A Road Trip Through Slovenia

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After spending a few days in Ljubljana for the fantastic Ana Desetnica festival, it was time to hit the road! I knew I wanted to see more of the country, so I planned to spend four days road-tripping through Slovenia with my friend Peter, the blogger behind Travel Unmasked.

Now, if you’ve been on a road trip before, you know they can can test friendships. Peter and I had never traveled together beyond a few days in Scotland a year and a half ago, but traveling as two people has a different dynamic than a large group.

Thankfully, we got along fabulously! We turned up the Kanye West and rapped “Through the Wire” together as we drove down the Slovenian highways.


Slovenia for a Road Trip

Slovenia is a fantastic country for a road trip. The country is tiny, the roads are good, and most of the popular attractions are clustered in the western half of the country, making many destinations within a 90-minute drive.

Aside from the intense tailgating, which I found to be some of the worst I have ever seen (I even got tailgated while driving 90 mph!), I’m a huge fan of exploring Slovenia by car.

I did this road trip for four days, but it wasn’t nearly enough. To get the most out of your trip, I recommend doing this itinerary in addition to a few days in Ljubljana and a day or two visiting the coast or other destinations.


Day One: Idrija

After picking up our rental car at Ljubljana’s central bus station, we took a winding road through the mountains to the tiny city of Idrija.

Idrija isn’t a one of the more popular spots in Slovenia, but I wanted to visit the mercury mine, which was given World Heritage designation in 2012. Interestingly, this World Heritage Site is shared with Spain! The other half of the site is a mercury mine in the city of Almadén.

Idrija Mercury Mine

The mine, which was built in the 15th century, was fully functional as late as 1986.

Idrija Mercury Mine

You can still see oxidized mercury in the walls.

Idrija Mercury Mine

The miners had their own underground chapel.

Idrija Mercury Mine

The cool thing about mercury is that it’s heavier than lead! It’s cool watching a lead ball bounce around in a jar of liquid mercury like it’s a ping pong ball in a beer-filled solo cup.


After the dark and cold mine, it was time for lunch in the sun.

“What’s your local specialty?” I asked the waiter.

Žlikrofi,” he replied instantly. That was settled — I had to try it. I was given a plate of tortellini-like pasta stuffed with mashed potatoes and “animal fat” (pork in this case) and topped with a truffle and cream sauce. SO good, but definitely not the healthiest thing!


While having an after-lunch coffee, Peter and I ran into Urban, the curator of the nearby Mestni Museum. He kindly offered to cart us around to every attraction in town; I asked him if instead he could take us to the highest point in town so we could take pictures. He obliged and took us to a church on top of a mountain.


On the quirky end, Idrija also happens to be home to the largest wooden wheel in Europe. It used to power the whole town.

Idrija Water Wheel
Idrija Water Wheel

There’s Peter for scale!

Idrija is also famous throughout the world for its lace, which is on display throughout the town.

Idrija Lace
Idrija Mercury Mine
Idrija Lace

It’s interesting seeing how Idrija’s lacemaking style evolved over time with political and geographical changes. Pre-World War I, Idrija’s lace clients were mostly Austrians, who preferred large, country-style lacework.

Idrija Lace

Post-World War I, their primary clients became Italians, who demanded fine, intricate, detailed lacework.

Idrija Lace

Urban took us back to the Mestni Museum, which has some fantastic lace displays, lots of mercury and minerals, and a moving memorial to those who lost their lives in the Idrija mercury mines.

Idrija Museum

Next up was dinner at the Hotel Kendov Dvorec, a pretty oasis up in the mountains just outside Idrija.

Hotel Kendov Dvorec
Hotel Kendov Dvorec
Hotel Kendov Dvorec

I loved this place. It was fancy enough to host a small wedding, yet small and friendly with a wonderful staff. And the food? Superb. The best food that I had in all of Slovenia.

Best of all: a main dish of venison and chanterelles that absolutely rocked my world. And yep, those are more žlikrofi underneath!

Hotel Kendov Dvorec

What I don’t have pictures of is us nearly having to break into our hotel at midnight. Turns out they shut down at 11:00 PM and forgot to tell us. After trying to get in and realizing that the only way to contact them was to call (we had no SIM cards and the wifi didn’t work outside), we probably would have had to go to a gas station and beg them to use their phone if we hadn’t discovered a back door.

