Slovenia lacks the grandeur of France and the romance of Italy, but among European travel destinations it boasts a rustic charm rivaled by few. Adventure travelers and those seeking leisure are equally attracted to the lovely countryside and majestic mountains.
While the Pannonian Plain dominates the country's east regions, most of the country's terrain is not so neutral. The north is populated by the skyscraping peaks of the Julian and Kamnik-Savinja Alps, though the Karavanke along the Austrian border and the Ljubljana and Maribor uplands are more gentle. Whether traveling through the steep Alps or more rolling uplands, there are deeply cut river gorges, canyons, thick forests and tributaries flowing through lush valleys.
Of course, the wonders of Slovenia aren't only experienced at altitude. The country is home to nearly 10,000 karstic caves, and their cool depths, dark halls and damp expanses are ready for exploration. Meanwhile, the bands of wooded areas—Slovenia is heavily forested—offer many trails and footpaths taking visitors in among the flora and fauna native to the area. For even more natural beauty, the Slovene coast is dominated by vegetation, blue waters and high cliffs. Fishing, kayaking, and other water sports are popular here, while the seaside resort of Portoroz is also very popular.
However, it's not all just natural splendor in Slovenia. There is an open-air museum in Rogatec that offers examples of the architectural heritage of the region; it also features arts and crafts and exhibits farm chores and practices over the last few centuries. Beautiful manor houses such as Statenberg stand outside the towns of the country, and some have been converted into museums.
Underrated and versatile, Slovenia offers travelers charm and beauty to go with its friendly populace and colorful culture.
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