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Slovenia

Slovenia Travel Guide

Nestled between Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary, this Central European country is an ideal travel destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Slovenia is filled with turquoise-colored rivers, spellbinding gorges, majestic mountains, and alpine lakes.

After hiking two weeks in the Kamnik-Savinja and Julian Alps, we were utterly moved by Slovenia’s spellbinding landscapes. On the trail, we encountered grazing Ibex, edelweiss flowers, crystal-clear lakes, and the most marvelous limestone mountains. There are hikes suitable for all fitness levels in the Slovenian Alps. However, if you’re looking for a challenge, Slovenia will happily oblige you.

Most people’s itineraries are limited to Ljubljana and Lake Bled. We urge you to read this travel guide to discover Slovenia’s most alluring landscapes and hidden gems beyond the well-traversed path. If you’re planning a Slovenia road trip, also check out our 2 week itinerary.

 
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Slovenia Travel Guide: a guide to stepping off the tourist track - where to go, what to experience, getting around, hiking ideas

Slovenia Travel Guide Overview

  • Getting Around Slovenia
  • Slovenia Travel Basics
  • Where to Go in Slovenia
  • What to Experience in Slovenia
  • What to Eat & Drink in Slovenia 
Slovenia Itinerary
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Slovenia Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Getting Around Slovenia

Most people will say that the best way to get around Slovenia is with your own rental car. If you want to see the mountains, coastline, wine region and the lakes of Slovenia, that’s definitely true. Use this Slovenia itinerary for road trip inspiration. If you’re driving into Slovenia from a neighboring country, make sure to purchase a vignette right after you cross the border. You can purchase a Slovenian vignette at any petrol station. Here’s a guide about hiring a car in Slovenia.

If you plan to concentrate your time in a certain area, public transit is reliable and punctual. We used buses to travel to and from Ljubljana, Kamnik, Zgornje Jezersko, Kranjska Gora, and Ribčev Laz (Lake Bohinj). Buses were always on time, clean, and easy to find. Use the AlpeTour website for bus schedules.

Slovenia Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Where to Go in Slovenia

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Cities & Towns
Hiking Destinations
Top Places to Visit
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Sekira mi je padla v med

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slovenian Expression 

(Photograph: Seven Lakes Valley)

My axe fell into the honey

(an expression of good fortune)

 

 

 

 

 

What to Experience in Slovenia

Our favorite things to see and do
Seven Lakes Valley, Triglav National Park, Julian Alps, Slovenia Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel
Seven Lakes Valley, Triglav National Park

Triglav National Park

Triglav National Park is the largest protected area in Slovenia and covers an area of 838 square kilometers. This alpine wonderland encompasses a huge chunk of the Julian Alps (Julijske Alpe). The park’s name is derived from the highest mountain in Slovenia, Mount Triglav (2864 m), which is the mountain depicted on the Slovenian flag.

The park is accessible from many different towns, including Kranjska Gora, Trenta, Soča, Bovec, Ukanc, Stara Fužina. So, there are infinite day and multi-day hiking options.

Read our Julian Alps Hiking Trails guide to find out where to hike in Triglav National Park. If you’re keen on hut-to-hut hiking, check out our Triglav National Park hut to hut hike. It includes our hiking itinerary plus info on where to stay, how to save money, and what to pack.

We also recommend buying the Cicerone Julian Alps Walking Guide.

 
Hiking in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenian Alps
Kamnik-Savinja Alps

Hiking in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps

Imposing peaks, heart-pounding trails, perfectly situated mountain huts and the best views in the world. That’s how we’d describe the Kamnik-Savinja Alps (Kamnisko-Savinjske in Slovenian). This Slovenian mountain range is located in Northern Slovenia, close to the Austrian border, and about 1.5 hours north of Ljubljana.

For some very mysterious reason, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps see very few tourists. Even in high season, there’s very minimal foot traffic on the trails. For the life of us, we can’t understand why.

We spent 4 days traversing this mountain range from Kamniška Bistrica valley to Zgornje Jezersko village, sleeping in mountain huts (dom, koča) along the way. Here’s our 4-Day Kamnik Alps Itinerary.

If you want to experience the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, but don’t want to do a multi-day hiking tour, we recommend these particular day hikes:

  • Kamnik Saddle (Kamniška koča na Kamniškem sedlu). Read about it here (Hike #1).
  • The Czech Hut (Češka koča na Spodnjih Ravneh). Read about it here (Hike #2).
  • Logar Valley has a lot of accessible hikes, including the hike to Koča na Klemenči jami and Frischaufov dom na Okrešlju. Read about these trails in our Logar Valley guide.
  • Velika Planina is a high alpine settlement with traditional herdsmen huts that are reachable by cable car. There are lots of trails around here.
 
