I rarely write about my home country Slovenia. Probably, because I think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth and I want to do it justice when writing about its beauties. Slovenia has gorgeous nature with lakes, mountains and seaside, cute little towns with medieval castles and amazing food & wine. There are a lot of well-known places, that most tourists visit. For example, the capital Ljubljana, picturesque Bled, interesting Postojnska jama and lovely Piran. But today I wished to share with you some of less known places in Slovenia that I love and should be on your “must see” list.
1. Bela Krajina
A small region Bela Krajina is situated in the southeast part of Slovenia on the border with Croatia. The three biggest cities within the region – Črnomelj, Metlika and Semič – have nice historical old towns and are a great place to get to know the local cuisine. You have to try bread like belokranjska pogača and red wine Metliška črnina. The region is also known for its natural beauties, especially the beautiful river Kolpa. It is one of the warmest and cleanest rivers in Slovenia and it offers a lot of recreational activities.
Slovenia’s third biggest city has many interesting sites to visit. From picturesque old town with cute cafes to historical castle Stari grad and interesting museums – like underground archeological exhibition of Roman Celeia or the Celje Regional Museum which hosts an exhibition about Alma Karlin. There are also a lot of green spaces, like lake Šmartinsko Jezero or popular hiking destination Celjska koča. I may be biased as Celje is my home city, but it’s definitely a city worth visiting.
3. Grad Snežnik
There are more than 300 castles in Slovenia, however, Grad Snežnik is one of the most beautiful. Placed next to a small lake it offers many beautiful views of gorgeous castle building. It was first built in the 10th century and later renovated many times. Today it is home to the museum of living culture of the 19th century.
4. Fortress Črni kal
There is not much left of the 11th century fortress Črni kal today, but if you only visit for the views it’s worth it. Once you cross the narrow bridge, which is connecting the 30 meters high castle rock with rocky Karts edge, you get a great panoramic view. Your eyes catch the village Črni kal, green Primorska region, Adriatic sea and the majestic viaduct Črni kal. With nice weather you can see all the way to Italy.
As a typical Istrian village Izola offers cute narrow streets with colorful houses, nice main square Veliki trg with typical high church tower and a small harbor. Don’t miss out on spending some time on Svetilnik beach and go for a delicious local seafood for lunch.
6. Kanal ob Soči
Kanal ob Soči is a small village, mostly known for the bridge above the Soča river that is connecting two parts of the settlement. The bridge is famous for hosting an annual competition of jumps. The brave participants jump from this 17 meters high bridge into the cold Soča river. Beside visiting this festival, you can also walk around colourful streets and, if you are not afraid of fresh temperature of the water, take a swim in the beautiful emerald river Soča.
A picturesque Karst village of Štanjel is situated on a hill, surrounded with a defensive wall and overlooking beautiful Vipava Valley. While visiting you can admire the Štanjel’s castle and enjoy a walk through its narrow streets, full of stoned Karst houses. Don’t miss out also on the Ferrari garden, a beautiful landmark which was designed in the beginning of the 20th century by the architect Max Fabiani.
8. Tretoop Walk Pohorje
Treetop Walk Pohorje opened in Autumn 2019 and it offers a unique experience of the forest, combined with a great views of the Rogla landscape. I can vouch for the first, however, when I visited it was a totally gloomy day with thick fog. So even when we climbed on 37 meters high tower, we did not have any views. But the fog made it a special experience – mysterious and beautiful.
9. Vinarium Lendava
In Prekmurje region of Slovenia a watchtower Vinarium Lendava offers an incredible 360° view of four different countries. From 53.3 meters on the highest platform of the tower you can see not only the green hills and small villages of Slovenia, but with clear weather the views reach neighboring Austria, Croatia and Hungary.
Moutain Pass Vršič reaches 1.611 meters and connects Kranjska Gora with Trenta and the Soča valley. With its 50 serpentines the ride offers some amazing views of the majestic Julian Alps. On the way you can stop at Jasna Lake and Russian Chapel or take time to look for Ajdovska deklica – a girl’s face in the mountain cliffs. If you like hiking, Vršič is also a starting point for many beautiful hikes and for visiting upper Soča Valley.