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3 Beautiful and Unique Spots To Visit In Slovenia

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Slovenia is a beautiful, natural paradise, including its soaring mountains, its stunning coastline and its beautiful rivers. Its unique climate means warm Mediterranean breezes on the coastline, with snow-capped peaks, even in the summer. Foodies are spoiled for choice as the country’s sophisticated cuisine comes from a mixture of cultures, leading Slovenia to be named the European Region of Gastronomy for 2021. With its gorgeous scenery and historic cities and towns, this European country is definitely a worthwhile visit and these three, unique locations are a must.

1. Velika Planina, Stahovica

Velika Planina (“Big Pasture Plateau”) is located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps of Slovenia. It has been compared to the mythical Narnia, which isn’t far off as parts of the Narnia films were made here. The meadow is dotted with wooden houses and hugged by the snowcapped Alps.

Velika Planina, Stahovica, Slovenia

This gorgeous, other-worldly alpine pasture is known for its unique microculture and has its own traditional costume of wooden shoes and a raincoat made from pine shavings. The food includes Trnic, a hard, parmesan-like cheese, formed in the shape of breasts. The wooden homes resemble Hobbit holes from the famous J.R.R. Tolkien stories and a local ethnographic museum features a knife carved with enchanted runes, to ward off curses.

However, Velika Planina also has a fascinating history. An American B17 Flying Fortress bomber plane called Liberty Bell crashed here on May 29, 1944, during World War II. It ended up in the beautiful alpine plateau where centuries of herders have grazed their cattle and sheep.

Velika Planina, Stahovica, Slovenia

Ten Allied soldiers were on the plane when it went down, two of which were killed on impact. Slovenia was under Nazi control at the time and two of the soldiers were captured by them. However, six other airmen were found by the local Slovene Partisans, an anti-Nazi resistance group. They were taken to a secret Partisan hospital, hidden in the thick forests of the area. Regrettably, the plane’s captain, Oto H. Hinds from Boulder, Colorado, died of his wounds and was buried near the secret hospital. His grave can be visited today, as well as the ruins of the hospital, by taking a beautiful walk from Kamniška Bistrica up to Velika Planina.

The locals took scrap metal from the downed Flying Fortress and used it in the construction of buildings. One of the cowherd huts here is fitted with a door that was once the hatch to the bomber plane.

2. Bled Island and Bled Castle

Bled Island, Slovenia Photo by Human Write/Wikimedia Commons

Located in northwestern Slovenia, Bled is a small municipality with an island and a village. Located in the center of the glacial Lake Bled, this was originally a health resort, visited by aristocrats from around the world. Nowadays, the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church and Bled Castle are major tourist attractions. The castle is fascinating due to its location, hanging off a cliff overlooking the lake.

Bled Castle, Slovenia
Photo by MrPanyGoff/Wikimedia Commons

The church was built in the 15th century and is popular for visitors, due to the 99 steps leading up to the door. Traditionally, local grooms carry their brides up the steps, while the bride keeps perfectly silent, in order to bring the couple happiness in the future. However, the church also features bells that visitors can ring for good luck.

3. Tuhinj Valley, Laze v Tuhinju

Tuhinj Valley, Slovenia
Photo by Doremo/Wikimedia Commons

What is today a beautiful drive through the lovely Tuhinj Valley, used to be the path marauding Turks took back in 1471. The valley is called “Tuhinjska Dolina” in Slovenian and is cut through with a road linking Kamnik and Vransko. A thirty-minute drive passes endless beautiful views, swaths of farmland, fortified churches, quaint villages, as well as great country inns and a thermal spa. Visit Motnik along the way, with its huge church and surrounding fields full of grazing cows.

Motnik in the Tuhinj Valley, Slovenia

Motorcycle enthusiasts should head to the town of Vransko, home to the Slovenian Motorcycle Museum, housing a large and impressive private collection. Make a stop in Laze v Tunhinju at the Meninc Farm, where the farmer brews his own delicious beer using his own hops.

Enjoy the beauty of Slovenia this year, taking in the beautiful vistas, delicious food and quaint towns and villages.

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Latest update: April 5, 2021