If you’ve been following me on instagram you’ll know that I recently travelled Slovenia in a campervan, and completely fell in love with the country. Slovenia had been on my radar for a while as I had seen pictures from a trip some friends took and at the time I was so shocked that Slovenia was so beautiful. Still relatively underrated in the tourist circle, I was keen to check it out, especially since my partner now has a campervan and I’m living in Berlin - I didn’t even need to take a flight. It completely exceeded my expectations. Every new place we visited I was more and more impressed and in awe.
Many people visit Slovenia purely for Triglav National park and Lake Bled, but I want to show you how much more it has to offer. It really has everything: breathtaking mountain ranges, turquoise blue lakes, thriving nature, charming cities and a stunning mediterranean coast. The infrastructure is excellent, the food and drink is cheap (about the same as Berlin) and it’s truly made for the explorer. Not only that but it is a relatively green country - you can tell Slovenians take pride in their beautiful nature and waste management/recycling is a priority.
I can’t recommend Slovenia more highly and going in May, June or September will ensure you miss the high season and still guarantees you good weather. I could talk about Slovenia all day, but let’s get to my Slovenia travel guide along with pictures from my trip.
Triglav National Park
Be prepared to say ‘wow’ many, many times once you enter Triglav National Park. There are endless hikes of all difficulties in the park, but you can also go purely to enjoy the lakes and scenery and take it easy.
Here are my top three places to visit in Triglav:
Kranjska Gora - If you enter the park from Austria then you’ll go through Kranjska Gora. There is a lovely town here with lots of accommodation, cafes, a supermarket and a place to book tours. Keep driving into the park and you’ll find a stunning shallow lake with the mountains as a backdrop. Stop off here, have a coffee by the lake and soak up the view (warning: only takeaway cups and cows milk!). We did a short low level walk from here, but the options are endless.
Lake Bohinj - South of the park you’ll find Lake Bohinj - a quieter and equally beautiful version of Lake Bled. We camped here overnight, and hiked to Slap Savica (slap means waterfall in Slovenian) in the morning. I highly recommend this walk - it’s easy and took about 3 hours there and back from Camp Zlatorog. Afterwards we had a picnic by the Lake and took a quick dip.
Soča Valley - Heading west of the park now you’ll find the famous and highly photographed Soča Valley. The water is ridiculously turquoise and, as always, you have the mountains as your backdrop. You can decide how far you want to walk along the river - the path is well sign posted and the nature is beautiful. For that famous instagram picture, you’ll want to head exactly here. You can swim in Soca, but be warned, it is absolutely freezing!
The famous Lake Bled - probably the most photographed place in Slovenia. It does live up to the hype and is ridiculously picturesque - turquoise water, a church in the middle, a castle and the mountains as a backdrop. We stopped off here for a few hours and walked up to one of the viewpoints to see Lake Bled from above. You can also swim here and it’s probably one of the warmer lakes in Slovenia. There are lots of other things you can do such as rent a boat or visit the church in the middle of the lake. Warning: it was extremely busy and this was in mid-September. Be prepared for backed up traffic and crowds. One tip: for parking, head towards this parking lot but then keep going up the hill for another 200 metres and you’ll find a free one - the official one wanted 10 euros for parking!
We originally only stopped off in the the Slovenian capital city, Ljubljana, for some much needed vegan food and I didn’t have much expectation at all - I was in Slovenia for the nature, not the cities. Well, yet again my expectations were exceeded - what a charming, beautiful city. With a population of a little under 300,000 - it’s small but this makes it all the more enjoyable. We wandered around the mainly pedestrianised streets (more of this please!) and soaked up the cosmopolitan vibe. There are endless cafes, local food markets (where we stocked up on supplies) and historic buildings to check out. We ate at Barbarella Arkade Bistro which is in a lovely alfresco dining square and were not disappointed. When I go back, I will definitely do the free walking tour, as this is my favourite way to learn about and see a new city.
Kamniška Bistrica region
East of Triglav, the Alps continue into a smaller mountain range, including Storzic and Grintovec. We decided to check this area out as we always want to explore the less-trodden tourist path. Here we stayed in my absolute favourite campsite (read about it here) and did a morning hike along the Kamnik Bistrica river. There are plenty of car parks and the walking routes are well sign posted. Other things you can do in this region are more challenging walks or take the cable car to Velika Planina, a mountain plateau which we didn’t visit but heard good things about.
The tiny stretch (46km) of Slovenian coast really punches above its weight. For me this part of Slovenia was very similar to northern Croatia, minus the crowds. The beaches have crystal clear water, the landscape is all olive groves and vineyards and the harbour towns are beautiful. The two campsites we stayed in in this region were highlights for us (you can find out more about them here) and were perfect spots for exploring the coast.
Rent a bike and cycle part of the D8 Cycle Route (well sign posted). We started out from our campsite and headed west from Portorož towards Izola. There is a really cool old train tunnel which has been restored and turned into a cycle and pedestrian tunnel only. Once you make it through there, you’ll be in beautiful countryside cycling through the vineyards. We made our way up to Moon Bay where you’ll find a stunning view of the bay with the alps in the background. From there we cycled along the coast, through Piran. Lock up your bike in Piran and explore for awhile, it’s a beautiful town with lots of place to eat and swim.
Beyond that, Izola is another charming town worth visiting if you are in the area. Perhaps not quite as magnificent as Prian but it is quieter with a lovely beach and park and lots of harbour front restaurants to choose from.
So, have I convinced you to go to Slovenia yet? I hope so! If I missed any of your must-see’s then please comment below and let me know.
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