Detailed guide to Slovenia

Slovenia

Virgin Mary the Helper Church, Alpine Lakes, Slovenia Triglav Lakes, Alpine Lakes, Slovenia

Ankaran

Wellness center Adria Ankaran

Adria Ankaran Wellness Center, Ankaran, Slovenia

Dolenjske Toplice

Breg, Dolenske Toplice, Slovenia River Kolpa, Dolenske Toplice, Slovenia River Sutla, Dolenske Toplice, Slovenia

Dravograd

Rancho Mrcina

Mrcina Ranch, Dravograd, Slovenia

Zalec

Roman Necropolis

Roman Necropolis, Zalec, Slovenia

Kobarid

The Great War Museum, Kobarid, Slovenia Tolminka River, Kobarid, Slovenia Bear’s Head Rock, Kobarid, Slovenia

Ljubljana

Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Slovenia Lipica horse breeding facility, Ljubljana, Slovenia Waterfront Breg, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Maribor

Old Drava Bridge, Maribor, Slovenia Slomškov Square, Maribor, Slovenia Judicial Tower, Maribor, Slovenia

Bridge-on-Sochi

Brda Winery

Vinoteka Brda, Most na Soča, Slovenia

Murska Sobota

Pheasaneria Stadium

Fasaneria Stadium, Murska Sobota, Slovenia

Postojna

Postojna jama cave, Postojna, Slovenia Predjamski castle, Postojna, Slovenia Pivka River, Postojna, Slovenia

Rimské Toplice

Roman Toplice

Rimskie Toplice, Rimsko Toplice, Slovenia

Rogaška Slatina

Donacka Mountain, Rogaška Slatina, Slovenia Minorite Monastery in Olimja, Rogaška Slatina, Slovenia

Terme Olimja

Deer farm in Olimja, Terme Olimja, Slovenia Monastery in Olimja, Terme Olimja, Slovenia Aqualuna thermal water park, Terme Olimja, Slovenia

Terme Ptuj

Terme Ptuj, Terme Ptuj, Slovenia Terme Ptuj, Slovenia Ptuj Castle, Terme Ptuj, Slovenia

Terme Katež

Chateške Toplice

Cateške Toplice, Terme Catež, Slovenia

Celje

Petrol Arena Stadium

Petrol Arena Stadium, Celje, Slovenia

Šmarješke Toplice

Pleterje Museum, Šmarješke Toplice, Slovenia Wooden swimming pool, Šmarješke Toplice, Slovenia Wine cellars Koglo, Šmarješke Toplice, Slovenia

Julian Alps

Logarska valley, Juliiské Alps, Slovenia Solkan bridge, Juliiské Alps, Slovenia

Slovenia

Slovenia, or officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a state located in the south of Central Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Slovenia covers an area of 20,273 km² with a population of 2,076,598 (as of 2018). The country has borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and is washed by the waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Slavic peoples in what is now Slovenia have lived since the 6th century. In 628 – 658 years these lands belonged to the state of Samo, and later were part of the state of Carinthia. In the XI – XIII centuries on the territory of Slovenia many small feudal principalities were formed (Carinthia, Styria, Krajna, etc.). In the 16th century the area belonged to the Austrian Habsburgs. At the beginning of the nineteenth century in the territory of Slovenia, which belonged to Napoleon, there was an administrative formation Illyrian provinces. The national movement that began in the late 19th century, demanding cultural and administrative autonomy, in 1918 led to the annexation of the Slovak lands to the unified kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which in 1929 was named Yugoslavia. Some Slovak lands remained in the hands of Austria and Italy.

After the end of World War II, during which Yugoslavia was occupied by fascist troops, Slovenia became a republic within the Yugoslav federation, and some Italian lands were returned to it (under the 1947 treaty). Slovenia’s independence was proclaimed on June 25, 1991. On July 2, 1991, the Yugoslav army bombed the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. The parties were saved from an escalation of the military conflict by the intervention of EU countries. During the fighting in Slovenia, 18 people were killed.

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In October 1991 Slovenia fully asserted its independence. Since 1992 the country is a member of the United Nations.

Capital city: Ljubljana Area: 20 273 km2 Population: 2 076 598 (2018) Language: Slovene, Italian, Hungarian Official website: http://www.slovenia.si/visit/

Flight time: from Moscow – from 3 hours 20 min. from Saint-Petersburg – from 4 hours 55 min. (1-4 connections) from Kazan – from 7 hours 20 min. (1-2 connections) from Ekaterinburg – from 8 hours (1-2 connections) from Novosibirsk – from 11 hours 10 min. (1-2 connections)

Nowadays Slovenia is a popular tourist destination. The country attracts numerous architectural and historical sights, beach rest on the Adriatic coast and wide possibilities for mounting ski and eco-tourism.

