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 project – European 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.
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?