Geography of Slovenia


Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Slovenia is largely a mountain country, especially in its northern part with numerous foothills from the Eastern Alps. The Karawanks long chain forms part of the border with Austria with the highest peak Grintavec, 2,558 m above sea level. Further east, the mountain area ends with the Pohoriem massif, 1,524 m above sea level. The northwest corner of the country is met by the Julian Alps with Slovenia’s highest peak Triglav, 2 864 meters above sea level. In the west and south, limestone plateaus of 300–1 500 m extend, where the water erodes the bedrock and forms e.g. caves, gutter holes, underground drains and dolines. The area is called Karst, a word that has come to denote the type of topography where landforms formed by chemical weathering prevail (see karst). To the east of the karst area there is a more varied bedrock, and there takes on a ball landscape, the shreds of rivers. Farthest to the east and south-east are plains, foothills of the Pannonian basin, which is pervaded by Sava, Drava and other tributaries to the Danube.

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Slovenia is in a transition zone between the warm Mediterranean climate and the cooler Central European climate. The summers are warm, the winters are mild and most of the precipitation falls in summer. In the valleys, wintertime accumulates cold air, while in the summer they are warmer than the surroundings. During the winter, the drill sometimes sweeps down the country with cold and windy weather as a result.

Slovenia is rainy. In the Julian Alps, the annual rainfall reaches over 3,000 mm, while in the Sava valley on the mountain’s shadow side and at the coast it is about 1,200 mm. The least precipitation falls in the far east, about 900 mm per year. In most of the country, the annual average temperature is about 9 °C, while the average temperature in July is 19 °C and in January −1 °C. In most of the country, snow cover is at least two months during the winter.

Plant-and animal life

Slovenia Wildlife

Almost half of Slovenia’s area is covered by forest. On the lower slopes of the mountains, oak and beech forests dominate, which at a higher altitude is replaced by coniferous forest or pure coniferous forest. Above the tree line, subalpine and alpine meadow vegetation takes over. On the Karst Plateau the flora is mostly steppe, and on the coast there is Mediterranean bush vegetation.

Of the wildlife of Slovenia, the cave fauna in i.e. Postojna the most talked about, including the pigmentless water salamander and the like. Red fox, badger and deer are scattered in Slovenia, gems are found in the Alps. The forests contain, among other things. All of Europe’s woodpecker species. Among the small-scale breeding and herbivores are alps and Croatian mountain lizards (Laceʹrta horvaʹthi).

Nature conservation

About 13% of Slovenia’s land area is under some form of nature protection. In 2012 there was a national park, Triglavski (838 km2).