Guide to Northern Slovenia
With Ljubljana at its heart, Slovenia is a country that has much more to offer than first meets the eye. For people who take the time to explore outside of the city and to head towards the north of the country, they will be rewarded with panoramic views, picturesque lakes and truly authentic experiences. The country is not one that is littered with large cities; instead, towns and villages are spread sparingly across the land. This means that with some careful planning and preparation, you can truly escape from modern life as you venture into the beauty of Northern Slovenia.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how you can spend your time exploring this tremendous region.
It may come as a surprise to many that Slovenia is a fertile wine-growing country that has three distinct and different wine-growing regions. The three regions are Primorska (west, south-west), Podravska (north-east, east) and Posavska (east, south-east). Wine Tasting Bled is a small company that offers you the chance to sample a range of seven different wines from Slovenia. You’ll also get to enjoy appetisers and will receive a certificate for becoming an ambassador for Slovenian wine.
Whether you want to relax in a sauna or be pampered with a massage, there are a number of spas in Northern Slovenia that are set within beautiful surroundings. In the north-east, there is Terme Topolsica and La Vita Spa & Beauty, and in the North East, there is Wellness Essense. At these locations, you will have the option to pamper yourself and relax with a range of services.
It’s hard to visit the Northern region of the country and not to feel a strong pull to head out into the beautiful natural landscape. There are countless walking routes that vary in difficulty and length, which means that there will be something for everyone. In the north-east, you will find Triglav National Park, an area of over 300 square miles, perfect for hiking and exploring. To the west, there are numerous mountain and forest routes that can be hiked.
Slovenia is a great place to hit the slopes while saving a few pennies. Prices tend to be more reasonable here than other more popular winter destinations; however, the quality of the surroundings is just as breathtaking. The majority of skiing is done in the north-east, just outside the town of Maribor in the resort of Mariborsko Pohorje. The pistes are dynamic and will present a challenge for any winter sports enthusiast.
Accommodation in the north of Slovenia is very traditional, as to be expected. During the summer, there are lots of opportunities for glamping; however, this can be an expensive option. Using websites such as Airbnb can allow for some more unique accommodation and can also unlock some slightly cheaper accommodations. Away from Ljubljana, prices tend to fall anyway, but, your options will also become more limited.
To head back to basics during your time in the country, you could opt to stay in one of the amazing shepherd huts in Velika Planina, one of Europe’s largest shepherd settlements. With two chalets available to rent, you’ll have the opportunity to glimpse into the day to day life of a traditional mountain shepherd, a humbling experience.
If you’re looking to splash out on your Slovenian adventure, then there are a range of natural spa hotels in the region that offer a variety of packages. Many of them have heated indoor pools, saunas and massages facilities, perfect for switching off during your break away.
Best Time of Year
As with many other European countries, there really isn’t a ‘best’ time of year as it depends on what you’re looking for from your time away. For those searching for snow, January to March will provide the best coverage and optimum conditions. July and August are the warmest months but are also the busiest as many of the European countries will be enjoying their summer holidays. Shoulder months of June and September can still offer warm weather and blue skies with the benefit of slightly lower prices and less crowded resorts. Finally, December can be a great time to visit as there is a range of Christmas markets being held in the cities.
Food and Drink
It’s worth noting that food and drink is a huge thing in Slovenia, especially considering it borders with Italy. Although the cuisines differ slightly from one another, food still holds an important place within the Slovenian culture. In restaurants, you can expect to find a wealth of meat dishes such as steaks, stews and local dishes. Additionally, seasonal vegetables are popular accompaniments, meaning dishes will vary throughout the year to make the most of the produce.
Desserts are very popular in Slovenia (as they are in many other countries!). Influence comes from countries such as Austria and Switzerland with lots of the desserts using thin pastry, either as a casing or layered as a cake-style of dessert. We recently uploaded a recipe of how to make Prekmurska Gibanica; you can check that out here.
Outside of the city of Ljubljana, the country is mostly made up of countryside, forest and greenery, with small towns and villages checked across the country. One of the highlights of the countryside would be the magnificent Lake Bled. One of the most photographed places in the country, with the iconic church at the heart of the lake, Lake Bled is a truly breathtaking spectacle. During the summer, swimming is allowed in the lake as there are numerous small coves and beach style areas where people can sunbathe and enjoy the surroundings.
One of the other must-sees, upon the outskirts of which Lake Bled is located, is Triglav National Park. An expansive area of mountainous land located in the north-west of the country, Triglav, has countless hiking routes to explore including the 9,300 foot high Triglav mountain from which the park takes its name.
The Northern area of Slovenia is a fantastic region to explore, with so much to do and ample opportunities to get away from the hustle and bustle of normal life and relax. If you are looking to explore this amazing country, why not check out our range of experience holidays heading to Slovenia? During the warmer months, we offer our Slovenia summer holidays, while during winter, the husky experience is our most popular within the country.