Slovenia travel guide
All of the attractions of Europe—fine wines, beach resorts, cafe-lined city rivers, medieval castles, frescoed churches—in one proud, tiny country
Got your heart is set on Europe but hesitate at of the high prices and weak dollar? Consider a peek behind the old Iron Curtain at the highly underrated country of Slovenia.
This northernmost section of the former Yugoslavia is barely larger than New Jersey, yet it is a land filled with baroque cities and Alpine lakes, fine wines and Adriatic resorts, all of it virtually unaffected by Yugoslavia’s civil war in the 1990s. Yet Slovenia is so little known to American tourists that most confuse it with Slovakia—and couldn’t find it on a map either way.
This relative anonymity is a boon, as Slovenia— tucked under the Julian Alps just south of Austria and east of Italy—receives only a fraction of the crowds that drive up the hotel prices and travel costs in its Western neighbors.
Hotels that go for $80 in the capital, Ljubljana, would easily cost twice that just across the borders in Vienna or Venice, and a restaurant meal with multiple courses and a bottle of fine Slovenian tokaj or rizling white wine rarely rings in above $30 per person. Slovenia is a slice of Europe as it was 20 years ago—affordable, accessible, and just waiting to be explored.
The best of Slovenia
Ljubljana - Slovenia's capital city is blessed with streets lined by baroque and Art Nouveau buildings, a bustling daily market in the square between the cathedral and the café-lined promenades of the Ljubljanica River, and a castle watching over it all from a bluff high above the narrow medieval alleys of the ancient city core...
Lake Bled - This little blue lake is Slovenia's fairy tale
postcard and premier resort area, surrounded by the craggy Julian Alps—popular for rafting and mountain biking—with a 1,000-year-old cliff-top castle on the banks and a island sprouting a baroque chuch spire in the middle...
Istria - Tiny Slovenia's tiny Adriatic coastline is hoem to the the tiny ancient port town of Piran, an overgrown fishing village with a decidedly Italian flavor...
Nova Gorica and the Transalpina train through the Isonzo Front - The bisected border town of Gorizia (Italy)/Nova Gorica (Slovenia) was actually divided right down the middle by the Iron Curtain until 1974—in fact, the border sliced right through some people’s houses...