Four days is just enough time to check out Slovenia's unbelievably scenic countryside. This 4-day road trip begins in the lively riverside town of Ljubljana, then heads to the scenic shores of Lake Bled before finishing in the medieval coastal town of Piran. With lakes, mountains, and the Adriatic sea along the route, you'll sample some of the best views and outdoor activities Slovenia has to offer in a short amount of time.

Highlights

  • Walk (or bike) around Ljubljana for boutiques, outdoor cafes, and wine bars
  • Climb 99 steps to the island's church in Lake Bled's center, and then go for a swim
  • Explore the underground limestone Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Dine on fresh seafood while watching the sunset over the Adriatic Sea

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ljubljana Ljubljana
Day 2 Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled Lake Bled
Day 3 Explore Skocjan caves and the Adriatic Coast Piran
Day 4 Drive from Piran to Ljubljana, Depart  

Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana

The capital's romantic city center

Welcome to Slovenia! Upon arrival to Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport*, you'll pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel. Settle into your accommodation and meet the team over a welcome drink to discuss your trip details.

Afterward, explore the lively city center and saunter down the main street along the banks of the Ljubljanica river, stopping in whatever small boutique, outdoor cafe, or wine bar terrace strikes your fancy as you breathe in the fresh air of one of the continent's greenest cities. A classic European castle, parks, and churches are all on offer as you wind your way around by foot or bicycle.

You'll notice the legacy of modern architect Jože Plečnik around the city at worthwhile stops such as the National Library, Central Market, Triple Bridge, and Plečnik's own home turned museum, all under the watchful eyes of the city's many signature dragons. The Central Market is also a key site for sampling local cuisine at its many stalls.

Overnight: Ljubljana

*Alternate airports include Venice (144 miles / 231 km) and Zagreb (87 miles / 140 km).

Day 2: Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled

The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria on Bled Island

After breakfast in the capital, you'll drive to Lake Bled. This picture-postcard lake with its island is one of Slovenia's main attractions. You can choose between a plethora of shorter hikes through gorges or to scenic viewpoints. The craggy walkways and waterfalls of the popular Vintgar Gorge are just 2.5 miles (4 km) from town.

You can also climb up to the castle and tour its smithy, wine cellar, and printing press before enjoying a traditional meal in the restaurant, or row or paddleboard across the placid waters. Once you reach the fairytale island at the lake's center, climb up the church's 99 steps, where legend has it the ringing of the bell can grant your wishes. If that's still not enough, enjoy cycling on side roads through typical Slovenian countryside, visit a local beekeeper, or simply sunbathe on the lakeside with a slice of the famous Bled cream cake from the Park Hotel or Slascicarna Zima bakery.

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

Day 3: Explore Skocjan caves and the Adriatic Coast

A deep gorge at the entrance of the caves

Today, after breakfast, it's time to visit the Slovenian Karst region and the Adriatic coast. Go underground with a stroll through the stunning canyons of 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. The caves are believed to have been visited by humans drawn to their majesty since the Iron Age.

In the afternoon, continue driving towards the coast and get lost among the picturesque narrow streets and squares of Piran. Sitting snugly seaside on its peninsula, Piran's old city walls, Venetian-style architecture, and stony beaches are filled with history and charm. Enjoy the evening on the Adriatic at one of Piran's many seafood restaurants before you retire, with a casual drink and fresh seafood snacks off the blackboard at Cantina Klet, family-size platters at Restaurant Neptune, or an elegant evening at Riva Piran.

Driving time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Driving distance: 77 miles (124 km)
Overnight: Piran

Day 4: Drive from Piran to Ljubljana, Depart

Sneak in a bit more scenery before you go

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

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

*Alternate airports include Venice (119 miles / 192 km) and Zagreb (158 miles / 254 km).