Slovenia has been ranked the fourth-best country in the world for women

The new global Women, Peace and Security Index, released at the end of October at the United Nations, has placed Slovenia as the fourth-best country for women out of the 153 countries.

An attractive woman enjoying a cup of coffee at the Neboticnik skyscraper in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia
A new report has found that Slovenia is the fourth-best country for women. (photo: Nea Culpa d.o.o.)

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Index, developed by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and the Peace Research Institute Of Oslo (PRIO), is structured around three basic dimensions of women’s well-being: inclusion, justice and security. It looks at everything from women’s education and financial inclusion, to cell phone use, discrimination and violence.

Slovenia placed fourth in the ranking, with top scores in women’s financial inclusion and cellphone use. The index also reveals that women are generally highly educated in Slovenia, and a vast majority of women perceived their communities to be safe.

Overall, the best countries for women are Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Singapore, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. The United States ranked No. 22, in part due to having no legal mandate for equal pay nor legally guaranteed paid maternity leave.

At the bottom of the list are Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali, Sudan, Niger, Lebanon, Cameroon and Chad.

The index is to be updated every two years.

The chart below shows countries ranked by quality of women’s lives in 2017 (0 = worst, 1 = best).

Young woman rides a bicycle on the Preseren square in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia
Slovenia is a top country to be a woman. (photo: Nea Culpa d.o.o.)

Slovenia Tops The Reader’s Digest’s List Of 10 Places You NEED to Go in 2018

Slovenia is getting a great deal of attention in the travel press this year. This time, the Reader’s Digest magazine put Slovenia on top of the hottest places to visit in 2018.

Lake Bled with its island and castle
The picturesque Lake Bled is one of the most outstanding places that are worth visiting in Slovenia. (photo: Janez Tolar)

They summed up their decision with the following words: ‘Everyone seems to be discovering this affordable gem in Eastern Europe at the same time: Recently Lonely Planet named the Julian Alps one of the top 10 regions to visit. The New York Times featured the charming medieval capital city of Ljubljana in its 36-hour destinations (we also found an amazing tree house there). National Geographic awarded the capital is Legacy Award, and local chef Ana Ros was named the World’s Best Female Chef in Pellegrino’s “The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.” The small nation with the big green image (it’s one of the world’s most eco-friendly destinations) offers rafting, hiking, boating, and biking in the summer; alpine skiing in the winter; and fabulous food and culture year-round.’

The complete list of ’10 Places You NEED to Go in 2018’ includes Slovenia, Portugal, Detroit, Namibia, Thailand, Maremma (Italy), Barbados, Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), London and Alaska. The article is available here!

The Triple Bridge and the Preseren Square in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia
Slovenia’s charming capital Ljubljana. (photo: Ales Fevzer)

An elevated view of Piran, Slovenia
Piran, the jewel of the Slovenian coast. (photo: Nea Culpa d.o.o.)

Inside the Skocjan Caves in the Karst region of Slovenia
The breathtaking Skocjan Caves are among the largest and most impressive cave systems in all of Europe. (photo: Nea Culpa d.o.o.)

The green Logarska Dolina Valley with the Kamnik Savinja Alps in the background
The Logar Valley is one of Slovenia’s best kept secrets. (photo: Tomo Jesenicnik)

Julian Alps named one of the world’s best regions by Lonely Planet

The Julian Alps have been named one of the top regions in the world for travellers in 2018. The region receives the accolade in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018, the highly anticipated collection of the world’s hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the year ahead. The bestselling, inspirational travel yearbook from the world’s leading travel authority highlights the top ten countries, cities, regions and best value destinations that Lonely Planet’s experts recommend travellers experience in 2018.

Triglav National Park covers almost 4 percent of the entire Slovenia
The Triglav National Park covers an area of over 800 square kilometres (4% of Slovenian territory), almost across the entire area of the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia. (photo: Jernej Leben)

The Julian Alps have earned its place as a must-see destination for 2018 thanks to the natural appeal of the region which offers “mountain bliss in an overlooked corner of Europe”.

This is what Lonely Planet had to say: “With the natural appeal of Chamonix or Zermatt – but with fewer crowds – the Julian Alps offer mountain bliss in an overlooked corner of Europe. Over two-thirds of the region is protected by the Triglav National Park mandate, a mechanism that not only curbs development along the summits but ensures that improvements to local infrastructure are effected in a slow and studied manner. Once suitable only for the intrepid, the Julian Alps are gently opening the door to every stripe of traveller. A growing number of locally run operators are pairing pulse-racing treks with upmarket versions of homestays in stylish shepherd digs.”

