Take a journey of discovery through Slovenia, a European country known for its breathtaking mountain landscapes, vibrant cities, and crystal-clear blue rivers. During this 10 day Slovenia road trip, explore the capital city of Ljubljana, wander around Lake Bled, dip in Soca Valley’s natural pools and waterfalls, hike in the Triglav National Park, and take in the coastal town of Piran.
In this detailed guide, I will share all the planning and sightseeing tips for you to experience all that Slovenia has to offer. Let’s start exploring!
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10 days in Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary: Planning your trip
Here is an overview of the Slovenia road trip that I will cover below in more detail. I have also included tours and accommodations for each stop/destination.
- Day 1 – Ljubljana
- Day 2 – Lake Bled
- Day 3 – Kranjska Gora
- Day 4 – Hike to The Seven Lakes (Triglav National Park)
- Day 5 – Kayak in Bovec & Tolmin Gorges (Triglav National Park)
- Day 6 – Kayak in Bovec & 15 km hike to Mostnica Gorge & Bohinj Lake (soca valley)
- Day 7 – Hike Soca trail 25 km
- Day 8 – Explore Pikol
- Day 9 – Biking true Vipava Valley
- Day 10 – Relax at Piran. Visit the beach and relax at a spa
Planning a trip to Slovenia should not be a daunting task. With its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and countless attractions, there’s something for everyone in this small country.
Here are some top tips for planning the perfect Slovenian trip:
First and foremost, you will need to check if you require a visa for your visit. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a tourist visa before your arrival. Slovenia uses the Schengen agreement to allow non-visa-exempt citizens into the country.
Make sure that you check the requirements and submit your application in enough time so that there are no delays.
Slovenia is an EU country and they use euros as the official currency.
Regarding transport in Slovenia, the public infrastructure is reliable and efficient. There are multiple means of transportation available, from buses to trains and tours.
If you’re traveling long distances and planning for a long itinerary, then renting a car can also be a great way to explore more of Slovenia’s outdoors.
If you’re looking for accommodation during your stay, there are plenty of hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs available across the country. For a true Slovenian experience stay in one of the local villages or tourist farms, where you can enjoy traditional dishes and get to know more about local life.
Finally, make sure that you have adequate travel insurance before leaving for Slovenia. This will cover you in case of any unexpected medical costs or other emergency situations.
Day 1 – Arrive in Ljubljana and explore
Plan to arrive in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia to kick start this 10 day Slovenia itinerary.
From the Ljubljana airport, I recommend picking up the rental car and then heading straight to the city center.
In Ljubljana, explore its winding cobblestone streets, bustling squares, picturesque churches, and awe-inspiring Gothic architecture.
Take a stroll through Prešeren Square, the main public square of Ljubljana, surrounded by museums and galleries. Here, you will see the famous bronze statue of Slovenian poet France Prešeren and a beautiful fountain in front of it.
Don’t miss out on exploring some of Ljubljana’s most famous churches, such as the 16th-century Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, and be sure to take a look inside these churches to admire the artwork, intricate carvings, and stained glass windows.
Snap some photos of the Dragon Bridge, one of Ljubljana’s iconic landmarks which are believed to bring good luck to those who cross over it.
Then visit the pretty pink Triple Bridge, a unique stone bridge that crosses the Ljubljanica River and connects two sides of the city.
For a great view of the city, take a ride up to the top of Ljubljana Castle. This medieval fortress is located on a hill overlooking downtown and offers spectacular panoramas from its tower.
To get there, take a funicular from the center of town or climb to the top by foot. Once at the castle, explore its courtyards, ramparts, and museum exhibits which provide insight into Ljubljana’s history.
In addition to its architectural gems, Ljubljana is also home to many bustling open-air markets, lively restaurants, and vibrant nightlife venues. Take a trip to the Central Market for fresh produce, fragrant flowers, and handmade souvenirs.
After dinner, check in to your hotel and enjoy a good night’s sleep!
