Slowing down in Slovenia
Slovenia sits on the sunny side of the Alps, with an Adriatic coastline for a doorstep and the green Pannonian plains for a welcome mat. Over-endowed with spectacular mountains cut through with small wild rivers and thick forests; well-preserved medieval towns boasting baroque architecture and gothic churches, Slovenia is like Europe in a teacup, proof that good things come in small parcels.
Getting to know Slovenia
A country that is located within central Europe is still considered a hidden gem. This compact country allows travelers to experience a whole range of landscapes and activities, beach breaks and if you enjoy the outdoors, there are also great opportunities to enjoy the mountains, the lakes and even underground attractions in the Karst region.
Two stone implements around 250,000 years old, found in the Jama cave near Orehek, are the oldest signs of human habitation in Slovenia.
The medieval centre of Ptuj, the oldest town, dating back to the Stone Age, is the scene of traditional carnivals. From its promontory, alongside the river Drava, the 12th-century Ptuj castle looks down on the cobblestone streets, churches and baroque buildings.
The medieval coastal jewel of Piran, often called the "Dubrovnik of the North Adriatic" perches on a thumb-shaped peninsula overlooking the sea. There are remnants of the old town wall and seven towers, thickets of Venetian Gothic architecture, a bronze monument of the town's most famous son, violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, and a waterfront chock with seafood restaurants, all overseen by a voluminous St. George's Church.
Picturesque Ljubljana, the capital, is situated in the heart of Slovenia, on the banks of the Ljubljanica River within a two-hour drive of all the state borders.
While Bovec Pohorje ski resort host's international competitions, there are plenty of other mountain resorts including those in Bohinj, Cerkno, Kranjska Gora, Krvavec, Zgornjesavska valley, the Rogla and Vogel.
In winter, Bled the gateway to Slovenia's only National Park, Triglav, is the place for skating and curling while in summer swimmers and rowers ply the lake's waters and anglers cast for trout and Carp.
Triglav or three heads is named for the nations highest summit, Mount Triglav (2864 m) and is set amongst the grandeur of the Julian Alps. Mountaineering is a traditional Slovene sport and keen trekkers and climbers try their arm here or in the Kamnik Alps.
There is a 232 km cycle trip around the Julian Alps which can be completed in five stages, starting in Kranjska Gora via Bled, to Bohinj, Tolmin, Kobarid, Bovec and Vraic back to Kranjska Gora.
Guides have accompanied over 31 million visitors into the spectacular 20km of passages, galleries and cavernous chambers of the Postojna Cave, the largest cave in the "classic karst" where one hall can stand 10,000 people.
Ten kilometres from Postojna Cave is the 700-year-old Predjama Castle, protruding almost mid-air from a 123-metre cliff face. It's most famous owner, the rebellious Erazem of Predjama, survived a seize here, collecting food from the other side of the mountain by way of "Erazem's tunnel" which visitors can enter today.
In the annual "Erasmus Tournament" in July is named after the notorious 15th-century baron, the castle comes alive with costumed characters competing in tournament events from the Middle Ages.
Thermal waters serve a number of natural spas, in particular, Donat Mg and the world famous Radenci Health Resort renowned for its 'three hearts' mineral water, served at the imperial court in Vienna and the papal court in the Vatican.
On the note of water, there are copious kayaking, canoeing and rafting choices on the Idrijca, Kolpa, Sava, Sava Bohinjka and Dolinka, Savinja and Soca rivers.
The Goriska Brda wine road winds through a host of centuries-old vine growing villages of the Brda region where castles, towers and steeples break the skyline and orchards of figs, peaches, cherries and apricots punctuate the viticulture.
Lipica in the west of Slovenia is home to the Lippizaner horse of the Spanish Riding School fame. There are public displays of Classic riding and Dressage daily and riding school programs for riders of all levels.
Train network in Slovenia
Slovenske zeleznice operate Slovenia's rail network. A Eurocity Mimara train connects Ljubljana, Munich, Salzburg and Zagreb. There is a direct railway bus link to Trieste, with further services available to Venice and Milan. Other direct trains connect Slovenia with Austria (Vienna and Villach), Bulgaria, Croatia (Zagreb), Greece, Hungary (Budapest), Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Switzerland.
Tickets that get you around Slovenia
- Slovenia Single-Country Pass
- Eurail Select Pass (2 Countries) - Choose your 2 adjoining countries out of the 28 participating countries.
- Eurail Select Pass (3 Countries - Choose your 3 adjoining countries out of the 28 participating countries
- Eurail Select Pass (4 Countries) - Choose your 4 adjoining countries out of the 28 participating countries.
- Eurail Global Flexi Pass - 28 countries - 5/7 days in 1 month or 10/15 days in 2 months.
- Eurail Global Continuous Pass - 28 countries - 15, 22 days or 1, 2 or 3 months.
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peterpan - 12/10/2017
We took the museum train from Lake Bled to Socia valley... the staff on train was dressed up in traditional uniforms and the engine ran on steam.