This active eleven-day itinerary takes you from the Alps to the Adriatic, through some of Slovenia's most beautiful scenery. Bike from the bucolic shores of Lake Bled to the Alpine town of Kranjska Gora. Hike through Vršič Pass and into the Soča Valley, and finally cross the rolling hills of Goriška Brda to reach Piran on the Adriatic Coast.

Highlights

  • Feast on fresh seafood in Piran
  • Hike through the gorgeous scenery of the Julian Alps
  • Explore the emerald shores of the Soča River
  • Taste local wines in Goriška Brda

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ljubljana, Transfer for your Hotel Ljubljana
Day 2 Full Day in Ljubljana Ljubljana
Day 3 Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, Explore Lake Bled Bled
Day 4 Bike from Bled to Kranjska Gora Kranjska Gora
Day 5 Hike the Vršič Pass in the Julian Alps Mountain Hut
Day 6 Hike from Vršič Pass to the Soča Valley Mountain Hut
Day 7 Hike along the turquoise Soča River to Bovec Bovec
Day 8 Explore the outdoor oasis of Bovec Bovec
Day 9 Raft & Walk & WWI Goriška Brda
Day 10 Transfer from Goriška Brda to Piran Piran
Day 11 Transfer from Piran to Ljubljana, Depart! Ljubljana

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana

A sunny day in Ljubljana

Welcome to Slovenia!

Upon arrival at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, you will get a transfer to your hotel in Ljubljana (30 minutes away).

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, and with a population of around 300,000, it's also the country's largest city. Ljubljana is so old that it even predates the Romans, but its city center was shaped much later, during the Middle Ages. The area is a pedestrian zone and is very easy to walk around. You can explore the narrow streets or stroll along the banks of the Ljubljanica River.

At the top of the hill above the city, Ljubljana Castle is another great place for a short walk with a beautiful view. Have a drink along the riverbanks or take the funicular up to the castle. Then, have dinner in one of the city's many restaurants, which are run by young talented chefs. 

If you arrive early, you can also join a biking tour and explore Ljubljana on two wheels or have a food expert take you around the best local bars, bistros, and cafes to discover the local food scene. 

Day 2: Full Day in Ljubljana

The banks of the Ljubljanica River

Take a full day to explore Slovenia's lively capital. You can walk around on your own and visit the castle and Tivoli Park. Or, choose a guided walking tour to explore the city by bike, or have a food expert introduce you to the city's culinary scene.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Stroll along the riverbanks of the Ljubljanica River on your own or with a local guide.
  • Check out Metelkova Mesto, the capital of alternative culture. Every year Metelkova Mesto hosts more than 1,500 alternative events and is considered to be one of the most successful urban squats in Europe.
  • On the way to Metelkova, stop by the Ethnographical Museum and learn about Slovenian culture.
  • Book a bike trip around Ljubljana to see some interesting parts of the city that you would otherwise miss. 
  • Meet a local food expert and try local specialties.
  • Rent a canoe or a stand-up paddleboard and paddle on the Ljubljanica River. You can also paddle upstream, as the river is very slow.
  • Have a walk in Tivoli Park, Ljubljana's largest green space, and a great place to get away from the busy streets. If you have the energy, you can walk all the way to Roznik Hill.

Day 3: Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, Explore Lake Bled

Sail to the island at the heart of Lake Bled

After breakfast in the capital, drive to Lake Bled (45 minutes).

Located in the foothills of the Julian Alps, this postcard-perfect lake and its island are one of Slovenia's main attractions. Climb up to the castle and tour its smithy, wine cellar, and printing press, then head to the castle restaurant for a delicious traditional meal. 

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Choose between a plethora of shorter hikes through gorges (Vintgar Gorge) or to scenic viewpoints. 
  • Rent a bike and explore roads that will take you through typical Slovenian countryside.  
  • Rent a stand-up paddleboard or a rowboat and sail to the island, or simply board one of the traditional Pletna boats and let the oarsman take you.
  • Visit a local beekeeper and learn about beekeeping tradition.
  • Go fly fishing. 
  • Drive to nearby Radovljica, which has one of the best-preserved town squares in Slovenia.  

Driving time: 45 minutes
Driving distance: 34 miles (55 km)

Day 4: Bike from Bled to Kranjska Gora

Statue of Zlatorog (golden horn) at Kranjska Gora

Start your self-guided bike trip through the Julian Alps. You'll bike along back roads through the lush green Radovna Valley, with the steep peaks of the Julian Alps all around you. Finish the day in the town of Kranjska Gora, where you'll spend the night. 