Lonely Planet’s writers and experts spend time on the road in almost every corner of our planet Earth, and each year they report which places and destinations are set to take off, offering travellers the best experience available. The destinations selected for Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel meet specific criteria; it could be that something special is going on in the year ahead or there’s been recent development and a lot of buzz about the place, that it offers travellers new things to see or do, or that the Lonely Planet team of experts thinks it has been overlooked and underrated and suggests travellers visit before the crowds do.

Below is the full list of the world’s best regions:

1. Belfast & the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
2. Alaska, USA
3. Julian Alps, Slovenia
4. Languedoc-Roussillon, France
5. Kii Peninsula, Japan
6. Aeolian Islands, Italy
7. Southern USA
8. Lahaul & Spiti, India
9. Bahia, Brazil
10. Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic

Krma Valley in the Triglav national park in spring with flowers blooming everywhere
The Julian Alps are especially picturesque in spring when nature comes to life with its most beautiful arrangements of color displays and all sorts of flowers blooming everywhere. (photo: Bojan Kolman)

Koca Pri Triglavskih Jezerih mountain lodge nestled in the Triglav Lakes Valley in the Julian Alps
The hike to the Triglav Lakes Valley which lies in the heart of the Julian Alps is a must-do for all who visit Slovenia and are eager for a taste of its mountain scenery. The valley is named for a system of ten lakes that sit in this high mountain valley in the Julian Alps. (photo: Masa Vodenik)

Lake Bohinj in Slovenia is also known as the lake at the end of the world
Lake Bohinj is surrounded by spectacular mountains of the Julian Alps. (photo: Luka Esenko)

Lake Krn, the largest Slovenian alpine lake located in the south of the Triglav National Park
Lake Krn is located in the south of the Julian Alps at an altitude of 1340 meters. It is 400 meters long, 150 meters wide and nearly 18 meters deep. There are actually three lakes around the Krn mountain, but this one is the most popular among hikers. (photo: Gregor Skoberne)

Slovenia's highest mountain peak Mount Triglav in Julian Alps at sunset in the winter
Triglav, with an elevation of 2,864 meters, is the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps. The mountain is the pre-eminent symbol of the Slovene Nation. (photo: Luka Esenko)

The famous Slovenian heart-shaped road was photoshopped into a photograph of an Alsatian town

Many people in Slovenia were upset when they found out that the famous heart-shaped road amidst the vineyards near the village of Svecina in eastern Slovenia was photoshopped into a photograph of an Alsatian town. It appears that the French town tried to co-opt a very unique Slovenian tourist attraction in order to lure foreign tourists.

The heart-shaped road near the village of Svecina in eastern Slovenia and the French photoshopped version
The famous Slovenian heart-shaped road was photoshopped into a photograph of an Alsatian town.

The French town wasn’t the first to steal the photograph of the heart-shaped road to use it for their own purposes. A few years ago, the road was also featured in a video clip designed to promote Austria as a wine-growing region.

The Strasbourg Tourist Office Board has, meanwhile, apologized for the misuse of the photo and promised that the brochure will be removed from their website.

The famous heart-shaped road amidst the vineyards in eastern Slovenia
The famous heart-shaped road near the village of Svecina in eastern Slovenia. (photo: Nea Culpa d.o.o.)

The heart-shaped road amidst the vineyards in eastern Slovenia photoshopped into a photo of an Alsatian town
The heart-shaped road was photoshopped into a photo of an Alsatian town.

The famous heart-shaped road amidst the vineyards in eastern Slovenia
And this is how the heart-shaped road amidst the vineyards near Svecina in eastern Slovenia really looks like. (photo: Nea Culpa d.o.o.)

A heart-shaped road amidst the vineyards in the village of Spicnik, Slovenia
The heart is a symbol of love, most often romantic love, but love in a broader sense as well. Slovenia is the only country in the world, which has the word LOVE in its name. (photo: Masa Vodenik)

Heart-shaped road amidst the vineyards in the village of Spicnik, Slovenia
The heart-shaped road at night. (photo: Piotr Skrzypiec)

New Slovenian natural sites were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The UNESCO has recently inscribed 63 new areas of ancient and primeval beech forest in 10 countries on the World Heritage List and among them are two Slovenian beech forests: the Krokar virgin forest and the Sneznik-Zdrocle forest reserve.

