Traveling Slovenia in wheelchair
Called "Switzerland of the Balkans", Slovenia is a magnificent travel destination and takes care of accessibility
Of course, this is not the right period for traveling … but dreaming must be allowed! Here is a beautiful place for you to discover during your first after-Corona vacation: Slovenia. My home country, and the only country with LOVE in its name! 😉
Slovenia is a lively and lovely European country. Small enough to be surrounded by high mountains in the morning and to swim in the sea in the afternoon. Big enough to offer high quality of living to slightly more than two million people. With its famous neighbors Austria, Croatia, and Italy, Slovenia is overlooked by many travelers. When asking travelers how do they feel about Slovenia once they’ve visited it, you can rarely find someone who wouldn’t praise this boutique destination known for its green landscape, protected environment, friendly people and delicious cuisine.
Slovenia is the birthplace of:
- ski legend Tina Maze;
- basketball star Luka Dončič;
- Na Golici, the most played instrumental tune in the world;
- wicked philosopher Slavoj Žižek;
- Talking Tom Cat, the talkative virtual pet loved by kids around the world;
- famous ski jumpers like Primož Peterka, Peter Prevc and his brother Domen who is holding the ski jump hill record in Engelberg, Switzerland;
- and many more.
Say it again: Slovakia? No, Slovenia!
Before we start traveling around Slovenia, let’s take a minute to clarify a constant confusion between two countries which have similar names, flags, and history. We as Slovenians are quite used to this confusion and are glad to help you learn the difference by saying: "It is Slovenia not Slovakia. Slovenia was part of the former republic of Yugoslavia, while Slovakia was part of the former republic of Czechoslovakia. On our flag is Triglav: Slovenia’s highest peak, and we have LOVE in our country name."
Slovenians also might tell you a joke (with a real background): "Did you know that Slovakian and Slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange the wrongly addressed mail?"
Reasons to visit Slovenia
With inspiring places and charming cities along the Mediterranean Sea, anyone can find places and stories in Slovenia to be owed by them. You will find them accessible, sustainable and affordable, completed with authentic culture.
Let’s check out a few must-visit, wheelchair friendly places that will awaken your wanderlust.
Ljubljana: the most beautiful city in the world
The 280,000 residents of Ljubljana are in love with their city. It is the political, cultural and economic center of Slovenia, and big parts of it are wheelchair friendly.
As a wheelchair user, you can have a pleasant journey in Ljubljana with the help of the Ljubljana By Wheelchair app. It is designed by a Slovenian wheelchair user and only lists wheelchair accessible accommodations, restaurants, bars, attractions, activities, shops, and public toilets. Moreover, you can rent a Speed3x electric wheelchair trailer for free to make longer distances in the city fast and easily. For more information, go to the page "Accessibility of Ljubljana by Wheelchair" by Ljubljana Tourism.
Now, where to start your adventure in Ljubljana? A perfect place is the lovely Ljubljanica river. It flows through the city center, where you can enjoy the warm café culture.
Have you ever slept in jail? Try it out! It would surely be a unique experience. Don’t worry, you will be allowed to check out from this former military prison turned hostel. 😉
Magical underground world
A unique attraction of Slovenia is a geological formation called Karst, which offers an unforgettable fairytale experience. For example, Postojna Cave is the largest show cave in Europe and considered to be one of the most beautiful caves in the world. In its magnificent stalactite halls, even concerts are held. You can see animals such as Olm (Proteus), also known as baby dragons. They have no eyes, can live for up to one hundred years and can go without food for a decade.
You can visit one part of the cave by train, which is fully accessible for wheelchair users. It is also possible to discover the rest of the cave because the path through it has a non-slip concrete surface and is without stairs. There is, however, one sloping section where assistance by a companion is required. You and your assistant get a 50% discount on the tour ticket.
Land of waters
Water is life. Visitors in Slovenia can experience unspoiled water resources such as rivers, lakes, sea, underground and healing waters.
The beautiful glacier blue-green Lake Bled is probably the most iconic and picturesque spot in Slovenia. With the beautiful setting of its little island and pilgrimage church, the lake looks as perfect as on a postcard. The town Bled is known by local cream cake Kremšnita. Don’t forget to try it, it is a must. 😉
There is something healing about the water. Whether you are listening to the waterfalls, drinking mineral water or swimming in the sea, it always rewards you with the feeling of harmony and health. In one of the numerous spas, such as Terme Čatež, you can rejuvenate your body and soul with thermal waters. In Rogaška Slatina, you can try Donat Mg, the drinking mineral water with the highest content of magnesium in the world.
Slovenia and the sea
Along the 46 km coastline of Slovenia, travelers can experience the charming Mediterranean Sea and the seaside towns. Perfect for strolling down the promenade would be Portorož with nearby Vila Pacug, which provides accommodations especially for people with SCI. Another beautiful place is the fisherman town Izola, where you could stay at the Dva topola resort and enjoy the only wheelchair accessible beach on the Slovenian coast.
“Salt is the sea that could not return to the sky.”
“Switzerland of the Balkans”
Last but not least, why Slovenia has been called “Switzerland of the Balkans” or the “Little Switzerland”? Both countries have great mountain scenery, lakes, are very clean and green, with abundance of natural waters. Besides, they are both among the top safest countries in the world.
However, the reason is another one. After its independence in 1991, Slovenian politics took Switzerland as an example of prosperity. The vision of becoming like Switzerland is still being used in political discourse.
Have you already traveled to Slovenia? Please share your memories with us.
With love from Slovenia, Sanda
- Slovenian Tourist Board, tips for accessible trips: https://www.slovenia.info/en/plan-your-trip/accesible-tourism
- Premiki, tourist agency for disabled people: https://premiki.com/
- Accessible trips for wheelchair users: https://izlet-na-vozicku.si/en/trips/
- Brezovir (EN: without barriers), listings of 160 accessible destinations, activities and accommodations (browser translator is required because the website is only in Slovenian language): https://brezovir.si/turizem/
- Swiss Embassy in Ljubljana: https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/slovenia/en/home/representations/embassy.html