Slovenia is located in south Eastern Europe, bordering the eastern Alps and Adriatic Sea, between Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia. Slovenia is the northern republic of what was once Yugoslavia. Slovenia is the most prosperous and welcoming of all Europe's ex communist countries and it has avoided the political problems that have affected the republics to the south.
Why Go To Slovenia?
The short stretch of Slovenian Adriatic coast, along the northern edge of the Istrian peninsula, has towns that were among the most attractive resorts of the former Yugoslavia including the holiday destination of Portoroz. This beautiful resort of Portoroz offers a mild climate, good quality hotels and numerous attractions including health and leisure activities, two casinos, a marina and a sandy beach. The parks and their rose beds ensure that the town lives up to its name of the "Port of Roses".
Slovenia is an excellent place for sport and recreation; active holidays are possible in all parts of the country during all seasons. In the winter time visitors are attracted by wonderful ski slopes, in summer by the waters and the sky above Slovenia, in spring and autumn by the colourful hiking and cycling trails.
Who Is Slovenia Popular With?
The most popular regions for tourist to visit include the Adriatic coast, which enjoys a moderate Mediterranean-like climate, with hot dry summers, and the Alpine regions, boasting warm pleasant weather in high season and cold snowy winters. Slovenian ski centres and winter resorts attract Alpine and tour skiers, cross-country skiers, borders, sledges. Many schools of skiing will introduce you to winter joys which can also be experienced by air and at some places – by paragliding. Golf has become increasingly popular mostly in the resort of Bled where golfers welcome eight golf courses and numerous practice areas.
When To Go To Slovenia?
Slovenia has a very diverse landscape, incorporating snow-covered peaks in the mountains and sunny beaches along the coastline, with weather conditions to match.
Summer in Slovenia begins in May and lasts till October, with warm sunny weather and an average temperature of 21°C. Influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, the Adriatic coast in the south enjoys an abundance of sunny days, with the area seeing up to 12 hours of sunshine a day in July. Inland, the climate is temperate, with warm summers, and even more rainfall. The Alpine region in the north remains warm and dry during the summer, offering ideal conditions for walking, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. The mountains see lower temperatures due to the elevation, and more changeable conditions than the coast.
The majority of Slovenia experiences very cold winters, with the average temperature around 0°C. With plenty of snow and freezing conditions in the Alpine regions, the mountains continue to be thriving tourist resorts, offering many winter sports.
Slovenia - The Place
The landscape of Slovenia offers variety and stunning beauty. Along the border with Austria, the Julian Alps provide spectacular mountain scenery. To the south, the scenery offers caves like those at Postojna. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is of a manageable size with superb Baroque and Habsburg architecture.
The Slovene coast which measures 46.6 kilometres is covered with abundant vegetation. Here is a natural reserve with a rich supply of marl and sandstone and the unique Strunjan cliff which ascends 80 metres above the sea and is the highest flysch wall on the Adriatic coast. Here are the Secovlje saltworks, first mentioned in the 13th century. Due to their extremely abundant natural and historical heritage they were named a regional park and are a rich sanctuary of plant and animal worlds. They play a very important role in the world of ornithology, because they offer ideal conditions for birds due to the warm climate and abundance of food in the saltwork pools. So about 200 bird species have been seen at the saltworks and they provide a natural habitat for about 80 bird species which nest there.
In modern times, the earliest signs of the Slovenian spirit have surfaced in the field of culture. Ever since the poetry of France Prešeren, culture has formed the heart of our national being. Urban culture has developed in Slovenia over the last two centuries, which has also seen the gradual evolution of fundamental institutions such as the National Museum, and the Slovenian Philharmonic. Nowadays, Slovenia has a myriad of theatres, cinemas, libraries and educational facilities and is well known abroad by its current cultural export.
Although talented artisans and painters were already working and refining their craft as early as the 12th century, there were Slovenian impressionists whose works finally placed Slovenian painting firmly on the European cultural map. With the development of the Slovenian Academy of Art after the Second World War, a much wider circle of painters emerged, including Gabriel Stupica, Riko Debenjak, Maksim Sedej, Božidar Jakac, Veno Pilon and France Mihelic. The most prominent Slovenian painter, Zoran Mušic, worked in Paris and exhibited throughout the continent.
Slovenia nightlife is simply entertainment galore. Vibrant, adventurous and lively, the night life of Slovenia attracts large number of tourists across the globe. Be it a cultural event, a poker game at a casino or fast, thumping live music at a night club, Slovenian nightlife has something for all. Nightlife in Slovenia comes alive in the city of Ljubljana, the country capital. The evenings in Ljubljana unleash a plethora of cultural programs like concerts, exhibitions, theatres and film festivals. For those who do not want to retire early, Ljubljana has heaps to offer. A dazzling picture of Ljubljana at night can be caught while relaxing at one of the numerous cafés along the Ljubljana river banks. The tourists can also have a remarkable time at the casinos in Ljubljana, trying their hands at the poker games. Live music played at the numerous pubs and restaurants is yet another attraction of Slovenia nightlife. The dance enthusiasts have ample opportunities to gyrate to the latest tracks played in the jazz clubs, discos and rock clubs. Parties featuring dance music are also an integral part of Slovenia nightlife.
The most interesting shopping experience is undoubtedly a visit to the open-air market, where besides fresh fruit and vegetables you can find dried herbs and locally produced honey. BTC is Ljubljana's out-of-town shopping centre, housing everything from Bauhaus to Zara. It is located to the north-east of Ljubljana's city centre in the LJ-Moste area.
The centre of Ljubljana is also excellent for shopping with several large department stores including Maxi Market (Trg Republike 1) and Nama (Slovenska cesta) and with lots of smaller boutique-style shops. The Old Town (Stari trg) is also well worth visiting - not only is it one of the most stunning streets in Ljubljana architecturally, but it has everything from sports shops through to sweet and street cafes. Every Sunday morning there is a flea market along the right-bank of the Ljubljanica river where you can find anything from antiques to jewellry and modern artwork.
Just like many Asian countries, Slovenia's cuisine is strongly influenced by its surrounding nations. Some of its culinary delights include zganci which is roast buckwheat flour garnished with lard with cracklings, jota which is a boiled dish with smoked pork and brodet, a Mediterranean fish stew.If you are looking for a restaurant, the word you need to look for (or ask for if you are feeling ambitious) is 'restavracija' which is your average restaurant. But if you want to dine out more like a local you will have to find a 'gostilna'. Eating out in Slovenia, if you have a few Tolar (Slovenia's currency) to spare spend it on some wine as this is where some of the best wines in the world are produced. Today, Slovenia has a total of 38 wine varieties grown in 14 wine districts.
Local Slovenia Customs
Slovenes are largely Roman Catholic. The authority of a once-powerful church hierarchy was broken by the flight of ultraconservative Catholics (including many clerics) in 1945, and religious practice was further vitiated by the acceleration of industrialization and consumerism under the communist Yugoslav regime. Immigration of Muslims and Orthodox Christians from the Balkans has modified this essentially homogeneous picture.