05 Aug 2021, 10:24 AM

STA, 4 August 2021 - A cross-border natural hazards portal has been launched by Slovenia and Austria as a result of a three-year project. Cooperation between the two countries has led to new and improved systems of weather monitoring, forecasts and warnings of floods and avalanches.

Seven organisations from both countries participated in the Crossrisk project, which was launched in June 2018. Wrapping up the project on Wednesday, they presented the results of the initiative at a meeting near the Ljubelj mountain pass practically on the Slovenian-Austrian border.

The portal, available at, delivers forecasts and warnings in Slovenian, German and English for Slovenia and the southern part of Austria where heavy rain and snow can cause severe damage.

Innovative systems warn about floods, snow melting, snowfall, snow weight and avalanches as well as help users plan outdoor activities, particularly hiking in winter or ski touring, said Miha Pavšek from the ZRC SAZU research centre, one of the participating organisations.

The project was also based on cooperation between Slovenian and Austrian environment agencies with Aleš Poredoš of the former noting that users would benefit from cross-border daily forecasts and warnings regarding winter mountain conditions. Local authorities and ski resorts could consult the portal when deciding on potential evacuation or closure.

Moreover, Crossrisk also provides information on the impact of climate change on precipitation. The EUR 1.3 million project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

03 Aug 2021, 10:56 AM

STA, 3 August 2021 - Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has a new flight connection to Madrid since Monday, operated by the Spanish air carrier Iberia. It will fly to the Spanish capital twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, until the end of August. Airport operator Fraport Slovenija would like to see the route become year-round as soon as possible. 

The first Iberia aircraft was welcomed at Ljubljana Airport on Monday with a short ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the establishment of the connection. Return fares to Madrid are to start at EUR 115.

According to Janez Krašnja, head of airport services at Fraport Slovenija, Iberia's Airbus A320 brought just over 140 passengers to Ljubljana, while around 70 passengers flew back to Madrid.

Although Iberia will only operate flights on this line in August, the Ljubljana airport operator expects that, following the example of other similar carriers such as British Airways, good results in the first season will lead to more flights in the coming years.

Krašnja is counting on Iberia to increase the number and frequency of flights and extend the season to the coming summer. "Our ambition is to make the route year-round as soon as possible," he stressed.

The Spanish market is of particular importance both economically and in terms of tourism, and Fraport Slovenija considers it particularly important that passengers will now have the option of numerous connecting flights via Madrid.

Madrid is one of Europe's major aviation hubs. This will allow Slovenian passengers to fly all over the world using Iberia's route network, especially to Latin America.

Fraport highly appreciates the new route and is pleased to have been able to launch it in these difficult times. According to Krašnja, this means that Slovenia is becoming a stronger and more popular destination, which encourages the operator to strive for more success.

Madrid is the 12th destination available from Ljubljana Airport, with at least three more expected by the end of September. "Considering the current epidemiological times, this is a good number and we are satisfied with it," said Krašnja.

Victor Moneo, Iberia's director of business development and sales for Latin America, pointed out that the launch of a new route was always exciting, but in the current situation where the world is facing the coronavirus, it was truly a cause for celebration.

"Nobody had foreseen such a dark pandemic scenario", he said, but also pointed to the bright side. In recent months, Iberia has shown that it is able to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and is characterised by its flexibility and agility.

Iberia has prepared for a recovery, which is evident in the summer season as new destinations are being opened, with Ljubljana number 114. Ljubljana is special, Moneo said, because it was the first destination to have been chosen with the help of followers on social networks.

The Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) was also happy to welcome a new airline at Ljubljana Airport. According to the head of the STO Italy Office, Aljoša Ota, the new routes are the ones that can bring a new impetus to Slovenian tourism.

In the past, Spain was a destination served by the now-defunct Adria Airways, which operated flights to Madrid and Barcelona, and the low-cost carrier Vueling, which had been flying to the Catalan capital in the summer of 2010.

01 Aug 2021, 12:27 PM

STA, 31 July 2021 - Long tailbacks of traffic have built up at crossings on the Slovenian-Croatian border as holidaymakers from northern Europe hit Croatian coastal resorts.

Data by the national traffic information centre for Saturday midday shows waiting times of more than two hours at all major crossings for vehicles entering Croatia.

The situation is currently worst at small border crossings such as Vinica, where those entering Croatia can expect to wait for up to six hours.

