. Slovenia sets the standard for Green Tourism in Europe : Budget Travel Adventures

Slovenia sets the standard for Green Tourism in Europe

Logarska-Valley-Slovenia-Tomo-Jeseničnik Green Tourism

Logarska Valley (Source: www.slovenia.info, Photographer: Tomo Jeseničnik)

For anyone who has spent time in Slovenia, you understand how incredibly diverse the landscape is for such a small country.  There are the Julian Alps and the pristine lakes such as Lake Bled.  There’s the Karst region with the famous caves and rocky landscapes like the Postojna and Škocjan Caves.  The Soča Valley has plenty of waterfalls, rivers, and places to hike while Piran gives visitors a taste of beach life in Slovenia.

While my visitor’s guide to Slovenia gives people a great overview of the country with some interesting facts about Slovenia, there is another side to Slovenia that may appeal to many visitor’s – green tourism.

With the eco-tourism efforts of Slovenia, they are quickly becoming one of the leaders in Europe.  So if you are visiting Slovenia, what are some ways you can enjoy and promote green tourism in Slovenia?

The Green Tourism leader in Europe

So why is Slovenia pushing green tourism?  Just visiting Slovenia will give you a clue – it’s one of the most forested and green areas in all of Europe.  With its incredible natural beauty and diverse landscape, it’s no wonder that Slovenia pushes the conservation of its land and resources.

In my visit to Slovenia, one of the things I loved about Lake Bled was that there was no motorized vehicles on the lake – no boats, jet skis, or even cruising vessels.  Everything was clean and quiet with pletnas, kayaks, and boats powered by the arms of men (and some women too!).  Near my home, Lake Tahoe is beautiful but even it has motorized boats and jet skis!  Even though Tahoe is beautiful, it made me appreciate the natural beauty of Lake Bled even more!

Yet Slovenia takes green tourism and being environment friendly beyond Lake Bled.  Slovenia pushes for environment-friendly hotels as well as the idea of sustainable development through the efforts of environmental, economic, and social efforts.  The Bohinj Park Hotel has even earned the prestigious international Green Globe certificate noted for the highest level of sustainable development.

Slovenia also has a number of programs in place to push green tourism in the country.  There is a Programme of Environmental Upgrading and Modernisation of Slovenian Hotels which seeks to push environmental management and environment-friendly investments.  The Bank of Tourism Potentials of Slovenia even rewards and encourages green models, ideas, and innovations with prizes.

Since 2008, Slovenia has been a leader in the Europe-wide EDEN projectEuropean Destinations of Excellence.  The focus of this project is to highlight areas in Europe which focus on sustainable tourism as it relates to the environment.  The Soca Valley, Solcavkso, and River Kolpa have won for heritage of the environment, protected areas, and water conservation.


Lake Bled pletna castle Slovenia Matej Vranič Green Tourism

Lake Bled (Source: www.slovenia.info, Photographer: Matej Vranič)

Eco-friendly activities in Green Slovenia

35% of Slovenia is protected by Natura 2000 – an effort to protect and preserve the biodiversity of plants and animals that are at risk due to human activity.  Slovenia has a number of protected natural areas – parks, reserves and nature areas which make up 12% of Slovenia.  Forests, trails, and hiking paths make up 60% of Slovenia’s landscape which visitors can enjoy.  With a variety of outdoor activities in Slovenia, here are a few ways to enjoy Green Slovenia.

Triglav National Park – this area is located in the Julian Alps of Slovenia and features the symbol of the country – Mount Triglav.  Enjoy the trails and outdoor beauty of this park which makes up 4% of Slovenia.

Lake Bled – this beautiful alpine lake is less than an hour away from Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana.  With hiking trails, rowing on the lake, spas, or just relaxing, everything about Lake Bled is clean and environment-friendly!

Karst caves – While Postojna and Skocjan are the two most popular, there are over 8,000 caves to explore in Slovenia.  Learn about stalactites and stalagmites (do you remember the difference?) or just enjoy these incredible structures formed by nature!

Hiking – From Mount Triglav National Park to the river valleys, Karst region, and beaches, enjoy nearly 7,000 miles of hiking and walking trails.

Rivers. lakes, and skiing – Water is abundant in Slovenia with a number of lakes and rivers ready to explore.  Swim and relax or enjoy the frozen version in the winter with a number of cross country and downhill skiing trails.  Because of the natural preservation of water, the tap water in Slovenia is some of the cleanest in Europe.

Hot springs – Slovenia is also home to thermal springs and mineral water springs.  There isn’t a shortage of natural and environment-friendly spas to enjoy throughout the country.

Farm tourism – Help support local farmers, organic produce, and the local economy as you connect with nature and enjoy the local foods of Slovenia!

Enjoy a clean, environment-friendly Slovenia with green tourism!

What do you think of green tourism?  How important is it to you when you travel?

