Natural life all the way

The Slovenian nation’s love of nature is written in our genes. Although we frequently enjoy the diversity of local temperaments and healthy rivalry between towns or even villages, we are unanimous in that our preserved natural and cultural landscape is our greatest asset. It allows us a high quality of life and immediate retreat into the realm of nature, among the forests and waters of Slovenia. There is probably no country in the world that would safeguard such a diversity of flora and fauna in such a small area. Slovenia is a land where mountains, the sea, fascinating Karst caves, and vast Pannonian plains meet in the heart of Europe. Mighty trees, springs of healthy waters, locally produced food, sustainable traditions and lifestyle enable deep relaxation. Welcome to the country that has some of the most extensively forested and protected natural areas in Europe. This is Slovenia Green, where the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, which makes Slovenia a global standard-bearer for sustainability, is awarded, helping to maintain our environmentally- and local communities-friendly lifestyle.

Intimate relationship with nature

Slovenians live in nature and are in touch with it. The Slovenian love of natural beauty is unconditional. Triglav National Park and its symbolic pan-Slovenian mountain and highest peak, Triglav, is protected by the Goldenhorn, the legendary white chamois with golden horns that embodies the ancient story of responsible behaviour towards nature, which is an even more pressing issue today. Exceptional natural biodiversity and an abundance of space where only plants and animals can be found are representative of one of the oldest national parks in Europe.

You can see for yourselves that Slovenia is the land of forests when looking down from the ridges of the Alps or from long-distance trails such as the Alpe Adria Trail, E6 and E7 European long-distance paths or the Juliana Trail. More than half of the country (almost 60%) is covered by forest, which means that almost every Slovenian town has a forest nearby. The largest protected natural area is in the Kočevsko region. Virgin and pristine forests can be found here, such as the UNESCO- protected Krokar primeval forest where three large European carnivores roam: wolve, lynxes and a large brown bear population. They are all shy and the likelihood of seeing them is very low. You will have better opportunities for wildlife watching with a trained guide than when wandering around the woods on your own. Slovenians know how to listen to nature and get closer to wilderness. We do not pick rare flowers in sensitive natural environments or scare birds and other wildlife. We do not dare tempt fate with torrential waters and do not venture into the mountains in bad weather. We acknowledge nature’s greatness and superiority. In addition to all the natural sights, Slovenia is also a land of clean and healthy waters, with almost 30,000 kilometres of watercourses in some 24,000 km2, which places our country among the top European countries with extensive water resources.

Fresh and seasonal food 

The best way to experience the local character is to try genuine, high-quality food that is based on local diversity and its production. Love goes through the stomach in Slovenia. Locally produced food is part of Slovenia’s sustainable vision. This food usually finds its way onto plates straight from a nearby field, forest or meadow. Promoting local self-sufficiency and the integration of rural and urban areas is at the very centre of the Slovenian Development Strategy. Top culinary masters use Slovenian ingredients and increasingly emphasise the importance of local production and seasonal produce. Ana Roš of Hiša Franko, the World's Best Female Chef of 2017, finds almost all the ingredients for her culinary masterpieces in the valley of the Soča River, where the air in the heart of Triglav National Park has the aroma of salt brought on the wind from the Mediterranean Sea. 

Slovenia prides itself on an incredibly diverse cuisine reflecting a wide range of influences. The delicacies from the Alps are redolent with nostalgia and childhood since they are linked with a 3,000-year-old tradition of alpine dairy farming and pastoralism on high-mountain plateaus where cows graze freely, giving the milk a special flavour. The shepherds on the plateaus make superb hard and soft cheeses. The produce of the Pannonian world and southern Slovenia has the aromas of cereal fields, crunchy bread, and cakes. In the Karst, where the tradition of meat ageing has been practised for several hundred years, you have to try the Karst prosciutto, traditionally dried in the bora wind and cut by hand to perfection. Delicacies from the sea, such as the Piran sea bass from the organic Fonda fish farm seasoned with the famous Piran salt, find their way to the tables of Mediterranean Slovenia.

Life in green

We Slovenians live our lives in green everywhere; even in towns, we are surrounded by vast nature and forests, fields and vineyards. We can relax in nature every day and forget our worries if only on a daily walk through the nearby meadow. Almost every Slovenian has their own little zen garden so that they can feel the soil between their fingers. Between the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst and Pannonian plains, it is possible to find a remarkable number of energy spots and mysteriously placed rocks with the help of which the ancient believers marked positive lines of nature’s force and the inflow of healthy energy. Strengthen your green self in the embrace of the Pokljuka spruces, the valley of Bohinj, among the birche groves of Bela Krajina, the forests of Kočevsko, under Karstic pines, in the valley of the Soča River, or on the peatbogs of the Maribor and Zreče Pohorje Hills. Explore Slovenia on foot or by bike. Cycling in pristine nature surrounded by breathtaking views and calmingly murmuring waters will fill you with a feeling of gratitude and serenity. Slovenia has a long tradition of beekeeping and it is not surprising that honey wellness experiences have developed. The buzzing of bees has a calming effect and you can fill your lungs with beneficial air in the apiary. Bees are known to be the best medication for all stresses we encounter due to life’s fast pace. Many honey experiences and natural sights can be found in the tranquil Upper Savinja Valley and Logar Valley.

The power and freshness of water

Slovenia has a network of living waters. The Julian Alps are the cradle of two of the most scenic Slovenian rivers, the emerald beauties known as the Soča and the Sava, which in its upper section runs as two rivers: the Sava Dolinka, starting its journey in Zelenci Nature Reserve near Kranjska Gora, and the Sava Bohinjka that originates at the Savica Waterfall near Bohinj. Southern Slovenia is characterised by the Kolpa River, the country’s warmest river. 

We Slovenians are also proud of our picturesque lakes. The most renowned are the wildly beautiful Lake Bohinj and the iconic Lake Bled. One of the most exceptional is the intermittent Lake Cerknica, which is the largest in Slovenia when filled with water and at the same time the smallest when water disappears into the mysterious Karst underground. Karst caves form underground systems and labyrinths created by water seeping through permeable limestone over millions of years. The Pivka River flows through Postojna Cave, the most famous and frequented Karst cave in the world, with more than 24 kilometres of underground tunnels. The Reka River in the Škocjan Caves, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, has carved out the deepest underground canyon in Europe.

Natural drinking water of the highest quality on the global scale can be poured from every tap. Between April and October, visitors can quench their thirst at public drinking fountains found in various parts of the capital, Ljubljana. The fountains are not merely urban decorations but remind us that water is a natural asset that must be available to everyone. Slovenia has entered the right to clean drinking water and the fact that water resources ensure the country’s sustainable supply into its Constitution.

Come taste the life in green at one of the Slovenia Green sustainability certified accommodations in Slovenia’s green destinations, declared the most sustainable destination in Europe at this year’s ITB Berlin International Tourism Exchange.


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