Why Slovenia? Many asked me this question before I left for my first-ever Eastern European frolic.
Slovenia? Slovakia? No one really knows the difference between the two or where these countries even are, right? I went to Slovenia with an -enia because of the nature.
WATCH: Why South African travellers should start choosing Eastern European destinations
Slovenia is ‘Little Switzerland’ in a sense. Here, you won’t find chocolates or cuckoo-clocks aplenty, rather every hue of green and every hue of blue. It’s clean, quiet, is a wine and cheese producing country and it’s much cheaper spending a week here than it would be in Switzerland.
Want to spend a week in Slovenia? Here's a quick itinerary:
Lake Bled: One night
From Ljubljana to Lake Bled: After spending 2 days in the capital of Ljubljana, eating all the pizza and all the ice cream I could stomach/afford, I made my way to Lake Bled for a night.
It’s super simple to get there. The Ljubljana central bus station has a bus going there every hour in summer, and it costs around €5. Just 45 minutes later, you’ll arrive in Bled.
Um, this place is magical.
More crowded than most other Slovenian towns as tour groups love this place, which subsequently pushes up the price of coffee, food, etc., however, it is a sight for sore eyes.
You can visit Bled Island by boat, walk up to Bled Castle for some spectacular views, or cycle around Lake Bled itself.
I opted for laying next to the lake on a picnic blanket while eating strawberries and drinking local beer with a friend. We watched the world go by, and went for a dip in the lake as professional rowers glided past. (The lake is also very much frequented by those who enjoy the core strain of Stand Up Paddleboarding).
Go chasing gorgeous gorges - sitting 10 minutes from Bled is the 1.6 km long Vintgar Gorge. At €10 entrance, it’s a bit steep. But it’s a nice hour and a half spent walking to-and-fro next to blues and greens so blue and green you wonder whether it’s photoshopped.
Most na Soci: One night
From Lake Bled to Most na Soci: When I told my Bled Airbnb host that I was going to Most na Soci, she said, “Wow excellent choice.”
That excited me as she was native to the area.
“But it’s a nightmare to get there,” she added.
Luckily, at this point we had a car. A car is a good idea if you’re heading into the Julian Alps and up to the Soca Valley. Buses are infrequent, so hiring a car might just be the best way for you to see more in a short amount of time.
Still, getting to Most na Soci was a bit of a nightmare. Only because you must cross a mountain to get there. And the pass is hella scary. Defined by sharp twists and turns, be sure to be well rested and focused when you take it on as even the slightest lapse in concentration might cost you.
Or the safer option: You can also load your car or just yourself onto a train from Bled Jezero railway station and head straight to the tiny town of Most na Soci.
Such a tiny town.
There is, almost, nothing there.
READ: I travelled all the way to the Slovenian Alps because of a chef – and then didn’t eat at her restaurant
The town has two restaurants. So I ate pizza for lunch and for dinner at the very same place. (Not really complaining, though).
Besides, the other restaurant was reviewed as “disgusting” on TripAdvisor, so it really didn't entice me as a customer.
Here, I had my 'cabin the the woods' experience as I booked a cute little cabin at Guesthouse Sterk, a lovely stay overlooking the Most na Soci town.
Sometimes a ‘nothing town’ can really be something.
Kobarid: Two nights
(Or stay here for an entire week and explore all the surrounding towns like Bovec, using Kobarid as your base.)
From Most na Soci to Kobarid: A quick 25-minute drive away sits the gateway to the Soca River and its many water sports – it’s known for rafting and kayaking, in particular.
The town is just as charming as Most na Soci, however as it caters more to outsiders, it has excellent restaurants and supermarkets that offer you a variety of dining and self-catering options.
Hiking is just as big here as there are various trails scattered throughout these mountains. And be sure to walk to the refreshing Slap Kozjak waterfall (also costs €4) - another idyllic interaction with the greens and blues of the area.
Why Slovenia? To reiterate: all the blues and all the greens.
Find Your Escape by signing-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe here. Or download the News24 App here, to receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile.