Planning of your next holiday to Europe then think of Slovenia, you can’t go wrong as it is fairly cheap and comes with lots of fun; moreover, you can a best inflatable paddle board if you are crazy for paddle-riding. This is a small country with rich history and culture. Slovenia is one of the least visited countries. The picturesque that is so perfect and gives you the beauty of Western Europe. “The Gem of the Balkans”. Whether you are going with the family, or a romantic trip or a Solo trip you will have the best and rememberable holiday.
The best things to do:
- Ljubljana: This is one of Europe’s greenest cities and features public squares, parks, monuments, bridges including the iconic Triple Bridge. The night life in summer is amazing and lots of bar and cafes on the banks of the Danube River. If you have taken this trip with your children then check out the House of Experiments, and see the fun filled Ljubljana castle.
The teenage group will enjoy the trip to Lake Bled which is the main place to visit when you plan a day trip in Ljubljana. This one of the poplar spots with beautiful scenery crystal clear blue water and relax during summer time.
- You can take a hike around the lake and view the beauty and take pictures. The best time to go for this is before sunrise.
- Go on a wooden Boat ride: This is one of the top attractions on Lake Bled, there you must not miss to see the 52-meter-tall Lake Bled Church of the Assumption.
- Visit the Castle: The castle is located on a hill and is approximate about 130 meters above the lake. This castle is the oldest castle in Slovenia and is assumed that it is over thousand years old.
- Lastly you can swim in the clear waters. The water is cold but you will enjoy the dip and you will be refreshed.
- Vintgar Gorge: You can also do a tour of Vintgar Gorge which is near Lake Bled. This is approximately 5 Kilometres from the centrum and is a 1.6 Kilometres walking trail that winds along the Mountain River. You won’t put your camera down as the scenic views and the best and cool experience. During this relaxing walk near the Gorge, you will see a crystal-clear view of the river. This is a one-way route and hence you cannot go back on the route.
The best time to visit the Vintgar Gorge is early morning or late afternoon as you avoid the crowds, so that you can enjoy taking photographs without queues behind you.
The Gorge usually opens in April to November and is closed in the winter. Opening times do vary depending on the climatic conditions.
When you visit in the morning, the light, mist, calmness and the roar from the waters is just amazing.
Direct shuttles from Bled to Vintgar are available and this is a 20-minute ride. These shuttles usually are for 2 hours to bring you back to Bled. You can also hike to Vintgar from Bled; you would be heading Cesta Vintgar which is approximately a 4.5 Kilometre walk.
The Entrance fees are € 10 per person and if you have driving to the Gorge then the parking fees would be € 5. But please confirm on the website https://vintgar.si/prices/?lang=en for more pricing and opening times.
- Lake Bohinj: Lake Bohinj, is also called Bohinjska jezero and is located in the Triglav National Park. This is the largest natural lake in Slovenia and is 526 meters above sea level and is as clear as Lake Bled due to the Mountain Rivers and springs. It is surrounded by the Julian Alps. You can Swim, Kayak, diving is also done here, take boat trips, also go hiking.
You can take the train to Bohinj from Jasenice or Nova Gorica. This will take you to Bohinjska Bistrica train station which is about nine kilometres from Bohinj Zlatorog after which you will take the local bus or have to trek for 90 minutes.
Here is a list of things you can do at Lake Bohinj:
- See the iconic view of the St John the Baptist Church and the stone bridge.
- Go stand-up paddle boarding or Kayaking on the lake.
- See the statue of Zlatorog.
- Walk the trail around the Lake.
- Hike along the Mostnica Gorge.
- Enjoy the ride on the Vogel cable car.
Plan to be here by 9.00 AM you will avoid the traffic and have more time to enjoy and take pictures.
- Savica Waterfalls: This is one of the most visited natural destinations in Slovenia the most beautiful place and also known as Savica. A must-see place, this waterfall is 78 meters high and is a shaped and can be seen from a height of 836 meters above sea level. This is a hike destination so be prepared. Savica is one of the most unique water falls in the world. This site is only accessible with a guide and proper equipment. You might feel that the walk is difficult during the first thirty minutes
There are different ways that you can reach the waterfalls – walk, car, bus and bicycle.
There is a souvenir shop, an ice-cream and drinks shop, a restaurant and a Mountain Hut facility available for you. Be an early bird if you want to enjoy the sightseeing of the falls as later during the day there is a lot of crowd.
Please note that there are fees to be paid per person to visit this site. The clear water is very tempting but no swimming is allowed.