At major crossings such as Obrežje/Bregana, Gruškovje/Macelj and Jelšane/Rupa, the waiting times are between two and four hours.

Traffic in the opposite direction has gotten just as bad. Most crossings report waiting times of more than two hours to enter Slovenia, but on coastal crossings waiting times of up to four hours are currently expected.

The situation on the border with Austria has deteriorated as well. At the biggest crossing, Karavanke, there is currently a four-kilometre tailback.

You can always find the latest traffic news at the official site,, while the current waiting times at Slovenia’s borders can be found here

30 Jul 2021, 09:30 AM

STA, 29 July - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec and his Austrian counterpart Leonore Gewessler took part in Thursday's ceremony marking the reopening of the Karavanke railway tunnel following a safety and technical upgrade. The ministers said on the occasion that railways represented the backbone of mobility of future. 

After taking a train ride through the Karavanke rail tunnel with Gewessler, Vrtovec told the press that the upgraded tunnel was a major step in securing greater traffic flow capacity between Slovenia and Austria.

This also brings better conditions for the economy and passengers, the Slovenian minister said, noting that the modernisation of the 8-km tunnel eliminated a bottleneck in rail transport between Slovenia and Austria and represented a major hub.

Rail transport in the tunnel will be speeded up, as instead of the maximum of 50 km/h, trains will now be able to travel through it at speeds of up to 120 km/h. The upgraded safety of rail traffic also means greater safety for passengers, Vrtovec said.


The location of the tunnel. Image:

As part of works that took some 10 months, the two-track railway line, constructed in 1906, has been replaced with a single track, damaged parts of the tunnel tube have been repaired, the entry portal has been reconstructed and drainage and fire safety has been improved.

The project was financed both by Slovenia and Austria, with its cost estimated at EUR 79 million, of which more than EUR 49 million was chipped in by the European Cohesion Fund.

"Railways are the future both for passenger and freight transport," Vrtovec said, adding that they "must become the backbone of passenger and freight transport and play a key role in decarbonisation of transport."

According to the national recovery and resilience plan, Slovenia is to invest EUR 280 million in grants in railway infrastructure, and this year alone EUR 509 million is expected to be earmarked from the national budget for this purpose.

Slovenia took the opportunity of the closure of the tunnel to upgrade almost the entire railway section between Kranj and Jesenice, which according to the minister is expected to be reopened next month. "This will connect Slovenia and Austria in an even faster and more efficient way."

The Austrian minister of climate action, environment, energy, mobility, innovation and technology added that the joint task of Slovenia, Austria and other EU member states was to prepare infrastructure for the future. "With projects such as this we build the future of mobility in Europe."

Gewessler agreed that "trains will be the backbone of climate-friendly future", adding that Austria intended to invest EUR 17.5 billion in railway infrastructure in the next six years to get "modern railway tracks, stations and trains."

27 Jul 2021, 21:35 PM

STA, 27 July 2021 - A coach service linking Tolmin in western Slovenia with Cividale del Friuli in Italy during the summer season was launched on Tuesday with a promotional ride and a meeting between mayors from both sides of the border.

Running in July and August, the service was put into operation with the help of Crossmoby, a project under the Interreg programme of interregional cooperation between Slovenia and Italy which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Passengers on the maiden ride included the mayors of the three Posočje municipalities, Uroš Brežan of Tolmin, Marko Matajurc of Kobarid and Valter Mlekuž of Bovec, who met Cividale del Friuli Daniela Bernardi during their informal visit.

Viljam Kvalić, the head of the regional tourism board, sees the link as a big step forward for the Soča Valley, being that it does not have many good public transport links with the rest of Slovenia and other countries.

"As we also get a rail link and more bus lines connecting us with Italy in the future, this will be our gateway to the world," Kvalić told the STA.

The Crossmoby project is seeking to improve sustainable mobility planning throughout the cross-border region in a bid to establish new cross-border transport services.

The whole project is valued at just over EUR 4 million, of which 85% in EU funds. EUR 30,000 has been obtained for the Tolmin-Cividale del Friuli link.

As part of the project a cross-border rail service has linked Ljubljana and Trieste.

