GUIDE: SLOVENIA

It’s difficult not to notice a few things in Slovenia. One is how unbelievably beautiful and diverse the landscape is; another is how friendly and cheerful the people are. Perhaps the two are connected? Who wouldn’t be happy living in a land where you can be hiking in some of Europe’s most magnificent mountains in the morning and sipping delicious local wine on the Adriatic coast in the afternoon? That would put a smile on anyone’s face.

WHERE IS IT?
Slovenia is located at the crossroads of Europe. Bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary, the country was the first to declare independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

WHY GO?
Slovenia is truly one of Europe’s last best-kept secrets. Enjoy the snow-capped Julian Alps, the emerald green lakes and the scenic small Mediterranean towns along the coast. As if that weren’t enough, the compelling capital of Ljubljana offers a treasure trove of charming cafés, shops and stunning architectural gems. Restaurants pride themselves on serving the freshest local produce—no surprise, as gardening seems to be the unofficial national sport.

WHEN TO GO?
Slovenia is a fantastic year-round destination. If skiing is your thing, hit the slopes from December to March. Spring and fall are wonderful times to hike, explore caves and waterfalls and go whitewater rafting. Summer is perfect for biking, or relaxing in the beautiful city of Piran overlooking the Adriatic. And Ljubljana is perfect to visit anytime.

WHAT TO SEE?
Wandering along Ljubljana's tree-lined cobbled streets, bridges and parks, you'll understand why the city won the European Green Capital award for 2016. You can admire several styles of architecture, most notably those designed by famed local architect Jože Plecnik. Make time to explore a market or pop into local shops where you can find unique items produced by artisans. The beautiful river that winds gently through the city is lined with cafés, providing the perfect place to sample the local cuisine.

DON'T MISS:
Porcelain Catbriyur
This shop offers handmade porcelain dishes and jewellery.

Tiporenesansa  Stop by this studio to learn a bit about the tradition of letterpress and buy prints and pieces of jewellery.

Gud Shop  This is a fun shop offering home and personal items that are perfect to tuck away in your carry-on.

Pekarna Osem A bakery with the most delicious bread you will ever taste. The owner is extremely friendly, with a passion for his craft. Don’t leave without trying the walnut and coffee bread.

Škofja Loka  This scenic region boasts over 1,000 years of rich history and folklore. The town square transports you back to the medieval era, when it was governed by bishops. The nearby castle has gorgeous gardens and impressive pieces of art. The town is a perfect jumping-off point for those interested in exploring the region's natural attractions, including caves and waterfalls.

Kamnik This pretty town has an old historic centre with characteristic narrow streets and baroque houses. Many people use it as a base from which to discover the vast surrounding natural areas. Most famous is the Velika Planina. Take a cable car ride to the top of this mountain, where you can explore a green plateau and a shepherd's village. The air is fresh and the views are breathtaking!

Gostilna in Penzion Repnik  It's the perfect place to spend a night or two as well as try the local cuisine and wine. The hosts are genuinely eager to make sure you experience the best in Slovenian hospitality.

PLANNING YOUR TRIP
slovenia.info

There's no better way to plan a trip to Slovenia than with the tourism board’s comprehensive site. It’s got valuable information to make the most of your trip and offers both inspirational and practical advice.

HOW TO GET THERE
is the world’s oldest charter airline, celebrating 60 years in the air. Flying from many North American cities, it offers easy and affordable connections to many European destinations. Book online and consider choosing premium class, which offers an affordable upgraded travel experience.