Ljubljana Castle

Travel

Slovenia

Considered one of the most sustainable destinations in the world, it offers both urban excitement and country explorations.
By Frank Vizard
Dagmar Schwelle/laif/Redux

Ljubljana Old Town Walk Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings line the streets. A food market, an open-air theater, and a bevy of sidewalk cafés make this one of the busiest places in the city. Nearby is a funicular ride to the extraordinary views from Ljubljana Castle. Tours of the former prison provide historical context, while on-site dining and weekend music concerts make it worth a return visit. ljubljanskigrad.si

Paul Hahn/laif/Redux

River Cruise The Dragon Bridge, the Triple Bridge, and the Butchers’ Bridge are among the 17 beautiful bridges that crisscross Slovenia’s capital. A great way to see them is from the water on a handmade, 50-seat wooden boat.
barka-ljubljanica.si

Courtesy Slovenian Tourist Board

Piran Old Town Famous for its local salt-panning operations, Piran’s picturesque Medieval streets convene on Tartini Square, named for a famous 18th-century Slovenian violinist (cue “The Devil’s Trill”). Walk up to the cathedral ramparts to see the seaport city of Trieste and the Italian Alps in the distance. portoroz.si

Courtesy Villa Tartini

Villa Tartini When Slovenia was part of the now-defunct Yugoslavia, Communist boss Marshal Josip Tito often entertained foreign dignitaries from a villa on Piran’s harbor. This newly opened residence has a spacious waterfront garden and seven guest suites with an interior décor firmly rooted in the Tito era. Serviced by a white-gloved staff, it makes a great lunch stop. vila-tartini.com

Courtesy Kempinski Palace Portoroz

Fine Dining Restaurant Sophia, an affectionate tribute to the actress Sophia Loren, and Fleur de Sel, named for the region’s best sea salt, offer Mediterranean and international fusion cuisine, respectively, at the Kempinski Palace Portoroz, a fairy-tale hotel with Adriatic views that first opened its doors in 1910. kempinski.com

Courtesy InterContinental Hotel Ljubljana

STAY: InterContinental Hotel Ljubljana Opened in 2017, the 20-story hotel (the tallest in the city) is within walking distance to all major attractions and features rooms with a modern, sophisticated décor. The rooftop B-restaurant is among the best eateries around and the pool offers panoramic views. From $150; intercontinental.com

Dvorec Zemono

Day Tripping Vipava Valley is a popular recreation area for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and paragliding. But no matter what you do, stop at Dvorec Zemono for a long lunch or dinner. Top chef Tomaz Kavcic prepares traditional Slovenian cuisine (think trout, pork, beef, and even bear) with a modern flair. zemono.si

Lipica Stud Farm/Edition Boiselle/Gabriele Boiselle

Lipizzan Horses In a village not far from the Italian border, 300 white Lipizzans call the Lipica Stud Farm home. Carriage rides, horseback riding trails, and the “Tale of Lipica” show are big draws. The famous breed was initially developed for the Habsburg Empire and the stud farm dates to 1580. lipica.org

Slovenian Tourist Board

Orange Wine Explore the mysteries of the hugely popular orange wine at the Prus Wine Cellar, a stone’s throw from Croatia in the White Carniola region. Simply put, orange wine is a white made like a red. Oenophile adventures include a chilled red and white blend called Cvicek favored by locals. vinaprus.si

Slovenian Tourist Board

Bee Therapy Resting in a chamber next to a buzzing beehive soothes and purifies the spirit, according to the keepers of a non-aggressive Carniolan bee native to Slovenia. Honey-oriented spas and saunas are part of the country’s growing apitourism (bee tourism) trend promoting health and well-being. apiturizem.si

Slovenian Tourist Board

River Rafting Slovenians consider the River Kolpa on the Croatian border the country’s longest coastline. Raft or canoe with a private guide through gorges, rapids, and gravel beds surrounded by untouched forests known for their biodiversity. The Kolpa is also popular with anglers. slovenia.info

Posestvo Pule

STAY: Posestvo Pule This large, scenic estate situated on a plateau in the middle of a forest has been around for so many generations that each of the nine cabins is named for an ancestral wife. About an hour’s drive from Ljubljana, it serves as a tranquil haven and a jumping-off point for outdoor adventures. From $200; pule.si

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