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Sep 2020: Lake Bled, Bohinj, Soca Valley, enroute to Dolomites

Two couples planning a somewhat leisurely, (no one night stays), trip for Sept 2020.

We want to spend some time (5+ nights) enjoying Lake Bled, Bohinj, Soca Valley, with easy hiking, mountain views, history, good eats and drinks. Prefer to stay 3 night minimum and drive to nearby areas. Please suggest a 3 night spot followed by another 3 night spot enroute to a 5 night stay in the Dolomites, near Ortisei, or your best recommendation. Thanks so much for your experienced advice!

Following Dolomites, we're off to Rovinj in Istria for about 5 nights, then visit a cave/castle enroute to our last 2-3 nights in Ljubljana. We're hoping to fly from USA to/from Ljubljana? Or better suggestion?
We plan to have a rental car the entire time, likely renting from Ljubljana airport.

Posted by
20870 posts

If you have a problem getting in and out of Ljubljana by air--which you well may--explore using Venice or Zagreb as your gateway. From Zagreb you can reach Ljubljana by bus or train in about 2-1/2 hours. From Venice a lot of people seem to use a GoOpti shuttle.

Am I correct in assuming you plan to pick up a car when you arrive in Slovenia and only drop it when you reach Ljubljana near the end of the trip?

Posted by
8 posts

Yes, we'll have a rental car the entire time.
If we went directly from LJB airport to Lake Bled for 3 nights,
do you suggest 3 nights in Soca Valley area?

Posted by
470 posts

Why not fly into Venice, rent a car there, start in the Dolomites, then go to Slovenia, finishing off in Istria and then returning to Venice? It’s generally better value flying to Venice compared to Ljubljana but do check for your exact dates.

As for spending three nights in the Soca Valley, I would only do so if you planned on doing day hikes, otherwise a night or two is enough. The Julian Alps and Triglav National Park aren’t the best for long stays in a single location. You might want to consider breaking your three-nights rule and doing two nights in the Soca Valley and three at Lake Bled/Bohinj or even in Ljubljana, which is a better base IMO in terms of dining options and overall atmosphere.