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Slovenia’s epic new tourist trail links three of the country’s most beautiful regions

The Green Capitals route connects Ljubljana, Kočevje and Bela Krajina

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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Eco-friendly holidaying is on the rise – just as it should be. If we want to save the planet but still revel in the joys of travelling, eco-tourism is the way to go. And of all the green-minded tourist destinations around the world, Slovenia is currently leading the pack. The central European country is quickly becoming renowned as one of the continent’s finest sustainability hotspots.

One of the country’s latest environmentally-conscious initiatives is the Slovenia Green Capitals Route, a trail that links the country’s three ‘regional centres’: Ljubljana, Kočevje and Bela Krajina. While the route was launched in October 2020, thanks to the pandemic, now is likely the first real opportunity most international travellers will have had to visit it. 

Ljubljana is Slovenia’s official capital city. Cosmopolitan, green and teeming with stuff to do, it’s a buzzing metropolis, but also home to the Ljubljana Marshes Nature Park, the country’s largest area of marshland.

Kočevje, meanwhile, is billed as Slovenia’s ‘nature capital’. The city itself is in the heart of a pristinely preserved area of forestland, while the wider region contains the Unesco-protected Krokar primeval beech forest. It’s a great area for ramblers to explore undisturbed nature – and maybe even spot some bears.

The final stop, Bela Krajina, is the Slovenia’s so-called ‘cultural capital’. Down by the Croatian border, Bela Krajina is known as the heart of Slovenian cuisine, and has a load of vineyards too. All destinations on the Green Capitals Route have been awarded a sustainability certificate, meaning that they meet high standards for developing tourism in a sustainable way.

So what’s the best mode of travel for traversing the Green Route? Well, trains, of course! The entire course is covered by domestic train lines, ensuring you avoid any nasty, gas-guzzling and high-polluting cars. Travellers are also welcomed to cover the route by bike – though, be warned, some of the stages are pretty lengthy.

Sound great? Of course it does. Find out more about the Slovenia Green Capitals Route here.

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