Martuljek waterfall, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, 7 hikes in Slovenia you've never heard of| Moon & Honey Travel
Martuljek waterfall, Kranjska Gora

Kranjska Gora

Kranjska Gora is an alpine resort town in northwestern Slovenia. It’s actually the cheapest ski resort in Europe! So, most people visiting this Slovenian town come in winter.

If you’re visiting in summer, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a lot to do. With unbeatable views of the Julian Alps and its close proximity to Triglav National Park, Kranjska Gora is a great base for exploration.

Read Next: How to spend a day in Kranjska Gora

Where to Stay in Kranjska Gora

Look for accommodation in Kranjska Gora.

 
Lake Bohinj, Slovenia Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel
Lake Bohinj

Swimming in Lake Bohinj

Slovenia’s largest lake is the perfect destination for a summer holiday. With unbelievably clear and clean waters, even I (Sabrina) have no problem jumping in. Side note: I’m a wimp when it comes to water.

The lake neighbors Triglav National Park, so it makes for a great base or starting point for exploring the park. Here are some fun things to do around Lake Bohinj:

  • Visit Savica Slap (waterfall)
  • Mount Vogel – take a cable car up to the summit and take in the views of Lake Bohinj
  • Mostnica Gorge
  • Hike to Planina Vogar, a high alpine pasture. There’s an almost secret lookout point of Lake Bohinj, from the mountain hut Kosijev dom.

Where to Stay in Lake Bohinj

Stay in the towns of Ukanc or Stara Fužina.

Look for accommodation around Lake Bohinj.

 
 Glamping & Hostel Stara Pošta, Zgornje Jezersko, Slovenia
 Glamping at Hostel Stara Pošta

Going off-the-beaten-path in Zgornje Jezersko

Zgornje Jezersko is a small Slovenian village, located very close to the Austrian border. Come here if you want to get away from the crowds, glamp, or simply admire beautiful mountain vistas. Zgornje Jezersko may very well have the best view of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.

What to Do in Zgornje Jezersko

  • Walk to the beautiful lake Planšarsko jezero. At the lake, you’ll find the restaurant, Gostišče ob Planšarskem Jezeru.
  • Hike to Češka Koča mountain hut for lunch in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Learn more about this hike in our post: Best Hikes in Slovenia (Hike #2).
  • Take a walk in Ravenska kočna valley.

Where to Stay in Zgornje Jezersko

Look for accommodation in Zgornje Jezersko.

 
Planina Zajamniki, Pokljuka Plateau - Slovenia Travel Guide
Planina Zajamniki, Pokljuka

Exploring Pokljuka Plateau

Pokljuka is an alpine plateau located in the Julian Alps, between Bohinj and Bled. Blissfully rural and tucked away from Slovenia’s tourist attractions, Pokljuka is a perfect destination to unwind. Slovenians come here in winter to cross-country ski and in summer to hike and bike.

Read Hidden Wonders of Pokljuka to find out where to go and what to do.

Where to Stay in Pokljuka Plateau

We stayed at the tourist farm Ročnjek (Turistična kmetija Ročnjek), which is in Gorjuše, on the edge of Pokljuka Plateau. We loved that it was remote, but also so well-connected to Bohinj and Bled. It felt like a secret – one that you simply don’t stumble upon.

Look for accommodation in Pokljuka.

 
Logar Valley, Slovenia Travel Guide - what to do in Slovenia
Logar Valley

Logar Valley

Logar Valley (Logarska Dolina) is an alpine valley in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Located in Slovenia’s Solčavsko region, Logar is a bit out of the way, but more than worth the effort to get there. We highly recommend staying in Logar Valley for a few days, so that you can explore the trails leading into the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, but also the surrounding valleys of Robanov Kot and Matkov Kot.

Read Next: Best Things to Do in Logar Valley

Where to Stay in Logar Valley

Lenar Tourist Farm. For a personal and local experience, Lenar Farm is our first choice. It’s central position makes for a great starting point for hiking and walking in the Kamnik Alps. And, you’ll be welcomed to this farmstay with open hearts.

Hotel Plesnik is another great option in Logar Valley. With its central position, alpine views, outdoor pool and sauna, on-site restaurant and bar, it’s tempting to experience the valley from the premises of the hotel.

Look for accommodation in Logar Valley.

 
Lunch at Cojzova koča na Kokrskem sedlu , Hiking Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 4 Day Hiking Tour | Moon & Honey Travel

Slovenia Travel Basics

Official Name: Republika Slovenija (Republic of Slovenia)

Capital:  Ljubljana

Government: Parliamentary republic

Regions: In 2000, Slovenia was divided into 12 administrative entities for legal and statistical purposes.

Population: 2.065 million

Language: Slovene is the official language of Slovenia. In several municipalities, Hungarian and Italian are recognized as co-official languages. German, Croatian, Serbian and Romani are also spoken in Slovenia.

Currency: Euro

Tipping Etiquette: 10% on bills.

