- Explore the capital's picturesque riverfront by foot and/or bicycle
- Take an afternoon to sunbathe and swim in Lake Bled before starting the hike
- Climb over major peaks in the central Julian Alps while staying in local lodging
- Dine on fresh seafood from the Adriatic during your few last nights in Piran
|Day 1||Arrive in Ljubljana||Ljubljana|
|Day 2||Explore Ljubljana||Ljubljana|
|Day 3||Transfer from Ljubljana to Lake Bled||Lake Bled|
|Day 4||Hike the Ridge between Austria and Slovenia||Kranjska Gora|
|Day 5||Hike from Kranjska Gora to Vršič Pass||Mountain hut|
|Day 6||Hike from Vršič Pass to the Soča Valley||Haybarn|
|Day 7||Hike and Bike the Soča River to Bovec||Bovec|
|Day 8||Guided Tour from Bovec to Piran||Piran|
|Day 9||Free Day in Piran||Piran|
|Day 10||Transfer from Piran to Trieste, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Ljubljana
Welcome to Slovenia! Upon arrival to Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport*, you'll catch a transfer from the airport to your accommodation. Settle into your lodging with a welcome drink, then get out and explore the capital's lovely city center.
The country's largest city, Ljubljana is home to a wide variety of restaurants, museums, and historic landmarks to explore. Warm weather sees outdoor markets popping up all over the city, while winter prompts a warm drink in a cozy cafe. The Puffy Li'l Pancakes stall, however, is delicious in every season.
*Alternate airports include Venice (144 miles /231 km) and Zagreb (87 miles / 140 km).
Day 2: Explore Ljubljana
Set out in true local fashion, via foot or bicycle, and enjoy some city sightseeing. Guided tours are available if you'd like an inside perspective on stories of the Ljubljana's history and culture or secret food spots. Or choose to explore and stumble upon your own discoveries.
Start by strolling on 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. Many of the restaurants offer a multi-course prix fixe lunch menu, perfect for long, leisurely lunch.
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.
Day 3: Transfer from Ljubljana to Lake Bled
Transfer from Ljubljana to the fairytale shores of Lake Bled. Surrounded by the soaring peaks of the Julian Alps, Bled draws honeymooners and adventure-seekers alike.
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, or simply sunbathe on the lakeside with a slice of the famous Bled cream cake at the Park Hotel or Slascicarna Zima bakery.
Day 4: Hike the Ridge between Austria and Slovenia, Overnight in Kranjska Gora
After your breakfast, catch a transfer to the mountains to begin your self-guided hike. Today's trails take you over the ridge between Slovenia and Austria, leading you to the ski town of Kranjska Gora. When the snow is off the slopes, they become home to an alpine slide, ziplines, and fairytale walking tours. Enjoy the views you'll soon be climbing with dinner at the Milka restaurant and its waterside patio.
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Hiking distance: 11 miles (17 km); +2,625 feet (800 m), -3,973 feet (1,200 m)
Day 5: Hike from Kranjska Gora to Vršič Pass
Today, you'll hike across Slovenia's highest pass, the Vršič Pass (5,285 feet / 1,611 m) in the central Julian Alps. Admire the nearby limestone walls as you make your way up the winding road surrounded by the country's highest peaks, and ascend to some solitary viewpoints before you arrive at your cozy evening hut.
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Hiking distance: 8 miles (13 km); +2,953 feet (900 m), -984 feet (300 m)
Accommodation: Mountain hut
Day 6: Hike from Vršič Pass to the Soča Valley
Start off early with a sunrise viewpoint hike ahead of the crowds. After a scenic breakfast, get back on the trail to descend into the Soča Valley. You'll stop at the source of the Soča river, where you'll spend the night snug in the haybarn of a local farm, gently moo'ed to sleep.
Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Hiking distance: 11 miles (17 km); +1,312 feet (400 m), -3,281 feet (1,000 m)
Accommodation: Haybarn at a local farm
Day 7: Hike and Bike the Soča River to Bovec
Wind along the river into the valley and see why this is also known as the Emerald River. You'll walk for about an hour, exploring hidden spots and cooling pools, before swapping your feet for some wheels. Ride a mountain bike the rest of the way to Bovec. This mountain town is one of Slovenia's top outdoor sports destinations, but you can relax at a local microbrewery if you've had your fill of adventure for the day.
You can also cast your rod in search of the famous Soča trout, sought after by fishermen from all over the world. Try it for yourself without the effort at the Dobra Vila restaurant, known for its traditional cuisine.
Day 8: Guided Tour from Bovec to Piran
Finally, traveling under someone else's steam. Your guide will take you through the rolling hills of wine country (stopping for a tasting, naturally), followed by 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.
Once you come back up, you'll continue to coastal Piran. This former fishing village is known for its spas, fresh seafood, and fleur de sel salts. Spend an evening taking in the scene in Tartini Square, named for violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini. Tartini was born in Piran, and you'll find a monument dedicated to his cultural involvement in the town in his namesake plaza.
Day 9: Free Day in Piran
Spend the day getting 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. Relax after all that time on the trail at one of the city's many spas, specially known for their mud and salt treatments. Or see it at the source, with a walk through the salt pans of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park.
Enjoy the evening on the Adriatic at one of Piran's many seafood restaurants before you retire. Have 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.
Day 10: Transfer from Piran to Trieste, Depart
Wave farewell to the waters of the coast as you transfer to Trieste for your departure.