Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

 

Known as the green heart of Europe, Slovenia is a small country that offers an array of things for the visitor to see and do.  Slovenia is the ideal country in which to enjoy a road trip with spectacular scenery everywhere you look. 

 
Lake Bled from aboveLake Bled is one of the most photographed places in Slovenia. It's not hard to see why! Image Jošt Gantar / Slovenia.info


If you have just a short amount of time to explore the country and are wondering what to do in Slovenia, why not take a one week road trip of Slovenia and visit some of the country’s bucket list destinations?


1 week in Slovenia | Slovenia travel itinerary

Although there is so much more to see in the country, on this Slovenia one week itinerary you will visit three of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia:

  • Bled - 3 nights
  • Ljubljana - 1 night
  • Piran - 3 nights


Vintgar Gorge SloveniaVintgar Gorge is one of Slovenia's natural wonders. Image: Jacob Riglin / Slovenia.info

Before we start our Slovenia road trip, here are some fun facts about Slovenia:

  • 60% of Slovenia's land mass is made up of forests
  • Slovenia is 1/4 the size of the Australian state of Tasmania but is home to 24 gourmet regions and 3 wine regions
  • Slovenia's coastline stretches for just 47 kilometres
  • Slovenia has more than 11,000 underground caves
  • Slovenia is the only country in the world with LOVE in its name!


Haven’t booked your rental car for your Slovenia road trip yet? 
Click here to check car hire prices


This one week itinerary by car starts in Bled but could easily be reversed if you are arriving in Slovenia from Croatia rather than from the north.


Day 1 - Arrive in Bled

Welcome to Slovenia!  Where better to start your visit to this picturesque country than in one of its most popular - and most photographed - locations?


A great way to familiarise yourself with Bled’s famous sights is to stroll or ride around the lake. A 6-kilometre path circles the lake, providing plenty of great photo opportunities. 


Where to stay in Bled


I stayed at Best Western Premier Hotel Lovec - click here to check current prices | Browse more hotels in Bled here

 


Lake BledBeautiful Lake Bled attracts visitors from far and wide.


Day 2 - Exploring Bled

Spend the day soaking up the gorgeous scenery around the lake.  Start with a pletna boat ride to Bled Island where you can visit the church or, if you’re feeling more energetic, hire a row boat and row yourself there.


Explore the shops - especially those selling local produce, stroll through the lakeside gardens and stop for coffee and a slice of the famous Bled cream cake.


Next, head to Bled Castle and step back in time.  From up here you’ll get magnificent views of the lake and the nearby Julian Alps. 


TIP:  Enjoy dinner at Bled Castle.  Read my tip on how to get free entry to Bled Castle
here


Day 3 - Bled and surrounds

Bled is surrounded by natural beauty so a visit to the nearby Triglav National Park is a great way to spend a day.  Lake Bohinj, Slavic Slap Falls and Vintgar Gorge are all highly recommended. 


For a uniquely Slovenian experience, why not try a Slovenian culinary experience like this one?


Church of John the Baptist at Ribcez Laz SloveniaThe Church of John the Baptist sits on the shore of Lake Bohinj at Ribcez Laz. Inside are magnificent frescoes.


Day 4 - Bled to Ljubljana

Distance: 55 km / Driving time: 35 minutes


Widely regarded as one of Europe’s hidden gems, the capital has a relaxed, friendly vibe to it and is compact enough that you can see all the main sights in 24 hours. 


Highlights include Ljubljana Castle, Dragon Bridge, the Triple Bridge and more of architect Jose Plecnik’s buildings, and the Ljubljanica River.  If you’re visiting on a Friday between May and October, be sure to visit the Open Kitchen food market where delicious local produce is sold.


Where to Stay in Ljubljana  

Click here to browse hotels in Ljubljana


LjubljanaA pretty street in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.


Day 5 - Ljubljana to Piran

Distance: 121 km / Driving time: 1h25 


It’s not far to Piran so why not visit a couple of Slovenia’s other popular tourist attractions en route? From Ljubljana it’s just a 35 minute drive to the famous Postojna Caves which features 27 kilometres of underground tunnels.  A further nine kilometres away is Predjama Castle which dates back over 700 years. 


