Here are the details from our road-trip around Slovenia. If you have been following me on Instagram you would have seen our instagram stories of where we we have been. A lot of people asked for our itinerary and so I have mapped out our trip below.
Firstly, Slovenia you totally stole my heart. This is a place that I have slowly seen to pop up more and more online in recent year as i’m glad that we got to visit before it becomes flooded with tourists in the next few years. I think it also helped we visited slightly out of season so we had the stunning views to ourselves and the locals and it really felt like we had stumbled across some hidden gems. It definitely didn’t disappoint and I can’t recommend highly enough! Slovenia is small country that borders with Croatia, Italy, Hungary and Austria. We managed to fit a city, mountain, adventure and beach holiday all into one trip with less than 2 hours travelling in-between. There are beautiful cobbled streets, Italian style buildings and bridges that could rival Venice as well as epic Canadian style lakes and snow capped mountains, and all this just 1hr and 50 minutes from London.
Flights: We got bargain flights from London Stansted to Ljubljana for £49 return per person with Easy Jet. We always use skyscanner if you are flexible on dates to find the cheapest prices, you can search whole month or even by cheapest month in the whole year if you really don’t mind when you travel. I have done this with Amsterdam previously and got flights for £22 return for booking months in advance on the cheapest dates.
Transport: We decided to hire a car to give us maximum flexibility and to see as much of the country as possible. We used rentalcars.com to find the best deal. I would watch out as we did go for the cheapest option online and there were a few add-ons when we picked our car up so read all the small print as the £20 more expensive online might work out cheaper in the long run. We missed the small print on ours where the rental company sort out your vignette (licence to be able to drive on the major motorways). We had read that it was around 15 euros for the week and easily available for any petrol station. However on picking up our car we were informed that it had already been sorted as part of our contract but we had to pay nearly 50 euros and there was no other alternative. Also i’d advise to always pay for the insurance even if it’s the same price as the car hire, some of the roads especially in the mountain can be a bit nail biting and the charges the company’s put on for scratches without insurance is mega ££££!
Accommodation: We stayed in 4 locations, Ljubljana, the capital city for 3 nights, 1 night close to Lake Bled, 2 nights in the Bovec region and 2 nights in Piran. We used a combination of AirBnB and Booking.com to book our accommodation and stayed in variety of city apartments, tree houses, alpine lodges and beach hotels.
We stayed for 1 night in the beautiful Glamping Ribno Hotel, we had our own tree house and hot tub for the night overlooking the mountains. It was simply breathtaking. They even deliver breakfast to your terrace in the morning. You also have your own private bathroom and shower nearby. Not ideal for a long period of time as not loads of space but if you’re looking for a romanic couple of nights this is definitely the place to be as well. Also read a lot about Garden Village which is similar and near Lake Bled too. This place has some serious instagram opportunities and can’t recommend it highly enough!
Our other accommodation during our trip:
Ljubljana – city centre – https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/18931458?location=Ljubljana%2C%20Slovenia&s=XG5L6gNZ
Bovec – Near Lake Soča https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/16262440?s=t6YB_ECC
Piran – https://hotel-barbara.si/en/
Costs: We found Slovenia to be relatively cheap in comparison to neighbouring countries, we were having coffee in the centre Ljubljana for 1 euro and a large glass of wine for under 3 euros. As we were also staying in a lot of apartments we saved money by cooking our own meals and breakfasts. There are supermarkets like LIDL and HOFFER (Aldi) everywhere and all really cheap. I was also amazing at how far advanced their shops are with Gluten free and free from ranges, so much more than we currently have in more supermarkets in the UK.
Our road-trip Itinerary:
Day 1 –
Fly to Ljbulijana
Pick up car at the airport
Head to airbnb
We always like to go out for quick explore and coffee as soon as we arrive.
Cocktails in town by river, there are some great trendy bars along the river, out of season there was a real local and student vibe and not over touristy at all which we love!
Day 2 –
We headed up the to Castle on the funicular, there are some fantastic views up there.
Lots of stops in town for coffee and hot chocolate
There are so many great streets and shops to explore, there is a great street ‘Metelkova’ to wander down which has loads of graffiti and art murals as well as lots of great little finds to stop for something to eat and drink.
We have a bit of an obsession with escape rooms so we usually look for an escape room in each city we explore. We were kindly gifted an escape room experience with Mind Maze we did The Alchemist’s Chamber which was so much fun and one of the best escapes rooms we have done, it was a high difficult for two people but as we have done a few already it was the right challenging level for us, we just managed to escape with only a few seconds to spare. The team there were fantastic and gave us tips if we needed help and it’s a great activity to do in the evening, we love heading straight to a bar after escaping for a full de-brief on the room.
We went for cocktails again by the river to finish off the night
Day 3 –
We were kindly gifted a food tour experience by Ljubljananjam
I have done a full review over here for you to read but this was a fantastic activity to experience the authentic food of the city. We got taken to some amazing places we would never of found on our own. We have previously been put off as they aren’t us-ally that cheap and we thought we could find places on our own but this tour was a mix of food and tour guide, we learnt so much about the country’s culture, the history of the city and got to try things in the market that I wouldn’t even know what I was if we were just looking on our own. All the food was fantastic and we ate a lot we needed a lie down afterwards!
Drive to Bled – 45 mins away
Park at Camp Bled and hike up Ojstrica (20 mins) view point
Walk around Lake Bled 6km (1.5-2 hours)
Hot Tub, Dinner
Breakfast and morning hot tub
Coffee at start of Vrsic Pass
Drive to Bovec, explore and plan hike
Day 6 –
Early start, drive up to Mangart Saddle (2000m) – research this road if you are going to drive up there as it definitely isn’t for the faint hearted, hair pin narrow roads that look like it should be for one car but it’s for cars travelling in both directions. There was a lot of heart-stopping moments reversing 1500m up on the mountain edge. There are some super fit individuals which cycle up to the top which is very impressive! However the views are things of dreams, it felt like we were on top of the world. You drive nearly to the top of the mountain and you can see where cars start to park at the top, you can just get out and walk to the edge and the views are incredible, the photos don’t do it justice. There is an additional 400-500m climb to get to the peak of the summit, you really need to be confident climbing via ferrata, we didn’t all the gear with us so we climbed as far as we could get.
We then headed back down towards Bovec to hike alongside River Soca, we walked about 15km and made lunch so we could have a picnic along the way. The hike takes you under the mountain and across the crystal clear blue rivers, don’t be fooled by the beautiful glistening water in the sunshine the water is ABSOLUTELY FREEZING, pure ice water, my toes lasted less than a few seconds! Also keep an eye out for the bears, we had joked the whole trip about seeing bears when we were driving through the country but when we parked up to hike there were signs everywhere warning about bears and what to do in case you see a brown bear, we may have had a freak out at one point and make a quick detour a different route!
Day 7 –
Leave mountains and head to Piran, awesome driving through mountains and near Italy, road follows Lake Soca, we stopped for some photos and coffee along the way.
Arrive hotel, walk into town for evening drinks and explor.e
Day 8 –
Explore Kopper and Kranj
Day 9 –
Climb tower in Piran
Drive to Ljublijana – 1,30mins
Love lock bridge, buy things from market
Drive to Kranj – 9km from Airport – quick explore before dropping car back off at airport and heading home.