As far as Europe is concerned, France, Spain and Italy seem to trump all other tourist destinations in that region - and yes, to the naked eye this would be a relatively accurate statement; however, what you don’t read in the trendiest travel books and latest and greatest adventure blogs is that Slovenia will be responsible for taking your vacation to the next level. Though it is hardly noticeable on the map of popular European destinations, it happens to boast some of the areas most intriguing landscapes, historical monuments and interesting adventure sports. Follow this journey through the heart of Slovenia and across four different must see destinations!
Destination #1: Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves
One of the least talked about, yet most fascinating stops along your Slovenian travel route will most certainly be the Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves combination. Listed as the largest cave castle in the world, this amazing structure will have you in awe from the moment you lay eyes on it. Woven into the natural occurring cave walls, the castle offers an impressive structural feat that will leave you commending the architectural aptitude of the medieval people!
Just 9km away from this majestic and iconic castle, rests the famous Postojna Cave situated 115 metres below the Earths surface. With 24km of passage ways to explore, you will be guided through this underground world, full of intricate stalagmites and breathtaking scenery. Keep in mind, the temperatures will drop significantly as you descend so bring a sweater or rent a poncho at the front entrance.
Destination #2:Lake Bled
Bled is a fairytale destination that is slowly gaining popularity through the proliferation of social media. Fear not - it still remains a quaint and quiet mountain town. Situated in the lush Julian Alps, this town will be sure to steal your heart and leave a lasting impression. Whether you fancy a bike ride up to Bled Castle for the impressive views of the neighbouring Triglav National Park, or you are keen to rent a paddle board and glide along the lake shore, Bled can accommodate!
Destination #3:Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps
Triglav National Park is the only official national park in the entire country and therefore it is a definite must see! Home to some of the worlds most elusive mountain ranges, it is certainly worth a day hike or overnight backpacking trip. Standing tall at approximately 2000 metres, Mount Visevnik (one of the regions most popular hikes) is a moderate trail that will lead you past many herds of lazy cows and moss covered rock faces. It might be a bit of a slug but you will not regret the views from the top!
Destination #4:Mount Peca, Mezica
Ever wonder what it would be like to kayak through an abandoned mine? Well wonder no more friends! Mount Peca is home to a one-of-a-kind experience: Underground Kayaking. It is no surprise that the first mode of transportation you take is a cramped miners cart, which directs you along a narrow passageway at somewhat alarming speeds! Upon arrival by miners cart, you descend 95 metre downwards along a rusty and steep stairway until you reach the lowest possible level of the mine, which flooded shortly after 1994. A word from the (not so) wise - wear proper footwear and avoid flip flops.
Guided by headlamp and the echoing directives of your kayak instructor, you will manoeuvre your way through winding channels and crystal clear waterways as you explore the forgotten mining tunnels. At the end of your tour, you will retreat back to one of the upper levels of the mine for a scrumptious lunch of European breads, meats and cheeses.
Though Slovenia is probably not on your immediate European travel radar when it comes to planning that spectacular vacation you'd always dreamed of - it is only fair to give it a chance. Why not embrace the natural wonders and architectural marvels it has to offer! A word from the (semi) wise, it will not disappoint. Plus - unlike most of Europe's popular destinations, Slovenia is overall a less crowded and more pleasant experience.