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Itinerary Help for Slovenia

Hi everyone! I'm going to be traveling to Slovenia at the end of May/beginning of June and I'm wondering if this sounds like a do-able itinerary or if there is a better route. I'll be there for 12-14 nights (still finalizing) and I'll be relying on public transport to get around!

3 nights in Ljubljana with day trip to Skocjan caves

4 nights in Bled to explore Bled, Bohinj, Triglav and Mount Vogel

3 nights in Bovec

1-2 nights in Kobarid

1-2 nights in Piran and then bus back to Venice for my flight home

Not sure if I'm spending too much time in some places and not enough in others, any help is appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by
4063 posts

Doing this by public transportation is going to be very challenging. Consider renting a car. You will see 5x more.

Posted by
1840 posts

Hi, Becca. Welcome to the forum!

A few observations:

  • Per Google Maps, it is a 24-minute drive from Bovec to Kobarid. I'm not sure that distance is worth changing accommodations for a night or two.
  • You have quite a bit of time in "outdoorsy" places. I agree with Emily that a rental car for the Bled-Bovec-Kobarid part of the trip would be helpful. It's hard to get to trailheads and some sites in these areas without one. You could pick up the car leaving Ljubljana and drop it off on arrival at Koper or Portorož near Piran (depending on the company).
  • Bled is so stinking touristy. I did the walk around the lake and the path was mobbed. I was really glad I stayed at Ukanc, which is at the quiet end of Lake Bohinj. I did the (much longer) walk around the lake there and had long stretches of peace without seeing other people.
  • If you have a car, the drive from Kobarid to Piran takes you right past Škocjan Caves.
  • The amount of time to spend in places really depends on what you plan to do. I would do your itinerary with 2 nights in Piran and with combining Bovec/Kobarid into one stop. But I love outdoorsy stuff.

For how one guy (uhhh... that's me) spent 25 days in Slovenia: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/25-days-in-slovenia

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you both for your suggestions! Unfortunately since I am traveling solo on a budget I don't think that renting a car makes the most sense financially so I'll have to stick to public transport! Dave, thanks for the info that Kobarid is so close to Bovec, even by bus it is only 30 minutes so I think you're right and I'll just add another night onto Bovec instead of switching hostels. Do you think that 4 nights for Bled/Bohinj/Triglav is too long that it would be better to add another night elsewhere instead or are there enough things to do to fill 4 nights?

Posted by
4063 posts

You do understand that renting a car is cheap? Honestly, I can’t imagine how you are going to get to these places without a car.

Posted by
467 posts

I agree with the other posters here, at the very least get a quote for a rental and then decide. The Soca Valley is notoriously difficult with public transport, especially out of season (late June to early September) when most of the more tourist-oriented buses are not running. Consider a car for the days you'll be spending in the Soca Valley and for the trip in and out of it. The rest you can easily do with public transport. Europcar and Sixt have offices in Bled and Piran, enabling you to do a one-way rental for just the Soca Valley part of your trip.

Posted by
1840 posts

I agree that it's worth checking a quote on a car from Bled to Piran/Portorož. The rental fee is often cheap (it was about 15 euro/day for me); the expensive part is insurance. I'm paranoid about damaging the car, which was reinforced after scraping a column in a parking garage in France with a rental car; so I usually get full coverage so that I can just walk away without any further hassle if I damage the car (as I did in France). Most on this forum would think I'm crazy for doing that, but it lowers my anxiety, which makes for a better trip for me!

If you are doing public transport... I would change my suggestion for Bled/Bohinj... stay in Bled because you will have better transportation options. Ukanc is the end of the bus line, and I don't think you will want to start at the end of the bus line every morning. I think there is plenty to keep you occupied for 4 nights in/around Bled -- Bohinj/Vogel one day, Vintgar Gorge/Bled one day, day trip to Radovljica/other surrounding towns one day. There is a shuttle in summer that runs from Bled to the Vintgar Gorge (2019 info on shuttle). Radovljica, by the way, has a great tourist information website with a good events calendar.

If you end up doing public transport in the Soča Valley, the Soča Valley tourism website has a page that summarizes public transportation. Vesna, the owner of guide company that provides local experiences in the area also has a page about public transportation in the area on her website.

For Bovec/Kobarid, i would probably stay at Kobarid, which would give you better access to Tolmin (another gorge, a beautiful church built by Austro-Hungarian soldiers during WWI for their dead comrades) and to the Brda region (wine, if you are so inclined).

Five nights seems like a lot for Bovec/Kobarid to me. I would think about 4 there and 4 in Ljubljana. You can go to Idrija from either (a little shorter bus ride from Ljubljana than Kobarid) to visit the UNESCO World Heritage mercury mines and the local lace-making culture created by the wives of the miners. I added Idrija to my itinerary even though mercury mines didn't sound that interesting to me (I deferred to the UNESCO World Heritage folks); I found the town (and its mines) very interesting.

I loved Piran. So, I would spend 2 nights there.

Posted by
16590 posts

I think you may be sorry to have only 3 nights (two non-jetlagged days) in Ljubljana, with a major chunk of one day spent going to the Skocjan Caves. Ljubljana is such a delightful city.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you everyone for your help! I looked into a rental car and it is more expensive than public transport since I can only drive automatic (manuals aren't popular in Canada so I never learned!) and I'm under 26 years old which is causing the price to be higher. If I can get a good quote I might try to pick up a car for when I'm in Bovec if it's that difficult a place with public transportation, it's helpful that I can pick up in Bled and drop off in Piran/Portoroz. Dave, thanks so much for the link to the shuttle bus schedule for Bled, that's really helpful! I think based on everyone's suggestions I'm going to do 4 nights total for Bovec/Kobarid and add another night in Ljubljana. Thank you!

Posted by
1840 posts

Ahhhh... under 26. Yeah, that tends to raise rates. So... I’m guessing you are staying at hostels? If so, you will pick up companions, I’m sure. Hitchhiking is popular among young adults in Slovenia. That may help with transportation in the Soča Valley. Your mom (and I) will feel better about that if you do it with a companion you find at the hostel, though that’s probably just our American fear talking.

Posted by
5 posts

Yup, I'll be staying in hostels for the whole trip which is another reason why I need to stay in Bled instead of Bohinj (can't find any hostels there!). Thanks for the tip on hitchhiking, I would never do it alone just because my mom would kill me if she found out but doing it with a buddy sounds like a great plan! Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by
467 posts

It wouldn’t hurt to budget some extra money for transfers and taxis in the Soca Valley. There is no public transport whatsoever north of Bovec before June 1 and there is little traffic there despite some major sights. Other popular places south of Bovec are generally accessible by bus and a short walk but do familiarize yourself with the bus timetables (especially what the various notes such as D, V1, V2, SNEP etc. mean) as the schedules will be reduced, especially on weekends.

Most importantly, do not rely on the public transport directions in Google Maps, they have not been updated since 2016. They are still helpful for finding the right bus stop for your destination, though.

Posted by
5 posts

Dejan, thanks for your tip on public transport not running in Bovec before June! I think based on everything in this thread and I'll actually postpone my trip by a couple weeks and leave at the very end of May so that the majority of my trip is in June with only Ljubljana being at the very end of May. Although it will likely be busier I'd rather have more available public transport! I'll make sure to figure out bus routes directly from the bus websites, thanks for the info!