Croatia

Slovenia and Croatia

Slovenia is renowned for its chocolate-box gorgeous mountain scenery, Croatia for its stunning coastline. On this two-week itinerary, you will enjoy the best of both. The majority of the trip is spent exploring Slovenia, taking in some less well-known parts of the mountains as well as the highlights. There are plenty of opportunities for activities along the way. You’ll then cross the border into Croatia for a blissful 4 nights on Losinj Island before returning to Ljubljana to fly home.

As always this is just a sample itinerary; let us know if you want to spend longer in Croatia and we can make suggestions accordingly.

Highlights

  Explore the Julian Alps
  Cycling through Radovna Valley
  White-water rafting on Soča River
  Beachside cafes in Piran
  Relax on Losinj Island
  Wander around Ljubljana

15 days from £1,625 pp

Plus international flights from £200.

A two-week holiday in Slovenia and Croatia for a family of four usually costs from £6,500 to £8,000 plus flights, depending on the type of accommodation.

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Slovenia and Croatia day-to-day itinerary

Day 1, Ljublijana – Logar Valley
Arrive into Ljubljana Airport where you will pick up your car. It’s then a 90-minute drive to your hotel up in the Logar Valley, in the north of Slovenia. This extraordinarily beautiful glacial valley is situated in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. The bottom of the lush green valley is dotted with traditional farms and pastureland but on each side, the valley walls rise sharply and are backed by craggy and frequently snow-capped peaks.

Perhaps stop for a traditional Slovenian lunch at Logarski kot. This is a great little mountain restaurant in the middle of a meadow with dramatic views of the sheer rock face of Planjava. From here you might like to continue to Rinka waterfall, at the head of the valley.


Day 2, Logar Valley
You have a full day to explore. We highly recommend taking a hike into the mountains and there are many different options depending on how far you can persuade the children to walk! Our favourite route takes you up to Strelovec Ridge, which separates the Logar Valley from neighbouring Robanov Valley. This will take most of the day but the views from the top are incredible; if the children need some encouragement you can stop en route for a break at Klemenči Jami mountain hut. The views here are gorgeous and you can turn around at this point if you’ve had enough.


Day 3, Logar Valley – Lake Bled
This morning drive to Lake Bled, one of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia. The lake itself is wonderfully pretty, with crystal clear blue waters surrounded by mountains. You can spend the afternoon exploring; perhaps take a rowing boat out on the lake or head to one of the lake beaches and hire a SUP. There are lots of wooden jetties that jut out over the water and the kids will happily spend hours charging off the end of these, into the water.


Day 4, Lake Bled – Lake Bohinj
You have a day to explore the area. Active families may enjoy hiring bikes and cycling into the Radovna Valley, in Triglav National Park. This is a great route, perfect for families as it is quite flat but extremely beautiful. The valley floor is wide and often covered in wildflowers, but with pine-clad mountains beyond.

Alternatively, you might like to visit Lake Bohinj, which is much quieter and less touristy than Lake Bled. Again you can hire a SUP for the day, follow the trail that skirts the lake (and enjoy a picnic lunch en route), or visit Savica Waterfall.


Day 5, Lake Bled – Vršič Pass hike – Bovec
Today you have a spectacular drive deep into the Julian Alps. The journey takes you over the Vršič Pass and we recommend that you stop here for an incredible circular 5 mile hike. The route is stunning and because you are starting at the pass, it has the added bonus that a lot of the ascent has been done in the car! The path is easy to follow and takes you through flower-filled meadows and spruce forest with superb views over both Austria and Italy.

From here continue into the Soča river valley to Bovec. This river runs through the heart of the Julian Alps and is renowned for its startling turquoise colour. Bovec itself is a charming little town and a great base for the many adventure activities in the area.

There are a number of different accommodation options here depending on whether you want to stay in town or in a rural area.