Where to stay in Ljubljana: NEU RESIDENCES smart stay
Day 2 – Head to Lake Bled and explore the iconic lakeside and its surroundings
After a wonderful stay in Ljubljana, it’s time to travel to the beautiful Lake Bled, one of Slovenia’s most famous attractions.
To get there from Ljubljana, drive for 40 minutes (56 km).
Once you arrive, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of Lake Bled. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake’s shores and admire its stunning views.
Don’t forget to visit Bled Castle which overlooks the lake from a steep cliff. This 16th-century fortress is one of the oldest castles in Slovenia and features numerous historical exhibits, a chapel, and even an outdoor museum.
Climb up to the castle’s tower for stunning views of Lake Bled, the surrounding mountains, and Bled Island.
Then, pay a visit to Bled Island – the only island in Slovenia – to admire its church and the bell tower. You will have to rent a traditional boat to get there.
Take a stroll inside the old church or enjoy a dip in the lake’s crystal clear waters for an invigorating experience.
In the evening, head over to the Ojstrica & Osojnica viewpoint for sunset views of the lake and its surroundings.
Before signing off for the day, try the local specialty of kremšnita – a creamy custard-filled pastry in Bled!
Where to stay: Green Resort Garden Village Bled
Day 3 – Kranjska Gora, Vintgar Gorge, Lake Jasna & beyond: Day of hikes
After exploring all of the sights of Lake Bled, you’ll head towards Kransjka Gora on day 3.
The first stop of your journey is the Vintgar Gorge and Lake Jasna. The drive here will take about 20 minutes, but it’s worth it for the stunning scenery you’ll experience.
At Vintgar Gorge, take a guided tour of the winding paths and wooden bridges over the gushing Radovna River. The 1.6-kilometer walk is filled with jaw-dropping rocky cliffs and breathtaking rapids as you journey further into this natural wonderland.
After exploring Vintgar Gorge, make your way to Lake Jasna for an unforgettable experience. A popular spot for hiking and camping, here you’ll find stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lush greenery of the Julian Alps.
Hike around the lake’s perimeter as you take in its pristine beauty, or rent a boat to explore the lake’s depths.
Next, make your way up to Zelenci nature reserve. This area is quieter as compared to Lake Bled and boasts mountain wetlands, pretty lakes, and easy hikes.
If you are feeling adventurous, hike to Slap Peričnik, a breathtaking waterfall. This is the perfect place to admire the alpine scenery and take in some fresh mountain air.
Next drive to Vršič Pass, the highest mountain pass in Slovenia.
Where to stay: Green Resort Garden Village Bled
Day 4 – Hike to The Seven Lakes (Triglav National Park)
After a memorable stay at Lake Bled, it’s time to make your way to Triglav National Park and hike the trail up to the Seven Lakes. It takes roughly six hours of hiking to reach this stunningly beautiful area (one way), but the picturesque views are well worth it.
Lake Bled to Triglav National Park is a 15-minute drive.
To get to the trailhead, you will have to arrive in Stara Fužina, an alpine village (near Lake Bohinj).
From Stara Fužina, drive for another 20 minutes to Planina Blato in Triglav National Park to start the hike. Note that there is a toll fee of 15 euros for your vehicle in Blato.
On this day-long hike, you will explore the following lakes,
- Jezero pod Vršacem (Lake below Vršac) 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)
- Dvojno jezero (Double Lake)
- Črno jezero (Black Lake)
As you make your way up the trail, you’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of the Julian Alps. The seven lakes vary in color from emerald green to deep blue, offering a stunning contrast of colors.
Take some time to admire the natural beauty surrounding you, and take a dip in the crystal-clear waters for an energizing experience.
As you make your way back to the trailhead, you’ll have seen some of the best that Triglav National Park has to offer.
Your journey continues as you drive towards Bovec in search of adventure. This small town is a great base for outdoor activities such as rafting, canyoning, and mountain biking.
