There is perhaps no other country in Europe that is both exquisitely beautiful and budget-friendly for travelers as Slovenia. One of the most underrated destinations on the continent, there is so much to explore on a Slovenia road trip.
And while you could easily spend a week relaxing and gazing at the calm waters of Lake Bled, we’ve put together the perfect one week Slovenia itinerary that hits the highlights of the country in a brief time.
This Slovenia road trip will take you from coastal communities and fairytale cities to pristine lakes, captivating caves, and ancient castles – all in a one-week Slovenia itinerary.
Our experience on a Slovenia Road Trip
We spent one week in Slovenia as part of a longer trip that included visits to Salzburg, Austria and Munich Germany. It was love at first sight of the country’s natural beauty and majestic landscapes.
Our Slovenia road trip itinerary took us to some of the most beautiful places in Slovenia but still left us yearning to return and explore more.
In our experience, Slovenia is the most underrated country we’ve ever visited, and this one-week Slovenia itinerary will likely have you feeling the same.
Getting around Slovenia
The easiest way to get around Slovenia is by car.
While there is rail service in Slovenia, it is limited. And if you try to travel around the country by train alone, you will miss out on so many of the country’s natural attractions that are only accessible on a Slovenia road trip.
For this reason, you will want to rent a car and drive. We always book rental cars through AutoEurope, so we can compare prices from different rental car companies and book the one that best suits our needs and budget.
Roads in Slovenia are well maintained, drivers are courteous, and driving in the country, even in remote areas, seems very safe.
Also read: Europe road trip tips
Slovenia Road Trip Highlights
Now that we’ve covered how to get around on this Slovenia itinerary, here are a few highlights of this Slovenia road trip.
- Lake Bled
- Vintgar Gorge
- Lake Bohinj
- Triglav National Park
- Piran and Koper
- Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave
Slovenia Road Trip Map and Route
Each Day of this Slovenia Itinerary
You’ll likely want to start and end your Slovenia road trip in the capital city of Ljubljana. If you have more than just one week in Slovenia, you could tack on an extra day or two exploring the capital city further or take a couple more day trips from Ljubljana.
From Ljubljana you can easily take a train or flight to another destination for onward travel or head home after your trip with wonderful memories of your one week in Slovenia.
Slovenia Itinerary Day 1 – Ljubljana
Your first day in Slovenia can either be the day you arrive in Ljubljana or the day after depending on your travel style and arrival time.
If you arrive in the late afternoon, evening, or night, catch up on sleep, get over jet lag, which is especially important if traveling with young kids, and relax.
However if you arrive in the morning hours and prefer to hit the ground running, spend your first day in Slovenia getting acquainted with the capital city.
Walk along the river, find all of the famous bridges in Ljubljana and then enjoy the atmosphere and a meal at an outdoor patio, if the weather is nice.
There are a lot of fun things to do in Ljubljana, but one of the best activities is simply enjoying the atmosphere along the river and wandering through the Old Town district.
Slovenia Itinerary Day 2 – Ljubljana
Start your day in Ljubljana by heading to Ljubljana Castle. The ancient landmark perched upon a hill overlooking the city is a must visit in Ljubljana.
Spend a couple hours exploring the castle-turned-museum and then head to the Metelkova Art Center for a look at the quirkier side of the fairy tale city.
This small corner of the city is actually an autonomous or self-governed community located near the Ljubljana main train station. It is covered in graffiti and street art from top to bottom and has become a haven for the artistic, creative, and societal non-conformists.
If you prefer to skip Metelkova Art Center, head to Tivoli Park or check out one of Ljubljana’s intriguing museums. Whether you are interested in art, history, or looking for a fun museum for kids, Ljubljana has something for everyone.
Slovenia Itinerary Day 3 – Lake Bled
On the third day of your road trip in Slovenia, head to the beautiful lakeside community of Bled. Known for its turquoise water, picturesque little island church, and castle on a cliff, Lake Bled is perhaps the most popular place to visit in Slovenia.
Because of its popularity, Lake Bled is teeming with things to do. Approximately an hour from Ljubljana, Lake Bled is often done as a day trip. But we recommend spending a night here if you are going on a Slovenia road trip.
After arriving in Lake Bled, start off by walking around the lake. About halfway around, rent a canoe on the west side of the lake and paddle out to Bled Island. The small island is home to one of the most famous churches in Europe, the Assumption of Maria Church.
After your adventurous, albeit serene boat trip, continue your leisurely stroll around the lake. The loop around the lake, while mostly flat, is approximately 4 miles. So be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes.
When you are almost back to the east side of the lake you can either home to Bled Castle or drive up to it. While the museum at the castle is not the most impressive, the views from the castle are worth the entrance fee!
If you have kids, you may also want to include an hour or so at the Adventure Park and an exhilarating ride down the mountain toboggan.
Slovenia Itinerary Day 4 – Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bohinj
On day four of your Slovenia road trip, head directly to Vintgar Gorge to start your day off with some beautiful scenery, fresh air, and exercise. This hike, just a few kilometers outside of Lake Bled, is breathtaking, yet surprisingly easy.
You can do a round trip hike through the gorge, which will take roughly 3 hours before heading to Lake Bohinj in the afternoon for some relaxation.
Vintgar Gorge mostly takes place on a raised boardwalk suspended above the Radovna River through the ravine.
After your hike, grab some lunch back in Bled before heading to Lake Bohinj, the second most popular lake in Slovenia, and the largest in the country.
