Although tiny, Slovenia is huge for outdoors adventures. With the third highest proportion of forested land and the greatest proportion of protected natural areas in the EU, Slovenia is an outdoors playground. Add to that the Alps and Dinaric Mountains, and the legendary Postojna caves in Slovenia’s Karst Plateau on the Mediterranean coast, and you have a topography made for outdoors adventures. With two ranges of rugged mountains, mountain biking in Slovenia is unbeatable. Add to that landscape a multitude of rivers and it’s easy to see why whitewater rafting and kayaking in Slovenia are world-class. With both mountains and a limestone coastline, canyoning in Slovenia is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Slovenia is located on the border between Central and Southeastern Europe and shares borders with Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, Austria to the north, Italy to the west, and has a short coastline Adriatic Seas.
Major Cities in Slovenia
The capital and largest city in Slovenia is the capital Ljublijana. The only other city with a population over 100,000 is Maribor.
Geography of Slovenia
At 20,273 square kilometers (7,827 square miles) Slovenia is about half the size of Switzerland and twice the size of Jamaica. 10,124 square kilometers (3,909 square miles) of that, a whopping 58.5% is covered in forests, the third largest proportion in Europe after Finland and Sweden. Despite this, there is relatively little logging. The interior forests are, like much of Europe, mostly oak and beech. The mountains contain species better adapted to the Alpine environment like spruce, fir, and pine.
The majority of Slovenia is mountainous. Most of the north is considered Alpine it’s northern border with Austria runs through the Alps. Central and most of southern Slovenia are covered by the Dinaric Mountains. The eastern and northeastern regions are part of the Pannonian plain and are thus quite flat, while the Karst Plateau in the southwest is largely made up of limestone and, in addition to being home to Slovenia’s 46.6-kilometere coastline on the Adriatic sea, is renowned for its numerous underground rivers and gullys and world-famous caves. The most famous of these caves—and they are very famous—include the Postojna Cave and the Skocjan Caves, which comprise on of the largest underground canyons in the world and are a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The highest peak in Slovenia is Triglav in the northwest at 2,864 m (9,396 ft). It is also the namesake of the nation’s largest national park, Triglav National Park. Slovenia value their country’s wilderness, and the government has accordingly established 286 Natura 2000 sites—260 for habitat and 26 for wild birds—to a total of 36% of the country’s total area. That’s the highest proportion in the EU. If you want pristine untouched wilderness, there are few countries better than Slovenia.
Weather and Climate in Slovenia
Because of the wide variety of geography in Slovenia the climate varies in different parts of the country. Slovenia has a pleasant Mediterranean climate on the coast. The eastern part of the country has a cooler and more varied continental climate, and the mountains have a cool Alpine climate. Precipitation varies widely across the country.
Located on the border between central and eastern Europe, and with a varied geography including mountains, plains, and Mediterranean beaches, and a history steeped in culture and religion, Slovenia is can be thought as the heart of Europe, both literally and figuratively. Slovenia is well developed and has the highest GDP of all new EU member states with an economy comparable to those of South Korea and New Zealand. Wealth is concentrated in the west of the country and visible affluence changes considerably as one travels east.
Slovenia has a strong tourism industry because of its historical sites and incredible geography. One can drive to from the Mediterranean beach in Koper to Triglav National Park (home to the country’s highest peak, the scenic Lake Bled, and the Soca Valley) in just two hours. The unique geography of the Karst Plateau is also a major draw. The Postojna Cave alone attracts 28 million visitors each year, and the Skocjan Caves, a Unesco World Heritage Site, are also brings many visitors. The area surrounding Maribor, the country’s second-largest city, is renowned for its vinyards. English is more commonly spoken than in most European countries, making it fairly easy to get around.
Slovenia Outdoors Adventure Highlights
- The Unesco-listed Postojna caves in Slovenia are a natural marvel and the longest publicly accessible depth of any cave system in the world.
- Mountain biking in Slovenia is a fantastic way to enjoy the expansive forests this country is renowned for.
- With a rugged landscape and multitudes of rivers, whitewater rafting and kayaking in Slovenia are plentiful and among the best in Europe.
- The unique limestone geography of the Krast Plateau make canyoning in Slovenia an otherworldly experience.
Slovenia Outdoors Adventure Activities
• Scuba diving (wreck, reef, cave)
• Hang gliding
• Sky diving
• Bungee jumping
• Hot air ballooning
• Whitewater rafting
• Kayaking (river, lake, sea)
• Caving and spelunking
• Hiking/trekking (all levels)
• Via Ferrata
• Rock climbing (all levels)
• Ice climbing
• Mountain Biking (novice to expert)
• Horseback Riding
• Skiing and snowboarding
• Cross-country skiing
Budget Travel in Slovenia
• Hostels in Slovenia are a bit cheaper than those in most of Europe, with dorm beds in Ljublijana starting around $21 USD in places like Hostel Azur and Hostel & Hotel Print
Check out this page for a full list of Slovenia hostels.
• Slovenia restaurants are also quite reasonable with meals starting around $7.50 USD. Many Slovenia bars will also have decently prices snacks, and beers starting around $3 USD.
I like to use World Nomads. It’s not too expensive and signing up is fast and straightforward. They also have pretty good coverage for sports equipment like surf and snowboards, but it varies depending on your country of origin, so be sure double check. You can get a free quote on their website.
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The information on this page was provided by My Slovenia Info. If you want to know more about Slovenia they are the people to ask.
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