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BigAlvin Nov 16th, 2017 05:05 AM

Help/Critique Slovenia Trip
Planning on going in May 2018.
We are a couple early 60's and enjoy a mix of nature, old towns and cities.
Plan to :
-Fly into LJU; rent car and proceed to Lake Bled for 2 nights (Lake, Vintgar Gorge, Cable Car to Vogel)
-Transit Vrsic Pass to Tolmin for 1 night (Tolmin Gorge)
-Transit to Rovinj, Croatia for 2 nights (Town itself)
-Transit to Ljubljana for 2 nights. (City itself)
I was thinking to drop rental car at LJU Airport prior to going into Ljubljana itself to avoid parking/driving hassles; take shuttle/taxi to city and take shuttle/taxi back to airport for departure.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!
Thank you.

pariswat Nov 16th, 2017 05:14 AM

I found that 2 evenings - one day was more than sufficient in Llu.
We had a nice apartment outside the city so the car was useful.
We had no problem for parking. None at all.
May is not high season.

Andrew Nov 16th, 2017 08:47 AM

How about starting in Ljubljana, so you won't have to drive after the flight (jet lagged? flying in from where?). Pick up the car in the city itself. Then return the car as you are leaving. Reverse the order of your trip, so you leave from Lake Bled which is not far from LJU (look on a map).

But I would agree that parking in Ljubljana is not impossible if you find the right place on the edge of one of the pedestrian zones. I haven't quite done it, but this May I spent a few days in LJubljana and rented a car for what turned out to be only a day. I had lined up parking at a big garage near the rooms I rented near the Dragon Bridge. I walked past the garage (next to a Spar grocery store) a few times and would have had no trouble parking there.

I would try to stay close to the center of Ljubljana. It's a lovely walking town, and you'll want to walk from your lodgings to things instead of driving. Ljubljana is lovely - don't sell it short. It doesn't require much time to explore, though.

With such a short time, I'd probably skip Rovinj unless you plan to explore hill towns and/or Pula. Otherwise, save some driving time and visit Piran instead and skip the border crossing which may or may not be time-consuming next May (who knows?). Piran is a lovely town itself, with a similar feel to Rovinj, and when country borders were different, Piran and Rovinj were part of the same country (both are still bilingual Italian). Both Piran and Rovinj are small and great places to visit and spend a night or two but themselves don't take much time to explore.

BigAlvin Nov 16th, 2017 09:44 AM

Thanks for the guidance. We would be flying from Boston probably through CDG or MUN. I’m never certain how jet lag will affect me. The reason we we’re going to start in Lake Bled is that it appears to be a relatively short, easy drive from the airport. However, it may make sense to reverse the order of the loop.
On the forums I’ve read so many good things about Rovinj. Rovinj seems to have the edge on this forum. We were just in Tuscany so we are all “Hill-towned “ out for awhile. I appreciate the heads up regarding the border crossing. It seems people think one night in Piran is enough. Any thoughts where to stay the extra night if we do not stay in Rovinj? We are planning to stay near Old Town in Ljubljana.
Thanks for your help!

Andrew Nov 16th, 2017 10:02 AM

Rovinj is a lovely town, but if you aren't going to do hill towns or Pula, I think one night is enough for it too, once you get there. Same for Piran. They are both pretty small towns themselves. What would you do for two nights in Rovinj if not hill towns? You could see Pula (Roman ruins but otherwise, to me, not a particularly charming city). There's Porec north of Rovinj (I didn't see it).

There's nothing wrong with just slowing it down and enjoying the day, riding bikes around or just enjoying the place (maybe not too warm in May - but I was there May 1 in 2015 and it was OK).

I didn't visit Piran and Rovinj on the same trip, so it's hard for me to compare them directly. I can see why some might find Rovinj more appealing, but I'm not sure it merits the extra driving just to get down there and back unless you add more than just seeing the town itself.

If you did only one night in Piran, where else? I really don't think Ljubljana a third night in Ljubljana is a waste especially if you fly in there - your arrival day might be a blur, and you could leave early for Bled after the third night. That might really give you only two full days in Ljubljana. You can line up some possible day trips by bus/train and take them if you feel like it (e.g. up to the sleepy little town of Kamnik).

Or you could try to drive up to Logarska Dolina, supposedly a beautiful place I haven't yet been. I think you'd probably want at least a night up there.

Driving from Ljubljana to Bled, try to detour through the town of Skofja Loka. The town is worth a visit for at least an hour or two, and the scenic drive to Bled from there via the mountains, through Jamnik and Kropa, is very beautiful. So if you spend a lot of the day driving between Bled and Ljubljana, making stops, you might in effect be "borrowing" time from the stops in between, if you know what I mean.

BigAlvin Nov 16th, 2017 02:38 PM

Great guidance. Thanks!

