Planning a trip is quite a complicated issue. Often, we have a limited amount of time, as well as a limited amount of money we can spend. On the other hand, we want to get as many experiences from a place as we possibly can handle. This creates cognitive dissonance in our minds in which desires struggle with rational thoughts. Therefore, sometimes. A simple trip plan starts to seem like a building of the most important strategy in a war campaign. The war with enjoyment for the sake of enjoyment.
Slovenia is quite a small country. Not so many people are willing to go directly there. Sometimes, it happens because of a lack of knowledge about European countries. Sometimes, we postpone the trip here in order to give the place for many exotic places. The way out could be a combination of several countries in one trip. For example, the Balkan region.
Instead of going to each country every year, why not take the best from these countries in one or two trips? Thus, we would like to provide you several reasons why you must visit Slovenia on your way to Croatia. Let’s begin!
Everybody saw pictures of the Swiss Alps with green valleys and crystal clear lakes. Don’t you know that Slovenia has the same? Really, the Alps are not only Swiss, but there are more countries with such beauty. And Slovenia is one of them. In fact, only 1/5 of the country is flat. The two mountainous parts of the country are the Alps and of the Dinarides. In its turn, the Alps of Slovenia can be divided into three more regions:
- Julian Alps in the North-West, with the highest peak, is Mount Triglav – 2,864 meters;
- Karawanks a natural boundary between Slovenia and Austria, with the highest peak Mt. Stol – 2,236 m;
- Kamnik-Savinja Alps, with the highest peak, is Mt. Grintovec – 2,558 m.
Dinaries consist Veliki Snežnik (1,796 m), a part of the Snežnik plateau and the highest non-Alpine peak in Slovenia.
Therefore, if you are not very enthusiastic about lying on a beach of Croatia your entire vacation, think about the possibility of visiting Slovenia and experience some mountain activities. There are a lot of them. For instance, parachuting, mountaineering, cycle touring, mushroom hunting, canyoning, rock climbing, caving, horse trekking, hot-air ballooning, paragliding and hang-gliding, fishing, rafting, hiking, and so on.
If you never even heard about those names, why not to google it now? This is the real possibility to make your holidays unforgettable!
Picturesque Lakes and Thermal Waters
These two factors come from the previous one. The mountainous surface creates a lot of rivers that fall into lakes. Moreover, snow from the peaks melts and flows into rivers as well. Therefore, the Slovenian lakes are picturesque so much. The view mixes crystal clear water with mountains covered by snow in peaks. The air is clear as well, which gives pretty high transparency. The only minus of suck lake is the fact that they are really cold and not everyone can swim there.
There are 321 lakes in Slovenia, which is an incredible number for such a small country. Many of them are of glacial origin. The largest glacial lakes are Lake Bled (147 ha) and Lake Bohinj (318 ha), however the largest intermittent lake is Lake Cerknica (2500 ha). The deepest lake is the Wild Lake (160 m depth)
To mention thermal waters, this is also because of the surface, however these processes are taking place under the ground. The mountains indicate the collision of lithospheric plates, which means the closeness of hot magma to the surface. Thus, the waters are heated by it, and that’s how thermal waters are created.
Hence, Slovenia became the perfect destination for recreational purposes. This forced the Slovenian medical, recreational industry to grow, so people develop programs for visitors as well as create water parks for their children.
Čatež is considered as “thermal capital”, however the oldest spa is Dobrna Thermal Spa that is working since 1403. The other thermal resorts can be found near such cities as Koper, Novo Mesto, Celje, Velenje, Maribor, Murska Sobota.
If it’s too hot in Croatia, welcome to Slovenia! Lying on the beach can be tiring. No, it’s not the sarcasm or irony, it is truth. There is such the type of people who just cannot stand being on the active sun for almost a whole day. This is normal, nobody shouldn’t be ashamed of this. However, what should you do if your spouse or friend wanted these sunbaths? Propose him to visit Slovenia on your way to Croatia. It can be a nice consensus for the desires of you both.
Most of the territory lies in the zone of the mild continental climate. This means no critical temperatures and overabundance or absence of precipitation. The average winter temperature is from 0 °C to -2 °C on flat regions and from -4 °C to -6 °C in the mountains. The average summer temperature is 18–19 °C in foothills and 15-17 °C in the mountains. The precipitation level is 950 mm per annum, whereas 2000 mm in mountainous regions.
However, there are a few exceptions. For example, there is a Mediterranean climate in Istria region that borders the Adriatic sea. There, the summer temperatures are 27 °C and winter ones are 10 °C. On the other side, rains can reach 381 mm per month. And the third part, located in the East of the country, is characterized by warmer winters and less amount of precipitations.
Those climate conditions are because of the Slovenian Alps that cover cold wind masses from the North and keep hot masses from the Adriatic sea inside the country.
Visit the Biggest Festival in the Balkans
If you are a fan of folk or classical music, this event is definitely for you. While you are planning your trip to Balkans, don’t forget to check the dates of the Ljubljana Festival. Who knows, maybe, you are lucky enough to have the vacations precisely on the dates when it is held.
The Ljubljana Festival is a huge summer event. First of all, because of its durability. The most prolonged was the festival of 2015. At that time, it took place from the end of June to the end of September, which is an incredible duration. Now, the festival is usually happening in two months. However, the founders created a smaller “winter version” instead (approximately 4-5 days).
The Summer Festival Ljubljana also officially serves as an ambassador of Slovenian art, language, and culture, as it is part of the European Festivals Association. The Križanke venue of the festival annually hosts over 80 kinds of concerts, opera productions, theatre performances, musicals, exhibitions, and poetry readings. Moreover, all these artists are performing for 50,000 visitors each year.
The festival gave the stage for the world-famous symphony orchestras, including New York and Israeli Philharmonic Orchestras, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Chinese Philharmonic Orchestra Hangzhou, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. And St. Mary’s Theater Orchestra of St. Petersburg, some opera houses, among which was the most prominent, are the famous Academic Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and the Scala in Milan took place here as well.
Also, Slovenia is famous for its folk dances and music. They are an inevitable part of traditions. The most famous Slovenian dances are kolo, lender, štajeriš, mafrine and šaltin. The one that should be emphasized is kolo, because it’s definitely Slovenian, not borrowed from neighbors. Usually, it is performed in groups in a special way. The meaning of its name is “a circle” named by the circle formed by dancers. Today, those dances are mostly performed in festivals and touristic events in order to show national identity, using traditional clothing and playing appropriate songs.
Furthermore, you can buy a folk instrument as a souvenir. They are flutes, clarinets, harmonicas, fiddles, different types of brass. Some other instruments came from such neighboring as Hungary and Balkan countries; they are tamburica, drone zither, and violin zither, hammered dulcimer. Therefore, they are used mostly in the music of the Eastern and Southern regions of the country.
To Try Slovenian Drinks
Undoubtedly, schnapps is the favorite alcoholic drink in Slovenia. On local lingo, it is called “zganje”. At least one bottle should be on the table in times of national celebrations. Of course, you can buy the bottled one in any shop, but wait! The best schnapps is home-brewed, with unique recipes carried inside the Slovenian families from generation to generation.
Also, viticulture and winemaking have existed in nowadays lands of Slovenia since the times of the Celts and Illyrian tribes. Sometimes it is really obscure that people use to associate wine with France, Spain, and Italy because Romans introduced to their lands winemaking a lot after. It is an incredible number, but today Slovenia has 28,000 wineries and produces from 80 to 90 million liters annually. It is estimated that the country has 22,300 ha of vineyards!