5 reasons to return to Slovenia

Sabina Guliyeva 18 April 2021 42 views 12 min. read

The Frist thing that comes to your mind when someone talks about Slovenia is Lake Bled. Of course, Lake Bled is the hallmark of Slovenia. However, when you visit this country, you realize that everything here is a tourist attraction. Even the cleanest air and delicious water you can drink directly from the tap are also sights of Slovenia.

We decided to highlight 5 main reasons to return to Slovenia.

1. The capital of Slovenia

ljubljana

The journey to Slovenia starts from the airport named after Joe Pucnik, the "father of Slovenian democracy". We arrived here in the evening. We were met by a guide from the Tourism Agency "I feel Slovenia".

- You will fall in love with Slovenia from day one. Everyone falls in love, Oksana promised, and she kept her word.

Do you know what is the capital of Slovenia? The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana. The first thing we fell in love with was Ljubljana. It is one of the rare cities full of history and legends.

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Union, just a stone's throw from the capital's central Preseren Square. It is located in a historic building (1905) in the Art Nouveau style. The Old Town is 180 meters away, while the Ljubljanica River Embankment is just 100 meters away. The hotel declares and confidently confirms its four stars. The cost of living here is higher than in other hotels - about 130 euros per night. If you want, you can find cheaper hotels in Ljubljana, but with three stars. However, three stars in Europe is also very good.

The Grand Hotel Union is cosy, comfortable, and delicious. In the rooms, we found a set of colorings with views of Slovenia and colored pencils. A trifle, but creative and pleasant. A wonderful souvenir for children.

At dinner, we clarified who prefers what menu, and it turned out that there is a rich selection of ordinary Slovenian dishes and vegetarian and even vegan. By the way, the same assortment was waiting for us in all restaurants and hotels in Ljubljana Slovenia. Proper nutrition is held in high esteem here.

History at every turn

ljubljana old town

For the next 3 days, we walked around Ljubljana. The guide never tired of telling stories about this beautiful city, which she once fell in love with herself. An emigrant from Russia, having once arrived in Ljubljana, Oksana stayed here forever and became the face of tourism in Slovenia.

Preseren - the central square of Ljubljana - was built in the XVII century. At first, it was named after the Mother of God. Since then, only the beautiful Baroque church of the Annunciation has remained on the square. Now the square is decorated with a statue of the famous poet Preserna-the author of the Slovenian anthem. The location of the statue is not accidental: the poet's gaze is fixed on the building where the lady of his heart once lived. Now mass festivities and performances of famous Slovenian artists are organized on Preseren Square. Be sure to check out here - most likely. You will get to a concert or a fair.

By the way, if you plan your trip for the end of winter, try to be in Ljubljana on February 8. On this day, concerts and theatrical performances in honour of the poet Preshern are held throughout the city. And all museums and galleries on this day can be visited for free.

slovenian castle

After dinner, we went to explore the square, wander along the three famous Slovenian bridges and reach Ljubljana Castle-a fortress of the XII century, which is surrounded by small stone streets and a beautiful park.

This medieval castle was completely destroyed in the XV century. It was restored and made a defensive complex. Then the castle was badly damaged during the attacks on the city by Napoleon's army. From then until the twentieth century, Ljubljana Castle was... a prison. If you get lost in it, you risk finding yourself in rooms that look very much like cells for prisoners.

You will have to climb to the Ljubljana Castle for 15 minutes along a beautiful serpentine. However, the most impatient can get up here in one minute by funicular – save time and enjoy the city on the way. The lower station is located on Krek Square.

In any case, your efforts will not be in vain. First, it offers a beautiful view of Ljubljana, and you can have a delicious lunch here – there are two wonderful restaurants in the city.

Ljubljana stands on the river Ljubljanica - hence the name of the city. If you want, you can go for a boat ride on the river – the banks offer amazing views.

