Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Zagreb and Slovenia in mid-October? Or places in Italy then.
Notices

Zagreb and Slovenia in mid-October? Or places in Italy then.

Reply

May 18th, 2016, 04:00 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 631
Zagreb and Slovenia in mid-October? Or places in Italy then.

I will be in Bologna (for work) for the month of October. We plan to take a very long weekend (6 days, 5 nights) in the middle of our time there for an excursion somewhere. The original thought was Sicily, but I have trouble getting excited about it. (I would be happy to be convinced otherwise.) Am now thinking of Slovenia (Ljulbjana, Bled, Bohinj) and Zagreb, but am worried that the weather may not be good then. We are preceding the month in Bologna with 10 days in Croatia; we'll see many of the major sights then, but won't have time for Zagreb then.

We've been to many places in Italy already on previous trips (Rome; Florence; Siena, Pisa; Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Naples; Cinque Terre, Parma; Milan, Venice [though would like to visit again]) but are open to suggestions of places in Italy that we have not visited that would be nice in October. Am thinking of the lakes region in the north, Trieste, and San Marino as possibilities for other weekends or day trips. Would welcome opinions about those too.

We like walking/hiking, bicycling, nice scenery, quaint towns, flora and fauna, culture, and museums. Are not particular into ruins and beaches (which is why I'm having trouble getting enthusiastic about Sicily).

Thanks in advance for your replies.
judilie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2016, 04:12 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,417
Yes, Slovenia is lovely. Ljubljana is one of my favorite cities in Europe. But you're right - it might be rainy. In fact, I've had at least some rain on every one of my three visits to the city. (Though it was nice at least part of my time, too.)

If you knew for 100% certain it would be rainy, where would you choose to go? I'd make a "rain plan" and a "good weather plan" and just wing it at the last minute - choose one or the other. At that time of year, it should be easy to book accommodations. (Or book places you can cancel at the last minute.) All you need to do is plan how to get there and what you want to do. If a few days before nice weather is predicted, go for your "good weather plan." If not, do the rain plan. That assumes you have reliable internet access, of course.

For Slovenia, the easiest way to get there might be to take a GoOpti shuttle from Bologna to Ljubljana (trains are indirect and out of the way), then take public transit up to places like Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, then train to Zagreb. Then maybe do it back in reverse.

Yes, you could rent a car in Italy and drive the whole way - that might be easiest if you don't mind driving in Italy (and avoiding city zones where you aren't allowed to drive, etc.) or renting a car in Slovenia and returning it there. You could avoid most driving in Italy by taking a train to Trieste (and maybe stop there) and rent your car there. Driving in Slovenia (and Croatia) is easy.

If you have a car, consider adding Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia if you don't have it on your initial agenda for Croatia.
Andrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2016, 04:21 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,417
Also if you have a car: the "Julian Alps Loop" through the Slovenian Julian Alps near Lake Bled makes a nice drive up through the mountains over the Vrsic Pass and down into the Soca Valley. I did only a little hiking in the Soca Valley but with some research than I did you might find more trails.

On the drive from Ljubljana to Bled, detour through the town of Skofja Loka - a nice town worth a stop - and then take the scenic, hilly drive over to Bled instead of the freeway - breathtaking scenery, and in October you might catch some pretty fall colors. Don't know when the first snows come - I wouldn't want to drive in any of these high elevations in the snow, but in October you might sneak in before the snows.
Andrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2016, 05:48 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 631
Thanks, Andrew. Good idea to have alternative plans. Do you think there's enough to do in Ljubljana and Zagreb if it is raining? It sounds like it would be a good idea to have a car some or all of the time. Is parking an issue in the larger cities?

We are planning to go to Plitvice before Bologna.
judilie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2016, 06:09 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 183
I recommend renting a car, it will make getting around much easier, especially if the weather doesn't hold up. Street parking may be difficult in central areas of Ljubljana and Zagreb, but parking garages are plentiful. Taking a train to Trieste and renting a car from there sounds like a good idea, avoiding the difficult cross-border connections and the ZTLs in Italy.

