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Discover the highlights of the 2016 Green Capital of Europe on an unforgettable holiday to Slovenia. From its medieval architecture, to its mountainous backdrops and natural wonders, Slovenia charms with its wild beauty and architectural treasures.
Head to the capital and marvel at the sights and scenery of charming Ljubljana. Stroll around the city’s enchanting old town, and gaze at the majestic castle, from the tower of which there are panoramic views over the city and the Julian Alps beyond. The city’s environmental credentials are evident in its green spaces, its shady, willow-lined riverside walkways and the traffic restrictions in the city centre, and all help to make Ljubljana a welcoming and easy city to explore.
Escape from the city and take the opportunity to explore Slovenia’s wine country in the vineyard-covered hills of Goriska Brda, or perhaps explore the glorious Adriatic coast in west Slovenia. Visit the world-famous stud farm at Lipica, where the white horses of Vienna’s celebrated Spanish Riding School are bred, browse the museum to learn about the history of the breed and enjoy a remarkable display as hand-picked stallions perform.
Elsewhere, you can unwind in the beautiful, Adriatic resort town of Piran, a Venetian-style gem overlooking the turquoise waters of Slovenia’s short coastline. Enjoy a stroll along the promenade and through marbled Tartini Square. Visit the giant chasm at Postojna, one of the world’s most famous caves, or take a visit to historic Predjama Castle and marvel at this impressive Renaissance structure, built into a cave in the middle of a towering cliff.
Whatever your interests may be, there is something for you in Slovenia.
Despite its size, there is plenty to see and do in Slovenia. From swimming in the Adriatic Sea to skiing down the Slovenian Alps, Slovenia offers something for every traveller. Here are some of must-see, must-do things in Slovenia.
Despite sharing a border with Italy, Slovenian cuisine is more obviously Central European than Mediterranean.
Austria has given the country schnitzel, strudel and sausages, Italy's contribution is seen in variations of pasta, risotto, gnocchi and ravioli-like zlikrofi, while Hungary to the East provides warming spiced stews like goulash and beef paprikash. Over the years, Slovenian cooks have added a layer of distinctive regional adjustments to these dishes, and in some cases even exported them back out to their neighbours. Kranjska klobasa sausage, in particular, was apparently first made in Slovenia in the 19th Century, and has protected geographical status, but variations of it are popular in Croatia, Germany and Austria (where it includes cubes of cheese that melt as the sausage is cooked).
Other uniquely Slovenian dishes include prekmurska gibanica (a rich, sweet pastry filled with layers of walnut, apple, cream cheese and poppy seeds), zganci (a thick, filling buckwheat porridge often served topped with pork crackling or as a simple staple for breakfast) and bograc. This last is a rich meaty stew similar to goulash that is celebrated each August at Bogracfest, in the East Slovenian town of Lendava, as around 100 teams compete in a cook-off to see whose bograc is best!
Turning to drink, while Slovenians love beer and wine (the country has almost 30,000 vineyards), it's schnapps (zganje) that is the true national tipple. So much so, that making home-brewed batches for friends and family is practically a national pastime. Look out for flavours ranging from lemon and pear to blueberry.