Slovenia officially the Republic of Slovenia is situated in South-Central Europe, at the crossroad of main European cultural and trade routes, and is often excluded from definitions of the Balkans, mainly due to its long connection to Central Europe, but also because of the absence of Ottoman and Byzantine influences. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast, and Hungary to the northeast.
Although a small country, Slovenia is one of the favorite tourist destinations in the region, featuring an exceptionally high landscape – the Julian Alps towering over most of the country; biological diversity, pristine countryside, castles and many Baroque churches.