About Slovenia Self Drive no.2
Slovenia's beautiful countryside & Croatia's Istrian Peninsula - historic towns, caves, lakes, mountain passes, quiet valleys & wine regions.
Activity code: SLFD02
Duration: 15 Days
START / FINISH - Ljubljana
This is our recommended fly-drive holiday for two weeks in Slovenia including a few days across the border in Croatia.
Starting in the capital, Ljubljana, your fly drive will incorporate stunning National Parks, historic towns (large & small), beautiful coastal resorts and much more. The route is designed to be a circuit from Ljubljana so you can begin your travels via Lake Bled and come back directly from the coast or vice versa. This holiday can be easily extended by adding nights in some or all locations or, of course, introducing new places such as eastern Slovenia, e.g. Maribor, Ptuj or a little further into Croatia to visit Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes National Park.
All our holidays have tried and trusted driving routes with our personal suggestions for sightseeing included with your final travel documents but you are free to explore or relax as much as you like within the overall structure of the itinerary. Driving conditions are excellent, in fact the highways* cut down on travel times but also free up space on minor roads so drivers can choose between peaceful scenic routes or speedier alternatives to make the most of time away from home.
* NB. our hire cars include Slovenia's Vignette (or highway tax disc) and the cross-border Green Card for Croatia, Italy & Austria.
Begin your holiday with a spot of sightseeing in Ljubljana, a city which is a delight to wander around both daytime and evening; it is compact and very friendly with some excellent viewpoints and historic architecture. From here there is a beautiful drive, via the interesting Velika Planina area, to the secluded Logar Valley close to the Austrian border - a location offering a plethora of outdoor activities. From here it is only a relatively short drive west through another mountain pass to stunning Lake Bled and the Triglav National Park, where you can choose to stay in one or more of Bled, Bohinj and Kranjska Gora to make the most of the outdoor activities and plentiful fresh air on offer.
Afterwards, you have a few days to meander up through the incredible Vrsic Pass to visit mountain villages on the smaller roads including staying in both Bovec on the famous Soca Valley and a detour to the wine region of Goriska Brda. From this lesser-visited corner of Slovenia it is time to get down to the coast and to stay in Isola (or Piran) on the small but beautiful Adriatic shoreline. Due to its proximity you are ideally placed for a short trip into Croatia (e.g. Porec, Rovinj, Motovun) and/or Italy (e.g. Trieste, even Venice !) prior to heading back on the highway to your final location, Postojna and its fabulous caves. On your last day simply head back on the highway to Ljubljana for your flight home.
Accommodation: the hotels in this fly-drive itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in this fascinating country (in the list below we have included our recommended hotels plus suggestions for upgrades to "boutique" hotels and deluxe properties, please do not hesitate to request alternative hotels).
Transport: to take the stress out of arriving and departing we offer a private airport transfer service; we can deliver and collect your hire car from your hotel at no extra cost. All our vehicles have a/c and come with a full tank of fuel, we provide driving directions and parking information for all accommodation.
Extra Information: all our holidays have a recommended route with suggestions for sightseeing; we can also book activities and specialist sightseeing - such as cycling, sea kayaking, rafting and hiking guides, etc.
NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.
Arrive into Ljubljana where you will be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure in the city.
Today will be your sightseeing and exploration day!
Visit the castle using one of the many footpaths up the hill or by taking a ride in the funicular. You may like to consider a boat trip on the river or hiring a bicycle to explore this compact city, including the huge Tivoli Park not far from the centre. Ljubljana has some great food and wine to sample, a fabulous market, a zoo, a museum of illusions and many different types of tour, e.g. Segway, Moustache Tour.
Your hire car will be delivered to your hotel in the morning (or to the nearest safe parking place). Drive north to the isolated Logar Valley near the Austrian border with plenty of time to explore this beautiful, lesser-visited area. Possible detours en route include the small town of Kamnik and the Velika Planina.
