Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Dayna at Wanderlusting. Do you have an Escape of the Week you’d like to contribute? Let me know! Dtravelsround [at] gmail [dot] com. Your Escape could be the next Escape!
I expected to enjoy Slovenia. A year ago, I looked up photos and videos of Lake Bled, the Julian Alps, and Ljubljana, excited for the ‘someday’ when I would get there. What I did NOT expect, however, was to fall completely head over heels in love with Slovenia. In terms of rugged beauty, medieval old towns, and that nagging sense that visitors feel — that they are walking inside of a postcard — it rivals any and all of Europe’s better known destinations.
My guidebook told me to go see nearby (and virtually unheard of) Radovljica for the bee museum, which didn’t really sound that appealing to me, but my cousin insisted I pay the town a visit. I am so glad I did. It may not have the tourist draw that Bled and Bohinj do, but it is absolutely perfect for an afternoon of unguided strolling, people watching and getting off the beaten path a bit.
The journey to Radovljica from Bled is as valuable as visiting the town itself, especially in the autumn. Traditional Slovenian houses, fields and forests of every color and the surrounding Alps make it a visual treat.
After peeking around a few corners, I was greeted by a restored and wonderful Old Town dating back to medieval times, locally dubbed Linhartov Trg. Being a coffee lover, I was impressed by the sheer amount of cafes in their small town square. On Sundays, as in most of Slovenia, this is the place where locals take a stroll to see their neighbors and
The streets are immaculately kept, as are the buildings themselves. Every corner, it seems, is more inviting than the last. Hanging flower baskets and small orchards are common once you venture a few blocks away from Linhartov Trg.
As with most small Slovene towns, the focal point and highlight is its beautiful, Gothic church. The Parish Church of Saint Peter sits patiently on a hilltop overlooking the dense forest, and dates back to the 14th century.
While visitors aren’t allowed inside, they are welcome to explore the grounds, the neighboring parish and take a peek through the church doors at the incredible architecture and ceiling murals.
The best gifts Radovljica has to offer are the many incredible vistas of Mount Triglav and the surrounding Alps, the Sava River and the glimpse at everyday life that is best enjoyed away from the crowds.
Getting There: Slovenia’s biggest tourist attraction in its own right is Lake Bled which is only 5 kilometers away from Radovljica. Buses leave from Bled’s main bus station every half hour, and return just as frequently.
Have you visited Slovenia? What city stood out the most for you?
About the Author: Dayna was raised in Washington State and studied International Studies and Global Development at the University of Idaho, where her interests led her to further explore Islam and the West and African Development. At the tender age of five, she held up an inflatable globe from National Geographic and declared that she would conquer the world and collect whales. She is also a seasoned singer/songwriter, hula hoop dancer, poi spinner, coffee enthusiast and avid lover of travel and useless trivia. Follow her on Twitter; Like Wanderlusting on Facebook.