Traveling Beautiful Slovenia Pt. 1

Hello, dear blog readers! It is already September, can you believe it? I can’t, but it’s true. You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a few weeks. First of all, I apologize for that. Due to all of our traveling, it’s been a challenge to sit down and dedicate some time to writing new posts. Thankfully things have calmed down relatively and I’ve been able to find some time to write again. There’s been a lot to process from the last couple months. In all, we took over 2,000 photos, traveled to six countries, drove over 6,000km and somehow made it back safe and sound! So needless to say we have a lot to share with you but I don’t want to flood you with content so I’ll be breaking up our travels over a series of three blog posts. As usual, I’ll try to focus on highlighting positive aspects of our trip and being encouraging. We are now back in the south of Spain in a beachside town called Isla Canela until our new apartment in Portugal is ready in a few weeks. So, now that we’re all caught up let me share with you some of our experiences over the past several weeks.

From our last post on the blog, we were in Slovenia visiting Lake Bled. After enjoying Lake Bled and the surrounding areas we visited the Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. This capital is very relaxed and enjoyable. We enjoyed strolling the streets and admiring the architecture and river that runs through the city. There are many bridges at different points which add to the character of the city. It is also very clean and even though it’s a capital it doesn’t feel overcrowded because it’s still somewhat of a hidden gem.

After spending some time in the capital we decided to head to the Slovenian coast. Slovenia only has 42km of coast in between Italy and Croatia. Despite this fact, what they have is well worth a visit. We visited the cities Koper, Piran and Izola. The town of Koper is more of a working class area and contains the port. They have a nice large walkway along the beach looking out to some beautiful views across the water. Piran was our favorite of the three towns that we visited. In order to access it, we had to park our car and take a free shuttle bus into town. Piran reminded us of a picturesque Italian seaside town. They have beautiful views to be found everywhere as well as a relaxed vibe perfect for summer. Another major highlight of the coastal area was visiting the Strunjan Nature Park. This is a preserved area that contains an amazing beach which can only be accessed by hiking to it. You will find mostly locals swimming and lounging around since it is more secluded. If you will be in this area we recommend that you don’t miss this beach! We were happy that we made the effort to stay a few days on the coast as the sights and experiences were well worth it.

For a change of scenery, we headed to the Vipava Valley where much of Slovenia’s wine is grown. The valley is on the west of the country and borders Italy. We were really excited because we were meeting up with Winestronauts for a guided tour and tasting of select wineries. The experience with our guide Matjaž was very enjoyable and professional. We learned so much about Slovenian wine and its place in Europe. Most of the wine grown in Slovenia is for the people that live in the country. This is mainly due to not being able to produce in very large quantities because of the small size of the country. Also geographically the wine growing regions in the Vipava Valley are equivalent to Napa Valley and Bordeaux, France! Since the tasting tour was kept small at around six people it felt very personal and unique. We were able to talk with the wine growers and taste food paired with the wines. If you visit Slovenia and you like wine we would recommend a tour with Winestornauts because you will learn a lot and come away with some great memories.

Another highlight of our time in Slovenia was visiting the small English group located in the capital. The group consists of around twelve people and many of them are bethelite couples. We went for the midweek meeting and much of it was streamed. We also joined the main hall to listen to some of the meeting in Slovenian. The group is very small and they have much work to do. We enjoyed getting to know new ones and hear about their experiences.

Another major highlight of our time in Slovenia was taking a walking food tour with Iva and her company Ljubljananjam. This was such a nice experience because of our host being extremely knowledgeable about the food scene in Slovenia and also the amazing places that she took us to. Imagine that you are visiting Slovenia’s capital and you want to try all the best food and drinks they have to offer. What better way than to have a local who is passionate about Slovenian food show you around. With Iva, we visited places that we never ever would have discovered on our own. We were able to have entire restaurants to ourselves and also sample specially prepared items which represent the best of the restaurants we went to. Another great highlight is that we were able to have the chefs and restaurant owners chat with us and explain the food to us as we tried it. This was a really cool experience and if you visit Slovenia and Ljubljana then I highly recommend that you don’t miss the food walk tour. You can find out the details by visiting Iva’s website by clicking here. Another unexpected bonus is that you don’t just learn about food but also about history, buildings and the way of life for Slovenian people. Iva makes the tour lively and fun and she is very accommodating and really wants to make sure that you enjoy yourself. One way that she does this is by keeping the groups small. We had six people in our group which made it feel like a small group of friends going out to eat instead of a big tourist group. This really enhanced the experience and allowed us to enjoy the walk more. The walk lasts around 3.5 to 4 hours and by the end, you will definitely be full and satisfied. We visited a variety of different places such as traditional restaurants, upcoming trendy places, dessert places and cafes. We tried local drinks and food and now we feel that we have a good understanding of Slovenian food and how the country eats. Iva does a total of four different food walks. They are Ljubljana Essentials (the one we took), Craft Beer Extravaganza, Fino Vino, and Keen on Caffeine. So if you are into a particular thing you’ll no doubt find what you’re looking for. Iva was also over the top helpful as we were planning our trip to Slovenia. Since it is a small country everyone knows everyone and they all try to work together to help one another. She recommended many other activities and places to see which made our trip even more enjoyable. She really is well connected. So while taking your food walk don’t hesitate to ask her about other things to see and do in Slovenia and she’ll steer you in the right direction.

Another really cool thing that we were able to do in the capital is a boat ride through the canals. We used a company called Barka Ljubljanica. The capital has several canals running through it and taking a boat ride is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. You will go underneath bridges and see many areas that would be hard to see on foot. The reason that we recommend Barka Ljubljanica is because they use handmade wooden boats which give the ride a real authentic and classic feel. They offer drinks and refreshments on the boat and the tour can be done in the afternoon or the evening. We took the afternoon tour but if you are looking for a more romantic experience than the evening tour would be perfect. As you are going along the tour guide will talk about what is in front of you so you will pick up some fun facts along the way. Check out the boat tour and get in contact with Barka Ljubljanica for your next visit to Slovenia.

Well, everyone, we hoped that you enjoyed this post and that it gets you thinking about visiting different places like Slovenia. This is part of a series of posts where we will be following up with posts about our trip to the east of the country. So stay tuned for an email about that to come.

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Perhaps you want to get your TESOL Certificate so that you can start teaching English. We are partnered with American TESOL Institute to be able to offer an Online TESOL Course. This is the same course that Kanicia took and it has helped us to continue serving abroad for almost four years. We are offering $25 off all of the TESOL courses for the month of September if you use the code “jwabroad” during checkout.

If you would like to learn from our experience moving abroad then check out our seven day moving abroad guide. If you want to learn how to create your own blog to share your experiences or hobbies or anything really, Kanicia created a seven-day blogging course that will teach you everything you need to know.

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We hope you are all doing well and we send our love and greetings from Isla Canela, Spain!

Antoine & Kanicia