Fresh air. Clear water. Green forests. Towering mountains. Wide pastures. Deep gorges. Flourishing nature. Lake Bohinj is uncomplicated and raw; she’s the girl next door that doesn’t have to dress up or put on make up in order to attract attention. Lake Bohinj is a postcard-picture scene, naturally designed in hues of unbelievable blues and shades of intense green. Cradled in the Julian Alps, the glacial lake is watched over by the mountain peaks that rise around it and is protected within the boundaries of Triglav National Park.
From the tip of the Piran Peninsula, the rocky Slovenian coastline trails east two and a half miles toward a protruding landmass of bulking cliffs covered in trees. The protected natural reserve, Strunjan Nature Park, is rich with diverse geological phenomena; the layers of rock that plummet into the sea formed by the crashing waves, wind and rain. Natural vegetation, as well as olive groves and vineyards, grow on Strunjan, which can be explored by foot on intertwining trails. A shoreline path connects the two peninsulas, providing a pleasant way to walk from Piran to Strunjan on Slovenia’s coast.
Charming. Lovely. Appealing. Enchanting. These are just a few adjectives that could be used to describe the peninsula town of Piran, Slovenia. Picture Piran: the stunning turquoise sea surrounds three sides of the town that is situated between Italy and Croatia on Slovenia’s 29 miles of coastline. Café tables are abundant on the cobblestone streets that weave through the preserved medieval center. Music often floats on the breeze; a nod to Piran-born violinist and composer, Giuseppe Tartini, whose statue stands in the center of the main square that bears his name. Above the red-tiled rooftops, a lone bell tower pierces the sky, while defensive walls rise even higher on the hillside; both built as protective measures. Take a look at the town through our camera lens and picture Piran, Slovenia.
Slovenia is not a big country; it roughly measures the size of the state of New Jersey. Shaped like a chicken facing east, the nation is wedged into the space between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. Although it doesn’t have a large landmass, it certainly has diverse landscapes: towering mountains, crystal-clear lakes, vibrant and historic cities, a dramatic coastline, massive caves, wide open farmland and hundreds of vineyards.
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The country’s small size coupled with ample wineries inspired a journey; a cross-country wine tasting adventure. We were invited to join Find Eat Local and Savor the Experience Tours on an epic one-day, three-winery expedition beginning on Slovenia’s eastern border with Hungary traveling 185 miles across the country to the western border with Italy. (Yeah, guess how long it took us to accept that invite!) On a trail that we dubbed the Slovenian Wine Highway, or SLO Wine Highway for short, we set out on an overcast day for an unforgettable ride across the length of Slovenia.
Maribor is Slovenia’s second largest city, but somehow often overlooked as a tourist destination. The charming capital, Ljubljana, seems to steal all of the attention. While there is no disputing that visiting Ljubljana for the city sights is a must, Maribor is distinctly different. The more industrial city offers a ‘real-life’ vibe, yet the area abounds in nature retreats and an incredible inner city wine culture. For people who wonder if they should visit Maribor, here are six marvellous reasons.
Slovenia is all about diverse, natural landscapes – there are tree-covered mountains, deep valleys, crystal-clear lakes and a short-but-stunning coastline. As magnificent as the above-ground scenery is, however, there is something even more extraordinary hidden below the earth’s surface: caves. To be more accurate, more than 11,000 caves have been discovered in Slovenia. Exploring the erroded interior of Skocjan Caves – the largest known underground canyon in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – was something we weren’t going to miss while in Slovenia.
Ninety-six. That is the number of castles listed on Slovenia’s official tourist website. While seeing all 96 is not a goal of ours, we had seen four of the most popular – Bled Castle, Ljubljana Castle, Skofja Loka Castle and Predjama Castle – and decided to visit one more, Celje Castle, which happens to be the largest medieval castle in Slovenia.
Celje Castle History
Hiking up to the hilltop castle, crossing Triple Bridge into Preseren Square and photographing Dragon Bridge are essential experiences while visiting Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana; absolute must-dos for any visitor. However, there is more to discover in Ljubljana than just the iconic sights, which is why visitors might want to consider staying longer than just one day. Travelers looking for unique Ljubljana experiences won’t be disappointed.
In the heart of the city, visitors can find everything from innovative cafes and local eateries-with-a-twist to reinvented neighborhoods and adventurous sightseeing journeys. Our one-day itinerary of unique Ljubljana experiences is designed for travelers who want to explore beyond the iconic sights.
Kranj, Slovenia sits in the shadow of Ljubljana, just 18 miles away, but is often overlooked as a destination. In fact, on our first trip to Slovenia, the only time we saw Kranj was when we passed through on our way from Ljubljana to Lake Bled – but the town did catch our attention. When a month-long housesitting opportunity became available in Kranj, we recalled the strategic position of the city and were quick to apply. We knew the city was well-located for day trips to Ljubljana, Skofja Loka, Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge, but we underestimated the value of the city itself. During our stay, housesitting in the neighborhood of Circe, we discovered a plethora of things to do in Kranj, Slovenia.
When we planned a day trip to visit Vintgar Gorge near Lake Bled, Slovenia, we anticipated a relaxing day spent by the water. How could walking along a wooden planked boardwalk through a naturally carved gorge filled with rushing translucent water not be peaceful? In two words: tourist crowds.
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When we decided to travel through Europe in the summer, we knew we would encounter an influx of summer visitors. However, it didn’t feel crowded on our one day in Munich, Germany. And Lake Bohinj, Slovenia wasn’t swarming with tourists, either. But as our bus approached Lake Bled, traffic crawled to a halt. The tourists weren’t coming; they were already there.