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Slovenia Travel & Holiday Tips


One of the smallest countries in Europe, Slovenia lies in an enviable geographical position between the majestic Alps and the Mediterranean; visitors can thus travel between ski slopes and beach resorts within a matter of hours.


The Slovene capital is the starting point for a wide range of excursions. Situated in the heart of Slovenia, along the banks of the Ljubljanca River, the capital is within a two-hour drive of all the state borders. The old part of the town is particularly delightful. There are three bridges crossing the river, one leading directly to the Town Hall (1718) with its Baroque fountain and two open courtyards. Towering over the city are the twin towers of Ljubljana Cathedral (1708), which house some impressive frescoes. The Castle, situated on a hill, overlooks the river. The Castle is currently undergoing repairs and only part of it is open to the public. The tower offers a splendid view of the city. On the eastern bank of the river is the Town Museum with an extensive collection of Roman artifacts. Near to the University is the Ursuline Church (1726) with an altar by Robba. The National Museum, the National Gallery, the Municipal Gallery and the Modern Art Gallery with the quiet Tivoli Gardens are all interesting.

The East

Maribor, in the east of the country, is Slovenia's second-largest city, with a population of approximately 100,000. It lies only 16km (10 miles) from the Austrian border and is a three-hour journey by car from Trieste or Vienna. Maribor is a lively cultural, scientific and commercial centre with a university and numerous art galleries, museums and theatres. The city is a good starting point for visiting the nearby Alpine region of Pohorje, one of Slovenia's main skiing resorts, which hosts major international competitions. Also worth visiting are the nearby wine-growing hills of Slovenske Gorice, where a number of Slovenia's excellent white wines are produced. To the south of Maribor, Ptuj contains Roman remains, a medieval centre and is the scene of traditional carnivals.

The Julian Alps

The Julian Alps are a popular skiing area in the winter, particularly the resorts of Kranjska Gora and Bovec. Triglav National Park encompasses the splendour of these mountains, as well as the grassy slopes of the surrounding valleys. It is a great place for keen trekkers and visitors are attracted by the unusual tower on Mount Triglav. Podkoren is situated in the mountains near the Austrian border. The fashionable mountain resort of Bled, near the Austrian and Italian borders, is set on the idyllic Lake Bled, where skating and curling take place in winter, and swimming and rowing in summer. The trout and carp fishing are also very good. Sights include the neo-Gothic Parish Church (1904) with its interesting frescoes and Bled Castle, the former seat of the bishops of Brixen. Perching above a 100m (328ft) drop, the castle offers magnificent views over the city and lake. Another popular skiing resort is the Zgornjesavska valley, which borders Austria and Italy in the northwest. Situated between the Julian Alps and the Karavanke, the valley is surrounded by mountain peaks and a number of international skiing and ski jumping competitions take place there every year.

The Coast

Portoroz is Slovenia's most popular seaside resort, with numerous hotels and pavement cafes. The spectacular 20km cave of Postojna, only one hour's drive from the coast, has been deemed one of the greatest sights of natural beauty, and features gigantic stalagmites and a cavernous hall which can hold over 10,000 people.

The port of Koper still retains an Italian atmosphere. The old town, entered through Muda Gate, is worth exploring. Passing the Bridge Fountain, the street widens onto the city's central square. In general, the sights are clustered around the Town Tower (1480), which dominates the skyline. Fine examples of the Venetian Gothic style are the 15th-century Cathedral, the loggia and the Praetor's Palace; also of interest is the Romanesque Carmin Rotunda (1317). Well worth a visit is the excellent Provincial Museum, which houses old maps of the area.





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