If you are searching for the answer why there are so many varieties in Slovenian culture, cuisine and landscape, the answer lies in the fact that Slovenia is positioned at the crossroads of the Alps, the Mediterranean and the Pannonian Plain.
Slovenia is an easy accessible county in the heart of Europe. Traveling through Slovenia you can admire Alpine peaks and valleys, Pannonian lowlands and hills, rich, deep forests, the Adriatic Sea, numerous lakes, rivers and meadows and of course, the authentic Karst world with its stone, terra rossa soil and above all, its magnificent caves.
Karst is the name of a landscape and this word is used in many different languages to describe this natural phenomena. But the word itself originates from our landscape Karst (Kras) which has given the name to all others.
The Karst underground hides numerous caves; up to date more than 8.000 caves have been discovered. The Škocjan Caves are on the UNESCO world natural and cultural heritage list and they are worth while visiting to follow the stream of the river Reka into the world’s deepest underground canyon.
The Julian Alps are the home of Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain (2.864 m). There are more than 150 other peaks over 2,000 metres high. People in Slovenia are mountain lovers and this is the reason why Triglav is our national symbol. The Triglav National Park is the only natural park in Slovenia and also one of the oldest national parks in Europe. The Karavanke range and the Kamniško-Savinjske Alps also feature high peaks with stunning views.
Slovenia is one of the water richest countries in Europe. With an area of only 20,000 km2, Slovenia has 1,300 lakes, 28,000 km of watercourses and as many as 87 natural thermal springs. And when in Slovenia, you can drink the water right out of the tap. Our water is among the cleanest in Europe. Lake Bled is the most famous and most picturesque lakes in Slovenia with an island and church which can be visited only by “pletna” boat. Speaking of water, there are over 3,000 waterfalls in Slovenia and they can be visited throughout the year. Most of them can be found in the Soča River Valley and in the Triglav National Park. The valley of the Soča River is the first European Destination of Excellence – EDEN in Slovenia.
It is true that Slovenian coast is only 46.6 km long but the sea that embraces it is one of the cleanest and healthiest in the world. Here you can visit the Piran Salinas with their extremely rich historical and natural legacy. They were first mentioned in 804 A.D., and today, along with harvesting salt, they are home to more than 200 different bird species
Salinas are also home to an outdoor spa centre. Salt-pan mud and brine, known also as “mother water” together with the mild Meditteranean climate and sea water have many health benefits. If you want to experience something unforgettable treat yourself with a peeling with Piran salt and your body will thankfully accept the beneficial effects of the mud and brine from our beloved Adriatic Sea.
Pannonia is the name of the land covered in the sea 60 million years ago. The name Pannonia derives from the Latin word “panem” meaning bread. In the times of the Roman Empire this land was its granary and the tradition of cultivating wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, and corn is still alive in this territory.
Almost 60% of Slovenia is covered with forest and Slovenia is the third most forested country in Europe. Every year we plant around 1,2 million trees and if you drive only 60 km out of Ljubljana, you are in front of Kočevje Virgin Forest. But don’t go too deep into the forest if you are scared of bears. Between 500 – 700 brown bears live there, which is considered as a one of the biggest brown bear populations in Europe.
It is not just nature that impress Slovenia’s visitors. Walking through the streets of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, you can admire exceptional architectural work of Jože Plečnik, Slovenian greatest architect, whose work significantly marked the city of Ljubljana and numerous other towns in Slovenia and abroad. While in Ljubljana it is impossible not to notice Plečnik’s market and the famous “Tromostovje” or The Triple Bridge over the Ljubljanica River. The diversity of Slovenia is also visible in the character of our charming towns,cities and villages.