Slovenia is a curious destination. It’s one of Europe’s newest countries, and it’s still regularly confused with Slovakia, so much so that the embassies apparently meet once a month to exchange incorrectly addressed mail. Although the country still flies under the radar for most travelers, it’s becoming more common to find Instagram posts of its turquoise waters, soaring mountains, and that inimitable church on an island. The secret of this beautiful destination is getting out.
There’s a lot going on in this small — just a little more than 100 miles across — country. The natural beauty is its principal drawcard, but the culture shared with notable neighbors Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia make it a European melting pot. You’ll find towns that only speak Italian, or Hungarian, and dishes that could belong in any one of the neighboring countries. Despite these shared commonalities and apparent struggle for its own identity, there is without a doubt something truly unique about Slovenia that makes it worth going out of the way to travel to. Spend a week there exploring the quiet streets of Ljubljana, the beautiful coastal town of Piran, and paddling the pristine lakes of Bled and Bohinj, and you’ll figure out why Slovenia simply can’t be missed.