Geography of Slovenia

Slovenia is situated in Central Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. The Alps—including the Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Karawank chain, as well as the Pohorje massif—dominate northern Slovenia along its long border to Austria. Slovenia's Adriatic coastline stretches approximately 43 km (27 mi)[1] from Italy to Croatia. Its part south of Sava river belongs to Balkan peninsula – Balkans.

The term "Karst" originated in southwestern Slovenia's Karst Plateau (Slovene: Kras), a limestone region of underground rivers, gorges, and caves, between Ljubljana and the Mediterranean.

On the Pannonian plain to the East and Northeast, toward the Croatian and Hungarian borders, the landscape is essentially flat. However, the majority of Slovenian terrain is hilly or mountainous, with around 90% of the surface 200 meters or more above sea level.


Slovenia's location is where southeastern and Central Europe meet, where the Eastern Alps border the Adriatic Sea between Austria and Croatia. The 15th meridian east almost corresponds to the middle line of the country in the direction west-east.[2]

Geographic coordinates

Extreme geographical points of Slovenia:

The maximum north-south distance is 1°28' or 163 km (101 mi).
The maximum east-west distance is 3°13' or 248 km (154 mi).

The geometric centre of Slovenia (GEOSS) is located at 46°07′11.8″N 14°48′55.2″E / 46.119944°N 14.815333°E / 46.119944; 14.815333.

Since 2016, the geodetic system of Slovenia with the elevation benchmark of 0 m has its origin at the Koper tide gauge station. Until then, it referred to the Sartorio mole in Trieste (see metres above the Adriatic).[3]


  • Total: 20,273 km²
  • Land: 20,151 km²
  • Water: 122 km²
  • Comparison: slightly smaller than New Jersey


  • Land boundaries
  • Coastline: 43.157 m (~ 43 km)[1] 46.6 km[4]
  • Maritime claims:

The entire Slovenian coastline is located on the Gulf of Trieste. Towns along the coastline include:


Historical regions

The traditional Slovenian regions, based on the former division of Slovenia into the four Habsburg crown lands of (Carniola, Carinthia, Styria, and the Littoral) and their parts, are:

The last two are usually considered together as the Littoral Region (Primorska). White Carniola (Bela krajina), otherwise part of Lower Carniola, is usually considered a separate region, as is the Central Sava Valley (Zasavje), which is otherwise a part of Upper and Lower Carniola and Styria.

Slovenian Littoral has no natural island, but there is a plan on building an artificial one.


Humid subtropical climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and in the valleys to the east. Precipitation is high away from the coast, with the spring being particularly prone to rainfall. Slovenia's Alps have frequent snowfalls during the winter.[5]


A short coastal strip on the Adriatic Sea, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountain and valleys with numerous rivers to the east.

There is only one natural island in Slovenia: Bled Island in Lake Bled in the country's northwest. Lake Bled and Bled Island are Slovenia's most popular tourist destination[6].

Elevation extremes

Natural resources

Lignite coal, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests

Land use

  • Arable land: 8.53%
  • Permanent crops: 1.43%
  • Other: 90.04% (2005)
  • Irrigated land: 100 km² (2003)
  • Natural hazards: minor flooding and earthquakes


Current issues

The Sava River polluted with domestic and industrial waste; pollution of coastal waters with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; forest damage near Koper from air pollution (originating at metallurgical and chemical plants) and resulting acid rain.

International agreements

See also


  1. 1 2 Bostjan Burger (1959-09-20). "Slovenia, Central Europe with the spirit of the Mediterranean :: prostorski atlas". Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  2. Jenko, Marjan (2005). "O pomenu meridiana 15° vzhodno od Greenwicha" [About the Significance of the 15th Degree to the East of Greenwich Meridian] (PDF). Geodetski vestnik (in Slovenian). 49 (4). pp. 637–638. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  3. 1 2 "S pomočjo mareografske postaje v Kopru do novega geodetskega izhodišča za Slovenijo" [With the Help of a Tide Gauge Station in Koper to A New Geodetic Origin Point for Slovenia] (in Slovene). Slovenian Environment Agency. 23 November 2016.
  4. "CIA – The World Factbook". Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  5. "Slovenia Natural Environment". Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  6. "Slovenia to re-direct tourism at country's most popular tourist site". 22 December 2017.
  • – Geodesic Institute of Slovenia – Detailed Topographic and Orthophoto maps of Slovenia.
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