Our second foray into the world of electric vehicle fly-drives invites you to discover the best of Slovenia, combined with Croatia’s magnificent Plitvice Lakes National Park and the Adriatic coastlines of Istria.
This self-drive holiday has something for everyone; culture aplenty in picture perfect Ljubljana, flora, fauna and waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes, Venetian coastal and Medieval hilltop towns in Istria and more mountains and lakes than you can shake a stick at in the Slovenian Alpine region.
Another advantage to this holiday is the inclusion of entrance fees and sightseeing tours, allowing you optimum time to soak up all this little part of the world has to offer.
Arrive in Ljubljana. Collect your e-vehicle upon arrival and drive into the heart of the city for an overnight stay. Ljubljana is Slovenia’s pocket-sized capital but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in beauty. Take the funicular up to the castle for a bird’s eye view of the city, before a stroll around the town spotting buildings designed by Joze Plecnik as you go. The Ljubljanica river is lined with all manner of cafes and bars so a pit-stop for coffee/alcoholic drink of your choice is a must.
Spend a little more time in Ljubljana, perhaps popping to the Green Market to stock up on fresh baked goods and seasonal fruit for your journey ahead, then hit the road bound for Plitvice National Park in neighbouring Croatia (approx. 3 hour drive). Your hotel is located outside of the national park area in Licko Petrovo Selo. The huge benefit of staying in this remote area is that it has the smallest amount of light pollution in continental Europe, making it the perfect place for star gazing. Luckily the rooms feature telescopes! A traditonal dinner is included at the hotel. (B,D)
Have breakfast and then drive on to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia, listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. The park is made up of 16 lakes, connected by streams and waterfalls and divided into Upper and Lower lakes. Opt to explore on foot via several well-maintained hiking trails (varying from 2-7 hours of walking), or use the transit system consisting of electric boats and shuttle buses, or even rent a rowing boat. Spend as long as you wish here before departing for the Istrian coast (approx. 3 hour drive). Your base will be the small town of Rovinj, a Croatian fishing port on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula. (B)
Visit another of Croatia’s national parks today; the Brijuni Islands, a 15-minute boat ride from the town of Fazana. Once home to a glamorous Austro-Hungarian resort and then Tito’s summer residence in the 1940s, the islands have a fascinating and chequered past. Use the tourist train to explore the island, which also features a safari park with various herbivorous mammals. Once back on dry land, you may like to drive down to the city of Pula to visit the fantastically preserved Roman amphitheatre or return to explore more of Rovinj. Reminiscent of Venice, Rovinj is traversed by a network of winding lanes, flanked by colourful buildings leading to a bustling working harbour. (B)
After further exploration of Rovinj, journey inland to the stunning Mediaeval hilltop town of Motovun (approx. 1 hr drive). The village is surrounded by rich and fertile land and is famously known for its truffles. Soak up the views with coffee in hand and pick up some incredible local produce before leaving Croatia behind and re-entering Slovenia. Your next base is the Slovenian coastal resort of Portoroz (approx. 50 min drive). You may like to indulge in a spa treatment at the hotel or relax on the beach. (B)
Today will be a relaxing one. In keeping with this holiday’s theme of ‘electric transportation’, take a self-guided E bike tour of the coastal area (approx. 3-4 hours). Ride along the coast to Sečovlje Salina Nature Park and through forested hills on to the lovely town of Strunjan and finally Piran, the Venetian gem of the Slovenian coastline. From Piran you can take a boat back to Portoroz. (B)
Drive on to the Skocjan Caves this morning (approx. 50 min drive). The caves are on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural heritage sites and is an exceptional example of a limestone cave system, with one of the worlds largest known underground river canyons. Take a 2-hour walking tour of the caves. Afterwards, drive half an hour on to Stanjel, another mediaeval hilltop town that features the Ferrari Gardens and great views of the Karst landscape below. End the day in the area known as ‘Slovenian Tuscany’; Goriska Brda. Enjoy the local Teran wine and views of the rolling vineyards. (B)
This morning make your way through the verdant green Soca Valley towards the Julian Alps. Break up the journey in Bovec, Slovenia’s outdoor activity capital, and take an optional white water rafting trip on the Soca River, or just relax with a coffee or lunch. Continue up and over the Vrsic Pass which at 1611m is the highest pass in the country (road open from Spring onwards). Look out for the Russian Orthodox chapel, built by Russian POWs (approx. 1hr15 drive). On the other side of the pass, you will find Kranjska Gora and Lake Jasna. Stop here to stretch the legs and enjoy exquisite mountain views before finally reaching Lake Bled (approx 40 min drive), your base for the next two nights. (B)
Spend your day discovering the Triglav National Park. First up is Savica Waterfall which at 78m is one of Slovenia's finest falls. Ascend the 553 stone steps to the view point for some great views of the pulsating falls. The next highlight of the day is Mt Vogel for a ride on the cable car which elevates you 1500m up into the Triglav National Park, where further hiking opportunities await. For those really looking for an adrenaline kick, the option to tandem paraglide or zipline are available. Back down on the ground Lake Bohinj awaits; Slovenia's largest natural lake. Take a walk along the shore or hire a kayak or SUP. After sufficient exploration of the area, return to Bled and dine alfresco at one of its many restaurants. (B)
The car is not needed this morning so head out on foot for a morning hike around Lake Bled (6km to walk the whole circumference), before taking a traditional Pletna boat ride across to Bled island where legend has it if you ring the bell in the tiny church your wishes will come true. Before flying home, try to sample what is perhaps considered Bled’s most famous offering, the Bled cream cake. Drive back to Ljubljana airport (30 mins) to return the car and fly home. (B)
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