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Slovenia/Croatia itinerary help

We are going to Slovenia and Croatia in May 2020 and driving around hoping to do lots of scenic walking (not mountaineering)
My plan so far is below but I would like suggestions on what to change etc keeping in mind we like scenic walking and biking:
14 May - collect car. drive to Pula and Cape Kamenjak - Stay in Rovinj

15th - Rent bike from Motovun and cycle part of Penzana trail - Stay Rodnik

16th - Postojna/Skojan Caves,Predjama castle if time pm do walk in Tolminska korita Stay Tolmin

17th - walk some of Soca river trail Stay Tolmin -suggestions on walks welcome

18th - drive over Vrsic Pass (would love suggestions on walks along the way and where to stay. Is it best to get maps at information centres) - not sure where to stay ?Bled or Kranjska Gora

19th - Vintgar Gorge & Radovljica ?accommodation

20th - Lake Bohinj and Vogel cable car - stay ?Skofja Loka

21th - am maybe Ljubljana and then drive to Plitvice lakes - stay close to Lakes (suggestions welcome)

22nd Plitvice lakes

23-30th - Dalmatia bike and cruise

30th pm in Split

31st - bus Split to Dubrovnik or stay another night in Split

1st June -Dubrovnik

2nd - free day. Need suggestions

Need help with a free day in Dubrovnik. Is it worth doing day trip from Dubrovnik to Montenegro or would day trip to Mljet National Park to do cycling be better. Could even do day trip to island from Split if someone can recommend a trip

Posted by
16560 posts

I'm not sure whether you're planning to see both Postojna and Skocjan, but I wouldn't do that unless your are cave fanatics. Skocjan is more natural and will probably appeal to you more.

You don't have much time at all in Ljubljana, which is a really charming city.

Posted by
467 posts

I’d just like to note that Velika Planina is not close to Vrsic Pass at all and would not really be doable on the same day. I also agree with acraven that you are leaving no time at all for Ljubljana.

Posted by
10651 posts

I've been to both Dubrovnik and Kotor, and after Dubrovnik I think your time can be better spent seeing something other than Kotor.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks Dejan for pointing out my itinerary mishap. I've changed it. Sorry folks but can't spend any more time in Ljubljana as we only have limited annual leave. As it is we are away for 6 weeks. This is only part of our trip

Posted by
1839 posts

More commentary than you probably want on the Slovenia part...

You are biking Parenzana Trail? The path of the old Istrian narrow-gage railroad that has been removed? I was going to do that but got rained out. It's supposed to be great.

Agree with others that one cave visit is enough. Škocjan has more walking, is more natural, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Postojna Cave has a train, is more commercial, and is not a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you don't mind climbing a bunch of steps, turn left at the end of the Škocjan cave tour to walk out of the gorge instead of turning right to take the funicular out. You'll be rewarded with a nice waterfall just off the path.

Tolmin Gorge is great. I liked it better than Vintgar. Tolmin Gorge felt more like nature to me; Vintgar felt more like an attraction.

I traveled solo and spent a day doing a handful of valley walks/hikes in the Soča Valley (not mountaineering) with Vesna, a local guide who is really committed to giving her guests a great experience. I liked her a lot. Her website is slocally.com. We hiked at 3 or 4 spots, each one diverse relative to the other -- from along the Soča River near Bovec to an Alpine Meadow path near Tolmin that took us to a hand-operated contraption that took us across a river.

The Kobarid Historical Trail was also pleasant. I hired a guide from the WWI Museum at Kobarid to give me a tour of the museum (which was excellent) and then guide me on the trail.

Alternative to Tolmin for lodging... look up pictures of nearby Drežnica, which is up a narrow (but not overly scary) 2-lane road from Kobarid. Kranjc Tourist Farm is at Koseč, just above Drežnica. It was a great base. Good dinners. Great breakfast. They did laundry for me for 8 euro.

The Cicerone guide Walking the Julian Alps of Slovenia can give you lots of ideas for Vršic Pass hikes. I did the hike to Slemenova Špica, which offered nice views across Slovenia and Austria.

Kranjska Gora and Bled are both very touristy. Lake Bohinj is less so, especially at Ukanc at its far end. If it were me, I would go on to Bohinj on the 18th and use it as a base for 3 nights (I used Ukanc as a base for 5 days to explore the region). It's a little further drive and you'll back-track a little on your Bled day, but it is so much more peaceful. I highly recommend Vila Park B&B at Ukanc. Lovely, lovely owner (who did laundry for me without charge). Spotless rooms. Super peaceful location. Amazing breakfast.

Vintgar Gorge is nice but you can make it great by doing a loop walk instead of an out/back walk on the walkways. At the end of the walkways for the gorge, hang a right, ascend through the woods to the Church of St Katherine, go through a gait opposite the nearby pizza joint to follow a path through a mountain cow pasture with great views of the valley/villages down below and Bled Castle in the distance. The path descends back down to the parking lot. More details are in the Cicerone guide mentioned above.

From there, you could spend a little time in Bled if you didn't do so the previous day, followed by Radovljica (the latter was a pretty quick stop for me). Begunje is an alternative to Radovljica. Less medieval charm but more real village life. Things there include a cute church a the top a hill, the Museum of Hostages that is located in a former mansion used as a prison for resistance fighters and their sympathizers by the Nazis, a memorial to those executed by the Nazis, and castle ruins. Sašo at the TI office gives a great tour and is part of a group restoring the castle, so he has a key to get you into the castle's tower so that you can climb it to the top. He also has great stories about exploring the castle as a kid (and growing up in Begunje), and he can take you up a path in the forest to a mini-castle made during medieval times to house the devil/a demon.

Posted by
2 posts

Sound like a packed plan indeed.
Near Bovec, I would suggest renting an E-bike and go visit the highest Slovenian road on the mountain Mangart. The views from up there are really beautiful!
Have you ever thought of scenic paddleboarding as well? I heard there is a paddleboarding company opening this season in Bovec (that is mostly rafting orientated),
I checked their page out ( https://www.bovecpaddleboarding.com/ ) and their Lake Predil tour looks amazing!
And yeah, Vršič pass and Velika Planina are not doable in one day. Velika Planina is definitely worth seeing if the saffron is blooming, otherwise, it's not so special.
Have a great trip!