suggestions on Slovenia trip

Apr 29th, 2015, 07:10 AM
  #1  
mvr
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 17
suggestions on Slovenia trip

Next month (May) end I will be traveling to Portoroz to attend a conference for 5 days. I was thinking of coming 3 days earlier to visit some other places in Slovenia. After a quick search, I found Bled, Julian Alps and Triglav National Park interesting. My current tentative schedule is as follows

May 28 -- arrive in Ljubljana and go around the city
May 29 -- Bled + Julian Alps (is this possible?)
May 30 -- TNP and start to Portoroz. Have to reach by late evening at the latest.
Next 5 days -- conference + can go around Portoroz in the evenings

Does this look feasible? Are there any better alternatives or places that I should see? I like visiting scenic places as against to art museums. I skipped the caves since I already visited something similar (Mammoth caves). Please take into consideration that I need to take the public transport. I am used to driving only the automatic transmission cars and I would rather avoid trying out car driving in a new place.

Another question I have is about the traveling route I should take. For the above schedule, is it better to land in Ljubljana airport (which is why I mentioned that city on the first day)? I will be starting from Dayton, Ohio (US) and it is very costly as well as time consuming (average flight time seems to be 16-20 hrs) to come to Ljubljana airport. Do you suggest coming to some other airport (if so, what?) and then taking trains to get to the above places?

The last question is about food. I am a vegetarian. Do you recommend any specific veggie dishes that I should be trying out while I am in Slovenia?

All suggestions/tips would be very helpful. Thank you in advance.
mvr is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 09:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Ljubljana airport makes sense.

I've been with vegetarians in Slovenia for a ski week and the chef made special food just for them, lots of smiles and thanks. It's not really the local's thing, but they can do it especially as older style peasant food in this area is basically meat free. Good luck, stick with bean soups and you might get some polenta.
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 04:37 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Itinerary is fine. You can go for some other airport as Ljubljana airport is small with bad connections from US.. Perhaps Venice, some German airports or London. From Venice you can get cheap bus shuttle transport to Ljubljana with few Slovene companies. It's convenient and fast-cca 2.5h. From London you have few low cost air companies which flew to Ljubljana (Easyjet, Wizz Air).

You can stay in Ljubljana and go on day trips to Bled, Bohinj, TNP. You have few companies to choose from, one is really good in Bled - 3glav Adventures. Just Google it or look at Tripadvisor.
Last day you can easily go to Portoroz from Ljubljana by bus.

Regarding food you will not have any problems. Ljubljana have very nice restaurants and in other parts of Slovenia vegetarian food will not be a problem. Food in Slovenia is very good, mix of Italian, Germanic and Balkan influences. You should try Zlikrofi, Struklji, Mlinci, Burek etc.
In Ljubljana you have fine veg restaurants - Ajdovo Zrno, Govinda, Paninoteka and many Pizza restaurants.
aleksander57 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 04:43 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Just to add a link, http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/vegetarian-slovenia/
aleksander57 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 06:13 PM
  #5  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Re: Ljubljana -- I wish I'd had more than the 1.5 days I gave it, but then I often enjoy museums (and not just art museums), and not everyone does. Also, if jet lag is likely, you might want to take that into account.

Re: Bled -- I think it would be difficult to visit the castle, walk around the lake, go to the island, and walk the Vintgar Gorge all in one day unless you start and end in Bled; adding in the Julian Alps would (I think) be extremely difficult. But maybe you don't want to do all those thing?

Re: airports -- another option to consider would be flying into Zagreb, from which there are frequent buses and trains to Ljubljana. I have no idea whether that would be a more affordable option -- just throwing the idea out there.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 10:30 PM
  #6  
 
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You might consider staying in Piran, which is a beautiful old town nearby. I suppose it would be more convenient to stay right in Portoroz for the conference, of course, but when I returned a rental car there I wasn't too impressed (at least with the town - didn't get to the ocean there). Piran by contrast is an old gem. At very least, do visit Piran while you are so close. There are regular buses; if you have a rental car, you have to park in a lot right outside the (tiny) town, easy to walk in.

Venice is a decent option to fly into for Ljubljana - I did so a few days ago. I used the DRD shuttle to Ljubljana from Marco Polo airport because the timing was convenient. But I'm not sure I'd use them again. I just heard a story about a passenger who got stranded at the airport, unable to find the DRD "bus" (just a minivan; sometimes they use a real bus). There is a lot of construction at Marco Polo, and the instructions on the DRD website are wrong about where to find the van. My experience was better (the van driver had to park elsewhere and run over to the bus waiting area with a "DRD sign" to find people waiting. I'd probably use GoOpti next time from Venice to Ljubljana.
Andrew is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 11:44 PM
  #7  
 
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- But I'm not sure I'd use them again. I just heard a story about a passenger who got stranded at the airport, unable to find the DRD "bus" (just a minivan; sometimes they use a real bus). -

That was me. I'll just add that NO ONE I asked in the Venice airport knew anything about DRD, and I asked at least 10 people inside and outside; information booths, bus information people, porters, tour guides wandering around, you name it. DRD had an email reservation for me but I didn't see any guy with a sign. They also did not show up for a later scheduled departure in Mestre.

I saw the GoOpti vans all over the place in Slovenia, I wish I had known about that option before.. lesson learned
rialtogrl is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 11:55 PM
  #8  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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OMG, rialtogrl -- and YOU are a VERY experienced traveler! Your problem should be a warning to anyone who aims for that transfer! I do hope you found a way to move on and have gotten back on track.
kja is offline  
Apr 30th, 2015, 10:42 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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To be fair, when I asked at the main TI inside Marco Polo Airport on Tuesday, the two people I talked to (at the same time) did know of DRD and told me where to wait for it. They told me the correct time it was due to arrive (which agreed with what I'd written down). They told me it would normally have been in front of Parking Lot D if not for the construction.

Of course, the van driver didn't pull in there anyway - he had to come looking for his passengers (two other Aussies I ran into there were also waiting for DRD). That was confusing. I am guessing the driver won't come looking for anyone unless you've already bought a ticket online or emailed them, like I did (the Aussies had tickets - I didn't). They should make that clear on their website. Typically people think you can just show up at a scheduled time and the bus will come by and you can get on it...

I suspect DRD is cheaping out somehow by not buying a pass at Marco Polo to pull into that bus lot where we were waiting - other buses and vans clearly were. They don't strike me as a big operation - probably just a couple of guys with a bus, a van, and a website...
Andrew is offline  
Apr 30th, 2015, 08:42 PM
  #10  
mvr
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Thank you all for all the great suggestions.

I stumbled on some comparatively better deals to Ljubljana. So planning to book a flight from/to Ljubljana.

Is taking day tours from Ljubljana to Bled, Julian Alps and TNP (3 separate tours on 3 days), the best way to go about it? or should I checkout something like GoOpti?
mvr is offline  
Apr 30th, 2015, 08:47 PM
  #11  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Bled can easily be visiting on your own -- no need for a tour. I rented a car while in the area, and so can't help with your other priorities.
kja is offline  
Apr 30th, 2015, 08:51 PM
  #12  
mvr
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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@aleksander57, thank you for the excellent link.
mvr is offline  

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