Slovenia is one of the countries you won’t want to miss. Between mountains and beach, a route through a fascinating landscape.
Slovenia is a fantastic country. Still something unknown to most, but with a history that spans several centuries. Currently, it is one of the growing destinations within the European Union, but the path has been long to get here.
Over the centuries, many peoples passed through there, from the Celts to the inevitable Roman Empire, leaving marks, both in the heritage and in some customs of the country.
Shortly after the end of World War II, in 1945, Slovenia ended up being integrated into a new country, which would be called Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This new nation, controlled for years by the iron hand of the infamous Marshal Tito, also included Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia.
It was a time of deprivation of individual freedoms, with most of the post-war annexed territories becoming virtually unknown to most tourists.
Slovenia is no exception to this rule, only now beginning to be rediscovered. With a population of just over two million inhabitants, about 40% of its territory is in the mountainous region of the Alps, although it also has a considerable coastline in the Mediterranean area.
Slovenia: the wonders to discover
Forests, mountains, medieval villages, lakes: this is Slovenia. Despite its reduced dimensions, it has the beauty worthy of a continent and shows scenarios that remind us of children’s books.
There, where the Alps meet the Mediterranean and Central Europe meets the Balkans, this country becomes an excellent tourist destination even less explored, and less crowded, than neighboring Croatia, for example.
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is a city full of charm, life and beauty. Founded in the year 1 BC, history is still present here, guided by the small touches of modernity that are being created.
With a lively life, especially in the downtown area, where there is no shortage of fun bars, cafes, restaurants and art galleries, which can be easily discovered on foot or on a bike ride.
But whatever the plan, you can’t miss trying the Laško beer, or even the artisanal Human Fish, which is served at the Tozd bar, whose trademark are the bicycles hanging on the wall.
Bled is one of the most visited cities in Slovenia, perhaps because of the medieval castle on top of one of its hills, and the existence of a church perched on a small island in the middle of one side. Or maybe for both reasons.
There is no doubt about the quality of the tasty kremšnitea cake made with puff pastry and vanilla cream (a kind of yarrow), whose recipe dates back to the 1950s.
Slovenia also has a kind of Douro wine region: Goriška Brda, about 120 km west of Ljubljana, where Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon reds are produced, as well as wine made from white grapes Beli Pinot and Rebula.
The scenery is very familiar to Portuguese people who know the Douro region: narrow winding roads, terraces that pile up almost like stairs to heaven, with cellars along the way.
Piran is a typical medieval town, with narrow streets, houses close together, clothes hanging outside and restaurants serving delicious homemade food.
It looks like a small Italian village, because, in these parts, Italian is also spoken.
As you can see, it is a country that deserves to be discovered. The official currency is the euro (which replaced the tolar), so there will be no added difficulties with exchange rates and upfront accounts.
Slovenia can also be the starting point for a broader visit to some European countries, as it borders Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy. And with the good quality of transport, there’s nothing like taking advantage of it for an itinerary that you will certainly not forget.