It’s too bad, because the hotel was nice otherwise. Just know that they close early.

Day One Essential Info: Visiting the mercury mine (Anthony’s Shaft) costs 9 EUR ($12 USD) for adults. It includes a tour of the mine and a short movie.

Admission to the Mestni Museum is 3.50 EUR ($5 USD) for adults.

The tasting menu at Hotel Kendov Dvorec costs 70 EUR ($94 USD) for six courses with wine pairings.

Rates at Hotel Jožef start at 98 EUR ($131 USD). You can find other hotels in Idrija here.

Skocjan Caves

Day Two: Skocjan Caves and Bled

A second shimmy through the mountains brought us to the Skocjan Caves, Slovenia’s second World Heritage Site. These caves are gargantuan, spooky, and an absolute must-visit if you’re traveling through Slovenia. I’ve never seen a few caves before (and even swam through one in the dark), but none of them have been as impressive as the Skocjan Caves.

Skocjan Caves
Skocjan Caves
Skocjan Caves

There’s also an excellent viewpoint on a trail behind the caves’ visitor center. Don’t miss it.

Slovenia Countryside

From the Skocjan Caves, the two of us drove up to Bled, home to Lake Bled, one of the most famous sights in all of Slovenia.

Garden Village Bled

The accommodation for the night was at Garden Village, a green resort just a short walk from Lake Bled. I was absolutely blown away by this resort.

It was beautiful, natural, and the accommodation was a mixture of treehouses and luxury tents. It had a “swimming pond” that was built into the landscape and its own stream in the back. They grew so much of their food, including several varieties of mint for mojitos.

And look at their dining tables! That is GRASS!

Garden Village Bled

They switch out the grass panels periodically to keep the grass as fresh and green as possible.

Garden Village Bled

And what kind of mint would you like for your mojito? I recommend the chocolate mint.

Garden Village Bled

An entire salmon filet for an appetizer? Edible lavender? Why not?

Garden Village Bled

Venison and chanterelles for the second night in a row? I will NEVER complain about that.

I loved this resort. Also, for some reason, the entire staff was really good-looking. It was like the staff of Abercrombie and Fitch had grown up and gone into the hospitality industry.

Garden Village Bled
Garden Village Bled
Garden Village Bled

(And it was a huge contrast to the last place I stayed at that was called Garden Village: a hostel in Cambodia where you could rent a mattress out in the open for just $1.)

Day Two Essential Info: Guided tours of the Skocjan Caves start at 16 EUR ($21 USD) for adults. A longer tour following the river costs 21 EUR ($28 USD) for adults. Photography is ordinarily not permitted in the caves; I was allowed because I visited privately as press.

Rates at Garden Village start at 80 EUR ($107 USD) for tents, 90 EUR ($121 USD) for apartments, and 160 EUR ($214) for treehouses and glamping tents. You can find other hotels in Bled here.

Lake Bled Slovenia

Day Three: Bled and Radovljica

A full day in sumptuous Bled, the most beautiful place in Slovenia — and thankfully the weather cooperated! A cloud-streaked blue sky made for a bright teal lake and magical photos.

Lake Bled Slovenia

Coming down to the shore, this was my first view of Bled Castle across the water.

Lake Bled Slovenia

Next came the ultimate view of Lake Bled: the church-topped island with the castle in the background.

Lake Bled Slovenia

There is no motorized transportation on Lake Bled. If you want to get to the island, you’ll need to row!

Peter on Lake Bled

Peter rowed there. I rowed back. It took about ten minutes each way.

Lake Bled Slovenia

Of course, the distance is short enough that you can swim if you want to. These teenagers did!

In fact, Peter loved the idea so much that he swam back!

Lake Bled Slovenia

I love this angle of the castle.

Slovenian Cream Cake

Afternoon refreshment: kremna rezina, or cream cake. Funnily enough, I had dined on its Croatian counterpart, the cremšnita, just a few weeks before.

A 10-minute drive from Bled is the town of Radovljica, so we drove up to check it out. While most of the museums and attractions had closed by the time we arrived, it was certainly a pretty town with some nice cafes and cute shops.


After leaving Radovljica, we drove back to Bled and visited Bled Castle for the view over the lake.

