road trip Slovenia Itinerary: 5 days cover photo

Slovenia is without a doubt one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the entire world. As far as hidden gems go, Slovenia is the rarest and most beautiful of diamonds, and is absolutely worth visiting!


Slovenia is known for its mountains, lakes, historic villages, a cliffside medieval castle, and some of the best show caves in Europe. Water in lakes, rivers, and waterfalls runs the gamut from emerald-green to turquoise to powder blue and everything in between! We’ll see all of that and more on this Slovenia itinerary!

If that weren’t enough to convince you to add Slovenia to your travel wish list, this small country is also one of the most inexpensive European countries to travel in! WIN!

To top it all off the people of Slovenia are warm, friendly, and welcoming AND English is widely spoken.

*Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Slovenia Itinerary 5 days

Are you looking for an epic itinerary for a 5 day road trip in Slovenia? First time in Slovenia? This is the PERFECT itinerary for you!

This epic two-week Slovenia itinerary includes some of the best things to do in the Julian Alps region of Slovenia, all combined into a tidy little driving route.

We’ll stick to small villages, the largest city we’ll visit on this trip is Bled, population 8,171 (2014) (unless you elect to fly into/out of Ljubljana)

Overview: Slovenia in 5 days

Travel Style for this trip to Slovenia:

  • historic Medieval towns
  • dense forests
  • a dreamy cave castle
  • caves
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • milky blue rivers and streams
  • alpine lakes
  • mountains
  • waterfalls and gorges
  • and many more great things to see and do!

One week in Slovenia?

This itinerary can be done in five full days. Prefer to slow it down? You can easily slow down the pace and make this a 7 Day Slovenia Road trip. There are plenty of optional experiences in this article to fill another two days…or add on the wonderful capital city of Ljubljana to see things like Prešeren Square, central market,  or the famous bell tower! 

Trip Route

This Slovenia road trip route was planned to add as many highlights as possible with as little driving as possible.

Our starting point AND ending point are going to be Ljubljana Airport because it’s the major airport in the area with the most flight options. If you’re coming from somewhere else, join us in Bohinj! (and if it fits your schedule better just flip this around.) How much time will you spend on the road?

Total Drive time for the entire trip: 7.5 hours

Slovenia road trip route 5 days
Slovenia road trip route

(LJU-Bohinj-Bled-Triglav National Park-Soca Valley-Predjama Castle-show caves-LJU)

Getting around Slovenia

public transport

This isn’t the best itinerary for public transportation. You can easily get to Bled and Bohinj from Ljubljana, and there are options to take tours from there. Basing yourself in one place and taking day trips is another option. Explore your transportation options on Rome2Rio.

driving

Because of the remote locations on this 5 day itinerary, a road trip is the best way to do this trip. With your own car you can get around faster.

  • 1-Add the GPS onto your car rental or bring one along. You may not be able to count on Google Maps on your phone in the mountainous areas.
  • 2- You may need an International Driving Permit to drive in Europe.
  • 3-Rental Car: Search on Booking.com or Expedia to find the best rates and then book with the company directly for peace of mind.
  • 4-Slovienia motorways require a toll pass (vignette). These can be purchased at gas stations.

Day 1: Lake Bohinj / Savica Waterfall

stay: 1 of 2 nights: Bohinj or Bled

(We stayed at Hiša Pr’Pristavc Gostilna in Pizzerija, which was central to both Bohinj and Bled areas. Address: Polje 18, 4264 Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia prices starting at: $139 per night guest rating: 8.7)

Want more choices? Search with my Booking.com link and help me fund my website!

getting money in Slovenia

The best way to get cash is to hit the ATM. Withdraw some Euros before you leave the airport. Don’t forget to refuse the Dynamic Currency Conversion (you want the transaction in Euros, not your home currency. They will charge you to convert it.)

pick up your rental car

and head out of town! Depending on your arrival time (hopefully first thing in the morning) you should be able to put in a full day.

