Aug 9, 201210:26 AMTravel
The Best of the World Brought to You Courtesy of Jill Gleeson and Jason Holland
(page 1 of 3)
In these days of globalization, when cruise ships ferry passengers not only across the Caribbean but to the most exotic ports of call, when reality-show stars broadcast from the deepest interiors of developing nations, when satellite phones, Wi-Fi and Skype have made communication possible from the densest jungle to the most barren desert, how is it possible there are still spots left in Europe, of all places, to discover?
And yet, tiny Slovenia, wedged between Austria and Italy to the west and the north, and Croatia and Hungary to the south and the east, is just that hidden gem.
As a member of the European Union, it’s a safe and straightforward country in which to travel, with charming citizens who speak English and welcome visitors with wide grins.
Even so, Slovenia remains relatively untrammeled, that rare central European country that still feels mysterious. This may be partially due to its youth.
This Slavic nation was born just 21 years ago, when it declared independence from communist Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav People’s Army dispatched forces to the region following its succession, but fighting lasted a mere 10 days. Slovenia was never touched by the genocidal horrors that afflicted much of the rest of the former Yugoslavia.
Today, though it covers an area smaller than New Jersey, it is the wealthiest of the Slavic states, with a stunning topographical diversity that belies its size. From its towering, ancient Alps, to its shores that line the shining Adriatic Sea – and the rich, rolling valleys filled with fertile farmlands and vineyards that lie between – Slovenia is simply breathtaking.
And with world-class cuisine, a landmass still 60 percent covered by virgin forest and pristine rivers and a capital city unmatched in beauty and culture, it also manages to offer something for every guest staying within its borders. In fact, the country is so plentiful with pleasure that using a guide service – such as the first-rate Adventure Slovenia – to help negotiate them is a very good idea.