of the 70 nations we’ve skilled on our HoneyTrek, Slovenia simply cracked our prime 5 for high-quality eating. And whereas many areas of the world dazzle with a melange of spices, Slovenia’s strategy is much easier…keep recent. Eating places from the alps to the coast take nice delight in sourcing domestically, usually rising or foraging for his or her produce. They perceive how interconnected good meals is with a wholesome setting, and so they work in direction of its preservation with natural farming, even beekeeping. They’ve been making wine for the reason that 4th century BCE and have stayed true to their biodynamic traditions and are successful droves of awards for it. Slovenia is house to 6 Michelin Inexperienced Star eating places (together with the unimaginable Gostilna Mahorčič), the best ranking for sustainable delicacies, and such eco-conscious practices helped earn them the 2021 European Area of Gastronomy. And we’ll give Slovenian cooks an additional level as a result of they cooked us their most interesting with none meat or dairy. See how lovely plant-based consuming might be on this gallery of our favourite eating experiences–from harvesting olives earlier than our oil tasting to hand-making plum dumplings with a Michelin-green-star chef!

Slovenia Travel Guide to one of the world's most romantic and sustainable destinationsFrom their biodynamic wines to their recycling applications in distant mountain villages, Slovenia firmly earned its spot on our listing of The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations. Which city, resort, restaurant, or expertise referred to as to you probably the most?

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