Exploring Slovenia

Sally-Jo Asser on 13 August 2023
Holiday conundrum!…. Blended families, comprising 2adults, 5children-ish (13,14,15,18,19)….. require somewhere hot, near water, with mountains, local outdoor activities, relaxation down time and a location that allows some independence for the kiddos.

Bingo, Slovenia!!!

Itinerary - August 8nights, Vila Vita Apartments in alpine resort, Kranjska Gora (KG) 2nights, B&B Slamic in capital city, Ljubljana

KG is a small town with a warm village vibe, nestled in the Julian Alpes just shy of the Italian and Austrian borders. The summer months attract many a hiker, cyclist, activity junkie and golfer. In the winter the skiing is perfect for beginners and new intermediates, small ski area in size but huge on scenery. It’s a relaxing village, perfectly geared up for hotel or self-catering and is great value for money compared to the bigger European ski resorts.

Within 20mins walk along a wooded forest trail as it meanders alongside the Sava River is Lake Jasna. Surrounding the lake are places to eat and drink, ice creams or take a picnic as we did. You can rent paddle boards for approx. 10Euros. We spent a few relaxing afternoons around the lake, most enjoyable way to pass a few hours.

KG has one chair lift open during the summer. From the top of the 15min chair lift follow a trail for 1hr 40mins up a steep incline as it winds its way through shady forest of larch, beech and pine. Occasional glimpses of stunning vista’s encourage you to the summit of Mt Vitranc (1638m). There’s plenty of other hikes in the area, all of which can be found online, via the village Tourist Information Centre.

The village toboggan run is great fun. Chairlift & Toboggan was 14/18Euro adult/child.

The local golf course is a gem! A 9hole course (can be played as 18), gently hugging the banks of the Sava River, with surrounding mountain peaks. There’s a couple of challenging holes that traverse the river, hit it right and you’ll glide over the river, onto the green…. beautiful! We hired two sets of clubs, and a buggy, bought balls/tee’s too for 95Euro total.

It’s a great place for cycling either easy trails or challenging mountain tracks. Bike hire was 15Euro for a full day (plus helmet).

A day tripped to Postojna Caves, is worth the 1hr45mins roadtrip. Recommend booking your tickets online. A 24km long series of caves, halls and passages carved out by the Pivka River over the last two million years. There are several other cave systems in Slovenia that you could also visit.

During the 1.5hrs tour you get to see 5km of the cave; 3.2km of this is on a quirky electric train, the remainder by foot. Postojna Cave has a constant temperature of 8°C to 10°C, with 95% humidity, so a warm jacket and decent shoes are advised. Entrance is 18/30Euro (child/adult), for the caves only. You can also package the caves with entrance to Predjama Castle and other activities too.

Vintgar Gorge I really enjoyed. Really recommend pre-booking to skip the queue, 3/10Euro (ch/ad). The gorge is 1600m long and up to 250m deep on the eastern edge of the Triglav National Park, 4km northwest of the centre of Bled. There are a couple of refreshment huts along the way but we took a picnic and had it by the river at the end of the gorge. A refreshing welcome dip for the over-heated feet.

Lake Bled is a stunningly beautiful setting, a picturesque church on a solitary island, with a majestic castle presiding high over the lakeside. Be prepared, Bled is expensive to park approx. 5hrs was 36Euro. Our Bled activity was Zip Line Dolinka, they claim to be the longest zipline in Europe, 7 ziplines each of 350m-700m in length. For someone who doesn’t like adrenaline, extreme speed, or open heights, I was so impressed with their claim to refund the 75Euro pp if they couldn’t encourage me to complete it that I signed up! I’m so proud to have achieved the whole course…. never again though!

For landlubbers the lake is an easy 6km circuitry route. For water babes, swim, rent SUP’s, row boat, or take a boat ride to the island. Bled is a great outdoor pursuits activity hub offering river rafting, canyoning, kayaking, paragliding, bike rental, golf and much more, plenty enough to keep you busy for a few days.

And finally our last two nights we headed to Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital and largest city. It's known for its university population and green spaces, including expansive Tivoli Park. The curving Ljubljanica River, lined with cobbled streets and outdoor cafes, divides the city's old town from its commercial hub. Ljubljana has many museums. Great place for a 3night city break, I was pleasantly surprised how relaxed and uncrowded it felt.

In summary I would happily return to Slovenia, to explore more in the mountains and visit the coastal areas. Be you family/solo/couple, looking for single/twin/multiple centres, fly & flop, activity & adventure or city break, Slovenia has it all and does it with natural beauty and a fine welcoming hospitality. Big thumbs up for Slovenia.

Get in touch if you’d like to plan a holiday to Slovenia.