Stay here overnight for the next leg of your adventure!
Where to stay: Glamping Gozdna Jasa
Day 5 – Kayak in Bovec and Tolmin Gorges (Triglav National Park)
Located in the heart of Slovenia is Triglav National Park, a breathtaking natural paradise that offers some of the best hiking and kayaking opportunities in Europe.
When you stay overnight in Bovec, you are in a great position to explore the Julian Alps and the wonders of Triglav National Park.
Soča river kayaking in Bovec is a must-do for anyone looking to revel in the pristine, emerald beauty of one of the world’s most unique rivers.
As you explore this stunningly scenic route by boat, you can take in an unforgettable sight. Often called ‘The Emerald Beauty’, a boat trip here shouldn’t be missed! Here’s a half-day tour that is perfect for beginner and intermediate-level kayakers. You will have to drive down to the starting point. And don’t worry there are a lot of parking spaces.
At the location, you will meet your professional guide who will provide you with equipment and a quick instruction before getting to the water. Be sure to carry your swimsuit and a change of clothes.
As you paddle downstream, marvel at the stunning scenery of jagged cliffs and lush forests that surround you on all sides.
During the journey, you can stop to jump around between rocks or try swimming down an easy rapid.
The entire experience of kayaking lasts about 1 to one and a half hours. You can find more information about the tour here.
In the late afternoon head to the Parc National Des Gorges De Tolmin. This nature reserve has deep river canyons with lots of hiking trails. Enjoy short hikes and take in the views of the unique rock formations, and moss-covered walls.
The Tolmin Gorge is the lowest and probably the most beautiful entry point into the Triglav National Park. Here you must check off the Thermal Spring, Bear’s Head, and the Devil’s Bridge.
There are two parking areas at the site, where you can park your vehicle and then walk to the suspension bridge. Keep in mind that the area is uneven and hence requires you to be in good health and wearing hiking shoes is a must. Also, stay within the guard rails.
Tolmin Gorges Park is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and I recommend buying tickets online in advance.
Where to stay: Glamping Gozdna Jasa
Day 6 – Hike to Mostnica Gorge & Bohinj Lake (soca valley)
Mostnica Gorge is a stunning natural attraction located in Soca Valley, Slovenia. It is a deep and narrow gorge filled with turquoise waters and lush greenery carved by the river Mostnica that flows through it.
To get to Mostnica Falls from Bovec is about a 2-hour drive (one way).
The best way to experience Mostnica Gorge and the Voje waterfall is to hike its 15 km long trail. The trail begins at the village of Stara Fuzina, which lies on the northern shores of Lake Bohinj.
You will have to pay for parking and then embark on this 3-4 hour hike. The hiking trail takes you to many bridges through the forest. The water of the gorge is clear and of emerald green color.
Once you complete the out-and-back trail, you will find the Mostnica Falls (Slap Voje). This is a moderately difficult hike and is frequented by hikers and nature enthusiasts all year round.
After taking in all the beauty that this natural attraction has to offer, make your way back along the same path and reward yourself with a refreshing swim at Lake Bohinj.
Mostnica Falls to Lake Bohinj is about a 10-minute drive away.
Another popular way to discover the Soca Valley is mountain biking.
Lake Bohinj is one of the most stunning attractions in Slovenia and it is the largest natural lake in the country. Located in the heart of Triglav National Park, it’s surrounded by mountains and forests as far as the eye can see.
The best way to enjoy the lake is to join a 30-minute boat ride across its sparkling blue waters. Swimming is also possible during the warm months at Lake Bohinj.
Another popular activity here is hiking with plenty of trails to explore. You can take a leisurely stroll around the lake’s perimeter or challenge yourself to one of the more strenuous routes through the mountains. A complete walk around the lake will take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Lake Bohinj, you’ll be sure to make lasting memories here. So don’t forget to add it to your Slovenia road trip itinerary!
