As part of our 2 month Europe Road Trip, we have made our way from Zagreb in Croatia to Ljubljana. Being a small country with many attractions on the west side of the country, Ljubljana makes it a good base to spend your days in Slovenia. The drive from Zagreb to Ljubljana, normally takes only 1 hr 45 minutes, however we opted for the 1 hour longer drive along the Sava River for a more scenic route. This is a beautiful drive, through picturesque roads, without traffic which makes that hour extra worthwhile.
In Ljubljana we stayed in a prison cell, thankfully not because we were arrested! Hostel Celica was once an old prison and has now been converted into an art inspiring hostel. It is located in Metelkova, an alternative zone and social centre of street art, culture and music, one of the places to visit while in Ljubljana.
On your first day first day you can head to Predjama Castle, the beautiful half castle, half cave situated an hour south west of Ljubljana. This Castle is only 9km away from Postojna Cave. However we highly recommend suggest The Škocjan Caves, because it is more pristine and less commercialised and is only 30 minutes further down from the Castle. At the Škocjan Caves you can discover Slovenia from underground, get ready for your jaws to drop when you see how big these caves are! Check here for a detailed blog.
On the second day, you can go on a long day trip to the one and only national park in Slovenia, Triglav National Park. On the way stop at the famous Lake bled, if you have time. Then head to the Vršič mountain pass, one of the best scenic drives in the mountains. In Trenta stop in village Soča to see views and canyons of Soča river. Also drive to Vodenca, the place where river Soča meets river Koritnica. On this drive make sure to explore the waterfalls, Boka waterfall (close to village Žaga) and Kobarid to walk to Kozjak waterfall. Instead of taking the same route back, go to Bovec and continue your route through Log pod Mangartom and cross Predel mountain pass to enter Italy. No actual border control is found here, but carry your passports just in case! Pass Tarvisio and right after crossing the border turn into Planica valley to see the ski flying slope, where this famous Olympic sport is carried out. Then head back to Ljubljana. Here you can find a blog about this Emerald river day trip.
On the third day visit the actual city of Ljubljana. We’re not into cities but this one is one of a kind and doesn’t have that busy city vibe. Ljubljana is a more chilled out city. Ljubljanica River crossed the city along which stalls and coffee shops stand. There is a large pedestrian area and car free zones which makes it great for a stroll. In fact it is Europe’s greenest capital city.
From Ljubljana head to Ptuj, an hour and a half drive takes you to the north east of the country. Ptuj is the oldest city in Slovenia and this is displayed by its gorgeous architecture and castle. This town is best photographed from the opposite side across the bridge where is reflects in the Drava river.
Maribor is the 2nd largest city in Slovenia and is only 30 minutes away from Ptuj. This is a well-known wine region, so get ready for wine tasting.
From Maribor you have 3 countries bordering it. Croatia, Austria or Hungary. We opted for Hungary to continue our 2 month road trip.
Before heading on a road trip make sure your read this blog about the situation on the roads in Slovenia.
Here are more detailed blogs about Slovenia and what to do and where to go.