Slovenia – Top places to travel to in 2020

Written by: Travel Inn

The fact that Slovenia, a postcard-perfect Eden of Alpine meadows, red-roofed villages, and shimmering Adriatic coastline, remains a low-key hideaway might be one of the great miracles of modern European travel. Let’s face it: If the country didn’t have such show-offs for neighbors—Croatia with its Game of Thrones filming locations; northeastern Italy with, well, Venice—it would have been overrun eons ago. But for now, Slovenia ticks all the boxes for crowd-averse travelers. Nature lovers, for starters, are buzzing over the 186-mile Julian Alps Hiking Trail that opened last spring and snakes through the pine forests and turquoise lakes of Triglav National Park, a UNESCO-protected biosphere. Oenophiles are waking up to the potential of Slovenia’s 52 grape varietals (a serious tally for a country smaller than Vermont), many of which excel as natural and amber wines. Swirl and sip them along the Lendava wine route in the east, or if you’re crunched for time, settle in for an impromptu tasting at Strelec, the sleek wine bar on the top floor of the 12th-century Ljubljana Castle that opened earlier this year. Any self-proclaimed foodie will have Hiša Franko on their must-visit list. The brainchild of Ana Ros (of Chef’s Table fame), this pink farmhouse in the whisper-quiet Soča Valley serves Alpine dishes from the future—think roebuck sashimi with juniper and chestnut, or goat’s-milk croissants stuffed with rosehip and roasted apple ice cream. It’s a sure bet for Slovenia’s first Michelin guide, which will be published in 2020. Even city breaks in Slovenia are rejuvenating. Ljubljana, in addition to being achingly charming with its steepled skyline and tree-shaded esplanade, happens to be one of the greenest cities on earth. It’s also home to cozy hotels, including the newly expanded Lev, whose sunny rooms offer some of the best views in town. Slovenia is easier to tack onto a Euro trip than you’d think: Hop on a train or catch a flight to Ljubljana (there are several new routes via Lufthansa, LOT, Swiss International, and Brussels Airlines), or drive from Zagreb (1 hour 40 minutes), Venice (2 hours 40 minutes), or Vienna (3 hours 50 minutes). —Benjamin Kemper


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