I recommend staying overnight in Bohinj for the next 2 days.
Where to stay: Hotel Bohinj
Day 7 – Hike Soca trail and explore the valley
Day 7 is all about hiking and more hiking. You will get to discover the beauty of Slovenia’s breathtaking Triglav National Park by going on a day-long hike (8 to 10 hours).
The Soca trail is a 25 km or 15.5-mile hiking trail that begins at the Soca river (trailhead is at Izvir Soce) and finishes in Bovec town (camping site)!
The Soča River trail is surrounded by woods. And this is what you will find as you embark on your hike, and there are of course river views peeking here and there (but not all throughout).
There are also lots of pathways, bridges, and roadways that you will have to cross. This trail requires one to be in good fitness to complete.
If you do not wish to embark on a day-long hike you can instead go biking and see the Napoleon Bridge.
The bridge that you see now is built over the narrowest part of the gorge and on either side the Soca River is visible. The old Napoleon Bridge was built using a single stone, but it was later destroyed in World War I.
Enjoy biking and head to the bridge and also check the two World War II monuments that were erected here.
Other than biking, you can head to the Soča River Viewpoint. This area is located about a 10-minute drive from Bovec town.
You will have to walk a bit to get to the beautiful stone bridge and a small gorge (Mala Korita). It is possible to explore this spot without a 1-2 day long hike.
From Mala Korita, you can hike another 30 minutes to get to a bigger gorge – Velika Korita. The color of the waters is absolutely beautiful here and worth a visit!
Where to stay: Hotel Bohinj
Day 8 – Explore Pikol, Nova Gorica
From Bovec make your way to Nova Gorica, a town situated in the western part of Slovenia. This town is located about an hour’s drive away from Bovec.
It is a charming destination known for its beautiful landscapes and unique historic sites – making it an ideal place to explore during your trip to Slovenia.
Plus it is very close to the Italian border and you can also visit Trieste (in Italy) from Nova Gorica.
Begin by exploring some of the town’s stunning attractions. Check out the Solkan Bridge, a spectacular suspension bridge that connects Slovenia and Italy over the Soča River.
When it comes to culture, Nova Gorica has plenty of interesting sights. Take a tour of the Kostanjevica Monastery and stroll around its stunning grounds.
Then head over to Tabor (small hill) and here you can take in views of the Vipava Valley. This village was fortified in the 16th century and used as a defensive fort against the Ottomans.
Nova Gorica is also a great place to unwind and relax. I recommend booking a glamping spot to take in the beauty and delicious local cuisine.
Book a stay at Pikol Lake Village, and you won’t regret it. They also offer a bicycle rental service which you can take advantage of the next day!
Where to stay: Pikol Lake Village
Day 9 – Biking through Vipava Valley
Experience the joy of biking through Slovenia’s Vipava Valley in all its natural glory!
The Vipava Valley is a picturesque mountain valley situated in southwestern Slovenia. It is one of the country’s most popular bike routes and is known for its lush green vineyards, rolling hills, and sparkling blue rivers.
There are numerous cycle paths that traverse the region, offering spectacular views at every turn. As you ride along the winding pathways, you will be surrounded by beautiful landscapes of vineyards and olive groves. You can even make a stop to taste some delicious local wines!
The Vipava Valley is also home to numerous hiking trails, and historical sites. You can explore these at your own pace on the bike paths or join one of the guided tours that operate in this region.
Where to stay: Pikol Lake Village
Day 10 – Visit Piran and relax at a beach & spa
After your journey through the Julian Alps, it’s time to make your way to Piran on the Adriatic coast. This small town is one of Slovenia’s most popular beach resorts and offers a range of attractions for visitors.
The drive from Nova Gorica to Piran is one hour and 15 minutes (one way).
Plan to stay overnight here, or you can head to Ljubljana in the evening. In Piran, take a stroll around the old town and admire its colorful Venetian-style buildings and narrow streets.
