Half of Slovenia's colourful landscape is covered by forests, but the country also has another jewel, a short, yet very nice coastline of the Adriatic Sea, with such Venetian style towns as Koper, Izola and Piran, and its biggest seaside resort Portorož. Let's not forget Slovenia's historic sights, including medieval towns as Maribor, Škofja Loka, Ptuj, Novo mesto or its capital Ljubljana. Be sure to spend at least a few days in the capital itself as it is a great city.
Slovenia is also known for active holidays: golfing at some spectacular golf courses, cycling and mountain biking, winter sports, water sports, including diving. Cave trekking, hiking, mountaineering and rock climbing are also very popular. There are more than 7,000 km of well-marked trails across hills and mountains, including the Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, the Karavanke Alps and the Pohorje massif. The most magnificent are the Julian Alps with its highest mountain Triglav, which is with its 2,864 metres (9,396 ft) also the highest mountain of Slovenia and the symbol of the Slovene nation and culture. It is depicted on the coat of arms and the national flag.
Mount Triglav is the centerpiece of the Triglav National Park, Slovenia's only national park. You can plan your hiking holiday, choosing among Slovenia’s 400 two-thousand-metre mountains, most of which lie within the Triglav National Park. The best time is between late spring and early autumn, when the majority of mountain cabins are open.
There are over 8,000 Karst caves in Slovenia, including some of the world’s most beautiful. The biggest and most popular is the Postojna Cave, home of the proteus salamander or Where the ‘human fish’ lurks, as the BBC describes it: "Slovenia’s karst territory is a breathtaking and bizarre underworld where unimagined creatures swim through lightless grottos and monstrous caverns are used as concert halls."
The gem in the bosom of the Karst area is the Škocjan Caves Regional Park, comprising a network of eleven caves, with the 1400-meter long and 150-meter deep underground canyon of the Reka River. Visitors can choose among three different guided tours. The Škocjan Caves have been on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1986, and as the world’s largest underground wetlands on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance since 1999. The oldest tourist cave in Europe is Vilenica. It offered guided tours as early as in the first half of the 17th century. Today it is the venue of the "Vilenica" international literary award.
The second largest mercury mine in the world was in Idrija, with the history of mining dating back to 1490. Mercury is a relatively rare metal, whose use has long been irreplaceable in a variety of technical, chemical and industrial processes. The two largest mines in the world were at Almadén in Spain and Idrija in Slovenia, operational until recent times. In 2012 the Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija entered the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Idrija mine has been closed down and today there are tourist visits to the mine organised by the Idrija Mine Museum. It is an unforgettable experience to walk along the Anthony's shaft in the mine, first opened to the public in 1994.
The abandoned lead and zinc mines, combined with a series of underground caves and passages in the Meža Valley, near Mežica in the Koroška region, offer another type of adventure, not only ordinary tours for groups.
Around 2000 cyclists ride through the underground passages each year and more are expected as biking tourism continues to grow in the country.
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