3 simple reasons you should travel in Slovenia
Slovenia. One of Europe's smallest countries, Slovenia is also one of the continent's most beautiful - and underrated. Nestled between Italy, Hungary, Croatia and Austria, Slovenia is full of history, beauty and a true melting pot of cultural influences. After spending 6 days roaming Slovenia from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, here's 3 reasons why you should make some time to discover Slovenia this summer. Travel in Slovenia Now that the sun is slowly but surely coming back out to play here in Europe, the thought of the next big summer holiday tends to tease everyone’s thoughts away from the slog of winter life. Amongst the Brits, South-Eastern Europe doesn’t seem to get a huge look in – and for what reason, I do not know. Whether it’s a summer of European travel you’ve got ahead of you or just a sun-soaked long weekend, Slovenia deserves to make the shortlist - and for the three of the simplest reasons you should ever travel at all. 1. City to beach, caves to castles: Slovenia has it all I'm not exaggerating. Slovenia seriosuly has it all - everything you could wish for from a trip in Europe. Romance? Stroll the gorgeous bridges in the picturesque Old Town of the capital city, Ljubljana. Adventure? Go white water rafting on the Soca River, or tour the 20,500-metre-long Postojna Caves. Calm and serenity? Swim in the picture-perfect Lake Bled and enjoy a traditional cream cake with a vista of the lake's famous castle. From my (almost) one week stint there last summer, I managed to squeeze in white water rafting on the Soča River, touring in the 20,500-metre long Postojna caves, swimming in and cycling around Lake Bled, I spent the night at an outdoor street festival in Ljubljana, I ate a beautiful dinner at an open-air cinema at the top of a CASTLE?! overlooking the city... And there’s so much more. I barely scratched the surface on my first trip to Slovenia. And who would have thought from a country so small? From paragliding to hiking, to chilling on the beautiful Mediterranean coast. It’s got it all. 2. It’s cheap. Money is usually a huge determiner as to where you choose to visit – so why is it that people insist on visiting the massively overpriced and hugely touristy destinations? Western Europe isn’t the centre of the Euro-holidaying world, surprisingly, and although Spain, France and Italy are all beautiful countries there are – wait for it – many places that are just as good and, lo and behold, some of these off-the-beaten-track destinations are actually better places to travel. Noticeably underrated as a country to travel, Slovenia is somewhere where you can buy a glass of wine in the centre of the romantic capital city overlooking the river for a SINGLE euro. One Euro! And where you can eat like a queen at the top of a castle at sunset for less than a lunch (albeit a big lunch…) at Starbucks. For the budget-minded traveller, this is heaven - especially as travel in Europe can get expensive. For those with more cash in their pockets? THIS IS ALSO HEAVEN! The best of the best is more attainable than many top destinations, while the quality and experience is just as memorable. I mean, who doesn't like to save money, right? 3. It’s incredibly beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful, in fact. The only time in my life where I’ve actually been physically taken aback by the view in front of me was on my approach to Lake Bled. It almost looks photoshopped it’s so beautiful. And the best thing about it? Even though it was busy, it wasn’t overcrowded. I rode a bike around the lake and then swum in the crystal clear waters all without being hounded by hoards of holidaymakers or people trying to sell me a flashing piece of plastic of some description. The week after my visit to Slovenia I was in Italy, and upon reading my unnecessarily huuuuuuge guide to the country, I decided to take a day trip out of the built up city of Milan and head to Lake Como – recommended as one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. In comparison to Lake Bled, it was disappointing to say the least. Like holidaying on the British seaside after a trip to the Thai Islands. That disappointing. I also was lucky enough to bag a lift with a very friendly Catalonian guy I met in my hostel when I visited the caves, and therefore equally lucky enough get to view the amazing scenery Slovenia had to offer. So that’s it. These may be three incredibly simple reasons that Slovenia should be on your travel radar this summer, but travel isn’t about over-complicated justifications and pretentiousness. The simple beauty of Slovenia might just be the relatively undiscovered aspect of it – just get there quickly before the tourists take over.