Drive to: Bohinj Lake (Drive time: 1 hour drive)

Lake Bohinj (Slovenia)

Lake Bohinj ( BOH-heen), the first stop on this itinerary, is a beautiful glacial lake with crystal clear water located in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. This lake is surrounded by mountains and forests, and is MUCH prettier than I expected.

There are tons of things to do at Bohinj Lake. Take the Vogel Cable car up for panoramic views, a boat ride on the lake, go hiking, cycling, fishing, or swimming. The lake hosts a Flower Festival in May/early June.

Lake Bohinj Slovenia
Zlatorog the Goldenhorn, Lake Bohinj

Savica (sah-VEET-seh) Waterfall

Savica Waterfall, located at the back of Lake Bohinj, is a stunning sight and is accessible via a moderate to strenuous 20-minute walk (uphill trail, 553 stairs). Your reward, a double waterfall that plummets 78 metres into a remarkably pure pool of emerald-green snowmelt. Bring cash for the small fee to access the waterfall. (1.4 miles round trip)

Savica Wate

Day 2: Lake Bled

stay: 2 of 2 nights: Bohinj or Bled

Bled castle

On the second day, we drove straight to Bled Castle to beat the crowds. The real draw to this 1,000-year-old cliff hanging castle are its intoxicating views of Lake Bled and surrounding mountains! Outstanding! Pricey paid parking at the castle, restaurant with nice views.

Bled Castle tower view Slovenia
the Bled Castle is a worthwhile stop but the very best thing about this attraction is the view!

Parking travel tip: Repark the car

Parking in Bled can be challenging. We parked at the Luge lot for free! We never had to show any proof that we were paying customers.

Lake Bled (locals pronounce is Blade)

Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s top destinations and no wonder! I’ve never seen anything quite like it and to be honest, the pictures don’t do it justice. Here are some of the best ways to spend the day at this beautiful lake:

Lake Bled seen from Bled Castle Slovenia
Lake Bled: view from Bled Castle

make your way around the lake
There’s a 3.5-mile path that surrounds Lake Bled. Here are some options for getting around the lake: Walk, rent a bike or an ebike, mountian bike, or the tourist train (stops along the way.)  It’s a great place to grab an ice cream and wander! 

boat ride
A boat ride to the island in the center of the lake. The island and the cute church that occupies it are what make up the iconic view of Lake Bled. To get to the island: take an electric boat tour OR Cruise over on a Pletna boat (these are the traditional passenger row boats) or rent a rowboat and row yourself over.

Pletna Boats lake Bled Slovenia
Pletna Boats
Nick Kunze Lake Bled Slovenia
My husband enjoying our Pletna Boat ride, Bled castle in the background and YES the water really is that color!!!

Summer tobogganing at Straza Mountain
We took a few turns on the toboggan run! It was a little expensive but fun, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

Where to eat at Lake Bled

Anywhere along the lake with a view! The food may or may not be great, but the views are guaranteed to be! Be sure to try the Kremna Rezina (kremsnita) a layer of cream and a layer of custard between sheets of crisp crust. To find the “best restaurants” do a Google search and review the Trip Advisor results. (they have a map feature too!)

Massage or wine tasting

Why not schedule a massage while on vacation in Slovenia. Man appointment for tonight to cap off your day, or end your day at a wine cellar in Bled.

Optional experiences

Mala Osojnica Overlook
Looking to get that classic view of Lake Bled from above? The castle is a good place for that but the best option is to climb the Ojstrica overlook for the best views of one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia! 20 minute climb, short but steep, look for the trailhead near the Zaka Campsite.

for adventurers:

Radovljica!

Radovljica is a charming medieval town with a well-preserved historic city center, narrow streets, colorful buildings, and a beautiful town square! Take a leisurely stroll through the town’s cobblestone streets and admire the beautiful architecture and historic landmarks or visit the beekeeping museum.

Radovljica Slovenia Collage
Radovljica

Day 3: Vintgar Gorge/ Lake Jasna/ Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps

travel time for the day: 3.5 hours drive

stay: 1 of 2 or 3 nights: Klavze 28

Vintgar Gorge

Make this stunning mile long gorge a priority! Transverse wooden boardwalks and bridges of this stunning gorge. Allow 1.5 hours round trip from entrance. Vintgar Gorge is an incredibly popular attraction so if you can, show up when they open.

