Slovenia holidays

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Experience Slovenia

Best Places to Visit

Slovenia's Alpine location makes the mountains a dramatic backdrop for activities in the surrounding area, as well as for sightseeing. Head towards the Julian Alps to get up close with the mountains and foothills, and to take advantage of one of the many activities in the area. Skiing and mountain biking are two such examples, although there’s also hiking if you prefer to head out on foot. Lake Bled is one of the best spots. With a wealth of legend, sprawling romantic vistas, still lakes and a picture-postcard medieval castle, Bled is one of Slovenia most charming resorts. The region’s Alpine lake boasts the only island in Slovenia, and can be reached by a traditional “pletna” boat – a must-see for travellers on holidays to Lake Bled. Head south-west for 2 hours and you will find the Adriatic coastal town of Portorož. Part of Italy from 1918 to 1947, it is now one of the country's major tourist areas. Boasting a floral promenade as its main feature (which gives the town its name “Port of Roses”), Portorož is a cosmopolitan ‘Riviera’ style resort, brimming with glitzy restaurants, hotels, cafés and boutiques.

The Cathedral of St. Mohor and St. Fortunat is the largest cathedral in Slovenia. It’s just one of the sights in the Savinja and Salek Valley, along with several lakes and waterfalls, and this makes the valley another picturesque and scenic location for a visit. Take the Solcava Panoramic Road for the most spectacular views across the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, but remember to keep your eyes on the road during the drive, however distracting the landscape might be!

Rather than finding yourself in the mountains, you could instead opt to go inside them, by visiting one of Slovenia's cave systems. In general, these are located in the south of the country, so make the journey to whichever network of caverns catch your eye. Many are open to the public, with guided tours available, so you don't face the risk of heading inside on your own. If you do happen to find an entrance without a guide, don’t go too far in, as it can quickly become very dark inside. Always carry a torch and a spare light source if you feel like you want to do some exploring on Slovenia holidays.

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Top Landmarks

Natural formations are among Slovenia's most recognisable landmarks, beginning with its highest mountain, Triglav. Not only does this have the distinction of being the tallest mountain in the country, but it’s also instantly recognisable due to its triple peaks, from which it takes its name. If you see Triglav and think it looks somehow familiar, it could be because it is pictured on Slovenia's flag. Postojna is a cave system that’s also popular with tourists and is equally as impressive. Inside there are naturally occurring stalactites and stalagmites, creating an ornate ceiling canopy.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site at Skocjan Caves is part of the Regional Park of the same name. It’s 4 km south of Divaca, and there are several naturally occurring landmarks here too. They include Europe's highest cave hall, waterfalls tumbling into a steep gorge, and a high bridge to cross the gorge, if you have a head for heights. If you choose to visit any cave system, it’s a good idea to dress a little warmer than you usual and wear a light waterproof layer, as water drips from the stalactites above. Guided tours, lasting around 60-90 minutes, can help you to explore the different sections of each cave safely, while offering a great opportunity to learn something new on Slovenia holidays.

Entertainment

If they are any animal lovers in your party, head to Lipica and marvel at the local Lipizzaner breed of pure white steeds. You can tour Lipica stud farm, which traces its long history back to 1580 and supplied the Lipizzaner breed to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. From April to October, tours are scheduled at a rate of around one per hour. It's worth making sure you’re at the farm for around 3pm on a Tuesday, Friday or Sunday, as this is the time to enjoy a show from the Classical Riding School. However, there is a small additional cost for watching this.

Slovenia’s capital, Ljublijana, is an upcoming holiday destination among stag and hen parties. The city’s main square, Prešernov Trg, is something of a focal point for Ljubljana nightlife, attracting crowds into the early hours. Here you can expect city’s best bars, clubs and cafés located nearby. One of the most popular local haunts is Premier Pub, a relaxed bar with a large outside seating area. This bar also has great view of the Ljubljanica River. Those in search of a more stylish affair should head to Centralna Postaja, where a daytime coffee hangout transforms into a stylish lounge bar in the evening. Here you can expect classy cocktails and DJs spinning discs into the early hours.

Holidays in Slovenia are a great opportunity to enjoy winter sports. The resort of Kranjska Gora, which takes in the glacial lakes of Triglav National Park, is a gateway to the north-west’s mountains. Here there are plenty of outdoor activities available, including night slalom skiing under the spotlights and unforgettable mountain ascents across 18 different ski slopes. Families can make use of Kranjska Gora’s pools, children's playrooms, summer sledging and fairy-tale lands. Here you will find family cycling routes, hiking trails and the stunning Lake Jasna on your doorstep, too.

Dining Out

If you’re keen to enjoy some authentic Slovenian cuisine, you could be slightly disappointed. There are a few reasons why you’re unlikely to get a taste of traditional Slovenian food, and the first is that menus are dominated by influences from the neighbouring countries. Schnitzel is more at home on an Austrian menu, pasta and risotto are borrowed from their Italian neighbours, while Hungarian goulash is also widely served. Even the true Slovenian recipes are based on borrowed ideas, such as dried ham similar to prosciutto, and potato dumplings that are similar to gnocchi.

