Slovenia; The ultimate year-round extreme sports paradise!

Bang for your buck: 6/10
Adrenaline rating: 7/10 – An awesome all-rounder!

Kayaking to a castle on an island, canyoning down waterfalls, rafting across rivers with only a body board to support you: if this sounds like your idea of fun, Slovenia is for you!


WHY Slovenia Rocks!

Slovenia has been hailed as a ‘mini earth’ for extreme sports lovers. Its varied geography encompasses Alpine ranges, sweeping coastline and some of the biggest caves in the world!

And it’s not just the activities that are a draw-card in Slovenia. Lush, green mountains, crystal clear Alpine lakes and fairy-tale castles and churches make Slovenia a picture-perfect paradise.

It’s capital, Ljubljana, looks like a Disney creation with it’s leafy river walks, tiled pink shop fronts and castles looking over the whole city.

Whether you are planning a girls’ getaway, a romantic break or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Slovenia has something for you!


WHAT to do in Slovenia!

In each of Slovenia’s vastly different locations you will find fun new activities to try, such as:

• Hydro-speed: Imagine plummeting down rapids on a body board! It’s just you, the board, the water and the rocks!

• Snow Rafting: They love rafting all year round in Slovenia! Same deal as water rafting, but on snow-covered peaks!

• Ice climbing: This is not exactly a new sport, but it’s usually left to the professionals. In Slovenia, they offer ice-climbing classes for beginners and intermediates.

Old faithful activities like paragliding, scuba diving, sailing, rafting and canyoning are also abound in Slovenia.


WHEN to go!

Slovenia has activities on offer all year round!

In Winter, skiing, snow-boarding, snow-rafting, snowshoe walking, winter mountain biking and ice-climbing are the way to go.

In Summer, why not try Hydrospeed, or suspend yourself over an alpine waterfall as you go canyoning?  Also, have a go at kayaking, scuba diving and rock climbing.

Autumn and Spring in Slovenia are perfect for that mountain bike adventure, trekking, cave exploration or paragliding.

Lake Bohinj in Autumn / IStockPhoto

WHERE to go!

There are many varied spots to visit in Slovenia!

Ski resorts such as Kanin, Kranjska Gora and Smucarski center Vogel collectively boast 2000 metre peaks, views to the Adriatic Sea and awesome paragliding opportunities.

The picturesque town of Bled, in the Julian alpine ranges, is the perfect spot for scuba diving, hiking, kayaking and rafting and Bled’s many mineral spas are the perfect spot to rest and recharge your batteries!

On the Adriatic Coast, Portoroz and Izola are the major tourist towns. Here, you can go yachting, diving and jet skiing.

Further inland, explore the Postojna and Skocjan caves. The Postojna caves are some of the largest in the world, rivaled only by the Mammoth Caves in the US.

And don’t miss the picturesque capital, Ljubljana, for some R and R. There just might be more cafes than people, it really is a food lover’s paradise. It’s also built around pre-existing rivers, which Jason and the Argonauts reportedly sailed down, and today you will find leafy green trees and bars and cafes galore lining the beautiful strip.

Bled Island / IStockPhoto

A short history!

Slovenia was only recently released from Communist rule. In 1990 Slovenia became independent from Yugoslav and has been a democratic republic ever since.

Tucked away between Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia, Slovenia’s small landmass encompasses the Julian Alpine ranges as well as Adriatic coastline.

With the arrival of EasyJet and WizzAir, tourism in Slovenia has boomed.


The peeps!

Slovenians are generally very friendly people, and are always happy to help. Check out Tourist Info booths for advice, or even ask your tour guide/waiter/bus driver. Most people speak at least a smattering of English.

And, just quietly, because Slovenia is an adventure-lover’s paradise, it’s chock full of fit, thrill-seeking boys from all over Europe…Need I say more??


The Grub!

After all your adventures you will definitely be in the mood for food!

Slovenian cuisine is all about protein: vast woods and lakes have always meant that meat and fish are plentiful. These are usually coupled with potato, making for a hearty – if not overly gourmet – meal!

However, last time this ExplorerGirl was in Slovenia she happily stumbled across a typical Chinese restaurant, smack bang in the middle of meat land! Most of the clientele were other, similarly surprised, excited, English tourists. So rest assured, you can escape the ubiquitous mixed grill!

If you’re Vegetarian, stock up on some veggie goodies at the Supermarkets, just to be sure!


Catch some Zs!

A good starting-off point to find well-priced accommodation in Slovenia is Hostel World, which offers a range of accommodation across the country.

Also, check out the official Slovenian tourism website, as they have lots of great links to local companies.


Money talks!

Slovenia now trades in the Euro. The great news is that you don’t have to muck around changing your moulah over, but the bad news is that Eastern Europe is not exactly dirt cheap anymore. A hostel dorm room in Ljubljana costs around €20 a night, which is about the same as accommodation near Venice.

Ljubljana  (The Capital City) / IStock Photo

Get me there!

Easy.Jet, Wizz Air and Slovenia’s national airline, Adria, fly regularly to Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, from major capital cities in Europe.

Taking a train from Venice is also an easy option. Trenitalia trains leave daily, and take roughly four hours to get to Ljubljana. The scenery en route is beautiful: you will catch glimpses of coastline and mountains. However, make sure there are no strikes on when you want to travel, as the Italians are renowned for striking!

Trains also run to Slovenia from Eastern Europe and Austria.


Getting around

Getting around in Slovenia is not too difficult with regular and reliable train and bus services.


Show me more!

Lonely Planet offers an online WorldGuide to Slovenia, as well as guide books.


RAFTING IN SLOVENIA (and some driving/scenery) / Gemma Considinie

Posted on 20 March 2008 - 8:54pm
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