Country profile

About Slovenia

Squeezed in between Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary, Slovenia is one of Europe’s best kept secrets, packing a huge range of landscapes and climates into a relatively tiny landmass. From the Alps in the north to the Mediterranean coast to the south, from massive, ancient forests to open fertile plains, Slovenia is a country of incredible contrasts. It is also one of Europe’s least populous countries, with just 2 million residents sharing the invigorating open spaces and thriving cultural cities.

Natural beauty abounds in Slovenia, with over 300 waterfalls and 8,000 spectacular caves, including the popular Postojna Cave and Škocjan Caves, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More than half of the country is covered with forest, and this, combined with the winter sports opportunities of the Alps, makes Slovenia the ideal destination for an outdoor, active break. Hiking, horse riding and cycling are all popular ways of exploring this stunning landscape, but beware - Slovenia has one of the largest brown bear populations in Europe. In fact, according to the Slovenia Tourist Board, although Slovenia occupies less than 0.004% of the Earth’s total landmass, it is home to 2% of all land creatures, with over 24,000 different species inhabiting the country.

For the less energetic, the country is famed for its many natural spas, in the north east of the country and along the short Adriatic coast, offering a wide variety of relaxing treatments to enhance both body and soul. This ‘spa-culture’ reflects the country’s overall approach to health and wellbeing, which tends to be more pro-active and more holistic than the Western European way. This makes it an attractive destination for medical tourists who want to travel abroad for a hip or knee replacement, cosmetic surgery or cosmetic dentistry.

Slovenia is one of the newest countries in Europe, having declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. It joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the Euro in 1997. Despite this, the country is rich in history and tradition, with many delightful medieval towns and castles dotted across the landscape reflecting the many different conquering armies that have claimed the land down the centuries.

The capital Ljubljana mixes the history of breathtaking Baroque and Viennese architecture, with a modern, European feel, kept young and vibrant by the large student population who create a lively nightlife. Here, as across the country, you’ll find excellent standards of locally produced food and wine, served by friendly, hospitable locals, many of whom count English as their second language. Ljubljana boasts a rich mix festivals, concerts and cultural events throughout the year.

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Quick facts

Population: 2 Million
Currency: Euro
Capital: Ljubljana
Languages: Slovene
Religions: Catholic 71%