There are some places you go to often. Perhaps they connect you with a past memory, or maybe they bring you to someone you love. Some places you visit because you can’t stop hearing about it. The ‘must sees’ of the world. The places that often make the lists. London. Switzerland. South of France.
Rarely, we choose our travels to escape into the unknown, to seek an experience that could take us by surprise. When was the last time you went somewhere on a whim? Without a plan, you embarked on a journey to a place you didn’t know much about. And guess what?
It turned out to be your best travel memory.
I visited Slovenia for the first time in 2013 because Wizz Air was offering a last-minute (super cheap, may I add) deal to Ljubljana from London. I took it. It was departing the next day.
Slovenia turned out to be my best spontaneous travel memory. I’ll give you 30 reasons why it can be yours too!
1. Slovenia has pretty much everything. From stunning snowy peaks up north in the Julian Alps…
2. To laid-back coastal towns off the Adriatic sea…
3. … where you can enjoy peaceful vibes and colourful sunsets.
4. To cheeky landscape that always surprises you with its ever-changing surroundings!
5. Maybe you want to step into a fairytale and see this stunning 17th century baroque church located right in the middle of Lake Bled…
6. You can also rent bikes to explore the 3 km promenade around the lake. P.S. I would suggest you go around twice: once walking, once biking. Or make that twice each.
7. Maybe you want to explore the lake by boat. Really, it’s up to you…
8. If you’re more of a city goer, don’t worry… Ljubljana is probably one of the most accessible European capitals.
9. For history buffs, don’t forget to visit the beautiful castle on the hill. Or really, you should just go there for the stunning views. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, there’s even a funicular… So no excuses.
10. Or just walk around and see where the tiny alleys of Old Town may lead you…
11. Perhaps you’ll get to discover a really neat restaurant or café by the Ljubljanica River and join the many young people catching up over a glass of wine on one of the many outdoor terraces.
12. Or go have some awesome food at Druga Violina, a ‘gostilna-style’ restaurant with a neat mission of supporting individuals living with mental illness. The food is incredible!
13. Start your day right with a simple, yet plentiful breakfast at Le Petit Café. P.S. Their hot chocolate is delicious.
14. Then hop in your car and take a road trip to Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO site with one of the largest underground cave systems in the world! Get your explorer hat on and enjoy getting lost!
15. The water is pretty stunning here! Photo ops everywhere!
16. Visit Lake Cerknica, located right next door, and see for yourself why this reservoir is just as unpredictable as it is beautiful!
17. On the way there, don’t forget to keep your eyes open for scenes that seem to be taken right from a history book…
18. The caves are plentiful and not busy at all! Perfect for peaceful exploration.
19. Yes, even the many logs that can be found all throughout the Slovenian countryside, invite you for a photo op! Don’t miss it.
20. You can even stop and have a picnic on the side of the road. I’m sure no one would mind!
21. There are over 500 castles, manors and fortresses throughout Slovenia! Wherever you are, you can go on a little detour and see what you might discover. Like finding the beautifully preserved 13th century Sneznik Castle and spending an afternoon strolling its peaceful grounds.
22. Or the stunning Charnel House on the Hill of St. Anthony in Kobarid.
23. Don’t be alarmed if you’re planning on going somewhere and it takes much longer than expected! You’ll probably have to stop multiple times to take lots of pictures! And that’s totally acceptable.
24. Okay, you’ll definitely need to go see the Tomlin Gorges. The hikes are out of this world!
25. You won’t believe how clean and clear the water is all throughout Soca Valley.
26. Or follow into the footsteps of Aslan The Lion and explore the fantasy world of Narnia. Yes, the movie was filmed here. Are you really that surprised?
27. The hike up to Slap Slavica is definitely worth it, even when it’s pouring out! P.S. It’s a bit of a workout, but don’t get discouraged. You’ll be rewarded for all your efforts with this view!
28. Because you know – after a heavy rain, the clouds always leave room for a stunning sunset overlooking Lake Bohinj. Do sit on the beach nearby and enjoy it.
29. In Slovenia, allow yourself to get lost. Really lost.
30. And maybe then, you’ll wake up feeling like you really embarked on an adventure!
If anything… you’ll wake up with a really stunning view in sight.
BRB. I want to pack my bags and do this all over again.