Ljubljana Travel – 5 great day trips from Ljubljana
From Ljubljana travel to most places in Slovenia is incredibly easy, making the capital city of Slovenia the perfect base for an all-round tour of the country. Situated in the geographical centre of the country, Ljubljana is a small capital city; a mere 163 sq kms in size with a small population. However, therein lies its charm. Ljubljana offers everything a European capital does, but all within easy reach. You won’t need to be sitting in traffic or on an underground train for hours to get from place to place. Everything in Ljubljana is within easy walking distance; hence its status as European Green Capital in 2016. The city centre is free from smog-choking traffic and it’s a rare pleasure to be able to stroll along the leafy-green streets between its many places of interest.
Of course a small capital naturally results from it being the capital of a small country. Slovenia is also a compact little country, at around 20,273 sq kms in total size. The beauty of this is, just like in Ljubljana, travel to its many places of interest is incredibly easy; all the more so due to Ljubljana being smack bang in the centre of the country. You’ll be surprised at how close everything is to Ljubljana, making it the perfect base from which to explore this fascinating country on a series of day trips; rather than having to pack up your belongings every morning and move from one hotel to another.
Here are 5 great day trips from Ljubljana that can be organized by Liberty Adriatic.
1, Lake Bled
No visit to Slovenia would be complete without a trip to the iconic Lake Bled. Although situated in the alpine north of Slovenia, Lake Bled is only around a 30-minute drive from Ljubljana. Travel is short and easy. Leave after breakfast and you’ll still have plenty of time to visit the lake, stroll around it, take a pletna (traditional wooden boat) out to visit the fairytale island church and ring the bell of wishes. The medieval castle perched atop a cliff overlooking the lake makes a picture perfect scene set against the backdrop of the Karavanke Alps. There’ll be time to visit the castle, have lunch on its terrace overlooking the lake and island church, and then end the day watching the sunset over the hills behind the lake.
From Ljubljana travel to Bled is easy. You’ll be back in hotel in time for tea.
2, Lake Bohinj
Just another 30 minutes from Lake Bled lies the beautiful glacial Lake Bohinj, making this just a one-hour drive from Ljubljana. Travel through the stunning Bohinj Valley into Triglav National Park on your way, via soaring mountain peaks and a road framed by lush green hillsides. Bohinj Lake is larger than Bled, and it’s located in a beautiful dead-end valley surrounded by the Julian Alps. You can take a short 20-minute walk up a set of stone steps to the source of the lake, Savica Waterfall, and then a cable car up to the Vogel Mountain resort for unrivalled views down to the lake and across the Bohinj Valley. From here you can also see the three heads of Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain peak. It’s also a great place for lunch. In summer Vogel offers some superb walking trails, and is a great ski resort in winter; with the best views in Slovenia.
3, Soca Valley
Slovenia’s northwest is characterised by a stunning alpine valley where the magnificent Soca River has carved a breathtaking place with water in abundance. From Ljubljana, travel first to the alpine resort of Kranjska Gora, then it’s over Slovenia’s highest mountain pass, Vrsic, via a twisty road. There’s a great place for lunch at the top before heading down into the Trenta Valley. Following the emerald-green Soca River itself, there’ll be numerous waterfalls to visit along the way, and also the fabulous Great Soca Gorge.
While this region is not so far as the crow flies, it does take a little longer due to the nature of the country roads. However, it’s still possible to do a circular trip and see a lot in one long day and be back in Ljubljana by late evening. There’s no need to return over Vrsic Pass, as it’s easy to head down from the valley to the western motorway and zoom back into Ljubljana in time for a late supper.
4, Wine, Caves and Castles
The Karst region of Slovenia’s west is made up of a huge limestone plateau that is riddled with intricate caves systems, subterranean springs and sinkholes. Cerknica Lake is just one of many seasonal lakes in the region which appear after periods of heavy rain and dry up as the water eventually drains through the sinkholes formed by the porous limestone. There are numerous caves systems that can be visited, the most famous being Postojna Caves, which are just a 45-minute drive from Ljubljana. Travel on from here to the nearby Predjama Castle, wedged into the side of 123-metre cliff-face. Here you can visit the castle and learn about the military cunning of its most famous knight, Erasmus, as he held the entire Hapsburg army at bay by utilizing the secret caves underneath the castle. The more daring can even go potholing in these caves.
5, Adriatic Coast
Last but not least, in Slovenia the mountains meet the sea, and it’s only a one-hour drive to the stunning Adriatic coast from Ljubljana. Travel is via motorway, so it’s quick and easy. While short, the Slovenian section of the Istria Peninsula is no less beautiful than its longer neighbour to the south. The large port of Koper will be of interest to anyone looking for an international trade-based incentive. The nearby towns of Izola and Piran offer a fascinating insight into their Venetian past. Portoroz is known as the Slovenian Riviera, and is the perfect spot for an afternoon swim.
All in one day
So as you can see, there is so much you can do and see all in one day. From Ljubljana, travel to many destinations is so easy, why would you want to keep changing hotels each night?