Slovenia’s Rise to the Top
Posted on 08/31/2017
Slovenia is on the verge of setting a new tourism record.
In June, the Central European nation recorded 1.2 million tourist overnights, an increase of 22 percent over the previous June.
During the first six months of the year, Slovenia saw an increase in visitation of 15.8 percent, and the country is seeking to further capitalize on its success with a boost in tourism revenues to $4.12 billion.
It seems this European hidden gem has gone from off the beaten path to travel hotspot almost overnight, but Slovenia’s newfound popularity definitely has stamina.
The Alpine country is lush and green with a focus on wellness, food and a wine culture waiting to be discovered. Spa resorts, ski chalets, hiking trails and cultural sites are in line with current travel trends and are sure to draw visitors from far and wide in growing numbers.
Recently, two new UNESCO designations have given visitors even more reasons to visit.
The Krokar virgin forest is an untouched primeval forest in the Kocevje region and part of Slovenia’s Natura 2000 network, a network of protected areas that run throughout Europe.
Sneznik-Zdrocle forest reserve is also part of the Natura 2000 network as well as part of the UNESCO Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe that encompasses Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.
These two new UNESCO sites join the famous Skocjan Caves as well as prehistoric pile dwellings in the Slovenian Alps and the mercury mines in Almaden and Idrija.
By far, the country’s most visited and storied spots are Lake Bled and Ljubljana, its capital city.
Ljubljana is a university town that is young at heart, perched along side the Ljubljana River. It is filled with green spaces, quiet cafes, quaint cathedrals and beautiful museums.
Visitors should be sure to check out the Tivoli Park, the Triple Bridge and the beautiful pink facade of the Franciscan church as well as swing by the Dragon Bridge and the Ljubljana Castle.
Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s main draws.
Located in the picturesque Julian Alps, the lake is a short drive from Ljubljana. Its emerald green color already makes it postcard perfect. Add to that a medieval castle clinging to the cliffside and the lake takes on a majestic effect. Visitors come for the photos and stay for hiking trails, water sports, biking and more.
PHOTO: Lake Bled, Slovenia. (photo via Flickr/Guido Soraru)