About a month ago I had the opportunity to head to Slovenia for an Adventure holiday. Seen as I fell in love with the country I thought I would share my travel tips from the places I saw and the activities I got involved in. After a short and scenic 2hr flight from London Stansted I arrived at Ljubljana Airport and it was immediately clear that Slovenia is a country full of stunning scenery, with the rugged Alps littering the skyline and greenery all around.
For travelling around Slovenia and to make the most of your time the ideal option is to hire a car from the Airport and head out onto the open roads and explore the country until your hearts content. For those who wish to travel via public transport there are local busses and trains which stop at the majority of the tourist locations as well as some of the hidden gems in this tiny country in Central Europe.
For the duration of my stay I was located in Apartmaji pri Marodnu in the picturesque town of Bohinjska Bistrica (Northwest Slovenia) approximately a 1-hour drive from Ljubljana. The accommodation is large family owned chalet with separate apartments within. The settlement lies within the Julian Alps making for some absolutely superb scenery from dusk ‘til dawn. If I was to travel to Slovenia again I would 100% choose locally owned and run accommodation over chain hotels and larger complexes.
Food & Drink
The phrase, there is something for everyone comes into its own here. Whether you want a taste of Slovenia by trying their local delicacy the carniolan sausage or a taste of home with pizza or steak, Slovenia has you covered. Personally, I had a bit of both throughout my trip and my advice to anyone visiting is to try the local food for yourself instead of making up your mind in advance. When it comes to drink, I am a beer kinda guy and the two most popular beers (pivo) in Slovenia are Lasko & Union but these are your stereotypical lagers and owned in part by Heineken so if you fancy something different make sure you search for a bar that does some of the up and coming local Slovenian Craft Beers (Trust me they are worth it). For the wine drinkers out there, you will be please to know that there are roughly 28,000 vineyards in Slovenia and they take their wine seriously. My advice would be to ask your waiter for tips on the best local wines for your pallet. The final word in my drink round up is Schnapps, nope not your pathetic UK version but the local Slovenian version which is a mainstay throughout the country and is what I can only describe as being potent (in a good way).
As I said before I was there for an adventure holiday which included Rock Climbing, Canoeing and Mountain Biking in and around Lake Bohinj which is located a short 10-minute drive from Bohinjska Bistrica. This in my opinion is one of the best ways to take in the sights and sounds of any country, get out into the wilds and explore whilst getting a good workout at the same time. If this is your type of holiday then there are a huge amount of outdoor companies offering all-inclusive activity packages (guide & equipment) throughout and more throughout Slovenia.
The Capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana (lyu-blya-na) is host to roughly 300,000 inhabitants. The City itself has an industrial outer shell which gives way to a vibrant and cultural City complete with stunning Art Nouveau Architecture. Despite the small size of Ljubljana, there are loads of things to keep you occupied, whether you want to stroll up to the Castle to take in views of the City, go hiking in Tivoli Park or chill out and take in the local fayre you won’t be disappointed. Of all the cities I have visited Ljubljana stands out to me as one of the cleanest, friendliest and most stunning of them all.
Nestled within Triglav National Park, roughly 30mins drive from Ljubljana, you will find Lake Bled, one of the most picturesque locations I have ever been to. The lake adjoins the town of Bled and is a tourist haven, with busses coming and going constantly. My advice if you have the option would be to get there early to get your Instagram shots before swathes of tourists arrive. 130 feet above the Lake stands Bled Castle which is a tourist hub and can be visited throughout the year and is reachable by walking up the hill. Perhaps even more notable is the pilgrimage church nestled in the middle of Lake Bled which can be reached by taking a boat trip for around 10 euros. Personally, I only had a few hours at Lake Bled so decided to take in the sights and sounds on a walk around the perimeter which takes about an hour. I can’t recommend this place enough, if you have a bucket list and don’t have this on it, then I’d get it added ASAP.
Hints & Tips
- The currency is the Euro
- The water from their taps is fully drinkable
- The local bakeries do exceptional bread and pastries dirt cheap
- Speak with the locals, they are very friendly & engaging and full of local knowledge (which is best).
- Visit as many places as you can whilst in this hidden gem of a country.
- Try some Bled Cake (google it) if you have a stomach for exceptional amounts of cream.
- Check the weather in advance, it is changeable from location to location.
- There are bargains available on food & drink in outer lying areas.