Why you need to take a trip to Slovenia this year...
A country that was unheard by most around 10 years ago who asked where my background is from seems to be rising through the ranks within tourism very quickly. As a proud citizen of Slovenia (thanks to my late mother) I spent every Summer of my childhood taking in the culture and beauty Slovenia has to offer and although I didn't fully appreciate it growing up, looking back now I'm so happy this spectacular country is a part of my heritage. After becoming so familiar with so many parts and places I thought it was about time I wrote up a post about why Slovenia is the best place to visit.
It's so easy to get to
The flights are really reasonably price, and if you're looking at the right time can be so cheap. I flew to Slovenia last year for about £40 return, you can fly directly to Ljubljana (the capital) with Wizz Air or Easyjet and the flight time is only around 2 hours. Get onto Skyscanner to find the cheapest time to travel or Easyjet to easily build a low-cost package.
There's so much to see
It's super easy to around and see a lot within a short space of time - I'll usually rent a car and spend a day in Italy or Croatia which are both can be reached in only around a 2 hour drive. There's so much to see, from snowy mountains, green hiking hills and farms to old towns, lakes and waterfalls. There's also charming seaside towns, perfect for a relaxing, indulging in a spa day or enjoying a tasty dinner watching a beautiful sunset. Whether you are after an adventure trip or more of a relaxing spa break, Slovenia has it all.
The food is amazing
Growing up, Slovenian food and home cooking played a major part in my life, having my Grandma around 24/7 constantly cooking traditional dishes allowed me to develop such a love for the culture. Slovenian food is quite similar to other Eastern European and Balkan countries like Austria and Croatia and their coffee and cafes are of major importance to their lifestyles.
Ljubljana is full of cute and sophisticated cafes which are perfect for a pit stop for dessert or picking up a coffee. You have to try Cafe Romeo for the best pancakes and cocktails, Cacao Cafe alongside the river in Ljubljana is one of the best places for ice cream, coffee or even something alcoholic, lovely surroundings to take in and relax at after a day of exploring the town . I'm obsessed with a little cake shop called Lolita, another riverside cafe with the most perfect and Instagrammable decor; high ceilings, fresh flowers serving gourmet cakes, chocolates and teas.
Trojane is home to the most famous (and best) doughnuts in Slovenia, located around 30 minutes drive from Ljubljana towards the northeast of Slovenia and the perfect pit stop if you're taking a day trip to Celje, Maribor or Ptuj. Dating back to the 1960's the doughnuts were initially served for free solely for chauffeurs, bus drivers etc. as dessert after eating their meal but once word spread about how good the doughnuts were people couldn't get enough. The doughnuts are freshly prepared with traditional fillings and worth stopping by if you're swinging by that way.
Restaurant 1906 in Bled pairs amazing traditional dishes with a spectacular views of Lake Bled and the Slovenian Alps. The fine-dining experience is modern interpretation of Slovenia's historic dishes in an elegant and romantic setting.
If you're a big seafood fan the Slovenian coasts are the perfect places for you. Piran is particularly pretty with some super cute and tasty eateries. With Italian and Croatian influences there are a number of restaurants specialising in pizza and pasta as well as a heavy feature of organic olive oil on most menus. You also cannot get enough of the local wine. If you're planning a trip to Piran be sure to check out my full guide here.
Open Kitchen Market is a food market where you can experience freshly cooked food prepared by different Slovenian chefs right in front of you. The market is open between mid-March to October and is the perfect place if you don't know what you're in the mood for and want to try a variety of dishes from different chefs. A little similar to KERB in Camden market.
Check out TheFoodWhores video where I introduce Nierodha to the best Slovenian sweet treats.
There's so many spots where you can just escape
If you want to escape with a bit of outdoorsy, nature vibes and a focus on wellness Slovenia is the place, I'm thinking of booking one of these for a digital detox. These two luxury glamping resorts are the perfect escape from the world, Herbal Glamping resort Ljubno and Glamping Ribno.
Glamping Ljubno is literally away from it all, on a scenic site with only a wood chalet and your own private sauna. there's also a hot tub, natural swimming pool and spa to keep you relaxed and occupied. You can also book this through Airbnb, and if you book through my link here you can get £25 credit when you sign up!
Nebesa chalets are cosy chalets are set in a secluded, peaceful location in the clouds above the slopes of the Kuk Mountain, the chalets have the most breathtaking views of the Soča Valley. There's also a spa, saunas and swimming pool on site.
Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa is one of the most beautiful and natural jewels of Slovenia located within the picturesque salt pans of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. Definitely the most unique spa and wellness destination you will come across, indulge in an experience of traditional thalassotherapy in a natural environment amidst the salt pans using natural product. Salt-pan mud and brine are the most important factors of thalassotherapy, which uses the beneficial effects of the sea products, the sea shore and the climate for boosting the immune system and improving overall health.
You can also treat yourself to a spa day in one of the top hotel's in Slovenia such as Kempinski Portoroz or Paradise Spa, many of the spas have different healing benefits as Slovenia is so rich in mineral water. With beautiful surroundings, various pools, water slides, and saunas, these centers are really popular for a family break.
There's something to keep everyone entertained
The activities in Slovenia are endless no matter what time of year you decide to visit. If you visit in the Summer you have to try white water rafting or kayaking in Bohinj, it's a great way to see the surrounding area and experience the beautiful nature close up and, of course, so much fun.
There's so many vineyards in Slovenia so the perfect place for some wine tasting. The best places to try this would be in Piran, Maribor, Ptuj and Goriška Brda where the vineyards are and also in Bled and Ljubljana where there are wine tasting tours to take part in.
Soča Valley is somewhere you may have seen pictures of but not realising it's Slovenia. The river glimmers with a distinct emerald green colour and leads to beautiful waterfalls and canyons. Thrill seekers, this is the place for you, as this is the perfect destination in Slovenia for ziplining, wildwater rafting and canyoning.
Visit the coast of Piran and Portorož - Portorož is the most popular beach in Slovenia, there's a sandy beach and a wide selection of restaurants, cafes and shops. Piran has a small, cobbly beach in the historic town. The perfect quiet spot to relax and indulge in a bit of sun in a quiet place.
Mesečev Zaliv Beach is a hidden gem, the beach is only accessible by foot (a bit of a difficult stairway up and down) from the road located inside Strunjan National Park. The pebble beach has clean water and the views and photo ops along the hike are completely worth it.
Vintgar Gorge is close to Lake Bled and one of the most naturally beautiful and extrodinary places to visit in Slovenia. With a wooden walkway built alongside you can get so close to the crystal clear rapids and pools. At the end of the walkway is the Sum Waterfall, the largest in the country. Some of the pictures I've seen really make it look other-wordly.
Vogel is a ski resort in Bohinj that offers consistent snow and amazing views. I visited last year in March, not to ski, it's worth just getting the cable car up to the top and having lunch or a coffee and cake as the views are really special and there's a tranquil feel up there.
Hope this helps you out a bit on planning your trips to Slovenia! Please comment and let me know if/when you are going or tag me in your Instagram photos.
*Images are my own unless credited otherwise*