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Slovenia – a destination of wonder
July 22, 2018, 12:03 pm

An earthly paradise of snow-capped peaks, turquoise-green rivers and Venetian-style coastline, Slovenia enriches its natural treasures with harmonious architecture, charming rustic culture and sophisticated cuisine. Here are some activities to do on your visit to Slovenia.

Mount Triglav: This is Slovenia’s highest peak, it appears on the nation’s flag and folk here do not consider themselves true Slovenes until they scale old `Three Heads’ at least once. There are as many as 20 different ways to reach the peak, but unless you are extremely experienced, it is best to follow the trail from the Pokljuka Plateau south west of Bled. A strong climber could make it up and down in 12 hours, but it is best to spend the night in one of two mountain huts closer to the summit.

Postojna Cave: Postojna Cave is Slovenia’s most visited sight for Its formations of stalagmites and stalactites are unrivalled anywhere and it is home to the endangered Proteus anguinus, a blind salamander known as 'the human fish' because of its pinkish skin colour. Created by the Pivka River two million years ago, the 'cave’ is in fact a series of caverns, halls and passages 20.6km long. Visitors get to see 5.7km of it on a 1 1/2-hour tour – 4km via an underground train and the rest on foot on a path with some gradients but no steps.

Vipava Valley: The Vipava Valley is also home to ideal paragliding conditions. You do not need any prior knowledge or training to take a tandem flight with a qualified instructor. Once in the air you can relax as the wind carries you up and back down the Valley, enjoying views out over the Gulf of Trieste and the Julian Alps. The average flight lasts between 20 and 50 minutes, depending on the weather conditions. Also popular is the Hike and fly experience which involves a guided hike up the valley before strapping on your parachute and gilding back down to the bottom.

Ljubljana Castle: This is the one sight in Ljubljana you simply can’t miss – in every sense. Crowning a 375m hill south of the Old Town, the castle is an architectural mishmash, but most of it dates from the early 16th century when it was largely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake. You can roam the castle grounds for free, but you will have to pay to enter the Viewing Tower, with its 12-minute Virtual Castle film and the remarkable Chapel of St George (1489). Next door is the Slovenian History Exhibition, which guides you through the past via historic objects and multimedia exhibits.

Cankarjev Dom:  Cankarjev Dom is named after author/playwright Ivan Cankar (1876-1917), widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Slovenian language. It is Ljubljana’s premier cultural and conference centre, and has two large auditoriums – Linhart Hall and Gallus Hall, which is said to have perfect acoustics – and a dozen smaller performance spaces offering a wide array of performance arts. In addition to concerts and other musical events, Cankarjev Dom also stages theatrical productions. Slovenian theatre is usually quite visual with a lot of mixed media, so you do not always have to speak the lingo to enjoy the production.

Sečovlje:  Salt-making has been one of the traditional mainstays of Slovenia's coastal economy. If you want to learn more about it, head for the salt pans at Sečovlje, south-east of Portorož. They now comprise the 750-hectare Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, criss-crossed with dikes, channels and pools once used to collect, drain, wash and grind salt from the sea. In the centre is the wonderful Saltmaking Museum, which focuses on all aspects of salt-making and the lives of salt workers and their families. Salt is still produced in the traditional way here– up to 2,000 tons a year. You can experience being 'saltpan worker for a day’ for €25 in summer, but only in good weather.

Radovljica: The lovely town of Radovljica, 50km north-west of Ljubljana, boasts wonderful 'folk baroque’ and views of the Alps. Linhartov trg, the main square, is lined with houses dating from the 16th century and has been called ‘the most homogeneous old town core in Slovenia’. Koman House at No 23 has a baroque painting on its facade of St Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, and Mali House next door has a just visible picture of St George slaying the dragon. But the main sight here is in Thurn Manor at No 1: the Beekeeping Museum.


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