With its dark turquoise waters and chocolate box cover island, Lake Bled is every traveler's dream destination. Framed by the magnificent Julian Alps, Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s biggest attractions, luring in visitors with its romantic setting. Located just under an hour north west of the capital, Lake Bled is the perfect place for a day trip from Ljubljana.
Visit Lake Bled’s medieval castle that sits high above the lake, clinging to the rocky cliff, or experience the serenity of the lake as you glide across it to an island in a traditional wooden pletna boat. Or perhaps expend your energy and row to the island under your own steam, and then visit its 15th-Century church, making your way to the upper roof beams to ring the “wishing-bell”, for it is said that ringing the bell three times will make your dreams come true.
Adventure seekers may wish to hire a bike and cycle the 6km (3.75mile) circumference of the lake, taking irresistible snap shots of the lake from every angle. Or those who enjoy a slower more relaxed pace can take the tourist train that runs the same route.
Situated on the western tip of Slovenia on the Adriatic Coast, Piran is the most popular seaside town in Slovenia. This cozy and charming town has one of the best preserved historical Old Towns anywhere on the Adriatic. Wander its maze of winding alleyways dividing the beautiful houses, churches and squares, while marveling at the Venetian architecture, a remnant of more than 500-years of rule by the nearby Venetian Republic.
Take in the fresh sea breeze as you explore Piran from its town’s walls, a place where you can enjoy the sea view as well as the town that lies down below you. Visit the main square named after Giuseppe Tartini, a famous violinist who was born in Piran and remember to save time to savor some of the local delicacies or fresh seafood in one of the many seafront restaurants.
Wine Tasting in the Vipava Valley
For lovers of wine, a day trip to Vipava Valley should be on your itinerary when visiting Slovenia. Located a little over an hour south west of Ljubljana, the Vipava Valley is a beautiful, green and fertile area with idyllic rural scenery. Here you can find charming villages, ruined castles nestled against the mountainous backdrop and a vibrant viticulture, with more than 3,000 acres of vineyards.
Take a guided tour to the Vipava Valley and enjoy a day exploring the hidden beauties of the region. Visit local wineries, meet local winemakers and of course sample the local wine for yourselves.
Located just north of Ljubljana, Smarna Gora, meaning ‘small hill’, is one of the most popular hiking spots for Ljubljanians. Its close proximity to the city makes Smarna Gora the ideal half day trip for those seeking a little adventure.
As the highest mountain in the city, it is perfect for an hour or two of light hiking and enjoying beautiful views of the surrounding Julian Alps and the Ljubljana valley below.
Hike to the top and visit the Baroque church of the Mother of God, enjoy a local snack at the restaurant before taking a leisurely stroll back down and returning to Ljubljana.
Slovenia is a karstic land, home to more than 8,000 caves. The largest and most visited is Postojna Cave, a fascinating natural underground landscape with stalagmite and stalactite formations that rival any other karst cave in the world.
Take a guided tour through the passages, galleries and magnificent halls on the cave railway which has been operating at the Postojna Cave for 140 years. Marvel at the cave’s most beautiful stalagmite called “The Brilliant”, and the cave’s ‘baby dragons’ - aquatic salamanders that can go for years without food - before visiting the impossibly dramatic Predjama Castle, the largest cave castle in the world.
Located close to Ljubljana lies Velika Planina, a scenic alpine plateau, home to one of Europe's few surviving high mountain herdsmen villages. Its landscape, characterized by grazing pastures and conical roofed wooden huts covered in pine shingles is the ideal place to spend a day hiking.
Take an aerial cable car and then a chairlift to the top of Mt Gradišče to visit Velika Planina; the cable car is the longest in Europe without support pillars. Learn about the fascinating life of a herdsman on the mountain, admire the unique architecture of the cottages, explore numerous hiking routes and sample local dairy delicacies while enjoying the breath-taking scenery that surrounds you.
Located just 26km from the city of Ljubljana, Skofja Loka (Bishop’s Meadow) is one of the most beautiful and oldest medieval towns in Slovenia. At its center lies a carefully preserved, compact old town, with the compulsory charming cobbled streets, tightly packed colorful houses and theatrical Gothic churches.
Take a half day trip to Skofja Loka and wander its sleepy open squares, tuck into a delicious local pastry or two and head up to Skofja Loka Castle that dominates over the picturesque town below. Visit the castle’s museum, home to a rich collection of archaeological, historical, cultural exhibitions as well as an art and natural history collection.