Regarding the weather, mid-October is a bit dicey, however, it's not as critical as you might think - on average there are more rainy days in June, for example. On the other hand, there are many more cloudy days. You could plan more activities in the western regions, closer to the coast, which on average experience less rain, more sunshine and warmer temperatures, at least as an alternative.

As a plus, the leaves should change colour in the Alpine regions by mid-October.
rtt0921 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2016, 06:10 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,417
I didn't drive much in Ljubljana or Zagreb, except when picking up a car (once in each city) and driving out. OK - not quite true; last year I drove through Zagreb with a few hours to kill before dropping the car at the airport and flying out. I didn't actually park the car, but driving there didn't seem a big deal. There are parking lots. I suppose if my Zagreb hotel had reserved parking I wouldn't worry about it at all.

Ljubljana has a lot of pedestrian-only areas, so it can be challenging to drive a car in some parts - but there are big parking lots there too, and the core of the town is small and easily walkable.

I didn't really care for Zagreb, honestly (some people do). It felt like a fairly ordinary city. I found the "sights" were mostly exhausted in about half a day. There are museums there, but I am not a "museum person." I did go to a good one there, though: the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, a small museum with local "peasant" paintings and artwork. Last May I stayed in the nearby small town of Samobor a night before flying home via Zagreb.

There aren't a lot of first-class museums in Ljubljana either, really (I've been to a few of them). The appeal to me of Ljubljana was its charm and beautiful architecture. I've still enjoyed just walking around in in Ljubljana even in the rain. In Tivoli Park, there is a rotating outdoor photography exhibit open to the public - big prints you can enjoy even walking around with an umbrella. On one visit, the rainiest day was also the day most museums were closed, so that was the hardest day to fill time. See ahead of them which day that is (Monday? Can't remember.).

One of my favorite things to do in Ljubljana was a tour of Jože Plečnik's house - the architect responsible for many of the beautiful bridges and buildings in Ljubljana. Not a long tour, maybe 30 minutes, if you can visit on a day it is open:

http://www.slovenia.info/en/Architec...ti=12281&lng=2

If you like caves, there a few within an hour or so of Ljubljana you could explore (guided tours). Not sure how those tours work in the rain - maybe it doesn't matter because they are deep underground.
Andrew is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2016, 06:28 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 631
Thanks, rtt0921 and Andrew. I really appreciate your suggestions. It sounds like Ljlbuljana would be a reasonable rainy weather plan, with the hope to go to the Julian Alps when it's not raining. The possibility of seeing fall foliage is certainly appealing.
judilie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2016, 06:34 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 183
Some other options to consider in case of rainy weather include visiting a spa, they are mostly concentrated in the east of the country (within driving distance from Ljubljana) and vary from classical Old World spa towns with historic buildings (Rogaska Slatina) to more modern affairs with a variety of facilities (Terme Olimia, Lasko).

Andrew mentioned the caves, an excellent idea, they are generally always open. Postojna and Skocjan are the more popular options in Slovenia and both are about 30-45 minutes out of Ljubljana. Postojna has the added bonus of nearby Predjama Castle, which has an incredibly scenic setting.

In terms of museums, the City Museum and National Gallery in Ljubljana are worth a visit, as is the Plecnik House that Andrew mentioned. Outside of Ljubljana, the Beekeeping Museum in Radovljica (close to Bled) is interesting, as well as the WWI Museum in Kobarid, along the way if you do the loop around the Julian Alps.
rtt0921 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 19th, 2016, 11:36 PM
  #9
kit
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,493
I just spent an entire rainy day in the Postojna cave and Predjama Castle outside Ljubljana. There was rain in the forecast for the time I was in Ljubljana, so I purposely saved these two things for a rainy day. It worked out great. Very atmospheric! Easy train ride, too.
kit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 11th, 2016, 12:46 AM
  #10
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,119
I posted on one of your more recent threads, but if you still have questions froths thread, let me know -- I'll look more closely.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:12 AM.