WHY TO VISIT SLOVENIA
Still relatively ignored, Slovenia attracts with her double character: Marked with Slavic characteristics, it is also distinctly Mediterranean with its opening onto the Adriatic Sea and its lovely beaches.
The capital city, Ljubljana, is a peaceful town, dotted with pale coloured churches and crossed by the Ljubljanica River. There you will be able to visit the National Museum and the Museum of Modern Art or wander around the labyrinthine narrow streets of the old city.
The Juliennes Alps are a great site for excursions or climbing, and also offer the possibility of visiting Bled Island to ring the “wishes bell” in the belfry which is said to fulfil all your wishes.
Those looking for relaxation will wish to extend their stay on the Adriatic coast: Piran with its narrow streets, the beautiful beach of Fiesa and the old medieval city of Koper are all places not to be missed.
The valley of Soca, traversed by the river of the same name with its emerald reflects, curves at the feet of summits reaching 2,000 m, and dissimulates the bloody and long-lived memories of the First World War with its magnificent natural surroundings and is the base for many incomparable physical adventures: Trout fishermen in particular will have a magical time here.
As you have no doubt understood, in Slovenia nature rules and you will not tire from seeing its wonders.
WHAT TO SEE IN SLOVENIA
Top destinations in Slovenia are:
- Kranjska Gora
- Triglav National Park
WHEN TO GO TO SLOVENIA
Weather in Slovenia
Best period to visit Slovenia is from May to September.
Most visitors see summer as the best time to visit Slovenia, when the weather is at its most reliable, the full range of sights are open, and the country’s numerous festivals are in full swing. However, many of Slovenia’s attractions, including the capital, are just as enjoyable outside the peak summer months, and in particular during spring and autumn, when the countryside colours are at their most resplendent, hotel prices (at least in the resort areas) are slightly lower and the crowds are a little thinner. Slovenia’s climate follows three distinctive patterns: in the northwest, an alpine climate predominates, characterized by very cold winters, often with heavy rainfall and snow, and moderately warm summers, occasionally interspersed with short, violent storms. However, with the wide range of pursuits on offer here – skiing between December and March, and climbing, hiking and adventure sports between April and September – a visit to the mountain regions can be enjoyed at pretty much any time of the year. Aside from Kranjska Gora in the winter, and Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj in the height of summer, few resorts get so full that finding accommodation becomes a problem.
The Primorska region (from the Soia Valley down to the coast) has a typically Mediterranean climate – very warm summers with consistent sunshine, and pleasantly cool winters; this is the one part of the country that can feel a little pressured by crowds, particularly in August when hordes of vacationing Italians arrive from just across the border. Booking accommodation around this time is therefore recommended. Whatever the season, there’s a good chance you’ll experience the infamous burja, a vicious wind that whips down through the Karst on its way to the Bay of Trieste.
The remainder of the country subscribes to a continental climate of hot, dry summers – particularly in the south and east of the country – and bitterly cold winters.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Slovenia
- Early February (1 week): Kurentovanje Carnival, Ptuj
- Mid-March: FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Finals, near Kranjska Gora in Planica
- Late May (3 days): Druga Godba International World Music Festival, Ljubljana
- June 29–July 2: Ana Desetnica Street Theatre Festival, Ljubljana
- June 26–July 11: Festival of Lent, Maribor (arts festival, fireworks)
- June 17–19: Idrija Lace Festival, west of Ljubljana
- June 4–5: Medieval Days at Bled Castle
- June 10–12: International Rowing Regatta, Bled
- June 22–26: Jurjevanje Folklore Festival, southeast of Ljubljana in Črnomelj
- June 29–July 2: Ljubljana Jazz Festival
- July 29–August 7: Okarina Ethno Festival, Bled (world music)
- July 22–24: Bled Days and Bled Night (folk music, crafts, fireworks, floating candles)
- July 1–16: Bled Internationa Music Festival (concert series)
- July–mid-September: Ljubljana Summer Festival
- July 14–17: Festival of Beer and Flowers (Pivo-Cvetje), east of Ljubljana in tiny Laško
- July 28–31: Swinging Bled (swing-dance festival)
- August 2–September 5: Tartini Festival, Piran (classical music)
- September 18: Cow Ball (Kraviji Bal), on Lake Bohinj in Ukanc (procession of decorated cows, with traditional alpine sports, dancing, music, costumes)
- October 31: Reformation Day (closures)
- October 14–23: Maribor Theater Festival
- October 2–November 11: Old Vine Festival, Maribor (wine, folk music and dancing)
- October 30: Ljubljana Marathon
- November 11: St. Martin's Day (official first day of wine season, wine festivals across Slovenia)
- December: Ljubljana Christmas Market, Bled's Festive Winter Village
- December: Christmas events at Postonja caves (live nativity tableaux inside the caves, music and market just outside)
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH SLOVENIA
If you do not have a car, you can easily travel around the country by bus: They are very common and serve almost all destinations; sea or mountain.
