Self drive holidays in Slovenia
Petite, pretty and very diverse, Slovenia is a kind of Europe in miniature, and fly drive holidays help you get to the heart of this fantastic country.
Slovenia certainly makes up for its lack of stature with medieval architecture, chic pavement cafes, and stop-in-your-tracks mountain scenery, and with your own car and as little as a week’s holiday you can take it all in. With the twinkling Adriatic coastline in the southwest, the mirror-like surface of Lake Bled to the north, and a sprinkling of canyons, caves and castles in between, you won’t be short of food for the soul. And with all those vineyards, cheese cellars and locally cured hams, your belly will be pretty happy, too.
What does a self drive holiday in Slovenia entail?
Slovenia is around the size of Wales, so it’s easy to pack in all the key sights in a relatively short space of time, particularly given that most of the popular attractions are in the western half of the country. Our fly drive holiday in Slovenia takes a circular route, starting and finishing in Ljubljana, and lasts just over a week, though this is fully customisable and you can design your perfect itinerary with the help of a Slovenia expert. You’re welcome to change the duration of your holiday, for example, or vary your route as you see fit – increasing your time in rural Slovenia or spending more days by the sea. Your holiday company will be a mine of information on things to do and see along your route, but there’s plenty of opportunity to make your own discoveries, too. The only thing to bear in mind is that your accommodation is pre-booked, so you’ll need to ensure that you get to your next destination each day in time to check in for the night.
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Slovenia self drive practicalities
A modern, air conditioned car will be delivered to your hotel in Ljubljana, allowing you time to relax and explore the city before taking the wheel. You’ll also receive a detailed information pack, full of maps, driving directions, parking tips and other practical information, as well as sightseeing, eating and drinking suggestions (though you’re free to ignore these and chart your own path, of course). In addition, there’s 24 hour help on hand, including a breakdown service, should you need it.
For the most part, Slovenia’s roads are smooth and well signposted, and once you’re outside the main cities, traffic is fairly light. To drive on the motorways, you’ll need a toll sticker called a vignette. Ignore this at your peril – you could be handed a heavy fine.
All accommodation is booked in advance, and our operator can recommend a selection of small, authentic family run hotels and guesthouses, so that you’ll get to sample true Slovenian hospitality. Similarly, you’ll be put in touch with local guides, so you’ll learn about Slovenian history and culture from the experts – and put money into the local economy at the same time. You’ll get plenty of restaurant and cafe recommendations, too, so you can avoid the tourist traps and sample some authentic Slovenian delicacies. Food here is delicious, with strong Italian and Balkan influences.
When to goThe Adriatic coast and the inland Primorska region have hot summers, mild spring and autumn seasons and pleasantly cool winters. The rest of the country sees hot, dry summers and bitter winters. All in all, May to September is a good time to visit, with dry conditions that are great for walking in the country’s lush landscapes. Bear in mind, though, that in the July and August peak season, Lake Bled and Ljubljana are crawling with coach loads of tourists and the Adriatic coast sees mega cruise ships dock on its shores. All of this increases traffic on the roads.
Where to go on a self drive holiday in Slovenia
Slovenia boasts amazing diversity for a country the size of Wales. Fly drive holidays start and end in Ljubljana, which many contend to be Europe’s loveliest capital, thanks to its numerous green spaces and elegant architecture. From here you’ll move on to explore some of the country’s natural and cultural highlights, with beaches, lakes and islands all on the agenda.
Head to the Adriatic coast, and you’ll find the Venetian-inspired Piran Peninsula – one of the prettiest places in the country and known for its glowing sunsets, seafood restaurants, alfresco wine bars and nearby vineyards. To the north, with its romantic fairytale church on an islet, a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff and the snow-topped Julian Alps as backdrop, is Lake Bled, which woos everyone from romantics to families. Triglav National Park, in the northwest, is the only national park in the country, taking in sylvan woods, tumbling mountain rivers and the iconic Mount Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak. And with over 20km of passages, galleries and chambers, the Postojna Caves, southwest of Ljubljana, are a sensitively illuminated geological wonderland.
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