A Small Package of Perfection
Take a close-up look at a jewel of a country, stunning Slovenia. This country has it all — coastline, mountains, lakes, castles — and all within an hour or so of each other. On this in-depth exploration, journey from the political and cultural capital, Ljubljana, through the countryside; descend from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic Coast, exploring tidy villages and towns along the way; and admire grand mountain vistas, aquamarine rivers, and icy-blue lakes. Visit a stud farm of the original Lipizzaner horse, attend a wine-tasting in the “Tuscany of Slovenia,” explore a cave system and cave castle, and dine in an award-winning restaurant.
Travels to: Slovenia
Days 1-2: Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Since Slovenia’s entrance into the European Union in 2004, Ljubljana has come into its own as a capital city. Small by European standards with a population of 290,000 people, its 50,000-strong student population has ensured that the arts, culture, and nightlife of Ljubljana are constantly fresh and always flourishing. Explore the art nouveau neighborhoods, Ljubljana Castle, Triple Bridge, Old Town, Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Church of the Annunciation, and Republic Square – where Slovenian independence was declared in 1991.
- Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia
- Ljubljana Castle, set high on a naturally fortified hill
- Triple Bridge, one of the most popular photo ops in Slovenia
- Baroque Old Town
- Cathedral of St. Nicholas, with its exquisite, restored frescoes
- Presernov, Ljubljana’s central square
- Salmon-hued, Baroque-style Church of the Annunciation
Days 3-4: Bled, Radovljica, Soca Valley, Kobarid
At beautiful Lake Bled, board a traditional wooden pletna boat propelled by a gondolier with two long oars, gliding across the lake to Bled Island and its legendary castle. In Radovljica, visit the Beekeeping Museum, documenting the history of traditional Slovenian beekeeping from the days when hives were carved into hollow tree trunks to the modern era. Drive through the Julian Alps to visit Triglav National Park in the Soca Valley, and dine in an award-winning restaurant in Kobarid.
- Icy blue Lake Bled
- Traditional pletna boat ride to Bled Island
- Bled Castle and 11th-century Romanesque tower
- Radovljica, with stunning views of the Julian Alps
- Beekeeping museum
- Triglav National Park, part of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere project
- Wooden footbridge around blue-green Zelenci Lake and wetlands
- Lunch in a mountain hut
- Dinner at award-winning Hiša Franko restaurant in Kobarid
Days 5-6: Goriska Brda, Lipica, Piran, Portoroz
Before leaving Kobarid, take a private tour of its WWI Museum, documenting the tragic Battle of Caporetto, described in Ernest Hemingway’s novel A Farewell to Arms. Stop for a wine-tasting in Goriska Brda, known as the “Tuscany of Slovenia.” Discover the original stud farm of the Lipizzaner horse in Lipica, and admire the Venetian architecture of Piran. Continue to Portoroz on the southwest side of the Gulf of Trieste; this is Slovenia’s largest Adriatic resort town.
- Private tour of Kobarid WWI Museum
- Kovlorat range, observing the battlefield from above
- Wine-tasting in Goriska Brda, often called “Tuscany of Slovenia”
- Lipizzaner horse exhibition
- Venetian architecture of charming Piran
- Resort town of Portoroz, known for its flourishing arts scene
Days 7-8 Postojna Caves, Predjama, Ljubljana
Ride a special train through the caverns and tunnels of the Postojna Caves, adorned with glittering stalactites and stalagmites. Visit Predjama Castle, perched dramatically at a cave entrance in a 400-feet-tall overhanging cliff. Continue back to the capital for free time to shop and pack before a celebratory farewell dinner.
- Postojna Caves, an underground world of caverns
- Predjama Castle, the only cave castle in Slovenia and one of the world’s largest
Dates & Prices
- Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates.
- Listed prices below are based on double occupancy and a 2 traveler minimum.
- Hotel upgrades, additional nights, and solo traveler prices are available on request.
Land tour price, per person, starting from:
- Shared accommodations as noted in the itinerary. Contact MIR for hotel upgrade prices.
- Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
- Restaurant tips for included meals.
- One arrival and one departure transfer. Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether or not we make your air arrangements.
- Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (type of vehicle depends on number of travelers in your group.)
- Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers, and other staff, as noted in the itinerary.
- Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees, as outlined in the itinerary.
- Special events, excursions, and cultural performances, as outlined in the itinerary.
- Complete pre-departure information, including detailed packing list, reading list, and Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
- Final document packet, including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
- Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements, on request. (Please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost).
- International airfare and taxes/fuel surcharges.
- Meals and drinks not specified as included in the itinerary.
- Single supplement if requested or required.
- Baggage handling.
- Gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters, and other service personnel.
- Expenses incurred as a result of delay, modification, or extension of a tour due to causes beyond MIR’s control.
- Travel-related insurance, including cancellation, medical, and evacuation insurance.
- Visa fees, excess-baggage charges, airport departure taxes, vaccination and other medical costs.
- Optional pre- or post-tour extensions.
- Items of a personal nature, such as phone calls, email, laundry, and alcohol.
Level 2: Moderate, but Customizable
This ‘Essential’ itinerary, which is designed for private travel, features long days walking and standing, and some possibly long days in the touring vehicle. Only those fit to travel and who accept the local conditions should consider joining this program.
There is a significant amount of touring on foot, and those travelers planning to take the program as written should be able to walk one to two miles a day comfortably. Footing can be an issue and travelers should be able to negotiate cobblestones, uneven surfaces (possibly steep and/or wet), and deal with situations without handrails or ramps. In the hotels, you may find that showers/baths have steep steps up or ledges, which can become slippery and require extra caution. Some attractions are only accessible via steep staircases. Museums rarely have elevators, and hotels may not have elevators as well.
Past travelers have also encountered challenges with plumbing, bureaucratic service, variety of locally available foods, and availability and quality of public restrooms.
Accommodations in the basic program are generally three to four-star hotels, some quite small with basic amenities and services. Upgrades may be available, please call for details.