Slovenia holds many surprises, varied and delightful. A mesmerizing mix of climates and landscapes, where warm breezes from the coast of the Adriatic drift up to the foothills of the Julian Alps. On their upper slopes you might see the snow fly in the midst of summer. More than half of its terrain is cloaked in verdant forests. It is a land of karstic plateaus and ridges. Beneath the dramatic Alpine peaks are vast caverns. The Postojna and Škocjan caves are the most famous. The Škocjan cave, which features the largest underground canyon in Europe, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Agriculturally ,Slovenia has many scenic wine roads and is known for its wine cellars and great assortment of wines. It is also famous for its ancient beekeeping traditions and fresh local honey. Much of the fine produce found in local markets and restaurants is grown in nearby fields.
In addition to the natural wonders are the region’s architectural treasures. The stunning Predjama Castle, 9 km (a little more than 5 miles) from Postojna cave, is built into the entrance to a cavern, midway up a 123 m (400 foot) cliff. Building began in 1202 but most of what you see today is 16th century. Lublijana is Slovenia’s capital city with plenty of Art Nouveau architecture. A cruise of the river there at sunset is a good way to view some of the splendors. Along the river are lively restaurants and cafes, there is also an equally energetic farmers market and of course the castle!
One of Slovenia’s most striking and well known sites is Lake Bled. In the center of the lake is Bled Island with the tiny, baroque Our Lady of the Lake Church. If you are there during services, you will see parishioners in their boats traveling to the island. You can also take a ferry there (during our visit, the ferry boats were not running). There are great walks along the lakeshore. We stayed at an Airbnb property (See A Room with a View) with panoramic views overlooking the island. Don’t miss Bled castle which has historically been watching over this region for more than a thousand years. Scaling the steep paths to the castle are worth the lake views.
From Bled drive to Ribčev Laz on Lake Bohinj, and see the gothic Church of John the Baptist and the 18th century Holy Spirit Church. The drive to the lake is full of small, quaint villages and memorable landscapes.