Last Updated on April 1, 2024

Summer is just around the corner, and Slovenia is ready for travelers with three amazing local experiences. Located in the heart of Europe, Slovenia sits where the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain, and the Karst meet.

With a population of just over 2-million people, Slovenia emerges as a boutique destination deeply committed to sustainability and ideal for those who appreciate nature, well-being, and exceptional gastronomy. The country’s compact size ensures that visitors can easily explore its diverse offerings through day trips.

Spring and summer reveal an ideal backdrop for outdoor escapades surrounded by natural beauty. Whether choosing to stay in a tent, motorhome, glamping, or a thermal spa resort, Slovenia promises pristine air, starlit skies, and picturesque landscapes all waiting to be explored.

Being an outdoors and nature lover myself, these activities are right up my alley and will no doubt be an amazing experience for those who choose to partake.

Follow the Footsteps of Bears

Only 60 kilometers from Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, the enigmatic forests of Kočevje house the largest brown bear population and the highest concentration of primeval forest remnants in all of Europe. Here, visitors can witness three majestic predators—bears, wolves, and lynxes— all in their native environment.

Tourgoers will also learn the skills of discovering and picking edible plants and rewarding themselves with a luncheon set against the backdrop of a primeval forest. Next, they’ll venture into the Bear’s Den within the formerly restricted Kočevska Reka territory, gaining insights into the intimate habits of the world’s second-largest terrestrial predator.

The adventure concludes at a forest observatory, where visitors may even have a personal encounter with a bear. The entire journey adheres to the principles of sustainable tourism, ensuring minimal environmental impact, particularly on the local wildlife.

Velika Planina Pastoral Tradition and Gastronomy

Velika Planina is one of the most well-preserved pastoral plateaus in Europe, located 50 kilometers from Ljubljana.

In this scenic region, visitors can experience the idyllic charm of pastoral life through a two-day cultural and culinary adventure and stay in traditional huts converted into modern accommodations. Learn about the typical day of a shepherd on the plateau, try your hand at milking a cow and making trnič, the famous “cheese of love” from Velika Planina.

In the evening, a unique surprise awaits in the comfort of boutique shepherd huts – a private dinner prepared by a top-level local chef who will craft an unforgettable culinary experience combining the traditional flavors of Velika Planina with modern creativity.

Subterranean Wonders of Škocjan Caves

Škocjan Caves in Slovenia.
Škocjan Caves in Slovenia. Photo courtesy of I Feel Slovenia

Embark on a journey into one of the earth’s hidden marvels, unveiling a spectacle of unparalleled natural wonders. This is a unique opportunity for visitors to peer into the depths of the world’s largest and deepest underground canyon, a realm that offers a rare and extraordinary glimpse into our planet’s secrets.

This fascinating geologic feature is located in the classical Karst and is a true-blue, open-air, natural museum. Visitors will navigate through a labyrinth of underground galleries, where awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites transform the subterranean landscape into an otherworldly dimension.

Geological marvels include the Giant (Orjak), a colossal stalagmite, commanding attention as one of the largest in the cave system. Venturing from the enchanting Silent Cave (Tiha jama), the trail leads to the Murmuring Cave (Šumeča jama), where the Reka River welcomes adventurers into one of Europe’s most expansive underground canyons.

The sheer magnitude of the canyon, the reverberating echoes of the roaring Reka, and the mesmerizing crossing of the renowned Cerkvenik bridge above the riverbed, create an unforgettable experience, leaving every visitor in absolute awe.

Why not consider a visit to these amazing destinations this summer, a bit off-the-beaten-trek offering a myriad of special experiences?

Author

  • Michael Kompanik

    Michael Kompanik is a retired Navy CAPT and San Diego freelance journalist. His love of Europe began with his NATO assignment to Naples, Italy in the 90s where he traveled extensively to 17 European countries. Since then, trips to Europe are always on his radar.

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