Slovenia Self Drive no.3

Food & Wine Highlights

Summary

Explore Slovenia's fabulous countryside & sample incredible local produce! Off the beaten track,  small hotels with excellent food.

START / FINISH - Ljubljana (or Pula)

Activity code: SLFD03

Duration: 10-15 Days

A self-drive holiday in Slovenia which concentrates on offering some excellent food and wine tasting experiences. Starting in the capital, Ljubljana, your journey includes National Parks, historic towns, wine regions, mountain passes, beautiful islands and much more. The route is designed as a complete circuit from Ljubljana so you can travel out via the Logar Valley and back directly from the coast or vice versa. It is easily extended by adding nights in some or all locations or perhaps travelling into neighbouring Croatia to visit Istria, Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes National Park.

This holiday itinerary has a tried and trusted recommended route which includes our personal suggestions for sightseeing but you are free to explore or relax as much as you like within the overall structure of the trip. 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

Begin your holiday with some relaxing sightseeing in Ljubljana, a city which is a delight to wander around both daytime and evening; it is compact and very friendly with some fabulous markets and food experiences, many excellent viewpoints and plenty of historic architecture. After the capital there is an interesting route into the hills and beyond to the remote Logar Valley (a traditional food lover's dream) then via a beautiful mountain pass to stunning Lake Bled and the Triglav National Park - you can choose to stay in either or both of Bled and Kranjska Gora to make the most of the outdoor activities and plentiful fresh air on offer.

The latter half of your trip begins with a scenic drive to Postojna and its fabulous caves, allowing you a few days to meander through mountain villages on the smaller roads including a detour to the wine region of Goriska Brda. The final destination(s) on this particular itinerary are your choice between the small resorts, historic towns and mountain villages of Istria, then head back to Ljubljana on the highway and your flight home.

Important Information

Flights available to book with us through a range of airlines, from various UK airports to Ljubljana (or Pula). If we book your flights this means that your holiday will also be fully ATOL protected.

Our hire cars include Slovenia's Vignette (highway tax disc) and cross-border Green Card for Croatia, Italy & Austria.

Prices shown are a guideline "from" (in UK Pounds) and are based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. Single supplements may need to be applied to the twin/double price and discounts for children (under 12yrs) and/or a 3rd adult sharing a room are available upon request. Quoted prices for individual enquiries will depend upon your chosen accommodation, room availability and dates of travel. We always aim to match a high quality experience with exceptional value for money. Discounts will apply if there are 3 or more people in your travelling party as fixed costs such as transportation and guides will be shared equally between the group.

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What's included in your Fly-Drive holiday?

  • Private airport transfer.
  • 10-14 nights accommodation on B&B.
  • 8-11 days fully-inclusive car hire.
  • Fully detailed itinerary with driving directions and sighteeing ideas
  • FREE travel app with all your vouchers, maps, weather & much more
  • All taxes
  • Full 24hr representative services.

Highlights

Itinerary

Upon arrival into Ljubljana you will be met and taken directly to your city centre hotel. Balance of the day to explore Ljubljana on foot.

Today is for sightseeing & exploring the city!

Visit the castle by walking up one of the many paths around the hill or by taking a ride in the funicular, you might 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.

** for food lovers we can recommend and reserve traditional restaurants (including the award-winning restaurants inside the castle), pre-book a wine-tasting experience and offer advice on where to get the best local products. You won't have any trouble finding great cafes as there are many superb places all along the riverside and beyond. A fabulous farmer's market also takes place in the shadow of the castle down by the river - on Wednesdays there is an "Ecological Market" and on fridays there is an "Open Kitchen" where chefs from Slovenian restaurants prepare dishes from all over the world.

In the morning your hire car will be delivered to your hotel (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. Suggested detours en route include the small town of Kamnik and the Velika Planina, a great summer pasture in the heart of the mountain plateau where, near the cable car station there is a herdsmen's settlement at which you can experience a little of their traditional way of life, taste their dairy products and admire the unique architecture of the cottages which define this area.

Recommended places to stay

For your free day here there is so much on offer in terms of scenery and food experiences that we recommend you consider a third night. You can begin the exploration with a simple walk up to the Rinka Waterfall at the top of the valley, including a climb up to the log cabin cafe half way up the adjoining cliff. In this region many farms and houses offer a taste of traditional foods, even meals, for visitors - one such concentration of places is along the scenic Panoramic road where you can indulge in high quality local products from the farms along the route. Choose whether to eat at one of these places or gather together a picnic to enjoy amongst the incredible views and clean mountain air.

