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Slovenia itinerary assistance

I am planning my first trip to Slovenia in May and would like feedback on my itinerary.
I have done research, read the guidebooks but I do like the opinions of those who have been there to give a realistic idea of driving times, sequence etc. I know everyone's tastes and wants are different, but I really appreciate hearing people's experiences and opinions.

I will have 10 nights on the ground (in and out of Venice) and am renting a car. My interests are history, architecture, medieval towns, churches, castles, beer, vistas, scenery, light hiking, outdoor cafe culture.

My itinerary is:

Day 1: Arrive Venice at 9:55 am, drive to Piran, see town (stay 2 nights)
Day 2: day trip to Trieste or Kopor ( I would love to do both but not sure that is workable?)

Day 3: drive to Lake Bled - boat ride, see church, walk the lake etc
(2 nights in that area - would love advice here; since I will have a car, I have flexibility on where to stay. I would prefer to stay away from Bled given some descriptions of its over development; is staying at Lake Bohinj better option (I will be visiting there the following day; Radovljica?Kranj? would love to see the tunnels)

Day 4: Vintgar Gorge hike then to Lake Bohinj (waterfall, cable car, boat ride).

Day 5: drive to Maribor; visit cathedral, vine house (stay 2 nights)
Day 6: day trip to Ptuj - castle, wine cellar

Day 7: drive to Ljubljana (4 nights), churches, library, Joze Plecnik house, museums
Day 8: Ljubljana
Day 9: day trip to caves (undecided which, likely Postojna and then Predjama castle)
Day 10: car trip through Julian Alps, following RS driving tour, stopping as much as possible along the way (if weather is a factor, will swap)
Day 11: depart for Venice flight home

I know people don't like moving around too much and staying in so many places in just 10 nights might not be ideal. I want to experience other towns and areas and so thinking just basing in Ljubljana the whole time limits those opportunities. But I welcome feedback.
Thank you in advance.

Posted by
57 posts

Day 1: I hope you're arriving from somewhere in Europe. Never drive after a red eye flight with jet leg! In case you're coming from overseas spend the first night in Venice.

You could stop at places between Venice and Piran: Aquileia, Duiono, Miramare Castle, Trieste.

Day 2: Koper is very small, a couple of hours should be more than enough, spend most of the time in/around Trieste which has much more to offer.

Day 3: Drive to Ljubljana via the caves(with an early start you could see both, it's worth it although I didn't see them on the same day)

Day 4 Ljubljana

Day 5-6 Maribor and Ptuj

Day 7 Drive to Bled,

Day 8 Bled, Vintgar Gorge, Bohinj Lake

Day 9 Drive to Kobarid via the Vrsic Pass(if open), if the pass is closed detour via Tarvisio or take the car transport train from Bohinjska Bistrica to Most na Soci

Day 10 Drive to Venice, via the Soca Valley, Gorizia,

Day 11 Venice

Posted by
4062 posts

Day 1 - Please don't drive the day you arrive. At least spend the night in Venice.
Day 2 - Koper and Trieste are not that interesting in my opinion. Piran will be more than enough and it is by far the prettiest.
Day 3 - Also do the Vintgar Gorge as it doesn't take long.
Day 4 - All of your Lake Bohinj activities will take the full day. Are you talking about the Savica Waterfall? The hike to the waterfull is all uphill.
Day 5 - Maribor is meh and not really worth such a detour in my opinion. The highlight for us was finding a mediocre Mexican restaurant.
Day 6 - I also question Ptuj, although it is a lovely town. I'd say focus your time on the Alps which is so much better.
Day 7 - fine
Day 8 - fine
Day 9 - fine, but if you cut Maribor and Ptuj then you could see a cave and the castle on your way from Piran to Ljubljana.
Day 10 - One day is laughable to cover this area. It needs 3 days. You should get to this area after Bled rather than at the end.

Posted by
1840 posts

Hi, Lisa.

Here are my thoughts:

  • You're biting off a lot. It's doable, but it will be hurried.
  • If you haven't bought your air tickets yet and are committed to seeing all these places, you may consider flying into Graz, catching a train to Maribor, picking up you rental car there, traveling west, dropping car in Portorož or Koper at the beginning of your stay in Piran, and then catch public transportation (or the GoOpti Shuttle) to get to Venice. That eliminates back-tracking.
  • If you have your air tickets already, no problem. I do wonder about driving 2.5 hours in a jet-lagged state on Day 1.
  • Like Emily, I didn't find Koper that interesting. I was focused on Slovenia, so Trieste was not on my radar.
  • For wine in the western half of the country, consider the Brda region, though it would be hard to fit into your current schedule.
  • Details for the Tunnels Tour in Kranj, if you haven't found them:
    https://www.visitkranj.com/en/tunnels-under-the-old-town-of-kranj-1. It's only offered certain days. It's scheduled for 60 minutes, but
    my tour went more like 2.5 hours. It's only offered certain days of the week at very specific times.
  • I would consider Piran x 2 nights, Julian Alps/Bled/Soča Valley (with Vršič Pass on transfer day to Ljubljana) x 3 nights, and Ljubljana x 4 nights.
Posted by
244 posts

Make sure you buy a vignette for your car. https://www.tolltickets.com/en/country/slowenien/

Koper is not worth any time.

The ferry between Piran and Trieste is 40 minutes and cheap. But, I would not waste time going to Trieste from Piran.
You will love Piran. The best food is at Fritolin pri Cantini (cash only!) We ate there twice.
Going to the top of the city wall is worth it. And the small restaurant near the entrance is full of locals and not a tourist trap.
You will hate the parking for Piran.

We fell in love with Ljubljana during our 6 days there.
Buy the 72-hour Ljublana Card (save 10% by buying it online). This is an amazing city card. https://www.visitljubljana.com/en/visitors/travel-information/ljubljana-card/

There is a reason that Lake Bled is THE photo that represents Slovenija.

Posted by
3 posts

Hello, like someone mentioned Goriška Brda is a place worth visiting/staying. It has midieval villages and has plenty of nice wine to try. Smartno village is very interesting, as well as many others. You can also book cycle tours. 1h 30minutes from Marco Polo airport Venice, and 1h 15mins to ljubljana.

Posted by
430 posts

Have been to Venice, Piran, Bled and Ljubljana. If you haven't been to Venice you should stay 2 nights - just saying. Also, 2 nights in Piran gives you 1-1.5 days there - stay and enjoy the city. You will go around Trieste and Kopor on your way so if it's a must you can cut through the tourist area(s) on your way to Piran. We were there only 1 night but had come from Rovinj, Croatia after 2 nights - these communities are closed together (but border crossing was an 1-1.5 hours each way) have a similar feel although we enjoyed Rovinj more than Piran - more beautiful, wealthy, etc. After Piran head to Ljubljana for 3 nights while visiting Postojna/Predjama on the way. At this point if you "do" Venice you have either 3 or 5 nights left. With 5 head to Maribor/Ptuj and then double back to the lakes area - then work your way back to Venice. With 3 head up to the lakes and alps before heading back. Travel light and don't be afraid to book your lodging for the last part of your trip after you've been there a few days.