The Ultimate Slovenia Road Trip: An Itinerary Filled with Scenic Drives and Charming Towns

If Slovenia hasn’t been on your travel bucket list, you’re in for a treat. Our road trip itinerary will change your mind about this European beauty that has it all—from breathtaking landscapes to charming towns and rich cultural experiences.

The itinerary below will take you to some of the country’s most incredible spots and allow you to experience plenty of local charm along the way.

SLOVENIA ROAD TRIP

The itinerary includes the following,

  • Ljubljana
  • Bled
  • Solčava Region
  • Maribor
  • Piran
  • Vipava Valley
  • Goriška Brda
LJUBLJANA

Our road trip starts in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. Spend a day exploring the city’s historic center, enjoying the architecture and lively surroundings.

BLED

Next, head to Bled, a picturesque, distinctive town you’ve probably seen on social media. Take a stroll around the lake, hike up to the castle or hike around it for an amazing view of the lake; take a pletna boat to Bled Island, and don’t miss the famous Bled cream cake.

*The view above is from behind the castle. It’s a free viewpoint with a grassless, short hike up some steps. 

If you have time after Bled, check out the charming town of Radovljica (shown below) or Kranj. Or drive over to the popular Lake Bohinj. One place I wish we had visited was the Pokljuka Plateau in the Julian Alps, but the weather and time wouldn’t allow it.

Solčava Region

From Bled, drive to the Solčava Region in northern Slovenia bordering Austria. Here, you’ll find three beautiful valleys: Logar Valley, Robanov Kot (where we stayed), and Matkov Kot. Follow the Solcava Panoramic Road for some of the most spectacular views you’ll ever experience.

If you have time after Solčava, some recommended stops are Maribor, where you can see the oldest known grape-producing vine in the world. Or Špičnik to photograph the famous heart-shaped road. Or visit charming Ptuj, the oldest recorded city in Slovenia.

Piran

Then, make your way to the coast and stop at the Italianesque town of Piran. Wander the old town’s narrow streets, enjoy seafood specialties, and soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere. Make sure to stop for gelato at Mersii.

Vipava Valley and Goriška Brda

Spend a few nights among the vineyards in Slovenia’s wine country that borders Italy. While here, make sure to explore towns in Vipava Valley and Goriška Brda. There are a few places to walk in and do a wine tasting, but I recommend you reserve a proper tasting beforehand.

End in Ljubljana

End your trip back to Ljubljana, where you can spend a few more days strolling the streets and trying one of the many cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss the Ljubljana Castle, which offers panoramic city views. Go during sunset for the coolest photos.

A note on driving in Slovenia

  • We rented our car from Hertz in the city center. It was pretty straightforward.
  • You’ll need a “vignette” to pay the tolls, but it was included in the rental price and is already in the car.
  • The rental company told us we could cross through Austria and Italy (which we did) to get to our final destination in Slovenia, but we couldn’t stay longer in those countries without paying an extra fee.
  • Parking was easy. There were clearly marked parking lots in all the towns. Sometimes, we found free parking; sometimes, we paid a small fee.
  • The drivers were respectful on the road, and almost everyone followed the rules.

IS SLOVENIA WORTH VISITING?

One thousand times, yes! You should really discover the magic of Slovenia for yourself. This country is highly underrated. So many people asked us, “What’s in Slovenia?” before our trip, but I was excited to share and show this country off.

The country is stunning in photos but even more spectacular in person. Slovenia is also way more affordable than its neighboring countries, Italy and Austria. Each Slovenian region offers a unique landscape, and they’re only a few hours’ drive from each other. I would go back in a heartbeat!

HOW MANY DAYS IN SLOVENIA?

Slovenia deserves more than just a weekend visit. With its diverse regions, from the capital city of Ljubljana to the famous Bled and the pretty coastal towns, every area offers something special for all types of travelers.

With more time, you can slow down, enjoy wine tastings, and explore lesser-known towns like Ptuj. But I know time is a luxury. We had 9 nights in Slovenia, and it still wasn’t enough. I recommend at least 5 days to explore more of what this country offers beyond the capital and Bled.

WHERE TO STAY IN SLOVENIA

I booked hotels all over, and we loved 60% of where we stayed. I’ll link them below. And for the curious folks, I’ll also share why we wouldn’t recommend the remaining 20%.

Pr Anzl Bled

This bed and breakfast has wonderfully clean accommodations, some with balconies and scenic views. We selected a room with a balcony overlooking the town and views of neighboring horses.

The rooms are light and bright, the service is friendly, and parking is included. It’s a brief 10-minute walk to Lake Bled.

Every morning, they serve a full breakfast in their breakfast room. You can also choose to have eggs or omelets prepared to your liking. Pr Anzl is a great stay in a less busy area of Bled.

Čebron Family Estate

(Branik wine region) I love staying at wineries! They offer impressive views, and there’s always plenty of wine available. Our Čebron stay was so dreamy.

Our balcony overlooked the beautiful vineyards, and we even had a cozy little fireplace. We could also add breakfast from their on-site restaurant, but we tried the local cafes instead. I would definitely stay again.

