Seven incredible must-see sights in northern Slovenia
Northern Slovenia epitomizes the country’s “green” philosophy—that it IS green, it ACTS green and it PROMOTES green. One of Europe’s greenest countries and a leader in sustainable travel, if you haven’t already put Slovenia on your travel bucket list, do so now, and plan to visit these seven incredible must-see sights in northern Slovenia.
One of the smallest countries in Europe, Slovenia is also one of the greenest, and you’ll definitely see why it’s worthy of this accolade on a visit to northern Slovenia. This region, which borders Slovenia’s northern neighbours, Austria and Italy, is home to the Julian Alps, Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain, as well as Mount Špik, Slovenia’s most beautiful mountain, its equivalent to the Matterhorn.
You’ll also find the famous Lake Bled and Bled Island here, as well as the stunning Lake Bohinj, nestled in the heart of the Julian Alps. Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only national park and the largest protected area in the country, as well as a forested karst plateau can also be found in northern Slovenia.
Europe’s greenest capital, Ljubljana is located to the south of the region, and is a jumping off point for a week long trip during which you can visit and explore these seven incredible must-see sights in northern Slovenia.
Ljubljana’s Triple Bridge
Of course, any trip to Slovenia should include time exploring Europe’s greenest capital, Ljubljana, especially if you’ve never been before. The nearby Ljubljana International Airport will likely be your entry point if you’re flying into the country. But even if you’re driving to northern Slovenia from one of its neighbours, Italy, Austria, Hungary or Croatia, it’s still worth additing to your itinerary.
Ljubljana is an ideal destination for history lovers as it is filled with wonderful historical buildings and amazing architecture. In its old town, you’ll even find medieval buildings and artefacts.
A must-see sight in Ljubljana is the Triple Bridge (or Tromostovje in Slovene), a group of three bridges across the Ljubljanica River.
Originally opened in 1842 to replace an old iron bridge, it connects the modern city of Ljubljana on the one bank, with Ljubljana’s historical, medieval town on the other. The two pedestrian bridges either side of what was the central road bridge, were added between 1929 and 1930. The concrete balustrades have 642 balusters.
I wonder how long it would take you to count them all?
Medieval moated Radovljica
Situated on the confluence of the Sava Bohinjka and the Sava Dolinka, the ancient town of Radovljica dates back as far as 1296. The old town is full of traditional inns, galleries, churches and is surrounded by the largest medieval moat in the country.
As you can see from the pic, the views of the surrounding Karavanke Alps and the Julian Alps are amazing.
With stunning scenery all around, it’s so easy to experience nature through hiking, biking or fishing, or simply stroll through the medieval streets while admiring historical buildings. But these are not the only experiences available in Radovljica.
Affectionately known today as Sweet Radovljica (Radol’ca), the town’s tradition of beekeeping and honey are now sweet experiences visitors can enjoy.
Its restaurants also serve authentic home-made food with local ingredients and top-class presentation. And, in April every year, the town hosts a 3-day chocolate festival, the largest chocolate-related event in Slovenia.
The capital of beekeeping and chocolate has also been awarded the label of European Destination of Excellence finalist by the European Commission.
Mount Špik & Martuljek Gorge
Put on your hiking boots for this one!
Located in Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s largest national park, you’ll discover two stunning waterfalls—Lower Martuljek and Upper Martuljek.
The waterfalls are located in Martuljek Gorge below Mount Špik. Nicknamed the Slovenian Matterhorn due to its pyramidal shape, at 2472m, Špik is one of the most beautiful mountains in the Julian Alps.
Lower Martuljek Waterfall which descends 50m into the 400m long narrow gorge is easily accessible along a forest trail. Upper Martuljek Waterfall is especially spectacular as it tumbles down 3 levels over a 110 m vertical wall.
Starting your hike from the nearby village of Gozd Martuljek, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the mountains before you even put on your boots!
Karavanke Mountains & Golica Peak
With over 1200 different plant species, the Karavanke Mountains form a natural and official border between Slovenia and Austria, as well as Central Europe and Western Europe.
Here the climate is soft on the southern Slovene side while the northern Austrian side is harsh by comparison.
You’ll discover an array of alpine fauna and flora here, as well as enjoy magnificent views of the two naturally contrasting countries.
At 1836m ASL, Golica Peak is part of Slovenia’s longest ridge (120km). One of the least travelled trails in the area, it provides wonderful views in all directions.
Known mainly for its fields of wild white narcissi, the best time to see Golica and surrounding pastures covered in the white and yellow blooms is late April and early May.
Lake Bled & Bled Island
A visit to Lake Bled, one of 1300 lakes in this almost completely landlocked country, is a must see-do experience on a visit to northern Slovenia.
Lake Bled is a glacial lake located in the Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region, next to the town of Bled. Most famous for Bled Island in the centre of the lake and its iconic Church of the Mother of God, its becoming a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer.
Located just 55 km from the capital city, Ljubljana, 35 km from Ljubljana International Airport, and a mere 4.2km from Lesce-Bled train station, Lake Bled is easy to get to.
Here visitors can take a canoe or a boat out on the lake, take a boat trip to the island and visit the church, take part in various other lakeside activities and, in summertime, even go swimming at the beach areas.
A well-maintained footpath around the lake also means you can take a leisurely stroll, walk or even jog around the enitre perimeter. However, it can be quite busy during the summer months so an early spring or fall visit is ideal for visiting.
Bohinj Valley & Lake Bohinj
According to the Slovenia Tourism website, Lake Bohinj is an “oasis of peace and pristine nature in the Julian Alps and in the Triglav National Park.” When you see this photo, there’s no arguing that statement!
Located in the heart of the Julian Alps and part of Triglav National Park, one of the oldest in Europe, Bohinj valley is a paradise surrounded by unspoilt mountain slopes and mountain tops.
At the base of the valley lies Slovenia’s largest natural lake, where visitors can explore nature on foot, by bike, on horseback or, in wintertime, on skis.
It’s a unique destination where traditional Slovenia intertwines with modern ways of life. Here you can learn about traditional alpine dairy farming and cheese making, discover Bohinj’s botanical wealth or relax by the crystal-clear waters.
From the end of May to mid-June each year, Bohinj hosts its International Flower Festival, a fortnight of botanical events that celebrate and showcase the area’s rich array of alpine flowers.
Forests of Pokljuka Plateau
As previously mentioned, 60% of Slovenia is covered in forests and the Julian Alps in northern Slovenia are no exception. At an elevation of around 1,100 to 1,400 metres and visible from Lake Bled, lies a stunning forested karst plateau.
Known as the Pokljuka Plateau, it is known for its spruce forests, rolling mountain pastures, and winter sports facilities.
Virtually uninhabited, time seems to stand still on Pokljuka Plateau, allowing wild flowers to flourish. The flora and fauna here on the high plateau is unique to the area. With its abundant bird life, the plateau forest is an ideal area for bird watchers.
The plateau is also home to alpine cows, shepherds’ huts and beautiful wide open views of the surrounding peaks.
With its abundant forest trails, it’s also a popular starting point for mountain hikers and mountain bikers, winter skiers and leisurely walks. Weather permitting, it’s ideal for a full day of hiking.
Is Slovenia on your bucket list?
If exploring one of the safest and greenest countries in the world is your dream trip… then Slovenia should be on your bucket list. If it is, it’s time to…
Stop Dreaming…and Start Planning!
Ask me how you can explore these seven incredible must-see sights in northern Slovenia.