The length of the river is more than 40 kilometers, so the walk will be long, on average, about an hour. Ljubljana divides the territory of the Slovenia capital into several parts. On the coast you can fish and relax.

tivoli park

Famous bridges cross Ljubljana in the city's heart: the Triple Bridge, the Dragon Bridge, and the Myasnitsky Bridge. The dragon, by the way, is the symbol of Ljubljana; according to legend, it was Ljubljana that was freed from the dragon's raids by the brave Argonaut Jason. The image of the dragon is everywhere-on houses, on souvenirs, on bridges…

The triple Bridge is a symbol of Ljubljana careful attitude to its history and architecture. Two more modern concrete bridges with snow-white railings in the Venetian style were added to the old structure.

Well, on the Myasnitsky Bridge, lovers go to hang locks – for eternal love.

If you want to leave the city center, go to Tivoli Park – the largest park in Ljubljana, which has a large flower garden and a lake. The park is home to the Tivoli Castle and the Tsekin Mansion, which houses the National Museum of Modern History of Slovenia. The park simply amazes with its silence and the atmosphere of peace.

If a relaxing holiday is not for you, and you prefer extreme entertainment, visit the Life Canyoning Park. The reserve is famous for waterfalls and rocks, as well as rare fauna. You can go there as a family or as a group. There are safe routes for ordinary nature lovers, and there is an extreme route laid along the bottom of the canyon. It is sure to appeal to fans of unusual active entertainment.

Art of Slovenia

slovenian art

While walking in the center, be sure to visit the Ljublana castle – the most important church in Ljubljana. Its two bell towers are recognizable symbols of the Slovenia capital. And pay attention to the door of the main entrance – on it the sculptor Tone Demshar depicted the entire history of Slovenia.

Art lovers should definitely visit the Slovenian Opera and Ballet Theater. It was built at the end of the XIX century. And the reconstruction of the hall carried out not so long ago has significantly improved the acoustics of the stage.

Well, for those who can not imagine their trip without visiting museums, note four amazing places to visit in Slovenia: the National Museum, the National Gallery, the Museum of Illusions and the Railway Museum.

The National Museum of Slovenia was established in 1821. There are several interesting exhibits: tools of the local population, graphics, paintings and engravings, archaeological samples of ancient times, coins, and banknotes.

The National Gallery of Slovenia, which opened in 1918, is famous for its exhibition of paintings by European and Slovenian artists created in different times, from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the twentieth century.

We had a lot of fun at the Museum of Illusions. There are about four dozen samples in the local exhibition halls – photographs, installations on various topics, visual illusions, and holograms. Most of all, we had fun on the rides. We took the most unexpected photos in the room "upside-down". They laughed in the hall, where all the visitors visually decrease and increase in size. Well, we barely got out of the constantly moving vortex tunnel.

Finally, the Railway Museum, built in the former boiler house in the middle of the twentieth century. Here you can see old steam engines and trains and other transport from different eras. Besides, the exhibition contains telegraphs, telephones, and other devices for transmitting the information. Very informative and interesting.

In general, everyone will enjoy a holiday in Ljubljana - no one will be bored. Art lovers and foodies, historians, and shopaholics - everyone will find something to do.

2. Lakes in Slovenia

bohinj in slovenia

The next day we went for a walk to the lakes. Yes, yes. Lake Bled is not one of the best lakes in Slovenia. Lake Bohinj, the largest natural lake in the country. The distance between these two lakes is only 26 km. As the Slovenes say, if Lake Bled is the "reception hall" of the Julian Alps, Bohinj is the heart, the "living quarters".

Legend said when God created the world, he forgot about the people who lived in this region, and they modestly waited in the wings. Remembering them and appreciating their patience, he decided to give them the most Instagrammable land in the world, which he wanted to keep for himself. So Bohinj got its name – "the place of God", or "the place is given by God to people".

It seems to me that the legend should refer not only to Lake Bohinj but also to the whole of Slovenia. It is difficult not to notice that it is on a special account with the Universe.

We went for a boat ride in Bohinj, saw an Instagrammable waterfall flowing into its waters, and then took a cable car up the mountain to view the lake from above.

