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Slovenia Film Commission

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Slovenian landscapes

Slovenian Alps

Alpine pasture The Alps region actually includes three major mountain groups. As well as the Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, there is also the Karavanke range. These mountains form a natural border with Austria, Slovenia’s northern neighbour, since many of the south-facing slopes lie in Slovenia, while the north- facing slopes are in Austria. The region boasts many picturesque narrow valleys and Slovenia’s largest river, the Sava, has carved out a terraced plain that gradually widens until it reaches Ljubljana.
The heart of the Alps lies within the Julian Alps, whose breathtaking peaks are dominated by Slovenia’s highest mountain, Mount Triglav (2,864 metres). The greater part of the region of the Julian Alps falls within the Triglav National Park, which is one of Europe’s largest natural parks. The Julian Alps are adorned by two beautiful glacial lakes: Lake Bled, in the middle of which is an island with a church, with a medieval castle standing on the cliff overlooking the lake, and Lake Bohinj, set in the middle of unspoiled mountain scenery. The river Sava Bohinjka, whose source is the noisy Savica waterfall, flows through the lake.
Not far from Lake Bled is Blejski Vintgar, the remarkable natural gorge of the river Radovna. The only way through the gorge is via balconies attached to the cliff.The enormous pine forests of the Pokljuka Plateau, a venue for important biathlon competitions, draw you into their serenity in silence.
Lovers of water, lush green countryside and adrenaline sports will be enchanted by the emerald river Soča. The upper course of this river winds through one of the most beautiful valleys in Slovenia, the Trenta Valley. Other Alpine valleys are also worth a visit, for example Tamar, comprising Planica and the world’s largest ski jump. Here, new world records are constantly being set. Kranjska Gora, famous for decades as a World Cup skiing venue, is accompanied by the ski resorts Kobla and Vogel. Nowhere else in Slovenia is there such a difference in the elevation of river bed and mountain peak.

Pannonian Landscape

jeruzalem_vineyards

Several natural features give north-eastern Slovenia its particular character. Among the largest are the Pohorje massif, the hills of Slovenske Gorice and the plains of Pomurje. The Pomurje region is where Murska Sobota is situated, the town which prides itself on the Renaissance Sobota Castle. Maribor, the 2012 European Capital of Culture, boasts the oldest vine in the world. Nearby is Ptuj, which is Slovenia’s oldest town and the medieval city of Celje. Slovenj Gradec has one of the most beautiful town centres in the country, whereas Šalek Valley with the busy mining town of Velenje are just a stone’s throw away. Podčetrtek is famous for the Terme Olimia spa, named after the nearby village of Olimje, the location of a monastery containing the oldest pharmacy in Europe. Many visitors come to Mozirje because of the Mozirski Gaj Horticultural Park. Rogatec is the location of Slovenia’s largest open-air museum. Slovenske Konjice is one of the beautifully kept towns in Slovenia. Sights include the old castle, Trebnik and the oldest inn in Slovenia, which has been beautifully restored. Šempeter in the Savinja Valley has an archaeological park with a Roman necropolis, one of the most beautiful archaeological monuments in Slovenia.
The rivers Drava and Mura, which wind across the region, are two of Slovenia’s most important rivers. The thickly forested Pohorje massif is a green wonder among Slovenia’s mountain regions, famous for its peat marshes, lakes and extensive grassy plains. Other sights worth mentioning include the forest reserve by Črno Jezero (the Black Lake), the Lovrenc Lakes and the Šumnik waterfall.
South of Pohorje lies one of Slovenia’s three regional parks.The Kozjansko Regional Park contains a blend of mountainous, hilly and flat areas, with most of the park included in the Europe-wide Natura 2000 network for the protection of biological diversity. The east of Slovenia has dozens of thermal springs and natural thermal health resorts and thermal spas have sprung up around many of them.The most famous of them are the thermal springs in Radenci and Rogaška Slatina, which is also very famous for its crystal and glass products. A thermal health resort is also a feature of Laško on the river Savinja, best known for its brewery and the annual Festival of Beer & Flowers.