The Krokar virgin forest and the Sneznik-Zdrocle forest reserve in the Kocevje region in southern Slovenia
The primeval beech forests of Krokar and Sneznik-Zdrocle joined the Skocjan Caves on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The latter, inscribed 30 years ago, were until now the only natural monument in Slovenia on the UNESCO list. (photo: Marko Masterl)

The Krokar virgin forest is an example of completely untouched primeval forest in the heart of the well-preserved forests of the Kocevje region in southern Slovenia, which are also part of the Natura 2000 network. The Sneznik-Zdrocle forest reserve, on the other hand, consists of ancient beech forest with sections of primeval forest. Like Krokar, it lies within a large forest complex that is included in the Natura 2000 network.

Inscription of the Krokar virgin forest and the Sneznik-Zdrocle forest reserve on the World Heritage list represents a recognition for Slovenia and a commitment to further enhance the protection of both forest reserves and other beech forest ecosystems in the future.

Slovenia has been a maritime nation and will always stay a maritime nation

Today, an international arbitration court handed Slovenia a victory in its long-standing maritime dispute with Croatia, granting it direct access to international waters in the Adriatic Sea.

View of the town of Piran on the Adriatic coast of Slovenia
The town of Piran on the Adriatic coast of Slovenia. (photo: Ubald Trnkoczy)

The countries have been arguing over a stretch of their sea and land border since both declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 as it disintegrated into war and broke up.

The dispute, which centres on the bay of Piran, held up Croatia accession to the EU for many years. Only after both parties agreed to arbitration was Zagreb granted entry to the bloc in 2013.

Slovenia and Norway are the best countries on Earth for children

Slovenia and Norway have been declared the best countries for children to live in, according to Save the Children, which issued its first ever End of Childhood Index, measuring worldwide youth health and well-being. The report identifies eight factors that effectively ruin childhood across the globe: poor diet, lack of schooling, infant death, child marriage, child labor, teen pregnancy and regional conflict. Based on reports from global organizations, the countries are judged on each factor, then the average determines the global ranking.

A family stop to take in the view of Lake Bohinj in Slovenia
A family stop to take in the view of Lake Bohinj. (photo: Tomo Jesenicnik)

The top ten countries in the report are all from Europe, except South Korea, which is ranked 10th together with Germany, Belgium and Cyprus.

The bottom countries on the list, Mali, Angola and Niger, along with a few other Central African countries, are where childhood is most highly threatened.

Out of 172 countries, the USA came in at only 36, well behind most of Europe. Perhaps the new US first lady Melania Trump should skip the move to Washington and move her son Barron to her native Slovenia.

Children at the Ana Desetnica street festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia
The Ana Desetnica international street theatre festival in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. (photo: Dunja Wedam)

Children participating at farm tasks at the tourist farm in Matkov Kot, Slovenia
Grass mowing at the Matk tourist farm. (photo: Jost Gantar)

Feast at the Flander tourist farm
A family lunch. (photo: Jost Gantar)

Children trimming vines in a vineyard in Slovenia
A family trim vines. (photo: Jost Gantar)

Family canoeing at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia
Family canoeing at Lake Bohinj. (photo: Mojca Odar)

Travel + Leisure listed Slovenia among ’The Most Environmentally Friendly Countries To Visit In 2017’

Slovenia’s orientation towards sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism received another confirmation. Travel + Leisure, a very popular travel magazine based in New York with almost 5 million readers, listed Slovenia among ’The Most Environmentally Friendly Countries To Visit In 2017’.

In the article, Slovenia was described with the following words: ‘Slovenia is home to Lake Cerknica, an intermittent lake—that is, a lake in the middle of a karst forest that disappears and reappears—where visitors can fish, row or bike, and each time see the lake take on a new shape. There’s also breathtaking Lake Bled. The glass-smooth surface of the lake surrounds an island with a Gothic church planted in the middle, and mirrored in the water.’

Beside Slovenia, other countries doing environmentally sustainable tourism best are Iceland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Austria, and Switzerland.

The article is available here!

Lake Bled in Slovenia amid beautiful nature
Lake Bled. (photo: Jost Gantar, I Feel Slovenia)

The intermittent Cerknica lake in Slovenia at sunrise
The intermittent Cerknica lake. (photo: Jost Gantar, I Feel Slovenia)

Slovenia celebrated Earth Day yesterday as the 5th Most Environmentally Friendly Country on Earth

Earth Day is a day to celebrate the planet and encourage people to be more environmentally friendly. Slovenia celebrated it with several environmental activities. This year the specific focus was on creating better environmental and climate literacy and educating people – both children and adults – on environmental issues.

Tree at Lake Bohinj

More than a billion people around the world celebrated Earth Day on Saturday, April 22nd, with the theme ‘Trees for the Earth’. So far 3 million trees have been planted in 32 countries with the goal of planting 7.8 billion trees by the 50th Anniversary in 2020, now that’s a target.

