Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Daniel. Daniel Wonders, “What is the breakup of Yugoslavia?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Daniel!
For some people, there's nothing like visiting the seashore for some quality beach time. Others might prefer hiking or climbing in snow-covered mountains. Extreme adventurers might choose to head underground to explore caves.
Nestled in central Europe, Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia for the majority of the 20th century. After Yugoslavia dissolved in 1991, Slovenia adopted a multiparty democratic political system, aligning itself politically and economically with western Europe. Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 and also became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Slovenia's neighbors include Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south, southeast, and east, and Italy to the west. Although it's a small country, Slovenia boasts some of the most diverse topography in all of Europe.
Featuring parts of both the European Alps and the Dinaric Alps, most of Slovenia is elevated. Between the alpine peaks, you'll find beautiful valleys and karst plateaus full of caves and underground rivers.
As you move away from the mountains, you'll discover forested lowlands full of deep-green rivers and lakes. Slovenia even has a short coastline along the Adriatic Sea for those who want a taste of Mediterranean culture.
With all of this natural beauty, it's no surprise that Slovenia is a popular tourist destination, especially for those seeking outdoor adventure. Recreational opportunities abound. If you want to ski, climb, swim, hike, cycle, boat, raft, fish, hunt, or explore caves, Slovenia has something for you.
Some of the most popular destinations within Slovenia include the caves at Škocjan (a World Heritage Site), Triglav National Park, Lake Bled, hot springs and mineral water resorts in the Alps and along the Adriatic Sea, and the medieval Castle of Ljubljana.
If you're an environmentalist at heart, then Slovenia may already be on your list of places to visit. Its capital, Ljubljana, was awarded the title of European Green Capital in 2016. Slovenia is also the world's first country to meet the Green Destinations Criteria in order to be declared a green destination.