Slovenia is much wilder than people think. The little-known Julian Alps are covered in glaciers, mountain lakes and waterfalls. It’s perfect for walking or mountain sports. Or for a very relaxed and mindful holiday.

Lake Bled is world-famous. The mountains, the lake, the castle on the hill. It’s all picture-perfect. It looks like a postcard at any time of day.

Slovenia is a closeby destination.
Slovenia is a closeby destination. Corno van den Berg

A bit further on there’s the much quieter Lake Bohinj in Slovenia’s only national park, Triglav. It’s named after its highest peak, which is 2.864 metres high. And Slovenians say that you can’t call yourself a Slovenian until you’ve been on top of it.

This mountain range is where the Soča river starts, which many say is the most beautiful river in Europe. This is because the water is full of minerals that give it a light blue or even green colour. The water creates chasms in the rocks, which look like pieces of artwork in the landscape. Like those at Tolmin Gorges, and I also noticed them nearby Kobarid.

A winery in the west of Slovenia.
A winery in the west of Slovenia. Corno van den Berg

Slovenia is also a land of wine, both red and white. You can explore its wine area at your leisure, by car, by bike or by other means. There are three large wine regions in Slovenia, in the northeast (Podravje), the southwest (Posavje) and the far west of the country (Primorska).

Wine lovers can roam from glass to glass here. At one of the wine tastings, I started wondering: why is Slovenian wine relatively unknown?