Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst. This small green country measures 20,273 km2 in area, and is home to sincere, hospitable people of great diligence. The changing landscape is constantly surprising, time and again. You can have one eye on the sea, then look in the other direction and be surrounded by high mountains. Heading up into the forests, you can see the green plains below you. From upland meadows your view stretches into river gorges. This proximity of opposites and contrasts is a hallmark of the country.
Slovenia has a population of two million, of whom the vast majority are ethnic Slovenes. People hailing from the other former Yugoslav republics make up a significant minority, albeit less than 10% of the total population. The Italian and Hungarian ethnic communities have protected minority status, despite their small size.
The majority of people live in towns and cities, but a significant number live in the countryside. Agriculture accounts for only a small proportion of the workforce, while the majority work in services and manufacturing.
The collision of four major European geographical units has created a very invigorating landscape, much of it thickly forested. More than a third of the country’s area is protected.
Nature has combined and interwoven great natural riches in this small piece of Europe and granted Slovenia extraordinary variety and diversity that is still well preserved today. Over a third of the country's territory lies within the Europe-wide network of Natura 2000 protected areas, while other valuable areas have been proclaimed major parks and reserves. Direct contact with nature is possible even on the edges of cities.
The most mountainous region is the north, where the Alps begin. The Julian Alps and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps have many stunning sharp peaks. The peaks of the Karavanke, the mountains bordering Austria, are more gentle.
Much of the east of the country between Ljubljana and Maribor is uplands, as are the areas west and south of the capital.
There are gentler hills in the south-east and east, where the vine flourishes, while plains and basins populate the areas between the hills. The Ljubljana region lies in the largest basin.
Slovenia also has a large plains area, as the east of the country is part of the Pannonian Plain.
Not only is the land surface very invigorating, there are also wonders underground: some of the country’s 9,000 karstic caves are among the most beautiful in the world.