Just a short distance from Bled, Lake Bohinj is an easy afternoon trip where you can swim, canoe, paddleboard, or visit the charming Church of Saint John the Baptist along the lake.
You can stay in Lake Bled, or for a change of pace and scenery , spend one night along the shore of Lake Bohinj instead.
Another alternative would be to continue your drive and spend the night in Kranjaska Gora, which situates you near your Slovenia road trip activities for the next day.
Slovenia Itinerary Day 5 – Vrsic Pass and Triglav National Park
The fifth day of this Slovenia road trip guide will take you through the heart of Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only national park.
This will be a long day of driving, so if you have extra time, you could easily break it up and spend one near near the Soca Valley.
Encompassing the majestic Julian Alps, Triglav National Park is rugged and glorious. A hiker’s paradise, you’ll find no shortage of scenery in this pristine public park.
Start your morning by venturing northwest or if you stayed in the town of Kranjska Gora, head directly to the national park.
Best known as a ski resort in the winter season, Kranjska Gora is an equally scenic place to travel in spring, summer, and fall. As the gateway to Triglav, it makes for a great place to base yourself if you have more time and want to do a lot of hiking in the national park.
Whether you spend a day or two hiking or prefer to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your rental car, you’ll want to journey along the Vrsic Pass.
The highest mountain pass in Slovenia and the Eastern Julian Alps, this 2-lane road consists of a series of 50 tight hairpin turns. You’ll slowly climb up the mountains and back down from the Upper Carniola region to the Trenta Valley.
Along the scenic route, which is closed in winter, you’ll find numerous places to pull over to admire the majestic, mountainous landscapes, or pull off and hike.
The Vrsic Pass was constructed by Russian prisoners of war in 1915 for military purposes but is now largely a scenic tourist route.
Tucked away in the woods along the northern side of the pass, don’t miss the hidden Russian Orthodox church built by the Russian POWs to pay honor to their fallen comrades who died during the road’s construction.
At the top of the route, stop to admire the views before making your way back down the other side of the mountain pass and onward toward the Slovenian coast.
After taking this scenic pass, you’ll venture toward the Soca Valley. You can either stop for the night at a hotel near Bovec or cross the border into Italy on your way to your next stop – Piran.
- Where to stay after the Vrsic Pass: Boutique Hotel Dobra Vila (Bovec)
- Alternative – drive to Piran: Art Hotel Tartini (Piran)
Slovenia Itinerary Day 6 – Piran and Koper
Piran is a lovely coastal town on the Adriatic Sea. Located in the North of the Istria Peninsula, Piran has both Slovenian and Venetian influences. You’ll find a lot of the food and architecture seem very Italian in nature and design.
On your sixth day of your road trip through Slovenia, head toward the coast for a relaxing day by the sea.
Stop in the charming town of Koper on your way to Piran. The historic town is known for its narrow streets and quaint piazzas.
Visit Titov trg (Tito Square) and admire the Stolnica, a Renaissance and Gothic cathedral, and the Pretoska Palača, a beautiful white Venetian palace in Gothic architecture. Then take a stroll through the town before ending your visit at the regional museum housed in the Belramonil-Tacco palace.
Continue on to Piran, where you can enjoy lots of water-based activities in the warm summer months. Snorkeling, diving, and boat tours are all popular activities in Piran.
For a unique adventure, take the glass floor boat tour, where you can see fish and other marine life beneath you. Afterwards, you can visit the town’s Museum of Underwater Activities or the aquarium.
Slovenia Itinerary Day 7 – Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave
On your return route to Ljubljana, you’ll have one more very memorable stop on your seven day Slovenia road trip.
The Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave are two of the most popular attractions in Slovenia. Often visited as a day trip from Ljubljana, the tourist attractions are on your way back from Piran to Ljubljana, making them the perfect stop on your final day in Slovenia.
The largest cave castle in the world, Predjama Castle is an 800-year-old castle built into the mouth of a cave, halfway up a 123-meter cliff.
Along with the castle, you’ll want to visit Postojna Cave and explore the underground world in Slovenia. With mesmerizing cave formations, Postojna Cave is one of the most beautiful natural gems in the country.
Only 45 minutes to an hour away from Ljubljana, after touring Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, head back to the capital city, where you’ll spend your final night of this Slovenia itinerary.
Is One Week in Slovenia enough time?
Realistically, one week is never enough time to explore an entire country. Even tiny countries like Luxembourg, deserve more time if you truly want to experience it to its fullest.
However, knowing that unlimited time off for a family vacation or holiday isn’t a privilege that most of us have, one week in Slovenia is a good amount of time to see many of the best places in Slovenia to visit.
What to do if you have more than one week in Slovenia
This itinerary can be done in one week, or you can add an extra day or two in each destination to give you more time to appreciate its beauty.
A full 3 days in Lake Bled would be ideal. You could also extend your time in Triglav National Park and the Soca Valley and take part in more of Slovenia’s stunning hikes.
If you have 2 full weeks, it would give you the opportunity to see the Eastern part of the country and visit other incredible places like Maribor and the Logar Valley, as well.
Be fair warned though, Slovenia is a stunning slice of paradise. So, this week-long Slovenia road trip will leave you wanting to come back again or extend your trip indefinitely!
Have a question or comment about this Slovenia road trip itinerary? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts (or additions to this 7 day Slovenia Itinerary) in the comments below!
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This Slovenia road trip guide was first written in April 2023 but was most recently updated in August 2023 for accuracy, clarity, and current travel information.