Biking: 22 miles (35km) / elevation +2,230 ft (680m), -1,150 ft (350m)/ 6 hours

Plan your trip to Slovenia
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Day 5: Hike the Vršič Pass in the Julian Alps

View of the Julian Alps from Vršič Pass

From Kranjska Gora hike towards the central Julian Alps and ascend the famous Vršič Pass. This beautiful trail offers amazing views and is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Slovenia and their rugged limestone slopes. You'll also have the chance to make several detours up to isolated lookout points and take in some spectacular views. Spend the evening in a cozy rustic mountain hut. 

Hiking: 8 miles (13 km)/ elevation +2,950 ft (900 m), -985 ft (300 m)/ 4-5 hours

Day 6: Hike from Vršič Pass to the Soča Valley

The beautiful clear waters of the Soča River

In the morning, enjoy the marvelous views from Vršič Pass. If you feel up to it, you can go on a sunrise hike up to a nearby viewpoint and beat the crowds, before descending into the beautiful green depths of the Soča Valley. Today, you'll visit the river's source and then hike to a local farm, where you'll spend the night in a rustic (but very cozy) hay barn.

Hiking: 10.5 miles (17 km) / elevation +1,310 ft (400 m), -3,280 ft (1,000 m) / 5-6 hours

Day 7: Hike along the turquoise Soča River to Bovec

Hike along the colorful Soča River to Bovec

Follow the river down the valley. Dip your feet in the cold water or take a swim in one of its shallow pools. There are many great spots along the river to stop and relax or enjoy a picnic. In the afternoon, you'll reach the town of Bovec, Slovenia's outdoor sports capital. 

Hiking: 12.5 miles (20 km) / elevation +985 ft (300 m), -1,805 ft (550 m) descent / 5-6 hours

Day 8: Explore the outdoor oasis of Bovec

The Soča River near Bovec, Slovenia's outdoor sports capital

Enjoy a full day exploring Bovec and the surrounding region. Bovec is the base for most adventure sports in the area, including river rafting on the Soča River's famous blue-green waters. There are also several hikes, some of which take you to nearby waterfalls and gorges.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Go hiking on your own or with a guide and explore hidden spots of Soča Valley.
  • Rent a bike or book a biking tour. There are several dedicated biking routes on designated roads and paths.
  • Go whitewater rafting or kayaking. Soča is the most popular river for white water rafting in Slovenia.
  • Go canyoning, slide down waterfalls and swim in natural pools. 
  • Ride down a zip-line.
  • If you're a foodie, book a table at House Franko - home of Ana Ros, named world's best female chef 2017.
  • Rent a car and drive to Kobarid, where you can visit the Italian Charnel House, a WWI museum, and a stunning waterfall.

Day 9: Rafting, Walking, & WWI

Soca River
A small beach on the Soča River

Swap your hiking boots for a wet suit and hop on board a river raft. You'll make the next leg of your journey on the river, and experience the valley from a completely different perspective. 

The water level is usually quite low in the summer, so don't expect the ride to be too challenging. But the experience is enjoyable and fun for all ages. At the journey's end, put your hiking gear back on and walk to the historic town of Kobarid. There you can visit Kozjak Waterfall, enjoy a tasty traditional meal, and learn about the area's sad WWI history at the town's museum. 

In the afternoon, a driver will take you to Goriška Brda, which is often called the "Slovenian Tuscany." Just an hour outside of the Alps, you'll experience a complete change of scenery as you travel through the region's rolling, vineyard-covered hills. 

Walking: 3 hours / 6 miles (10 km) / elevation +985 ft (300 m), -1,310 ft (400 m)

Day 10: Transfer from Goriška Brda to Piran

Piran
Piran illuminated in the evening

In the morning, you'll be transferred to Piran, where you can spend the day swimming, biking, hiking, or just relaxing in the city. Enjoy the Slovenian coast and the easygoing Mediterranean atmosphere. For an extra restful day, visit one of the spas Piran is famous for, or lounge on one of the nearby pebbly beaches. 

Day 11: Transfer from Piran to Ljubljana and Depart

Sneak in a bit more scenery before you go
Sneak in a bit more sightseeing before you go

It's time to say farewell to Slovenia! Enjoy your last moments in this beautiful country with a leisurely breakfast and a stroll around Piran before you drive to Ljubljana for your flight home.

Driving time: 1.5 hours
Driving distance: 80 miles (128 km)

Map

Map of Active Adventure: From the Alps to the Adriatic - 11 Days
Map of Active Adventure: From the Alps to the Adriatic - 11 Days