This self-guided hiking and mountain biking tour will take you from Ljubljana to the beautiful meadows in the Karawanke Alps, over the rolling hills of Goriška Brda, and all the way to Piran, on the Adriatic Coast. With its combination of hiking and mountain biking, this itinerary is perfect for active travelers who want to see a bit of everything that Slovenia has to offer.

Highlights

  • Go mountain biking in the Karavanke Alps
  • Hike across Vršič Pass, the highest mountain pass in Slovenia
  • Go kayaking on the Soča River
  • Treat yourself to a traditional Bled cream cake 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Ljubljana Ljubljana
Day 2 Full day in Ljubljana Ljubljana
Day 3 Transfer to Lake Bled, hike & bike in the area Bled
Day 4 Relax at Lake Bled or spend a full day at Lake Bohinj Bled
Day 5 Transfer to Kranjska Gora and go mountain biking in the Karavanke Alps Kranjska Gora
Day 6 Hike: Vršič Pass and the Julian Alps Mountain Hut
Day 7 Hike: From Vršič Pass to the Soča Valley Trenta
Day 8 Transfer to Bovec and kayaking on Soča River Bovec
Day 9 Mountain biking day and transfer to Goriška Brda Goriška Brda
Day 10 Full day in the Goriška Brda wine region Goriška Brda
Day 11 Transfer from Brda to Piran and visit the Škocjan Caves Piran
Day 12 Full day on the coast Piran
Day 13 Drive from Piran to Ljubljana Airport and depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Ljubljana

Lovely Ljubljana
Lovely Ljubljana

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.

Located 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: Full day in Ljubljana

Stroll along 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: Transfer to Lake Bled, Hike & Bike in the Area

Spend a sunny day on the shores of Lake Bled

After breakfast in the capital, a transfer will take you to Lake Bled (30 minutes away). Located in the foothills of the Julian Alps, this picturesque lake and its island are one of Slovenia's main attractions.

You can visit the island and Bled Castle, which are two of the area's most popular highlights. The lake is also surrounded by lovely forests, gorges, and old villages, which you can explore by hiking and biking in the area, and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains as you go. 

There are lots of options for lunch and dinner, but make sure to try a traditional Bled cream cake, or kremsnita in Slovenian. 

Day 4: Relax at Lake Bled or Spend a Full Day at Lake Bohinj 

Church of St John the Baptist
Church of St John the Baptist

Today you can stay in Bled to relax, visit a sauna, and take it easy, or head to nearby Lake Bohinj for some more exploring. 

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 is 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. 
  • 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.
  • Grab a pie or some cheese made at one of the nearby farms. 
  • Hike around the lake and visit Savica Waterfall. 
  • Walk to the Mostnica Gorge
  • Jump into the lake for a refreshing (and chilly!) swim.

Day 5: Transfer to Kranjska Gora and go Mountain Biking in the Karavanke Alps

Kranjska Gora
A statue near Kranjska Gora

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up and take you to Kranjska Gora. The driver will drop you off at the trailhead, from where you'll bike along the gravel road above Kranjska Gora. Once you reach the start of the mountain biking trail, you can start right away or lock up the bikes and walk to the top of Vosca Mountain first to enjoy the view. 

Once you return to Kranjska Gora, relax by Lake Jasna or go on another short mountain bike ride that includes a lovely descent.  

Mountain biking: uphill 5.7 miles (9.2 km), + 1,840 ft (561 m) / downhill 1.8 miles (3 km), -2,100 ft (640 m)
Optionally Mountain biking: uphill 1.8 miles (3 km), +755 ft (230 m) / downhill 1 mile (1.7 km), -985 ft (300 m)

Day 6: Hike Across Vršič Pass and the Julian Alps

The view of the Julian Alps from Vršič Pass

Today you'll start your two-day, point-to-point hiking adventure. Your luggage will be transported to your accommodation separately. 

