If you’re sick and tired of only doing the same old touristy stuff, think about visiting Slovenia. With its fairytale landscapes, Alpine mountaintops, countless lakes and gorgeous valleys this Slavic country is an absolute jewel, whether you’re traveling solo or not.
Slovenia is the perfect destination when it comes to escapism – ideal for adventure travelers, foreign culture explorers, digital nomads, and basically anyone who wishes to take a deep plunge into a brand new world and leave behind their boring daily routines. Here are 5 fun things to do in Slovenia if you want to forget about your everyday life and have an otherworldly experience during your trip. Don’t worry – visiting the majestic, yet sometimes overcrowded lake Bled isn’t among them.
1. Raft on the Soca river
The Soca river is a 138km long natural beauty that rises in Slovenia, crosses the Italian border and then flows directly into the Adriatic Sea. Piercing cold all year round, but gorgeous nonetheless, the river is known for its crystal clear emerald waters in the shallower parts, which have contributed to Soca being dubbed as one of the most beautiful rivers on the entire globe. Its stunning waterscapes are so breath-taking that some parts of The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian were filmed on its shores. And come on, who does the escapism and otherworldly adventures better than Narnians?
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could go rafting on the deeper, more perilous parts of the river. Most of the towns situated on its riverbank offer guides and equipment for rafting, kayaking and other similar water activities.
2. Visit the haunted Devil’s Tower
A fan of chills and thrills, haunted mansions and ghost stories? Go visit Hudicev Turn, a.k.a. the Devil’s Tower. It’s a small two story building, which initially served as a pavilion, and graced the gardens of the now ruined Soteska Mansion. With a richly painted interior in otherworldly motives and a typical Baroque exterior the pavilion has been named Hudicev Turn. Back in the days the local aristocrats used to gather in it for hedonistic activities, which made villagers believe devils were gathering inside, hence its name. Legend has it, the screams of the girls who’ve been wronged there and their restless spirits are still haunting the tower.
3. Spend the night at the wooden huts in Velika Planina
Step outside the digital age and into Velika Planina (“great mountain”). Its herdsman settlement offers the best possible escapism under the stars if you want to distance yourself from the world of technology, overcrowded streets and metropolitan cities. Nestled on the mountain’s hills are dozens of one-room wooden houses, known as šinkel huts. With its unique architecture, mountain air, green landscapes and starry nights the settlement is the embodiment of the perfect getaway destination.
Tip: you can visit the tourist wooden huts all year round and enjoy the main lodge’s Slavic menu, but if you visit the area during the summer when the herdsman are residing in the region, they’ll be more than delighted to invite you inside the non-tourist huts over lunch and share some of their homemade dairy produce with you.
4. Go back in time in medieval Piran
If you want to experience the world of ancient Slavs, but the wooden huts are a bit too much for you, visiting the town of Piran is a great alternative. With a colorful history that includes pirates and foreign domination under various powers, this coastal town breaks the barriers of space and time. The medieval architecture, gorgeous promenades and authentic atmosphere make Piran one of the best towns to visit during a vacation in Slovenia.
5. Cosplay Gandalf in the Skocjan cave system
If revisiting Narnia isn’t exactly your idea of an otherworldly experience in Slovenia, try revisiting Middle Earth’s Moria – because that’s exactly what you can do while roaming the vast Skocjan cave system.
The underground canyon spans up to the astonishing 150 meters in height and even though the river running under the bridges and walkways can’t measure up to the Balrog’s fiery chasm, you can let your inner Gandalf have some fun by shouting “You shall not pass” and “Run, you fools” at the non-suspecting tourists around you. Or you can just take in the natural karst beauty of the cave system and enjoy it without engaging in any Tolkien-inspired activities.