EXPLORE THE HIDDEN GEM OF EUROPE
Slovenia is one of those countries that often gets overlooked by people. And honestly, I have no idea why!
Slovenia is known for its mountains, perfectly reflecting lakes and in all honesty it gives you all the beauty of a Western European country but without the overwhelming crowds.
And while the Instagram famous lake Bled is known by many people, the rest of the country, well, not so much.
During my short time in Slovenia I quickly discovered that its home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges and that you pretty much bump into a typical church every few hundred meters.
My favorite way of traveling is to go on a road trip with either my own car or a rental car. I find it the best way to truly explore and discover a country.
And Slovenia definitely is an adventure when it comes to driving! There are plenty of cool and winding mountain roads, all with breathtaking views to boast.
And the food? Well I was honestly very pleasantly surprised that it’s a mix of Italian, Austrian and Balkan cuisine. It’s price is also very reasonable! For instance, I enjoyed a delicious 4 course meal at a luxury hotel for only €30!
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SLOVENIA
There’s honestly no wrong time to visit Slovenia. It just depends on what you want to do on your holiday! If you want to go hiking up in the mountains then you should book your vacation between the end of May and the end of October.
Even that Slovenia is a rather small country it comes with a very diverse climate. There are 3 distinct regions to be found in Slovenia: first we have the Northern part with the Slovenian mountains, here you will find an Alpine climate. the central lowlands have a more central climate and in the west you’ll find a more Mediterranean climate.
Now, unless you plan on going skiing it’s probably best to skip the Winter months. Even though that lake Bled covered in a carpet in snow has to be absolutely beautiful, I wouldn’t want to drive on these winding mountain roads when they’re covered in snow.
The best time to visit is in the shoulder months of April, May, September and October. This way you’ll still be able to explore most of the outdoor activities and you won’t have to deal with the typical Summer crowds and price increases.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN TRAVELING TO SLOVENIA
Language – The official and national language spoken in Slovenia is Slovene but Slovenia is also ranked among the top European countries regarding the knowledge of foreign languages. English is widely spoken and you will have no trouble communicating with people.
Currency – The official and only reliable currency you can use in Slovenia is the Euro. Exchanging money in Slovenia is pretty straight forward but I always find that the cheapest way to get some Euros is to simply take them out of an ATM.
Credit Cards & ATM’s – Credit and debit cards like Visa, MasterCard or American Express are widely accepted by all the tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants. However, you can still find some small bars or shops that deal with cash only. But there are ATM’s in every small city centre so you should have no trouble finding one. Gas stations everywhere accept payment by card, even for small amounts!
Safety – Slovenia is not just one of the safest places to visit in Europe — it’s one of the safest countries in the entire world. Ranking 7th on the Global Peace Index, Slovenia is a country where you can travel freely without any noteworthy concerns for your safety.
TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT TO SLOVENIA
It’s on the cheaper side – Compared to other countries in Western Europe such as Italy or France, Slovenia is a rather “cheap” country to visit. You can already find accommodation for as little as €10/night and the price of food and transportation is also low compared to other countries.
Vignette – If you’re doing a road trip chances are high that you’ll find yourself on the Slovenian highway at least once or twice. Before doing so you need to buy a vignette at a local gas station. I usually do this at the first gas station I see when I enter the country. The Slovenian vignette costs €7.5 for 1 week and you should put the sticker clearly visible on your front window.
Go wine tasting – Slovenia might be a small country but its wines are grand! You’ve probably never heard of Slovenian wine but during my stay I tried a couple of different ones and they are absolutely divine! In fact, I strongly recommend that you go to a wine tasting. The best way to do this is by going directly to a winemaker. They often offer this and have their wine for sale, you only need to explore the countryside a bit and find one.
Get out of Ljubljiana – Even that the capital of Ljubljiana is one of the most visited places in the country its real beauty lies in the surrounding nature and countryside!
🚘 ROAD TRIPPING THROUGH SLOVENIA
When it comes to choosing a rental car company things can get a little confusing cause there’s a lot of companies out there ready to rip you off.
Horror Story: In South Africa the rental car company that I booked with actually copied my credit card details and 1 day later my card was blocked. So there I was, in the middle of South Africa and without a credit card. Luckily we would switch to a different company the next day for the further duration of our trip but you really don’t want this to happen on your holiday.
You also don’t want any hidden costs added to your bill.
A good rental car company should include the following in your rental price: unlimited mileage and a fair fuel arrangement, third-party insurance of at least €7.5 million, damage insurance, theft insurance, towing cost if your car breaks down and cancel or change your reservation without any hassle.
For my road trips I always prefer booking with SunnyCars. Here you can already rent a car for as little as €27 per day and every single cost is included upon check out. Oh, and all of the things that I mentioned above that should be included are also included with them!
💡 TIP – Sometimes the local rental company will try to make you pay for additional insurance. This is in no way necessary cause SunnyCars offers you full coverage.