Be sure to check out the Church of Saint George, Piran’s main landmark and the symbol of its rich cultural heritage.
Then, make your way down to Tartini Square to take in the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.
For those feeling a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of activities available in Piran. My favorite one is to visit the Sečovlje Saltworks and enjoy the view of the largest Slovenian salt evaporation pond.
You can go swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the clear waters of the Adriatic, or take a boat trip to one of the nearby islands.
For those looking for something more relaxing head over to Thalasso Spa Lepa Vida, and enjoy pampering treatments!
Where to stay: Art Hotel Tartini
Alternate 10-day Slovenia Itinerary
Here is an alternate Slovenia itinerary for 10 days. This can be done as a road trip or using a mix of guided tours and public transportation.
Day 1: Start your road trip in the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Here you can explore the vibrant city center with its shops and restaurants, visit some of the local churches and explore its many attractions such as the Ljubljana Castle and Triple Bridge.
Day 2: Head off to Lake Bled, one of the most picturesque spots in all of Slovenia. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake, rent a paddleboat, and explore its island or take a cable car ride up Mount Osojnica for some breathtaking views.
You can also visit Lake Bled from Ljubljana on a day trip by bus or tour.
Day 3: Take the winding roads to Soca Valley and follow along the Emerald Soca River. Stop in Trenta to explore its lovely village, or take a dip in the Soča Valley’s natural pools and waterfalls.
Day 4: Move on to Bovec Village and enjoy some of Slovenia’s most stunning mountain sceneries including Triglav National Park. Enjoy kayaking and hikes in the region.
Day 5: Drive east to Skocjan Caves, one of the most impressive cave systems in all of Europe. Admire its incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations as you explore the four levels of the caves, and perhaps take a boat ride on the underground river.
Day 6: Spend the day in Postojna Cave, another UNESCO World Heritage Site near Ljubljana. Explore its long system of passages and walk through the caves with a guide and learn about its history.
Day 7-8: Drive to Piran and explore this coastal town’s old-world charm and Venetian-style buildings. Take a boat out on the Adriatic Sea, or perhaps take a swim at Portorož beach.
Day 9-10: Make your way back to Ljubljana and set aside one day for Skofja Loka. It is located about 40 minutes drive from Ljubljana. This charming town is home to a castle and a nice bridge.
Other Things to do in Slovenia
Here are some more activities and things to do and see in Slovenia.
Watch Slovenian bears in their natural habitat
If you’re looking for a real, up-close experience with brown bears, the Lož Valley’s forests are where you should go! SlovenianBears offers an unparalleled photo hunt tour that is both bear and human-friendly.
I spent an entire day photographing this amazing encounter and absolutely loved it! SlovenianBears is also the winner of the 2018 Sejalec Award, so rest assured you will be in good hands!
Other bear-watching experience
To get a firsthand glimpse of brown bears living in their native habitat, you can also join one of the observational groups in Lož Valley’s forests!
Glamping in Slovenia
Slovenia is the ultimate destination for a unique and unforgettable glamping experience! With an array of accommodation styles, such as traditional wooden cabins, luxury tents, yurts, and treehouses to choose from – there’s something here that’ll cater to all types of travelers.
So why not treat yourself to a luxurious glamping break in Slovenia? Here is my detailed guide to the best glamping spots in Slovenia.
Spas in Slovenia
Slovenia is a haven of indulgence and luxury, boasting some of the most luxurious natural spas in Europe.
With its array of hot springs to natural baths, you can treat yourself to much-needed relaxation and pampering that will bring blissful tranquillity for both body and soul.
Popular spas include the Terme Čatež Spa, Wellness Orhidelia, and Spa & Wellness Essense. All of these places have special pools, relaxing areas, and treatments.
We visited the outdoor spa Lepa Vida, without a doubt, the most beautiful spa we have ever visited. Situated in a national park, near the salt flats, we enjoyed a salt body scrub, a massage, and thermal baths. Highly recommended!
