Slovenia tourist information
The Central European nation of Slovenia offers tourists a wide variety of landscapes in a small space: Alpine in the northwest, Mediterranean in the southwest, Pannonian in the northeast and Dinaric in the southeast.
The nation's capital, Ljubljana, has many important Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings, with several important works of the native born architect Jo┼że Ple─Źnik. Other attractions include the Julian Alps with picturesque Lake Bled and the So─Źa Valley, as well as the nation's highest peak, Mount Triglav. Perhaps even more famous is Slovenia's karst named after the Karst Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral. More than 28 million visitors have visited Postojna Cave, while a 15-minute ride from it are ┼ákocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Several other caves are open to public, including the Vilenica Cave.
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Further in the same direction is the Adriatic coast, where the most important historical monument is the Venetian Gothic Mediterranean town of Piran. The neighboring town of Portoro┼ż is a popular modern tourist resort, offering entertainment in gambling tourism. The former fishermen town of Izola has also been transformed into a popular tourist destination; many tourists also appreciate the old Medieval center of the port of Koper, which is however less popular among tourists than the other two Slovenian coastal towns.
The hills around Slovenia's second-largest city, Maribor, are renowned for their wine-making. Even though Slovenes tend to consume most of the wine they produce, some brands like Ljutomer have made their appearance abroad. The northeastern part of the country is rich with spas, with Roga┼íka Slatina being perhaps its most prominent site. Spa tourism has grown in importance in the last two decades, attracting many German, Austrian, Italian and Russian visitors. Important spas in Slovenia include Radenci, ─îate┼ż ob Savi, Dobrna, and Moravske Toplice.
Rural tourism is important throughout the country, and it is especially developed in the Kras region, parts of Inner Carniola, Lower Carniola and northern Istria, and in the area around Pod─Źetrtek and Kozje in eastern Styria. Horse-riding, cycling and hiking are among the most important tourist activities in these areas.
Triglav National Park (Slovene: Triglavski narodni park) is a national park located in Slovenia. It was named after Mount Triglav, a national symbol of Slovenia. Triglav is situated almost in the middle of the national park. From it the valleys spread out radially, supplying water to two large river systems having their sources in the Julian Alps: the So─Źa and the Sava, flowing to the Adriatic and Black Sea, respectively.
The proposal for conservation dates back to the year 1908, and was realised in 1924. Then, on the initiative taken by the Nature Protection Section of the Slovene Museum Society together with the Slovene Mountaineering Society, a twenty year lease was taken out on the Triglav Lakes Valley area, some 14 km┬▓. It was destined to become an Alpine Protection Park, however permanent conservation was not possible at that time.In 1961, after many years of effort, the protection was renewed (this time on a permanent basis) and somewhat enlarged, embracing around 20 km┬▓. The protected area was officially designated as the Triglav National Park. Under this act, however, all objectives of a true national park were not attained and for this reason over the next two decades, new proposals for the extension and rearrangement of the protection were put forward. Finally, in 1981, a rearrangement was achieved and the park was given a new concept and enlarged to 838 km┬▓ ÔÇô the area it continues to cover to this day.
The Karavanke mountain range and the Kamnik Alps are also important tourist destinations, as are the Pohorje mountains. Unlike the Julian Alps, however, these areas seem to attract mostly Slovene visitors and visitor from the neighboring regions of Austria, and remain largely unknown to tourists from other countries. The biggest exception is the Logar Valley, which has been promoted heavily since the 1980s.
Slovenia has a number of smaller Medieval towns, which serve as important tourist attractions. Among them, the most famous are Ptuj, ┼ákofja Loka and Piran. Fortified villages, mostly located in western Slovenia (┼átanjel, Vipavski Kri┼ż, ┼ámartno), have become an important tourist destination, as well, especially due to the cultural events organized in their scenic environments.
Various geography and location between different regions also reflect the country's climate. In the Northeast, the continental climate type with greatest difference between winter and summer temperatures prevails. In the coastal region, there is sub-Mediterranean climate. The effect of the sea on the temperature rates is visible also up the So─Źa valley, while a severe Alpine climate is present in the high mountain regions. There is a strong interaction between these three climatic systems across most of the country. Precipitation varies across the country as well, with over 3500 mm in some Western regions and dropping down to 800 mm in Prekmurje. Snow is quite frequent in winter and the record snow cover in Ljubljana was recorded in 1952 at 146 cm. Strong winds are not very frequent in Slovenia with exception of the Littoral region where the wind burja (bora) can reach velocity up to 45 m/s in gusts.
The Slovenian Railways company operates 1,229 km of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1Ôüä2 in) standard gauge tracks, 331 km as double track, and reaches all regions of the country. Electrification is provided by a 3 kV DC system and covers about 503 km.
Highways are the central state roads in Slovenia and are divided into motorways (Slovene: avtocesta, AC) and expressways (hitra cesta, HC). Motorways are dual carriageways with a speed limit of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph). They have white-on-green road signs. Expressways are secondary roads, also dual carriageways, but without an emergency lane. They have a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) and have white-on-blue road signs. Highway users in Slovenia are required to buy a vignette.
Since the first highway in Slovenia, the A1 motorway connecting Vrhnika and Postojna, was opened in 1972, a network consisting of 528 km of motorways, expressways and similar roads, has been completed, connecting Slovenia to the neighbour countries. The Slovene motorway route heading from East to West is in line with the V. European Transportation Corridor, the motorway heading in the direction North ÔÇô South is also in line with the Pan-European Corridor X.
Until the end of World War I, the main Austrian imperial port of Trieste (Slovene: Trst, German: Triest) was the main port in the Slovene Lands, and it was of crucial importance for Slovenian economy. With Trieste coming under Italy after the London Memorandum of Understanding, the Port of Koper was established in 1957. The port has since been much expanded, and in 2007 more than 15 million tonnes of cargo passed through it. In 2010, the Port of Koper surpassed the port of Trieste for the first time in its history, becoming the largest port in the region. Further development and expansion of the port in Koper is planned, together with the opening of a second rail track between Koper and the Slovene rail network.
Ljubljana Jo┼że Pu─Źnik Airport is by far the busiest airport in the country with connections to many major European destinations. Around 1.5 million passengers and 15,000 tonnes of cargo pass through the airport each year. Slovenia has two more international airports, Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport and Portoro┼ż Airport and several sport airports. There is also an active Air Force Base in Cerklje ob Krki.
There is no such thing as a single, uniform, distinct Slovenian cuisine. Due to the variety of Slovenia cultural and natural landscapes, there are more than 40 distinct regional cuisines.
Slovenian cuisine is a mixture of three great regional cuisines, the Central European cuisine (especially Austrian and Hungarian), the Mediterranean cuisine and the Balkan cuisine.
Historically, Slovenian cuisine was divided into town, farmhouse, cottage, castle, parsonage and monastic cuisine. Soups are a relatively recent invention in Slovenian cuisine, but there are over 100. Earlier there were various kinds of porridge, stew and one-pot meals. The most common meat soups are beef and chicken soup. Meat-based soups were served only on Sundays and feast days; more frequently in more prosperous country or city households.
There is a variety of sausages in the Slovenian cuisine, the best known of which is Kranjska klobasa.
One of the most popular fast-food dishes in Slovenia is burek.
Slovenian national dishes include Bujta repa, Ri─Źet, Prekmurska gibanica, Potica, Ajdovi ┼żganci, Jota, Mine┼ítra, Pr┼íut, Kranjska klobasa and ┼Żlikrofi.