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Need help with itinerary for Slovenia

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Oct 25th, 2015, 09:10 PM
  #1
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Need help with itinerary for Slovenia

Hello everyone! I need some help with planning my husband & my trip in Slovenia (as a part of our Europe trip in September 2016) We will be flying into Slovenia on Saturday September 17th after a friends wedding in France, and have just over a week in Slovenia before we head to Austria. The things we want to see/do is the Vintgar Gorge, Kozjak Waterfalls, Lake Bled, Tolmin Gorge, Skocjan Caves & possibly a coastal town as well...
We are undecided where to start and whether it be better to drive or get a bus or train to each different destination? Can someone please help? Thanks in advance.
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Oct 25th, 2015, 11:16 PM
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sammybuttons, you can see all of those things you list in just a few days.

Slap Kozjak is close to the town of Kobarid. If you are passing through the town, it is well worth seeing the waterfall, but if not, I'd skip it. It's a very nice waterfall but not really worth lots of driving to see. Many stop in Kobarid to see the war museum. Otherwise, it's a pleasant little town - I spent a night there. Hemmingway's "A Farewell to Arms" is essentially set there during World War I ("Caporetto" in Italian). Otherwise, the town is not that memorable.

You can use the bus to get to Lake Bled and out to the Slovenian coast, but if you can rent a car and drive you probably should - it will save you a lot of time and give you more flexibility.

I highly recommend a visit to Piran, a beautiful coastal town on Slovenia's tiny coast. Ljubljana, the capitol, is a delightful city with beautiful architecture - one of my favorite cities in Europe, just for the ambiance.

If you have the time, you might consider a detour down to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia - it's an amazing park full of little waterfalls and big turquoise-colored lakes full of trout.

Click on my name to find my 2011 Slovenia trip report. (I just re-visited Croatia in April-May and stopped a night in Ljubljana again.)
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Oct 25th, 2015, 11:43 PM
  #3
kja
 
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You will see some wonderful places!

My recommendation is to get a really good guidebook for the area -- I strongly recommend the Rough Guide -- and use the information about opening hours and transportation options that you find there plot things out on a calendar and map. Once you get a sense of your options, confirm times (for sites and transportation) on the web....
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Oct 26th, 2015, 12:18 AM
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Hi
We based ourselves in Ljubljana and saw what is on your list and more fr there. We rented a car

Don't forget the caves in postojna and we went to Trieste after piran.


Enjoy
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Oct 26th, 2015, 12:52 AM
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I'm biased toward renting a car because it allows you to be very efficient with your time. Driving in Slovenia is very easy and roads are well marked with directional signage.

Best of luck...it's a wonderful place to visit!
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Oct 26th, 2015, 01:26 AM
  #6
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Thank you all for your feedback!! That's really helped a lot, thank you
Karen, yep I meant Vintgar Gorge near Lake Bled and by "coastal town" I meant one of the coastal towns in Slovenia such as Piran or Koper
I think our best bet is to base ourselves in Ljubljana and rent a car to do day trips to our destinations
Can't wait, it all sounds so amazing there! Will definitely get a guidebook also. Thinking about going to Trieste, not sure yet though. Depends if we have time
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Oct 26th, 2015, 01:29 AM
  #7
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Thank you Andrew, I hadn't even thought about the falls in Croatia, that's on my top 10 places to go to in the world! I'll see if I can sneak it in to the itinerary haha. I'll definitely have a look at your trip from 2011.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 05:05 AM
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Sammy, I agree basing yourself in Ljubljana is a good choice, however for the Soca Valley (where the Kozjak Waterfall and Tolmin Gorge are), I recommend spending a night there, as it will turn out to be a very busy and rushed day trip, especially in September, when the days start to become shorter.

