- Slovenia: Blooming with flowers in spring; lively with festivals and events in summer; painted in hues of gold and ruby by falling leaves in autumn; blanketed in alabaster snow at winter time.
Western Slovenia lies about 800 km from Luxembourg and can be reached in 10 to 12 hours drive by car. The enchantment of Slovenia can rival much larger countries while heavily influenced by the countries it borders: Italy, Austria and Hungary. All seasons are stunning and with more than half of its country covered in forests, Slovenia is truly a green country.
Slovenia’s crown jewel is Lake Bled, a small alpine lake whose peculiarities are a little island in the middle and the castle dominates the landscape from a high cliff.
Growing rapidly in popularity, Bled is born from a fairy tale: swans swim in the cobalt blue waters, traditional horse-drawn carriages travel along the shores and elegant buildings from the absburgic period give to it a unique charm from times gone by.
Take a trip to the island on a pletna, (the traditional wooden rowboad), then climb 99 steps to visit the little Assumption of Mary Church. The magnificent view is breathtaking.
Head back to the mainland and, if the temperature allows, have a dip into the pristine waters. Drive up to the castle and climb the cobbled path to the top, where you have a 360 degree picture postcard view of the lake and the surrounding Julian Alps. After a visit to the XII century castle, lunch at the fancy castle’s restaurant is well deserved.
End your day with a visit to the Vintgar Gorge, where wooden bridges and viewing galleries lead you down the 1.6 km long gorge, among waterfalls and natural pools.
To relax and immerse yourself in nature, spend some time in Lake Bohinj. You will feel like a new person.
Tucked in the midst of Triglav National Park, the lake will make you feel as if you’ve arrived in heaven: majestic mountains, still blue waters, lush forests and intact shores, Bohinj is a dream destination for those who seek for peace or have a passion for the outdoors.
Take a boat trip on the lake, trek around the shores and swim in the crystal clear waters.
Bohinj boasts a wide range of activities for all class ages: from easy trekking to hiking, from fishing to rafting, from mountain bike to ziplines. The area offers plenty of entertainment for the youngest too: mini golf, aqua park, rock climbing school, playgrounds and family friendly beaches.
For an amazing bird’s eye-view take a cablecar ride to Mount Vogel and enjoy the peaceful beauty of Bohinj valley and the majesty of the Alps.
It must be said that the valley is a perfect winter holiday destination too: affordable, never overcrowded and quiet, it offers several ski resorts.
Mount Vogel is the most famous and biggest, with endless kilometers of white fresh snow suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers. The lifts take you to the heart of the National Park, in the midst of the clouds and above, until reaching the mountain top. While you ski down, admire the massive beauty of the mountain range, then stop for a well deserved solid lunch or a hot chocolate in one of the many mountain huts. You can also skate in Bohinska Bistrica or try cross-country ski in beautiful Poklijuka. Of course, there is always the option of simply relaxing in the warm waters at the aquapark.
There are many apartments for rent and a wide offer of hotels, among which I can recommend Hotel Tripic, a small family run hotel where you will be warmly welcomed as a friend. At the hotel’s restaurant you can try local tasty dishes and a good selection of local spirits.
I visited Western Slovenia on my way to Croatia a few years ago for the first time and since then I’ve come back year after year, enchanted by its magnetic allure. I wouldn’t be surprised if you do the same!