Just across the Adriatic Sea from the Italian region of Veneto (home to the stunning city of islands, Venice), lies the land of Slovenia. Only recently have this country's Alpine mountains, rolling hills and almost 30 miles of sandy beaches started to attract tourists from the UK, although this is by no means due to the lack of opportunities for an unforgettable holiday here! Despite its size, this country squashed on the coastline between northeast Italy and central Croatia has a lot to offer visitors who book Slovenia holiday rentals, be it an apartment in one of the bigger cities, like the capital Ljubljana, villas on the Adriatic coast or a cosy cottage in one of the more rural or mountainous areas. Discover Slovenia below ground as well as above, as Slovenia has an extensive cave system and houses one of the most well-known caves in the whole world, Postojna Cave, which has a double-track railway, allowing tourists to travel through the amazing cave with ease and view the incredible sights under the ground.
The central capital city of Slovenia is Ljubljana (pronounced lyoo-blyah-nah). The weather here is usually very pleasant during the summer, ranging between 25 and 30°C in July and August, and the average temperatures in winter are around 0°C. Thanks to its central location, it is easily reached from other European cities, so if you are doing a tour around Europe, then a lot of the time you can get direct trains, for example from Budapest, Zagreb and Vienna. Ljubljana is a fairly small city filled with pastel-coloured buildings and beautiful architecture, metropolitan enough to offer all of the amenities you wish for while renting one of the holiday apartments in Slovenia for your Ljubljana holidays, but small enough to keep that quaint small-town feel that is a characteristic of many central European towns and cities. There is a mixture of eastern and western cultures, and the aesthetics of the city take influences from both Italian Baroque and Art Nouveau periods, although there are still traces from the Roman culture and the Renaissance, too. Ljubljana Castle is a large medieval fortress which can be accessed either by foot, bike, public transport or by funicular railway. The hill up to the castle makes for a lovely walk and once you get to the top you'll be rewarded with beautiful views. Other things to do include a visit to the zoo, the Old Town, the Triple Bridge going over the Ljubljanica river for a good photo opportunity, or take a tour to discover all of the places you might otherwise forget! The Ljubljana nightlife is pretty lively thanks to the large student population in the city. Café Maček is a nice café/bar beside the river, which is particularly popular during the summer when you can sit outside on the terrace, or if you're looking for something a bit different, head a bit further out of town to Metelkova Mesto, a venue which used to be barracks for the Yugoslavian Army, and now holds events, gigs and exhibitions, and is a great chilled place with some very cool artwork and graffiti to have a few drinks before heading back to your holiday accommodation for a well-deserved rest!
Lake Bled is a much-loved tourist destination in the north west of Slovenia, in the town of Bled, situated at the foot of the southern Alps which lie on the border between Slovenia and the state of Carinthia in Austria. You can either choose to book self catering Slovenia holiday rentals in the Lake Bled area itself, or you could travel here from other parts of the country if you are staying in apartments or holiday rental properties elsewhere. For example if you are staying in a holiday home in Ljubljana, you can get here by taking one of the buses which run several times a day, and you can be in Lake Bled in 1hr 15, or catch a train (you might have to change at Jesenice) which will take you to the nearest train station, from where you will have to either walk or take a bus to the centre of town. Just above the lake you'll find Bled castle perched on a rocky precipice, which is definitely worth a visit, if only to get the spectacular views across the lake and mountains that make this area so precious. Travel 10-15 minutes out of Bled to the charming old town of Raovljica, which still has houses that date all the way back to the 15th century. It is a beautifully preserved town with plenty of attractions like museums, galleries, a Baroque mansion and architecture which tells the story of its rich past. Another brilliant way to get in touch with the past is by taking a ride on a steam train along the Bohinj railway, which goes over the Soča River via Solkan Bridge, one of the longest stone bridges in the world. The region of Bled offers lots of other activities to do, for example climbing in the Julian Alps, water sports like paddle boarding and kayaking (and of course swimming!), as well as fishing, cycling, walking and golf on the largest golf course in Slovenia.
Although Slovenia might not be everyone's first choice for a beach holiday, the Italian-influenced Slovenian coastline has some fine stretches of sand and also tends to be quieter than other well-known beach resorts such as Palma de Mallorca in the south of Spain. The main popular seaside towns along the coast here are linked by quiet coastal paths (which are also flat), making it easy to discover Slovenia's beaches by bike. Piran is a very picturesque seaside town with a style similar to that of Venice, with a lot of medieval architecture and a pretty square, Tartini Square, which is situated near to the lovely Cathedral of Saint George that looks over the town. Piran is anything but touristy; this jutting peninsula is quiet and historic, and at the edge of the town you will find some rocky beaches to laze on whilst looking out into the Adriatic Sea. If this sounds too quiet for you, then maybe you should head a bit further south along the coast to Slovenia's biggest seaside resort, Portoroz, where you'll find arguably the best stretch of sand available in Slovenia, as well as more tourist attractions such as its waterfront casinos. This area doesn't have the same Venetian atmosphere as some of the other seaside towns, so make sure you choose wisely depending on what sort of beach break you're looking for this summer. Other seaside towns which are worth a visit are the old medieval centre of Koper, and the fishing village, Izola, where you can view the little boats bobbing in its pretty marina while enjoying some of the best seafood the country has to offer!
If you're a big fan of skiing holidays in places like Tirol in Austria and the French Alps, but you're not such a fan of the price tag, maybe you should plan your next skiing holiday in Slovenia. Coming here for your ski trip makes for a different, unique skiing experience, where you can escape from the conventional ski-destinations like Italy and Switzerland, Vogel in the Julian Alps is probably the country's best ski resort, offering unspoilt slopes and beautiful views across the lake in Bohinj. Book on of the holiday apartments in Slovenia in the mountains for an unforgettable family ski trip! Although the altitude is not particularly high and the resort is only small, there are great snow conditions and the locals are very friendly. Other top ski resorts include Kranjska Gora, Bohinj, Kobla and Bovec to name a few. Also, one of the good things about it being small is that you only have to buy one lift pass, as this will allow you access to all ski areas. Cross country skiing is also a popular sport here, for example through the Logarska Dolina valley, or in Pokljuka or Kranjska Gora. Rental homes and other properties are widely available throughout Slovenia, and there is a large range too, which means that there is something suitable for every budget and all holidaymakers. So, what are you waiting for? Start your Slovenian adventure today!
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