So, as an alternative to using Ljubljana as a base for the entire trip, I suggest spending a few nights in Ljubljana, in order to see Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Vintgar and maybe Lake Bohinj and then drive from Ljubljana over scenic Vrsic Pass into the Soca Valley, where you can visit the Kozjak Waterfall and Tolmin Gorge, but also some other noteworthy sights, such as the source of the Soca River, the Great Soca Gorge, Boka Waterfall, etc. The nice thing about the Soca Valley is that the sights don't require venturing far off the main road at all, they're all along your route.

After spending a night in the Soca Valley, I recommend you continue south towards the coast, a two-hour drive away. Along the way you can stop in either Goriska Brda, the Vipava Valley or the Kras Plateau. All three are wine-growing regions with plenty of tourist farms and great food. In fact, in September you'll be there just in time for the wine harvest.

After reaching the coast, spend the night in one of the coastal towns. As all three are close, it doesn't matter in which town you spend the night, but in terms of sights, I second Andrew's recommendation to head for Piran. Koper and Izola are nice, they have both been done up quite a bit in the past few years, but neither is as breathtaking as Piran. From there you can also visit the Skocjan Caves.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 07:00 PM
  #9
kja
 
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I think you've gotten some GREAT advice, but I don't think I've seen you say how much time you are willing to devote to the area -- and it is an area where one's aspirations can grow and grow and grow! I have no advice here, other than the advice to be mindful of your needs for time....
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Oct 26th, 2015, 07:44 PM
  #10
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I mentioned in my original post we have about a week to spend in Slovenia, before we go to Austria. So what I was asking was some help with going to and from destinations so we know how long to spend at each place Thanks
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Oct 26th, 2015, 08:17 PM
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I'm not sure what kind of travel style you have. You could try to make one base and do day trips instead of changing hotels a lot. That isn't my style, personally. I'd probably spend a few nights in Ljubljana, a few nights in Bled, and a few nights in Piran. Bled (the town) was not my favorite place but it makes an excellent base.

And then try to sneak in a few days for Plitvice. It is probably best to stay overnight the park and see it first thing in the morning (5-6 hours is probably plenty) before the tour groups get there and by evening you can be back in Slovenia somewhere.

In Slovenia, consider driving the "Julian Alps" loop over the Vrsic Pass and down into the Soca Valley - beautiful views, a unique drive up a curvy road. Also, if you drive between Ljubljana and Bled, I highly recommend a detour in the little town of Skofja Loka (a day stop, maybe an hour or two) and take the beautiful drive through the hills from there on the Bled instead of taking the fast highway - amazing scenery here.
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Oct 26th, 2015, 08:23 PM
  #12
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What we usually do when we travel is hotel stop, day trip and go back to the hotel, next day move to the next location while seeing something else, new hotel, stay there for the night and do another day trip and so on and so forth
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Oct 26th, 2015, 08:57 PM
  #13
kja
 
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If you've looked at your guidebooks and maps, I'm sure you realize that Slovenia is arrayed on a more-or-less spoke-and-hub plan around Ljubljana. Only you an decide whether to stay in Ljubljana, day tripping from there, or relocating to other key destinations, for one or more nights. I made my core recommendation upthread -- decide what YOU want to see and experience and plot it on a calendar. If that doesn't work for you, I don't know what will. Enjoy!
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Oct 27th, 2015, 12:07 AM
  #14
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Thanks Kja, I will get the Rough Guide and have a look. Yeh I definitely think we need to lock in dates we want to see things and work around that on the calendar. Thanks for your info
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Oct 27th, 2015, 06:04 PM
  #15
kja
 
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"we need to lock in dates we want to see things"

Actually, that's not what I meant -- except when you learn that something you want to see is closed on a particular day! I meant to use the calendar to figure out how much time you need in a place by blocking out the time you will need for your priorities. So, for example, sometimes I think I'll want, say, 2 days for place X -- until I realize that I can't actually do all the things I want to do in place X in just 2 days, whether because of closing hours or the time it will take to get from one site to another or whatever. Plotting it all has proven invaluable to me.
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