Set amongst grand lakes and mountains, Slovenia’s picturesque towns offer an idyllic backdrop at any time of year. But in winter, the spectacular scenery becomes even more captivating with a dusting of snow and frost-covered trees. We take a look at what it is that makes a trip to Slovenia in winter so special.
The Magic of Ljubljana
Throughout the charming capital Ljubljana, twinkling fairy lights bring festive cheer to the streets and riverside, lighting up each of the trees and shop-fronts that line them. In the midst of this magical setting, a Christmas market lies alongside the Ljubljanica River, where each stall is laden with local handicrafts and seasonal food, with the aroma of spiced mulled wine and roast chestnuts permeating the air.
At this time, it’s Ljubljana Festive Fair that’s at the heart of the city’s seasonal revelry. Here, both visitors and locals pick up gifts to give over the holidays, sip steaming cups of mulled wine, and tuck into warming winter fare such as grilled sausage or homemade pastries. And if the cold begins to set in, this is the perfect place to pick up a handmade hat or scarf.
A Journey into the Mountains
Situated just an hour’s journey outside of the capital, Bled continually proves its popularity among visitors to Slovenia. This eternal appeal comes as no surprise when Lake Bled comes into view, with its mirror-like surface reflecting the forest on its shores and surrounding mountains, with a church positioned on the lake’s own tiny isle.
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In the winter months, Lake Bled and its surrounds are transformed into a snow-blanketed picture-postcard setting that becomes even more atmospheric as the mist rises over the mountains. After an invigorating walk here in the fresh mountain air, there’s naturally nothing more satisfying than a hearty meal of the rich local stew, goulash.
While Lake Bled is arguably Slovenia’s best-known area of natural beauty, Lake Bohinj, which lies within the Bohinj Valley in the Julien Alps, is in fact the country’s largest lake. Encompassed within Triglav National Park, the vast lake certainly rivals the beauty of Bled, particularly in winter when it’s frozen over and fringed with snow-laden trees.
Savouring Local Life
Of course, it isn’t just these extraordinary views that make venturing out of Ljubljana so worthwhile. Small towns such as Radovljica give visitors to the country an insight into traditional Slovenian country life, attracting people to the surroundings while getting to know another side of Slovenia.
Have you been to Slovenia? Give us your tips and memories from your Winter trips below or find out more about the unexpected delights of Slovenia. Travel to Slovenia with Trafalgar on the Highlights of Austria, Slovenia and Croatia trip, or Highlights of Eastern Europe.
Image credits: Cover photo of Bohinj in Slovenia © iStock / Borut Trdina. Lake Bled in the snow © iStock / MistikaS. Ljubljana in winter © iStock / kasto80. A view over Bled © iStock / borchee. Lake Bohinj at sunset © iStock / piranka. The food in Slovenia © iStock / Davor Lovincic.