Intercontinental Ljubljana, an IHG Hotel

If you’re feeling fancy, I recommend booking a stay at Intercontinental. As IHG members, we were graciously upgraded to a suite with all its luxuries and a lovely view of Ljubljana.

They have a popular rooftop bar and restaurant worth checking out even if you’re not staying at the hotel. I must mention that the area can get busy, but once you are in your room, high up, you can’t hear a thing, ensuring a peaceful sleep.

And for the 40% I wouldn’t recommend…

Holiday Inn Express Ljubljana– This hotel is located 1 mile from the old town. You can walk 30 minutes or take a 15-minute bus ride to the center. Although taxis are also an option, I’d rather not use them.

Still, I decided to book this hotel because it received decent reviews, it was only for one night, and I had a free stay with my IHG status.

Despite the inconvenient location, the hotel was clean and quiet and provided free parking. But I wouldn’t stay again due to the distance. I’ll link it anyway because maybe you need accessible parking.  

Airbnb with the fantastic view near Logar ValleyI’ll start by saying that the location was stunning. When I walked around the outside of the house and saw the view in its full splendor, I gasped. It was breathtaking in every sense of the word.

The inside of the house was simple and modernized, but the wifi was nonexistent, which the host made very clear in the notes. I was okay with the lack of wifi, but I wasn’t okay with the bugs. Oh my god, the bugs.

Considering the nature surrounding the house and the rain that had taken over the area, I shouldn’t be surprised by the bugs making their way inside. There weren’t any bed bugs, but I couldn’t get comfortable with so many earwigs, spiders, and other crawlers. By the end of our stay, we were happy to leave. 

WHAT TO EAT & DRINK IN SLOVENIA (OUR FAVORITES)

Ljubljana

Neubar– Great coffee in the center of Ljubljana.

Mala Pražarna– A delightful micro-roaster and our favorite coffee spot from all the cafes we tried in Slovenia.

Georgie Bistro– Locally-inspired fine dining with excellent reviews. You can order by course or by plate. It was a great meal!

Patrón: Tacos & Bar– We were pleasantly surprised to find delicious tacos at a Mexican-owned restaurant in Slovenia. They even make their own tortillas.

Bled and surrounding towns

The famous Bled cream cake (kremšnita) is not to be missed. This tasty dessert is made with layers of vanilla cream and pastry, topped with whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar. It’s a must-try for anyone visiting Bled.  

Admire the Island while enjoying the Bled cream cake on the patio of Café Belvedere. The gorgeous view is shown below. No reservations are needed.

*Must mention* The cream cake from Cafe Park at the Park Hotel was our favorite, and it is said to be the original. I wish we had more time in Bled to try all the delicious cream cakes and truly find the best of the best. Below is Vila Bled to the left and Cafe Park to the right.

During our time in Bled, we visited a few nearby towns, including Radovljica. Before leaving, we tried this unassuming doughnut shop named Fritula Radovljica. We ordered the “classic”. They were made to order, and their soft, warm deliciousness left us wanting more.

Maribor

We had one rainy day trip in Maribor, which included dinner at Črna Kuhna (recommended by the lovely @ckanani). It was our favorite meal in all of Slovenia! So fresh and flavorful. We had a delicious pumpkin soup that Jorge still raves about, and our entrees were amazing. If you’re in the country, drive out of your way for this dinner.

Ajdovščina (Vipava Valley)

In the town of Ajdovščina, we visited Kavarna Ave for delicious coffee, followed by Pekarna Kukaj for fresh pastries. Both places were perfect. Then, we checked out the highly reviewed Pizzeria Porka Eva for dinner. They had excellent service and Neapolitan-style pizzas.

BEST SLOVENIA TOURS

There are many things to explore in Slovenia, which may feel overwhelming. In such cases, tours can be an ideal way to experience the highlights of a country and discover local treasures.

Below are links to some fun and highly-rated tours, including ones I would’ve done if I had more time. Click on them to find out more details.

FAVORITE TRAVEL ITEMS 

To streamline your travel planning even more, I’m linking travel products I love and use for every trip.

I like to keep things simple, sturdy and affordable. I don’t like bulk, and I don’t like carrying more than I need. If that sounds like you, check out the links.

  • Packing cubes: These are excellent quality! I’ve gotten them for our travels and have also gifted them to family. Jorge and I mostly travel with carry-on luggage, and packing cubes allow us to fit more in less space.
  • Toiletry bag: This is a durable and spacious little bag. I use it weekly when going back and forth with my dad, but I also always pack it for my travels.
  • Non-bulky camera case: I mostly take the photos for this blog but rarely carry the camera. So, I was on the hunt for a simple case Jorge could use while we were traveling and walking for miles. It fits my Sony perfectly and is lightweight.
  • My camera: Speaking of cameras, I’m still using a no-frills Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera. I like that it’s not heavy, easy to use, and great for beginners who want better quality than a point-and-shoot but not a DSLR’s price tag or bulkiness.
  • Tripod stand with bag: This tripod is tiny, sturdy, and stands up tall at 50 inches.
  • Travel vacuum bags: As I’ve mentioned, we stick to carry-on luggage, but sometimes, we must pack heavier clothes for colder climates. These vacuum bags are perfect for that occasion.

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