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Mountain itinerary help. Which towns to stay in/how long?

We are a well traveled American couple in our mid-60's who will be in Slovenia the second week of May with a car. We will spend the first 2 weeks in Croatia and will be coming to Slovenia by way of Rovinj, stopping to see the Skocjan Caves along the way. We have about 6 or 7 nights to spend in Slovenia and we are interested in nature and scenery with fairly easy walks. So where should we base ourselves? And how should we divide our time? I was considering 2-3 nights in Kobarid or Bovec, then 2 nights in Bohinj, ending with 2-3 nights in Logarska Dolina before heading to Zagreb for our flight home. Since we love the Alps so much, I've thought about eliminating the Istria area from our Croatia portion of the trip in order to spend more time in the mountains. Any thoughts on that? I also am concerned about the weather that early in May, but of course weather is unpredictable. I would be disappointed if we encounter an entire week of clouds and rain.
Thanks for your suggestions!

Posted by
124 posts

We only spent 3 days in the Julian Alps in very early June. We were able to do some hiking, sorry I can't remember what the snow level was - early May might see some options still closed. Spectacular loop drive from Lake Bled and around through Bovec. We were worried about Lake Bled being too touristy, but it was great. the views from the lake are so charming - the walk around the lake easy and enjoyable. The town of Bovec was more of resort town and not as charming as others but one night was fine.

I would not cut Istria out - we spent 3 days in Rovinj and enjoyed it a lot --- so totally different from what you will find in Slovenia. Don't miss the cathedral, the most interesting and stunning stained glass we have ever seen (and we have seen so many cathedrals!) very contemporary in design, not traditional at all. We stayed at a great VRBO right on the harbor with a patio overlooking.

Have fun!

Posted by
568 posts

Are you planning on visiting Ljubljana? It is such a pretty city with a river running through it and many attractive and interesting bridges, not to mention great restaurants. We only spent 3 nights in Slovenia, and those 3 nights were in Ljubljana. We did a day trip to Lake Bled via Škofja Loka, Jamnik, and Kropa. It’s a beautiful and stunning drive over the mountains. I can’t help you with your other destinations in Slovenia, but I do recommend visiting Ljubljana. In fact, spending a few nights in Ljubljana might be a good idea in case you do have a couple rainy days. And it’s a lovely place to return to after a day of sightseeing because you have many dining options.

Are you planning any time in Zagreb? We spent 2 nights there and really enjoyed the city. It reminds me of Prague, but smaller and much less crowded. And Zagreb is very, very different from Dubrovnik and Split, so it’s nice to have the diversity.

Posted by
1840 posts

I've found the Weather Spark website to be helpful in finding historical weather data for places I visit (keeping in mind that historical data, of course, is no guarantee of what your experience will be). Here is the Weather Spark link for Bled in May: https://weatherspark.com/m/77444/5/Average-Weather-in-May-in-Bled-Slovenia

I love the three places you have listed to visit, but I visited in late August/early September. I have no idea what they are like in early to mid May. Perhaps the Forum's Slovenia resident will come by and give some insight.

Posted by
124 posts

Just also reminded my self with a great hike out of Lake Bled up Vintgar Gorge. Extremely dramatic - we still talk about it.

Posted by
1840 posts

Vintgar Gorge is supposed to be open sometime in April (https://www.vintgar.si/?lang=en). The opening can be delayed if the winter leads to the need for heavier repairs to the walkways. If you are mid-60's people in good health and don't mind hiking up a bit of an incline through a wooded area, I can tell you how to incorporate Vintgar gorge into a loop that gives nice views of the surrounding valley and Bled castle in the distance (instead of just an out-and-back walk that gives views only of the gorge).

Posted by
4062 posts

If you are already spending time on the Croatian coast, then skip Istria for more time in the Slovenian Alps - your instincts are correct. Kobarid is a very nice base with world class restaurants (watch the Chef's Table episode on Netflix about Ana Roš). We love Lake Bohinj and the Mostnica Gorge hike. We have been to Slovenia in May and the weather was lovely and fields were full of wildflowers.

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks for all the input. I really appreciate your help. I hope someone answers my questions about Logarksa Dolina. We will be spending the 2 weeks prior to Slovenia in Dubrovnik, Kotor, Mostar, Hvar, Krka NP and Plitvice NP, which is why I considered skipping Rovinj in order to dedicate more time to Slovenia. Rovinj and the surrounding area appear to be a little like Sicily, where we went last year. I keep hearing what a great city Lublijana is, but I'm still not convinced. I am not a city person. Our favorite cities have been Barcelona and Paris, primarily for the architecture. We have been to many of Europe's cities, from London, Madrid, Athens, Luzerne, Bern, Munich, Zurich etc. not to mention Bangkok, Christchurch NZ, Buenos Aires and more. I don't care that much about shopping. I grew up in NY. But given the choice between a city and the mountains, the mountains win every time. So, has anyone been to Logarska Dolina? Thanks.

Posted by
8 posts

We too are a well traveled couple...but are in our 70’s. We spent 11 days in Slovenia this past September after spending 10 days hiking in the Italian Dolomites. We drove from Italy to Slovenia via Bovec which we thought that we would love. But, Bovec did not impress us. It was loaded with young people who crowded around and then slept on the chairs in the town square. However, the area is beautiful. We spent the next 3 days at a great farm stay ..Povsin....within walking distance to Lake Bled. We loved Vintgar Gorge. We drove to Lake Bohinj from our farm stay in Bled. We thought that we would love Bohinj...but, we found it extremely crowded. It was very difficult to find a parking place. In fact, we also tried to hike the gorge...but could not find a parking place there either ...so we went on. From Bled, we drove to Ljubljana by way of the Franja Partisan Hospital which was extremely interesting if you like history. We spent 2 nights in Ljubljana, which gave us a full day there. This was long enough for us....but, It is a lovely small city. From there we drove to Logarska Dolina area....which was absolutely our favorite area of Slovenia. We stayed for 2 days in Robanov Kot at Tourist Farm Govc-Vrsnik, which was wonderful...we wished we had stayed longer. This was next to Logar Valley, but has less tourists. I would definitely recommend giving this area some of your time. We next traveled to Ptuj,...in eastern Slovenia before ending our time in Slovenia in the Karst region at another great farm stay, Pri Andrejevih...which was fairly close to Skocjan. We did not get to Croatia...you will love Slovenia...it is a beautiful country.

Posted by
1840 posts

As part of 25 days in Slovenia, I had the following bases for mountains:

  • Tourist Farm Kranjc at Koseč near Drežnica, just up a mountain from Kobarid (3 nights)
  • Vila Park B&B at Ukanc, which lies at the far end of Lake Bohinj (5 nights)
  • Tourist Farm Lenar in Logarska dolina (4 nights)

I loved the mountains of Slovenia. Like rsfrato, my favorite part of Slovenia was the Logarska dolina area. It was peaceful, pleasant, and gorgeous. I popped over to Robanov kot and had dinner at Govc-Vršnic, which was excellent. One of the best resources on the area I found was the website for the Solčava Panoramic Road, which includes a list of hikes for the area.