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1 week in Slovenia - October

Hi everyone,
My husband and I are traveling to Europe from October 12-26. We are flying into Paris because we got a great deal, but we are wanting to spend most of our time between Austria & Slovenia and maybe 1-2 nights in Paris at the end of the trip. We are planning on flying into Ljubljana. We are really excited to see and enjoy the beauty of Slovenia and want to be active & outside (hiking, exploring, etc.) as much as possible (depending on weather), but also hope to visit some villages and some (possibly less) touristy parts of Slovenia in the cities. We don't have an exact itinerary in Slovenia yet and wanted some advice.

Here are some of the places we are hoping to see: Lake Bohinj, Ljubljana, Lake bled, Triglav National Park, Kranjska Gora, River Soca, Porta Rosa, Postojna...

Is this too much? Or can we fit most of this in within a week? My biggest question if we can travel by train to and from these places or if we need a car. We are open to getting a car but it seems that most people recommend train for speed and expense. We definitely don't want to rush through all of these places but would love some knowledge on if some of these can be combined and how to enjoy Slovenia to the fullest in the week we have there before we head back to Paris!
Any advice is much appreciated :)
Thank you!

Posted by
514 posts

It seems like a lotto see in 7 days. The country is small, but I would suggest you linger in some of the areas. The Postojna caves are wonderful. I would suggest heading to Maribor and enjoying some time there. You can also head up to Austria from there.

Posted by
4700 posts

Well, nobody really recommends a train for travel within Slovenia, because they don't have much of a train network. For example, you can get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana by train...but the bus is much much easier for most people. (I love trains, and on my most recent visit to Bled last year, I took the train from Bled back to Ljubljana, even though it was less convenient than the bus.) Slovenia has a decent bus system that will get you almost anywhere, really. The train does go between major cities e.g. between Ljubljana and Maribor or to the coast (Koper).

Renting a car is cheap and driving in Slovenia is easy. I highly recommend it. You can take trains part of the way here and there. For example, on one trip, I flew into Munich, trained to Salzburg, trained to Graz, trained to Maribor, trained to Ljubljana...and rented the car when I left Ljubljana. You don't need/want a car while staying in Ljubljana because of the large pedestrian-only areas (so you'll probably have to park the car in a lot), and it's super easy to walk around little charming Ljubljana anyway. Pick up the car as you leave Ljubljana.

Pick up the Rick Steves Croatia/Slovenia book - it has good descriptions of the basic things you want to see. The "Julian Alps Loop" drive is worth doing, well described in the book. Not mentioned in the book is a favorite drive of mine: a scenic detour between Ljubljana and Bled. Detour first to the charming town of Skofja Loka (worth a stop for an hour or two) then the mountain drive via Jamnik and Kropa and into Bled instead of the fast freeway via Kranj. This drive gives some breathtaking views through tiny little towns. It should all be especially beautiful if you catch some fall color.

Posted by
10 posts

We are going through just before you from Dubrovnik to Salzburg. I have been to Slovenia a few times before. You can drive from one side to the other in 2.5 hours. Flying in to Ljubljana is really flying into a valley in the mountains called Brnik. I flew in once, and it seemed to be a long drive to get anywhere (maybe less than an hour). A car is the only option I would use in that country. It is a mountainous natural corridor connecting east and west. It had been called the country of a thousand castles because every army went through. Postojna caves are a must visit, and the castle just up the hill (9 km) is cutely built into a cliff. As RS has said the castle is not worth paying to go inside. They have many caves, but the Skojan cave has good guides, and it is a less commercial site with a large cave the size of a stadium with a river running into a sink hole. If you are making a trip to their Adriatic Coast you can stop there on the way. I am told Piran is a lovely Venetian town in Slovenia. Bled and it’s castle and church are beautiful as well as Lake Bohinj. On an RS forum someone suggests the drive from Ljubljana to Bled through the town of Skofja Loka (not the fast freeway). My map says Skofja Loka to Zelezniki to Kropa to Radovljica to Bled. We have two nights in Ljubljana at Hotel Slon. an RS forum said to eat at Strelec Restaurant at Ljubljana castle.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you everyone for all of this advice! It is really helpful for us as we plan. At this point we have decided to visit Austria first and then take a train from Salzburg to Bled. The train we found was on Go Euro for a really reasonable price. Is this the only train?

We also are planning on renting a car in that area and spending 3 days in the Lake Bled area, then drive to Ljubljana for 2 nights before we fly back to Paris. Any car recommendations from anyone?

Thank you! :)

Posted by
4403 posts

Please don’t use a reseller site. Always use the official rail carrier of the country where your trip originates. In this case - OeBB. There are several options every day. Here’s the English link - https://www.oebb.at/en/

Posted by
1 posts

If you like to learn more about a culture through their food, you might check out Cook Eat Slovenia. They offer hiking trips that search for seasonal ingredients and workshop/classes in traditional food preparation in Ljubljana.