Pretty Cities & Villages

Green Slovenia is basically a big Green nature park with one small city, a few small towns and a huge number of cute little villages.. a lot of people are lucky enough to live in the countryside here!

In many new countries the first thing you might consider to start exploring is to get a map out and have a game of join the dots, going city by city to get around.. but in Green Slovenia this is the very last thing you should do.. all the best bits here are in the amazing Green nature.. so the dots to join here here are amazing waterfalls, gorges, forests, lakes, rivers, vineyards and mountains!!

But as you travel the very short distances around this tiddly country.. one thing that might hit you about the pretty little towns here is how completely different they look to each other! Very often you need to pinch yourself to remember which country you are in as it always looks European.. but sometimes Italian, Austrian, Hungarian, Balkon, Roman, Venetian, Napoleonic..

There are two main reasons for this very pleasant sense of confusion..

Firstly, Green Slovenia is the ONLY country in Europe with a Mediterranean coast, Alpine mountains, continental and Pannonian plains!

Secondly, Slovenia's fantastic position in the centre of Europe means there is a huge history here all around where different powers marched through.. up and down.. twiddling their moustaches, leaving their boot prints and all types of different architecture..

To put it simply, no town looks alike here.. on one short journey you might see Italian style administrative buildings that can deal with wind and snow, then the red terracotta roofs of the Mediterrranean, changing to thicker Italian style Apline houses with big slanted roofs, changing again to Germanic style Alpine villages.. it is truly amazing to see!

Take our little home village of Landol as an example.. in a little over 100 years.. Landol has been under the control of the Austrian empire, the Italian republic, (winning the football world cup twice in this time, by the way), Nazi Germany for a bit, socialist Yugoslavia, Slovenia independently and currently Slovenia within the EU.. so the point is there has been a lot of change here over time and if you want to look out for it you might see all this history in front of your very eyes!

And the last thing to mention about Lipizzaner Lodge's fantastic location is that you can get to Venice (Italy) in just under 2 hours, Zagreb (Croatia) in the same time and a host of other exciting Italian or Croatian or even Austrian destiantions in as little as half an hour, depending on where and what you would like to explore!

So if you do decide to do some town hopping, maybe to check out a castle, do a spot of souvenir shopping or have a great meal, we will tell you now about a few of our favourite bigger places you can explore around here.. and a few special small ones too!

  museumdistrict in ljubljana slovenia  lovely river in ljubljana

Ljubljana or Trieste?

These are the 2 closest cities and airports to the Lodge, both about half an hour in opposite directions and each offering a completely different experience and day out for guests!

It may even come down to a straight shoot out between these two for your one "city Day" and this is a really tricky one as personally, we love them both!

Lovely Ljubljana..

You could drive 30 mins to Ljubljana or we could drop you off at Postojna train station in the morning for the fantastic hour long train ride to the capital for a car free day. Maybe you didn't think to take the train here in Green Slovenia, but even this trip has more of a feel of a "funbus tourist ride" than commuter trek and we would massively  recommend it!

Ljubljana is really tiny.. there is only a 10 min walk from the station to the river, but this is a good way to get a feel of the place as you walk in.

The riverside is the place to aim for with the triple bridge, cafes and market place.. you will immediately notice that this is a chilled out relaxed city and you can walk everywhere.

In the very centre, there are no cars and this massively helps the whole mood of the place.. a "greenprint" for other cities.. we particularly love the tea houses on the cobbled street behind the cafe lined riverside and there are no end of museums.

There is a very nice old green park on the edge of the centre where we leave the car if we drive and walk in.. the grander buildings will be foreign embassies, national or government buildings, so all quite surreal.. it is not quite Monaco, but the more you know about Ljubljana, the cuter and smaller it gets! 

There is nothing particularly wrong with the pretty castle high above the centre, but we know there are lots of other amazing castles in Green Slovenia, so if you consider there are also plenty of other things to do and see in the city, we wrote a blog about the other castles in Green Slovenia here to give you more options..

So you could have great fun wandering round "important building spotting", but the architecture here is pretty special too.. Barcelona had Gaudi, Ljubljana had Plecnik, who was given almost free reigh to redesign the city following an earthquake and he did a pretty good job.

