Did you know that Slovenia can claim to be the third greenest country in Europe, with forests that cover more than two-thirds of the land? It is also a country that is home to a fairytale land full of mountains, lakes, crystal clear rivers, beaches and wildlife.
The small territory at the heart of Europe is still growing as a tourist destination and one of the best ways to travel is in my favourite form of transport, a VW campervan.
I have been finding out more about Slovenia as a holiday hotspot. Here are nine reasons to visit.
1 Sleep near the country’s best hiking spots
Slovenia is top hiking destination. You can explore the Triglav national park, the 270km Juliana Trail and many other beautiful locations for walkers.
Brilliantly, there are many options for sleeping in a campervan right next to the hiking trails. These include campsites, big, small, cute or hidden in the nature.
A van also allows you to pick the view from your house on wheels and change it every day.
2 For cycling
Besides hiking, cycling trails are another great outdoor activity Slovenia can offer. You can explore routes along the Adriatic coast, through the vineyards of Goriška Brda, see the Karst plateau or enjoy breath-taking mountain trails.
A campervan fitted with a bike rack gives you the option to be ready and flexible for a cycle any time you fancy.
3 For adrenaline sports
Slovenia has a variety of adrenaline sports on offer, on rivers and lakes and in valleys and mountains.
You could try canyoning or rafting on the Soča river. Or how about taking in a mountain view from on hight with a paragliding instructor?
There are also options to go wakeboard on freshwater lakes or scuba dive in the Adriatic sea. And how about surfing, if that is a sport that you have always wanted to try?
4 to try other water-based activities
For a water-based sport that is less frantic and high on adrenaline, how about SUP – stand up paddle boarding – or kayaking?
There are many lakes in Slovenia and it is difficult to imagine nicer scenery than on Lake Bled. For outdoor and water sports fans, Bohinj lake is even better. You can SUP or explore this lake, which is located between mountains, in a kayak or canoe.
Even better still, in a campervan you can park up and sleep just metres from the lake in one of the country’s best campsites.
5 For safer travel
Luckily, Slovenia wasn’t hit hard by Covid 19 so it is considered one of the safer places to visit. Besides safety in general, travelling in a campervan is one of the best ways to avoid mass tourism.
This is especially the case in the quieter months, such as September, October, November, May and June.
Slovenia is also one of the safest countries in the world in terms of crime. For example, the capital of Ljubljana is small but very relaxed and beautiful. The old town surrounding the river Ljubljanica will take you back in time. You can find camper stops and campsites inside the city, too.
6 To enjoy local food
Since campervans are equipped with a gas stove and kitchen utensils, it would be a shame not to use it for preparing a meal next to a lake, river or the Adriatic Sea. You can buy local produce as you travel.
Like the country’s landscape, food and drinks are diverse as well. When you feel like treating yourself, why not park up and eat out enjoying Mediterranean pasta, Adriatic seafood or Hungarian goulash.
7 Explore on quiet roads
Slovenia has a great road network across the country and in particular there are some lovely quiet road tours that are well suited to campervans. Get away from the busy main roads and see the real and histroic Slovenia.
From a campervan you often get a much better view because your are higher up than a regular car – and because holiday drivers tend to be a bit slower you enjoy the scenery and views much more from the camper.
8 Cheap flights from the UK
There are two great options for arriving to Slovenia from the UK. You can take an Easyjet flight directly from London Gatwick to Ljubljana airport. Return tickets start from only €27.
A second great option is to fly with Ryanair from London Stanstead to Trieste. It’s a city in Italy located only 100kms from the Slovenia capital Ljubljana. Return tickets are starting from €25.
9 For great freedom
There are many great things about travelling with the van, but the most important of all is freedom. You can change the locations every day because a camp is set up in a matter of minutes. You can change where you sleep, eat and rest in the best locations with different view every day if you wish, or stay put for a few days at a time. You can also check the weather and adjust your travel to it.
When in Slovenia contact Balkan Campers. Their story is unique in the region because they rent out 17 old school VW campervans and also few newer ones. They will help you to create a perfect road trip plan, even though their motto is to have no plan at all. If you are flying to Ljubljana they will organise a free shuttle from the airport to their base. If you are flying to Trieste they will also organise a shuttle for a small fee.
Contact them before booking at [email protected] and tell them secret password “FIONA”. They will open the door for you and offer 10% discount.