How to get there

By plane

The fastest and most convenient way to reach Slovenia is by air. From Russia you can fly to the country by direct flights of Adria Airways and Aeroflot. Travel time is about 3 hours, flights arrive in Ljubljana airport. You can also take advantage of flight connections at the airports of one of the European countries.

One can fly to the Adriatic resorts in Slovenia in season to the Croatian town of Pula, the distance from which to the Slovenian resort of Portoroz is 100 km (but you need a Schengen visa to Slovenia, because Croatia issues national visas that do not provide the right to enter the Schengen area).

Train

Tourists who prefer to travel by plane to train can be advised to buy tickets to Vienna on the train number 017B Moscow – Nice, departing from the Belorussian station. From Vienna there are several daily trains to Ljubljana.

Bus

You can also take a bus from Slovenia’s neighboring countries. A list of available international routes can be found on the website of the main bus station in Ljubljana. For tourists: Vienna in Slovenian is called Danube (Dunaj). The cost of tickets varies, for example, a bus trip from Munich will cost about 50 euros, from Verona – 25 euros.

From nearby airports of European countries to Slovenia you can get by buses of GoOpti company, which organizes low-cost transfers. For example, the fare from Venice airport to Ljubljana will be 17,5 Euros for a single person, from Trieste airport – 9,5 Euros, etc. It is necessary to reserve a transfer in advance. The day before the trip GoOpti sends passengers a text message with the driver’s phone number and on the day of the trip the driver clarifies the details of the transfer over the phone.

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Car

It is also possible to get to Slovenia by car. The distance from Moscow to Ljubljana is 2300 km. The tourists are likely to drive through Byelorussia, Poland, Czech Republic and Austria. The traveling time is about one day. To travel along the roads of Slovenia one must buy a vignette (it is on sale at filling stations and stores). The cost of vignettes is 15 euros for a week, the penalty for its absence – from 300 euros.

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Climate and weather in Slovenia

Weather in cities

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Slovenia has a moderate continental climate, the country is divided into three climatic zones: Central European in the east (hot summer and cold winter), Alpine in the north-west (cold winter and warm summer) and the Mediterranean on the Adriatic coast. The average air temperature in Slovenia is from +23°C to +25°C in summer and from -2°C to +6°C in winter.

Tourist season in the mountains lasts from September to May, on the coast from early June to late October. The high beach season on the Adriatic coast is in July and August. Thermal spas accept patients all year round.

Weather in Slovenia by Month

Reviews by Month

Photos of Slovenia

Cities and regions

Administratively Slovenia is divided into 12 statistical units (Gorenjska, Goriska, Zasavska, Koroška, Nijni Posavska, Notranjska Kraška, Obalno Kraška,

Podravska, Pomurska, Savińska, Middle Slovenia, Southeastern Slovenia). In addition, the country is divided into 210 communities, 11 of which have city status.

The largest cities of the country are:

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, the most important political, financial, industrial, cultural, scientific, educational and business center of the country with a population of 274,800 (as of 2013). The city stretches on the banks of the Ljubljanica River, surrounded by the Karst and the Alps.

The symbol of the city is the “Dragon of Ljubljana”, which is associated with the ancient Greek myth of Jason, the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. It is the Argonauts whom the locals attribute the founding of the city. The panorama of the city and its surroundings can be seen from the walls of the castle – Ljubljanski Grad (IX century), standing on a high hill, which can be reached by a cable car. Ljubljana sights are concentrated around the main square of Frans Prešerna and Trehmostovja (the “crossing” of three pedestrian bridges over the Ljubljana River). The old center of the city is built up with mansions and churches in the Baroque style, since the earthquake of 1511 destroyed all the previous buildings. The territory of the Slovenian capital has many picturesque parks among which stands out Tivoli Park. Ljubljana is famous for its many annual cultural events as well as museums and art galleries.

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Maribor is Slovenia’s second largest city with a population of 94,800 (as of 2013). The city is located in northeastern Slovenia, on the banks of the Drava River.

The date of the foundation of Maribor is considered to be 1254, but the first written mention of the castle that existed on this site dates back to 1164. Since the XIII century the city has been developing intensively: it became a large trading center. In the 16th century Maribor was repeatedly besieged by the Turks. Before the First World War a great number of ethnic Germans lived in the town (about 80% of population). After joining of Maribor to Yugoslavia lots of Germans had left the city. During the Second World War Maribor was occupied by German troops. After liberation the city began to develop intensively and today it is an important transport, industrial and cultural center of the eastern part of Slovenia.

Among the important sights of Maribor are the Gothic St. John the Baptist Cathedral from the 12th century, the municipality building in Renaissance style and Maribor Castle from the 15th century. There is also the oldest vineyard in Europe Stara treta, founded more than 400 years ago, and the largest wine cellar in Slovenia is located directly in the center of Maribor.