Mediterranean Landscape

Marine-Isola-Sail-Yacht-Island-SeaThanks to the sub-Mediterranean climate, winters are mild and summers are hot and dry, although the vegetation is considerably more luxuriant than in other Mediterranean countries. In geographical terms, the Slovenian Mediterranean is part of the Slovenian Istria, with its hilly green coastal area that extends to the edge of the Karst, clearly delineating the boundary between the Karst and the coastal region.
Thick strata of marl and sandstone in the Bay of Strunjan create the highest flysch cliff of the whole Adriatic coast. The Strunjan Cliff towers over 80 metres above the sea, while the vertical cliffs at Črni Kal and Osp are now among the best and most demanding rock-climbing areas in Europe. Even more famous are the Sečovlje saltworks in the Bay of Piran, which have been operating since at least the year 800 and is the only one of its kind in the Mediterranean. Natural beauties also lie hidden beneath the surface of the sea. Incredibly rich and varied marine flora and fauna are waiting to be discovered in the sea at Piran, for example as near as the marine natural monument, Punta Madonna.
Koper is the most important town on the Slovenian coast and the sixth largest town in Slovenia.The town was founded by the Romans, while centuries of Venetian rule have left their marks on it. The immaculately preserved medieval town centre is one of the most beautiful sights of the northern part of the Istrian peninsula, while the town’s port, the Port of Koper, holds enormous strategic importance for the whole of Slovenia.

Dinaric and Karst Landscape

Predjamski grad - Castle Slovenia’s karst landscape spans the area from the Karst Plateau along the border with Italy to Krško Polje on the border with Croatia. The most dramatic karst area is to be found in south-western Slovenia, where besides karst caves, other phenomena such as poljes, dolines, karren and karst springs can be observed. Around the world, all phenomena of this type are known as karst phenomena, from the German name for this Slovenian plateau. Besides the Škocjan Caves and Vilenica Cave near Divača, the most famous and most visited karst cave is Postojna Cave and with almost 35 million visitors to date, it is the most popular show cave in Europe.The cave is renowned as the home of the only cave-dwelling vertebrate in Europe, a pale-skinned amphibian popularly known as the human fish (Proteus anguinus).
Other extraordinary natural sights are the intermittent Lake Cerknica, the Vipava Valley, the location of Zemono Manor and the Kolpa and Krka rivers. The latter has formed a picturesque valley, while on its lower course there are two river islands. The castle on the little island of Otočec has been converted into a hotel. Kostanjevica na Krki is an entire little town on a river island. The south of Slovenia is covered by extensive forests, including the virgin forest of Kočevski Rog.
Meanwhile, the south-west of the country is lent a particular charm by vineyard-covered hills topped with little churches. One of the most beautiful places on the Karst Plateau is Štanjel, which is also a fascinating example of town planning.The terraced design of the medieval settlement can still be seen. In the little village of Lipica, on the edge of the Karst Plateau, thoroughbred white Lipizzaner horses were first bred over 400 years ago. The most important towns of this region are Postojna and the very picturesque Novo Mesto, with a beautiful medieval centre that is surrounded by several vineyard-covered hills such as Trška Gora, where the local Cviček wine is produced. But let us not forget about Metlika and Črnomelj in the region known as Bela Krajina (White Carniola). Right on the border with Italy lies Slovenia’s youngest city, Nova Gorica, which is famous as the largest casino centre in Slovenia.
Finally, perhaps the most interesting to producers, are Turjak, with an interesting Renaissance castle just south of Ljubljana and Predjama Castle. The latter is a picturesque castle perched halfway up a vertical cliff. Behind it is an extensive cave system, through which the inhabitants of the castle were able to supply themselves with food during times of siege.