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Slovenia in a nutshell

Biodiversity and protected areas

Innovative way of travelling
This amazing 5-minute presentation is really Slovenia in a nutshell, packed with fast facts on this small, but diverse country. It has been released by the On Board organisation, getting ready for their September tour. They are promoting travel as a learning experience with a positive impact.
On Board Slovenia for September 2015
On Board Slovenia exciting tour for September 2015
There are not many lakes in Slovenia, despite the fact that it is one of the countries richest in water. The picturesque lakes Bled and Bohinj both lie in a wonderful alpine landscape, great for hiking and biking. The tiny country has plenty of wild rivers suitable for rafting, such as the emerald Soča river, possibly the most beautiful river on Earth - at least for a Huffington Post blogger as well as many tourists and locals - dominating an enthralling valley and making it an adventurer’s wonderland. There are over 300 breathtaking waterfalls, including Kozjak and Savica, numerous gorges, of which Vintgar has been recently featured on the Guradian's list of top 10 European canyons and gorges, and finally there are many thermal spas with healing spring waters and a vast selection of wellness centres. For its drinking, thermal and curative water, the country is at the top of the European water scale.

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 trekkinghiking, 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.

Mount Triglav with the Aljaž Tower is a landmark of Slovenia and a symbol of Slovenehood.

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.

However, the landscape would be incomplete without such romantic castles as the Predjama! Find more information and pictures in free downloadable publications, do not miss the August edition.

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.

I FEEL sLOVEnia
Do you know the reason why Slovenia has the word “LOVE right in the middle of its name? My wild guess: to make you fall in love with the country as well!
The slogan "Slovenia my country" expresses the love of the Slovene people for their country and it also stresses that its people make up the country as such. 
The Lippizan horses are well known all around the globe. The breed takes its name from one of the earliest stud farms established, located near the Karst Plateau village of Lipica. There are regular shows of the classical riding school at the Lipica stud farm. Visit Lipica on your way to the seaside or combine the visit with the Karst caves.
Lonely Planet gives their version of Slovenia in a nutshell in Six reasons to visit Slovenia, a gem at the heart of Europe: "Yet in an area less than a tenth the size of the United Kingdom you can find towering mountains, picture-perfect lakes, vast caves, elegant cities and fast-running rivers. With even just a few days at your disposal, its easy to pack all the country's major highlights into your trip without ever feeling like you're in a rush."
"Europe has been rapidly changing. Its capitals and big cities are converting into uniformed, globalized zones where everyone is looking for the comfort of something well known, yet still yearns to stand in awe of new discoveries. Fortunately, there are countries that have kept their unique sparkle, and Slovenia is certainly one of them," blogger Ivana Greslikova writes, heading to the Logar and Jezersko valleys places, which are less popular, yet very inviting due to their natural treasures.
Blogger Reeta Laaksonen claims Slovenia is One of Europe's Hottest Nature Destinations. She has been to this "pint-sized Central European country" numerous times. That's her "nutshell" description: "What keeps attracting me back to explore more each time is the combination of pure nature, wine and gastronomical offerings, and the hospitality of the local people. I also love the fact that, when it comes to hotels, food, and activities, it's a very affordable place to visit compared to other European tourist destinations." Enjoy her great photos of the coastal area.
"Slovenia took me by storm and every time I think about it, my heart beats faster. It was love at first sight," writes Danish blogger Miriam Risager. After "glamping" by the magical Lake Bled she concludes: "It was mind-blowing. M-I-N-D-blo-wing! Like stepping right into a fairytale that you never want to leave." Read about Miriam's adventures in Slovenia!
P.S.: This post is also featured on LinkedIn.
See also my blog post Living in Slovenia
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