Vintgar Gorge Slovenia
Vintgar Gorge

optional experience

Pokljuška Soteska Gorge
is a narrow and deep dry gorge that’s approximately 2 kilometers long and features stunning steep rock formations, caves, narrow passages, cliff hugging wooden walkways, waterfalls, lush vegetation, and crystal-clear pools. It’s a nature lover’s dream!

consider: Half-Day Pokljuka Gorge Trail Hike from Bled

Lake Jasna (Jezero Jasna)

As we continued our journey, suddenly the most stunning emerald-green lake with a mirror-like surface reflecting the surrounding mountains came into view. You’ll want to work a little time into your schedule for the short walk around the lake!

Get more details: in my Jasna Lake article!

option experience: Zelenci Nature Reserve
Just 6 km north of Jezero Jasna you’ll find this mountain wetlands around a spring-fed turquoise lake with boardwalks, rare plants & wading birds.

Kozorog (capricorn) Zlatorog - Le Chamois Blanc Bronze statue at Jezero Jasna Lake Slovenia
Kozorog (capricorn) Zlatorog – Le Chamois Blanc Bronze statue at Jezero Jasna Lake Slovenia

The Julian Alps/ Triglav National Park

Vršič Pass (vur-SHEECH) Pass Scenic drive

This amazing high-altitude drive (5,285 ft) through the Julian Alps includes 50 hairpin turns, each numbered and labeled. There are frequent pull outs along the way so stop for the views. #24 is the highest point (summit.) Stop at the cozy Tičar Lodge for refreshments and stunning views.

FULL disclosure: I was completely intimidated by the thought of this drive. I am glad we did it because it was such a joy! and I can’t wait to do it again!

me slaying the Vrsic Pass! (the main road through the highest mountain pass in Slovenia!)

If the thought of this challenging route intimidates you, you can let someone else do the driving. It is possible to book guided tours from Bled, Bohinj, and even Kranjska Gora that include the Vršič Pass! Shop your options on Get Your Guide!

Vrsic Pass Slovenia
Vrsic Pass, slow down down and pull off at stops along the scenic drive

Kozjak Waterfall

While not exactly a short hike, this trail consists of a fairly easy hike that leads to a dramatic cascade waterfall that plunges 50 feet through a narrow cavern into a beautiful pool. 1.5 hours round trip. Just before you reach Kozjak Waterfall you’ll need to stop and buy a ticket so bring cash.

Kozjak Waterfall Slovenia
Kozjak Waterfall

Brv Cez Soco Suspension Bridge is a great spot to stop on the trail to Kozjak Waterfall.

Brv Cez Soco Suspension Bridge
Brv Cez Soco Suspension Bridge, accessible from the Kozjak Waterfall trail

River stops

You’ll want to make frequent stops to enjoy the remarkable clarity and milky blue waters of the Soča River. You’ve probably never seen anything like it!. Find the perfect place? pull over! Make a quick stop at Napoleon’s Bridge, a neat bridge that’s a good spot for photos.

The Soča River, sometimes it’s a milky blue, sometimes milky green, but the best way to describe it is BEAUTIFUL!

Soca River Slovenia itinerary stops
Soca River
Soca River Slovenia
Soča River: blue? green? just call it BEAUTIFUL!
clear water of the Soča River Slovenia
the remarkable clarity of the clear water of the Soča River Slovenia

Klavze 28

Klavze 28 is a rustic farmhouse bed and breakfast located in a secluded area of the Soca Valley. It’s THE BEST PLACE to stay in the entire valley! Two old restored farm houses sit prettily in an idyllic valley surrounded by mountains, rolling hills, meadows and forests. Yes, these are your amazing accommodations for the next two nights It’s a a wonderful EXPERIENCE!

Klavze requires a 2-night stay. I gladly rearranged our entire itinerary to make it work.

