Slovenia is located in Eastern Europe, bordering Italy to the west and Austria to the north. It has a narrow land gateway to the Adriatic Coast. The first part of the former country of Yugoslavia to leave, nearly 20 years ago and peacefully, before the first of the Balkan Wars, it has built up a reputation as a major international destination, and upgraded many facilities to Western European standards over the past two decades.
Slovenia has a long and illustrious skiing history and today there are about 50 ski centres spread across the nation’s Julian Alps, of which three of the largest are consistently in the brochures. The whole country is quite mountainous, with an average height of 600m (nearly 2,000 feet) above sea level, it is marketed as the “sunny end” of the Alps.
Most of the famous Slovenian ski areas are, however, quite low altitude compared to some of the best known resorts in the Western Alps, so most have invested in extensive snow making. The ski areas themselves are also of quite a small scale compared to the big resorts to the west.
So the core markets are those looking for a different ski destination, beautiful scenery, good value and a generally laid back ski holiday, without the need for dawn till dusk skiing clocking up the piste kilometres. Beginners will find excellent ski schools and high value. Another positive point is that most ski areas are within an hour’s drive of either the airport serving the country’s capital, Ljubljana, or Klagenfurt over the border in south-eastern Austria.
One of the best known resorts in the Slovenia is Kranjska Gora, which is only six kilometres (four miles) from both the Austrian and Italian borders and is a regular host of World Cup events.
Bled is the country’s main destination resort year round, thanks to its picturesque lake and long standing reputation. It has a small local ski hill above it but that’s only open evenings and weekends, so most skiers are bussed for 30-45 minutes to the ski centres of Kobla and Vogel on Lake Bohinj, which are laid back ski centres in their own right too.