** we recommend a walk up to the Rinka Waterfall at the top of the valley, a scenic drive on the panoramic road where you can indulge in high quality local products from the farms along the route and a visit to nearby Solcava which has a new visitor centre and local crafts workshops.
More time in Logar Valley and then onward via a superb "short-cut" on small roads through Austria, back down to Preddvor and on to the lovely town of Kranj en route to Lake Bled.
Today you have a full day to explore the lake, including the island by Pletna Boat, and the castle; you can walk or cycle around the shoreline of the lake and explore further on trails in and around the Triglav National Park. On the shore of the lake there is a summer toboggan run, a zip line, mini-golf and nearby is Lake Bohinj and the Vogel cable car to the west and to the north, the Vintgar Gorge.
At this point on your holiday you could choose to extend your stay in Lake Bled to explore the area more fully or even to take a day trip into the mountains by train. A possible alternative would be to consider a couple of nights in Bohinj (e.g. Hotel Jezero).
Extend your stay in the Triglav National Park with a night in Kranjska Gora - there are lots of opportunities for walking, cycling and more adventurous activities from here.
- stay at Hotel Skipass - 1 night.
** on this day you could elect to simply drive through Kranjska Gora en route, via the Vrsic pass, to Bovec as part of an alternative itinerary.
A full day to travel over the famous Vrsic Pass (with more than 50 switchbacks which are numbered from the north side) and then down the western side of the Triglav National Park along the Soca Valley to Bovec (where you could stop for a night or two, e.g. Hotel Sanje Ob Soci) en route to the lush wine region of Goriska Brda.
** If you choose to stay in Bovec there are many hiking and cycling trails plus the cable car to the ski area which is now linked up to the Italian side.
A full day in the wine region for tasting (not just wine but some great local food, too), some gentle walks, cycling or simply relaxing in this lovely quiet corner of Slovenia.
You now have 3 (or more) full days to properly explore this region which can include Slovenia's coastline at Isola (e.g. Hotel Marina) or Piran (e.g. Hotel Piran) as well as our recommended locations in Istria (Croatia). These are Rovinj (e.g. Villa Tuttorotto), Porec (Hotel Mauro) and Pula (Hotel Galija) on the coast plus the mountain village of Motovun (e.g. Hotel Kastel).
* Ask us for more details of how you could make the most of this part of your holiday, Istria is a well-developed holiday region which offers a wide range of activities as well as some great food and drink choices.
Finish your sightseeing and exploring at the coast and return to Slovenia's mountains; break your journey back to Ljubljana at the world-famous site of Postojna. Time to explore the area which has so much more to offer in addition to the caves - Predjama Castle, Modrijan Homestead, Skocjan Karst landscape and the home of the Lipizzaner Horses.
** Visit the show caves first thing in the morning (they are just a short walk from both hotels and tickets can be purchased online) and then you have time to enjoy the general surroundings away from the main crowds.
Take the highway back to Ljubljana for your flight home, dropping off the car at the airport.
If you have an early flight departure then we can arrange a hotel in Kranj which is near to the airport, e.g. Hotel Actum - OR you may wish to consider reversing your itinerary and stay in Ljubljana at the end instead of at the beginning.
Prices shown are 'per person' in UK Pounds and are based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. A single supplement needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required.
Prices are indicative and will vary depending on your chosen accommodation, room availability as well as time of travel. Please take this into consideration when comparing prices; we always aim to match a high quality experience with exceptional value for money. Please note that discounts will apply if there are 4 or more people in your travelling party as fixed costs such as transportation and guides will be shared equally between the group.
NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.
"We couldn't have been happier with the service and advice given by Andy at Rediscover. The app with all of the holiday documents and maps, etc., was extremely useful. We will definitely be looking to book more holidays through Rediscover and would happily recommend to friends and family."
D Lane, August, 2019
"Overall once again a brilliant holiday with Rediscover the World.... Slovenia blew us away."
A Knowles, UK, Aug 2018