The beauty is incredible. You can also have lunch there. By the way, here you can also fly paragliding, jump with a rope (rope jumping), and in winter go skiing.

Yes, and there is a campsite here! So you can even come in tents.

For whom does the bell ring?

bled lake

After lunch, we drove to the famous Lake Bled to "ring the bell". It is such a local sign. As soon as something goes wrong in a Slovenian or Slovenian life, they go to Bled and ring the bell.

This bell is not simple. It adorns the church, which stands on an island in the middle of Lake Bled. A beautiful legend is connected with it, but to hear it, you must first get to the island. For many centuries, visitors have been brought to it by traditional wooden boats.

Moored on the island, guests can climb the 99 stone steps to the Church of the Assumption of Mary. According to tradition, newlyweds come here, and the newlywed carries his wife in his arms along with all these steps – for good luck. The process, let's say, is not easy. 

According to local legend, once upon a time, a happy young couple lived in Bled Castle. However, the robbers attacked the owner of the castle, killed him, and threw the body into the lake. In memory of her husband, the inconsolable widow collected all her jewels and ordered them to cast a bell for the chapel that stood on an island in the middle of the lake. When he was being taken to the island, a storm arose, the boat capsized, and the bell sank. The woman saw this as a sign, gave her entire fortune to build a new church on the island, and went to Rome, where she took the veil as a nun. After her death, the Pope, having learned this tragic story, ordered her to cast a new bell and hang it in the church.

bled lake

The bell rope is long and hangs directly into the church hall. So, according to legend, you need to make a wish and hit the bell three times. If you are a kind-hearted person, the wish will soon be fulfilled.

After ringing the bell, we went to explore the lake. Around it stretches a six-kilometre path, along which you can go around the whole of Bled. Despite the private residences on the beach and, most importantly, the former residence of the Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito. The dictator was a dictator, and he did not prohibit access to the lake to ordinary people. Moreover, his numerous guests, knowing the Yugoslav leader's preference for trees, always brought him new seedlings planted around the lake. Over the years, the trees have grown and turned into a beautiful park.

Well, the Bled castle rises above all this splendour. The first mention of it dates back to 1004. Inside the castle there is an ancient chapel and a museum, which tell about the development of Bled from the Bronze Age to the present day.

chocolate festival

The castle offers an incredible and Instagrammable view of the lake and the island with the bell. Here you can take wonderful Instagram photos.

On the way from Bled to the capital, we stopped in a tiny Slovenian town – Radovljica. Its population is only a few thousand people. However, at the same time, events are constantly held in the city, attracting Slovenes from all over the country—for example, the Chocolate Festival or the Avsenik Ethnic Music Festival.

3. Slovenian cuisine

slovenian cuisine

In terms of the abundance and taste of food, Slovenia is not inferior to the world's gastronomic capitals.

On the one hand, in every restaurant and cafe, you will be offered a menu for every taste: vegetarian, vegan, dietary and on the other - traditional Slovenian dishes make even the most sophisticated gourmets lick their fingers and ask for supplements.

If you want a light snack while strolling in the center of Ljubljana, it is best to visit. Klobasarna. The name of a small cafe serves the most delicious Kranjska sausage in the country – a specialty in Slovenia. It is served with horseradish, mustard and air buns. Just delicious!

The most traditional lunch was waiting for us during a visit to Lake Bohinj at the very top of the mountain. I recommend order here a special rich soup, kranjska sausage for an appetizer, and a gibanica for dessert.

Well, after visiting the incredible Bled Castle, I strongly advise you to sit down in a cafe right in the courtyard of the castle and try the signature Slovenian cream cake kremsnita. In Bled, it is the most delicious.

Finally, the sweet tooth must visit the Museum of Gingerbread in Radovljica – it is very tasty!

4. Thermal Springs

thermal pool

The second part of our trip was dedicated to health. Thermal springs, sea salt water, salt mud, mineral water, sea and mountain air – all that nature has given to a person for his health-are combined in one Slovenia. Therefore, people tend to come here not only for new experiences but also to improve their health.

