Slovenia has been on my bucket list for a few years now, so I was beyond thrilled to finally be able to explore this beautiful country during Autumn, which in my opinion is the best time to visit. While the country itself is fairly tiny with a population of just over 2 million, don’t let its small size fool you. It packs a big punch, boasting an incredible amount of beautiful and diverse landscapes all squeezed into one tiny piece of land. From green forests, crystal blue lakes, to stunning mountain ranges and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet – you’ll find everything you could possibly desire in Slovenia. While there are endless things to see just a short drive from the capital city of Ljubljana, I’ve put together a list of “7 Must See Places in Slovenia” to make sure you don’t miss the very best places while you’re here.

1. Lake Bled

7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

I’ll start this list off with one of the most iconic places in Slovenia – Lake Bled. Located just an hours drive from Ljubljana, this lake is Slovenia’s biggest tourist attraction and for good reason. The emerald blue lake is surrounded by towering green mountains in the distance with a “fairy tale” like church nestled on a tiny island in the centre of it and a medieval castle set atop a cliff looming 100m above. From hiking and biking to swimming and horse riding, there are endless amounts of activities to do while staying near Lake Bled.

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Best Things To Do:

  1. See Lake Bled from above and visit the historical Bled Castle (11€)
  2. Take a boat ride to the church in the middle of the lake (14€)
  3. Go for a stroll around the lake’s perimeter (~6km)
  4. Hike to Ojstrica viewpoint for the best views of Lake Bled as the sun goes down, or hike to nearby Mala Osojnica for an even higher viewpoint
  5. Rent a boat and explore the lake on your own (10€/hr)
  6. Visit nearby Vintgar Gorge located just 3km outside of town

2. Lake Bohinj

7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

A great place to visit after staying in Lake Bled is Lake Bohinj, which is located just a short 20 minute drive from Bled. I really enjoyed this lake because it was more calm and serene compared to the tourist packed town of Lake Bled. When we visited, we were blown away by the vibrant Fall colors that surrounded the shores of the lake and couldn’t help but stop and take some photos along the road that winds around it. We also enjoyed a short hike to a nearby viewpoint at Hill Peč to get a glimpse of the lake from above – and we’re greeted with an amazing sunset.

Best Things To Do:

  1. Explore the west side of the lake to witness the best views
  2. Hike or take the cable car to Mount Vogel to admire the lake from 1535m above sea level (11€ return)
  3. Visit the stone bridge and the 700 year old church of St. John the Baptist located next to it in Stara Fužina
  4. See all of the 1km long lake by renting a kayak or canoe
  5. Admire the beauty of Savica Slap (3€ entry fee)
  6. Hike to the viewpoint at Hill Peč to enjoy sweeping views over Lake Bohinj

Where to stay:

We stayed at Bohinj Eco Hotel which was close to all the places we wanted to see in the area and very modern. It’s a great place to stay if you’re interested in a variety of wellness activities or if you have a family since there is also an attached water park.

3. Logar Valley

7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

Logar Valley is one of those places that will instantly make you fall in love with Slovenia. Boasting an incredible backdrop of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and lush green meadows, it’s no surprise that it is regarded as one of the “most beautiful Alpine glacial valleys in Europe.” The valley itself is over 7km long and is protected due to its abundance of natural sights and beauty, therefore you must pay a 7€ entry fee, unless you enter by foot.

There are plenty of activities to do here, but hiking is the most popular since it is a great starting point for many trails. It is home to one of the tallest and most impressive waterfalls in Slovenia known as Rinka waterfall “hidden” at the back end of the valley, which can be reached by foot in 15 minutes. Besides the incredible views, the quality of the accommodation, the locally grown food, and the hospitality of the locals will surely leave you impressed.

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7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

Best things to do:

  1. Explore Logar Valley by foot or by bike by taking the path that winds through it for 7km up until Rinka waterfall
  2. Admire the beauty Rinka waterfall by taking a quick walk from the end of the valley
  3. Visit the nearby picturesque valleys of Robanov Kot and Matkov Kot
  4. Drive the scenic Solčava Panoramic road to witness sweeping views of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps
  5. Go for a hike and visit either the mountain hut on Okrešelj or on Klemenča jama to enjoy wonderful views of the upper part of the valley and delicious local cuisine

Where to stay:

From the location and the wellness amenities, to the hospitality and the food, I cannot recommend Hotel Plesnik enough. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to relax and enjoy some peace and wellness.

