Want to get away from the crowds? Let me show you 5 amazing places to visit Slovenia off the beaten path. Let's discover towns, regions and monasteries where you could visit almost by yourself: the wine region of Brda, the unique Hrastovlje church, the long Krka Valley, the Zice Monastery and the Unesco town of Idrija.
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Visit Slovenia off the beaten path
Slovenia is full of stunning landscapes and unique attractions not to be missed: Lake Bled, the Postojna caves and Piran are not to be missed. But you won't be alone not missing them!!!
Especially Lake Bled. Tourists on a tour of Europe, only visit the Lake. They get off the plane drive there, spend the day and fly out...
So if you are looking for other options with charm and scenery away from the crowds, I have selected 5 locations to visit Slovenia off the beaten path for you, to add to my favorite things to do in Slovenia:
- The Brda region - close to Italy, this is a wine region with charming medieval fortress and a peaceful ambiance
- Idrija - despite being a Unesco site, there were hardly any visitors. I had the castle museum almost to myself and it was fascinating to learn about the mercury mine and the lace industry!
- The Krka Valley - the East of Slovenia is often overlooked but it is green with rolling hills and charming old towns
- Zice Monastery - Secluded, this is a fascinating place to relax
- Hvrastolje church - Not far from Piran, this unique church has frescoes that are uniquely preserved!
These 5 locations, along with many other beautiful places, are included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide-Slovenia.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
Why visit the Brda Region?
I think this is the most beautiful wine region in Slovenia but it is really overlooked by the tourists, except the Italian ones since it is close to the border. Off the beaten track, it is sometimes refer to as the 'Tuscany of Slovenia'.
It offers rolling green hills covered with trees and vineyards and old villages with towers and charming houses.
- The views from the Gonjace Tower
- The castle in Dobrovo
- The fortified village of Smartno
Discover them in my article about the Brda wine region in Slovenia
How to get to the Brda Region?
The Brda region is located in a secluded area of Slovenia, protected by the Julian Alps.
The Main town is Dobrovo.
You can either come from the mountains along the Soca River and drive from the South border, crossing into Italy before driving back into Slovenia.
Only accessible by car on a Slovenia Road Trip.
Ljubljana to Dobrovo - 2h drive
Where to stay in the Brda region
I have found a little gem to stay in the region. It is called Valentina Guesthouse at Pintar Wine Estate
It is a small guesthouse with a couple of apartments. The owner is absolutely adorable and the views from the shared terrace and swimming pool are fantastic!
Check out latest prices and availability
Why visit Idrija?
Well, first of all it is on the list of Unesco World Heritage (see the page) for the Heritage of the Mercury mines. Yet, because it is isolated in the mountains, it does not see to receive many tourists.
I do think it is worth the detour with the great museum in the castle, the tour of the oldest mine and the surrounding hills.
- Castle of Idrija with its museums - learn more about the Mercury mines, their history and their processes. You can also learn more about Mercury itself.
- Don't miss all the history around the lace, specialty of the region
- Visit one of the underground mines and see the conditions and tools of the mine workers
How to get to Idrija?
- Located in Western Slovenia, mid-way between the Julian Alps and Postojna caves
- Ljubljana to Idrija - 1h
Where to stay in Idrija
Have a look at the best rated hotels in Idrija
Why visit the Krka Valley?
When visiting Slovenia, most tourist go west or South.
True the east does not have the majestic mountains, emerald waters and impressive caves but it offers charm, peace and quiet: Rolling hills, castes and old towns...
The Krka Valley is in the South East, along River Krka. The main town is Novo Mesto.
- Zuzemberk castle (photo above)
- Remnants of history: walls, mills, towers
- Old town center such as Novo Mesto
- Ototec Castle
How to get to the Krka Valley?
- The Krka Valley is quite long and join the Sava valley almost at the Border with Croatia
- Zuzemberk is at the Western end of the Valley
- The main Town is Novo Mesto
- Ljubljana to Novo Mesto - 1h drive
- It is easily accessible from the A2 motorway
Where to stay in the Krka Valley?
One of the favorite options to stay in the Krka Valley is to sleep in the Ototec castle which has been turned into a Luxury hotel. It is located in the middle of the river with a magnificent park.
For a more budget friendly option, there is the B&B Vila Ototec. The Decor is very basic, but the rooms are large and clean and the views from the restaurant terrace are splendid especially at sunset.
Or check out the best rated accommodations in the area
Why visit the Zice Monastery ?
If you want the feeling that time has stopped, this is a place to go. Located in an isolated valley, in a very peaceful area, the charterhouse is full of charm and history.
Founded in the 12th century, it was the home of monks who lived in total silence and dedicated their life to intellectual work.
I must admit I chose the location because of how photogenic it was, but the visit was really interesting with the audioguide.
It is one of my favorite castles and monasteries in Slovenia
- The frontal view with the Square towers
- The Ruins of the church
- The Old Vine and herb garden for medicine
- The fascinating cultural history
How to get to the Zice Charterhouse?
- East of Ljubljana, not far from the charming town of Celje.
- Ljubljana to Zice monastery - 1h15 drive
- Short drive off the Motorway A1, and yet it is isolated!
Why visit the Hvrastolje Church?
Th Holy Trinity Church in Hrastovlje is from the 12th or the 15th century. Theories differ...
The main interest are the 15th century frescoes that are in excellent conditions. An audio is played to explain the different scenes covering all the walls and rood of the church.
- I love the exterior appearance with the bell tower popping out of the fortification wall. You can walk around to see it from different angles and you get great views of the region
- The impressive frescoes inside the church, especially the Danse Macabre (dance of Death) of which a copy is presented in the Ljubljana castle.
How to get to Hvrastolje?
- East of Piran, in the South of Slovenia
- Piran to Hvrastolje - 40 minute drive
- Small road but not difficult
And many churches off the beaten track in Slovenia
And eveywhere you can visit Slovenia off the beaten path. Just take smaller roads and you will discover impressive small churches.
I was really impressed by how well maintained and beautiful they are.
Sometimes they were closed, and sometimes we were lucky to meet the representative who opened the church for us.
There are some true gems to be discovered.
Want to see more of SLOVENIA?
So you enjoy going off the beaten path?
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