Special thanks to Ana Vugrin and the Slovenia Tourist Board for the information on Green Tourism in Slovenia!  Check out all things Slovenia on my blog!

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Filed Under: DestinationsEuropeFeaturedSlovenia


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  1. I didn’t realize Slovenia was so “green”! I’d love to visit– your articles have put the country on my radar.

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Thanks Leslie! They definitely have made a strong push to preserve all the green they have in Slovenia!

  2. The Dropout says:

    Like Leslie, I’m intrigued by Slovenia now, after reading your posts. Give us more!

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      I hope to have an interview with my Slovenia tour guide friend in the next couple of weeks so he will bring a completely different perspective on Slovenia!

  3. John in France says:

    I think that Slovenia are heading in the right direction with their approach to tourism. The Green way is what people want now, and when they have such beautiful physical assets everyone will be a winner. Good article.

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      I agree John. I admit I am not the biggest green person out there but when you have beautiful places like they do, I totally agree that this is a great way to preserve them!

  4. Katrina says:

    Lovely pictures! How do they stack up in the cycling department?

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Katrina, I just read today about the Ljubljana road cycling competition so there are a number of opportunities for that in Slovenia as well!

  5. I never would have thought of going to Slovenia, but your pictures and descriptions of the natural beauty and outdoors activities make it sound like a place I would really enjoy.

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Slovenia is great for the outdoors! There is so much to explore and see there because of the diversity and it’s very doable because it isn’t very big!

  6. Slovenia – who would have thought! I think I am slowly getting more sensitive to green tourism. The challenge is, when you travel to a new country, trying to find the authority that can certify that the tour operator is in fact green. How trustworthy are those marketing claims, ya know?

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Ben, like you I haven’t thought a lot about green tourism. Living in California this is definitely a big deal to people out here. As for the marketing side of it, I am not sure but then again how do you know you can trust tour operators about anything they say? I guess that is why word of mouth and reviews are good business for helping people find the type of things they are interested in!

  7. Slovenia is a nice country for sure!

  8. Grace says:

    Lately, I find myself being very conscious about the amount of carbon footprint I create when I travel. I’ve started to try booking with ecolodges and so far they have been a great experience.

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      That’s a good thing to do if you feel convicted about that stuff. Here in California, we definitely have an eye on eco-friendly everything!

  9. What a great post highlighting how “green” Slovenia is and all of the activities it offers. I had no idea. I must see Lake Bled…loved your other post on it and now this article makes we want to visit even more. Nice write-up!

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Jeff, you have spent a lot of time in Europe and I know you would love Lake Bled. Not to mention, I think you would enjoy the architecture in Ljubljana as well!

  10. Amazing, I always thought that Slovenia was one of the cold countries. The pictures here looks amazing and good to know they are embarking on ‘Green Tourism’. Just added to my bucket list.

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      David, Slovenia is definitely cold in the winter – no doubt about that. However, their spring and summer are very beautiful!

  11. Christina says:

    I love reading about sustainable tourism, great article! I agree with John, what Slovenia is doing in terms of green tourism is good. I’d love to do some farm tourism there (Lake Bled looks amazing), I bet they have wwoofing, too.

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Christina, I haven’t checked but I am sure there are plenty of opportunities for wwoofing in Slovenia. Lots of rural agriculture there!

  12. Laurel says:

    Very cool, I had no idea that Slovenia was such a green destination, that alone has moved it up on my list.

  13. Andrea says:

    This is so wonderful to hear…makes me wish we had even more time in Slovenia when we go later this year.

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Andrea, what places do you plan on visiting? Surely Lake Bled is on that list! I would definitely love to see more of Slovenia as well!

  14. This is great news. I’ve been following your other articles about Slovenia (and am still kicking myself for not going there when I was already in the region), but didn’t realize that the country was so “green.” That definitely does influence my decision making!

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Michael, I’d be kicking you too if I could for not going to Slovenia! :)

      Yes Slovenia is “green” and green! Make sure you put it on your list of places to see.

  15. Anica says:

    regards from Slovenia to all of you:)
    it’s so interesting to read what people from all over think about my country, Jeremy, great article, thx:)
    and you are all welcome;)

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Thanks for you comments and for promoting your own country! :)

      I loved my time in Slovenia and think it is an often overlooked destination because of its location between Italy and Croatia. I will be doing an interview in the next couple of weeks with a tour guide friend of mine from Slovenia.

  16. Anica says:

    enjoy your staying Jeremy!:)

  17. Impressed to hear that Slovenia is making a push for Green Tourism. Must visit!

  18. Matt Hope says:

    Great read, Slovenia really looks like a beautiful place. I wish I had time to get over there during my next trip but I’ll be pressed for time already…

    • Jeremy Branham says:

      Thanks Matt! Hope you have a great trip to Spain, Portugal, and wherever else you are able to visit! Slovenia would love to have you! :)

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