As you may have seen from my recent posts, Ofir and I just spent a week in Slovenia hiking and sightseeing. I’ve decided to finish up my posts on the trip by giving you the full itinerary. When we were planning the trip, we found ourselves pretty overwhelmed when trying to decide how to spend our days. For a small country, Slovenia has a lot to offer, and seven days really isn’t enough to see all of it. Luckily we have friends and family who recently visited and had a lot of tips for us, which, in combination with a lot of google searches, led us to create a pretty great 7 day Slovenia itinerary (if I do say so myself).
Lake Bled from Bled Castle
You’ll notice that we spent our trip traveling the Western side of the country. If we had been able to stay longer, we definitely would have gone to the Eastern part as well, but we didn’t want to spend the whole trip in the car, so we stuck to the West. There is supposedly a great wine trail in Eastern Slovenia, so if you do have time to venture in that direction, I would suggest checking it out! For this post, I’m going to type out our itinerary as we had planned it, since it makes the most sense that way. Because of weather complications, we changed our plans around a bit, and luckily because of the proximity of everything, our plans were easily adjusted. Note that this itinerary is best for summer and fall when the ski resorts are in the off season.
Day 1 – Arrive in Ljubljana and drive to Lake Bled
We arrived in the capital city at about noon, picked up our rental car, and drove straight to Lake Bled (about a 30 minute drive). We spend the rest of the day walking around the lake and seeing the sights in Bled. Read more about that day here. Out of the restaurants we ate at in Bled, I would most recommend a little pizzeria called Rustico. The service and food were both great, but make sure you don’t underestimate the spiciness of their spicy pizza! Also, be sure to try the original kremna rezina (cream cake) from the Park Restaurant and Cafe.
Kremna Rezina from Park Restaurant and Cafe
Day 2 – Hiking at Vintgar Gorge and Mount Vogel
The next day, we started the morning with a hike in the gorgeous Vintgar Gorge and followed that up with a hike up Mount Vogel, as well as visiting a couple of waterfalls along the way. You can read more about these hikes (and our other hikes) in my Hiking in Slovenia post. I would also recommend walking around Lake Bohinj on this day if you have the time, since it’s next to Mount Vogel. It’s a gorgeous glacial lake that offers a beautiful reflection of the mountains surrounding it. It’s also the largest permanent lake in Slovenia.
View from Mount Vogel
Day 3 – Hike Slap Mostnice, Summer Tobogganing, and a visit to Bled Castle
This is the day we got off track. Because storms were predicted on our white water rafting day, we decided to move rafting to this day. To avoid making the drive to Bovec twice, I would recommend following our original plans. We moved the hike to Slap Mostnice to the next day, and I’m glad we were able to fit it in since it offers some great views of the river. Because of our change in plans, we didn’t make it to summer tobogganing at Lake Bled, but we had really hoped to. The track looks really fun, so try to make it there if you can. For more information about it, check out this website.
Slap Mostnice Trail
In the evening we drove up to the top of the cliffs to Bled Castle to catch the sunset. The castle has a restaurant overlooking the lake, and it would be a great place for a scenic dinner. We also think you could avoid the castle entry fee with a dinner reservation, but we didn’t get the chance to test our theory. The castle features a wine cellar, printing press room, a chapel, and a few other attractions, but going through it all doesn’t take long – maybe an hour max. The view alone is worth heading up there.
Sunset at Bled Castle
View from Bled Castle
Day 4 – Drive to Kobarid through Triglav National Park, Hike the Park and Slap Kozjak, or Visit WWI Museum
Because of our change of plans, we hiked Slap Mostnice in the morning of this day before driving to Kobarid (about 1.5 hours on the windiest mountain roads), so we only had time to hike Slap Kozjak before heading to dinner and checking into our hotel. Both hikes were great, so try to fit them in if you can. Slap Kozjak especially is a very cool waterfall. If hiking is what you’re there for, you could also hike in Triglav National Park on your way to Kobarid. The park has a ton of different trails and is completely gorgeous. If you’d prefer to see more of the historical aspect of Slovenia, Kobarid boasts a renowned WWI museum.
Slap Kozjak Trail
We stayed in a great apartment outside of Kobarid called Apartment Likar. Most of the places to stay in this area are privately owned apartments like this. Ours was new and super clean, and the couple that owned it was really friendly. They even gave us some homemade apple strudel when we arrived! Kobarid is full of good restaurants, most notably a place called Hisa Franko just outside the town. There’s also a good high end restaurant called Topli val in town, though it’s a little on the pricey side. Be sure to try the traditional Kobarid dessert there, a dumpling filled with nuts called Kobariški štrukelj. It’s not very sweet, but it was interesting, and pretty tasty (I wouldn’t have minded topping it with Nutella, but then I wouldn’t mind topping most things with Nutella). On one of the rainy nights there we got a pizza to go from Pizzeria Soca, and it was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had, so stop by if you get the chance.