Lake Bled Slovenia

It certainly did not disappoint.

Lake Bled

It was like a painting.

Day Three Essential Info: Rowboats can be rented on Lake Bled for 11.50 EUR ($15 USD) per hour.

Entry to Bled Castle is 9 EUR ($12 USD) for adults.

Rates at Garden Village start at 80 EUR ($107 USD) for tents, 90 EUR ($121 USD) for apartments, and 160 EUR ($214) for treehouses and glamping tents. You can find other hotels in Bled here.

Lake Bohinj

Day Four: Lake Bohinj and Bled

On day four, our weather luck ran out — we awoke to a downpour. Oh well. At least we got the beautiful photos of Bled the day before.

A short drive from Bled is Lake Bohinj, known for being a quiet alternative to Lake Bled. It lived up to the hype — it had all the beauty of Lake Bled (sans the lakeside castle and perfect church-dotted island) without the crowds. There were several campgrounds on the lake’s edge, and most of the people here seemed to be looking for a low-key getaway with few frills.

Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj

After getting a few photos of the lake, it began to downpour once again. And by that point, we were exhausted after a busy, nonstop week in Slovenia. There was no point in taking a cable car or going kayaking in rain that hard.

So we went looking for a pizza place, found one, went inside, and discovered that they had PAPER PLACEMATS AND COLORED PENCILS.

I drew Lake Bled.

DSC_0922 2

Not to be outdone, Peter carved his pizza into the shape of Stewie Griffin.

Pizza Stewie Griffin

Yeah. After a long week of busy travel, you know when you’re done. I think we both felt that way.

Day Four Essential Info: Since we were flying out early the next day, we stayed at Dvor Jezeršek, a hotel home to a culinary school in Brnik, right by Ljubljana’s airport. The hotel was nice and the food was terrific. Rates available upon request. You can find other hotels in that area here.

DSC_0913 2

The Takeaway

I had a great time — but Slovenia was not what I expected it to be. That’s not entirely a bad thing; I just went in with the wrong expectations.

As a Balkans-phile, I expected Slovenia to be more like its former Yugoslavian neighbors like Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Truthfully, Slovenia did not feel remotely Balkan to me. It felt like Austria. I mean, look at it!

Slovenia Countryside

And to be fair, I love Austria. But I hadn’t expected Slovenia to be like that (even though I’d previously seen parts of Croatia that looked like Austria).

Though many people use the term “Balkans” to describe the former Yugoslavia and Albania (myself included), the Balkan peninsula technically includes Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece as well. But Balkans purists use the term to describe the region beneath the Balkan mountain range. And only a tiny portion of Slovenia is within this range. When you add that geography to the fact that Slovenia has also been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it makes sense that it looks so different.

Additionally, I was disappointed that I didn’t fall madly in love with Slovenia. Many of my friends did, and for that reason, I expected myself to as well. While I did fall madly in love with Ljubljana, the rest of Slovenia just didn’t grab me.

Perhaps I would have felt differently if I had visited the coastal town of Piran, which looks much more Balkan and more my style.

But even though it wasn’t what I thought it would be, I had a wonderful road trip in Slovenia, I absolutely recommend it, and I’d love to return next summer.

Must Love Festivals is brought to you by the Budget Traveller with lead partner Expedia and in association with the Slovenian Tourist Board. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Does Slovenia look like your kind of destination?
A Road Trip Through Slovenia

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73 thoughts on “A Road Trip Through Slovenia”

  1. Amazing pictures!!
    As an expat currently living in Slovenia, I felt more inspired to explore the country after looking at your pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Slovenia is so beautiful and so underrated. I remember my Slovenian friend telling me something like: Hey Zof, you know what, it’s so unfair, this country has everything and everyone just passes it in transit to Croatia. I find this statement pretty close to truth and I sincerely hope this will change. Slovenia is worth it. Thanks for covering it in such a interesting way.

    1. I noticed in Ljubljana that a Contiki tour had less than 24 hours in all of Slovenia, including an overnight, and all of it was to be spent in Ljubljana. Contiki’s Europe trips just seem INSANE. A day in this country, a day in that country…

  3. Okay. OKAY. There is far too much amazingness here for a single post. As I was reading through, I was like, “Oooh I need to comment on that. And that. And also that.” Now all I remember is žlikrofi — I MUST try this before I die. And nice job on the cave pictures! Those could NOT have been easy to take. And the entire second half of the post? Just gorgeous. Looks like a fairy tale. I would love to visit there. Beautiful work!!

