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5 nights in Slovenia, which towns?

Taking a train from Vienna to Slovenia and renting a car but am still unsure of where to spend the nights. First night Ljubljana, second night Bled? Would like to see the island, church and bike ride around the lake. Drive through the Julian Alps and to Lipica stud farm and the Predjama castle. Would like to see the salt flats near Piran and then back to Ljubljana to leave for Venice after the 5th night.
Is it possible to do Bled and the Julian Alps drive in one day, staying in Bovec? Would it be better to stay in Bovec and drive back and forth to sites or stay closer to Piran? Thank you!

Posted by
2968 posts

Welcome to the forum. I think Slovenia is an awesome place to visit. From reading your other post, it sounds like you are covering a lot of ground in May and June.

Would you consider arriving at Bled instead of Ljubljana? I think that would help cut out a hotel change. There is an 8:25 am train departure from Vienna that would get you to Bled at 13:50 (change trains at Villach Hbf). Perhaps that would allow time for a visit to the island and a bike ride around the lake (it's only 6 km), since those are your goals there.

Then you would be ready to hit the Vršič Pass (I think this is what you mean by driving through the Julian Alps) the next day with a rental car picked up at Bled. You could make a full circuit back to Bled using the Motorail at Most na Soči (which avoids a hotel change) or you could stay in the Soča Valley for a night. For the Motorail, you just drive onto the train, stay in your car, and ride back to just south of Bled, going through a lot of tunnels in the sides of mountains; it's fun! For an overnight, Bovec or Kobarid are options, but I stayed at Tourist Farm Kranj in Košeč, just above Drežnica, whose white church set within the mountains created a far more impressive visual for me than the church at Bled.

If you return to Bled, I would suggest proceeding to Ljubljana for 3 nights (perhaps after an early stop at Vintgar Gorge to beat the crowds) and consider doing Lipica stud farm and Predjama Castle as a day trip from Ljubljana. If you stayed in the Soča Valley, I would suggest hitting Lipica and Predjama Castle on the way to Ljubljana OR hit Lipica on the way to Piran and Predjama Castle on the following day's drive to Ljubljana. Škocjan Caves is around Lipica (plural name for a single site, so I'm going with a singular verb) -- super impressive (much more so than Predjama Castle IMHO, but more time-consuming to take a cave tour than to catch a glimpse of the castle).

I would actually discourage a stop at Piran a bit. I spent 25 days in Slovenia in 2019 and loved pretty much everything. Having said that, the salt pans near Piran would be very high on my list of skippable attractions in Slovenia. Also... while I love Piran, it's basically a coastal town with a lot of Venice-like architecture, so I think it is a little redundant on a trip that will include Venice.

Happy travels!

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you so very much! This is super helpful and I can now look at it in a different way!