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Slovenia grabs some of Europe’s most alluring landscapes and rolls them up into one neat package. There are alpine slopes, milky-green rivers, serene lakes and even sandy beaches. It might not seem possible, but there are even nearly 47 kilometres of sparkly-clean coastline squeezed onto the western edge, as you can see from our map of Slovenia below.
Slovenia’s good looks have attracted the attention of adrenaline fiends who get their kicks through caving, skiing, rafting, rock climbing, or bungee jumping from a bridge over the Soča River. More sedate pleasures await on Lake Bled, whose teardrop-shaped central island – best accessed by rowboat – is crowned by a richly decorated church.
For a taste of Slovenian culture and cooking, make a beeline for the capital, Ljubljana. Museums and galleries dot the area just west of the river, where you’ll also find restaurants serving hearty local ingredients like venison, doughy bread and earthy mushrooms, which are at their absolute best with a glass of local plonk. So: red or white?