Wellness Active breaks in green Slovenia
From yoga retreats to mountain climbing, well being holidays are what Slovenia was made for
Whether that’s adventures in your head as you meditate on a mountain top or in real life as you hike through a canyon
Most of us spend too much time indoors on screens, and far too little time outdoors in nature. So it makes sense to fill your holidays with as much nature and adventure as possible.
Whether that’s adventures in your head as you meditate on a mountain top or in real life as you hike through a canyon.
With its green credentials and emphasis on conservation, embracing nature and being truly eco-friendly, Slovenia has put itself firmly on the tourist map for fitness, health, adventure and well being breaks. So if you need to recharge your batteries, look no further than the little green wonderland at the heart of Europe.
For adventure-seekers: cycling and hiking
For such a small country, there’s a seriously diverse landscape to explore, and cycling has to be the best way to see it. With many well-routed trails, you can explore so much of the country under your own steam, and it’s a popular sport, so cyclists are well catered for. You’ll be sure to meet plenty of friendly locals who’ll lend you a little help or encouragement if you get lost. Plus, cycle trip pit stops are the best way to sample local cuisine. If you see a traditional inn, make sure you stop for a tipple of Slovenian wine.
Look out for bike-friendly hotels, which display a bicycle symbol showing they offer a variety of cycling services (from one to five bicycles, as well as the usual star rating).
If you prefer a more leisurely pace, hiking is another popular pastime in Slovenia, and the locals appreciate visitors connecting with their environment and exploring on foot. In fact, it’s such a big deal that there’s even a Slovenian hiking festival. There are 10,000 km of intersecting mountain and meadow trails.
For an extra dimension, try one of the thematic trails, based around cultural and natural heritage, people, cuisine, architecture, history, or nature and wildlife. Plan your trails here.
A third dimension for exploring is by horse. Horse riding has a long history in the country and you can trot around various horse-friendly regions including Idrija, Maribor – Pohorje, Bohinj, Posavje and Dolenjska.
Equestrian fanatics can visit the famous Lipica stud farm where beautiful Lipizzan horses are kept. And around the country there are farms and ranches holidaymakers can stay at to enjoy their time in the saddle.
For water babies: watersports and wild swimming
Water babies will love Slovenia for its plethora of beautiful waterways, from tremendous waterfalls, to pretty streams, majestic rivers and stunning lakes. Kayaking and whitewater rafting are popular, or you can try your hand at SUP (stand up paddle boarding).
There are 48 official bathing areas in Slovenia (with 18 at natural sites), where the quality of the water is regularly checked. But in most natural pools and lakes, you’re free to swim at your own risk, and most cases, the quality of the water is excellent, so dive in!
One official site to recommend is the Radlje ob Dravi Water Park, which has an innovative biological cleaning device that keeps the water quality high. After a splash, you can take a beautiful walk along the River Drava.
Get your adrenaline fix in the Soča river valley, canoeing through narrow gorges or white water rafting. The lakes also offer an array of watersports, so you can give rafting a go, or maybe try a spot of yoga on a paddle board.
For chill-seekers: spas and digital detoxes
For calming and rejuvenating, Slovenia is perfect too. Its natural abundance of rich thermal and mineral waters mean a huge variety of spas and health resorts have grown up. These offer a wide range of complementary and water therapies. Modern facilities are popping up all the time, with many hotels now complete with expert treatments such as thalassotherapy, Kneipp and oxygen therapies. Most also combine ancient traditions and massage using the natural mineral water and rich mud from the diverse glacial landscape, and native flowers for their healing properties.
Choose your perfect pampering environment to suit your body and mind. There are resorts dedicated to everything you could hope for, from luxury wellness, to centres dedicated to particular health issues, plus fitness-oriented and family-friendly spas.
And in a busy world where the need for digital detoxes and meditation retreats is on the up, Slovenia has truly embraced the idea of Selfness - turning itself into the perfect place to reconnect with your inner self, internal energy and the true power of your unique creativity. Using methods and principles developed over thousands of years in the Far East and Asia, such as meditation, yoga and detoxes, many resorts offer complete overhaul and reset packages, essential for those living too-busy lives at home. Embrace the energy of the earth, hug a tree (literally), go forest bathing (it’s the new sunbathing) and listen to the unique sounds of nature to help with your meditation practice. Bliss.