4. Kranjska Gora

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7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

Located on the border of Austria and Italy lies Kranjska Gora – a beautiful place to visit no matter what the season is. It is world renowned for its winter sports, but also for the abundance of natural beauty that exists here. With its picturesque landscapes, easy access to Triglav National Park, and plenty of year round activities – it is definitely a must see place while you’re in Slovenia. We spent quite a bit of time in this area exploring Lake Jasna, Zelenci Lakes Nature Reserve, Slap Peričnik, Vršič Pass, and plenty of other beautiful places.

Best things to do:

  1. Catch sunrise at Lake Jasna and admire the perfect reflection of the surrounding mountains
  2. Take a scenic drive through Vršič Pass which offers sweeping mountain views and over 50 curves
  3. Enjoy the pristine nature of Zelenci Lakes Nature Reserve including its crystal clear emerald blue waters
  4. Take a short hike to Slap Peričnik which stands at over 52m tall

Where to stay:

We stayed at the Best Western Kranjska Gora for two nights since it was centrally located to everything we wanted to see in the area.

5. Mangart Pass

7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

Mangart Pass is the highest and one of the most beautiful alpine roads in Slovenia, which you can drive to reach Mangart, Slovenia’s 4th highest mountain standing at 2679m. The road itself is narrow, windy, and at times a bit dodgy since it was built before WWII by Italian soldiers. It is a haven for climbers, hikers and bikers, as well as cross country skiers in the winter. When we visited, there was hardly anyone on the pass and while hiking we were able to witness incredible views overlooking the valleys below filled with yellow larches.

6. Soča Valley

7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

The Soča Valley was one of my favorite places we visited during our time in Slovenia and features one of the bluest rivers I’ve ever seen in Europe – the Soča River. Its turquoise waters weave through the landscape, stretching from North of Triglav National Park all they way down to Nova Gorica where it crosses the border into Italy. Whether you enjoy hiking, white water rafting, biking, canyoning, or zip lining – the opportunity for outdoor activities here is endless. While we didn’t have much time in the area we did hike to Slap Kozjak and Tolmin Gorge, as well as stop at Kanal ob Soci, Napolean Bridge and Sulkan Bridge. The drive through the region is beautiful and you’ll find yourself wanting to stop every 5 minutes to just admire the views so make sure to give yourself plenty of time here.

Best things to do:

  1. Hike to Slap Kozjak which takes about 1hr15min from the main parking lot. However, we found it shorter to park in the free parking lot near Kamp Lazar. Hiking from here only took us 30-45min.
  2. Walk across Napolean Bridge, a beautiful stone bridge built in 1750 where Napolean’s army crossed on the way to Predel Pass
  3. Stroll through Tolmin Gorge, the southern most point of Triglav National Park and admire the Soča River (6€ entry fee)
  4. Visit the colorful houses of Kanal ob Soci that line the Soča River
  5. Stop by Sulkan Bridge, the largest single arch stone bridge in the world

7. Planina Zajamniki

7 Must See Places In Slovenia - Allie M. Taylor

Nestled high up in the mountains of Triglav National Park is the alpine village of Planina Zajamniki, which is arguably one of the most peaceful and pristine places in Slovenia. The village is made up of wooden cottages and farms dotted amongst a small pasture surrounded by a dense green forest and an incredible backdrop of the Julier Alps in the distance. If there was one word to describe this place it would be idyllic. I would highly recommend spending the afternoon here, renting a bike or enjoying lunch as the sound of birds chirping and cowbells ring in the air. We found it quite confusing to get to the village so make sure to use these GPS coordinates and allow enough time to make it to your destination. I’ve also heard some owners of the wooden cottages rent their houses so it’s worth doing your research if you’re interested in staying here over night.

Other places worth visiting:

Velika Planina, Ljubljana, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, Piran, Otočec Castle, Istria, and Maribor.

