Slovenia – this small country is a big tourist attraction. Extending over 20,273 square kilometers and situated in southern Central Europe between Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia, Slovenia has become a tourism magnet that can easily be reached using all forms of transports. Within only a couple hours’ drive the BALKAN DMC can afford a tour to the majestic peaks of the Alps, relaxation in the Adriatic Sea and enjoyment in a wonderful time on the sun-soaked beaches to holidaymakers. Beside that there are other activities, such as the caves of Postojna and Skocjan, unique in the world, and a cuisine that incorporates many influences from the different European countries in the best possible way.
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is the largest city, as well as the political, administrative, economic, educational and cultural centre of the country. Ljubljana’s history goes back several thousand years. Archaeological findings from the Bronze Age prove that, as early as 2000 BC, fishermen and hunters lived in stilt houses on the lake, which once covered the Ljubljana basin. Prior to Roman colonisation, Roman legionaries erected the fortresses alongside the River Ljubljanica. These fortresses subsequently became the walls of the Roman settlement of Julia Emona. In the 20th century, the works of the architect Jože Plečnik gave the city a new character. He designed the Three Bridges which span the river, Tivoli City Park, Žale Cemetery, the marketplace, the sports stadium and many other buildings, the most famous being the National and University Library.
Maribor and its surroundings, in the valley of the River Drava and Kozjak, constitute another fascinating area. Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia and the capital of the Slovenian Styria. The city lies between vineyards and the forested slopes of the Pohorje Mountains. In the winter, the hillsides of the picturesque Pohorje range become excellent ski slopes. Each year, Maribor hosts the Golden Fox Women’s Alpine Skiing World Cup race.
With immense natural beauty, Bled, together with its surroundings, ranks among the most beautiful alpine resorts, noted for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. The beauty of the mountains is reflected on the lake; the sun, the serenity and the fresh air arouse pleasant feelings in visitors throughout the year, guaranteeing an ideal place for relaxation or an active holiday. Bled attracts businessmen, artists, athletes, explorers, sport enthusiasts, the old and the young, from all over the world, enchanting them to return again. Bled’s is a mild, healthy, sub-Alpine climate with the longest swimming season for an Alpine resort. The ridges of the Julian Alps and the Karavanke protect it from the chilly northern winds.
The sea, the wind, the salt, the Mediterranean scents, palms, roses and evergreen plants, relaxation, entertainment and companionship are just some of the words that will desribe Portorož, a sea resort in the heart of Europe. The intermingling of various cultures and musical styles, nature, culinary delights and turbulent historical events have all created an atmosphere in which the tensions and stress of everyday life simply disappear in a relaxed state of mind. Portorož is also a popular congress location. A visit to a nearby countryside, can colour your day. Different possibilities are available close to Karst region: a visit to subterranean caves or to stud farm Lipica, home of famous Lipizzaner horses, the horses of the former Austrian Imperial Court.
POSTOJNA CAVE AND CASTLE
The underground world of Postojna Cave makes this cave the most popular one in Slovenia. Here you can enjoy an electrical train tour and a walk, both of which will take you to the beautiful passages and chambers with spectacular drop stones, pillars, limestone curtains and other unforgettable natural forms. Postojna Cave is enlisted in UNESCO world’s heritage list. The medieval Predjama castle, with the dramatic setting in the gaping mouth of a cavern halfway up a hillside, is perched proudly on its 123-metre cliff.
KRANJSKA GORA (Podkoren)
Located at the far northeast of Slovenia, where the borders of Slovenia, Austria and Italy meet, the valley is surrounded by the high montain peaks of the Kravanke Mountains and the Julian Alps. In the east, its border runs just below the town of Jesenice, where the valley opens up towards the Radovljiska valley, extending in the west along the water-stretch between the Sava and the Zilja rivers, just west of Ratece.
The sunny slopes are ideal for excursions and hikes in the beautiful sunshine, while the shady slopes keep the cold and in all skiing enthusiasts evoke a desire for a warm blanket.
In the Alpine region of the Julian Alps, visit Bled, the pearl of this region, a mountain lake with a tiny island in the middle, an old castle up on the cliff that gives you an amazing scenery of the breathtaking beauty of Bled’s Vintgar Gorge in Bohinj, the largest glacier lake in Slovenia. During summer, you can take a swim and at the same time have lunch by the glacial Alpine lake in the Triglav National Park.
True charms of the Lipica Stud Farm are hidden and invisible at first sight, as the stories written by the local population say. Only when we walk on the historical paths can we truly experience the greatness of the local equestrian tradition. Lipica is the oldest European stud farm which continuously breeds one of the oldest cultural horse breeds. As such, it has a remarkable significance as a cultural, historical and natural heritage for Slovenia and Europe.