- Seven Lakes Valley: This is an 8 Kilometre Alpine valley and the most popular walking tour, the initial trail is steep and can take approximately two hours and you will also see the Black Lake which is about 1200 meters above sea-level. Continuing the walk for about one to two hours you will enter another lake area called Seven Lakes Triglav. The lakes are about 2700 meters above sea level. Ensure you eat at the first hut. Hiking in Triglav National Park is very adventurous and should not be missed.
The seven lakes of Triglav lakes valley are:
- Jezero pod Vršacem (lake below Vašac) or Jezero V Podstenju
- Mlaka v Laštah (Pond in Ledges)
- Rjavo jezero (Brown Lake)
- Zeleno jezero (Green Lake)
- Veliko Jezero (The Great Lake) or Jezero v Ledvicah (Kidney lake)
- Dovjno jezero (Double Lake)
- Črno jezero (Blake Lake)
Note: It is prohibited to bathe or to carry out any recreational activities in the lakes. Make sure you collect all the litter you make and dispose them as required. and do not leave any permanent traces behind you. Flying of Drones is also prohibited.
- Old town of Ljubljana: This is within Ljubljana; this is one of the best destinations of Slovenia located on the shores of Ljubljanica River. If you take a walk on the streets which is peaceful and you can also take a break at Cafes eat the lovely food while viewing the river.
To get to this destination it is relatively quiet straight forward as it is situated in the heart of Ljubljana. Therefore, after arriving at the airport, you can catch the connecting bus. The city of Ljubljana is well connected by bus,cars and trains whether be it locally or abroad (after arrival to Slovenia).
Most visitors enjoy the pedestrian zone in Ljubljana Old Town, which is one of the best in Europe. Ljubljana old town lies in the pedestrian zone which is approximately 10 Hectares wide. Cars are not allowed in this area unless they hold a special permit. People who need help can get transport via Kavalirs (these are electric cars) that can carry five passengers only.
The pedestrian Zone is simply out of this world beautiful and temptation. The restaurants have tables and benches outside and with the lovely aroma of the food you would want to visit each and every restaurant and test their delicious food that was been prepared on site.
- Lake Jasna: Lake Jasna is a small aquamarine lake with white sand around it’s rim and in an incredible location, surrounded by mountains. This is located near the Austrian border and the Lake is a perfect place to take pictures and with the crystal-clear water you can swim here if you don’t mind the cold water. You can eat delicious food at one of the Restaurants nearby. A few years back Lake Jasna underwent a face lift that has transformed the overhaul appearance of the area increasing the inflow of tourists. There are new features such as the new beach area, better access to swim and sunbathe with bars and ice-cream parlour and a three-tiered wooden diving board.
This is a 2-hour bus journey from Ljubljana to Kranjska Gora then walk about 2 Kilometres which would be scenic via Pisnica to reach Lake Jasna. The lake is guarded by a bronze statue of legendary golden-horned chamois – a goat-antelope – known as Zlatorog who is the guardian of Mount Triglav.
The walk around Lake Jasna is very pleasant with a lot of places to sit and look at the fantastic mountain views with lots of fresh air. Don’t miss the lookout tower which you can climb and take some wonderful scenic photographs be aware that the ladder is quite steep and you must be able to sustain the height.
Lake Jasna is also a popular fishing spot (only fly fishing is allowed) and in winter the lake freezes and becomes a fabulous place to ice-skate.
- Soča valley: This is a beautiful scenic walk in the Triglav National Park which is near the city of Bovec. While walking through this area you will see the turquoise-coloured waters of the river. You are able to walk around, have a raft ride in the water falls, boat rides and paragliding and many other activities. The largest town in the Soča Valley is Tolmin and is renowned for its festivals such as Ragga Days, Sajeta and many more.
Triglav National Park is well connected to all major cities in Slovenia. To get to Soca Valley from Ljubljana the bus will take Two and a Half hour to get to most na Soči. Buses depart for this destination five times a day and the journey forward would be by private shuttles, private car hire etc.
A renowned fish is found in river Soča called the Soča Trout which attracts most fishermen from all over the world. Please be aware that only fly fishing is allowed in this area
- Slap Pericnik Falls: One of the most beautiful places with its own natural beauty in Slovenia. It is 52 meters in height and is located near Mojstrana village and is aloo part of the Triglav National Park. Slovenian passport is one of leading in the Europe.
The journey by bus to Slap Pericnik Falls is approximately about 2 hours, once you are at the village you will need to walk for 5 Kilometres to the falls. If you are driving than you can park at the entrance.
- Idrija: This is a mountain which is in the western part of Slovenia and this city is scattered all over several hills and has also been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
This city has had the second largest Mercury mine. Tourists enjoy the walk to the mines, old Churches and castles. When you are here remember not to forget visiting the museums namely Anthony’s Shaft Museum, Idrija Municipal Museum and the Gewerkenegg Castle.
