Journey through the Slovenian countryside at your own pace with this road trip itinerary. Starting from the laidback riverside cafés of Ljubljana, you'll visit lovely Lake Bled, the Julian Alps, and the Goriška Brda wine region. See castles, caves, and the Adriatic coast as you wind through the country, enjoying a full week of Slovenia's best views and outdoor activities.

Highlights

  • See iconic Plečnik architecture throughout Ljubljana
  • Canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard on Lake Bohinj
  • Visit Goriška Brda wine country, nicknamed the "Slovenian Tuscany"
  • Tour the old city walls and stony beaches of Piran

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ljubljana Ljubljana
Day 2 Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled Bled
Day 3 Day Trip to Lake Bohinj Bled
Day 4 Drive from Lake Bled to Bovec Bovec
Day 5 Drive from Bovec to Goriška Brda Goriška Brda
Day 6 Explore Skocjan caves and the Adriatic Coast Piran
Day 7 Drive from Piran to Ljubljana, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana

Stroll through the historic streets of Ljubljana
Stroll through the historic streets of Ljubljana

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.

Day 2: Drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled

The Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria on Bled Island
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 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

Day 3: Day Trip to Lake Bohinj

The serene surface of Lake Bohinj
The serene surface of Lake Bohinj

Nearby Lake Bohinj deserves time for exploration of its own, giving its neighboring lake some serious competition for the prettiest waterfront views. There are countless walks in the area for all ability levels; you choose the one that suits you best, or go vertical with rock climbing instead. Don't forget to pay a visit to the statue of the Zlatorog, or Golden Horn, a mythical stag believed to live in the mountains.

You can also canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard on the lake before your return to Bled. If you haven't visited Bled Castle yet, consider splurging on a royal dinner with a view at its restaurant.

Driving time: 2 hours (roundtrip) 

Day 4: Drive from Lake Bled to Bovec

One of many scenic detours along the way
One of many scenic detours along the way

After breakfast, you'll check out of your hotel and get back on the road. It's time to change locations and drive across Slovenia's highest pass, the Vršič Pass in the central Julian Alps. Admire the nearby limestone walls as you make your way up the winding road with potential detours to several view-filled walks of varying lengths, including a stroll into the region's history on paths built by Russian prisoners of war.

After you've stretched your legs, have a coffee with a scenic mountain view and a typical alpine lunch in a cozy hut. In the afternoon, drive to the Soča Valley to explore its hidden spots, including WWI forts, river gorges, and the mountain town of Bovec, where you can relax in a microbrewery when you settle in for the night.

Driving time: 2 hours

Day 5: Drive from Bovec to Goriška Brda

The rolling hills of  Goriška Brda
The rolling hills of  Goriška Brda

After breakfast in Bovec, you'll have the chance to discover more of the hidden spots of the Soča River as you drive south. Take time to raft or swim in spectacular pools and walk along the Soča, also known as the Emerald River for its intense turquoise color. It's also home to the famous Soča trout, sought after by fishermen from all over the world.

You'll learn about the area's WWI history and influence both on the roads and at the WWI Museum in Kobarid as you drive toward Goriška Brda wine country. Dotted with family vineyard estates, petite churches, and cypress trees, the region earns its nickname of the 'Slovenian Tuscany.' Climb a view tower to enjoy the best view from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea, bike through the hills, or visit a winemaker or four.

When you're ready to retire, try dinner in one of the local inns to sample the regional produce alongside specialty cured meats and cheeses. Or visit Ana Roš, voted World's Best Female Chef in 2017, with a reservation at House Franko restaurant.

Driving time: 1.5 hours

Day 6: Explore Skocjan caves and the Adriatic Coast

Bask in the sights of seaside Piran
Bask in the sights of seaside Piran

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

Day 7: Drive from Piran to Ljubljana, Depart

Sneak in a bit more scenery before you go
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

Map

Map of Highlights of Slovenia - 7 Days
Map of Highlights of Slovenia - 7 Days