Slovenia is flanked by Croatia to the south, Hungary to the east, Austria, to the north and Italy to the west. And a section of its western border lies on the Adriatic coast. Book one of our flights to Slovenia and discover a land of high peaks, subterranean caves and much more.
Lake Bled lies in the Julian Alps, a beautiful part of the country. Its crystal-clear waters are cool, even during the warm summer months but can you resist the temptation to take the plunge? If you do, you're likely to find some ducks and swans to keep you company.
And perched vertiginously above the lake - surrounded by forests of oak, birch, linden and spruce trees - stands Castle Bled. This medieval fortress is thought to be the oldest of Slovenia's castles. And its Renaissance-Romanesque walls make a formidable, fairytale feast for the eyes.
Close to Lake Bled is Triglav National Park which features Vršič Pass, the highest mountain pass in the country. It's a wonderful environment in which to follow trails through verdant forests or engage in some challenging hikes. See the almost impossibly blue, clear waters of the Soca River. And discover the Kozjak waterfall as it plummets endlessly into the emerald green waters below. And among the hares, foxes and badgers look for an inanimate goat with golden horns at Lake Jasna, near Kranjska Gora in the north of the park.
Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, is a city with an abundance of culture, history and beauty. See the two-toned strawberry hues of the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation in Prešeren Square and the statue dedicated to 19th-century Slovenian poet, France Prešeren. Not to mention the marvellous views of the city from Ljubljana Castle. And this compact city has no shortage of bridges, most notably the Triple Bridge that straddles the Ljubljanica river.
Over 12 miles long, Postojna Cave is the most prominent cave system in Slovenia. Roughly a quarter of it is open to the public and one of its unusual inhabitants are the world's largest troglodytic amphibians, the olm, which you can see in one of the cave's aquariums. And look out for the many and sizeable stalagmites and stalactites, as well as the Brilliant, a distinctive shiny white limestone formation, and travel on a 140-year-old subterranean railway.
A restaurant with a history that spans three centuries, Gostlilna Pri Lojzetu is situated on a small hill in a valley in Vipava. Not only does it offer 360° views of the surrounding countryside - the hills, mountains and vineyards - it also provides a formidable menu. Enjoy scampi harvested in the Kvarner Gulf and wild boar goulash. It's almost certainly the finest restaurant in Vipava and arguably the best in Slovenia.
At Marley & Me, an eatery in Bratislava, you can enjoy Idrijski žlikrofi, a Slovenian dish that consists of dumplings, potato-filled pasta in mushroom sauce and traditional Slovenian sausages.Dinner is the main meal of the day, so splash out on an evening at one of New Zealand's many fine restaurants. Finish with 'hokey pokey ice cream', which is vanilla with small chunks of honeycomb.