To get to Idrija you will have to take the regular bus from Ljubljana which will take about an hour to reach and the fare would be USD 20. There are no trains to this destination.
- The Kolpa River, Metlika: This river is situated and is part of the border between Slovenia and Croatia and attract thousands of tourists during the hotter season. There are several adventures you can do here such as swimming, camping, hiking and walking on the banks of the river.
Direct buses are available and it would be about 2 hours journey by bus and the fare would be USD 15 per person single journey and 3 hours by train, the fare would be USD 10 per person single journey.
- Predjama castle & Postojna Caves: The castle is built in the cave and is situated in Southern Slovenia. According to scientists they claim that there are indications that people used to live there during the stone age times. Tourists enjoy walking around the castle and the passages of the cave. The beautiful underground rivers and pools are home to olms. These olms have given the Prosterna Caves a charmed feeling
The Postojna caves, is in the city of Postojna which is approximate 40 Kms from the city of Ljubljana and can be reach by car, train, there would be a 30-minute walk from the train station and the ticket cost would be USD 7 per person single journey or bus – if you travel by bus then it would arrive at the entrance of the cave and the cost would be USD 11 per person single journey.
- Skofja Loka: This is a charming small mountain town situated on the river banks of Poljane Sora and the Selca Sora. Located on the Julian Alps and this city has its own historical values. Having fairy tale like appearance, historic importance and above all the friendly people. This city has wonderful scenic trails, you can walk or cycle in the corridors of the cave and also visit some of the most beautiful castles. In the centre of the city square there is a statue of Mother Mary which is a must see which commemorates the end of the Plague in Skofja Loka in 1751. Across the bridge is the Capuchin Church with the monastery library which was built in 1709.
You can travel to Skofja Loka by train from Ljubljana it is about 20 Kilometres and would take approximately 40 minutes of travel time and would be USD 8 per passenger single journey. By bus it would take around 30 minutes and the cost would be 3 to 4 USD per person single journey.
- Kranjska Gora: This is a Ski Resort in the Julian Alps and the lively and countless adventures are waiting for you. This is a busy spot during the winter season. Kranjska Gora is situated in the Northern western corner of Slovenia. Many tourists visit Kranjska Gora during the summer to view the fantastic views of the Alps plus trek in the beautiful natural area having the cultural heritage.
You can take a bus to Kranj from Ljubljana to Kranj then Kranj to Kranjska Gora, the trip will be about 2 hours long and the cost would be about USD 15 per person single journey.
- Tolmin Gorge: This is a deep ravine formed by the rivers Tolminka and Zadlascica. This wonderful awesome natural view is one of its own that can only be found in Slovenia. This ravine is about a kilometre long and can be hiked at any age.
This ravine is located near Tolmin which is about 2 hours from Ljubljana. You can go by bus and the fare vary from 5 to 8 USD. You can also go by car and once you are there you will be able to park at the free parking area located near the Gorge.
Accommodation while in and around Ljubljana:
There are many hotels (5 star to 1 star), Airbnb’s, Bed and Breakfast and hostels (Dorms) around the city of Ljubljana. The hotels are safe to stay in and it all depends on the budget you have allocated for this. Airbnb’s are relatively cheap but you have to buy groceries for your food or you eat out when you are touring the city. Same goes with the Dorms they are cheaply priced but the luxury is not there.
NOTE: You must pre-book your accommodation before you travel to avoid any inconveniences and also use a travel pouch for the safe keeping of your documentation and bank cards with your cash.
Going around in Slovenia:
The easiest and best means of transport is:
Buses – You can purchase the Urbana card for paying for your trips which makes it easy than carrying cash with you. The card costs about €2.00 and can be topped up to € 50.00. This card can be topped up at LPP offices, Kiosks, Post offices and on
A single 90-minute journey would cost you approximately € 1.50 regardless of the number of buses you need to change in order to reach your destination.
The LPP bus service network (Ljubljana Bus Company) is divided into three zones
Zone 1: The entire city area and the route to Brezovica, Rakitna, Škofljica and Smlednik. € 1.30 and payable by Urbana card
Zone 2: The route to Polhov Gardec, Preserje and Ig, Medvode and Vodice. € 1.75 payable by Urbana card
Zone 3: The route to Videm and Grosuplje. € 2.70 payable by Urbana card
Biciklej Bicycle-Sharing System, Taxis, Car-hire and Kavalir.
Food in Slovenia:
When you are in Slovenia seek out for the delicacies that are available and enjoy them as you won’t come across the same flavours twice. Some delicacies are:
- Kremna rezina
- Kranjska klobasa
And many more mouth-watering dishes. Enjoy the distinctive flavours of the Slovenian traditional dishes in your trip.