‘Small is beautiful’ certainly applies to Slovenia, which is only half the size of Switzerland. With a population of just two million, the landscape is still essentially rural. The jagged snow-capped peaks of the Julian Alps contrast with fertile valleys, full of colour and activity. Porous limestone rock has created the karst landscape; typical features can be seen everywhere and are exciting to explore — from underground rivers emerging as cascading waterfalls to narrow gorges, caves and rock arches. The mountain valleys are immaculate, with strips of vegetables and corn amidst the hayfields and orchards. There are hop-growing areas and beautiful vineyards. Amongst these industrious people one senses an orderly contentment and a feeling that everything is in tune with nature. Tour Slovenia by car or on foot; the opportunities are endless.
Area covered: all of Slovenia except for the very northeast and southeast; there is an emphasis on the Julian Alps, with a large-scale touring map
The best months for walking in Slovenia are May and June, September and October