It’s hard to be a sloth in Slovenia

Slovenia, which sits in Central Europe and borders Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy, is one of those countries that make you want to be more active when you get home – The country that inspires activity is the perfect destination for cycling everywhere in town and country, with cycle lanes right up to landmark destinations; the bike is the tourist’s best friend.

The magnificent lakes beg to be swum in and the mountains lay waiting for hikers and skiers to explore. To acclimatise, the ‘Moustache Tour’ is a fun way to see the capital Ljubljana. Your tour guide leads you through the streets, where you feel like the famous Architect, Writer and Painter, who all made their mark on the city a century ago and, you guessed it, all had moustaches.

If that isn’t quirky enough, grab a paddle board – Ljubljana is the only capital city in Europe where you can stand-up paddle board right through the city centre. Foodies can have fun everyday at the farmers market apart from Sundays and holidays, perusing the fresh produce and artisan treats in a central market structurally untouched in 2000 years.

Every Friday from March to October annually the Open Kitchen outside gourmet food market showcases the best of Slovenia’s authentic fare. You’ll see delicious organic pumpkin seeds and oil, a huge variety of home-grown honey and potica cakes filled with everything from poppy seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts and tarragon, as well as creamy layered apple and raison prekmurska gibanica cakes, watch out for the popular regular wine festivals too.

Ljubljana is the greenest capital City in Europe and a fun fact is most of the roofs will feature a beehive, including parliament, for the quarter of a million bees to reside. In fact the international National Bee Day on the 20th of May is inspired by famous Slovenian beekeeper Anthony Jansa, born on 20th May in 1703.

The beauty of Slovenia is that all abilities are catered for, from full-of-life fit individuals to families wanting a leisurely frolic in the ethereal
nature. With over 10,000km of marked hiking trails and 14 cycling destinations you’re spoilt for choice.

Highlights include Lake Bonij, the biggest natural lake in Slovenia and the spot for swimming, boating, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and diving; if you are lucky enough to visit in winter you’ll see it frozen over ready to skate on. If you are a winter baby you’ll need to visit the Vogel Ski Centre for a range of ski slopes and other active adventures.

Another mountainous place is Mount Triglav; Slovenia’s highest peak and the perfect place in which to take off paragliding. You’ll gaze in awe at the alpine region of Kraniska Gora, take an e-bike or hike breathing in the replenishing fresh distinctive alpine air, there’s even an Alpine Museum.

If you are feeling game enough, go to the Planica Nordic Centre and embark on the steepest zipline in the world; experience speeds of up to 90km/h in a mere few seconds – not for the faint hearted! Inghams is one of the top companies to book with; their local expert knowledge cannot be underestimated.

One of the most treasured and most photographed locations in Slovenia has to be Lake Bled, take a traditional pletna boat cruise around the island before stopping off and hunting down the famous Bled Cake; delicious puff pastry sandwiching light vanilla cream and custard, a sweet treat dating back to the 18th Century.

If you have wedding plans Bled Church could be your answer, people come from all over the world to get married there, traditionally the husband carries his bride up the 99 steps and then rings the wishing bell three times. The church, just like the country certainly has an air of magic about it.

Yasemen Kaner-White
By: Yasemen Kaner-White Author, Broadcaster, Editor