Andrew Nov 16th, 2017 02:47 PM

I realize now that some of what I wrote doesn't exactly make sense if you want to start in Ljubljana then rent a car and drive to Piran and all the way back to Bled...but take from it what you will!

kja Nov 16th, 2017 05:17 PM

While I enjoyed Rovinj, and am glad I saw it, I agree that you might want to consider an alternative – it’s out of your way and is so small that you can walk just about every street in a few hours. And although many people use it as a base for hill towns, it is not itself a hill town, or at least I would not call it one.

If you just want a bit of a sea-side Istrian town, Poreč might fit your itinerary a bit better, and it has a stunning Byzantine basilica.

I thought Zagreb underrated, but note that many Fodorites are not favorably impressed. You could also visit Varaždīn and Čakovec or some of the castles of northern Croatia, or just stay in Slovenia.

Please consider ways to avoid renting a car until at least a day or two after your arrival. Although many people are not aware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter your other constraints and no matter your prior experience! And please be patient with me if you think I’m being overly adamant, but I know too many people who have died or been seriously injured in accidents to which jet lag was a contributing factor, and I know too many people who will spend the rest of their lives dealing with the knowledge that they were responsible for accidents that resulted in multiple deaths, including those of children, all because they were too confident in their ability to drive safely with jet lag. The issue has become a bit of cause célèbre for me….

Hope that helps!

BigAlvin Nov 16th, 2017 06:24 PM

Thanks for the tips- -especially the last paragraph -duly noted! Looked at pics of Logarska Dolina. Looks stunning. Is it way out of the way? Looks like the type of place we would like. Is it feasible to stay in the area? Or just a day trip?

mnag Nov 17th, 2017 01:06 PM

Logarska dolina is indeed stunning. The initial sight literally took my breath away...This was on a trip with my parents and I am forever grateful to have shared those sights/memories with them.

We travelled from Austria down to the Logarska region. And then on to Bohinj. Cant remember all the details and how long it took but you may find the below link helpful.

BigAlvin Nov 19th, 2017 04:02 AM

Slight change of plans. New plan:
Fly into Trieste (Cost). Shuttle to Ljubljana.
-2 nights in Ljubljana.
-Rent car and proceed to Logarska Dolina for 2 nights.
-2 nights in Lake Bled to see aforementioned sights.
-1 night in Tolmin.
-Fly out of Trieste.
I wonder whether we should spend 2 nights in Logarska Dolina and whether we should we spend our last night in Tolmin?

Thanks for all the good ideas!

Andrew Nov 19th, 2017 08:41 AM

Either rent the car and drop it in Trieste or rent it and drop it in Slovenia. Otherwise, you'll get stuck with a steep one-way drop fee when dropping off the car in a different country.

There's also DRD between Ljubljana and Trieste airport and GoOpti for shared (or private) transfers, from anywhere in Slovenia. You could drop the car in say Koper, which is about a half hour drive from Trieste. The lovely seaside town of Piran is close to Koper, not a bad place to spend the last night.

Flying in from Boston, I'd look for a direct flight to Venice myself instead of Paris instead of Trieste. Use DRD or GoOpti as above.

It's still kind of a rushed trip. I can't speak to Logarska Dolina of course because I haven't been there. The tourist farm experience isn't really something I desire myself, but maybe it is for you.

BigAlvin Dec 3rd, 2017 01:50 PM

Trying to finalize plan :
-Fly into Trieste; Use GoOpti for transit to Ljubljana. -Stay 2 nights in Ljubljana .
-Rent Car in Ljubljana
-Stay 2 nights in Logarska Dolina
-Stay 2 nights in Lake Bled.
-Transit through Vrsic Pass to Postojna area for last night.(maybe go to cave and castle.)
-Drop rental car at Trieste Airport for noontime flight.)
One thought was to spend last night in Ljubljana vs Postojna and take shuttle back to Trieste Airport after dropping car in Ljubljana Center.
We generally like to spend at least 2 nights in an area to get a feel for it.
Does this make sense?
Thank you.

Andrew Dec 3rd, 2017 01:59 PM

Dropping the car in Trieste (not Slovenia) complicates the car rental and may make it more expensive. So spending the last night in Ljubljana after dropping the car there would make that easier. Personally, I'd spend the last night in Piran and drop the car in Koper, then take GoOpti to the Trieste airport in the morning.

kja Dec 3rd, 2017 02:11 PM

Do you already have your flights? If not, consider re-ordering your trip so that Lake Bled is your last stop -- you could drop the car at the Ljubljana airport, which is actually half-way between Bled and Ljubljana.

Also, check whether the Škocjan Caves fit your itinerary better than the Postojna ones.

BigAlvin Dec 4th, 2017 10:00 AM

Thanks for the replies. Yes, flights are locked in. It was substantially cheaper to fly into TRS than LJU! We are from coastal area on the East Coast of the US so the coast of Slovenia is not on the top of our list. Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into the Skocjan Caves.

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