Need more ideas on things to do in Slovenia, Read here!
Other Slovenia Travel Tips
Road trip tips
Renting a car is a great way to explore Slovenia if you are looking for an independent and flexible travel experience.
There are many rental companies that offer competitive rates and packages in the country, so it’s important to shop around and compare prices before making your booking.
Before renting a car in Slovenia, make sure you have a valid driver’s license and a credit card to cover the cost of renting the car. You will also need to bring your passport or other identification documents when you pick up your vehicle.
When driving in Slovenia, it is important to be aware of their traffic regulations. Seatbelts must be worn at all times and drivers must always stay within the speed limit. Drink driving is strictly prohibited and there is a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Keep in mind that the roads in Slovenia can be quite narrow in some places.
Driving with a mobile home can therefore be quite challenging. Additionally, you are often on the road longer than expected, as you frequently navigate through narrow mountain roads with many curves, limiting your speed. However, the views during each car ride are fantastic.
It is also important to be aware of the highway tolls in Slovenia, which are electronically charged when you pass through certain points on the freeway. This can be done easily with a credit card but make sure you have cash with you – just in case.
When driving in rural areas, it is important to be extra careful and keep an eye out for animals that may cross the road. Slovenia is home to numerous animal species, from various varieties of birds to beasts, such as the wolf, the Eurasian lynx, and the brown bear.
Make sure you follow all traffic rules and regulations while driving in Slovenia so that you can enjoy your visit and make the most out of it!
Finally, it’s advisable to plan your itinerary before you arrive in Slovenia so that you can make the most of your time.
If you’re traveling in a group, decide beforehand who is responsible for which tasks and take advantage of apps such as Google Maps to plan out routes and attractions. Though it’s great to explore places off the beaten track, be sure to check that they are safe before venturing too far from populated areas.
Best time to visit Slovenia
The best time of year to visit Slovenia is during the summer months, from June to August. During this period, the weather is warm and pleasant and the days are long, meaning that you can make the most of your time.
If you’re looking to skip the crowds and take advantage of lower prices, visiting during spring or autumn can be a great way to enjoy Slovenia without waiting in line.
What is Slovenia known for
Slovenia is renowned for its lush and verdant forests, which cover an impressive 60% of the country. This expanse of greenery can be found primarily in the south – a sprawling habitat teeming with wildlife such as birds, wolves, lynxes, and bears alike!
Slovenia houses an impressive 22,000 species of flora and fauna, making it one of the most biodiverse nations in Europe. Wherever you traverse in this gorgeous country, you’ll find yourself amongst incredible natural beauty.
Remember to show reverence for nature when exploring your preferred activities here – allowing others to marvel at its wonders too! With so little human population inhabiting these woodlands, nature truly thrives here.
Slovenia has been also widely recognized for its determination to foster sustainable tourism and is celebrated around the world as a haven of green, invigorating activities that promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
Interesting facts about Slovenia
- Slovenia is only 30 years old
- There’s a vineyard for every 70 people
- More than half of the country is protected
- There are 5 beekeepers per 1000 inhabitants
- Slovenia has nearly 30.000 km of rivers and streams
Is visiting Slovenia worth it
Absolutely it is worth it! If your heart fills with joy when you witness vast, verdant peaks and crystalline waters, then Slovenia is the answer.
In Slovenia, you’ll be surrounded by nature’s beauty as you explore the possibilities of this exquisite mountain world.
And, who knows – maybe you’ll even discover a shepherd’s fairytale on the ancient Velika Planina plateau!
Then there is the Green City of Ljubljana, castles, lakes, and beyond!
You will get to discover a haven of peace and serenity by Bohinj Lake, offering spectacular views of the Bohinj Valley.
Enjoy quality time with your family in nature at Soča River. Inhale the beauty and calmness of Mother Nature as you marvel at Heaven above Kobarid.
So don’t wait! Plan a trip to this mountain paradise called Slovenia!