- Visit the Lipizzaner horses at Lipica Stud Farm
- Try your hand at truffle hunting in Istria
- Explore the Goriška Brda wine hills
- Visit the island on Lake Bled
|Day 1||Arrive in Ljubljana, transfer to your hotel||Ljubljana|
|Day 2||Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, explore Lake Bled||Bled|
|Day 3||Explore Lake Bohinj (day trip from Lake Bled)||Bled|
|Day 4||The stunning views of the Julian Alps||Soča Valley|
|Day 5||Soča Valley||Soča Valley|
|Day 6||From the mountains to the wine hills||Goriška Brda|
|Day 7||Exploring the wine hills||Goriška Brda|
|Day 8||The Škocjan Caves and Lipica Stud Farm||Piran|
|Day 9||Full day exploring the coastal city of Piran||Piran|
|Day 10||Central Istria||Rovinj|
|Day 11||Rovinj & its surroundings||Rovinj|
|Day 12||Drive from Rovinj to Ljubljana||Ljubljana|
|Day 13||Depart Ljubljana|
Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana, Transfer to your Hotel
Welcome to Slovenia!
Upon arrival at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, you will be transferred 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 riverbank 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: Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled, Explore Lake Bled
After breakfast in the capital, take the rental car at your hotel and drive to Lake Bled (45 minutes). Located in the foothills of the Julian Alps, this picturesque lake and its island are one of Slovenia's main attractions.
You can climb up to Bled 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 from a plethora of shorter hikes through gorges (like nearby Vintgar Gorge) or to scenic viewpoints.
- Rent a bike and explore roads that will take you through scenic 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.
- Go summer tobogganing.
- Drive to nearby Radovljica, which has one of the best-preserved town squares in Slovenia.
Day 3: Explore Lake Bohinj (Day trip from Lake Bled)
Bohinj is located in the Triglav National Park, only 30 minutes from Bled (by car). What makes Bohinj different from Bled is its pure, unspoiled natural surroundings. The main highlight of the area the icy Lake Bohinj. There are several easy, scenic walks to nearby viewpoints nearby that take you through gorges and past beautiful waterfalls.
Suggested activities include:
- Take the cable car to Mount Vogel, where you'll get beautiful views of the lake and its surroundings.
- For a truly spectacular experience, go paragliding on Mount Vogel.
- Rent a bike and explore the nearby alpine villages. There are several mountain biking tour options that you can do on your own or with a guide.
- Rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard and paddle on the smooth waters of the lake.
- Go on a horseback riding tour.
Return to Bled in the afternoon.
Driving time: 1 hour (both ways)
Driving distance: 31 miles (50 km)
Day 4: The Stunning Views of the Julian Alps
After breakfast, you'll check out of your hotel and get back on the road. Drive across Vršič Pass—Slovenia's highest mountain pass—in the Julian Alps. Admire the limestone mountains as you make your way up the road. You'll have the option to make several detours and short hikes of varying lengths, including one with a dark past—it was built by Russian war prisoners.
After your hike, stop for a coffee and a traditional Slovenian lunch at a cozy mountain hut with great views. Then, continue your drive to the Soča Valley to see WWI forts and river gorges, before heading to your alpine homestead to settle in for the night.
Day 5: Soča Valley
The Soča Valley, its river, and the surrounding mountains are the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.
Here are some suggestions on what to do:
- Go hiking on your own or with a guide and explore the hidden gems of the 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 and exciting river for white water rafting in Slovenia.
- Go canyoning, slide down waterfalls and swim in natural pools.
- Zoom down a zip-line.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: From the Mountains to the Wine Hills
In the morning, drive south to the town of Kobarid to learn about the town's WWI history, immortalized in Hemingway's novel A Farewell to Arms. If you're a foodie, book a table at House Franko—home of Ana Ros, named world's best female chef 2017
Then, continue south and leave the mountains behind you as you enter "Slovenian Tuscany," the Goriška Brda wine region. This area is only one hour away from the mountains but looks completely different: you'll see rolling hills covered in vineyards, small hilltop villages, and orchards. Goriška Brda is also known for its amazing food and wine scene.
Drive around the hills, visit a few vineyards to sample some food and wine, or go on a hike or bike ride around the area. There are several options in the area to choose from.
Day 7: Exploring the Wine Hills
Spend a day enjoying Slovenia's wine country and exploring the area. There are plenty of hiking and cycling options, and you can also tour a few wineries in the afternoon or enjoy a wine tasting with dinner.
Make sure to visit the medieval village of Šmartno and the beautiful scenery of Dobrovo.
Day 8: The Škocjan Caves and Lipica Stud Farm
Day 9: Exploring the Coastal City of Piran
Spend the whole day on the Slovenian coast and enjoy the easygoing lifestyle of the Mediterranean. There are lots of active options in the area, including biking, hiking, and water sports. If you prefer to relax, head to one of Piran's spas for a famous salt treatment, or grab a spot on one of the pebbly beaches nearby.
Day 10: Central Istria
Drive across the border to Croatia to the Istrian Peninsula—often referred to as "Terra Magica" (magical land), and explore a region full of vineyards, olive groves, stunning coastlines, and hilltop towns.
Visit Grožnjan (Grisignana), an Istrian medieval hilltop town known for its artists, and Motovun (Montona), an ancient little town located atop a 909-foot hill. Meet with the local truffle hunter to learn about the tradition of truffle hunting in the region.
In the evening, treat yourself to a waterfront dinner in the old town of Rovinj.
Day 11: Rovinj & its Surroundings
Spend a relaxing day in one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Croatia - Rovinj.
Explore the tiny cobblestone streets and walk along the shore of the Adriatic Sea. If you are up for some more exploring, you can drive through the Istrian Peninsula and explore a land full of vineyards, olive groves, stunning Venetian-style coastline, and hilltop towns.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Explore inland and visit Grožnjan (Grisignana), an Istrian medieval hilltop town known for its artists, and Motovun (Montona), an ancient little town located atop a 909-foot hill.
- Visit Pula’s 2nd-century amphitheater and its underground museum, or take in an evening concert from the stone stadium seats.
- Hop on a water shuttle to see the artifacts on Briunji, Tito’s private resort island.
- See intricate mosaics on Poreč’s Euphrasius Basilica, another of Croatia’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- Drive to tiny Beram and go to St. Mary of the Rock, deep in the woods. The vibrant “Dance of the Dead” fresco inside is still alive with color.
- Pick up a map showing Istria’s wine and olive oil routes and spend the day tasting grapes and olives.
Day 12: Drive from Rovinj to Ljubljana
After breakfast, drive to Ljubljana and spend the rest of the day exploring the city. You can walk around on your own, visit the castle and Tivoli Park, or choose a guided tour to explore the city on foot or by bike. Another option is to book a tour with a food expert, who can introduce you to the city's culinary scene.
Here are some suggestions:
- Stroll along the bank 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 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 13: Depart Ljubljana
It's time to say goodbye to Slovenia! Depending on your departure time, you may have a few hours left to visit a local museum, or simply relax and enjoy an ice cream by the riverbank before driving to the airport. See you soon!
Driving time: (Ljubljana to the airport) 30 minutes