Slovenias bewildering variety of landscapes make this small country feel larger than it is, yet still easy to explore - try our "Slovenian Alps Adventure Walk" tour. In the North, where Austria borders the Julian Alps, life still moves at a slower pace. Cut off from their neighbours by limestone peaks and dramatic gorges, the locals still believe in fairytales. Lake Bohinj was formed by the tears of an unhappy queen, the Julian Alps were gouged out by Zlatorog, the golden horned goat. Half-timbered villages, crowned with mushroom domed churches, celebrate a calendar of medieval festivals. Meadows where the sun bleaches grass piled high in timber hayracks, still ring to the tinkle of cow bells.
Nowadays there is sophistication too at beautiful Lake Bled, put on the map by 19C travellers. Towards Italy are the sundrenched vines of the Vipava valley where over a dozen wines are produced. Slovenia is even spectacular underground, with 8,000 caves hiding twisted stalagmite columns, underground rivers and the salamander, (called humanfish because of its pink skin) the only living creature able to survive underground. On the coast, Slovenia compares to Croatia, with its colorful harbours, pastel colored houses, Venetian campaniles and some of the cleanest waters in the Adriatic. And in Ljubljana, you will find an interesting blend of medieval alleys and Art Nouveau arcades. Largely designed by 19C local architect, Plecnik, who also built much of Prague, the capital has a Central European feel.