Slovenia proves that small is beautiful. Although a tiny country, it really packs a punch on the European stage in terms of tourist appeal. It has beaches, grape covered hillsides, snow capped mountains, as well as incredible architecture and a fascinating history. Come see for yourself.
Slovenia is one of the smallest countries in Europe (it’s about half the size of Switzerland). It is located between the Alps and the Mediterranean and has borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea.
Slovenia has been an independent republic since 1991 but it didn’t have a very easy time getting there. After World War One Slovenia became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and was under the Yugoslav Communist Regime between 1945 and 1990. In 1991 Slovenia gained independence from Yugoslavia and since 2004 has been a full member of the European Union. The President of Slovenia is elected by vote once every five years, the President can only serve for two consecutive terms. The current President is Borut Pahor.
Slovenia really is worth a visit. Famous for hiking, skiing and for its Lipizzaner horses, it’s a very green land (more than half of it is forest) with beautiful mountains, rivers and long sandy beaches. It’s also got a great climate – with warm Mediterranean weather bathing the country for much of the time. But watch out – it has been known to snow in summer. In the Winter, Slovenia provides excellent skiing – Maribor hosts World Cup Skiing each year. Tourists flock to Slovenia to experience what is known as ‘Europe in Miniature’. And there’s more, the Skocian Caves (the largest known underground canyon in the world) were the first Slovene landmark to be given UNESCO World Heritage status and are definitely a must see item.
But there’s a lot more to Slovenia than just the scenery. The food and drink are pretty good too. Slovenia is a key wine producer and is famous for having the oldest grape vine in the world (over 400 years old). It’s also got a highly diverse cuisine with more than 24 different culinary regions. The food is heavily influenced by its location as a meeting and traversing point for so many different countries. As well as Slovenian food you will find lots of Italian and Chinese restaurants.
Why not visit a traditional family run inn – they offer a very wide range of food with at least 3 dishes typical of that specific region or district. Meals are often simple and hearty and many dishes are made with cream and paprika. You could try some Golaz (goulash) or some Klobasa (sausage) and kisdo Zelje (sauerkraut) followed by strudel for dessert.
Add to all of this the fact that Slovenians are some of the friendliest people in Europe and you can see why it’s on so many ‘must visit’ lists.
At a glance facts
- Language: Slovene
- Population: 2,081,260 (2018)
- International dialling code: 386
- Time: GMT + 1
Europe, member of the EU