  4. I love your pictures of Lake Bled! It is a place I have wanted to visit for a while. Also, thank you for your honest opinion about Slovenia. Sometimes it seems like the travel blog world is filled with non-stop exclamations of ‘oh my god, this is the best place ever!’, so it is great to read something a bit different.

    1. I appreciate that, Melanie. I always try to paint my posts with both light and shade, which has been a bit more difficult lately because I’ve visited so many awesome places! And Slovenia really is a wonderful country; it just didn’t overwhelm me with awesomeness.

  5. WOW! What a beautiful place. Your pictures really captured the beauty of Slovenia. I think anyone would love to visit this hidden treasure. The restaurants look delightful along with the food. Thank you for sharing!

    -Southern Adventurer

  6. I road tripped in and around Slovenia for two days on my way to Zagreb from Split and it ended up being the most expensive two days out of 30 days of driving through the Balkans. Simply because we missed the DARS Vignette memo which all cars driving on the highway are required to have, we were slapped with a ~150 euro fine, whereas a vignette can be purchased from a gas station for about $10 I believe. In any case! Love your photos, I did not get a chance to visit Bled, but I’ve only heard beautiful things!

  7. Loads of useful information! I have wanted to go to Slovenia for ages, and I have always kind of imagined (the same as you) that when I go I will fall madly in love. But it’s impossible to fall madly in love with every place visited and anyone that says otherwise is lying.

    Perhaps I will do a summer road trip next year and find out for myself. It definitely seems like a good way to explore.

  8. I hope you love Slovenia more on your next visit! I always name it as one of my favorite European countries. We spent 4 nights at Lake Bled and I just loved that one day we did a boat ride in the lake, the next day we were in the capital city, and another day we drove through the Julian Alps. Three such different landscapes all so close to each other. I mould love to go back and see more of the country.

  9. Literally every single one of these pictures (OK, maybe minus Pizza Stewie) makes me want to go to Slovenia so badly. It looks like an adorable land from a storybook.

  10. Great photos Kate! I’m heading there in about a month and am SO EXCITED, we’re also going to be travelling by car which I’m looking forward to 🙂
    p.s. you guys are good artists/pizza cutters! 😉

  11. Hehe, you got tailgated driving 90mph? This might be surprising to you, but if you drove a bit more on our highways it is normal to get tailgated by some crazy drivers at 100+mph, you just move to the other lane. 🙂
    Technically Slovenia is not a Balkan state, it is a central European country and only a small part of it lies on the Balkan peninsula, this might be the reason your expectations were different. When the Ottomans invaded Europe they got up to Slovenian lands and only raided the towns, but we were never invaded or conquered, thus we weren’t exposed to the muslim religion, culture and blood and you can sense that. Many people mistakenly think Slovenia is a part of the Balkans because we were a part of Yugloslavia about 25 years ago.

    1. Heironymous Borscht

      Not sure about your implication that not being ‘exposed to the muslim religion’ made Slovenia in any way a better place – when compared to Bosnia and especially Sarajevo, where religious tolerance has survived against all odds, even when faced with the murderous intent of some ultra-nationalists of its eastern neighbour.
      And saying that Slovenia as never been invaded or conquered is laughable: it has AWAYS been conquered – Italians, Austro-Hungarians, French, Romans (both Holy and otherwise) have all ruled the land populated by the Slovenians since forever ago.
      The reason that Slovenia has no middle class even now is that it has always been a nation of peasants, at the beck and call of whoever happens to be reining at any one time (consider that the nearest Slovenia ever had to nobility were the Counts of Celje, the last of whom was murdered in Belgrade (who would have guessed?) on 8 November… 1456.
      And that’s the reason Slovenians tailgate – many drivers have a peasant mentality: they don’t need to get anywhere faster, they just want to prove that they’re more macho than you (even the women).

