Slovenia stretches between the Alps, the Adriatic and the Pannonian Plain, covering an area of 20,273 square kilometres. It shares its borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The majority of Slovenian terrain is hilly or mountainous, with around 90% of the surface 200 meters or more above sea level. The Alps - including the Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Karavanke chain, as well as the Pohorje massif — dominate Northern Slovenia along its long border to Austria. The highest mountain in Slovenia is Mount Triglav at 2864 metres. Slovenia's Adriatic coastline stretches approximately 43 kilometers (27 miles) from Italy to Croatia. Slovenia's Karst Plateau, situated in the southwest is a limestone region of underground rivers, gorges, and caves, between Ljubljana and the Mediterranean. On the Pannonian plain to the East and Northeast, toward the Croatian and Hungarian borders, the landscape is essentially flat.
The time in Slovenia is GMT + 1 hour and GMT + 2 hours in summer time.
The official language of Slovenia is Slovene, a South Slavic language spoken by only two million people. In border regions of the country, with mixed nationalities, Italian and Hungarian are also spoken. The use of foreign languages in communication, including English, German, Italian, French and Spanish, is widespread throughout the country. We recommend that you take a pocket phrase book and learn some basics such as common greetings.
From July to September the weather is generally very good. We can expect daytime, valley temperatures in the range 24 – 30°C / 75 – 86°F in July and August, dropping to 15°C / 59°F overnight. September temperatures will be a few degrees cooler. Temperatures will also be cooler at altitude but should be comfortable for trekking in shorts and short sleeved shirts (should you wish). As with any mountain area there is the risk of some poor weather, with rain and wind. However, we should encounter mainly clear and sunny days even in September. This area usually enjoys a very pleasant and stable climate.
The unit of currency in Slovenia is the Euro. For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com. It is not necessary to purchase Euros outside the country. Cash can be withdrawn from ATM's using a credit card or a debit card. There are cash point facilities at Ljubljana Airport (in the departures area!) and in Bled. Credit and debit cards can be used to purchase goods and services and at most larger restaurants.
A passport with 6 months remaining validity is required. Visas are not required by UK or EU passport holders, or by nationals of the USA and Canada for visits for tourist purposes. Other nationalities should check with the Slovenian Consulate in their own country.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. No special vaccinations are required for Slovenia. UK residents should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling. The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only, and you'll be treated on the same basis as an 'insured' person living in the country you're visiting. Remember, this might not cover all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care. You can obtain an EHIC from the Department of Health by phone, online, or at the post office.
Additional Sources of Information
Lonely Planet. Slovenia.
Rough Guide. Slovenia.
The Julian Alps. Simon Brown (Cicerone).
Walking in the Alps. Kev Reynolds (Cicerone).
Freytag and Berndt. Slovenia. 1:150,000
Planinska Zveza Slovenije. Julijske Alpe. 1:50,000
Lonely Planet - www.lonelyplanet.com
Rough Guides - www.roughguides.com