19 Jul 2021, 07:02 AM

STA, 18 July 2021 - Although demand remains below last year's, travel agencies have noticed interested in organised tours as Slovenians travel more and more after stiff coronavirus restrictions have been relaxed. However, the Association of Tourist Agencies of Slovenia (Združenje turističnih agencij Slovenije  - ZTAS) does not expect full recovery before mid-2025.

"Demand for holidays and travel is slowly returning," the association's secretary general Mišo Mrvaljević has told the STA, although demand is not exactly rising.

Demand compared to last year's summer season is by some 20% worse, with a number of coronavirus bans and hurdles not enabling people to seriously plans their holidays.

"In Slovenia we are severely limited by where travel is possible without too many complications. Constantly changing conditions has caused a rush in demand and periods of unexpected lull."

Mrvaljević says this makes it extremely hard to offer domestic clients good travel products, while practically blocking any serious promotion on foreign markets.

Travel agency Sonček has told the STA that the majority of holiday-makers waited with booking until late spring or early summer, while those who have been vaccinated against Covid are more relaxed about deciding where to spend their holidays.

Travel agent Palma has meanwhile noticed that travellers who used to arrange their tours on their own are now turning to them, adding it is safer to have the backup of an agency in these uncertain times.

Mrvaljević says that safety comes first for Slovenian travel agencies, which offer several safe destinations such as Croatia, Greek islands, the Tenerife and Madeira, as well as tourist resorts in Turkey and Egypt.

"Interest in coach tours, and cruises is slowly returning, but we miss more interest in far-away destinations," Sonček says.

A year and a half into the pandemic, the Slovenian tourist industry is according to Mrvaljević in a state of lethargy.

Companies have largely used all of their reserves, while managing to keep the bulk of employees with the help of government emergency measures which have now expired.

"We're trying very hard to help decision-makers understand the need to get the industry going through the key part of the season with the help of the state until the end of the year, as we expect tourism to get back to pre-2020 levels in two to three years if things slowly get back to normal."

He is optimistic about the future of organised tours and travel agencies' business, saying "the human spirit will always want to explore the world we live in".

"If things get back to normal by the end of the year, realistically speaking, we expect the volume of business to increase by 65% in 2022 and to return to full scope by mid-2025."

18 Jul 2021, 14:24 PM

STA, 17 July 2021 - Slovenian roads and border crossings are congested with holiday traffic on what is one of the busiest weekends of the summer. A 10-kilometre tailback is reported on the motorway leading to the Gruškovje crossing with Croatia.

A queue of about one kilometre has also formed on the Slovenian side of the Karawanks border tunnel with Austria, while the tailback on the Austrian side of the tunnel runs to 14 kilometres, the traffic information centre has reported.

The tunnel is being closed at intervals to ensure safety.

Congestions are also reported from most other border crossings with Croatia in both directions. At some crossings drivers are waiting more than two hours to cross.

The Vinica crossing is closed due to technical problems on the Croatian side.

The congestions, typical of high summer, are being made worse this year as border officers are also checking passengers' certificates on their Covid-19 status.

With storms and downpours forecast during the day, the authorities are asking drivers to exert patience and adjust their driving to the weather conditions and keep a sufficient safety distance.

You can always find the latest traffic news at the official site,, while the current waiting times at Slovenia’s borders can be found here

16 Jul 2021, 15:33 PM

New COVID  Vouchers Released Today – for Hotels, Restaurants, Concerts, Gyms, Ski Resorts & More

STA, 16 July 2021 - Starting from Friday, all Slovenian residents can benefit from a new batch of government-sponsored vouchers, which unlike the holiday-at-home vouchers issued last year, can be redeemed for a variety of services and goods, including textbooks for schoolchildren.

Learn how to check your vouchers at the end of this story

Part of the government Covid-19 relief aid, the vouchers come in two amounts, at EUR 100 for adults and EUR 50 for those under 18, and are thus valued at a total of EUR 192.2 million.

They can be used to pay for goods and services in tourism, hospitality, sports and culture, the sectors hit hardest by lockdowns. The first booking on the new voucher was made just after midnight and the first voucher was redeemed in Koper at 6:30am.

Presenting the details on Friday, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said the vouchers can be redeemed until the end of the year at tourism accommodation facilities, bars and restaurants, bookshops, museums and concerts, gyms and sport clubs, amusement parks and ski resorts.

Those who have not yet redeemed last year's vouchers, which can only be used for accommodation and breakfast, will be able to combine them with the new vouchers with the same provider.

