Planning your next holiday with your group of (girl)friends? Look no further. I have found the perfect road trip destination for you. Slovenia! I will share with you the top 11 reasons why Slovenia is the perfect destination for a road trip with friends.
1. Perfect destination for a road trip with friends, because it’s small
To begin with, the compact size of Slovenia (it’s only half the size of the Netherlands, and about 6 times smaller than the state of New York) makes it easy to travel around by car. In a mere two hours you can have a complete change of environment and go from the mountains to the coast, or from a coastal town to the capital city.
2. Perfect destination for a road trip with friends, because it has good roads
Secondly, not unimportant when doing a road trip, is that the roads have to be good. The Slovenes maintain all high ways very well and even though some roads through the smaller villages can be very narrow, they are all in good condition.
3. Great diversity in climate
Regardless of the small size of the country, Slovenia has three different climates. In the Northwest, in the mountains, Slovenia has a moderate continental climate. Along the coast, in Piran, there’s a Mediterranean climate, and around the capital city of Ljubljana you will encounter a moderate maritime climate. As these places are only 1 to 2 hours away from each other, you can experience snow, sun, rain and thunderstorms all on the same day.
4. Great diversity of activities
With such a diverse climate throughout the country, the range of different activities you can do is endless. In the mountains and national parks, you can go kayaking, rafting, hiking, or skiing. At the sea, you can rent a stand up paddle board (SUP) or enjoy a quiet afternoon at the beach. In the middle of the vineyards around Vipava, you can do a wine tasting with local wines, or visit caves and a cave castle. Last but not least, in the capital city of Ljubljana, you can wander around the city, have great food and drinks, climb up to the city castle, enjoy a boat tour on the river, or go shopping with the locals.
5. Only one day of driving away in Europe
Driving from the Netherlands, we were able to reach Slovenia in about 15 hours (including traffic jams and stops). And the best part is, from basically any place in Europe you can reach Slovenia in just one day by car.
6. Perfect destination for a road trip with friends, because it’s safe
Extremely important, especially for women: Slovenia is a very safe country to travel in. It is definitely a first world country with very friendly inhabitants, a good health care system and police that is not corrupt. We didn’t see any homeless people, not ever felt unsafe while in Slovenia.
7. Slovenes speak English extremely well
Ranking number 9 (out of 88) on the EF English Proficiency Index of 2018, you could already expect the locals to speak English very well. But honestly, me and my friends were still surprised by how well the Slovenes knew their way around the English language. Even in the smallest villages, people knew English and were friendly enough to use it.
8. Amazing food
Some of the restaurants I have been to in Slovenia definitely rank in my list of favourite restaurants worldwide. I truly had such a good food here. In the mountains, the food is comparable to that of Austria. Along the coast, it is more similar to Italian. Inland, it was just simply fabulous.
My favourite restaurant was Gostilna Podfarovž in Vipava, one of the wine areas. Their website is only available in Slovenian, but the staff speaks English very well. Let this restaurant surprise you with its stunning surroundings and even better food and wines.
Another recommendation I would give for brunch in Ljubljana is Ek Bistro (pictured below). Their website is also in Slovenian, so you are just going to have to go here to enjoy the amazing eggs, French toast, pancakes, bowls, and sandwiches.
9. Not too touristy – yet not undiscovered either
Before heading to Slovenia, I mostly received surprised reactions from people when I told them where I was going. “Slovenia? Really? That’s unconventional!” However, we quickly realised Slovenia is very much up and coming. Even though it is not such a common destination in the Netherlands as are France, Spain and Italy, but it is definitely not undiscovered either. Even among the Dutchies, as we have seen (and heard) many. Because right now Slovenia still has this great balance of not being overcrowded yet not being totally new to tourism, they do have a great tourist infrastructure set up (for instance at the Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle), but you also still see a lot of locals.
10. Perfect destination for a road trip with friends, because it has great WiFi (however, often unsecured)
One of the upsides of Slovenia being a first world country, is that they have WiFi everywhere. In addition to that, it also works very well. The only downside of the WiFi here is that it is often not protected with a password. Why is that so bad? I’ll tell you soon in a new blog.
11. Great price/quality ratio
Last but not least is of course the cost of travelling in Slovenia. In this European country you -unsurprisingly- make payments in euros, but is a lot cheaper than many other countries with the same currency. Being from the Netherlands, where we also pay in euros, I was surprised at how cheap many of the meals were. At the same time, don’t expect crazy price reductions. Even though Slovenia is cheaper than many other countries, it is not dirt cheap. The price/quality ratio however is great. You might not be able to get a room for 5 euros per night per person, but you are able to find hidden gems on AirBnB for a small amount.
Are you considering Slovenia for your next holiday with friends? If you are not convinced yet, check out my list of Top 5 Favourite Cities in Western Europe. You might find you next holiday destination in there!
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