      1. Well, that’s just bad reading skills on your part, Heironymous Borscht… Matija never said that Slovenia was never conquered, he just claimed Slovenia was never conquered by the Ottomans, which is true. And he never claimed that Slovenian culture was better because of lack of mixing blood and culture with the Muslim conquerors, just that it was different…

        As for the other nonsense you wrote… Slovenian ancestors established the first independant principalitiy (Caranthania), had two more (Carniola, Lower Panonia), had their own nobility, which was eventually slaughtered or otherwise ruined in the pogroms after the joint rebellion of Ljudevit Posavski against the Frankish empire at the height of its power, after which Frankish nobility (mostly from the the German lands) moved in to stay… Counts of Cilli were not Slovenian nobility, but most of their holdings were located in lands populated by Slovenians, so they kind of adopted them. And had the last count of Cilli not been killed in Belgrade, Europe might have avoided the WWI, as the Habsburgs would perhaps not gained as much power as they did… who knows.

        Slovenes in their history have always been peasants, craftsmen, priests and soldiers… Slovenian middle class rose at the same time as its counterpart in the rest of Europe, and fell with the dawn of communism. And today the middle class is again there. It’s shrinking again, but it’s still there…

        I do admit, that Slovenes are crazy drivers… it is just a part of their driving culture, as bad as it is. Italians don’t respect traffic lights, Slovenes don’t respect the safety distance… nothing to do with peasant mentality, just bad habits. And there are idiots on the road in every country…

        So if you hate Slovenes, it’s ok, just have the decency to support your hate with some real historical facts, not just a selection of them that suits you.

      2. OMG… what a nasty reply. Granted you read more into that comment than necessary, but what a prissy and elitist response. reason for tailgate.. because they are a nation of peasants” should they have had more kings and queens and noblemen ruling to be more ‘cultured’. I know this is an old post.. but it was a abominable reply. Be more classy Kate..

          1. Dear Kate
            You see how the people in the comments about slovenia are quarreling about things 500 in the past… This real Balkan-Mentality.
            Piran, Dubrovnik, Pula, Split are more part of the mediterranean culture than of the Balkan… but you are right. The greater (and lesser known) part of Croatia looks like Austria or even more Hungary.
            My father was Coratian (from Hrvatsko zagorje) and he loved Rijeka. Could be an interesting destination.

  12. I definitely fell in love with Slovenia, although it was the first full stop in my Balkans trip, so I didn’t have the expectations you had! I only got to see Bled and Ljubljana, but I’d love to explore more of the country’s small towns.

  13. It is a great country to visit.
    I remember looking up at night and on top of the mountains there was little churches with spotlights shining bright on them.

  14. I have never had any expectations of Slovenia bc it has never been on my radar – till this post. Your reaction is interesting; I hadn’t been anywhere in the Balkans (traded in Croatia for Crimea this year), thus I never had the uniform idea of what Balkans should be like (aside from – sadly – bombed out, the images from 20 yrs ago and such). But it looks absolutely lovely, especially all the plush greenery.

  15. I have been to Slovenia several times and enjoyed your photos. I am surprised you did not try potica which is a delicious walnut-and-honey filled pastry. They make beautiful glassware and are known for the skis they manufacture. I’ve also read that it was a Slovenian who invented the postage stamp. One of the few unlogged forests in Europe is located there.

  16. I LOVED what I saw of Slovenia when I was there 2 years ago, and would really like to go back and see more someday. A road trip sounds perfect!!

  17. I’m sorry to hear that Slovenia didn’t charm you as much as you expected. We’re from Slovenia and as you’ve wrote a lot of people fall in love with. I can see why. We love coming back to all the places that you’ve mentioned (well except for Idria – I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been there only one time). We love the coast towns (especially Piran & Portorož) as well.
    Did you visit Vintgar Gorge? It’s near Bled, I see you’ve spent a few days there.
    Thanks for sharing your experience about Garden Village. We’d love to go there someday, it looks amazing.
    Have fun wherever you’re heading to next 😉

    Marusa & Gasper

  18. Yep! This post says everything I need to know. It’s lovely Kate. Thanks for sharing!

    Having previously lived in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, I knew that Slovenia would offer more of the beautiful same! I love mountains, lakes, and countryside rustic food. In fact, I believe that part of “Lord of the Rings” the forest and river scenes near Rivendale, were filmed in Slovenia!
    It was then I knew that I had to visit.

    Slovenia, here I come!

