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2 Active Senior Travelers Needing Your Advice (Vienna/Trieste/Slovenia)

Hi Forum!
My husband (67) with terminal brain cancer is miraculously stable and vital. We are interested in setting our own daily pace while traveling to new areas of interest that are less urban. I'm 75, but we're both in rather good shape for walking, but not rigorous hiking. We're fans of unpacking the fewest times possible. In addition, as caregiver, I need to stay mindful that my husband needs less sensory/chaotic stimulation to make the most of the time we have left together. We intend to fly from SFO to Vienna as our first destination. We seek Hilton properties to use and earn points. From Vienna as our hotel base, we'd like to use efficient trains to explore areas such as Ljubjlana, Lake Bled, and other "must-sees" you suggest. (Our primary interests are food, arts, natural beauty, seaside trips, and stunning photographic scenes.) We probably will stay in the northern Slovenian region because we also want to experience Trieste. (Lived in Germany for 5 years long ago.) Because of a unique opportunity, we're going to Opatija, Croatia (near Rijeka) to take day trips for a few days. At this point, we have 18 total days for vacation with 15 tourist days. Suggested timeframe: August 27 to September 13, 2024. Should we plan to explore the Dalmatian Coast, or should we focus on Sud Tirol and Austria? We prefer temps. of '70's and 80's. (Been to Venice 5 times.) The Dolomiti area is too far and we're just now getting educated to Slovenia and Croatia. Could you suggest a coherent, efficient itinerary that will give us wonderful memories of our travels together? We will need to fly back to SFO from Vienna. I hope I haven't dazed you with "administrivia" and nauseating detail! Thank you in advance!!

Posted by
274 posts

Sounds like admirable goals. I found with my disabilities, making 2 lists, one A-list that are must-see/must do things, and then a B-list which I do if I'm not in too much pain, can be helpful. I like traveling alone because if I want to change my plans on the spot, no one else has a vote :) but it sounds like you two work together. I also make sure I have travel health insurance, just in case.
Good wishes and blessings,
-Alison

Posted by
27447 posts

There's bus service between Ljubljana and Bled, and you might even find a taxi affordable for the two of you. They were reasonably priced in 2015, but I know things may have changed.

Slovenia doesn't have great transportation options in and out, so you might like to know about GoOpti, a transportation provider several people who post here have used (I have not) and liked. As I understand it, it offers two ways of booking: dedicated/private transportation at the time you choose and shared rides on the day you choose but at a time chosen by the company based on demand.

Zagreb is an attractive city, quite different from Ljubljana. There's both train and bus service between the two.

I haven't been to the northeast corner of Italy yet, but there are some very interesting-sounding places in that area. Aquileia/Grado (Roman ruins) and Udine are at the top of my list.

I have only passed through Opatija and Rijeka, but I enjoyed spending several nights in Rovinj on the Istrian Peninsula. I took day trips by bus to colorful Porec and the little hilltop village of Vrsar. I didn't go to Pula, but there are some Roman ruins there.

Posted by
2230 posts

In addition to GoOpti, you might look at MyDaytrip.com for transportation options in that region. I've used it and recommend it highly.

Posted by
2 posts

THANK YOU to those responding to our topic. We value your input and hope for more!

Posted by
797 posts

Hi there, glad you're here asking the right questions, and really great you're planning this trip!

Just checking if 18 days total includes arrival & departure days? I would certainly take a day or two to settle in before venturing out of Vienna. And take a look at the Timeshifter app for jet lag, it really does help! Pam wrote a great post about it, use search bar above for "I tried the Timeshifter app".

Lake Bled is 4+ hours from Vienna, so that's 8+hour RT, before you stop to take in the scenery & enjoy your surroundings. Is this realistic? Have you looked at the alps near to Vienna as an alternative to schlepping 8 hours round trip for beautiful lakes & views?

We probably will stay in the northern Slovenian region because we also want to experience Trieste. (Lived in Germany for 5 years long ago.) Because of a unique opportunity, we're going to Opatija, Croatia (near Rijeka) to take day trips for a few days.

This trip sounds like it's 3 destinations already, in 15 'touristing' days, with the added stress / hassles of moving locations. Just think given your circumstances, and specifically the need to reduce stress / stimuli to a manageable level, consider places that are closer to Vienna?

https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/cruising-the-danubes-wachau-valley

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/to-the-west/vienna-day-trip-to-melk

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/austria/vienna-melk-day-trip

Someone mentioned supplemental medical insurance, it needs to exclude pre-existing conditions. And look into medical evacuation insurance, but again, just use the search bar above. This thread may get you started - https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/medical-insurance-tutorial-and-recommendations

Good luck!