Start hiking from Kranjska Gora, head towards the central Julian Alps and ascend the famous Vršič Pass. You'll walk on beautiful trails and take in amazing views. The trails are surrounded by the sheer limestone slopes of some of the highest peaks in Slovenia, and you'll have the opportunity to make several detours to out-of-the-way lookout points for some great views. Spend the night a cozy mountain hut high in the Slovenian Alps.  

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

Day 7: Hike from Vršič Pass to the Soča Valley

The colorful Soča River winds through the Soča Valley

Enjoy the early morning views from Vršič Pass. You'll have the option to go on a sunrise hike to an amazing nearby viewpoint and beat the crowds. Then, start your descent into the beautiful Soča Valley. Visit the river's source, and spend the night in an alpine hotel. 

Hiking: 9 miles (15 km) / elevation +1,310 ft (400 m), -3,280 ft (1000 m) / 5-6 hours

Day 8: Transfer to Bovec and Kayaking on the Soča River

The Soča River is a great place for kayaking and rafting

After breakfast, catch a transfer to one of the most popular adventures in the area—kayaking on the Soča River. If kayaking doesn't appeal to you, there are a number of other options in the area. Bovec, a small town in the Soča Valley, is the jumping-off point for most adventure sports nearby.

Here are some ideas: 

  • Go hiking on your own or with a guide and explore the Soča Valley.
  • Rent a bike and go for a ride, or book a biking tour. There are several gravel biking roads.
  • Go whitewater rafting. Soča is the most popular river for white water rafting in Slovenia. 
  • Go canyoning. You will slide down waterfalls and swim in natural pools. 
  • Zoom down a zip-line.
  • Book a table at House Franko—home of Ana Ros, named World's Best Female Chef in 2017.
  • Grab a beer at a microbrewery. 

Day 9: Mountain Biking Day and Transfer to Goriška Brda

Goriška Brda
The historic town of Kobarid

After breakfast, transfer to Mt. Stol, the westernmost mountain in the Julian Alps. Your driver will take you to the beginning of the trail, and you can start your bike ride from there or continue towards the ridge to add a short uphill section with spectacular views to your route. 

After you reach the valley, you'll bike along the Soča River and ascend to small villages up on the hillside before riding down to the historic town of Kobarid. If you decide to explore the town, you can visit the WWI Museum and the Italian Charnel House. Enjoy a late lunch and a tasty beer in town.

In the late afternoon, a driver will take you to the Goriška Brda wine hills, where you can relax after a long day. 

Mountain biking:  uphill 10.5 miles (17 km), +1,215 ft (370 m), -1,475 ft (450 m) / downhill 3 miles (4.7 km), -3,050 ft (930 m), +135 ft (41 m)
Optional mountain biking: uphill 1.2 miles (2 km), +295 ft (90 m), -100 ft (30m) / downhill 1.1 miles (1.8 km), -820 ft (250 m), +120 ft (36m)

Day 10: A Full Day in Goriška Brda Wine Region

The rolling hills of Goriška Brda

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.

If you want to relax, you can also spend the day lounging by your guesthouse's pool. 

Day 11: Transfer from Brda to Piran and Visit the Škocjan Caves

Škocjan Caves
Go underground in the Škocjan Caves

After breakfast, visit the Slovenian Karst region and head underground into the limestone Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boardwalks will lead you through the specialized ecosystem of one of the world's largest known underground caverns. Humans have been visiting the caves since the Iron Age. 
 
Then, stop at the Lipica Stud Farm to see Lipizzaner horses, before continuing on to Piran. Piran is known for its old city walls, Venetian-style architecture, and pebbly beaches. Get lost in the town's history as you stroll through the narrow streets, then enjoy some fresh seafood at one of the town's restaurants.

Day 12: A Day in Piran

Piran
Piran at night

Spend the whole day on the Slovenian coast and enjoy the easygoing lifestyle of the Mediterranean. There are lots of outdoor 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 13: Drive from Piran to Ljubljana Airport and Departure

Drive back to Ljubljana for your flight home

 

It's time to say goodbye to Slovenia! Enjoy a final breakfast in Piran before heading back to Ljubljana for your flight home. See you soon!