Slovenia is a tiny country located in southern Central Europe. With a narrow coastline, it shares its land borders with four countries – Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Italy.
The country has become very popular as more and more people come here to visit the beautiful Lake Bled. But Slovenia has so much more to offer. The first thing you will notice after entering the country is its greenery. Slovenia is stunningly green. From its numerous hidden caves, beautiful forest canopy, an awesome network of waterways amazing hospitability, you will fall in love with Slovenia.
Interesting facts about Slovenia
1. The people here love bees. Beekeeping is a cherished national tradition in Slovenia. It’s quite fascinating to know that with a total of 2 million people, about 90.000 Slovenians are beekeepers. You will find colourful beehives dotted throughout fields, on the edge of forests, in gardens and on city rooftops.
Carniolan honey bee is an indigenous Slovenian subspecies of bee. This bee is a symbol of hard work and diligence. Slovenian people also have a well-known proverb that says: “Priden kot čebela”, which means hardworking as a honey bee.
It shouldn’t be surprising to know that it was Slovenian (Anton Jansa) who wrote the first modern beekeeping manual.
2. Slovenia is home to one of the world’s most beautiful lakes. Lake Bled has become extremely popular after its photos started making rounds on social media. Everyone wanted to go and see if the water is really that blue. It is!
3. The people are calm, peaceful and extremely hospitable. Slovenia is one of the world’s most peaceful countries and has ranked 8th on the Global Peace Index.
4. Forests cover more than half of Slovenia and the country is extremely green. The country is a heaven of biodiversity. It contains 1% of the world’s organisms on 0.004% of the Earth’s surface area.
5. Etruscan shrew, weighing at 2 grams, is the lightest mammal in the world. This little known, fascinating creature is found natively in Slovenia.
6. You will see a lot of tall people here. Slovenia is one of the 10 tallest countries on the planet. The average height of a male is 180.3 cm whereas the female average height is 167.4 cm. “Choti choti countries me lambe lambe log milte rehte hain”.
7. There are more than 10,000 caves in Slovenia. And every year about hundred new ones are discovered. It’s a lot looking at the size of the country.
Out of all the caves, Postojna Cave is the country’s most visited attraction. You will see stunning formations of stalagmites and stalactites in the cave. It is also home to a blind salamander which is known as “the human fish” because of its pinkish skin colour.
8. Slovenia is full of vineyards. In fact, it is said that the country has a vineyard for every 70 people. Now if you have so many vineyards then it is obvious that the people would like to drink wine as well. Slovenia is one of the highest wine consuming nations.
The oldest vine in the world is in Maribor and it still bears grapes.
9. Is spending a night in a prison on your bucket list? Stop thinking about the crimes you have to commit. Slovenia got it covered. Hostel Celica in Ljubljana occupies a converted jail. You can book a cell here and the best part is that unlike other jails you’ll be able to check out whenever you want to.
10. The Slovenians have always been a curious bunch. In 2002, the oldest wheel ever encountered was discovered here which is estimated to be at least 5000 years old. In 1995, archaeologists found the Divje Babe Flute, which is a flute made from the bone of a bear. It is believed to be 55,000 years old.
11. They are born adventures too. Martin Strel was the first person in the world to swim the entire length of Mississippi River, Yangtze River, Amazon River and the Danube River.
Summiting Mount Everest is a huge achievement. But Slovene alpinist Davorin Karničar took it to the next level when he ski down from the top of the highest mountain in the world. He is also the first man in the world to ski the highest peaks of all seven continents.
12. “The Red Bull 400” is a race which is held every year in Slovenia. It is a 400m long race but what sets it apart is that the participants have to race on an almost vertical inclined track. Nicknames as “the hill of death” and “the vertical marathon”, it is considered one of the most difficult races in the world.
13. Mount Triglav (2864 meters) is the highest mountain in Slovenia and it is the pride of the country. The flag of Slovenia features Mt. Triglav. The word Triglav in Slovenian language means that it has three heads. There are many trails to climb the mountain and the easiest climb takes about 2 days in total with 12-14 hours climbing. It is a common belief in the country that you aren’t a true Slovenian if you haven’t climbed the mountain. Adventure runs in their blood.
14. Slovenia has the second largest ski-flying hill in the world. The Gorišek Brothers’ ski-flying hill is located in the alpine valley of Planica. It is an epic place for ski-lovers and every year, the World Championship ends with the last set of ski jumping in Planica.
By the way, “The Red Bull 400” race is held on this hill.
15. The Solkan Bridge is the world’s longest stone-arch railroad bridge. It is located on the Bohinj Railway route and features 4533 stone blocks that stretch 220 meters.
16. There is a Stud farm for horses in the country. Lipica Stud farm in Slovenia is famous for its own patented brand of beautiful white show horses. The farm breeds its own unique white horse that’s found nowhere else. Look at the picture below. Isn’t he a real stud?
Trip leader Sakshi’s Recommendations if you are visiting Slovenia:
Lake Bled, Slovenia: Stepping into Bled town is like stepping into a fairytale. A gorgeous, shimmering lake in the front, a castle sitting on a mountain in the backdrop and a sky as blue as blue can be.
The blue-green lake, measuring just 2km by 1.4km, is lovely to behold from almost any vantage point. You can walk along its entire shore, and snap a hundred pictures, so pretty it is! It is one of those places which actually looks just like in the pictures, and if you have seen at least one photo of Bled, you’re already in love with it.
The adventurous can rent a boat and row in the designated areas. There are a number of walking trails that offer vantage points to look at the lake.
Lake Bled is one of the most picturesque spots to visit in Slovenia. This small lake has all of the ingredients for the perfect getaway. A castle perched high on a hillside, a pretty little island to visit, hiking trails, secluded swimming spots, and a fantastic sweet treat.
Vintgar Gorge: It is a 1.6 meter Gorge and one of the most magical places to visit in Slovenia. The boardwalks crisscross their way along the Radovna River where you will be a part of an enchanting landscape.
Soca River Valley: Soca is a beautiful river that starts in the Julian Alps and meanders through western Slovenia. ts emerald green water is the reason that it is also called ‘The Emerald Beauty’ and what makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Slovenia. You can swim in the cool waters or go kayaking here.
Ljubljana: The capital, Ljubljana, translates to The Loved One. You can wander around the charming city and admire the beautiful sculptures and art work. A major attraction in the city is the Triple Bridge, where three picturesque bridges span the river right next to one another. The Old Town has a unique charm with castles and medieval squares forming the backdrop.
Postojna Cave: Take the adventurous journey to the undergrounds. As mentioned above Postojna Cave is a must-see destination for travelers. You will going through caverns, halls, and passages that were carved by the Pivka River. Inside the cave, there are beautiful karst formations, some of which are millions of years old. You can also visit a medieval castle that is built into the side of a cave.