Near Sezana you can visit the Lipica Stud Farm, the home of the famous white Lipizzaner horses that are the star attraction at Vienna’s Spanish Riding School.


Finally, head to the beautiful seaside town of Piran, your base for the next three nights.  After checking in to your hotel, enjoy a stroll around the Old Town to admire the Venetian-inspired architecture.


Where to stay in Piran   

My choice is the waterfront Hotel Piran - click here to check current prices | Search for more hotels in Piran here


Day 6 - Exploring Piran

Spend the day exploring Piran’s many sights.  Be sure to visit Tartini Square, the medieval town walls, and the Church of St. George.  From the church’s tower you’ll get a fantastic view of Piran and the coastline - you can even see as far as Croatia and Italy!


Slovenia has just 47 kilometres of coastline so it’s easy to explore other seaside towns from your base in Piran if you have time.  Koper, Portoroz and Izola are all worth a visit - why not pamper yourself in one of Portoroz’s famous spas?


Piran Slovenia from abovePiran, Slovenia from above. Image Jacob Riglin / Slovenia.info


Day 7 - Piran and surrounds

If you visited more of Slovenia’s coastal towns yesterday, perhaps you might like to venture a little further afield today.  You’re very close to Croatia, so why not include a day trip to Pula and Rovinj?  From Piran, it’s just an hour’s drive to Rovinj.  A further 15 minutes away is Pula, home to the Pula Arena, one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world.


Day 8 - Departure from Slovenia

Your time in Slovenia has come to an end.  If you are heading further south in Europe, you may like to use my Croatia self-drive itinerary as a guide for your continuing travels.


Further reading:


Ljubljana Slovenia panoramaLjubljana is one of the smallest, and prettiest, capitals in Europe.


Where is Slovenia

Slovenia is located in central Europe.  It is bordered to the north by Austria, to the west by Italy, to the south by Croatia and to the east by Hungary.  It is situated 134 kilometres from Zagreb, 249 kilometres from Venice, 375 kilometres from Vienna and 408 kilometres from Munich.


How to get to Slovenia

With its central location, Slovenia is easily reached from numerous European countries. The country’s major international airport is located in Ljubljana and the capital is also the main gateway for trains arriving from other European countries.


About Slovenia

What currency do they use in Slovenia?

Slovenia is part of the European Union and the local currency is the Euro.


Language in Slovenia

When you visit Slovenia, you don’t need to be proficient in the local language.  Of course, I think it’s polite to know a few words of greeting in the local language but Slovenians all speak very good English. 


Driving in Slovenia

The modern road network in Slovenia makes it easy to travel around the country and motorways link the major towns. 


Click here to see how RoutePerfect can help you plan and book the perfect multi-destination holiday in Slovenia and the rest of Europe.


Speed limits in Slovenia

Speed limits in Slovenia are 50 km/h in towns, 90 km/h outside towns, 110 km/h on expressways and 130 km/h on motorways.


Slovenian vignette

It is mandatory for all vehicles travelling on motorways and expressways in Slovenia to purchase a vignette (a toll road sticker) and afix it to the windscreen of their vehicle.  The vignette can be purchased from petrol stations within Slovenia and in bordering countries.


Vignette prices for cars are around €15 for one week, €30 for one month or €110 for a year vignette.


Free entry to Slovenian attractions for Slovenian vignette holders

In 2018 the Slovenia Tourist Board is offering those that purchase a Slovenian vignette a range of benefits and discounts at some of the country’s major attractions. 


Discounts include free entry to Park Lipica where the famous Lipica Stud Farm is located, and free entry to the EXPO Cave Karst with the purchase of either the Postojna Cave tour ticket or Predjama Castle ticket.


A sales receipt for the Slovenia vignette purchased between 15 February and 15 September, 2018 must be presented to qualify for the bonus offers.  Full details on the discounts can be found here.



Europe driving guide ebook



Planning on driving in elsewhere in Europe?  You can read more of my European road trip itineraries by clicking here.

Handy travel planning resources for Slovenia

 

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Slovenia Road Trip 1 week itinerary