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Discovering Slovenia

Melanie takes the emerald route

Travelling is part of my job – every journey is so special! I went on an exciting tour of Slovenia at the end of March. Above all, I wanted to explore our cycle tour along the Emerald Route and of course get to know other parts of the country. Here’s a summary of my experiences:

The lakes

The journey to Slovenia from Austria is super-easy and comfortable by train, there was even a direct connection from Salzburg! The starting point is the Health Resort Bled in the region of Upper Carniola. At this time of year, it is still quiet and contemplative, but the place has already become a popular summer holiday destination. There’s a reason why the most photographed spot is the church on a small island on Lake Bled!

The next morning starts with a transfer to Triglav National Park and the Pokljuka Plateu. I cycle past romantic pastures and down into the Bohinj Valley. Once in the valley I cycle towards Bohinjsko Jezero, the cyrystal-clear lake is also part of the national park. Along the cycle route there are always great views of the Triglav, which is the highest mountain in Slovenia, sitting at 2,864m.

The mountains

After an overnight stay in the super 4**** hotel in Bohinjska Bistrica you go in the car on the train – you don’t see that every day! The journey passes through dark tunnels and small towns to the stop: Most na Soči. The Soča Valley has long been an insider tip for holidaymakers. The colour of this turquoise-blue river alone is overwhelming and you have to see it once in your life! Next stop is at the Kolovrat viewpoint, with a priceless view over the Soča Valley and the Julian Alps. But one is also reminded of the hard fights of the First World War.

A hiking trail leads through the former trenches. Today you can easily walk back and forth between the Slovenian-Italian border. At Josephin’s there is a very special lunch with countless courses. Her secret recipe: seasonal and traditional cuisine! It is not a typical restaurant, but when she is at home, everyone is welcome. A visit to their museum with many treasures from the First World War is also a must.

The wine

In the late afternoon I reach the wine region Brda! From a lookout tower there is a panoramic view of this beautiful landscape. Between the vineyards it shines white and pink: the cherry blossom! After a tasting with a view in Šmartno, the route goes directly to the guesthouse in the Vipava Valley. This valley is also known for its wine and fruit! Now I have arrived on the Emerald Route.

The ocean

The route continues to Divača through romantic villages. A highlight is certainly Lipicia – home of the world-famous Lipizzaner horses! The next stop is Muggia. This small Italian town is just across from Trieste (excursions possible by boat!).

An ice cream to go and it is already time to say goodbye to Italy. I cycle back to Slovenia along the coast. The coast of the Slovenian Riviera is not quite 50km long – but sea is sea after all!

The capital

Unfortunately, my time in Slovenia is almost over. Before I take the train home from Ljublijana, I fortunately have time for a small tour of the Slovenian capital! It is a spring-like day and the city is busy, it’s hard to get a table in one of the cafes and restaurants on the Ljubljanica river. The cityscape with the castle remind me a little of Salzburg…but maybe that’s only because it’s time to go home!

My conclusion

Slovenia is definitely worth a visit! A small and manageable, but absolutely varied country. You will find friendly people everywhere, who have a good awareness of the environment and quality food!

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