But there are also some dark, stark socialist towers on the Ljubljana skyline and we very much hope these will be preserved as this is also part of the city's history..

and the architecture here is also pretty special, the city Ljubljana is great for walking, eating and sipping cofffee, maybe even buying a souvenir.. also think about doing a guided bike tour around Europe's smallest and cutest capital city.

There will be plenty of time for an evening meal and a glass of wine before you jump on the train home. 

   trieste old centre   take the tram down to the lively city of trieste 

Tutti Frutti Trieste..

Squeezed between the Italian Adriatic coast and the high Karst cliffs is the perfect place to experience the hustle & bustle of an Italian city with street markets, a well preserved Roman ampitheatre and mopeds buzzing around the narrow, confusing streets.

Trieste was made into a bustling city port by the Austro Hungarians when the Emperor realised he was way behind the British and the French.. so the small coastal town of 10,000 was expanded dramatically into a busy naval port with a quarter of a million people!

No expense was spared and so you can expect to see a treat of Austro Hungarian architecture to compliment the Roman ruins, including a little ampitheatre. Then in later years the Italians took the city over before Slovenia ever got the chance, but there is still a large Slovenian minority living in the last Italian city..

We just love walking around here trying not to get lost and experienceing a bit of Italian shopping, culture and craziness before disappearing back to the tranquilit of our chosen lifestyle!

Check out our article on taking the tram or bus down the cliff into Trieste, for a truly sensational day out.. you can park in a little town called Opcina (25 mins from the Lodge) on top of the cliff and take an antique tram down to the city.. (when the tram is working as it keeps breaking.. but the bus goes exactly the same route)..

There is a castle worth visiting at the very end of Trieste called Miramare with even better gardens, but you would need to take a bus there or drive.. you can also take a ferry from the harbour to magical Muggia, another of our little Italian treats!


It is perfectly possible to get up a little earlier and go see Venice for the day from the Lodge and some of our guests have.. one hour away and on the road to Venice is another Italian treasure called Palmanova.. we just love this place..

It is a perfect example of a Venetian fortress town, built with a huge exterior defensive wall in the shape of a star with defensive towers all around and huge gateways.. Each layer of the town is built as a circle and the circles keep getting smaller as you go into the centre.. where there is a grand square or Piazza.. we love it!

   venzone the pretty town rebuilt after an earthquake   day out in venice from slovenia

Here are some of our favourite little Slovenian towns & villages to pop into on your adventures..

Stanjel..(35 mins from the Lodge)..

Is a medieval hill top town with stunning views over the Kras Teran wine region, particularly if you walk to the top of the hill in the walled town.. 

Dobrovo.. (55 mins)..

Another lovely little hilltop town with a small castle and central for another of Slovenia's wine regions in the Gorica Hills (Goriska Brda).. the secret "Cramp gorge" is also hidden away in this mini region..

Idrija.. (50 mins)..

In Unesco protected Idrija you can put on a miner's helmet and go down the world's second largest mercury mine, then maybe visit the lace and rare stone museum situated in yet another fantastic Slovenian castle and maybe later see Europe's largest wooden water wheel.. there is also a really beautiful river nearby for a summer swim..

Skofja Loka.. (60 mins)..

There is a small, but fantastic old town in Slovenia's second oldest town and the high street here has several independant souvenir shops selling great Slovenian gifts, which are not easy to find in Slovenia.. there is a fab castle which holds the story of the Black Prince who appears on the town's flag AND this town holds the oldest street play in Europe, still performed by the townspeople every 5 years at Easter!

Kamnik.. (60 mins)..

If you could pre imagine how a Slovenian medieval town would look, then rock up at Kamnik and this might be the one! It has the lot.. mountains, river, old town, pretty churches and a little castle on a hill to see it all from!

It is our GO TO place for guests who have an hour or two to spare before going to Ljubljana airport, as it is so close AND it is a perfect coffee or ice cream stop before or after going up Big Mountain meadow mountain, Velika Planina or experiencing the delights of Kamnik gorge and other watery friends!

There are great cafes and the main street is pedestrianised, which is rare in Slovenia, so you can have a good old stroll and maybe pop into amuseum too.. we love this place!

Kanal.. (55 mins)..