Day 5 – Goriska Brda wine tasting and Lipica Stud Farm
Goriska Brda is just a 30-45 minute drive from Kobarid, but it feels like you’ve arrived in Tuscany. The area is full of wineries, and we arrived just in time for the grape harvest. If you stop in the tourist help center in Kobarid before you go, they can give you some advice and a great map of the area. Be sure to stop by the Vinoteka at Dobrovo Castle where you can taste wines from all different wineries in the area at a really reasonable price. I also recommend checking out Smartno for some good smaller wineries. The region is famous for a white wine called a Rebula which was probably my favorite (not a big red fan). While you’re in the area, I suggest grabbing lunch or dinner at a restaurant called Belica. I had the venison steak and Ofir had a filet, and both were amazing. Their carpaccio was also our favorite of the trip!
After leaving the wine country we headed to Lipica Stud Farm to see the famous Lippizaner stallions and all the new foals. I’ve loved the Lippizaner stallions since my parents used to take me to see them every year as a child when they came to Missouri, but it was Ofir’s first time seeing them. I would recommend to visit only on a day when they’re also doing a performance (the schedule changes seasonally), since I’m not sure the tour alone would have been worth the drive. Growing up with horses, I loved every minute of it, but a less equine inclined person might want to skip it and visit more wineries. Lipica also boasts a luxury golf course, and you can ride a Lippizaner there, but only if you’ve logged 100 hours horseback riding in the prior year and have an official certification.
Lipica Stud Farm
Day 6 – Whitewater Rafting on the Soca River
This was another place our schedule got adjusted sincee went rafting on our second day in case the forecast for storms came true (it did). But fortunately for us, Venice is only a 2 hour drive from Kobarid and didn’t have a cloud in the sky that day, so we spent our day walking around the City of Bridges. One of the great things about Slovenia is it’s proximity to so many great places to visit which makes adjusting travel plans easy. We used a company called Sport Mix based in Bovec for our rafting trip, and they were great! The guide was very knowledgable and professional, and he even gave us our instructions in Hebrew. The Soca River is a great place to raft – it offers amazing views and the water is a gorgeous crystal green and clean enough to drink. Even if whitewater rafting or kayaking isn’t your thing, I would make sure to see the river.
Rafting with Sport Mix
Sport Mix and the other adventure companies in Bovec and Kobarid offer a great mix of activities other than rafting like ziplining and horseback riding, so there’s really something for everyone. The activities usually take place around midday, so by the time you finish you’re ready for dinner and not much else. If you do manage to schedule it for the morning, though, you could fit in another afternoon activity like the WWI museum or a quick hike (I recommend visiting Slap Virje).
Day 7 – Postojna Cave, Predjame Castle, and touring Ljubljana
The last day of the itinerary takes you back to the capital city. On the drive from Kobarid to Ljubljana, I’d suggest stopping by Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. Postojna Cave is one of the most famous cave systems in the world and one of the major tourist attractions of Slovenia. Because of it’s size, visitors ride a built in train for the tour. One of its caverns is big enough to hold 10,000 people, so you don’t have to worry too much about claustrophobia. Make sure to check the tour schedule before you head there, since when we visited tours started only on the hour. Just a few minutes drive from the cave is Predjame Castle, which is built into the side of a mountain. There are tours offered, but even just stopping to view it from the outside is amazing, and definitely worth the short drive from the cave.
After leaving the cave and castle, we headed to Ljubljana. We stopped at Ljubljana Castle on the way into the city (in case you didn’t seen enough castles yet). You can walk around the castle on your own, or they offer headset and guided tours for a reasonable price. There’s a great view from the wall of the city spread out below you, so it was a nice introduction to Ljubljana. If you don’t drive up to the castle, you should probably take the gondola up, since the walk would be pretty steep.
After the castle, we checked into Hotel Emontec, which had a great location next to the Triple Bridges on the Ljubljanica River. The bridges are gorgeous, as is the Dragon Bridge, so be sure to check them out. The main square in the old city is right next to the river, and the whole area reminded me a lot of Rome. My favorite bridge in the city was the Butcher’s Bridge. As the name implies, the bridge is rather foreboding. It features grotesque sculptures of Adam and Eve banished from Paradise, Prometheus disemboweled, and various toads and skulls, but in an unexpected twist, it’s also the only bridge in the city to feature a collection of love padlocks. Of course we had to be cheesy tourists and add our own. I like to think this is an inspiring message – love conquers evil – but maybe people just liked the irony. Either way it’s worth a visit. While walking around the city, grab some food at one of the restaurants on the river. There’s a ton of great options, so you really can’t go wrong.
The Butcher’s Bridge
The Dragon Bridge – Ljubljana
We spent our last evening having dinner and drinks with friends near the hotel discussing some of our favorite parts of our trips. Our friends spent one day in Piran, a coastal city, instead of Kobarid. It’s supposed to be beautiful, but apparently very similar to Tel Aviv and other Mediterranean cities (and a little touristy) so we decided not to go. If you’re looking for some beach time, though, you might switch that out for one of the days in the itinerary.
Slovenia was one of the most unique and unexpected places I’ve ever visited, and I’ll definitely need to head back someday. Seven days really isn’t enough time to see all the amazing things this country has to offer, but I think this itinerary covers some great highlights. I’m happy to answer any questions about the itinerary or our trip – just leave them in the comments or message me via the “Contact” page! Happy travels!