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Day 6, Bovec canyoning or rafting
Bovec is the centre of Slovenia’s adventure activities and there are plenty of options to choose from today. One of our favourite activities is canyoning (aged 9+) in which you follow the course of the Soča river, climbing over rocks, abseiling down waterfalls, squeezing down crevices and jumping off (low!) cliffs into beautiful emerald pools.

Another popular activity is white water rafting, perfect for a dose of adrenalin but in a particularly beautiful section of the river. There are different routes available depending on the ages of your children (minimum age is 5), with varying degrees of difficulty. Whichever you choose, there will be a mixture of rapids and quieter sections where you can jump off the raft and swim alongside.

This afternoon perhaps head down to the Soča river to one of the sandy beaches and have a relaxing few hours swimming and soaking up the views.


Day 7, Bovec – Tolmin Gorge – Piran
Today you will head out of the mountains to the coast. Highly recommended is a stop en route at Tolmin Gorge; this is a great alternative to the much more touristy Vintgar Gorge near Lake Bled. Here the beautiful clear waters of the Tolminka River have carved a deep gorge out of the cliffs. You can follow a raised wooden walkway through and across the gorge, stopping along the way to swim in one of the many pools.

You will end the day in Piran, on the Adriatic coast.


Day 8, Piran
You have a full day to explore Piran. This is a gorgeous little town, sitting at the end of a peninsula, with terracotta-roofed buildings, a bustling harbour and medieval walls. It’s rather like a mini-Dubrovnik, with all roads leading to the beautifully clear waters of the Adriatic.

Spend the day wandering around the cobbled streets, climb the Bell Tower for panoramic views or find one of the seafront restaurants and sample the seafood dishes for which the town is famous.


Day 9, Piran – Rijeka – Losinj Island
Today you will drive south across the border to Croatia to take the car ferry from Valbiska to Losinj Island. The twin islands of Cres and Losinj (connected by a bridge) are particularly beautiful, famed for their olive groves, wild beaches, pretty pastel-hued towns and exceptionally clear water.


Days 10-12, Losinj Island
You have three full days to relax and enjoy the island. This is crisscrossed by a number of trails that are perfect for exploring either by bike or on foot. The island is known for its wild herbs and any hike or bike ride will be redolent with wafts of wild thyme and rosemary. Highly recommended is the hike along the peninsula towards Mrtvaška. Pack a picnic and stop at the beautiful sheltered bay of Krivica, backed by pine trees with beautiful clear water.

Also well worth a visit is the small town of Mali Lošinj situated on a picturesque harbour with a pretty old quarter. There are some superb seafood restaurants here and you can enjoy a delicious lunch with gorgeous sea views.

Losinj is also famous for its population of bottlenose dolphins and you can take a boat trip out to sea, for close-up sightings. Often the dolphins play alongside the boat, leaping out of the water in front of the bow.


Day 13, Losinj Island – Ljubljana
Today you will return to the mainland and drive north back into Slovenia, to Ljubljana.

We suggest that you stop en route at Škocjan caves, a vast subterranean cave system that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here the Reka river has carved out huge caverns and tunnels, all featuring numerous stalactites and stalagmites in an otherworldly landscape.

Nearby is Predjama Castle, the largest ‘cave castle’ in the world, perched in an impossibly dramatic location in the middle of a 123m high cliff face.


Day 14, Ljubljana
You have a full day to explore Ljubljana, Slovenia’s impossibly pretty capital. Here the tree-lined streets weave between attractive squares that are lined with pavement cafes. Imposing baroque churches painted in pastel colours look out over handsome cobbled streets and the Ljubljianica River threads through the city, crossed by picturesque bridges.

This is a great place to wander. Perhaps start the day with a visit to Ljubljana castle, perched above the city with commanding views. Younger children might enjoy the scavenger hunt tour of the castle. From here we recommend spending the day exploring the city on foot, perhaps walking through Tivoli park and stopping for ice-cream in one of the many city squares.


Day 15, Ljubljana
Transfer back to the airport for your flight home.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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