Slovenia is one of those places I’d never even considered visiting, but I’m so glad I did. Thank to our Slovenian friends, who we met in Croatia, we recently visited for the second time. On our first visit, we did Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and the Soca River. On this visit, our friends invited us to Slovenia’s coast. We stayed in picturesque Piran, and explored Slovenia’s small but beautiful coast from there.

Piran has one of those perfect European Old Towns…it is really magical at night. The architecture is incredible. There are lots of fantastic restaurants and cafes. Best of all from our perspective, there are very few tourists, so it still feels undiscovered and authentic.

The highlight of our trip though, was a day spent what felt like one hundred miles from our seaside retreat. Kodarinov Mlin is literally in the middle of the forest, about an hour from the sea. You drive down a long dirt road to get to it, and if we hadn’t been with our local friends, we definitely would have turned around. The grounds are absolutely stunning, and the food was incredible. The homemade pasta with wild asparagus and pancetta was my favorite.

Eating with friends at a gorgeous table in the middle of nature was a really unique experience. Sipping wine and talking while our kids played together made for the perfect afternoon into evening.

I know it’s not the most obvious choice for a European vacation, but I can honestly say Slovenia is worth the trip. I’m sure we’ll be making our third visit soon.