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Here's a low-down of our incredibly breathtaking three-week tour of Slovenia, Italy and a dash of Austria.
We’ve just got back from our jam-packed roadtrip around Slovenia (hopping over into Italy and Austria too)! We spent three weeks travelling, eating, drinking (2 Euro cartons of wine only!) and sleeping in our rental campervan. From stumbling across local farm-stays, to swimming in pristine alpine waters. From ziplining (and simultaneously screaming/shitting/crying) our way through the mountains, to sipping on local wine in Slovenia’s answer to Tuscany. From sweating our way round 50 hairpin corners, to staring silently at green-screen views (#fakeviews). Its safe to say we listened to way too many Guilty Feminist podcast episodes on the road (we say 'on the road now', cos we're rad and cool and camp and stuff). I'm feeling #inspired to share our finds of hidden gems and must-sees in Slovenia and Italy!
Follow our route here - you have so much flexibility in Slovenia, since its such a small country. A change of heart can mean just a 1 hour journey to a totally new place!
Ljubljana - the capital of Slovenia.
All the action happens along the riverfront, where its buzzing with restaurants and bars. Our time in Ljubljana was basically one long food-crawl for us, as outlined below.
Piran is one of the only coastal areas of Slovenia, so it's a bit of a hotspot for seaside shenanigans. We spent a few hours here: it has a really calm feel to it, and the sea is super warm for a dunk. The salt pans and Moon Bay Beach are nearby.
Lago di Santa Croce (Italy)
From Piran to Lago Di Santa Croce was a pretty long drive, with toll roads, but the view at the lake made the wait well worth it. We were meant to drive straight through Lago di Santa Croce, but we ended up staying the night as we fell in love.
Dolomites Road Trip (Italy)
This was the highlight of the trip! The Great Dolomites Road Trip is a famous route through the Dolimiti Mountains and National Park. The joy of doing the trip in a camper is we could park up at any viewpoint (or sketchy cliff-edge), whack out the camping chairs and have a cuppa (that's a lie, they don’t sell English Breakfast Tea anywhere…). The photos of the views speak a thousand words.
Lago di Carezza (Italy)
Uhhhh actually this was the highlight of the trip! Lago di Carezza was completely unexpected - I’m almost tempted to not tell you about it so you can also have the sheer amazement, followed by panic of where to park, when you spy the crystal blue waters through the trees. The lake is a stunning end to the Dolomites Road Trip (we went from Cortina D’Ampazzo towards Bolzano, but you can obviously do it the other way round). I really don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so perfect in my life; the water was so untouched and still that it reflected the mountains like a mirror.
Once you’ve seen Lago di Carezza, no other lake will compare. Lago Dobbiacho tries pretty hard, poor guy. We stumbled across this lake after blue-splodge-spotting on the Sat Nav (highly recommend this game). We rented a pedalo for an hour for 12 Euros and ate our lunch in the middle of the lake, surrounded by swans and mountains. #Blessed.
We spent much more time in Soca Valley last year than this year. We are yet to discover the joys of white water rafting in the freezing river...
Triglav Road Trip
The Triglav Road Trip is so underrated - it's a beautiful drive (for a passenger lol) with 50 hairpin bends, with each corner revealing a new postcard-view of the Julian Alps. There’s only really one road through Triglav National Park so you can’t miss it. Starting at Lake Jasna (don’t be fooled, it may look like a friendly lake but it's Alpine and will freeze your tits off), weave your way through the mountains and end up at Vršič Pass - a stunning viewpoint, with friendly local sheep roaming around.
Lake Bled is the obvious must-see of Slovenia, but it’s kind of got to a point now where it's reached maximum capacity. We couldn’t find a parking space so physically could not stop there - we visited last year and had a great time. The lake is lukewarm for a dip, and the castle (Bled Grad) on the hill is a stunning viewpoint overlooking the lake. I’d recommend getting to Bled early in the morning to guarantee parking and serenity.
This is a meandering trail alongside misty green waters, that have carved out the gorge. If you go early in the morning the mist is still clearing and it feels so magical!
Lake Bohinj is the lesser-known Sovenian lake, 20 minutes from Bled. We spent a lot of time here. It's much quieter than Lake Bled, but has all the same beauty. Highly recommend.
A 20 minute trail culminating in a breathtaking view of Waterfall Savica, near Bohinj.
Planica Zipline is the steepest in the world, since the zipline starts over their world famous Ski Jump! The zipline is ‘566 m long, and you will reach the speed of up to 85 km/h in just a few seconds’...I can vouch for this. It's 25 Euros for a 40 second experience, but we thought it was well worth it.
Slovenia’s Little Tuscany! Set in a stunning valley laced with vineyards, Goriska Brda is calm and tranquil. I literally couldn’t take my eyes off the view. Not many tourists know about this hidden gem, so it’s a welcome break after the crowds at Bled. We parked at the picturesque lil medieval town called Smartno, resting on a hill overlooking the vineyards. We wandered into a local shop called Nona Louisa, a natural cosmetic and liquor producer, after their unreal lavender scent wafted into the street. We picked up some local Olive Liquor and Cabernet Sauvignon scented bath soaps...
Now you're up to date with our 'must-see's, I'll leave these 'if-you've-got'time's and 'meh's here for your own perusal...
The ‘Meh’s - people may tell you to visit these places...those people are not your friends.