by plane, main airports are:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON SLOVENIA
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: none
local currency: European euro
local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)
electricity: type C and F (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN SLOVENIA
typical food in Slovenia
- Ajdovi žganci (nation adish, buckwheat dumpling).
- Bujta Repa (national dish, sour turnip hot pot or pork with pickled grated turnips).
- Potica (a circular cake with a variety of fillings, namely nuts, honey, cream, raisins and cinnamon).
- Šelinka (thick soup made from celeriac roots and leaves, potatoes, carrots and spices. A pig’s trotter or some other piece of smoked or dried pork meat is often cooked in it).
- Goulash (a stew of meat and vegetables popular in the Hungarian influenced eastern Prekmurje region).
- Idrijski žlikrofi (dumpling with potato filling, often served either as a side dish to meat or on their own).
- Jota (soup with sauerkraut, kdney beans, flour, potatoes, dripping, pepper and garlic).
- Gibanica (a popular layer cake made with pastry, cheese and eggs).
- Žlikrofi (pasta pockets made with a filling that combines fatty spiced pork, onions and herbs such as marjoram and chives).
- Kraški Pršut (air-dried ham)
- Ričet (thick soup made of pearl barley, beans, potatoes, carrots, parsley, celery, leeks, tomatoes, onions, garlic and dried meat).
- Nanos (a Slovenian hard cheese, it is one of many tasty varieties produced across the country).
- Seafood (popular along the coast of Slovenia).
- Kranjska Klobasa (small sausage made of pork and beef meat, lard, salt, pepper and garlic).
- Kobariški štruklji (dumpling made of steamed dough with a rich filling, of which essential ingredient are domestic walnuts.).
- Bled cream cake (lashings of vanilla cream between two slices of pastry).
- Belokranjska Povitica (pastry, consisting of a round spiral of flaky, crispy dough with a sweet or savoury filling).
- Potica (sweet dough is rolled thin and then wrapped up with a spread made from various nuts).
- Prekmurska Gibanica (kind of layered pastry cake containing apples, nuts, raisins and ricotta).
- Žganje (strong brandy or schnapps distilled from a variety of fruits. Common types are slivovka (made with plums),sadjevec (with mixed fruit) and brinjevec (with juniper); a favourite ismedica, schnapps flavoured with honey. An unusual type is Pleterska hruška, a pear brandy (also called viljamovka) made by the Carthusian monks).
souvenirs from Slovenia
- Crystal and glassware
- Painted Beehives Panels
- Idrija Lace
- Felt slippers
- Wishing bell from Bled
- Hand-painted easter eggs
- Plečnik candleholder
- Painted figurines made of dough
- Wine or Schnapps hot beverages, Pršut, Gorenjka chocolate, Prešeren chocolate-covered figs, salt (Sečovlje Salt Flower), honey
How are you?: Kako si?
Thank you: Hvala
What is your name?: Kako ti je ime?
How much is it?: Koliko je to?