Slovenia (Slovenija) is a country in Central Europe that lies in the eastern Alps at the northeastern end of the Adriatic Sea, with Austria to the north, Italy to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast and Croatia to the south. Despite its small size, Slovenia has a surprising variety of terrain, ranging from the beaches of the Mediterranean to the peaks of the Julian Alps, to the rolling hills of the south. Slovenia was already more economically... Read more...
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Slovenia (Slovenija) is a country in Central Europe that lies in the eastern Alps at the northeastern end of the Adriatic Sea, with Austria to the north, Italy to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast and Croatia to the south. Despite its small size, Slovenia has a surprising variety of terrain, ranging from the beaches of the Mediterranean to the peaks of the Julian Alps, to the rolling hills of the south. Slovenia was already more economically advanced than other "East Block" nations prior to European integration and the powerhouse of Tito's Yugoslavia. Added the fact that Slovenia is also home to some of the finest scenery in the "New Europe", the transition from socialism to the european common market economy has gone well and serves as a model for other nations on the same track to follow.
Julian Alps-grand mountains on the Italian border
Ljubljana Area-the capital and surroundings
Coast and Karst-the Adriatic coastline and inland caves
Lower Styria-Maribor, Pohorje, and surroundings
Pomurje-countryside along the Mura river in the northeast
Lower Carniola-Dolenjska and Bela Krajina
Upper Carniola-Kranj and Kamniške-Savinjske Alps
Posavje-region along the lower Sava and Krka rivers
Zasavje-central Slovenia, east of the capital
Slovenia is a member country of the European Union and has also joined the Schengen agreement, which means that you can enter on a European Union Schengen visa and there are no longer any ID/passport controls on the EU borders.
The Ljubljana Bus Station (Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana) provides composite information about international and airport bus services. Phone: 090 93 42 30 (inland only) English Website: http://ap-ljubljana.si/eng/
Ljubljana is Slovenia's primary international airport and the hub of national carrier Adria Airways http://www.adria.si/, which flies to most major European cities and various Balkan destinations. The cheapest ways into the city, though, are via easyJet's daily flight from London-Stansted.
There are a few other options worth exploring. Ryanair runs 3 flights per week from London-Stansted to Maribor, as well as from Dublin to Pula across the border in Croatia. Another convenient gateway, especially to western Slovenia, is via Italy's Trieste airport which is but an hour's drive from Ljubljana via super highway. Klagenfurt, in Austria, is also an option.
Slovenia is well connected to Austria and Croatia by train. The most popular routes connect from Vienna or Villach in Austria (in good weather, this journey past the Julian Alps is spectacular), from Budapest in Hungary and from Zagreb in Croatia. All lines converge on the capital Ljubljana.
With April 2008, the Italian Railways have slashed the only remaining daytime cross-border service, even though it still appears on many international timetables. Contact the the Slovenian Railways for current information on replacement buses. The night train to Venice will be running at least until December 2008.
English website of the Slovenian Railways company http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en//. There are number of international routes http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/internationaltransport/internationallinks/, special offers exist for some destinations, so you should consider informing yourself about that in advance. There are destinations, which have tickets on contingency basis, meaning that they could run out fast, but are usually a lot cheaper, such as Ljubljana-Prague line (cooperation between SZ and Czech railways), 58€ for a return ticket (with the normal price of just bellow 200€). For return trips originating in Slovenia, City Star tickets, which are open-dated, but usually require a weekend stay, are often the cheapest choice http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/internationaltransport/ticketsanddiscounts/flatratetickets/citystar_international/. Also, be aware that you also receive a discount with the Euro 26 youth card http://www.euro26.org/opencms/opencms/euro26_org/data/public/header/homepage/ on most international lines (of course the discount does not stack up if you already have a special deal). The same card also applies for all domestic lines, with a 30% discount.
The quality and comfort of the trains on international routes varies significantly. The unwritten rule is that everything heading up north from Ljubljana has a pretty good standard. The trains usually have restaurants on board, with clean and modern toilets. The same can not be guaranteed for the lines heading south (such as Belgrade, Sofia, Skopje or Thessaloniki ), so be sure to carry a supply of food and beverages on board (water (and coffee) is available in every sleeping compartment), when heading to or from Ljubljana from the Balkans, with the train.
Slovenia has an excellent highway network connected to neighboring countries.
