Slovenia Green Capitals Escape Route is the second tour in the world connecting destinations that have been awarded with a sustainability certificate by developing their tourism in a responsible way. Furthermore, all destinations included in the tour have obtained the prestigious Slovenia Green Gold label. Help our planet by exploring Slovenia Green destinations and accredited partners.
This unique route is your perfect pick for a quick and green getaway to beautiful Slovenia. It combines three of our cherished regional centres – Ljubljana as the urban capital, Kočevsko as the capital of nature, and Bela krajina as the cultural capital.
Ljubljana is our beautiful capital city. Sitting by a river and full of restaurants, museums, and terrace cafes, it is a perfect place to start the three-region itinerary. Being cosmopolitan and green is the new thing. Kočevsko Region possesses one of the world’s most important natural areas: the UNESCO-protected Krokar primeval beech forest. The area is perfect for bear-watching and just enjoying nature. This is a must for all those who love the outdoors. The Bela krajina region is Slovenia’s cultural capital. This is the place where traditions, food, and wine meet. We invite you to explore all the wonderful restaurants and vineyards.
If you decide to hit the road on a bike, this route is technically undemanding, but includes some long cycling stages. You can adjust the tour to fit your needs and add more overnight stops, while trains can also be used as an alternative environmentally-friendly means of transport that will allow you to shorten the cycling distance.
If you’re not into cycling, you can just use the train throughout the whole journey. Make sure to double check the train timetable so you will reach your destination on time.
Slovenia Green routes are recommended itineraries for your green travel in Slovenia.
Why are they special?
Slovenia Green routes connect exclusively destinations that have been awarded the Slovenia Green certificate by committing to a green future and developing their tourism in a sustainable manner.
We suggest starting the Slovenia Green Capitals Escape Route with an overnight stay in one of the smallest and greenest European capitals, the charming city of Ljubljana. It’s never crowded – but also never boring. 50.000 university students give it its youthful appeal, and as an economic and urban hub of Slovenia, it has a lot to offer to locals and visitors alike. Car traffic is restricted in the centre, leaving the leafy banks of the Ljubljanica river free for pedestrians and cyclists.
Make sure to arrive to Ljubljana early enough to discover some of its gems. We strongly recommend you stroll around the old town, pose next to a dragon on the Dragon Bridge and visit the Central Market, where local vendors offer freshly-baked goods, vegetables, cheeses, nuts, honey and more. You can even rent a SUP board and discover the city from the river perspective. Follow the example of locals and gaze into the sunset from the majestic Ljubljana Castle before heading back down for a delicious dinner in one of the numerous high-quality restaurants.
As the European Green Capital 2016 and the first destination to receive the Slovenia Green label, Ljubljana serves as an example to all who wish to organise life in a city that is friendly to nature, its residents and visitors. The city’s numerous green areas invite you to relax and enjoy life.
It is time to head into the wilderness! The journey continues to the south of Slovenia, towards the Slovenian capital of nature and another Slovenia Green Gold destination, the Kočevsko Region.
The first stopping point of the day is a short bike ride away from the capital – the Ljubljana Marshes Nature Park, a swampy world boasting rich biodiversity, where pile-dwellers built their innovative settlements some 5,000 years ago. If you don’t have your own bike you can easily use the public rent-a-bike platform BicikeLJ.
Cycling forward, urban life slowly slides back into nature, asphalt roads are replaced by forest paths, and high-rise buildings disappear into a forested landscape. Pleasant cycling routes lead all the way to Kočevsko, known for one of the highest forest cover percentages in Europe, which amounts to over 90 %. You will even cycle in the vicinity of the UNESCO-protected Krokar primeval forest.
Return to the central Ljubljana train station (where you can also drop off your BicikeLJ in case you rented it) and catch the train to Kočevje. It will take you around 1.5 h to reach your destination.
In Kočevsko region all three large carnivores – the brown bear, the lynx and the wolf – still live in these pristine woods and with a little help of local experts we can quickly recognize their traces. Observing bears in their natural environment from a special hideout is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that any nature lover should not miss. We advise you to go on an evening bear-watching adventure.
After experiencing the wilderness of Kočevsko, the route turns towards the Slovenian capital of culture. Bela krajina has been a point where many different nations and cultures met over the course of history. The harmony of five ethnic groups and three religions created a unique array of language, folklore, costume and even architectural heritage. This proud Slovenia Green Gold destination consists of three municipalities – Semič, Črnomelj and Metlika.
This stage will be all about scenic cycling along the warm Kolpa river. On the way, there are plentiful opportunities to taste some yummy local delicacies and meet welcoming locals.
Take the train from Kočevje to Črnomelj or Metlika. Why not both?
The dynamic landscape of Bela Krajina is strewn with sunny vineyards that provide premium quality wines. Among these, Metliška Črnina and Belokranjec have been awarded the Protected Designation of Origin. Visit typical small villages and briefly go canoeing on Kolpa river to truly feel the heartbeat of Bela krajina.