Planning a Slovenia Road Trip
A country like Slovenia with stunning natural landscapes, quaint towns and cities, and friendly people is perfect for a European road trip. There are so many perfect spots to jump out at and take pictures that it almost seems a shame not to hire a rental car and go for it. Although the public transport in Slovenia is undeniably excellent, it’s harder to reach some of the smaller towns or anything off the main tourist track with public transport.
The freedom you’re offered by renting your own car is so worth it and you don’t have to be at the mercy of the bus and train timetables. If you’re considering hopping behind the wheel then here’s everything you need to know about the Slovenia roads, hiring a rental car in Slovenia, and what to get up to on your road trip itinerary.
Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary
Choosing where to go on a Slovenia road trip can be tricky, there are so many amazing places to go and with that total freedom of the open road how do you choose? Here are some of the top places to visit (in sensible order) which can easily be visited in a week or less while travelling Slovenia.
It takes 45 minutes to get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled so it’s a perfect first stop on your road trip itinerary. The town of Bled itself, found at the edge of the lake, is a wonderful stopover and, of course, you get to see the infamous fairytale island on the lake, which itself is home to a church that even hosts weddings. And then there’s Castle Bled, which sits atop a cliff overlooking the lake.
Lake Bohinj and/or Vintgar Gorge
One of the benefits of visiting Slovenia is untouched nature. Many people rate Lake Bohinj higher than Lake Bled which is really something. It’s part of Triglav National Park and is spread over 318 hectares. If you have time to visit both the lake and Vintgar Gorge then go for it. Just 4km west of Bled and the nearest point to entering Triglav National Park from Bled, this 1.6km gorge has to be seen to be believed.
Soca River Valley
Next on your Slovenia road trip, you should head northwest to the luscious Soca River Valley to get your fill of outdoor activities. Seeing one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, the turquoise Soca River is a must but you can also try ziplining in Bovec or visit some of the small towns like Kobarid. For more unbridled nature, visit the alpine Krn Lake, Boka waterfall or Tolmin Gorge – there is really no end of places to drive in to in this area.
Vipava Valley and Goriska Brda
Two of the most famous winegrowing regions in Slovenia, get lost in some rural Slovenian life with hilltop towns, farms, and vineyards. There;’s no better area to find a cosy homestay and settle down with some good wine.
It’s time to spend time in this picturesque coastal towns and get lost in stunning views and ancient history. There’s so much going on here and if you love getting lost in the winding side streets of old town admiring gothic architecture you’ll be very happy in Piran. Make sure you try one of the famous seafood restaurants!
If you have time to visit Postojna Cave on the way back to Ljubljana then definitely try and squeeze it in. It’s the second-largest cave system in the country and offers an amazing underground world of cave formations formed over millions of years and diverse fauna. Don’t miss the five-metre-tall stalagmite called Brilliant, it’s unreal.
Time to head back and enjoy the capital of Slovenia after enjoying some of the country’s diverse nature and fascinating history. Enjoy the green spaces, museums and buzzing cafe and restaurant culture of this vibrant and young city.
Tip: You even have the option of visiting Zagreb, the capital of Croatia as it’s only a 1h 45-minute drive from Ljubljana. As long as you have the right documentation depending on your country of origin then it makes for a wonderful road trip!
How to Hire a Rental Car in Slovenia
Hiring a rental car in Slovenia couldn’t be easier. You can either pick up your new car at the airport or hire from within the cities. Make sure you shop around as you can get some really great deals when you pay attention, particularly in the shoulder and off-season.
When you do rent a car, consider getting a car with snow tires or snow chains if you’re travelling in the winter. The country roads can be incredibly wild and snowy in the winter, and having snow tyres means you’re safe and the open road is your playground.
Some of the big rental car companies in Slovenia include:
- Avant Car
- Budget Rent a Car
Tips for Driving on Slovenia Roads
Slovenia is, thankfully, an easy country to drive in. Roads and motorways are always kept in good condition despite the often heavy snowfall, and people generally keep to the speed limits. Local drivers are mostly amicable and polite, so you shouldn’t encounter any real surprises or culture shock when you get behind the wheel.
Although you may find that people tailgate you more than you’d like! But that’s the only frustration you might encounter. You shouldn’t have any problems hiring a car in Slovenia if you’re over 21 and have an international or European driving licence. It will get cheaper if you’re over 25 though. Here are a few rules that you should follow while on the Slovenia roads:
- Keep your lights on always – including during the day
- You must wear a seatbelt
- Speed limits are 50km/h in cities and 130km/h
- You can’t any drink alcohol at all and get behind the wheel
- They drive on the right in Slovenia
- When on roundabouts you don’t have to indicate your direction but should when you’re leaving the roundabout
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