Živjo and hello from Slovenia! A new country and new adventures for me – an amazing first – but hopefully not the last time I visit this little, lovely country next to the Balkan peninsula (and some consider it being at least partially part of the Balkan peninsula).
I’ll be writing several stories about this cool destination, but first I wanted to share my first impressions about it. As always, you can follow my travels on Instagram and this one will be found with #homemadetours hashtag.
I am a bit ashamed to admit that my knowledge on Slovenia was limited it being next to Italy and being one of the countries that came out of the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991 (the others being Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Hertzegovina). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this trip and I can just say that I was very positively surprised about everything!
So what are the 7 things I wanted to point out about Slovenia?
1. Slovenia is cookie-cutter pretty. The houses are like in Austria – big chalets with balconies and filled with flower boxes. Countyside villages with pretty churches. People clearly love their homes and it’s super clean everywhere – no litter on the ground or graffitis on bridges. So refreshing!
2. The amazing nature – the have it all pretty much covered. From green valleys and soft hills to sharp peaks of the Alps. Vineyards, fruit and livestock.
3. The hospitality of local people and their love for schnapps. Almost everyone seems to make their own schnapps blend using home-grown berries and herbs and they love to share their creations. The same goes with the wine, there are thousands of little vineyards in the country.
4. The mouth-watering food Slovenia has to offer. Bordering to several countries the kitchen is a mix of it all, and then some more. Think of Italian prosciutto and olives, Austrian sauerkraut dumplings and strudel, German sausages. All so fresh and delicious!
5. Award-winning wines. Slovenian wines are coming strong to the European and American market and have won lots of awards the past years. I visited several vineyards and samples well over 20 wines and there were so spectacular ones. Most vineyards are small and privately owned and will give you are personal tour and tasting, and many offers also meals.
6. The beautiful Adriatic coast. Nestled between famous Italian and Croatian beaches is just some 40 km Slovenian coast with small picturesque towns and perfect hills for biking. Visit old Piran with its narrow cobblestone streets and Venetian architecture. A delightful experience without the masses of tourist knick-knack stores or excessive prices.
7. Unique adventures exploring natural wonders such as a tour of connecting underground lakes in Križna Jama where cave bears used to stay during the ice ages. It’s rather easy to book a hour-long tour where you take a boat on one lake but the 7 hour tours exploring around 15 connecting lakes in wintertime only has 100 slots annually on offer. Lucky you, if you manage to get one – this place is definitely worth exploring, and a little schnapps afterwards will warm you up again.
So stay tuned for more about Slovenia, it’s sights, wine tasting, food and attractions I enjoyed.
You can also explore Slovenia via my Instagram feed found below
Check out also my ‘Discovering Slovenia Pinboard on Pinterest‘. I have added a map so it’s easier to discover where all these places are. I’ll keep addinig more photos there from this trip as well as from any future trip I’ll take to Slovenia.