Slovenia: Europe’s Best Kept Secret

 

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret

Meet Jernej!Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret

From the capital city in Slovenia, Jernej and I met last year during my Europe trip when he hosted me for a couple days at his home in Ljubljana.

Born and raised in Ljubljana, Jernej is a proud Slovene that knows his country extremely well, and is always happy to host people on Couchsurfing and share some of his favorite places in the city.

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret

 

A chemical engineer at a prominent pharmaceutical company by day, you can usually find Jernej around Ljubljana with friends enjoying a cold lager at one of the amazing beer houses, or out on the open road with his beloved Honda motorbike, Jenny, discovering new mountain passes and the endless scenic opportunities that Slovenia has to offer.

 

 

Travel has always been an important part of Jernej’s life, and trust me, this guy has had some incredible experiences!  From studying and living in England at the Imperial College of London, to vacations to amazing places like Japan, Morocco, and Iran, his travel desires are always burning!Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret

One of the most welcoming, humble, and friendliest people I’ve ever might, it’s people like Jernej that make traveling so special.  We shared some amazing experiences in Slovenia, and it’s exciting to think about the fun times we will have during our next reunion – maybe the US, maybe Slovenia, maybe motorbiking through Asia – you never know 😉

 

Thanks for sharing Jernej!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Mystical Lake Bled!

 

Every traveler knows the feeling of excitement when heading on a new journey. Excitement about getting to know new places, new cultures, new acquaintances; and then that feeling of happiness when you return back.

That feeling arises in me when I see Kamniško-Savinjske Alps, Bled Lake, green forests, fields, pastures, and villages littered with churches through the airplane window. At that moment I know, I’m home!

 

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Rolling pastures in Triglav National Park above Lake Bohinj

 

Happiness overflows me every time I return to my Ljubljana, the nicest city in the world!

Surrounded by the green hills of Dolenjska, Notranjska and Zasavje regions on one side with green fields and forests, and bordered by Alps on the other, Ljubljana, the so called ‘white city’, is my home.

A little city full of greenery and packed with sports fanatics, Ljubljana’s soul is created by a mixture of different influences – Austrian Empire, Mediterranean Italy, and Balkan legacy of ex-Yugoslavia. One can take a short interactive walk through Slovenian history in Ljubljana’s Castle Museum, which will give the visitor an explanation why Slovenes are considered Germans of the Balkans.

A public city bike takes me to the banks of the Ljubljanica River in the center of town or to a Beerhouse for a cold lager. A short walk takes me on the top of the Castle Hill, where I can observe the city’s vibrant events such as odprta kuhna, or open air street theatre, or numerous bars packed with people enjoying cold beer or mulled wine during the winter.

 

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
View of Ljubljana from Castle Hill

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Ljubljana’s main Prešeren Square
Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
The famous Dragon Bridge

 

Just a short drive north is a symbol of our urban hiking obsession.  Šmarna Gora, also known as ‘city mountain’, has something for everyone.  Some of us enjoy excellent Slovenian food, others climb to the top in the morning to witness a beautiful sunrise, and another group climbs in the evening to watch Ljubljana’s main roads shine like streams of lava in the moonlight.

Slovenes are very generous people and always ready to help. We may be a little shy at first, but a glass of good wine or couple of beers will break down the barrier (which may originate in our heads due to the size of our country – the whole nation is as big as one of the Parisian suburbs 🙂 ). As the barrier falls, we are great hosts and you are most warmly welcomed.

The best way to soak in the country’s extreme natural beauty and diversity is to travel with a bicycle or motorbike. Enjoy one of the numerous events throughout the year such as the Fire Brigade Festivals, Christmas markets, Carvival at  Ptuju or Cerknica, and culinary festivals in the Kras region.

 

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Jenny on the Adriatic Highway!

 

As a mountainous country, our roads are very curvey and full of dramatic uphills and downhills. Let me list some suggestions for the perfect ride:

  • Around Kamniško-Savinjske Alps: Savinja River Valley up to Logarska Valley. Over Pavlič Pass and Jezersko Pass back to Ljubljana
  • Around Julian Alps: Passing Škofja Loka and Železniki over Sorica in Bohinj and Bled, over Vršič pass in Soča Valley to Karst and the coast. Visiting Postojna Cave on the way back to Ljubljana
  • Cerknica disappearing lake, over Bloke and Kočevje to Novo mesto and Otočec Castle on the Krka River through Kozjansko towards Štajerska Region – a wine and thermal water paradise

 

Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Views from Grintovec, the highest mountain of the Kamnik–Savinja Alps
Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Exploring Triglav National Park
Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Autumn in the mountains
Slovenia: Europe's Best Kept Secret
Views from Vogel Ski Center above Lake Bohinj

 

White Ljubljana is my home in the center of a small country on the sunny side of the Alps – where green nature, friendly people and beautiful women make me happy 🙂 !

Come and see for yourself

 

 

Slovenia: Europe’s Best Kept Secret

Leave a Reply