Klavze 28 farmhouse Bed and Breakfast Most na Soci Slovenia
Klavze 28 farmhouse bed and breakfast Most na Soci Slovenia

dinner

This area is remote, and it’s a short drive to the local restaurants. You may want to ask Klavze for recommendations and to make an advance dinner reservation for you. Hisa Polonka in the small town of Kobarid is a great option. (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)

Get more details: Read my in depth review of Klavze 28

or if you prefer, just book it now!

Not your style? Want more choices? Search with my Booking.com link and help me fund my website!

Day 5: the Soča River Valley / relax!

total driving: minimal

stay: 2 of 2 or 3 nights: Klavze 28

The Soca River Valley

Spend more time enjoying this stunning river and Soca Valley! This beautiful area deserves more of your time!

cairn on the Soca River in Slovenia
cairn on the Soca River in Slovenia

Here are a few ideas for ways to fill out your day:

horseback trail riding
Konjeniški klub ranč Pelance (equestrian club) offers trail rides suitable for both beginners and experienced riders. 2-hour, 3-hour, or full day rides available, or book a photo shoot! They offer photo shoot packages for riders on horseback in the Soča River!

bike rental
Positive Sport, bicycle rental service (including ebikes)

Ladja Lucija boat tours
Spend a lazy afternoon floating down the colorful Soča River. Catch a ride from the accumulation lake and the dam at Doblar. May-September, 1 hour (cash only)

SUP Tours (Stand up Paddle Boats)
Get a quick lesson on paddling and safety for beginners and off you go on this 3-4 hour guided tour on the stunning waters of the Soča River!

Banway also offers guided SUP tours that leave from Most na Soci.

Azimut Center
Is a one stop shop for adventure activities including: canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, white-water rafting, caving, diving, and climbing. They also offer bike rentals.

Maya Outdoor Center
Offers opportunities for rafting, kayaking canyoning, ziplines and more! See their website for a full list of activities and rental information.

fishing/ trout fishing / fly fishing services
The Soca Valley website has all the information you’ll need if you are interested in fishing.

hiking
See the Komoot website for the best hikes in the area.

Paragliding
Google lists several options for paragliding in the Tolmin area, like the Kobala Takeoff Paragliding location.

Tolmin Gorge
Deep river canyons with a trail taking in moss-covered walls, rock formations & a suspension bridge.

kayaking on the Soca River Slovenia
kayaking is a great way to get out on the river

Make the most of your stay at Klavze

Another option is to just spend your day relaxing at Klavze. Wander the meadows, head down to the crisp clear river, or sip a glass of wine from a local vineyard while reading a good book. Pick up a few groceries and prepare a simple meal with herbs from the herb garden, and then pull up a chair and get toasty by the evening bonfire!

Day 5: Predjama Castle and a show cave

total driving: 3-3.5 hours

stay: either back to Klavze or head to Ljubljana, you choose!

You’ll want to get an early start the next morning. Today’s schedule consists of a long day trip. This long drive takes you through the lovely Vipava Valley, enjoy!

(rather take a tour?)

Predjama Castle

(Prehd-YAH-mah)/ Predjamski Grad is an over 800-year-old cave castle (the largest in the world.) This castle, a bucket list destination for us, really had a great feel that seemed to shine through even though it was SUPER CROWDED! Self-guided audio tour, pay the entrance fee, and head in! No need to wait for “tour times.”

We decided to skip the Stone Age cave behind the castle. We figured our time and money would be better spent at one of the world-class show caves, our next stop!

Angie Kunze, We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Predjama Castle Slovenia
Predjama Castle had been on our travel bucket list for awhile…we made it!

Choose a cave: There are two popular show caves in this area. Postojna Cave (10 km ride in an underground train!) and Škocjan Caves, Due to time constraints you are going to have to choose one.

drive to Škocjan Caves: 30-minute drive

Škocjan Caves

For the final stop, we chose the UNESCO World Heritage Škocjan Caves. These caves comprise Europe’s largest underground Canyon. In fact, they are known as “the Underground Grand Canyon” because they are some of the largest subterranean chambers in the entire world. There’s a raging underground river that flows through these caves. Visitors experience a guided 2-mile hike through the caves, that includes 400 stairs.

