On this fly-drive holiday discover the highlights of Slovenia along with Croatia’s stunning Istrian peninsula through a beautiful variety of landscapes - from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic coast.
Explore Roman ruins, medieval castles and pretty Venetian coastal towns on this leisurely journey which allows plenty of free time for independent exploration.
This suggested tailor-made itinerary includes economy car rental and accommodation in 3/4-star hotels.
Ask a Regent Balkans Specialist for suggestions to adapt the itinerary or for a quote to include car and hotel upgrades.
Fly to Ljubljana, collect the hire car and drive to Bled (34 km). On arrival check in to the hotel for two nights.
Enjoy a free day at leisure in picturesque Bled with its emerald-green lake and 11th century castle, perched high on a bluff over-looking the lake. Perhaps take a pletna boat ride to the island church or simply enjoy a relaxing lakeside stroll along one of the many walking trails. Also highly recommended is a visit to Savica Waterfall and nearby Lake Bohinj, a beautiful glacial lake. Head to Ribcev Laz to take the electric boat across Lake Bohinj or hire a SUP for a relaxing afternoon. (B)
Depart for Piran (175 km), perhaps stopping en route in the quaint town of Radovljica for a short walk taking in the beautifully preserved medieval buildings on Linhart Square. As you drive further south, we recommend taking a detour to the Vipava Valley. This undulating region is jam packed full of family run wineries and restaurants, a great lunch spot. The tiny town of Vipavski Kriz has an excellent boutique wine shop/cafe. Continue on to Piran, the most attractive town on Slovenia’s Adriatic coastline, with its wonderful Venetian Gothic architecture and narrow cobbled alleys. Piran is an almost car free zone with no hotel parking, therefore car parks are located outside of the town. (B)
Depart Slovenia and enjoy a leisurely drive to the Istria region of Croatia (73 km and now a much quicker process due to Croatia joining the Schengen zone) exploring the many highlights of the peninsula en route. Stop off in Porec with its Euphrasius Basilica and remarkable 6th century Byzantine mosaics or perhaps visit Rovinj, the charming Adriatic town just a two hour ferry journey from Venice. Spend two nights in the area. (B)
Explore the iconic hilltop towns of Istria today to sample the regions exceptional cuisine and its famous truffles, or visit Istria’s administrative centre since the Roman era, Pula. Discover the town’s incredible Roman ruins including one of the world’s best-preserved amphitheatres and admire the eclectic collection of architecture ranging from Venetian Gothic to Austro- Hungarian. (B)
Drive to Opatija (80 km) on the eastern Kvarner coast. We suggest taking the road across the peninsula to the family-run Chiavalon Extra Virgin Olive Oil Farm for a delicious tasting experience and stopping in Labin, a charming medieval hilltop town, before continuing along the winding coastal road to Opatija, known locally as ‘Vienna on Sea’. Packed full of Habsburg villas and palaces, Opatija was the most fashionable seaside resort of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Check in to the hotel for two nights. (B)
Enjoy ample time to explore the beautifully manicured parks and gardens of this charming town exuding their Habsburg heritage. The 'Lungomare' 12 kilometres long seaside promenade is a wonderful place to stroll, with the glistening Adriatic Sea on one side and verdant woods and villas on the other. Eat at one of the restaurants with a sea view terrace, or perhaps stroll along the shore to the nearby fishing village of Volosko. (B)
Drive back to Ljubljana (110 km) via the Postojna Caves, Slovenia’s largest cave complex. This 20km long network of passages and chambers, cut through by a train that takes you deep into the belly of the caves, is one of the most spectacular karst formations in Europe. Nearby, the 700-year-old Predjama Castle hangs dramatically from a sheer cliff face and is well worth a visit, if even from the outside only. Arrive Ljubljana and return your car to the downtown rental office this evening. (B)
A steep walk up to the medieval castle provides panoramic views over the whole city and onwards towards the Julian and Kamniske Savinje Alps, while the pavement cafes of Preseren Square are the place to watch the world go by, surrounded by some of the city’s finest examples of Art Nouveau buildings. Why not visit Jože Plecnik’s City Market and picturesque Tromostovje triple bridge, before heading to the Architecture Museum to find out more about the contribution he made to Ljubljana’s architectural heritage. (B)
*Prices based on mid-season travel with two people travelling. Please contact us for accurate pricing based on your preferred travel dates.