The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps face the Pannonian plains and the Mediterranean meets the mysterious Karst. To the north borders to Austria; Hungary is to the east; Croatia to the south and Italy to the west.
Slovenia is indeed a special place. Regardless of where you cross the border, you can expect to witness an exciting phenomenon: the sheer diversity of the landscape, which changes quite stunningly. A short drive of just over two hours will take you from the blue Mediterranean waters to Alpine peaks. From there, the Pannonian basin is not very far away, nor are the gentle rolling hills of Dolenjska. And then there is the mysterious underworld of the Karst. The common feature is the green...and unspoilt land. Everything is close at hand and easily accessible. A visit to Slovenia is an experience you are sure to enjoy.
The Capital is Ljubljana with approx 260,000 Population
Phone dial code: +386
Time zone: GMT/UTC +1
Climate: Continental in central Slovenia, alpine in the north-west and sub-Mediterranean along the cost and its hinterland.
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In the past few years, ski resorts have slowly but steadily become one of the most recognisable features of Slovenian tourism. A generous amount of snowfall is Mother Nature’s reward for the managers of Slovenia’s ski resorts for their efforts and investments in the development of airlifts. Most ski resorts offer aprčs ski, which meets the demands of modern clients who find it important, besides well-maintained ski runs and reliable service, to be able to fully enjoy themselves in the chalets on the slopes immediately after skiing.
Skiing is the national sport. Skiing and everything related to it boasts a venerable tradition in this country, and for many years – Slovenian skiers have delighted their fans with excellent results.
Natural parks are areas where we can still experience the bounty of primal nature with all of our senses. These parks are the pride of Slovenia. Protected parks all over the world have been created to protect the diversity of flora and fauna and natural habitats. The first nature reserves in Europe were established in Sweden in 1910, and Slovenia followed as early as 1924 when it established a protected area around the Triglav Lakes, becoming the fifth country in Europe to have a nature reserve.
The New Currency of Slovenia: The Euro (EUR), which was accepted since 1 January 2007
Food / Eating Out
Slovenia’s cuisine is strongly influenced by its surrounding nations. Some of its culinary delights include zganci which is roast buckwheat flour garnished with lard with cracklings, Jota which is a boiled dish with smoked pork and brodet, a Mediterranean fish stew.
If you are looking for a restaurant, the word you need to look for (or ask for if you are feeling ambitious) is ‘restavracija’ which is your average restaurant. But if you want to dine out more like a local you will have to find a ‘gostilna’.
Official Language: Slovene, in some nationally mixed areas also Italian and Hungarian. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
National Flag: three equal horizontal stripes in white, blue and red with Slovenian coat of arms on its left upper side.
Coat of arms: Three six-pointed yellow stars are symbols of the Counts of Celje with Triglav as a symbol of Slovenehood and underlying two wavy lines symbolizing Slovenian rivers and the sea.
Ljubljana's city centre shops offer, among other things, fashion wear from leading international brand names, clothing by a number of interesting local designers, glassware, crystalware, antiques, as well as contemporary and traditional Slovenian arts and crafts items.
Those walking the streets of the old city centre or along the Ljubljanica river banks should not miss Ljubljana's picturesque main open-air market, designed by architect Jože Plečnik. Apart from fruits, vegetables, and spices and herbs, the market offers almost all kinds of food, including a variety of Slovenian delicacies, such as the Karst prosciutto and the "potica" cake.
Apart from miscellaneous shops and a few department stores, the city centre boasts numerous sales galleries offering, among other things, a wide selection of art prints, which Slovenia is particularly renowned for. Located outside the city centre, in the northeastern district of Nove Jarše, is the BTC City, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe.
Many of the city centre shops are open from 8:00 to 19:00 on weekdays and from 8:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays, while most of suburban shopping centres are open throughout the week. American Express, Diners, Master Card-Eurocard and Visa credit cards are accepted by practically all the shops.
A large number of shops are labelled "Tax Free Shopping", which means that foreign citizens (other than the citizens of the European Union) may claim the refund of the Value Added Tax charged on the purchases of goods worth more than € 50 carried out on a single day in a single shop. Another condition for the VAT refund is that the goods are exported from the country within three months from the purchase.
More information: http://www.globalrefund.com.
The weather in Slovenia varies throughout the different regions. For up to date Holiday weather please visit: http://www.arso.gov.si/en/Weather/
Eating out in Slovenia, if you have a few Euros to spare, which is the new currency to be used, try some of the local wine as this is where some of the best wines in the world are produced. Slovenia now has a total of 38 wine varieties grown in 14 wine districts.