Cycling in the woods
Stable, prosperous and welcoming, Slovenia is a charming and comfortable place to travel, with architecturally grand, cultured cities, and lush pine-forested countryside, perfect for hiking and biking in summer and skiing in winter.
The country managed to avoid much of the strife that plagued other nations during the messy disintegration of the Yugoslav Republic.
Administered by German-speaking Habsburg overlords until 1918, the Slovenes absorbed the culture of their rulers while managing to retain a strong sense of ethnic identity through their Slavic language.
A cruise to Slovenia would be incomplete without a visit to its sophisticated capital, Ljubljana: a delight, pleasantly compact and cluttered with fabulous Baroque and Habsburg buildings.
A short ride away, the Julian Alps provide stunning mountain scenery, most accessible at the majestic twin lakes of Bled and Bohinj, while the Soča Valley, skirting the country’s western border, is even more memorable.
Further south are spectacular caves, notably at Postojna and Škocjan, while the short stretch of Slovenian Mediterranean coast is punctuated by two starkly different towns: historic Piran and party-oriented Portorož.
In the eastern wine-making regions, Ptuj is Slovenia’s oldest and best-preserved town, while the country’s second city, Maribor, is a worthwhile stopover point on the way to Austria.