This short route is ideal for first-time visitors wanting to experience the highlights of the Slovenia’s alpine, karst and coastal regions.
Begin in the country’s capital, Ljubljana, and take in the sights, restaurants and beautiful riverside setting. Next, head north to Lake Bled and sleep at the lake with sunset views over the Alps. Lovely Lake Bohinj, 26km southwest of Lake Bled, makes for a more rustic, less touristy base and has direct views to Mt. Triglav, highest Slovenian mountain, 2864 m. There are some amazing waterfalls and hiking options in the area!
From here, travel northward to Kranjska Gora, the country’s skiing capital and another good base for hiking, with one of the nicest springs, named Zelenci. It’s the northern terminus of the spectacular Vršič Pass, a high-altitude roadway (open May to October) that zigzags for some 50km down to the white-water rafting capital of Bovec. Allow plenty of time to discover everything Soča Valley has to offer - this is our favourite area as it is simply amazing!
From here it’s just a skip to the coastal resorts of Piran and Portorož. If you’re seeking romance, choose Piran; if it’s sun and fun, Portorož is the centre of the action. And for those who want to explore a bit further - Venice is just an hour and a half drive away!
After you’ve got your vitamin sea, continue to the world famous cave at Postojna. An easy side-trip from here is Predjama, where an impregnable castle set in a cliffside cave defies description.
Road trip itinierary
Land in Ljubljana airport and we will wait for you at the terminal with keys and your Nest campervan. Drive to Ljubljana, Europe’s greenest capital (27km) and explore its cafe culture, sights and nightlife. For the best first real taste of Slovenia, we suggest you book a food or/and wine tour, as you'll appreciate Slovenian cuisine even more when tasting it on the road.
If you want to escape the city buzz, visit Velika Planina - traditional shepherds settlement on the biggest high-mountain pasture in Slovenia (there is a cable car that will take you to the top, if you don’t want to walk.
Left: Vibrant Slovenian capital Ljubljana is known for its castle-topped hill and a beautiful car-free center. Don’t forget to check things like Metelkova and Odprta kuhna as well!
Right: Velika Planina is nothing like Ljubljana. Nature and peace, cows and shepherds, traditional food and mountain views all around. Why not see both?
Next day head north towards Lake Bled (54km). Visit the castle on the hill, try kremsnita (traditional cream cake) and take a pletna (gondola) to Bled Island. Our suggestion is to take a short but oh-so-beautiful hike to the viewpoint Ojstrica. You will be rewarded with one of the best views of Lake Bled, the island, the castle and Karavanke mountain chain in the background. Thank us later!
Lake Bled is one of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia and is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the whole country. This lake with a small island in the middle is also a gateway to the famous Triglav National Park.
You can do many different trekkings in the morning that best suit your fitness. Take an easy hike through incredible Vintgar Gorge for example or visit Lake Bohinj and its unique old villages with waterfall Savica nearby. After that drive to Kranjska Gora and Lake Jasna (39 km) and definitely to one of the nicest river springs Zelenci. It’s just a short drive away to see one of the biggest ski jumps in the world, where during winter guys can jump up to 251 m. Sleep in one of three camps in the area, all situated next to the rivers and with incredible views.
Left: At Zelenci Springs, water from underground creek (originating in the Planica Valley) re-emerges through the porous bottom of a 2 m deep lake, whose waters are noted for their deep, brilliant green.
Right: Vršič is the highest mountain pass in the eastern Julian Alps, with spectacular views all around.
Day 4 - 5
Head over Vršič pass (14 km), where you will find yourself in the middle of high Alps and take time - every corner is worth stopping. You have even more hiking options here, with great views and astounding amounts of first World War remains. If you’re not sure which hike to do, we can help you with some tips and suggestions!
Once you get over the pass, you’ll enter Soča valley, with its beautiful emerald Soča river. The area around Bovec is the adventure capital of Europe, where you can do whitewater rafting, skydiving, paragliding, kayaking, the longest European zipline … You name it. All along the river there are many camps to sleep and places to taste amazing local food like fresh river trout.
It’s nice to take a nice hike and reward yourself with a refreshing jump into a beautiful and freezingly cold river Soča afterwards.
We’ll just name a few of the sights you should not miss on your road trip through this part of Slovenia: river Soča spring, Great Soča Gorge, a road to Mangart saddle (the highest road in Slovenia, stunning views!) and a hike to Mangart, fort Kluže for some history, waterfall Boka, waterfall Kozjak, Tolmin Gorges, river Nadiža where you can swim under Napoleon’s Bridge.
If you like hiking, take a very nice hike to the scenic Lake Krn, which is also the largest glacial lake in Slovenia (you can hike all the way up to Mt. Krn, 2244 m). If you’re not a fan of hiking but want to enjoy stunning mountain views nevertheless, take a cable car from Bovec to Kanin. At the altitude of more than 2000m, you can simply enjoy your coffee-with-a-view on a sunny deck or do some short hikes from the base (to Mt. Kanin, Prestreljenik Eye).
It is hard to get away from unbelievable Soča river, we know. But once you do head further down south, you are rewarded with charming little villages and towns that boast Mediterranean feel. You’ll feel a strong Italian influence when you drive through Kanal ob Soči, a medieval town with rich cultural heritage.
Further south you’ll reach Solkan and it’s huge arch bridge built of stone blocks. The bridge is the only bungee center in Slovenia, so if you’re brave enough to jump from 55 meters high, don’t miss this chance and book your jump with Top Bungee (as a Nest camper, you get a special deal there)!
From Solkan drive to Goriška Brda, a landscape nested halfway between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. This landscape is like little Tuscany with many hilly vineyards, medieval towns and great wine culture. Visit town Šmartno and a nearby lookout tower, explore the area and indulge in some wine tasting.
We suggest to explore wine regions in Vipava valley as well, you can go on an amazing wine adventure with Winestronauts (with an added bonus for Nest campers)!
Hopefully the hangover is not too bad but if it is, worry not - you have an amazing day at the seaside ahead of you. Spend your day at the beach and explore Slovenian coastline (which is only 46 km long). You can book a great walking tour in Piran and explore our favorite city on the coast - you'll get a special gift there as a Nest camper :)
Visit Piran, everyone's favourite town on the Slovenian coast with Venetian-style architecture and small, narrow streets full of art. A really nice place to visit is also Sečoveljske soline (Sečovlje Salina Nature Park). This 750-hectare saltpan-studded area, crisscrossed with dikes and channels, has a wealth of birdlife – 290 species have been recorded here. All this coastal places have camps in pine forests, few meters from the beach.
You can also use this day to visit nearby Venice - it’s only about 2 hours drive away. An even better option is to hop on a ferry in Piran and it will take you straight to Venice.
Head back towards Ljubljana, but stop in Postojna or Škocjan. We recommend a visit to Postojna caves and Predjamski castle - the biggest attractions of the Slovenian Karst (60km).
This is a suggestion for those with less time to travel. If you want more suggestions or explanations you can always contact us, or we can arrange a video call to discuss your travel plans and give you some local hints.
If you want we can book all the activities and camps for you with no extra charge.
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