That’s not to say that the food isn’t delicious on package holidays to Slovenia, as the country has some fantastic restaurants and eateries on offer. There are alternatives though. They are the usual big-name chains, as well as independent burger bars and other fast-food joints. If your accommodation has cooking facilities, you might also want to prepare a meal of your own - visit a local store to stock up on Slovenian ingredients and you will get a true taste of the local produce.

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Need to know

Language

Slovenia uses Slovenian as its official language, and is the native tongue of about nine in ten permanent residents of the country. The country also ranks highly for having a population who can speak a second language, though, and more than nine in ten people claim to speak at least one foreign language. More than half can speak English to some extent, so you should never be far from an interpreter if you need one on holidays to Slovenia.

Currency

If you’re scrolling through package holidays in Slovenia, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s part of the Eurozone, which not only means that euros are easily obtained, but also that sterling is easy to change, too. You can exchange cash at a bureau de change, or in a bank, and these establishments will also cash travellers' cheques. You may find travellers' cheques widely accepted elsewhere, along with major credit cards, although the latter may incur charges.

Visas

British nationals don’t need a visa to travel on package holidays to Slovenia. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay, and you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. However, In practice it's smart to have at least a few days left, so that if anything out of the ordinary happens, you’re not stranded in Slovenia with an out-of-date passport.

Climate

Holidays to Slovenia during winter are likely to be fairly cold, especially in the east of the country where the land forms a number of valleys and plateaus. However, in the summertime, temperatures rise substantially, and this gives Slovenia's coastline a Mediterranean climate. To put this into context, average temperatures in Slovenia are actually very similar to the UK, at around freezing point in the winter, and 20°C in the summer. Temperatures can even reach 28-29°C during July and August.

Main Airports

The main international airport of Slovenia, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, is found in Ljubljana and was previously known as Brnik. It’s also the base for Slovenia's national airline, offering many routes into European cities.

Flight Options

There are daily flights that depart from London Stansted to Slovenia, although it’s always wise to check in advance as the frequency of flights might be lower out of season. UK flights may be operated by one of the many budget airlines, giving you the opportunity to save on your ticket price. At around 900 miles from the UK to Slovenia, you could be looking at a journey time of around two hours for the flight itself, although this, of course, does not include time spent going through passport control, and so on.

Travel Advice

Getting to Slovenia doesn't necessarily mean flying direct, as many people land at one of the several airports just across the border, before making the transfer by road. For example, Italy's Trieste airport may be better served in terms of the availability of flights, and is about an hour's drive from Ljubljana. Flights departing from Ireland may land in Pula in Croatia, and again this is only just across the border. Finally, because direct flights to Slovenia land in Ljubljana, this bodes well if you need to travel onwards to a different town or city, as the capital also acts as the central hub of the country's rail network.

Other Transport Options

You can travel to Slovenia by bus from a number of European cities, such as Italy, Austria, Germany, Serbia, Poland, Croatia, , Denmark, Sweden, Kosovo and Macedonia. If you are getting an international coach, it will usually stop in Ljubljana. There’s also an option to enjoy Slovenia holidays via cruise ship.

Getting Around

One of the most effective ways to travel around Slovenia is by train, as the rail network is extensive and can be cheaper than the bus system.

Bus

The bus system in Slovenia provides access to almost every city or town in the area, leaving from Ljubljana. Bus connections are particularly good during summer months when you can travel between Ljubljana and the towns along the Adriatic coast.

Train

The rail network is one of the best ways to travel on public transport, and a large number of destinations are served by Slovenian Railways, with an impressive 1,200 km of track. To an extent, it's fair to say that "all routes lead to Ljubljana", as the city is a central hub for the network. Even if you're travelling elsewhere on package holidays to Slovenia, you'll most likely need to switch services at Ljubljana. Train fares are typically quite cheap and travellers can recieve further discounts at the weekend on return tickets. Just be sure to buy your ticket before boarding the train, as you will be charged extra if you try to pay the ticket collector directly.

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FACTS

  1. Slovenia was formerly part of Yugoslavia, but gained its independence in 1991, and quickly progressed to become a fully modernised state thanks to its close links with Western Europe.
  2. Its high-tech exports range from car parts and chemicals to electronics and other appliances, along with furniture and textiles.
  3. In 2004, Slovenia joined the EU and NATO, and in 2007 it adopted the euro as its currency, joining other European countries.

FACTS

  1. Slovenia was formerly part of Yugoslavia, but gained its independence in 1991, and quickly progressed to become a fully modernised state thanks to its close links with Western Europe.
  2. Its high-tech exports range from car parts and chemicals to electronics and other appliances, along with furniture and textiles.
  3. In 2004, Slovenia joined the EU and NATO, and in 2007 it adopted the euro as its currency, joining other European countries.

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