Slovenia's selection of activities for travelers belies its tiny size and population. In fact, Slovenia's compact dimensions are a boon for travelers: Nearly all of Slovenia's main attractions are accessible as day trips from Ljubljana, its capital city.
I've used Ljubljana as my base the past five days, and have traveled literally from the mountains to the ocean. Explore Slovenia with me through my photos, from crystal-clear alpine lakes, to the Adriatic Sea, to one of the most charming, hip cities I've ever visited.
Slovenia's capital Ljubljana is not only charming, but hip. Ljubljana has a thriving cyclist culture that rivals those you find in other cool cities like Montréal and Amsterdam.
Ljubljana is also the center of Slovenia's art scene, which takes the shape not only of official national universities and institutions, but in street art displays like these hanging shoes.
While the international media trashes E.U. "failures" like Italy, Spain and Greece, Slovenia is one of the currency union's greatest success stories. After gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia adopted the Euro in 2004 and has experienced steady economic growth ever since.
Need to get out of the city? Charming Lake Bled is a 90-minute journey from Ljubljana. Rent a canoe and take a trip to the castle at the center of Lake Bled.
The waters of Lake Bled, which originate from the snows of the surrounding Julian Alps, are stunningly beautiful. Crystal clear and clean enough to drink, the lake gives off an electric blue color.
Lake Bled is beautiful, but it's also full of tourists. For a quieter time, take the bus 30 more minutes to bucolic Bohinj, which is a better-kept secret.
Unlike Bled, Bohinj has actual sand beaches. Relax on the shore and enjoy the high summer sun, or escape from the heat in pure, crystalline waters.
Craving salt water? Head for Piran, a charming port town along Slovenia's 30 miles of Adriatic Sea coastline. Piran has a long and rich history, its eclectic blend of architectural styles belies its tiny size. Piran is just three hours from Ljubljana by bus.
Unfortunately, Piran's actual beach is small and often crowded with tourists. These beachgoers have set up shop in a creative spot, albeit one that's not so picturesque.
Slovenia is also home to several large networks of caves, including the Skocjan and Postonja Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. A trip inside the caves is exhilarating, but be warned: Photography is officially prohibited. Like other Slovenia attractions, the caves are less than three hours from Ljubljana by bus or train.
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