In winter the city is popular for downhill skiing on the slopes of Maribor Pohorje famous for its international level slopes. All the year round in Maribor are available health procedures in the local health resorts built on healing thermal springs.

Celje is the third largest city of Slovenia with the population of 37,584 people (as of 2012). It lies at the confluence of Savinja, Ložnica and Voglaina rivers.

Settlement in this area has existed since ancient times: in I century there was a Roman colony Celia. In the Middle Ages the local castle was the center of Celje county (XIV-XV centuries), the symbol of which – three stars – is depicted today on the national coat of arms of Slovenia.

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The main attraction of Celje is the medieval fortress of the same name, towering on the Grajski hill. It is considered one of the largest castles in Slovenia. In addition, in the city there are worth seeing many churches, mansions and ancient castles. The surroundings of Celje are famous for the abundance of lakes suitable for fishing and nature protection zones, in one of which – in the nature reserve Logarska Dolina – there is a 90-meter waterfall Rinka.

Today’s city of Celje is a developed cultural and economic center of the region.

Kranj is the fourth largest city in the country and the largest in the Gorenjska region, with a population of 36,874 people (as of 2011). Kranj is located in northwestern Slovenia, spread along the banks of the Sava River at the foot of the Julian Alps.

The Slavs inhabited these places in the VI-VII centuries. In the 9th century Kranj became the residence of the margraves of the Carniola dynasty. In the early 19th century industry began to actively develop in the town. In the 20th century, after surviving two world wars, Kranj became a major commercial and industrial center of the country, with a number of electronic and chemical industries.

Among the main attractions are the town hall, the parish church of the VI century, fragments of medieval city walls. In the vicinity of Kranj there is a picturesque Kokra Canyon and the famous Slovenian ski resort Kranjska Gora, spread in the Upper Sava Valley.

Koper is the only port city in Slovenia and the largest resort on the Adriatic coast. Koper is located in southwestern Slovenia, on the Istrian peninsula, on the shore of the Piran Gulf of the Adriatic Sea. The resort has a population of 24,979 people (2012 data). Formerly Koper was an island, but in the 19th century it was connected to the mainland by a dam.

In the 7th-8th centuries, Koper was successively ruled by the Franks, the Lombards and, finally, the Slavs. In the 11th century, the city was an arena of armed clashes between Venice and the Holy Roman Empire, as a result of which in 1278 it ended up in the hands of Venice, which belonged to it until 1797. Since the end of the 18th century, Koper was Austrian territory, except during the Napoleonic invasion of 1805 – 1813. As a result of the First World War the town as well as the whole Istrian peninsula became a part of Italy, and since 1954 it was joined to Yugoslavia, whose fate was shared later on as a part of Slovenia in 1991.

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In Koper there are many interesting constructions from an architectural and historical point of view: Tito Square with the Praetor’s Palace and Loggia Palace, the oldest building in the city – the Ascension Rotunda (XII century), the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (XV century).

Novo Mesto is a city located in southeastern Slovenia, in the valley of the Krka River, 70 km from Ljubljana. The city has 22,415 inhabitants (2002 data).

The territory of today’s Novo Mesto was inhabited already in the Celtic era. In 1365, the Austrian Duke Rudolf IV founded a fortress Rudolfovo, which was a major fortress during the Turkish invasions of the XV-XVI centuries. The town was named Novo Mesto in the 18th century.

Today Novo Mesto is the main center of engineering and pharmaceutical industry in Slovenia, and is home to the headquarters of the famous pharmaceutical company KRKA.

In the old town center it is worth seeing the Church of the Capitel, the Franciscan Church of St. Leonard, the Church of St. Nicholas, the Main Square with the City Hall.

In the vicinity of the town there are famous thermal spas Shmarjeske Toplice and Dolenjske Toplice, offering treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of patients with diseases of the cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal apparatus.

Bled is a luxurious resort, located 40 km from Ljubljana, on the lake of the same name at the foot of Julian Alps, 501 m above sea level. The resort is popular both with the ski lovers (there is a ski center functioning in winter), and with those wishing to improve their health by means of procedures on the basis of thermal waters of Lake Bled (during summer there is a SPA-center). Lake Bled is a glacial lake, fed by thermal waters, and gets up to +24°C in summer. In the middle of the lake there is a small picturesque island with a church.

A resort settlement, popular among European aristocracy, existed here already in the Middle Ages. From the buildings of that epoch remained Bled Castle – the mansion of the bishop (XIII-XVI centuries), which today houses a local history museum. Also worth seeing is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1142) and the Parish Church of St. Martin (1905). Also in Bled is the former residence of the head of socialist Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito (now the Hotel Vila Bled).

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