  19. I can’t get enough of these Slovenia posts. I was there for a whirlwind few days and only had time for Ljubljana and Lake Bled. But I’ve always felt the urge to go back. And judging by this post, it’s clear that there’s so much left to see and do there. It’s too bad you weren’t as charmed by the rest of Slovenia as much as you were with Ljubljana, but sometimes places either click with you or they don’t. There are plenty of places people have raved about that I was just so-so about, like Luang Prabang in Laos. There are just so many things that factor into whether we fall in love with a particular destination or not…

  20. after reading everywhere how crazy everyone is about Slovenia I’m glad to finally find someone who isn’t! I’ve been there 3 times and I liked it, it’s beautiful and so on. It just lacked some unique atmosphere and even if I did enjoy visiting it Slovenia definitely isn’t among my top 5 countries!

  21. I’ve wanted to go to Slovenia for so long. I can imagine it is a beautiful place to go perhaps as a couple, rather than a big group of friends? It looks like somewhere I fancy wandering around, rather than a country to tick of life long ambitions. Although looks like an awesome place to try out paragliding?


    Ps. Always appreciate the honesty!

  22. It’s very, very rarely that I say this, but this is an excellent article on Slovenia. Well done.
    Should you wish to see how good it can really get, please do get in touch (we do free advice!).

  23. Hi Kate, haven’t commented over here before, but I am so in love with Slovenia that I am looking at anything on the internet to do with it. I have heard of Garden Village, it sounds beautiful. We stayed at Jazz Hostel when we were in Bled & it was stunning and fabulous. I loved Slovenia, it is so seriously beautiful. I was fly catching the whole time. The Julian Alps are great to visit, too, and white water rafting on the Soca is amazing. I hope by next summer I will have worked out a way to live there 🙂

  24. What a great post!

    I am from the UK and have been living in Slovenia, in Radovljica, for over 7 years now.

    It’s great to see you visited Radovljica too as it’s very close to Bled but can get overlooked. The old town centre is one of the three best preserved of it’s kind in Slovenia so I definitely recommend a visit to others (ok I’m a little biased but…..)

    I also write a blog about my life here, where I go hiking, what to see and do etc. so if reading this has inspired others to visit, you might find it of use – http://adeleinslovenia.wordpress.com/

  25. I can’t believe I missed you by mere days! I also can’t believe I was so close and yet didn’t have time for a trek to the caves OR Lake Bled =(

    Oh well, there will always be a next time…right?

  26. I have not enjoyed reading this. Complacency suffuses every paragraph. It appears that in your current mode you are parasitical. I believe you need to rethink your contribution to the world.

  27. I have had an increasing desire to visit Slovenia and this post just confirms it more and more! So many great and beautiful places to see. I would especially love to stay at the Garden Village too. That looks spectacular!

  28. Visiting Slovenia needs far more than 4 days, if you wish to experience all the serenity of the pristine nature Slovenia has to offer. According to the EDEN awards ( European Destination of Excellence), the following three destinations are the best this amazing country has to offer. Take my word for it, all these destinations will empower your travel Slovenia experience with the extraordinary landscape.

    One of the most clean rivers runs in the Soča Valley and it comes down from the Julian Alps. It’s a must travel for any lover of nature. Take a hike on at least one of the mountains such as Triglav, Krn or Mangrt, enjoy the hike, visit the local mountain huts on the way and experience the ancient recipes of cottage cheese, cheese, sour milk, jota stew. and marble trout.

    Take the cable car to Velika Planina and live the past in the pastoral settlement, one of the very few preserved settlements of this size in Europe. The traditional trade mark are the shepherd huts with their typical architecture covered with pine shingles.

    Drive to Logarska Dolina, Europes most beautiful glacial alpine valleys stretching in a U shape below the many mountains, some well over 2000 m. above the sea level. The valley is approximately 7km long and 250m wide and offers excellent hiking and biking opportunities in the valley itself or to the surrounding mountain peaks.

    All the way on the southern border with Croatia, the unique and picturesque river Kolpa separates both countries for a short while. Being the warmest in the country, it also offers numerous relaxing swimming opportunities. If you have enough time, go rafting for a few days with a tent down this slow river. When the night falls, pitch a tent, start a fire and grill some dinner.

