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This Beautiful Off Path European Country Is One Of The Safest In The World For American Travelers

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Europe is the trendiest spot for summer travel now that border curbs and international travel has resumed.

Famous for its ancient heritage, cobbled Old Towns, and fairy-tale castles, the continent is currently poised for its busiest season in years.

With that being said, a majority of visitors continue to flock to only a handful of countries, particularly Western European ones like Italy, France, Spain, and Germany, either due to a lack of knowledge of Europe's vastness and cultural diversity or decades-old misconceptions about the ‘dangerous' East.

Aerial View Of Bled Castle Perched On A Hill Overlooking Lake Bled With Its Iconic Islet In The Center, Surrounded By The Julian Alps, Slovenia, Central Europe

As it turns out, there is an off-path European country located in the Central-Eastern part that is not only one of the most beautiful but also one of the safest destinations for American travelers:

Slovenia Is One Of The Safest Countries In The World

In a continent jam-packed with gorgeous swimming spots, up-and-coming resort zones, and world-class city breaks, it's easy to forget there are other smaller, less-visited, and arguably more picturesque nations like the tiny Slovenia.

It is technically a Central European power, though culturally and politically, it has always been considered an ‘Eastern' nation.

A Coastal Slovenian Town On The Shores Of The Adriatic Sea, Slovenia, Central Europe

Partially located in the Balkan Peninsula, it was once part of the now-defunct communist state of Yugoslavia, a union that comprised the historic neighbors of Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and a number of other newly-founded republics.

Slovenia has always retained some level of autonomy: even within Yugoslavia, where the lingua franca was Serbo-Croatian, Slovene was one of three official state languages, and Slovenian nationhood and local culture have always shown signs of distinctiveness.

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Predjama Castle, An Ancient Fortress Built Into A Rock Near Postojna, Slovenia, Central Europe

Independence would be achieved only in the nineties, however, and while most post-Yugoslav countries were engulfed in a bloody war, Slovenia walked out almost unscathed, and through the strengthening of the state, and security forces, it's converted into one of Europe's safest destinations.

According to the U.S. Department of State, it is right up there with Iceland, Finland, and the like, as one of a handful of European countries to enjoy Level 1 status in America.

This means safety risks are so low, or even negligible, that Americans are allowed to exercise ‘normal' precautions visiting.

Small Town Of Brda, In The Slovenian Countryside, Slovenia, Central Europe

In essence, there are no no-go zones in Slovenia, nor suburban areas with significantly high levels of crime, unlike in France, parts of Britain, or even Spain, countries heavily hit by rising crime rates and where issues arising from ghettoization have provoked an uptick in urban issues.

Slovenia Is The Eighth Most-Peaceful Country In The World

The rates of petty crime are fairly low, as well, and while visitors are advised to never let their guard down, particularly in popular areas, the risk of getting mugged or facing serious threats or harm in Slovenia is practically non-existent, be it in the Slovene capital or other urban settlements.

As reported by the Institute of Economics and Peace, through their Global Peace Index, calculated using ‘23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources‘, Slovenia is the eighth most peaceful country in the entire world, with a ‘peace' score of 1.334.

Woman in Lake Bled Slovenia

The number one country on the list, the unbeatable Iceland, tops the ranking with a stellar 1.124 (the lower the score, the better).

You know now Slovenia is perfectly safe to visit, and not at all the obscure, dodgy European country that remnants of eighties anti-Eastern propaganda still poisoning our collective imaginary would lead some to believe, but why should you visit it?

Slovenia Is Simply Beautiful

Slovenia may be very small at only 20,273 km², cornered by Croatia to the Southeast, Austria to the North, and Italy to the Southwest, with only a narrow strip of coast to call its own and limited landmass, but it is unarguably one of the prettiest European countries you could visit.

A Picturesque Capital City
Aerial View Of Ljubljana, Slovenia

The charming capital, Ljubljana, feels more like a small town than a stately, financial capital proper.