Vienna → Graz → Sentilj → Maribor Villach → Karawanke Tunnel → JeseniceVillach → Wurzenpass → Podkoren → Kranjska GoraKlagenfurt → Loiblpass → Ljubelj → Kranj
Venice → Trieste → Koper Venice → Gorizia → Nova Gorica Tarvisio → Ratece → Kranjska Gora → Jesenice
There is a fast ferry between Venice and Izola, running with an irregular schedule mainly during the summer season (for the timetable see http://www.kompas-online.net/pages/CruisesFerries/prince.aspx). The journey takes 3 hours.Venezialines http://www.venezialines.com/eng/routes.asp run one fast ferry per week between Venice and Piran.
Slovenia is a small country — there are no domestic flights — and getting around is generally quick and painless. However, the explosive growth in car ownership has meant tougher times for public transport, and bus schedules in particular have been slashed, so some planning ahead is required. Services are sparse on Saturdays and very limited indeed on Sundays.
Timetable decoder D — Mon-FriD+ — Mon-SatN — SundaysNP — Sundays and holidaysPP — Mon-FriSN — Sat-SunŠr — School daysV — Daily
Slovenia's train network, operated by Slovenske železnice (SZ) http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/ will get you to most destinations in the country, although there are some annoying gaps in the network and routes can be circuitous, so going from anywhere to anywhere usually requires a transfer in Ljubljana. Trains are, however, some 30% cheaper than buses and return discounts are available on weekends. Buy tickets before you board, as there's a surcharge for any tickets bought from the conductor. A €1.20 surcharge also applies to any InterCity trains.
Quite a bit of money and effort has been put into modernizing the system and the newest trains are as nice as anything you'll find in Western Europe, but the stations themselves are often not quite up to scratch. In particular, the name of the station is typically only visible on a single sign on the station building itself, so figuring out where you are means craning your neck a lot. Trains are punctual though, so check the expected arrival time and some previous station names to be sure where to get off. For figuring out your next train from a station, electronic signboards are a rarity (outside Ljubljana), but printed schedules are always available: odhod (yellow) means departures, while prihod (white) is arrivals.
Buses fill in the gaps, and may be a better option for some towns not directly served from Ljubljana by train (eg. Bled, Piran ). Some bigger stations have handy electronic search engines for schedules and fares.
Time table in English:http://www.ap-ljubljana.si/eng/index1.php
Slovenia's roads are for the most part well maintained and well signposted, and you won't have a problem if you drive or hire a car. Having a car certainly does add a level of mobility and self direction that you won't get by train or bus.
There are a number of car rental and taxi businesses in Ljubljana. The big international companies are all represented, but if you are on a budget, the local companies have some nice offers if you do not mind using a car which is a few years old.
When to go
from june to Sept !!!!
Slavic ancestors of Slovenians came from eastern parts of Europe and inhabitated territory a bit northern from present Slovenian territory in 6. century AD. They established a state called Caranthania (Karantanija in Slovene), which was an early example of parliamentary democracy in Europe. The ruler (knez in Slovene) was elected by popular vote. The Caranthanians were later defeated by Bavarians and Franks who subordinated them. They were christianized, but they preserved many rituals of their pagan religion, and above all they preserved their native language. The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria under Habsburg dinasty until 1918 when the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new south-Slavic state ruled by Serbian Karadjordjević dynasty called Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians ( Kraljevina Srbov, Hrvatov in Slovencev in Slovene), renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. In WWII Slovenia was invaded and occupied by Germans, Italians and Hungarians. A parallel civil war between pro-communist liberation forces (Partizani) and catholic anti-communist factions (Belogardisti, Domobranci) that collaborated with occupation forces also took place. The victory of thr Allies and consequentlly the Partizans resulted in a massive exodus and or large scale massacre of members of anti-communist forces and the entire indigenous ethnic German population. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic in the reestablished Yugoslavia, which although Communist, distanced itself from the Soviet bloc and small territorial gains were made from Italy. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power of the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 with minimal bloodshed. In 2004, Slovenia joined the European Union and NATO. Most recently Slovenia adopted the Euro in 2008 completing a quick and efficient accession to Europe and the EU.
Independence : 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
National holiday : Statehood Day, 25 June (1991); Independence and Unity Day, 26 December (1990)
Constitution : adopted 23 December 1991, effective 23 December 1991
Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy make Slovenia a leading country among the new members of the EU and NATO.