Slovenia is widely recognized as one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly countries in the world. According to the Environmental Performance Index, which ranks 180 countries on how they protect human health and ecosystems, Slovenia is the 5th most environmentally friendly country on Earth.

The 20 most environmentally-friendly countries:
1. Finland – EPI rating: 90.68
2. Iceland – 90.51
3. Sweden – 90.43
4. Denmark – 89.21
5. Slovenia – 88.98
6. Spain – 88.91
7. Portugal – 88.63
8. Estonia – 88.59
9. Malta – 88.48
10. France – 88.2
11. New Zealand – 88
12. United Kingdom – 87.38
13. Australia – 87.22
14. Singapore – 87.04
15. Croatia – 86.98
16. Switzerland – 86.93
17. Norway – 86.9
18. Austria – 86.64
19. Ireland – 86.6
20. Luxembourg – 86.58

Top of the eco-chart is Finland. Following close behind are Iceland, Sweden and Denmark, three countries renowned for their sound environmental policies. More surprising for some, perhaps, is the presence of Slovenia, Spain, Portugal and Malta in the top 10.

Over the centuries we have mercilessly utilized and depleted the Earth’s resources. Our sheer ignorance has begun to cause severe problems like depletion of the Ozone layer, death of rivers due to dumping of industrial waste, global warming etc. We must realize the danger and the good news is that there are simple steps that can be taken to help the environment and support it:
– walk to work, cycle or take public transport,
– use a reusable coffee cup,
– take a tote bag to the shop,
– carry a reusable water bottle,
– buy local produce,
– recycle,
– or plant a tree.

These might be small steps but when a billion people do it together, one can definitely see the results.

A Linden tree in a countryside landscape
Slovenia countryside with a Linden tree
The linden tree is a symbol of the Slovenian nation and its role and importance stretch back in the period before there was any real sense of national awareness. In Slovenia you can find several very old linden trees, some are even supposed to be more than 700 years old. The tradition holds that, since time immemorial, people have planted linden trees to mark special occasions.

Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana among the ’16 Beautiful European Cities You Can Actually Afford to Visit Right Now’

Traveling on a budget is totally doable if you know where to go. Europe is packed with affordable cities with plenty to see and do and that don’t cost a fortune to fully experience. Thrillist, the 13-year-old digital media brand that reaches more than 16 million monthly subscribers, has put together a list of affordable and beautiful European cities you should visit now. And we’re delighted to report that Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana made it on the list!

Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana
Elevated view of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia
According to the Thrillist, Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful and affordable European cities right now – we highly agree! (photo: Nea Culpa d.o.o.)

Thrillist called Ljubljana ‘a friendly, mountainous jewel at post-Yugoslavian prices’. They summed up their decision with the following words: ‘Slovenia adopted the euro in 2007 and those euros go a looong way. It’s easy to bounce over here on Rail Europe after fretting over your budget in neighboring Austria. Relish the easy stroll from the rail station into the heart of Ljubljana (pronounced “youb-blee-ahna”) along curvy, cobbled medieval lanes lined with ultra-bargain cafes, shops, and open-air watering holes.’

And how did Thrillist describe Ljubljana? Well, they described Slovenia’s capital with very flattering words: ‘Vastly photogenic, this mountain-encircled Baroque city is a remarkable crossroads of Germanic, Latin, and Slavic history. These are stalwart, hard-working mountain folks who enjoy socializing, hanging outdoors, and outdoing Croatia. The architecture, scenery, and humanity in this proud capital city do not disappoint — majestic Ljubljana Castle looms over the antique hamlet, and water melting from the ice-encrusted Alps flows from the taps. Not far off from Ljubljana are the gorgeous mountain-lake towns of Bled and Bohinj. You’ll find this northwestern corner of the Western Balkans is more Euro than Slavic, so they vibe well with Americans and most people speak excellent English.’

The complete list of ’16 Beautiful European Cities You Can Actually Afford to Visit Right Now’ includes Porto (Portugal), Berlin (Germany), Zagreb (Croatia), Tallinn (Estonia), Prague (Czech Republic), Brussels (Belgium), Girona (Spain), Krakow (Poland), Athens (Greece), Glasgow (Scotland), Ljubljana (Slovenia), San Sebastián (Spain), Agrigento (Sicily), Split (Croatia), Budapest (Hungary) and Dublin (Ireland).

If you’re planning to visit Ljubljana in the near future be sure to read more about this charming city here: Welcome to Ljubljana, Slovenia!
The article is available HERE!