Not only is Slovenia blessed with natural wonders, but it is also home to invaluable cultural and architectural treasures. Discover a fascinating heritage that will amaze even an experienced traveller.
Countless spellbinding castles
Slovenia houses hundreds of castles and mansions built at various times during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Baroque periods. Visiting some of them will be an unforgettable experience, as you will learn fascinating stories behind their thick stonewalls while taking in stunning panoramic views. Whether or not you are a history-lover, the sight of unique, mighty castles in Slovenia will captivate you.
In that respect, dare to penetrate Predjama castle, a breathtaking castle built into a rock wall at the height of 123 metres 800 years ago! You will find interesting mysteries and legends about this landmark.
Bled Castle is another not-to-miss fortress in Slovenia. Built on a steep cliff dominating the emerald green waters of a gorgeous lake, this picture-postcard castle with its stunning view will absolutely enchant everyone. In addition, climb up to Ljubljana and Celje castles – both also located on a hilltop – and enjoy the amazing panorama of their respective town and surroundings.
Seaside lovers will surely fall in love with Mediterranean Slovenia when exploring the many gems of its short Adriatic coastline, including charming historical towns surrounded by salt pans! Piran is a lovely medieval town with a strong influence from the Venetians. Take your time and stroll its narrow cobbled streets and squares. Take in the views from its lovely port and the top of its town walls. Additionally, you will find several other picturesque coastal towns that are equally worth a stop. They include Koper, Portorož, and Izola in which you will be able to spend a relaxing holiday with your family or friends by the sea.
Travel through time and explore Slovenia’s amazing historical towns
There are several gorgeous towns for which History has left indelible marks awaiting you during your next holiday in Slovenia… as usual, in combination with spectacular nature around the corner!
Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital city located at the heart of the country – has a special vibe with its natural surroundings and its outstanding heritage sites. For instance, take a walk up to its hilltop castle or along the scenic river with its lovely bridges in order to soak in its unique atmosphere.
Bled – the most iconic town in Slovenia – is an unmissable destination. Everyone has certainly seen the postcard of its lake: a small island with a church, lost in the middle of a lake, dominated by a hilltop castle in the background. Be part of this picture-perfect scenery and enjoy a magical experience by walking around the lake – or riding a bike – before venturing onto this island by traditional pletna boat, i.e., a sort of Venetian gondola. Additionally, discover charming old towns such as Maribor (the city of the world’s oldest vine), Celje (the town of Princes and Counts), and the oldest town in Slovenia, Ptuj featuring a ‘perched’ castle and UNESCO-protected kurenti tradition. They are all rich with architectural treasures and surrounded by beautiful nature made up of gentle wine-growing hills and picturesque rivers.
Unique pearls and intangible heritage
Slovenia is home to exceptional UNESCO-protected sites. One of the most impressive is surely Idrija, known for its major mercury mining heritage. Get into one of the oldest mine entrances in Europe, dating from 1500, and follow the footsteps of a miner to find out about old mining techniques to extract mercury during an exciting tour.
Besides its greatest cultural sites, explore Slovenia’s religious centres – churches, chapels, and monasteries – that you will find all over the country. Some of them are unique architectural gems and hide real treasures once you get inside.
To name but a few, the Church of the Holy Trinity in Hrastovlje – located behind a fortress with high stone walls and guard towers – is a secret spot and will likely take your breath away. It is adorned by outstanding frescoes dating from the 15th century, including the famous Dance of Death and other biblical scenes. Moreover, the Basilica of the Virgin Protectress – situated near the medieval town of Ptuj – is one of the most beautiful Gothic monuments in Slovenia and a major pilgrimage site. The three-nave basilica houses a magnificent relief of the Virgin Protectress clad in a cloak dating from the 15th century, that is well worth a detour during your road trip.
Last but not least, you will also encounter a priceless, intangible cultural heritage in Slovenia. It includes, among other things, Lipizzan horses, which have been continuously bred in one of the oldest stud farms in Europe – located in Lipica in the legendary karst region – since the 16th century. Learn about a centuries-old tradition while taking in the stunning scenery with white Lipizzan horses grazing in lush meadows and grasslands. Do not miss the opportunity to have a magical experience by going on a horse riding tour or a family-friendly carriage ride along the centuries-old green avenues.