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Short visit in Ljubljana from Venice to Salzburg

Short visit in Ljubljana from Venice to Salzburg

May 28th, 2014, 09:09 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Short visit in Ljubljana from Venice to Salzburg

On my Europe trip in September, there is a point where I will be driving from Venice to Salzburg. When looking at the different routes to take, I noticed one that goes through Slovenia. Since I have never been to that country, I'm curious about it and was thinking of driving through it on my way to Salzburg. I looked at possibly stopping at one of the caves for a tour then heading to Ljubljana for a couple hours for lunch before making the rest of the drive to Salzburg. Does this seem a bit much? I'm used to traveling fast and seeing a lot in a short period of time, but wondering if this is pushing it since I have never been to this country.

Ideally, I would leave by 8a.m. from Venice and be at the caves by 9:30, do a tour which could take a couple hours, drive to Ljubljana for lunch...so another couple hours, then leave by 2:30/3 to drive to Salzburg which would be about 2.5-3 hours.

Does this seam doable? Is it worth stopping at the caves or best to just drive to Ljubljana? Any recommendations of good restaurants?
babycakes19 is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 09:21 AM
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Make sure you buy a Vignette (driving permit) for driving in Slovenia as soon as you cross the border! Otherwise you face a stiff fine if caught driving on the major roads without one:


A lot of people seem to love the caves in Slovenia. I saw the Škocjan Caves in 2011, and they were really nice - but honestly, given all the effort it took to get there (I did have a car etc.), it almost didn't seem worth it. You have to take a guided tour through the caves, at the next open time. And I was disappointed that I wasn't allowed to stop and take pictures inside (I'm a photographer). Others may beg to differ I guess.

But personally, I'd probably skip the caves, because just getting there, waiting for a tour, etc. could be time consuming.

I'd probably take a detour up to Lake Bled on the way to Ljubljana. Lake Bled is an eye-popping scene with the church in the middle of the lake, set against the alps behind it. The lake isn't big and you could walk around part of it, not necessarily all of it.

If you want some beautiful scenery, instead of taking the highway from Bled down to Ljubljana, you can detour through the hills from Bled down through the towns of Kropa and Dražgoše to the neat little town of Škofja Loka - the scenery there is amazing. (Though if you will be driving up to Salzburg, maybe you'll see plenty of nice scenery anyway.) Škofja Loka itself is a nice town, worth a stop if you have time but maybe you don't on that long day of driving. The drive from Škofja Loka to Ljubljana is nothing special but a straight shot into town.

Ljubljana is a lovely town, and you can stroll around and get the gist of it in a short time - the center is small. I am not sure about driving IN the town because I only drove OUT of it, so I'm not sure about parking etc. The center of town is a big pedestrian-free zone, so you may have to park a few blocks out of town and walk in.
Andrew is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 09:50 AM
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I remember the drive between Venice as long enough - if google maps says 4 hours and viamichelin 4 hours and half, in the real world it will be 5 hours or something more, and this is compatible with my memories. A detour to Ljubljana, let alone stopping at the caves, makes for a quite long day. I remember Ljubljana as a pleasant old city, Austrian style but not as affluent as Austria, no particular sights to be seen. I once spent a couple of very pleasant working days there but IMHO your time would be better spent in Austria.
asps is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Google Maps says 2:22 to drive direct. The direct DRD bus I took from Mestre to Ljublana was only 3.5 hours, and that included a couple of stops for breaks. Unless the OP hits traffic, it should be an easy three hour drive, plus time to stop and buy a Vignette right after crossing the border.
Andrew is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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If you want to get to Salzburg then do just that---allowing at least 5 hours via Villach. A stop in Hallein is worth your time to see the salt mines and museum.

If you want to see Slovenia, then take 3 days and do just that. I have enjoyed both. Why would you mix the two?
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 11:57 AM
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I can completely understand why someone might want to make a brief stop in Slovenia, just to get a quick sample. Maybe if the OP likes Slovenia, a future trip back to Slovenia will be made.
Andrew is online now  
May 28th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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OK well I'm going to get between Bob and Andrew's opinions. I agree it is sometimes worth a short stop somewhere to get a taste of a place, and I don't think you would need three days to do that, but I don't think I'd bother unless you could at least spend the night. Just driving into Ljubljana for lunch seems kind of pointless. By the time you figure out where to park and where you want to go to eat, not to mention see anything at all of the city, then it's going to take more than a couple hours. But an overnight and a few hours at Lake Bled sounds like a nice intro to Slovenia.

But does your car rental company allow you to take the car into an eastern European country?
isabel is offline  
May 29th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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You will hardly get a impression of Slovenia by staying 2 hrs or so in San Cassiano or Postumia cave, together with a lot of other foreign (mostly German) tourists and by driving 3 hrs or so over Slovenian motorways.
Stay there at least during 2 full days or forget it.
neckervd is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 01:31 AM
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AMV is offline  

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