Highlights in Slovenia
Slovenia is the only country with the word “Love” in its name and it’s not just a coincidence. Slovenia is full of incredible high mountain peaks, flowing waterfalls, blue and green glacier lakes, friendly people, and delicious food. How could you not fall in love with a place like this? Not to mention that most Slovenians speak English, which makes it an ideal vacation spot for English-speakers. You can experience it on The Best of Slovenia and the Julian Alps!
Bled is the most popular destination in Slovenia – and for good reason! It’s less than an hour’s drive from the country’s capital, Ljubljana. The town encompasses a beautiful glacier lake where a medieval castle nestles on top of a small island. You can visit this castle by boat and enjoy a lovely traditional meal with an incredible view.
Now, if you’re like me and food is an essential part of your travels, you won’t want to miss out on Bled’s famous cream cake. It’s considered a rite of passage for those that travel through. When I was dining at our restaurant hotel in Bled, there was a large group sitting next to us. As each course came out, it was the Bled cake that caught my attention. When they all left I couldn’t help but notice that there were several slices practically untouched. Now, I hate seeing food go to waste – let alone cake. So, I walked over to their table and slid a plate into my hand, and quickly walked back to my seat. Believe me when I say it was worth every bite.
Slovenia is also known for its delicious honey. In Bled, I highly recommend visiting Čebelarstvo Ambrožič, a small family-owned bee farm. This farm offers small group tours where you can see these bees hard at work and learn not only how the honey is made but also harvested. A unique feature of beekeeping in Slovenia is the colorful panels of the beehives. Typically, they are decorated with paintings depicting scenes and characters from folk tales. This helps bees find their way into beehives and makes it easier for the beekeeper to distinguish between bees’ colonies. At the end of the tour, we got to do a little taste testing and I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of honey that their bees were able to produce.
TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK
Now, after eating all that cake and honey, I was due for some exercise. It was time to hit the trails! Slovenia has one national park, named after Triglav, their highest mountain. Triglav National Park is Slovenia’s largest protected area–and for good reason. As we hiked the seven lakes trail, spending two nights in mountain huts, we saw lots of wildflowers, Ibex, Chamois, high mountain peaks, and stunning glacier lakes.
Now, if I’m being honest, the trails were not always well-groomed and marked, so you want to make sure you’re watching your step and know where you’re going. I highly recommend booking Alpenwild’s group guided Best of Slovenia and the Julian Alps tour, where their local guide(s) will take care of day-to-day tour logistics.
Side Note: Slovenians don’t believe in switchbacks. Every day you can expect to hike straight up and straight down. It took my legs a little time to get used to, but the views were worth it!
As we were finishing our mini trek down into the valley of Bohjin, there’s a nice viewpoint that overlooks the town nestling between the mountains and lake. It was one of the most fulfilling views of the whole trip. I could have easily spent hours just looking down on Bohjin. When we arrived in town, we made our way to the lake to soak our feet in the water. It was the perfect way to end our hiking day.
If you’re looking for high adventure sports like rafting and kayaking, the Soca Valley is a popular starting point. The Soca River spans across the western edge of the Triglav National Park to the Italian border. It’s considered one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, which due to the limestone sediments creates a pure emerald color. Along the river, there are several small waterfalls, canyons and pools, and gorges that are open for exploration.
Interesting fact: The 2007 Disney film, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, had several scenes that were shot on the Soča rapids.
Slovenia is also known for its many caves and although I didn’t make it to any of these caves, I hope to go back and experience them. Alpenwild has a great blog post about the 5 Must-See Caves in Slovenia that I recommend checking out!
Lastly, here’s a video of my trip to Slovenia. I believe there’s no better way to experience how special Slovenia is and all that it has to offer than to see it with your own eyes.