Cities & Culture
You’ll most likely start your adventure in Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. With the Ljubljanica River running through it, discover riverside cafes and restaurants, perfect for your first taste of Slovenian food – try platters of cured ham, smoked sausage and soups. There are also markets to wander around and the unique Triple Bridge, designed by architect Jože Plečnik in 1929 which links the medieval Old Town with more modern parts of the city.
The greenery of Tivoli Park is ideal for an afternoon walk followed by an ice cream and Ljubljana’s castle, accessed by funicular, is a hilltop fortress dating back to the 16th century and gives splendid views over the city.
Slovenia is home to many lakes and rivers, one of the reasons why the country is so green and lush. In summer, the lakes are a great spot for relaxation in the sunshine. One of the country’s most famous lakes is the picturesque Lake Bled, complete with an island topped with a tiny church. It’s popular with Slovenians but easy enough to hire a bike and cycle around the lake and away from the crowds. Stop for the eponymous Lake Bled cream cake or hire a rowing boat to reach the island where you can ring the church bell for a wish.
Just 30 minutes away is Lake Bohinj, an aquamarine lake backed by mountains that feels more off the beaten track. Its sheer natural beauty is its calling card – step board the electric boat to explore tiny, hidden coves or jump on a paddle board to drift over its clear-as-glass surface.
From the northern tip of Lake Bohinj, you can board a high-speed cable car that will whisk you up Mount Vogel, which forms the southeastern part of the Julian Alps. A variety of walking trails lead you to altitudinous views and you can also try ziplining or even paragliding. If you need a rest, stop by a traditional mountain hut for a cold drink or chocolate pancake.
In Slovenia’s north, the impressive and off-radar mountain range of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps offers stunning hiking in wildflower-strewn meadows, with rocky ascends revealing dazzling waterfalls. The Logar Valley in particular has some family-friendly walks that include stopping at farms, herb gardens and caves. And if hunger calls, there’s always a wooden hut waiting to serve you thick soups and blueberry juice.
Caves and Castles
If caves are your thing, then you’ll be interested to hear that Slovenia has thousands of underground caverns for you to explore. In particular, there are two enormous cave complexes that you can visit on guided tours. Postojna cave has a small train that runs past bright-white stalagmites, whereas the Skocjan caves has an impressive Lord of the Rings feel with a gushing underground river, although bear in mind it takes over three hours to explore.
Nearby to Postojna cave is another captivating Slovenia landmark – Predjama Castle – an 800-year-old medieval fortress, hewn into a 123-metre-high cliff. Discover the castle and its network of secret tunnels, used by the legendary 15th century knight Erasmus.
Talk to us about your trip to Slovenia and we can make it exactly how you’d like it, with a few surprises thrown in. Did you know, it’s easy enough to head to the beach for the final part of your journey? It’s three hours by car to Istria in Croatia, where you can explore medieval hilltop villages and harbour towns including Pula where there is a Roman amphitheatre and picturesque Rovinj whose cobbled streets lead up to the atmospheric church of Saint Euphemia. Food is a highlight in this region where truffles, fish, pasta, seafood and olive oil grace your plate alongside fine Croatian wine.
Stay at Meneghetti Wine Hotel to get to know Istrian appellations better and relax on a pebbly beach, lapped by the clear Adriatic Sea.
Spotlight on Slovenia
For an active family, Slovenia makes an excellent summer holiday destination. From climbing, cycling, paddleboarding and swimming to exploring caves, castles, mountains and lakes, Slovenia will wow you with its stunning diversity.