The village of Kanal, (55 mins) is the perfect stopover for coffee or ice cream to view the bridge over the stunning Soca river, (see our rivers page). There is a lovely walk through the tiny old town down to the shore of the river here for a really great view and the chance to dip your toes in the clear water.

the Soca valley three..

And Kanal is the gateway to the Soca valley with three beautiful little Alpine towns flanking the Soca river.. Tolmin, (80 mins) Kobarid (90 mins) and Bovec (110 mins).. each one is perfect for a stop off as you explore their own secret gorges, waterfalls and spectacular Alpine hikes as well as fab places to eat.

Robidisce.. Blackberry village.. (110 mins)..

Take a detour form Kobarid past the warm river in the Alps and the secret Napolean bridge and push west on along narrow, hair raising little roads and you will get to Slovenia's most westerly village.. Blackberry.. 

Apart from literally being in the middle of nowhere, the other main attraction here is that the village has been 70% deserted by it's residents, but each house has a photo outside it, to show who lived there and so this little village lives on and is like a mini museum!

   the pretty hilltop town of dobrovo in slovenia    pretty village in slovenian alps


   idrija surrounded by mountains in slovenia   kanal overlooking the stunning soca river

Vipava.. (20 mins)..

Just over the other side of Nanos mountain, behind the Lodge is the Vipava Valley and the old town of Vipava is a great place to explore and get a bite to eat.. there are 7 new rivers flowing into this one town and the water is so clear you can see the trout swimming!

You can also get the best ice cream in Slovenia in a little cafe here and there is even a wine university here as the Vipava valley is yet another Slvoenian wine region! There is a crumbled castle on top of a hill to climb up to for great valley views and would you also believe it.. two 4,500 year Egyptian sarcophagi hidden away in the local cemetery!

Vipava Kriz.. (35 mins)..

A tiny little medieval hill top village in the middle of the Vipava valley with a castle and a lovely cafe.. the perfect stopover for a stroll and maybe a spot of wine tasting.. a central point for several sensational Vipava valley hikes and bike rides..

Slovenske Konjice.. (Horseville).. (100 mins)..

Don't be too scared off by the name, it means Slovenian horse, so we came up with Horseville.. This is another one of those little old town high streets that you might have dreamed Slovenia might look like before you came.. mountains in the background, river, a bridge with horse statues on and even little canal through the high street and a really fantastic cafe called the Tattenbach Pub, where you get cinnamon flavoured coffee, a slice of chocolate AND a poem..

So Horseville is just off the motorway and is the gateway to the sensational mini region we will call ROGLA, after the mountain with the Tree Top walk and the hike to the Magic Mountain Ponds and yet another of Slovenia's MOST SECRET SECRET PLACES.. the uberamazing Zice Monastery Fortress!

Ptuj.. (2hours)..

There is a great castle with 2 museums above the oldest town in Slovenia at Ptuj and a great city - countryside combination for Lodge guests is to also visit the nearby rolling wine hills of Jerusalem during the day..

Also in the East of Slovenia we love the picturesque villages of "Wednesday village" Podšreda and "Thursday village" Podcetrtek, (2 hours), right on the Croatian border, containing  castles, a chocolate museum & natural thermal spas and you can even do a wine tour here as part of a great day out.

Metlika, (1 hour 45) is like an island hidden away in the corner of Slovenia and surrounded by silver birch forests and is yet another different mini wine region to explore.

And if you do like a day beside the seaside.. then have a look at our coast section as there are too many lovely little Slovenian Mediterranean towns to mention, but we do in our Coast section..

Croatia.. (Istria)..

Just over the border in Croatian Istria there are beautiful little hilltop towns like Motovun (75 mins) and in our opinion the even more wonderful Groznjan (65 mins) to visit. Wonderful Buzet (55 mins) is even closer!

Head to the coast and the charming imperial seaside resort of Opatija (65 mins) is a great day out with the choice of walking the wonderful "Lungomare", which is a coastal path built by the Austrian emperor along the coast both directions from Opatija.

On the western side of the Istrian peninsula coast you could spend tha day visiting the seaside towns of Umag, (60 mins), Porec (85 mins), Pula (105 mins), or Rovinj (95 mins)..


Address: Landol 17, Postojna 6230, Slovenia

Phone: +386 5620 3443
Mobile: +386 40 47 0239 or +386 40 37 8037