Water Quality: Excellent

Something Interesting: The cheapest ski resort in Europe is in Slovenia: Kranjska Gora.

 
Lake Bohinj, View from Vogar, Traversing Triglav National Park | Moon & Honey Travel

What to Eat & Drink in Slovenia

Our Slovenian food encounters were mostly limited to hearty stews and soups because we spent the majority of our time in mountain huts. We noticed that the cuisine is heavily influenced by Slovenia’s neighboring countries. During your trip, you’ll likely eat dishes that were stereotypically Austrian as well as Hungarian and Italian.

 

Slovenian Cuisine

 

Ričet – Barley stew made with beans, smoked pork, or sausage.

 

Jota – This is a thick stew made with sour cabbage (Sauerkraut) and beans.

 

Kranjska klobasa – a sausage made with pork meat and bacon and spiced with salt, pepper, and garlic.

 
Slovenia Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Slovenia Travel Resources

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Slovenia Travel Guide: a guide to stepping off the tourist track - where to go, what to experience, getting around, hiking ideas
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External Resources
@moonhoneytravelers
  • Overnighting in Austrian Mountain Huts - Corona Measures 2020  @alpenverein just published a few rules for hikers who are planning on overnighting in huts this summer:  1. Only visit mountain huts when you're healthy.  2. Bring your own face mask.  3. Make reservations for overnight stays in advance. You can't stay in a hut without a reservation.  4. Bring your own sleeping bag and pillow case.  Note: a sleeping bag liner is not sufficient, as blankets will not be distributed in the huts this summer.
  • Austrian mountain huts are slowly opening up for the hiking season and we‘re ecstatic.  This is the cozy interior of Neue Seehütte in the Raxalpe in Lower Austria (very close to Styria).
  • There’s something terribly wrong with this photo. Can you guess what it is?  Kati took this photo of me during our trek across Triglav National Park (Slovenia), one of our favorite hikes of all time.  When I look at this photo, I can keenly recall this particular morning in the Seven Lakes Valley. I remember the stillness and the mountain reflection in the lake, but I also remember the discomfort of carrying that backpack.  Kati and I aren’t “gear people.” We kinda just use what we have until it falls apart. So, in this photo, I’m hiking with my Osprey Farpoint, an excellent travel backpack but a TERRIBLE hiking backpack.  The problem with this pack is that you always feel like you’re falling backwards. The weight of the pack works against you, making steep ascents and descents particularly uncomfortable and even dangerous.  I learned my lesson the hard way. Investing in the right pack is essential for a safe and comfortable multi-day hiking experience.  I now use my Osprey Kyte 36 religiously for hut to hut hiking, and convinced Kati to buy one too.  If you don’t want to make the same mistakes we have, you can read our complete hut to hut hiking packing list (link in bio). This post is not sponsored in any way.
  • Last week, Kati and I went on a day hike in the Rax, a mountain range close to Vienna. We talk a lot when we hike. Okay, maybe I do most of the talking. About 5 hours into our hike I had a brilliant idea: What if I took a vacation?  You might be thinking, that’s silly - you’re always on vacation. The fact is I haven’t taken an intentional vacation, or rest day in years. And when I do rest, I usually feel guilty, buying into that American belief that worthiness is tied to productivity.  Kati has no problem resting. She can detach from work and her “to do list” effortlessly. And, I’ve envied her for years.  So, for the first time in 5 years of knowing Kati, I thought I’m giving myself permission to do the same. I’m GOING ON VACATION and I’m going to do whatever the hell I want. So, in the last few days, I devoured Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by @lbardugo (any YA fantasy fans out there?) and then I read Untamed by @glennondoyle . I have so much to say about this book, but I think you just have to read it. It’s like inhaling fire and falling into the sea at the same time.  For most of us, vacation is a place, a destination far far away. We have to get away, or go somewhere, in order to relax, rest, and detach from the endless “to dos” of our lives. But what I’m finding is that vacation is just a state of mind. It’s permission to stop, to pause, to do something fun, and to do something that’s not productive.  While we’re settling into our new normal lives, I hope you can find moments to “go on vacation” without actually going anywhere. I highly recommend it. 
xoxo
Sabrina
  • Lockdown over...in Austria.  We’re so excited to get back outside and start exploring our neighboring mountains: “Wiener Hausberge.” 🏔 The last few weeks have been long and taxing at times, but rewarding in so many ways as well.  We’ve baked more than we ever have (shout out to @lazycatkitchen), we’ve read a lot (thank you @katecraigbrown and @sigrids.sonnenherz for your book recommendations), we’ve established some healthy routines, and prioritized learning over doing.  Cheers to new beginnings.  Photo of Kati in a neighborhood field. Haircut by Sabrina 👍😆
  • Happy Earth Day! So grateful to call this beautiful planet home. 🌍