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5-7 Day Slovenia route suggestions (revised plan thanks to suggestions!)

Edit- my itinerary is listed further down in this post after receiving some great advice from forum members.

I'd love some tips or thoughts on some development I've made on my late June solo travel itinerary. I have days I'm still trying to figure out. I have about 6-7 full days and 1/2 day and can rent a car or do day trips with small groups on some days. I thought throwing in 1 or 2 group tours might break up the solo travel. I appreciate feedback on my first post when I was thinking about adding Croatia too but I've decided to just concentrate on Slovenia.

My goals for the trip are:
seeing nature & incredible views
learning about the history of the area (love art & history)
spending a few days in the mountains and near the sea
meeting locals & other travelers
great food
If I'm honest, I love seeing the mountains but I'm not an avid mountain hiker. I really love seeing the sea as well since I don't get to very often. And, I'm comfortable driving but not great with steep drop-offs and fast speeds around mountain bends.

Ljubljana - 2 nights
Day 1 Arr Ljubljana mid to late afternoon - free walking tour if flight arrives on time, maybe walk to castle Sleep in Ljubljana
Day 2 Spend day in Ljubljana - ideas include LjubljanaYum food tour, castle, boat tour, walk about town, Open Kitchen food market - Sleep Ljubljana

Day 3 - p/u rental car & drive to Lake Bled possibly stopping at Skofja Loka Castle & Museum, see Vintgar Gorge on way out of town (short hike).
Was thinking of staying in Bohinj but am open to suggestions for night. My thoughts are I may want to escape touristy Lake Bled for the night? Horseback riding, light hikes or funicular sound appealing for views.

Possible places to see - just having trouble combining stops and itinerary on when to do what based on location & best route and how many days I should allow for things I want to do.
Kobarid museum
Piran, Izola - really want to spend a couple of days near the sea
Car train railway from Bohinj to Most na Soči sounds lovely b/c then I get to see and not have to drive!
Škocjan Caves
Vipava Valley (a restaurant I'd love to try is only open Thurs - Sun so it maybe wouldn't work if I end the trip in Piran)
Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle

I don't have to see both caves
Thoughts about reversing order? I land on a Thursday afternoon in Ljubljana and will depart on Wed - Friday depending on how my itinerary shapes up and if I rent a car, will return on day before early train departure. I just need to start & end in Ljubljana to catch train to another spot in Central Europe.

Thanks for insight from those who've been there and had a great experience!

Posted by
385 posts

@DB

I am currently in a farmhouse stay above Lake Bled, waiting for the snow to melt and clear. Hopefully by about 11am. I can relate our experiences, but no recommendations as our method of touring is unique to us.

15th April. Left our agriturismo at Nimis, on the outskirts of Udine and drove into the eastern region of the Dolomites to mountain village of Pesariis. An older Italian good friend of mine in Hobart from this village died a few months ago. This was a nostalgic visit for me, a form of closure.

Toured via SS roads (we prefer these to the Autostrada/Bahn) to Tarvisio and into Slovenia through Julian mountains. The roads mostly followed the valleys. A clear blue sky and temperatures hovering around 25c made everything appealing and attractive. Past lake Bled to our farm stay at Vaznik Farm House Apartments. When we arrived, it was circa 25c and a light breeze. Our host, Peter quickly brought out local beers and juice to drink as we admired the view. The farm overlooks the Zaka valley that houses Lake Bled. Wondered around the lake’s edged in the evening. It was an enjoyable, delightful wander.

Next morning, (16th) we ventured into Austria, to Klagenfurt, as my wife picked it out as an adorable small town (a good friend in Perth had come from there). It is. Had to present our passports at the Austrian checkpoint. We were not put off by a not so nice weather forecast. For lunch we had schnitzel, of course and purchased lots of local pastries for desert back at the farm. Found the main Platz. Overcast drizzly day. Our German is pretty rubbish, but we got by.

Then it happened. It started to snow so we headed for home with the snow settling on the meadows, trees and building up on the roadside. Of course, as one would expect, we are all seasoned experienced snow drivers. Snows long and often in Australia. A snow plough clearing the adjacent lane on the Autobahn gave us no reason to be nervous. We made it back to lake Bled and drove back to the farm, which is at altitude.

On driving. I find one of the good things about driving on the continent is that the road and other signs are for the most part universal and visually self-evident. Not rocket science. My sons and I are confident in our training and abilities.

For the most part we have been driving on the SS style road networks, rather than Autostrada style, as it gives us the most flexibility in decision making. These are roads are windy and hilly and maybe not for others. The E652 through to Klagenfurt was one such road. We were loving it.

Hope this helps a little.

Regards Ron

Posted by
223 posts

Ron, your travels sound magical. I am not an enthusiastic snow or road driver so I’ll be sticking to the main roads. Thank you for your wonderfully descriptive snapshot of your trip to the area. Your writing allowed me to visualize it! What a beautiful time to be there! Safe and enjoyable travels to you!

Posted by
4352 posts

I think with this amount of time, you won’t be sorry you decided on just Slovenia. Whichever way you arrange it, you do need the first full day in Ljubljana to give yourself a day to get over jet lag, so that is wise.