Warning: We arrived late in the day and tickets were sold out! Entry denied! It was such a disappointment. You may want to consider pre purchasing tickets.

Dinner in Italy?

If you happen to be at Škocjan Caves, then you also happen to be only 25 km from the Italian border. I had never been, so it was just too tempting, and I had to cross over. Why not stop in Trieste, located on the Adriatic Coast, and have dinner overlooking the Adriatic Sea? From there it’s a 1 hour 45-minute drive back to Klavze.

Optional experience

Vipavski Križ. If you’re headed back to Klavze and still have some daylight, consider a quick stop to check out this hidden gem. We stumbled on it by accident! Vipavski Križ is a picturesque 14th century medieval town situated on a hilltop. You’ll really feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time as you explore this historic village.

Vipavski Križ Slovenia collage
Vipavski Križ

where (and what) to eat

My favorite place to search for the best places to eat is Tripadvisor. You get customer review ratings and lots of photos!

When in Rome (Slovenia cuisine)

If you’re like me, then the best part of the trip is usually the food! When in Rome, try the local cuisine!

  • Burek: Savory phyllo-dough pastry
  • Struklji: dumpling cakes stuffed with cheese, meat etc.
  • Repa is a turnip prepared like sauerkraut.
  • It’s not common to order tap water, but alas, we Americans like plain old water! try ordering voda iz pipe (tap water!)
  • Potica walnut roll

When is the best time to visit Slovenia?

Late spring and fall are ideal times to visit this region of Europe. However, in mountain regions you may be dealing with snow.

Winters are cold. Expect to experience winter weather road conditions, particularly because most of this Slovenia itinerary is located in the mountainous region. Some mountain passes may be closed, but ski resorts are in full swing!

Summer months are prime time to visit for summer activities like swimming and boating, but it will be crowded.

cost and money saving tips

the cost

How much can you expect to spend on this Slovenia trip?

(2024 rates)

Hotel (based on double occupancy$750 (5 nights)
rental car$250
Tours and admission$150.00 (does not include any of the optional experiences or choices for Day 4)
estimated total for two people= $1,150 (plus the cost of food/drinks)
(prices are an approximation)

Don’t forget to add the cost of airfare (we fly free, learn how here!) PLUS sign up for “Going” (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to get flight deals sent to your inbox! see the world for less!

BOHINJ CARD
This discount card option is for guests of partnering accommodations who are are staying for at least two nights. (for purchase at Tourist Information centers and some hotels. Check with your host) A few of the cards benefits include: Free transport, free parking, a free boat ride, attractions and more!

BLED CARD

  • Free bus transportation, mountain bike rental, chairlift, boat ride (traditional Pletna or Bled Boat to the Bled Island), attractions discounts, free guided tour of Bled (lake promenade / old town, restaurant discounts, and more!

SOČA VALLEY Discount Card
The Soča Valley has a discount card too. The card offers free and discounted transportation, free entrance to sites, attractions, and museums. This cards includes a free hop-on-hop-off bus or shuttle through the Soča Valley.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best month to visit Slovenia?

If I had to choose just one month, it would be September. You should be able to get in and out before the snow starts falling on the mountains. It’s warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities, the crowds are beginning to dissipate, and summer prices are a thing of the not-so-distant past.

Is 5 days enough for Slovenia?

While 5 days is not enough to see everything this wonderful country has to offer, it is enough to see some of Slovenia’s best highlights! After getting a taste of what Slovenia has to offer, you’ll be itching to come back for more!

Plan your 5 day Slovenia itinerary

Want to create your own unique Slovenia Road trip?

Protect yourself with trip insurance
Protect your investment with “cancel for any reason” trip insurance. Shop for a policy at the Travel Insurance website! but don’t delay, most CFAR policies need to be purchased within 14-21 days of your initial trip payment.

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *