Geographical characteristics, climate
The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the
Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the
In Slovenia, the sun shines approximately 2,000 hours per year. And
there is plenty of snow in winter. The average temperatures are -2°C
in January and 21°C in July.
Green is the dominant colour. There are many woods and forests in
Slovenia - covering more than half of the country - and numerous
preserved and protected plant and animal species. In one of the last
primeval forests of the Kočevje area, it is possible to hike through
for days without ever emerging onto the plain.
As a small, beautiful and picturesque country, Slovenia makes a
great tourist destination. You can ski in the morning and surrender
yourself to the luxury of the Adriatic Sea in the afternoon.
Slovenia has 46.6 km of sea coast - one inch per inhabitant.
The highest mountain is called Triglav - the name meaning
"three-heads" - and it is 2864m high. The mountain is a true national
symbol, featured on the national coat of arms and the flag.
It is very easy to get here as the country is connected with the
rest of the world by a modern highway network, railway system,
international airport and seaports.
People (distribution, density)
Slovenia has a population of 1,964,036, of which 83.06% are
Slovenes (2002 census). In Slovenia there are also two national
minority communities of Italians and Hungarians. They are considered
indigenous minorities, and their rights are protected under the
Other ethnic groups include Croats, Serbs, Bosnians (Muslims),
Yugoslavs, Macedonians, Montenegrins and Albanians. The status and
special rights of Gypsy communities living in Slovenia are determined
Slovenia is approximately 50% urban and 50% rural.
Population density is 99.7 inhabitants per km2, which is much lower
than in the majority of other European states. People have mainly
settled the river valleys and transport routes, where long ago
Slovenian towns began to emerge, whilst the mountainous and forested
areas remain unpopulated.
The country's official language is Slovene, which makes use of the
The Slovenian language has played a special role throughout
Slovenian history. It is still considered one of the foundations of
national identity. In spite of various influences, it has preserved
its special linguistic features - the most notable being the archaic
dual form. This is the grammatical number used for two people or
things in all inflected parts of speech.
Even a limited proficiency in Slovene will make your trip both
easier and more rewarding. It will save you time finding what you
want, be it a hotel room, a special dish on the menu or an item you
want to buy.
The majority of Slovenes (almost 60%) are Roman Catholics, although
there more than 40 other religious communities, spiritual groups,
societies and associations registered in Slovenia.
The Office for Religious Communities
Its activities include maintaining a register of active religious
communities and providing information on the relevant legislation.
There are indigenous Slovenian minorities in Italy, Austria and
in Hungary. Between 250,000 and 400,000 Slovenes (depending on whether
second and subsequent generations are counted) live outside the
country, in other continents and in EU countries.
Useful page when looking for Slovenian ancestors, doing
genealogical research on Slovenian roots from abroad; searching for
Food and Drink
Slovenia is also known for its great wines and delicious
Slovenian food is a feast for the gourmet. Many restaurants offer
a wide range of traditional national dishes, as well as international
dishes like pizza, pasta and oriental dishes. The coast affords
excellent seafood, including shellfish and the Adriatic bluefish.
One recent eating trend in Slovenia is the "slow food movement". A
typical "slow food" meal takes place in a restaurant or at a private
home among a group of family members or close friends. There are
usually eight or more courses, the emphasis being on local produce,
old-style recipes and a relaxed pace, with a different wine to
accompany each course.
Slovenia lies on the southern slopes of the Alps and touches the
Mediterranean, so it enjoys the best of both worlds, as well as
climatic uncertainties from both North and South. However, the
tradition of wine production is very long, going back at least to the
time of the Roman Empire.
Nowadays, 38 vine varieties are grown in 14 wine districts. This,
together with the natural conditions mentioned above, provides a very
rich diversity of taste, smell and colour in the different wines.
With the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, wild mushrooms, dairy
products and fresh pasta available here, vegetarians are sure to enjoy
their time in Slovenia, too.
|1st and 2nd January
||Prešeren Day, Slovenian Cultural Holiday
||Easter Sunday and Monday
||Day of Uprising Against Occupation
|1st and 2nd May
||Slovenians in Prekmurje Incorporated into the Mother Nation
||Restoration of the Primorska Region to the Motherland
||All Souls' Day
||Rudolf Maister Day
||Independence and Unity Day