Slovenia is a beautiful, tiny, green country lying right in the heart of Europe, nestled between the Alps and the Mediterranean. For a small country, it has an amazing geographical diversity: lakes and snow-capped mountains, beaches and vineyards, caves and thermal springs. It has a population of only 2 million people, shares borders with Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia and has been a member of the European Union since 2004.
The Slovenian people are warm and welcoming, they speak many languages and are open and broad-minded. In recent years the country has become a "playground" for outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of activity and adventure holidays.
In 2012, Hedonistic Hiking introduced a walking holiday from Slovenia into Italy. The nine-day hiking tour starts in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, which many liken to a mini Prague and call a "hidden gem" of Europe. It continues through the Julian Alps, crosses the border between the two countries into Friuli, Italy's north eastern region, and finishes in Venice.
The hike includes Lake Bled with its magical fairytale castle and three nights beside beautiful Lake Bohinj encircled by the Julian Alps. Following the course of the stunning turquoise Soca river the tour visits historic Kobarid, today the culinary capital of Slovenia boasting many fine restaurants.
Crossing into Italy on foot brings you to Friuli with an opportunity to visit the two Unesco World Heritage sites of Cividale and Aquileia, and to sample the magnificent wines of the Collio region.
As Jackie, MD of the company, explains: "Many people refer to Slovenia as "the sunny side of the Alps". The walking is wonderfully scenic and the views from the mountains totally breathtaking. But Slovenia has a thriving wine industry and strong culinary traditions, too, which we have a chance to explore on this tour."
The holiday runs twice a year, usually in June and October. The walking groups are small (maximum 16 people) and the support vehicle enables you to walk as much or as little as you please each day.
Jackie and Mick Parsons own and operate Hedonistic Hiking, a company specialising in fully-guided gourmet walking tours in Australia and Italy. They are passionate about food, wine and walking.
Article and photos supplied by Hedonistic Hiking.
Have you visited Slovenia? Tell me about your experiences in this lovely country.