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Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
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Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
@philhopkinsuk
7:00 AM 24th August 2021
travel

10 Reasons To Visit ‘Green List’ Slovenia

Bridge over the River Soca
Bridge over the River Soca
As Slovenia celebrates ‘going green’ this month, adventurous travellers with a penchant for the outdoors are being urged to visit one of the safest countries in the world.

Slovenia is an exciting destination situated in the heart of Europe between the Alps, the Mediterranean Sea, the Karst and the Pannonian and, as of Monday 9 August, UK travellers who have been fully vaccinated, no longer need to quarantine on return from Slovenia. They just need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Officially recognised as the First Green Country in the world, according to the Green Destinations Standard, the country is also considered one of the safest places in Europe. Situated in a unique triangle in close proximity to popular European capitals, including Venice, Vienna and Budapest, Slovenia offers a wealth of outdoor, culinary, and five-star experiences for solo travellers, couples, groups of friends and families all year round.

From towering mountains and vast lakes to rural backwaters and the cosmopolitan capital of Ljubljana, the country is small and easily accessible from neighbouring countries. Ideal for adventure and culture lovers, the landscape is ideal for walking, hiking, biking and kayaking, and the regions for winery, city and historic tours.
City Gewerkenegg
City Gewerkenegg
10 reasons to visit Slovenia in 2021:

1. Green and safe – In 2020 Slovenia was among the first in the world to be acknowledged by the World Travel and Tourism Council awarding the country the Safe Travels Stamp. The Green&Safe label is testament to Slovenia’s sustainable efforts in the highest health and hygiene standards.
2. Top destination for foodies – Slovenia’s cuisine borrows influences from Austria, Hungary, the Balkans and Italy to create an eclectic culinary experience and currently holds six Michelin stars. In 2021, Slovenia was named the European Region of Gastronomy based it its offerings combined with the development of sustainable living and quality of life.
3. Year-round active experiences – With more than 10,000 kilometres of maintained trails, Slovenia is a paradise for outdoor activity lovers, from hiking and biking along numerous cycling trails with varying difficulty to exploring caves, paragliding over rolling hills and kayaking in abandoned mine tunnels.
4. Natural health benefits –Slovenia’s thermal waters have natural therapeutic effects and the country’s sustainable spas and luxury resorts offer a variety of treatments incorporating local ingredients for the ultimate mind and body relaxation with scenic views to match.
5. Historic culture
Dreznica
Dreznica
Slovenia’s historical charm reigns throughout the old town centres. Full of facts and legends, museums and galleries line the streets alongside castles and mansions nestled amongst green oases, parks, gardens and arboretums.
6. Committed to sustainability – Committed to sustainability, for generations Slovenia has lived and worked in harmony with nature striving to preserve it for future generations from age-old forests and national parks with exceptional biodiversity.
7. Iconic UNESCO heritage sites – From the scenic Alpine Lake Bled and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to the mysterious underground world of the Postojna Caves and the oldest vine in the world – Slovenia is home to some of Europe’s most unique attractions.
8. Unique experiences – Home to many unforgettable experiences, discover the 5km long underground cycling route under Mount Peca or kayak the underground labyrinth of flooded excavation sites reminiscent of magical underground lakes.
9. Diverse accommodation – From luxury hotels, tourist farms and boutique castle chambers to 5-star hotels and glamping in the middle of pristine nature, Slovenia’s hospitality caters for all travellers party size and budgets all within steps of nature and culture.
10. Easily accessible – With a flying time of approximately two hours, travellers can enjoy strolling around the turquoise Lake Bled and admiring the majestic Julian Alps, in no time at all!

And new for 2021:

Juliana Bike Trail – A new 280km mountain biking trail which circles the stunning Julian Alps is now open. Connecting villages, towns, valleys, passes and plateaus along the way, the Juliana Bike Trail is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a tough couple of days adventuring around the snow-capped peaks of the Julian Alps.
Juliana Hiking Trail – The much-awaited new circular hiking trail will officially open at the end of September. This marked and regulated trail will take explorers around the highest mountain of the Julian Alps, Triglav, which is also the highest mountain in Slovenia. Along the trail, hikers will be able to admire Triglav National Park from all sides.
Bohinj Hotel opens – Mixing sustainability with expert wood design and contemporary style, hotel Bohinj get a sustainable makeover in the heart of Triglav National park beneath the Julian Alps.

For more information, see slovenia.info/en

Lufthansa flies daily to Ljubljana from Manchester (via Frankfurt) with fares starting from £148 return. Flight duration 4h 05m and departing UK at 06.10 arriving into Slovenia at 11:15 local time.

For the most up to date health and safety information and covid travel guidelines: https://www.slovenia.info/en/plan-your-trip/all-you-need-to-know-for-a-healthy-and-safe-vacation-in-slovenia