When you are successful in the travel business the biggest perk is of course traveling ourselves. I know both myself and the team are prone to hyperbole quite often, but we are incredibly fortunate to experience the best of the best almost everywhere we go. This week though, please know that this blog truly comes from the heart.
I have fallen head over heels in love with Slovenia.
So much so that I have been googling if it's possible to retire to the country.
Here's my Slovenian Top 5 from my 5-day flying visit and this is one country I will be returning to for sure.
Top 5 - A Taste of Slovenia
1. Bohinj (above and below)
Bohinj is a part of the breathtaking Julian Alps and lies in Triglav National Park. On one side, it is enclosed by the Lower Bohinj Mountains, which rise to 6,000 ft and on the other by the Triglav mountain range with Mount Triglav as Slovenia`s highest mountain (8,300 ft).
As audacious as this may sound, Bohinj truly has it all. The natural beauty of high mountains, lush forests and beautiful mountain pastures and meadows all ensures a sense of total calm.
It is an ideal starting point for daytime adventures, such as mountaineering and climbing tours, walks on the winding trails that run throughout the valley, as well as perfectly flat cycling and ebiking along the valley floor.
2. Cuisine (lots of photos above and below!)
Slovenian cuisine is influenced by its neighboring countries, including Italy, Austria, and Hungary, as well as its own regional traditions. Some of the typical ingredients used in Slovenian cuisine include potatoes, cabbage, beans, meat (pork, beef, game, and poultry), dairy products (cheese, cream, and sour cream), and freshwater fish.
One of the most famous dishes in Slovenian cuisine is potica, a sweet bread filled with various fillings, such as walnuts, poppy seeds, cottage cheese, or tarragon. Carniolan sausage, also known as kranjska klobasa, is a type of sausage made from pork and bacon, flavored with garlic, salt, and pepper. It is a staple of Slovenian cuisine and is often served with sauerkraut, mustard, and bread though mine (below) also came with horseradish.
Check out Season 2 Episode 5 of Netflix's "Chef's Table" which features Ana Ros, named the World's Best Female Chef in 2017 by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, and her restaurant is regularly ranked among the top 50 restaurants in the world, currently holding 2 Michelin stars. Ros's restaurant Hiša Franko is a culinary destination, and she draws on her background and local ingredients to create innovative dishes that showcase the flavors of Slovenia.
Everything I tased in Slovenia was local and delicious whether we were fine dining or eating from a hole in the wall.
3. Bled (above and below)
The stunning Lake Bled is a glacial lake located in the Julian Alps of northwestern Slovenia. It is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful island with a church in the middle of the lake, and the medieval Bled Castle (with amazing restaurant on site) perched atop a hill overlooking the lake. The lake and its surrounding area are perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, swimming, and boating, as well as for its stunning scenery and cultural attractions.
4. Wine (above and below)
After a short hike through the many family owned vineyards near the small town of Ormoz, we met Jozef Pruss at his home and winery. Jozef is a Slovenian winemaker who produces wines in the Podravje wine region of Slovenia. Pruss Wines produce a range of wines made from both local and international grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer, and Rhine Riesling. He has been winemaker of the year in Slovenia 5 times. He is also the most passionate and engaging individual I have ever met and I can tell you the wine is fantastic. This was the most enjoyable wine tasting I have ever experienced and I can't see it being topped...ever.
5. Ljubljana (photos above and below)
I really should have created a Top 10 this week as Slovenia just kept on giving, but you will either have to suffice with the regular Top 5 and a few extra photos or you'll have to visit yourselves. Remember, as I said just a few weeks ago, Slovenia still has availability for this summer and will be at least 30% better value than Italy and several other European destinations. The Old Town of Ljubljana has the luxury of being the largest car-free city in the whole of Europe which of course makes it an absolute delight to explore on foot.
Oh heck, here's a very brief Top 5 just for Ljubljana:
1. Ljubljana Castle - This medieval fortress perched on top of a hill offers stunning views of the city and houses several exhibitions and events.
2. Prešeren Square - The main square in Ljubljana, named after the famous Slovenian poet France Prešeren, is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.
3. Triple Bridge - A picturesque group of three bridges connecting the old town to the modern part of the city.
4. Tivoli Park - A large green space located just outside the city center, offering various walking trails, playgrounds, and botanical gardens.
5. Dragon Bridge - A striking Art Nouveau bridge with four dragon statues guarding each corner.
If you're ready to get your own taste of Slovenia, let us know by clicking the button below.
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