BEAUTIFUL LAKES & MOUNTAINS

A good destination to combine with Croatia.

Slovenia

About the size of Wales, this gorgeous little country has borders with Croatia, Italy, Austria and, Hungary. Slovenia has just a 28 mile long coastline and it is the majestic mountains and the interior which have been the big draw for British for years. The Julian Alps encompassing the Triglav National Park, Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and Kranjska Gora are all well known.

Slovenians joke that Croatia may have over 1,000 islands but they have only one! However, it is a very important one – and probably one of the most photographed in the world: this is St Maria island, the teardrop shaped little island almost in the middle of Lake Bled. Here, couples get married, visitors ring the bell of wishes – and people talk of fairy-tales.

It is really easy to combine a holiday in Slovenia with a stay in the Istria or Kvarner regions of Croatia, the drive from Lake Bled to Porec (Istria) or to Opatija (Kvarner) is usually just over two hours.

Flights to Ljubljana in Slovenia operate from Manchester, Luton and London Stansted. Other airports that serve Slovenia include Trieste (Italy), Klagenfurt and Salzburg (Austria) and Zagreb (Croatia) – in fact, Zagreb is the closest airport to Otocec Castle (page 124 of our brochure). Flight time is usually around one hour 50 minutes from London and usually around two hours 35 minutes from Manchester.

Facts

Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 (the first country in the former Yugoslavia to do so) and the currency is the Euro. Before you travel, check out currency exchange rates since UK airports rarely give the best rates.

Tourism is important and most people speak English. The spoken language sometimes sounds quite similar to Croatian (yet there are some big differences) and Slovenian uses the Latin alphabet like English. Water is of excellent quality and is drinkable everywhere.

The weather is a little cooler than in Croatia since Slovenia is further north and much of it is higher above sea level and close to mountains. The hottest months are July and August (and it can reach 30°C then although this is unusual). May, June and September are often very pleasant whilst in the mountains or at the lakes, March, April, May and sometimes September and October can have a nip in the air even on a sunny day. If visiting in Spring the mountains are often still snow-capped and look dramatic.

Food is excellent with superb local cuisine in addition to the influences of Italy and Austria. River trout from the Soca Valley is not to be missed as are “strukjli” – various buckwheat specialities. Slovenia produces high quality wine, with one of their Pinot Grigio’s now on sale in some Marks and Spencer food halls in the UK.

Out and About

Because Slovenia is small, it is very easy to get around. Roads are good so there is no problem hiring a car and exploring. There’s also an excellent bus service and trains connect Bled and Bohinj to Jubljana and beyond. If you like trains and want to combine with Croatia, consider taking the train from Ljubljana to Rijeka and then it is a short hop to Opatija or one of the Kvarner islands.

If you like walking, take a day to do one of the trails in the Julian Alps/Triglav National Park. Lots of activities on offer including white water rafting and river fishing popular – our representatives have details.

Postojna Caves are the third deepest in Europe and close to Lipica, the stud farm and from where the famous Lipizzaner horses originate. Skocjan Caves are deep and also a UNESCO listed site.

Our Representatives

Representatives visit all our hotels with the exception of Otocec Castle. If you have booked transfers, you will be met on arrival and a welcome letter will be given to you or left at your hotel – this contains an emergency contact number (letter will be left at Otocec Castle). Representatives usually visit the hotel once during a seven night stay.