    This are merely a few suggestions of how to uniquely experience Slovenia. Hiking, cycling, paragliding, skiing, and the beneficial thermal waters in the many Spa’s on the eastern part of the country are what you’re looking for.

    And due to the fact, that we have some of the cleanest rivers and streams in Europe, Wild water kayaking, rafting or even canyoning are all sports a country full of sparkling clean mountain water can offer. The lakes, rivers and the Adriatic sea also offer easy canoeing or kayaking trips, just in case you’re not an adrenaline junkie.

    There is a lot more to Slovenia if you care to slow down your pace and take your time to slowly discover what it has to offer. You need to do some research, talk to other travelers and ask the locals. And you’re all kindly invited to explore around with our camper van rentals.

    That includes you Kate. Great blog and the next time you get so close to my house, drop me an e-mail!

  29. Very nice article about Slovenia. I loved to read it. Didn’t know that “žličniki” exists, and I am from Slovenia. Will have to try it :). Just for the record, Piran has purely Italian old style architecture and because of that is very famous among Slovenians and tourists. I advice for everyone to visit that town, but only from May to September … in this period is very interesting and also a lot of festivals happen. 🙂

  30. Thank you for such an informative post! I would love to go to Slovenia and have been researching for the past few weeks. I am an Asian woman and am wondering if locals would treat me differently (I have heard that there are not many Asian tourists in the country) because of my race/would i stick out like a sore thumb??


    1. There are actually tons of Chinese tourists in Bled, Julie. I don’t think you’ll have any overt problems, but people may think that you won’t speak English. Being on your own without a huge tour group is a pretty big indication that you’re not Chinese, though!

      Once in Macedonia, I was walking with a Chinese-American friend and an old man began a whole, “Konichiwa! Arigato! Japan!” routine. We smiled weakly. Though these days Chinese tourists are more common than Japanese, a big turnaround from a decade ago.

  31. Hello Kate!

    I really enjoyed reading your article, it is very informative and I also liked your honesty in the end. This may be cynical of me, but even though I marvel at Slovenia and enjoy very much discovering its many secrets even as a native, I think a lot of feelings of “overwhelmness” and “falling in love” by/with Slovenia comes from the fact that people have absolutely no idea about what to expect and/or think it is an ex-socialist, run-down, country, so they are bound to be pleasantly surprised when they realise what it is. With you, it was the other way around, and your feelings after the visit make perfect sense to me. I think this a really fair and welk balanced article on Slovenia and I thank you for it.

  32. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for the link on twitter. Enjoyed reading about your trip and will certainly be helpful for our trip next week.


  33. Hey there! We also have a travel blog called http://oitheblog.com and we are going to Slovenia next month. Your article’s been really useful for us and we are so excited to explore Slovenia! We just wanted to say thanks for all the information. 🙂

    Greeting from Istanbul!

  34. Hi Kate,
    you really sparked our appetite for Slovenia! As a foodie, I am especially looking forward to trying the local food. Žlikrofi sound very tempting.
    Have you also been to Montenegro, Croatia or Bosnia? We’re headed there in a few weeks, will be travelling the region with our campervan.

  35. Your article really helped me planning my trip to Slovenia. I visited Lake Bled, Skocjan Caves, Ljubljana and Slovenian Coast. Its such a wonderful country and I will definitely come back one day. I am also grateful to have met an excellent guide Maja from Koper Trips http://kopertrips.com/ who suggested some incredible koper tours and shore excursions. Slovenia is a place to see!

  36. Hi Kate,
    It was good to read your experience,
    Please guide me for following:
    1. I’ll be renting car from Budapest and travelling through slovenia to Venice. Are there toll free roads in slovenia, how to access those.
    2. Is vignette essential for toll free roads
    No info regarding toll free roads on net

  37. Hello,

    About two weeks ago, I became obsessed with wanting to visit this beautiful country. I am planning on going in mid-late September for 1.5 weeks. Do you think that’s a good time to go? I don’t mind the weather to be a bit chilly or light rains.

    Reading about your road trip….. I didn’t think of it ,and now, I think it’d be a great idea. Was it expensive to rent a car?

    Thank you for the beautiful and detailed article. I loved it!

    1. This trip was four years ago, so I can’t tell you whether it would be expensive — I suggest you search car rental rates and see if it’s worth it to you. Glad you enjoyed the article!

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