Very soon I’m headed off on an epic adventure that’s been on my bucket list for quite some time… a road trip through the picturesque country of Slovenia.  If you’re not obsessed with this small slice of paradise like I am, allow me to educate you.  Slovenia is located in southern central Europe bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast and Croatia to the south.  Although still considered an “off the beaten path” destination by many Americans, Slovenia has become quite popular with travelers.  Why?  The country is absolutely STUNNING.

1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary

Slovenia is also the perfect road trip destination.  In just one week I’ll be exploring the country’s charming capital city, gallivanting around fairy-tale island castles, climbing alpine passes in the Julian Alps, experiencing scenic wine regions and exploring a medieval coastal town… all with very limited time spent in my car.

The Ultimate 1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary:  

1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Lake Bled

Arrive to Ljubljana’s airport early morning, pick up your rental car from Auto Europe and drive straight  to Lake Bled.  Spend the day exploring your gorgeous surroundings and snapping post-card perfect pictures.  Hike up for a view, rent a bike and cycle around the lake, or rent a row boat and row across to Bled Island for a close-up view of the fairy-tale castle-like church.  Afterwards, reward yourself with a slice of Bled cream cake back in town.

Stay: Garden Village Eco-Resort, Bled

Approximate Drive Time: 30 minutes

1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 2:  Day Trip to Lake Bohinj and/or Vintgar Gorge

Take a day trip from Bled to soak in the natural beauty that Slovenia has become famous for.  Head out to Vintgar Gorge to explore the ravine’s stunning waterfall and hike along its cerulean rapids.  Or, head to Lake Bled’s more peaceful, less touristy counterpart, Lake Bohinj.  Take a ride up the lake’s cable car for sweeping vistas from above before you head back to your eco-glamping resort in Bled to relax.

Stay: Garden Village Eco-Resort, Bled

Approximate Drive Time: 15 minutes to Vintgar Gorge or 25 minutes to Lake Bohinj

1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 3:  Soca River Valley

Today will be a bit more driving, but given the scenery along this route, the drive is an experience in itself!  Your head will be on a swivel as you climb through the awe-inspiring Julian Alps.  Drive the 50 hairpin turns of the Vršič Pass before spending the day hiking or kayaking around the Soca River, which has been touted the “world’s most beautiful river.”  Continue your drive until you reach Bovec.

Stay: Hotel Sanje ob Soči, Bovec

Approximate Drive Time: 1 hour 50 minutes   

1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 4:  Vipava Valley and Goriska Brda

Forget Tuscany!  Even though you’ll be extremely close to the Italian border, you can find amazing food and wine right in Slovenia.  Head to your hotel in Dobrovo where your driver will pick you up for a day of ultimate indulgence exploring the surrounding wine regions.  Spend the day visiting wineries in the Vipava Valley and Brda Regions – known for both delectable wine and beautiful scenery. Make sure to book a multi-course splurge dinner at one of the area’s famed restaurants to get a taste of Slovenia’s emerging farm-to-table culinary scene.

Stay: Castelletto Gredic, Dobrovo 

Approximate Drive Time: 1 hour 20 minutes   

1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 5: Piran

If you overindulged yesterday during your wine tour, don’t worry – you’ll have time today to relax at the beach.  Drive to the small coastal town of Piran where you’ll wonder if you’ve accidentally stumbled across the boarder into an Italian beach town. Climb the city walls for fantastic views of the peninsula or simply enjoy the Adriatic coastline and the city’s medieval Old Town.

Stay: Hotel Piran, Piran

Approximate Drive Time: 1 hour 20 minutes   

1 Week Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 6 and 7:  Ljubljana

On your way back to Ljubljana make a stop at Postojna Cave.  Travel underground to explore the out-of-this-world landscape that has made the cave a popular tourist attraction before heading to Predjama Castle, which juts dramatically out of the cave’s mouth.  Continue on to Ljubljana, Slovenia’s vibrant capital city, where you’ll spend the remainder of your trip.  Walk across the Dragon Bridge, shop the market, wander through the city’s colorful squares and take the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle.  But, consider yourself warned… you’ll likely fall head over heels for this small, quirky and charming European capital.

Stay: Grand Hotel Union 

Approximate Drive Time: 2 hours total (driving time only)

Is a road trip through Slovenia on your bucket list?  Which destination would you be most excited to visit?

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A special thanks to Auto Europe for sponsoring my road trip through Slovenia, as well as Visit Ljubljana for hosting me while in Ljubljana.  Although I will be a guest of the aforementioned hotels, all opinions will be my own. 

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CC images from flicker: Lake-Bohinj, -D.-Miadenovic by Viajar, comer, y amarView of Lake Bled, Slovenia by James Southorn,  Blue Planet by Bernhard Latzko, Smartno by nejcbole, Piran, Slovenia by Bernd Thaller, Ljubljana by Gilad Rom, Lago Bled (Slovenia) by gulfuroth.