Want a world record for the most countries visited in a short period of time? Then add Slovenia to the list. Andrej Roza Rozman has a comic poem that calls Slovenia the nation with the best location, and while that could be argued pro and con from a variety of angles, it’s an undeniable truth that Slovenia is easy to traverse and neighbours four countries. It’s even got the Tromeje (Triple Border), where it meets Italy and Austria, giving the rare opportunity to be in three countries at once.
Tromeje, or Tri confini in Italian, where can visit three countries in no time
What follows are thus the nine records in the current Guinness Book of World Records that make use of Slovenia’s strategic location to achieve feats of considerable planning and ultimate success.
In 2011 Greg Parmley, from the UK, lived his dream and became the current world record for the most music festivals visited in 30 days. Parmley went to shows in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland and the UK. I’m not sure, but it looks like the one in Slovenia was Metal Days, then known as Metal Camp.
2013 is the year that will stay in the minds of Kasper De Wulf and Alexander Hautekiet (two Belgians) as the one in which they entered the record books with the distinction of playing the most full 18-hole rounds of golf in different countries in 24 hours. History was made when the duo teed off in Slovenia (at the Bled Golf & Country Club, which saw the lowest round of the day, 80), Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Skiing isn’t a sport associated with the UK, but that in March 2014 that didn’t stop Jamie Stevenson from enjoying the slopes in a powdery fresh 17 countries in a single month. He set out on his journey from Scotland, and then visited Spain, Andorra, France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway.
If I told you that in 2014 Leo Tergujeff, a Finn, made history’s longest journey on a telescopic handler would you know what I was talking about? Here’s a telescopic handler:
Wikimedia: Alf van Beem, CC-by-1.0
It on one of these that Mr Tergujeff brought honour to his community by travelling 4,296 km. He started in Italy and spent a few days over the month of May to travel back to his homeland, like a salmon returning to spawn. In total he drove through Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and Finland, seven countries overall.
Back in the heady days of 2015, when Britain’s continued engagement in the remarkable and highly beneficial EU was not in serious question, two natives of that land, Andrew Frankel and Rebecca Jackson, managed to visit the most countries on a single tank of fuel. The couple took advantage of the Schengen agreement and enjoyed freedom of movement through a total of 14 sovereign states. Starting in the Netherlands, the couple – whose automatic right to live, work and retire in many of these nations has just been lost – drove on to Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia then Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Hungary.
In 2016 a Belgian with the wonderful name of Frederik Van Overloop fully charged a Tesla Model S and set out on a 16-hour, 585.7 km journey that took in seven countries: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
2016 also saw the record set for the most countries visited by bicycle in 24 hours by a team, in this case two guys, James van der Hoorn and Thomas Reynolds, both British. The pair cycled through Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, before finishing in Poland, with six countries covered
Much the same records, most countries by bicycle in 24 hours – were set for the men by the Hungarian David Kovari in 2017, peddling into Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia, for a total of seven. The female record was set the same year, and by another Hungarian, Maja Tóth, who powered herself into five nations, namely Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.