Lake Bled - Slovenia by James Southorn via Flickr Creative Commons

The mountains, rivers, and lakes of Slovenia form a natural playground for outdoor entertainment. The nation’s wealth of caves and subterranean lakes invites exploration, while above ground three distinct regions of vineyards produce a variety of wines to tempt enthusiasts. Whether a leisurely stroll to one of Lake Bled’s scenic passes or a strenuous hike to the top of Mount Triglav, is more your speed, there’s something for everyone.

Slovenia is a country with four distinct seasons, so no matter what time of year you visit, there will be things to do. Weather permitting, walking, horseback riding, boating, and fishing are all possible in various locations year round. Slovenia is particularly fond of its white-water rafting, hiking, and swimming, which are best experienced in the summer. Snow falls heavily during winter, making cross country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing popular in many parts of the country.

Some of Slovenia’s best fishing is found in and around Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park known for their grayling, brown, rainbow, and marble trout. Anglers can purchase a day license from the Bohinj information center, take a guided tour from a local hotel such as The Impel Bohinj, or go on a daytrip through Fauna Bled Fly Fishing to various rivers, including the Sava Bohinj, the Radova, and the Soča.

For many visitors, the best way to appreciate the beauty of a place is by hiking. There are many self-guided paths to explore, including the famous seven-day Purple Trail on the Slovenian Mountain Trail. From May to September, guided hiking expeditions can be arranged through Bled-based Helia Travel Agency. The guided Lakes and Valleys Tour takes visitors through some of Slovenia’s famous spots, including Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. Alternatively, LifeTrek Slovenia specializes in year-round, one-day trips to a number of Slovenian destinations, including the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park.

Slovenia has thousands of caves bound together in complex underground networks. Postojna and Škocjan are two of the most famous, both of which offer guided tours. Adventurous types can try their hand at caving in some of the lesser known lairs with the help of an experienced guide. Roundabout Tours regularly takes visitors on an underground lake and cave adventure that includes rafting and clambering through the mysterious Križna Caves, once home to the now-extinct cave bear. Advanced participants can try the PAC Tours summer day package, which involves canoeing to the north side of Lake Bohinj then descending by rope to explore the abyss of the Govic Cave. For something really different, consider joining a cave cycling tour, where participants ride through a former lead mine at Mežica, near Mount Peca operated by Mountain Bike Nomad.

Thrill-seekers may enjoy white-water rafting on one of Slovenia’s mountain-fed rivers. The Soča boasts some of Slovenia’s best rafting, and Soca Rafting offers a challenging one-hour adventure which brings participants face to face with the Boka Waterfall. For beginners and families, 3Glav Adventures Emerald river adventure offers a great day of hiking, swimming, and rafting along the Class III Soča River, the Class III/IV Save Bohinjka, or the Class II Sava Dolinka.

Swimming is possible in the fresh waters of Slovenia’s many lakes and rivers, as well as the in the salt water off the 24-mile Mediterranean coastline, notably calm, clear and clean. The historic village of Piran draws many visitors to swim off the pier. The glitzy resort town of Portoroz has real beaches and is also popular with holidaymakers. Viator offers daytrips from Ljubljana to Piran and Portoroz which include swimming in the Adriatic.

Inland, the cool, green waters of Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj invite summer swimming, and many hikers like to cool off in the rivers and waterfalls lining the trails. Strell Swimming Adventures offers four-day excursions to the beautiful lakes, forests, and waterfalls of Triglav National Park. Many thermal spas and hotels also have pools for visitors to enjoy.

Skiing and snow sports are popular in Slovenia during winter. Slopes at Cerkno, Kanin, Krvavec, Podkoren, Rogla, and Vogel offer skiing for a range of abilities. There are also slopes at Kranjska Gora and Maribor Pohorje which are known for hosting World Cup races. Planica has the longest jump in the world and SKISCHOOL.Si Kranjska Gora offers lessons at the Kranjska Gora and Podkoren resorts. While there are plenty of lodges for snow-goers to stay at, many lowland hotels and tour operators like Label Outdoor Specialists offer special day trips from Ljubljana.

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