Lake Bled, Gorenjska, Slovenia

If any destination should be on your hit list this year, it is Slovenia! It is beautiful, affordable, and its compact size (about the size of Wales) makes it easy to get around.  I don’t know how Slovenia has stayed a secret for so long with its stunning Alpine scenery, emerald rivers, picture-perfect towns, and excellent food and wine. From Ljubliana, its relaxed capital to vast underground canyons to rolling hills and vineyards, and on to a fairytale lakes and dramatic mountain landscapes, it is THE place to visit this year.

Slovenia, located in central Europe, was part of Yugoslavia until 1991, and borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. It has elements of all of these countries—steepled churches and Alpine scenes of Austria, vineyards and terracotta roofed villages of Italy. Tourism is deservedly growing in the country and while it’s not undiscovered it doesn’t feel at all overrun with tourists.

Ljubljana: is one of the smallest European capitals and surely one of the prettiest. In the tiny old town pastel coloured Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings line the river and cafes spill onto the cobblestoned pavement.

Emerald Rivers and Lakes: Lake Bled is Slovenia’s most famous visitor attraction and rightfully so. The lake is surrounded by lush green mountains with a fairy tale church nestled in a tiny island at its centre and a medieval castle looming above from its rocky perch.

Mountain Scenery:The north of the country is dominated by the Alps and a hike in the Julian Alps at Triglav National Park was a day to remember.

Slovenian Wine: Slovenian wine was a nice surprise. There are a number of wine regions in Slovenia including Vipava Valley and the Karst hills. It’s a small country so not much of it gets exported which explains why we’ve never heard of it. Wine everywhere was affordable and excellent.

Slovenia offers diverse experiences and beautiful scenery in a small package. The people are friendly, it’s a safe and easy country to travel around, and it’s more affordable than Western Europe. We definitely recommend planning a trip to Slovenia in 2015.

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