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How To Travel The World With A Full Time Job - Allie M. TaylorFrom the picture perfect squares of my Instagram it might be easy to assume that my life consists of nothing but traveling, but what might surprise you is that I actually work a full time job here in Zurich, Switzerland. In the middle of 2017, I decided to ditch the freelance lifestyle, move to Switzerland, and adopt a full time job in the Tech industry. I was excited, but there was a lingering fear in the back of my head that this meant I had to give up my love for traveling. However, since moving to Europe I’ve traveled more than I have in my entire life. In fact, in the last year I’ve visited over 18 countries all while maintaining a 42 hour work week! I say this not to brag but rather to instil a sense of hope. That it’s possible to travel the world without having to be a professional travel blogger or photographer. That you can still be a responsible adult who doesn’t have to quit their job just to satisfy their wanderlust. So in case you’re wondering how to travel with a full time job, I’ve shared 7 of my tried-and-true tips that will allow you to make this possible.

1. Take Advantage of National Holidays

One of my favorite ways to minimize the amount of vacation days I take while traveling is to take advantage of national holidays. If a holiday falls on the middle of the week, I often turn this into a 9-day vacation while only having to use up 4 of my vacation days! On Friday after work I’ll head straight to the airport and return Sunday night on the following weekend or early-Monday morning to get the most out of my holiday week. It’s a great way to see the most in a new city without having to squeeze everything into one weekend.

2. Work Remotely

How to Travel The World With A Full Time Job - Allie M. TaylorMy current and past employers have thankfully all been incredibly supportive of the “remote work” concept. With communication tools like Slack, and Google Hangouts, I can easily work anywhere in the world while still being connected with my team. While I understand working while traveling might not be for everyone, I don’t mind it at all. Working remotely is a great way to spend some time out of the office and in new surroundings, which I actually find conducive to feeling more inspired at work. Often times I’ll choose to allocate a few hours each day to working (usually in the middle of the day if the light is too harsh for shooting), which adds up to one or two days of full work that I don’t have to count as time off. If you are unsure about your company’s remote work policy, make sure to ask your boss or talk to him/her about implementing one if it does not exist already. You’d be surprised how many companies are beginning to be open to the idea of remote work. In fact some are even calling it the future of work!

3. Travel close to home

You don’t have to go far from home to travel! Often times we get so caught up in the idea that we have to fly to another country or travel states away to feel like we are actually “traveling.” However, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover in our own cities and just a few hours from them. There is nothing better than taking a roadtrip with friends, which is not only a more fun way to travel but also cheaper since you can split the costs of things like gas and Air Bnb‘s. When I used to live in Los Angeles, we would always gather a group of friends, pile up into a car, and roadtrip to places like Yosemite, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, or Big Sur for the weekend. And now that I live in Switzerland, it’s easier than ever to make short weekend trips by traveling just a few hours by train.

4. Make Long Weekends Your Best Friend

How To Travel The World With A Full Time Job - Allie M. TaylorWhen you work full time, taking advantage of your weekends and extending them by a day or two is one of the best ways to travel more. This gives you at least three or four days for vacation, which is more than enough time for a trip – even if you want to travel internationally. This year I’ve been able to travel to places like Rome, The Dolomites, Austria, Morocco, Cinque Terre, Turkey, Copenhagen and several Greek Islands all while taking only one or two days off from work by extending my weekends. I often enjoy these trips the most because they require the least amount of planning and travel time.

5. Extend a Work Trip

If you’re going to a conference or business meeting in another city, make sure to extend your trip by a day or two before or after the event takes place. You most likely won’t have time to sight-see during the day, so it’s always nice to have a few extra days to explore on your own time. Not only is it cheaper because your flight is already covered, but it also gives you more time to spend in a city since you’re already there. I did this earlier this year when my company had a work meeting in Copenhagen for a few days, so I chose to stay an extra day afterwards to explore the city.

6. Take Shorter Trips, But More Frequently

How To Travel The World With A Full Time Job - Allie M.Although I travel quite often, I usually only take one or two long vacations a year. By “long vacation”, I mean a trip greater than one week in length. I find that I’m more happy when I spread out my vacation days by taking shorter trips rather than spending them all on one or two holidays. This gives me a bit more flexibility for the rest of the year to take an extra vacation in case I NEED a break from work.

7. Negotiate Your Paid Time Off

Before signing your contract at a new job or undergoing your annual salary review, make sure to stress that time off is a priority and negotiate for more paid time off. If you’re up for a promotion, think about how you prioritize your benefits and consider taking less pay in exchange for more paid time off. If you value travel, it might be worth giving up a 3-4% salary increase for three extra paid vacation days instead.

Do you have any tips on how to travel and work full time? If you do, Please leave your answers in the comments below to share them with everyone else.

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