The postcard-perfect historic center will transport back to times of old when carriages rattled down the cobbled hills, the smell of homemade bread being baked in the morning filled the crisp air, and the loud ring of bells coming out of Gothic belfries add to the idyllic atmosphere.

Strolling Ljubljana Old Town, you will not find experimental, ugly-looking skyscrapers, nor any building that – at least seemingly – were not built post-19th-century.

They are agglutinated at the foot of a massive fortress – Ljubljana Castle – a national symbol.

Stunning Alpine Lakes
View Of Lake Bled With Bled Island And Bled Castle, Slovenia, Central Europe

Outside Ljubljana, a short 40-minute drive Northwest, visitors will hit the stunning Lake Bled, an azure lake with an islet in its center, housing an old medieval church.

The lake is part of the Julian Alps, which stretch from Slovenia all the way to Northeast Italy.

Slovenia's Dinaric range is undoubtedly the prettiest, particularly the area around Bled, which includes the lake, the bucolic town of Bled itself, and imposing fortresses like Bled Castle.

Slovenian nature as a whole should not be underestimated: comprising alpine peaks, deep valleys, crystal-clear rivers, and natural lagoons, it can be surprisingly diverse for a nation as small.

Dramatic Nature
A Female Traveler Hiking In Slovenia, Central Europe

For epic waterfalls and waters of the brightest blue, head to the Triglav National Park, where you'll find numerous family-friendly walking trails and camping sites.

The Kozjansko Regional Park is also not to be missed, with its open green spaces that seem to merge into the horizon to challenge Slovenia's own compact territory and the landmark Skocjan Caves Park.

Other Slovenian attractions that should definitely be added to your list include Predjama, a Renaissance castle etched onto the side of a cliff, and the country's gorgeous Adriatic cities.

A Tourist-Free Coast

Aerial View Of Piran Town, Slovenia, Adriatic Sea

Yes, Slovenia does have a coastline, albeit not an extensive one, but believe it or not, it can rival Dalmatian Croatia's beauty.

With ancient ports like Piran and Koper being renowned for their Romanesque heritage, Southern European-style, ocher-colored buildings, and pristine municipal beaches bounded by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, it is sure to steal your heart.

As the Slovenian coastline is not as popular a tourist destination as Croatia or Montenegro, or in fact any other Balkan country in the vicinity, it is not as crowded, and it can feel more affordable to travel.

Historical Seaside Town Of Piran, Slovenia, Adriatic Sea

Americans can stay in Slovenia – and the wider Schengen Area – for up to 90 days out of any 180-day period.

From 2024, they will also be required to apply for travel authorization in order to enter the Schengen Area, including Slovenia.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS

Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Anita von Koch

Saturday 5th of August 2023

Oh no ! Don’t tell ! Just kidding a little ….we’ve been there three times, absolutely love it , even though in May it rained the whole time….people are friendly , easy to drive there even at my age (77) and many speak English. Can’t wait to go back next year . Ptuij and Maribor as well as the spa town Rogaska Slatina are also worth visiting especially when driving from Austria.

Maryna

Friday 14th of July 2023

We are now in Slovenia. It's overcrowded, fully booked and expensive. We used to spend our vacation here for last 10 years. For now, Slovenia isn't comfortable any more. It's beautiful that is true, but 3-4 bays will be enough to see it. I would recommend Andorra and Romania for summer period to avoid crowds and heat.

Warren

Monday 24th of July 2023

@Maryna, that's exactly why I'll be there in October. Nice weather, no crowds, and cheaper.

Europe does exist in the non-summer months.

Bob Markus

Sunday 9th of July 2023

I’m sure Slovenia is lovely but this “safe” stuff is gross. Go where you’d like, you’re almost certain to not be a victim of crime or be killed in a war, unless you choose to go to a war zone.

William

Saturday 8th of July 2023

You could also plan a trip to Kiew in Ukraine. Enjoy yourself between Russian attacks.

Scott

Saturday 8th of July 2023

Another country about to be overrun by the selfie taking hordes.