Turret-topped fortresses in the rural countryside and fairytale villas on the shores of Lake Bled make up this fanciful list of castles in Slovenia to lay siege on.
This underrated Eastern European nation is a land of emerald-green lakes, snow-capped mountains and picture-perfect villages – a place to hike out into the depths of nature and see beautifully preserved historic buildings. Staying in a castle in Slovenia will only increase the fairytale fantasy; here are a handful of the most atmospheric and historic places in which to stay in the country.
This Relais & Châteaux hideaway, set on a slim island in the wide, countryside-wrapped Krka River, has the crumbling conical towers and stone-clad wine cellar you’re after. But there’s also a fine-dining restaurant worth making a detour for, too; tuck into roasted quail breast, grilled lake fish and desserts made from local pumpkins before retreating to plush, polished rooms in caramel hues.
A modern hotel built around a renovated Renaissance château, the rooms at the Lambergh have comfy beds, curved alcoves and wood-beamed ceilings just made for lovers. The newer building also has a serene spa to soak and lounge around in, with saunas, whirlpool tubs and great massages on hand. The grounds are surrounded by verdant Slovenian countryside, with rental bikes available to explore the region.
A 16th-century castle ringed by a moat-like lake, Grad Strmol has surprisingly modern and chic rooms. After a hearty hotel breakfast, you can go hiking or horse riding in the area, or even ski the nearby Krvavec Mountain. Return for dainty afternoon teas or high-end dinners amid vintage furniture and heavy portraits. This castle in Slovenia is even prettier in spring when the trees surrounding the building burst into blossom.
In a winemaking region near the Italian border, Gredič rises over golden-green vines like a charming, wood-shuttered house in a painting. Sharp, modern rooms with minimalist four-poster beds and swing chairs coexist next to a glamorous wine cellar and Michelin-recommended restaurant. Learn about the wine heritage in the region, taste the local vintages and don’t miss a visit to the Champagne Temple.
This shield-shaped fortress of a hotel peeks out of a thick, fairytale forest, its clocktower spire and cloister-like passages making you feel as though you’ve stepped into the past. It’s an area of hiking trails, lakes and fields of wildflowers – perfect for your Sound of Music moment – and the hotel is exceptionally family-friendly. Rooms are smart and modern with pine furniture and lots of light.
Many tourists take a day trip to this Romanesque castle in Kozjanski park, but not everyone knows you can stay overnight in generous rooms with every type of bed configuration (singles, doubles, bunks). In springtime, the area is bursting with blossom trees, orchids, birds and butterflies, but this is an atmospheric stay at any time of year, for hikers, cyclists or road trippers.
This family-run boutique hotel is set in a historic villa on Lake Bled – the star sight in Slovenia topped with an islet and surrounded by the Julian Alps. Palatial rooms come with jewel colours, gilded picture frames, chandeliers and heart-lifting lake views. Downstairs is a beautiful wooden veranda, from where you can contemplate nature all around, reflected in the millpond-still water. In short, it combines one of the most picturesque locations in Slovenia with above-and-beyond service that makes you feel oh-so pampered.
To see more, discover our guide on the most beautiful castles around the world.
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