Escorted tours to Slovenia
Time Zone: CET/GMT+1
Tipping: In Slovenia, tipping is not an obligation but visitors tend to tip around 10-20%.
It may only be a country that's half the size of Switzerland and home to just over 2 million people, but this pint-sized mouse of the travelling world certainly has a voice, something you will discover when you take a tour of Slovenia on your next annual holiday.
Slovenia or Slovenija is a tiny European country with some mighty neighbours such as Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia with the Adriatic Sea all knocking at its door. But you will discover that this gem of Europe really is the 'Sunny side to The Alps' with plenty of beaches, snow-capped mountains, wild plains and a multitude of fascinating landscapes perfect for exploring. No doubt, you'll find that over half of Slovenia is covered by lush forests making it one of the greenest places in Europe to visit.
There's plenty to keep the architectural among you amused with Slovenia's fabulous collection of Gothic churches, baroque palaces and castles clothed in history. The climate too is a major attraction controlled by its hills awash with grapevines. One minute you can be enjoying the warm Mediterranean breeze, the next you could be searching for that second layer of clothing as summers here are known to bring snow.
Ljubljana is the tiny capital of Slovenia but what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in places to visit. A bonus for visitors here is the majority of places to visit and sights to see are all within a short stroll or bike ride from each other. Enjoy a ride on the brand new funicular and take in the amazing views as your journey towards Ljubljana Castle. Visit the Old Town where during the months of spring and summer, the walkways become a mass of café tables as locals and tourists alike come together over a meal or drink and watch the world carry on without them. Remember whilst staying in Ljubljana to take a tour of the Postonja Caves, being one of the largest network of caves in Europe, a visit here will not disappoint with its glistening stalactites and stalagmites. Visiting Lake Bled is one of those must-dos when holidaying in Slovenia. Take a boat trip on Lake Bled, visit Bled Island and explore its beautiful church and castle. It only takes a couple of hours to walk around the entire Lake and the view from Osojnica viewing point is amazing.
A multitude of treats lie in store when you visit Slovenia's second largest city, Miribor where you can take a gentle stroll beside the banks of the River Drava, soak up the atmosphere of its lively streets and squares or venture further into the Old Town where the 'Old Vine' can be viewed. The 'Old Vine' is more than 400 years old and still produces grapes which is why it has entered the Guinness Book of Records.
Slovenia holidays are sometimes combined with a stay in neighbouring Croatia but they typically include; return flights or coach travel, transportation whilst in the resort, accommodation in good standard hotels, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions allowing you to see as many of the best sights as physically possible.
Things to do
Slovenia is a charming place to visit when taking tours of Europe and here are just a handful of places you should visit during your holiday:
This is one of the major tourist draws when on holiday in Slovenia and shouldn't be missed from your touring itinerary. There are a couple of options available to you, take a casual stroll around the entire lake and enjoy the beautiful scenery or climb aboard a cruise boat where you can sit back, relax and enjoy your surroundings. Visit the medieval Bled Castle and admire the magnificent Zaka Valley too.
If you fancy a break from the sunshine then a visit to the Postojna Caves is a good option to take. This happens to be the second longest cave system in Slovenia and is a popular attraction for all tourists visiting Slovenia. Take a ride on the Cave Train and explore the Concert Hall where symphonies and other musical performances have taken place. Who knows you may be lucky to time your visit to Slovenia with a performance in the caves.
Lipica Stud Farm
This is where the stunningly white Lipizzaner horses are bred. Take a guided tour of the stables where a local guide will be on hand to point out the various methods of breeding and how they train the horses to become the finest breeds for haute-école riding
The main sight to see is its dazzling hilltop castle and the beautiful Ljubljanica River. Aside from this you have the historic Old Town where you can sample local delicacies in one of the many cafes that spill out onto the streets. Take the funicular to Ljubljana Castle, a thrilling ride for all the family to enjoy. View 20th century art in the National Gallery, follow the 'Trail of Remembrance' around the River and check out the vibrant clubs of Metelkova.
Tips & Advice
The beauty of travelling in an escorted tour is that you'll be in the safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Slovenia, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Before visiting Slovenia you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), it isn't a substitute for travel insurance but it will entitle you to state provided medical treatment. Any treatment you receive, will be on the same terms as that for Slovenian Nationals. The EHIC will not cover the cost of repatriation, on-going medical treatment or non-urgent medical treatment. You should also have travel insurance arranged as well as access to funds should you need to pay for treatment or repatriation. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in Slovenia, please dial 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Always take care in busy tourist areas, as these are popular locations for pickpockets. Do keep an eye on your belongings at all times and store any valuables in the hotel safe. It might be wise to leave anything valuable at home before you travel to Slovenia.
Local Laws and Customs
You must carry a copy of your passport with you at all times whilst in Slovenia as you never know when you may be asked to show it.
All foreign nationals who are visiting Slovenia must register with the Police within three days of arrival or risk being fined. Your hotel should register you when you arrive, but it does not hurt to double-check that this has been done for you.
You can receive on the spot fines for jaywalking.
British Nationals do not need a visa to visit Slovenia.
Your passport should always be valid for the entire duration of your stay, you will not need an additional period of validity beyond this.
Any other nationality looking to visit Slovenia must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
More information can be found via the Slovenia tourist office website at slovenia.info