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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Slovenia

Things to do in Slovenia

Due to Slovenia's spectacular scenery, most to-do lists are topped by visits to beautiful examples of mother nature's artwork, including magnificent underground cathedrals, glistening lakes and beaches on the southwest coast. There are also plenty of man-made sights, with the charming 19th-century streets of the capital, Ljubljana, or the somewhat more modern feat of ski-lifts in the northern mountains. Check out our favourite things to do on Slovenia holidays below.

Picture perfect scenery at Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge

You can't leave Slovenia without heading to the spectacular Lake Bled and capturing the quintessential Slovenia tourist photo. The emerald green lake is surrounded by alpine forest with the magnificent backdrop of the mountains, and a famous church sits in the middle on a romantic islet. Activities include walking, cycling, watersports in summer, visiting shoreline restaurants or taking a tour by boat to the church.

Another natural attraction, not far from Bled, is the Vintgar Gorge, a spectacular ravine cleft in two by a rushing blue river. The hike around the gorge, guided with boards and bridges across the river itself, is easy-going, giving you a chance to enjoy the scenery at your own pace. When you reach the end of the walk, reward yourself with locally brewed beer at the nearby restaurant.

A small but perfectly formed coast

Slovenia only claims one small patch of coastline on its southwestern edge sandwiched between Italy and Croatia. But what the shore lacks in size it makes up for in character. Portoroz is a favourite seaside retreat here and is one of the original health resorts, treating visitors with seawater and brine since the 13th century.

Spa facilities are somewhat more modern now, as are the three casinos in town. Nearby is the picturesque coastal town of Piran, which is a beauty to wander around with its old town, traditional fishing harbour, multi-coloured buildings and a Franciscan monastery.

Fairytale romance in Ljubljana

When in Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, exploring the old town, you might feel like you've stepped into a storybook. Pedestrianised walkways mean there's hardly any traffic to take away from the magic of these cobbled streets, so take your time exploring the 19th-century architecture, food markets and charming shops and cafes.

You'll find handmade souvenirs in the charming shops, and don't forget to snap a photo of the castle watching over the old town high above. For the romantics, walking by the lamp-lit canal in the evening is a must-do.

Underground magnificence in the Postojna Caves

South east of Ljubljana is a sight that you'll only see during holidays to Slovenia – the most popular tourist cave in Europe that is home to stunning natural art. Magnificent rock cathedrals are scattered with huge columns of stalagmites and stalactites, majestic caverns house underground streams, and the waters are home to fish known as dragon's offspring.

With a legendary train tour taking visitors through this unique wonderland of stone, you'll pass through breathtaking underground halls complete with rock sculptures, all atmospherically lit to add even more magic and mystery.

Hit the slopes in the mountains

Although it doesn't compete with the popularity of the French resorts, skiing in Slovenia is a perfect way to hit the slopes and avoid the big crowds and high prices. Vogel, a resort in the northern mountains of Slovenia, is ideal for beginners and experienced skiers or snowboarders alike, with plenty of space for all.

Surrounded by incredible views, the slopes are easy to access with the ski lift, at the bottom of which are plenty of rental shops and winter schools happy to help you get your feet on the snow. For anyone who isn't a winter sports fan, it's still well worth heading up the slopes to enjoy the spectacular scenery and alpine atmosphere.