Go List 201325 PLACES TO GO IN 2013

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Slovenia Emerging

An undiscovered sliver of Europe with modern style and classic charm

Why Go Now As any European traveler will tell you, Slovenia may be the continent's best-kept secret. But the word is getting out, as more travelers venture north from Venice to the country's storybook-perfect capital of Ljubljana, complete with its charming Old Town, meandering river, and hilltop castle. From the centrally located city, you can drive anywhere in three or four hours. That could mean hiking or skiing in the picturesque mountains and lakes of Triglav National Park, wine tasting in the renowned Podravje region (for excellent pinot blancs), or sunbathing on the Adriatic coast with olive groves and refosk vineyards (a red varietal) at your back. You choose the adventure. –by Erica Duecy

Where to Stay Ljubljana is in the midst of a hotel and restaurant renaissance, with new properties opening every month. Design hotels like Vander Urbani Resort, with its sleek modern restaurant and cool rooftop pool, have upped the hospitality scene's hipness factor. Another new boutique property getting fantastic guest reviews for its central location and stylish rooms is the Cubo Hotel. For a foodie adventure, don't miss Gostilna Na Gradu, a modern Slovenian restaurant inside the walls of Ljubljana's hilltop castle.

Insider TipHop on a low-cost carrier from the United Kingdom for the easiest (and cheapest) access to Ljubljana. EasyJet posts one-way fares from London for about USD$50. Or embark on a combo trip from Venice; Slovenia's capital is but a two-and-a-half hours' drive away.

Word of Mouth Fodorite isabel recently spent a week in Slovenia and had this to say: "I absolutely LOVED Slovenia—it does really have a lot to offer for such a little country—charming old capital on a lovely river with great architecture, a hill top castle, and one of the best 'feelings/vibes' of any city I can think of."

When to Go Slovenia is a four-seasons destination, with tourist traffic peaking in July and August. For the best values, go in spring (April and May), or fall (September and October).

Plan Your Trip Start planning using Fodor's Slovenia Travel Guide.

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