First, we stopped at the Balnea Hotel in Dolenjske Toplice. It seems that the very air here is healing. You don't just breathe it, it's like drinking it. However, in the healing water here and bathe, and use for various wellness procedures. It is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia.

Then we went to the most health-improving resort of all with the sweet name of Rogashka Slatina. The mineral water that is extracted here, alchemists appreciated in the XVI century. They come here to treat the digestive organs, liver, and gallbladder. Here, you can successfully reduce cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood, lower the so-disturbing blood pressure, and relieve nervous tension. All these painful ailments can be relieved thanks to the amazing properties of the healing water, which contains a slightly acidic solution that combines sodium, magnesium, and hydrocarbon sulfate plus minerals.

Throughout the rest, this therapeutic water can be drunk according to a specially developed method. Bathing in Thermo mineral water will positively affect those who suffer from diseases related to the musculoskeletal system, spine, joints, and ligaments.

In general, a panacea for all diseases. Take the whole day in combination with the magnificent nature around and tranquillity.

Five Stars of Aleksander

hotel aleksander medical and spa

Among the local hotels, the 5-star Aleksander Medical & Spa Hotel highlights. It is located in a luxurious Victorian style, in the middle of a huge park. Here is the famous spring with healing water Donat Mg, which has many useful properties due to the rich mineral composition and richness of magnesium.

For many years, this resort has held status as one of the most famous in Europe, thanks to the favorable Slovenia climate, medical facilities and unique healing water, rich in magnesium. Guests of the hotel can drink Donat Mg water without restrictions in the lobby of the hotel. Besides, a daily bottle of bottled water is delivered to each room.

There are only 21 rooms, each overlooking a forest or park, not much different from the forest area. For those who are used to luxury, we offer a 230 m2 penthouse with a spacious terrace, a Finnish sauna, a Jacuzzi, a sun area equipped with sun loungers and outdoor barbecue facilities.

Of course, accommodation and treatment here are not cheap (the cost depends on the treatment program chosen by the guest), but you should not save on health.

Magnesium in the water

mineral water

Due to the richness of magnesium, Donat Mg water has a truly miraculous effect. The use of this mineral water in combination with medical procedures normalizes digestion, and intracellular metabolism helps fight the digestive tract's chronic diseases. Also, the healing water has a positive effect on the body, strengthening the heart muscle and immunity, prevents atherosclerosis, and helps to fight diabetes.

Magnesium calms the nervous system, stabilizes sleep, helps to avoid depression and migraines. This element increases resistance to stress, endurance, allows you to get rid of chronic fatigue, and stabilizes the emotional state of a person. The systematic use of mineral water in combination with walks and outdoor training on the territory of Rogashka-Slatina will help you gain strength and energy to achieve all your goals.

Mineral water Donat Mg has no side effects and is not addictive.

cocktail

* for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, heartburn and constipation, and kidney problems. Magnesium relieves spasms, stimulates intestinal peristalsis, and improves blood circulation.

* for heart problems. Magnesium strengthens the heart muscle, has a beneficial effect on the condition of blood vessels, normalizes blood pressure, lowers cholesterol in the blood, normalizes blood pressure.

* with diabetes. Magnesium water perfectly lowers blood sugar and promotes the production of insulin.

* in case of obesity. Water normalizes the metabolic processes in the body, accelerates the process of weight loss.

* for depression and stressful situations. Donat Mg helps to relieve the symptoms of depression and apathy, reduces increased irritability and excitability, increases stress resistance.

* for memory problems. Magnesium has a beneficial effect on attention and memory, increases the speed of transmission of impulses.

* with male infertility. Magnesium increases sperm motility.

5. Slovenia itself

slovenia landscape

Oksana was absolutely right – it is impossible not to fall in love with this country. Our trip to Slovenia was full of emotions, impressions and health.

We realized an important thing: the main attraction of Slovenia is its inhabitants. Hardworking, smiling, always friendly. They fill their lives with tranquility, beauty and generously share them with guests. In this country, you want to live, love, and raise children.

See you again, Slovenia!

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