I don’t think Bled or Bohinj will make a significant amount of difference, so go with your best choice of lodging. With what you have listed, you will fill day 3 getting to your Day 3 overnight and fill day 4 before or while you drive to your lodging for night 4. That really gives you days 5-7 (3 days) for the rest. Then day 8, you must be back in Ljubljana. It may just come down to choices.

Posted by
3903 posts

I'm glad you are narrowing things down to just Slovenia. Definitely depart on Friday, not on Wednesday or Thursday -- soak up as much of Slovenia as you can.

If the restaurant in the Vipava Valley is important to you, arrange your trip so you can get there! Thursday & Friday night -- Ljubljana. Saturday & Sunday night -- Piran (hit Predjama Castle, a cave and the restaurant in Vipava Valley along the way on Saturday). Monday & Tuesday night -- Kobarid (Škocjan Cave along the way if cave not done on Saturday). Wednesday & Thursday night -- Bohinj (Motorail on Wednesday). Friday morning drive to Ljubljana, drop car, and catch train to next location.

Posted by
385 posts

@DWB

Yesterday, (17th) after the snow cleared, we drove to lake Bohinj. Through my eyes obviously a playground for summertime. Kayak’s, row boats etc stored around the lakes edge. Small jetties to assist boarding. Notice a covered boat taking a few people across the lake. I think it is termed a pleasure boat, but it has a timetable and goes to the far end of the lake and one can get off. Do not know what is there.

A group of 3 or families where being instructed in rock climbing. I was impressed that young boys and girls, circa 8 through 14 years, were being given the opportunity to gain confidence in their own problem-solving abilities and room to learn, make mistakes in a nurturing environment.

Dark Turquoise coloured busses appeared to be going between Bohinj and Bled. I think the name was Arriva. May be local public transport or other.

My thoughts are that if one is into physical activities over summer, it would be a fantastic place. At 4c I passed up the opportunity, on this occasion, to swim in the lake. Still glad we spent the day there.

When we returned to the farm, cloud had lifted and cleared from the valley, the sun was shining, and we had a Disney like view with the surrounding mountains under heavy snow cover. The family photographers took multitude of photos.

Was it worth it? Indubitably.

Regards Ron

Posted by
223 posts

You all are wonderful. I appreciate your suggestions and tips. Thanks so much! I'll follow up with a recap of my trip and I'm so excited to explore Slovenia!

Posted by
1340 posts

I'm in Piran. Rented an apartment above the sea to the south. We're here for 9 overnights. Pretty relaxing. If you come this way I would recommend an overnight. I'm sure in June it will be much more visited than now. I would make reservations for dinner a few weeks in advance. Even now some places are booked out for three days.
And to add, parking is outside the city. We have a spot at our apartment. Some tiny streets.
Apartment Kandus
Gostilna Park (restaurant)
Restavracija Neptun

Posted by
223 posts

Thank you @mchpp! I’ve booked two nights at a bed and breakfast. If you have any dining recommendations for Piran area, please share!

Posted by
404 posts

A couple of random inputs:
- the two caves are different. Postojna is much better lit and you can take pix. Also
doable via local bus from Ljubljana to Postojna Cave, but the schedules are a bit weird
and if you add in the castle (I did not), there is a shuttle and timing may get tricky. It is also
much more touristy than Skocjan.

Skocjan is much more dramatic and dark, and a lot of the walk is along a catwalk with steep dropoffs. Because of all of that, no pictures allowed until the very end.

Kobarid museum is very interesting, but it would be a trek to get there and then
not experience the Julian Alps. Re drive, going south from Kransjka Gora, the ascent
is pretty easy - you're on the inside and all the turns have cobblestones for traction.

But on the descent, you're on the outside, and no cobblestones, so you have to pay attention.

Note that Sixt has a car rental location in the Ljubljana train station, which is pretty central.

Posted by
223 posts

Here is my plan with your helpful tips:
Day 1 - Land in Ljubljana - overnight Ljubljana
Day 2 - Ljubljana - overnight Ljubljana
Day 3 - Depart Ljubljana in rental car and drive to Piran. Stopping in Vipava Valley for lunch and possibly Predjama Castle - overnight Piran
Day 4 - Piran & area - overnight Piran
Day 5 - Depart Piran, stopping at Skjocjan Cave on way towards Kobarid. Tour Kobarid Museum, see waterfalls, eat somewhere nice - overnight in Kobarid or could move closer to Most na Soča
Day 6 - Depart Kobarid for Most na Soča and take auto train to Bohinjska Bistrica. Things to do today & tomorrow - wander around lake, go up to Vogel on cable car, and choose hikes, Triglav, boat, horseride, etc. Still looking for place to stay in or near Bohinj
Day 7 - Bohinj and area, Vintgar Gorge?, possibly Bled later? - still looking for place in or near Bohinj or move towards Bled
Day 8 - Bled, Radovljica (bee keeping museum) and back to Ljubljana for evening. Return rental car. Overnight Lljubljana
Day 9 - depart Ljubljana on 5 am train

Posted by
3903 posts

It's a hurried plan, but I think it lets you see the things you want to see.

Still looking for place to stay in or near Bohinj

I liked Vila Park B&B

https://www.vila-park.si/

Posted by
223 posts

Thank you, @Dave. You've been of great help and I truly appreciate your advice and recommendations! I'd love Villa Park, but it's a bit above my budget.