It looks like a country that has come off a postcard. This is what those who are lucky enough to be here often say about Slovenia. Mountain peaks covered with snow, alpine meadows, clear river waters, virgin forests, waterfalls, karst caves, and the gentle waves of the Adriatic Sea — nature has given all this wealth to this small country. There are also picturesque castles, medieval streets with neat houses under tiled roofs, ancient paving stones of city streets, and proud spires of cathedrals. Active recreation lovers will appreciate this country. Here they can enjoy both hiking tours and high-speed ski slopes.
|Ljubljana||2 066 880||Slovene||Euro||20 273 km²|
Administratively, Slovenia is divided into 12 statistical regions and 210 communities, 11 of which have urban status.
What to see and where?
Maribor is the second-largest city in the country. Just like in the capital, the castle of the XV century that now houses a museum attracts the attention of travelers here in the first place. Besides, the XVI century Town Hall, the XII century Gothic Saint John Baptist Cathedral, and Vodnik Square, where the market is open in the mornings, are waiting for tourists. Here, as a souvenir, you can buy a bottle of excellent local wine, for the production of which Maribor is famous. The local wine cellars are considered to be the largest in Central Europe, and there are vineyards by the river, which are 400 years old. Thanks to the vineyards, Maribor is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest city in the world, which produces wine uninterruptedly. Maribor will also be interesting for ski lovers, as there is one of the most popular ski centers in its surroundings — "Maribor Pohorje". And lovers of less active leisure will be offered unique healing therapies.
Celje is the third-largest city in Slovenia. The small and cozy town of Celje lies at the foot of a hill on which Celje Castle, one of the largest castles in the country, stands. In addition to it, Celje has interesting museums, ancient churches, and cozy parks. Three rivers merge right within the city limits, reinforcing the beauty of the human-made and the beauty of nature. In the vicinity of Celje, there is another tourist attraction, the 90-meter Rinka Falls.
Koper is the largest seaside resort town and the main port in Slovenia. It is very close to Italy, so Italian speech can be heard here almost as often as Slovene. In the XIII century, Koper was part of Venice, and the Italian style appeared in local architecture from here. Some buildings, such as the Praetorian Palace and the Loggia Palace, have survived to this day. The oldest structure of the city, the Carmine Rotunda church, was built in the XII century, and another magnificent example of ancient architecture, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was built in the XV century. By the way, previously the city was located on an island called Goat Island and only in 1825, was filled with a dam that connected it to the mainland and turned it into a peninsula. Although, up to now, the locals still divide the city into the mainland and island.
"The Alpine Pearl" is what the people of Slovenia call the town of Bled. Situated on the slopes of the Alps, on the banks of an emerald lake, surrounded by dense forests, it fascinates with its splendor. The aristocracy loved to come here for holidays even back in the Middle Ages. In the XX century, it was the residence of Josip Broz Tito, the head of Yugoslavia. Today, Bled is a popular balneological resort with healing thermal spring water and unique microclimate. In winter, it is a ski resort. This town is also trendy among newlyweds. They come here to spend their honeymoon. A small island in the middle of the lake with a picturesque XVII century church attracts them. According to a legend, if a husband carries his wife in his arms up the 99 steps from the pier to the church, he will be very happy in his marriage. And the "bell of desire" of the church will make any dream come true for the couple. It is worth devoting some time to a tour of Bled Castle, one of the most beautiful and oldest castles in Slovenia. Its observation deck offers a fascinating view.
Portorož is the most fashionable resort in Slovenia. In Italian, the name of the city sounds like the "Port of Roses". They really do grow everywhere here. Recreational infrastructure is represented by SPA centers, beauty salons, unique springs with therapeutic mud, and thermal waters. People come here to relax and have fun on the beaches, in clubs, and water parks. Portorož is also famous for its casinos. Gambling lovers come here from all over the world, but the regulars here are still hot Italians. By the way, Portorož is a real paradise for the lovers of Mediterranean cuisine.
Piran is a tiny town, which is located half an hour's walk from Portorož. And it's a must-visit place. It also once belonged to the Republic of Venice, which left its mark on its image. The city fascinates by the color of the Middle Ages and by the almost total absence of vehicles, as the streets of Piran are very narrow. It is worth visiting Tartini Square, St. George's Parish Church, with the hourly bells ringing, and the Maritime Museum.
National peculiarities of the citizens of Slovenia
- Compared to other small countries, the population of Slovenia is ethnically homogenous and almost entirely consists of Slovenians. They make up almost 90% of the country's population. The remaining 10% are Italians, Croats, Serbs, Hungarians, Albanians, and other representatives of the Balkans.
- The Slovenes are all polyglots. Nine out of ten speak at least one other foreign language. And they are very proud to be members of the European Union and know all its laws and requirements better than anyone else.
- Slovenians are very good-natured but very restrained people. They are very reluctant to let others into their private lives. They just shake hands, public hugs and kisses are not accepted here.
- Both in big cities and tiny towns, ancient traditions are honored and respected. Mysterious rites and carnivals with frightening masks are still held here. The farewell to winter, the Slavic Shrovetide, which is called the Mesopȗst in Slovenia, is especially colorful.
- The locals are also very independent. Everyone pays for himself in restaurants and cafes here — even women.
- Slovenes are very fond of nature and protect it. There's a very respectful attitude towards it. And in small towns, the parcels of land are separated from each other not by fences, but by rose bushes or other ornamental plants.
Cities in Slovenia
Attractions of Slovenia
Small Slovenia may well claim leadership in the number of sights, both natural and human-made. Natural attractions include dense forests covering almost half of the country's territory, the Alps, clear lakes Bled and Bohinj, 90-metre Rinka Falls, and karst caves. The human-made ones include unique architectural masterpieces, Bled and Predjama Castles, Dragons and Triple Bridges, the Carmine Rotunda church.