Town of Izola waterfront and bay aerial view, Slovenia coastline

For such a small – not to mention relatively young – country, Slovenia has a lot of buzz behind it these days. Throughout 2011, the central European nation bordering Croatia and Austria is celebrating 20 years of independence, with special summer and fall travel packages ( and jubilee events like the open-air photo exhibition “My, Your and Our Slovenia” in Ljubljana (through August 25), culminating with the main independence ceremony in the capital on December 23. In anticipation, the country recently debuted three new hotels: the four-star Hotel Golte perched high in the Alps, the Hotel Jožef in the lace-producing alpine town of Idrija, and the boutique Antiq Palace in Ljubljana. In 2012, sister city Maribor gets all the attention – the medieval metropolis has been named next year’s European Capital of Culture ( Maribor also happens to be a nexus of viticulture. Many of Slovenia’s wines are produced here, and Maribor holds the Guinness record for the world’s oldest grapevine. Razveseliti!

From the Spring/Summer 2o11 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by

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