Out of last year's EUR 365.8 million worth of vouchers (at EUR 200 and 50), the minister said 53% or about EUR 153.6 million worth have been booked or redeemed. The latter figure is lower because some have redeemed only part of their voucher.

The vouchers are part of the latest Covid-19 relief package, valued at EUR 243.5 million, with the bulk of measures aimed at tourism. "This is not the only aid for Slovenian tourism, which was hit hardest by the pandemic," said Počivalšek.

The industry was closed for much of last year and this, but has benefited from EUR 705 million worth of various support measures under the eight stimulus laws, or a total of more than one billion euro when other measures are included.

Počivalšek announced the ministry was working on a one-off extra aid for the most affected parts of tourism, which would benefit city hotels, travel agencies that bring visitors to Slovenia and the convention industry.


Check your balance by going to eDavki as a ‘natural person’, clicking on Vpogledi / Insights in the column on the left, the scrolling down to Vpogled v unovčene bone / Insight into redeemed vouchers. The site plays nicely with Google Translate, if needed.

15 Jul 2021, 10:37 AM

STA, 15 July 2021 - Significantly tighter rules for entering Slovenia took effect today, as the colour-coded lists of countries were replaced with the requirement that passengers who wish to enter the country need to have a Covid certificate regardless of where they come from.

The certificate will have to prove that passengers have had a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours, a negative rapid antigen within the last 48 hours, certificate of vaccination or proof that they have recovered from Covid.

The EU's green digital certificate and equivalent certificates of third countries are acceptable.

The acceptable vaccines are those by Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen as well as the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines.

There are three sets of exemptions: passengers in transit and lorry drivers, owners of land on both sides of the border and accompanied minors under 15.

Persons without a Covid certificate will have to quarantine for ten days and foreigners without a certificate and without residence in Slovenia are allowed entry and quarantine only if they can prove they have a place to quarantine for ten days.

It is unclear how compliance will be verified since Slovenia does not currently have police checks on the borders with Austria, Hungary and Italy, only on the Schengen border with Croatia.

The decision comes amidst concern about a rising number of new cases and a surge in the share of the more infectious delta variant of the novel coronavirus.

09 Jul 2021, 13:30 PM

STA, 9 July 2021 - Slovenia will tighten rules on the border starting on 15 July, as the colour-coded lists of countries will be cast aside in favour of the requirement that passengers who wish to enter the country will need to have a Covid certificate showing they have been vaccinated, tested or have recovered from coronavirus, regardless of where they come from.

Under a government regulation adopted on Friday, passengers will need a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours, a negative rapid antigen test no older than 48 hours, certificate of vaccination or proof that they have recovered from Covid.

The EU's green digital certificate will be accepted, as will the equivalent certificates of third countries, which must contain the same information as the EU certificate and be issued in English.

The acceptable vaccines are those by Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen as well as the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines.

Only owners of land on both sides of the border and accompanied minors under 15 are exempted.

Persons without a Covid certificate will have to quarantine for ten days and foreigners without a certificate and without residence in Slovenia are allowed entry and quarantine only if they can prove they have a place to quarantine for ten days.

The decision comes amidst concern about a rising number of new cases and a surge in the share of the more infectious delta variant of the novel coronavirus

09 Jul 2021, 10:31 AM

STA, 8 July 2021 - People who come to Slovenia from countries and areas listed as red and dark red but show proof that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recently recovered from the disease will no longer need to quarantine as of this Saturday, the government decided on Thursday.

Digital Covid certificates from EU and third countries will be accepted.

However, a 10-day quarantine requirement remains in place for foreigners without residence in Slovenia coming from red-listed areas.

The border police page - in English - with the list of dark red, red, and orange countries is here

To enter Slovenia, they will need to provide a negative PCR test and prove they have a place to stay for the 10-day period. Those who fail to do so will be denied entry.

Foreigners without residence in Slovenia coming from dark red areas are not allowed to enter the country.

There are no changes for entry from the green-listed countries.

Persons entering Slovenia from orange-listed countries can enter without quarantine if they provide a digital Covid certificate from the EU or third countries. Otherwise they need to quarantine for 10 days.

Foreigners without residence in Slovenia will be allowed to enter the country and go into quarantine only if they prove they have a place to stay during the quarantine.

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