Day trips from Ljubljana
Ljubljana is a small city, and very soon you might feel like exploring its surroundings. Of course, first you can experience the woods of the Tivoli hill, but this would more than likely not take you more than one lazy afternoon. Being in the heart of the country, Ljubljana is in an ideal spot to take day trips from to explore the medieval castles and splendid caves that line the way to the Adriatic sea. Unless you are coming with your own car to visit most of the castles and caves, it's perhaps best to join an organized day tour.
Tips for day trips
City of Kranj
A charming old town just half an hours drive from Ljubljana, Kranj was built on the shores of two Alpine rivers, Sava and Kokra, and today is known as the city of France Preseren, the poet. It is also the capital of the Gorenjska region. With an attractive old town, the canyons of Kokra river and some beautiful nearby hills, lakes and mountains (with ski resorts), Kranj is an ideal place to start your outdoor adventure. It is a regional university centre and located only 7 km from Ljubljana Airport.
Slovenia has some 40 km of the Adriatic coastline. Among the towns of Koper, Izola and Portoroz, Piran is a real gem. Having been a part of Venetian Republic until the end of the 18th century, the Slovenian Adriatic coast still has a bit of Italian population and is truly bilingual.
A cosy, charming town full of Venetian style with a plethora of restaurants right along the seafront. Parking in the town is a headache so be sure you read the parking guidelines before you arrive. The fortifications around the town resemble a castle, and offer a spectacular view of the town and it's bay.
For on-line hotel reservation visit Hotels in Piran.
Portoroz (Porto Rosso)
A high-end summer resort, Portoroz is the most vivid beach resort on the Slovenian Adriatic coast. Loaded with modern hotels and giant casinos right next to its sandy beaches, the town sadly lacks the Venetian atmosphere of Piran or Izola. There is a small international airport offering charter flights. For online hotel reservations visit Hotels in Portoroz.
This is a small but cosy and quiet seaside town with a pleasant coastal walk. Izola has an extensive marina and is preferred by more mature holiday makers. For online hotel reservation visit Hotels in Izola.
The mountain Lake Bled is the most well known Slovenian lake and also a top tourist destination in the country. The fresh alpine air and clean waters of Bled attract not only day-trippers from Ljubljana, but also crowds of holiday makers in summer, while in the winter the resort offers skiing. Above the lake, the picturesque Bled castle stands proudly atop the steep rock. Visiting the Bled Lake from Ljubljana is easy by taking a bus which runs via Kranj and Jesenice several times a day, and takes 1h 15 min. If you buy a return ticket, bear in mind that the last bus back to Ljubljana leaves at about 20.30. Taking a train is more comfortable and cheaper but you may need to change train in Jesenice and there is a 4 km walk from the last train station to the lake.
Caves of the Kras region
- Postojna cave
Situated in the Karst region, Postojna cave (Postojnska jama) is the most visited European cave and the most visited tourist attraction in Slovenia. With an entrance fee of 22,90 Euros (in 2012), Postojna cave is one of more expensive attractions of the country. Entry is only possible with a tour guide and tours run several times a day, in the summer at every hour from 9 until 18.00 pm. The visit takes one and a half hours. For exact entrance times and price packages please consult the homepage:
- Skocjan cave
This huge and amazing cave, listed on the UNESCO list, is much better than the one in Postojna yet less popular with tourists, maybe because the directions are not well marked. The section that is accessible to the public is about 6 km long – the first half is cold with a constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius, so do not forget to take a sweater. The other part is humid with seasonal temperatures thanks to the river flowing through. The guided tour takes one hour and a half and photography is not allowed. For some beautiful pictures check the homepage:
Castles of Slovenia
- Bled castle
- Predjama castle
- Turjak castle
- Skofja Loka castle