Many food products and traditional crafts are also available in the nearby village of Solcava, which has a new visitor centre and some local crafts workshops in the village church. Here it is possible to watch wool products being made, such as slippers, bags, jewellery and novelty items - with advance booking we can arrange for you to make your own (with plenty of instruction, of course).

An onward drive via a superb "short-cut" through Austria at the Jezerski Pass with a stop at Zgornje Lake, then descend to Preddvor and then the lovely town of Kranj en route to Lake Bled.

* also en route to Bled is the pretty little town of Radovljica where you can visit the gingerbread workshop and indulge in some traditional cakes at one of the cafes in the main street (the centre of town is pedestrianised making it a delightful place to sit out and watch the world go by).

You now have a full day to explore the lake, including the island by Pletna Boat, and the castle; you can walk or cycle around the full 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 and mini-golf; nearby is the Vintgar Gorge.

* for food lovers we can recommend and book traditional restaurants (including the excellent restaurant inside the castle and the restaurant 1906 at the Hotel Triglav), pre-book a wine-tasting experience and offer advice on where to get the best local products. There are many places serving the famous Bled Cream Cake but the original recipe version is only available at the Park Hotel and its sister properties in the Sava group.

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 - there is a station very close to the Hotel Triglav from which you can catch a train in the morning to Most na Soci (or stations down the line to Nova Gorica) and return in the late afternoon. The alternative would be to consider a night or two in Kranjska Gora, e.g. Hotel Skipass (excellent food) or Bovec (via the incredible Vrsic Pass), e.g. Hotel Sanje Ob Soci.

We suggest taking the scenic route through the mountains via Bohinjska Bistrica, Most na Soci to the (until recently*) remote wine-growing region of Goriska Brda, a picnic may be a great idea to have along the way. A possible detour would be to Lake Bohinj and/or the Vogel mountain cable car.

* It is less cut-off now since a road was built through a corner of Italy connecting it much more easily to Nova Gorica.

Recommended places to stay

A full day in this wine region for tasting (not just wine but some great local food, too), some gentle walks, cycling or simply relaxing in this beautiful corner of Slovenia.

Head south towards the Adriatic coast and the charming resort of Isola (or a little further to the historic town of Piran). Enjoy some relaxation time on the Slovenian coast at your choice of resort. Along the way we recomend a stop to visit the Skocjan Caves and/or the home of the Lipizzaner Horses, both near Divaca.

NB. Both of these hotels offer great food and if you stay the extra day you can enjoy the coast and, in particular, some delicious fresh fish.

** you could elect to save one night here if you stayed longer in Bled (or elsewhere) and just use this as a stopover en route to Istria.

Recommended places to stay

Today we recommend driving across the border into Croatia near the incredible landscape of the salt pans, a detour to witness this process and to pick up the local product is possible at the Museum of Salt Making. Once into Croatia head inland to one of our favourite places, the hill-top town of Motovun which is in the centre of one of the most productive traditional food regions of Croatia - truffles, olives, brandy, wine, mushrooms and so much more are all around you and in Motovun and in the villages nearby you can taste and buy a wide range of them.

* whilst in Motovun we suggest a truffle hunting experience and possibly a visit to the coast at Porec or Rovinj. Inland we'd also recommend Pazin which has a castle, museum and a zip-wire across the "pit" or chasm.

Finish your sightseeing and exploring in Istria and take the road to Opatija so you can drive directly north to Postojna and return to Slovenia's mountains, breaking 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 such as Predjama Castle and the Modrijan Homestead.

** 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.

* Postojna has a small number of quite excellent restaurants, such as the Minutka, a short walk from the Hotel Kras.

Recommended places to stay

Take the highway back to Ljubljana for your flight home, dropping off 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.

Flexible Tailor-Made Holidays

  • We believe passionately that no two holidays should be the same.
  • With our flexible tailor-made holiday options you can travel at your own pace.
  • Rediscover a city, a resort or an island in a weekend or longer.
  • Take a small group tour or embark upon a more adventurous trip.

Travel Knowledge

  • We have all travelled extensively and will be happy to share our experiences.
  • Personally-chosen hotels, riads, guest houses & apartments in places we know and love.
  • Individual sightseeing recommendations and route planning.
  • Add excursions, activities and food & wine experiences (one of our passions).

Why book a Fly Drive ?

  • Accommodation choices are small, independent or family-run properties which add significantly to your travel experience.
  • Stress-free arrival & departure transfer service.
  • Detailed driving directions, parking info, suggested routes & sightseeing ideas.
  • Fully protected for your peace of mind & financial security.