In spite of the small territory, Slovenia has a lot of interesting things regarding its lands. Just think about it: Sahara is big enough, but it happens not so much of things there. Oppositely, small countries are the core of diversity, especially such countries in the heart of the European land.
The Alps, lakes, nature, thermal baths, and beautiful landscapes. All this is directly related to the territory of Slovenia. Don’t forget about access to the sea. Definitely, that’s a lot to see. So, let’s define what are the top characteristics of the Slovenian territory.
Before we begin, the briefing. Slovenia is the country in Central and Southeastern Europe that touches the Alps and borders the Mediterranean. Slovenia is situated between latitudes 45° and 47° N, and longitudes 13° and 17° E. The 15th meridian east goes in the middle of it. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Austria to the North, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest. The capital and largest city is Ljubljana. One of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia.
It Is Small
With the area of 20,273 square kilometers, Slovenian takes 11th place among European countries. If to omit island states like Cyprus and Malta, its place becomes 9th. Moreover, the first six of the list are the microstates, with an area up to 1000 square kilometers, such as Vatican City, Andorra, San Marino, etc. Therefore, from the continental, undisputable, states with the territory above 1000 square kilometers, Slovenia will take third place after Luxembourg and Montenegro.
This definitely gives a lot of pluses. For instance, small countries are easy to govern. Moreover, it’s easy to reach from one side of the country to some other. From Koper, a city in South-East, to Murska-Sobota, the city in the Noth-East part of the country, it is 2 hours and 45 minutes by car. This is the longest trip in the country. The capital, Ljubljana, is reachable in 1.5 hours from any point in the country. Pretty convenient if you are often going there for some purposes.
It Is Mountainous
This fact is obvious when we take into consideration that 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.
To prove the term “mountainous”, let’s take a look at the list of all the peaks above 1500 m above the sea level:
|Špik above Plaz
|Karawanks – Košuta
|Karawanks – Peca
|Mount St. Ursula
|Škofja Loka Hills
|Škofja Loka Hills
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 the 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.
Many 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). Here is the list of the biggest lakes of Slovenia:
- Black Lake
- Lake Blaguš
- Lake Bled
- Lake Bohinj
- Lake Bukovnica
- Lake Cerknica
- Wild Lake
- Double Lake
- Lake Družmir
- Lake Gradišče
- Lake Jasna
- Lake Komarnik
- Lake Kreda
- Lake Krn
- Lake Ledava
- Lakes Lovrenc
- Lake Maribor
- Lake Palčje
- Lake Petelinje
- Lake Planšar
- Lake Ptuj
- Lake Ribnica
- Lake Šalek
- Lake Šmartno
- Lake Vogrsko
- Lake Zbilje
- Lake Žovnek
To return to the 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.
Slovenia is the third most forested country in Europe. Forests cover 58.3% of the territory. They are typical Central European forests, predominantly oak and beech. In the mountains, pine, spruce, and fir are common types. Tilia, also known as lime/linden tree, is the national symbol of Slovenia. It can grow up from 1,700 to 1,800 meters.
Forests forced the industries of wood and winter resorts. Therefore, the Slovenian government created a great benefit for people of such territory.
A Unique Territory
Slovenia is quite a unique territory. It is the most successful successor of Yugoslavia, as well as one of the two smallest ones. Furthermore, it is the most distinct from other former Yugoslav republics in terms of land, climate, and weather. For instance, the closest neighbor, Croatia, has a Mediterranean climate as well as less mountainous territory. In this field, Slovenia is more similar to Austria or Switzerland. Moreover, it is often called “small Switzerland (or Austria)”. This is a perfect explanation because everybody used to imagine Swiss land as a perfect marvelous dream, however not everybody realizes that such the Slavic country as Slovenia has almost the same.
Thus, we distinguished that Slovenia is mountainous a lot. Most of the territory of the country lies in this type of surface. Thus, this led to great areas of forests, to big amount of lakes and thermal waters. Therefore, tourism in Slovenia is so developed, however it has a small coastline to the Adriatic sea. The tourism here is aimed at mountain recreation.
To mention about the weather, the Alps plays a big role here as well. They protect from cold wind masses from the North and keep warm masses inside the country. These factors create a very mild continental climate in most areas except the coastline and peaks of the mountains.
So, we would strongly recommend you to visit Slovenia, because it has so much alike Switzerland but less expensive and with great Slavic coloring.