Slovenia was never part of the itinerary, and I honestly never thought twice about travelling to the country. To be honest, I knew nothing about Slovenia before this trip.
Several people along the way raved about Slovenia, so we decided to take a three-day detour to discover the place. Our first stop was Lake Bled: one of the world’s highest alpine lakes with a picturesque cathedral sitting on a small island in the middle, all set against the backdrop of snow-topped Alps. Even though it was a short visit, here are my first impressions of the mountainous country!
The nature in Slovenia rivals that of Austria and Switzerland. The Austrian Alps protrude into Northern Slovenia, making it an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Lake Bled is a must-see for all nature lovers. The countryside surround is also beautiful with endless expanses of fields and Slovenian cottages set against the majestic snow-capped mountains.
2. Slovenian Cream Cake
I didn’t know it was possible to love a dessert as simple as cream cake so much. Originally from Bled, we got to taste the cake from where it was invented! It consists of a generous layer of custard and crème sandwiched between two thin pastry shells. Simply divine.
3. Order, Without Chaos
By now we’ve had a good taste of the Northern ex-Yugoslavian countries (Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia). Whilst Bosnia feels like the Wild West of ex-Yugoslavia, Croatia is slightly less chaotic, and Slovenia is basically chaos-free. No need to worry about tourist scams or dodgy taxi drivers, Slovenia feels like a mini Germany, but I warn you, it comes with a price tag.
What I didn’t like about Slovenia…
Slovenia is expensive. By far the most expensive country we’ve visited on this trip. As a backpacker on a shoestring, you will struggle. Around Bled, budget accommodation options were virtually non-existent. We also had to cut our time in Libjiana (the capital) short because we couldn’t find any hostel dorms for under $30AUD per person. Meals were upward of 20 or 30 euro for a main; needless to say we did a lot of cooking in Slovenia.
But the cherry on top of the cake, when it comes to expenses in Slovenia were the taxis. Our Airbnb was 2km from the centre, which is walking distance on a nice day, but arriving at night, or when it’s raining, walking isn’t an option. A taxi for the 2km journey cost 15 euro. That’s right, a whopping 15 euro! I actually laughed in the taxi driver’s face when he told me the price. Initially, I thought it was a “tourist tax” scam, however, taxis in Slovenia are highly regulated and the price was consistent throughout our stay.
Would I go back to Slovenia? Hells yes, but with a big wad of $$$