BEST THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES – THIS SOUTH-CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRY COVERS THE AREA OF ONLY 20,000KM2, BUT IS JAM-PACKED WITH BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN SCENERIES, CULTURE, ACTIVITIES AND ADVENTURES. IT COMBINES THE ALPS, THE PANNONIAN PLAIN, THE KARST AND THE MEDITERRANEAN.
Inspire yourself to visit Slovenia through a list of 18 Interesting Facts about this picturesque country:
1. Slovenia has more than 10,000 explored caves. The best known one is Postojna Cave, a 24,340m long cave system discovered in 17th century. It is the only cave in the world with a railway, and this open-air train takes you on a “journey to the center of the Earth” ride through the cave system. Postojna Cave is home of the Proteus, or “human fish”, the only cave vertebrae in Europe, endemic to this region.
2. Predjama castle looks like a scene from a fairytale. A renaissance castle, built in the cave mouth in south-central Slovenia, is one of the country’s iconic places.
3. The Vilenica International Literary Festival is held annually in the caves of the Slovenian karst. It’s sometimes held in the Vilenica cave – the oldest show cave in Europe.
4. Slovenians really love their vine – there is a vineyard or a winery for every 70 people.
5. Half of Slovenia’s surface is covered in forests – over 10,000km2.
6. Romantic city of Ljubljana is the capital and also the largest city in Slovenia. The origin of the name is unclear, but according to the Slovene Tourist Office, it means “The Loved One”.
7. Legend has it that a dragon once harassed Ljubljana and Prince Jason of ancient Greece slew it. The dragon then became a symbol of Ljubljana and you can find statues of dragons scattered all around the city, and the most famous one is on the Dragon Bridge. It’s said that the dragon twiches its tail every time a virgin girl crosses the bridge.
8. Triglav (literally “three peaks” or “three heads”), standing at 2.864m (9,396ft), is the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps. This National Park is one of the oldest in Europe.
9. Slovenia is the only country in Europe, and one of the few in the world, to have a mountain on its coat of arms, in this case the “three headed” Triglav.
10. This mountain country has a long hiking tradition, with 7000km of marked trails and many “Via Ferrata”. The oldest long-distance trail in Europe is Slovenska planinska pot. In its length of 599km it covers almost all of the Slovenian mountain areas.
11. Slovenians Andrej and Marija Štremfelj were the first married couple to summit Everest and Davo Karničar was a first man to ski down the Everest. He was also the first man to ski the highest peaks of all 7 continents.
12. There is a tradition on The Bled Island: if the couple wants to marry in its beautiful church, the groom must carry his bride up 99 stone steps from the dock to the church to ensure a happy marriage.
13. Running 400m doesn’t sound like a challenge, right? The Red Bull 400, nicknamed “the hill of death” and “vertical marathon”, is a race run in Slovenia, and with an altitude difference of 180m is the steepest and the hardest running race in Europe.
14. In Slovenia you can willingly spend the night behind bars and pay for it! 130 years old military prison was transformed in 2003. into a quirky Hostel Celica. Despite the renovations, you can still experience the eerie feel of the prison cell.
15. Slovenia’s coastline on the Adriatic Sea is only 47km long, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. The coast offers disproportionally large number of activities and experiences – medieval towns and ports, beautiful sand beaches, diving and other adventure sports. One cool feature of the Slovenian coast is that if you stand looking at the sea, looking right you’ll spot Italy, looking left, you’ll spot Croatia.
16. If you love adventure and adrenaline rush, Slovenia is definitely a place to go. Its unspoiled landscape offers a wide range of activities. Besides the already mentioned mountains for hiking and skiing, Slovenia has almost 27,000km of rivers and streams, a real water paradise for whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. It’s so diverse you can actually go skiing and swimming in the sea in one day!
17. Solkan bridge over the river Soča is the longest stone bridge among train bridges. It’s 220m (722ft) long with the arch span of 85m (279ft).
18. Slovenia is one of the countries with the highest number of religious buildings per capita in Europe. It has more than 3000 churches, chapels and other religious monuments.
ADVENTURES IN SLOVENIA
MOUNTAINs & RANGES
- The Alps