SLOVENIA – The Green Heart of Europe
Our multi-day tour package Slovenia – The Green Heart of Europe includes visiting Slovenia’s greatest attractions with local professionals, who will make sure to create an unforgettable experience for you. We are inviting you on a voyage through Slovenia with trips to our Alpine Region, excellent wine degustations, dinners at typical Slovenian ecological farms, visits to natural landmarks such as caves, mountain lakes and gorges, rafting, and sightseeing of towns and castles. Slovenia is the only country in Europe that includes the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst. You will discover that Slovenia is a true feast for your eyes and you can be sure that its exceptional beauty will amaze you. Visit world-wide known Slovenian green destinations and create memories for a lifetime!
Slovenia is situated in the part of Central Europe, where four main geographical units meet: the Alps, the Pannonian Plain, the Dinaric Alps, and the Mediterranean. This is a country full of surprises and natural treasures, as nearly one third of Slovenia is under natural protection and 60 % of it is covered with forest. Therefore, it is known as “the Green Heart of Europe”.
Slovenia offers a variety of options. Wherever you go, you will be surprised to find the sea so near the Alps and the Karst, the Pannonian Plain will soon change into vast forests, and the cultivated fields will transform into hills, covered with vineyards and fruit trees. The inhabitants of this “country on the sunny side of the Alps” are hospitable, kind and hardworking. Slovenian towns are relatively small and never more than one step away from nature.
Highlights: Ljubljana, Novo Mesto, Celje, Rogaška Slatina, Maribor, Jeruzalem, Ptuj, Lake Bled, Uskovnica, Pokljuka, Bohinj, Vogel, Planica, Vršič Pass, Goriška Brda, Štanjel, Trieste, Piran, Portorož, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle.
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- Duration: 9 nights / 10 days
- Tour package includes:
- Pick-up and drop-off at Jože Pučnik Airport Ljubljana,
- All transportation per program,
- Sightseeing per program,
- Entrance fees to: Celje Regional Museum, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle,
- Private vehicle with driver,
- English-speaking guide,
- 9 breakfasts,
- 9 overnight stays on twin/double sharing basis in 3* or 4* hotels: 3 nights in Ljubljana, 2 nights in Rogaška Slatina, 1 night in Goriška Brda, 2 nights in Bled, 1 night in Portorož,
- All applicable tolls, fees and taxes.
Day 1: Arrival
Our agent will welcome you at Jože Pučnik Airport Ljubljana and take you to your hotel for check-in (after 14:00). You will have time for unpacking and lunch, afternoon free. We recommend an evening walk through Ljubljana, proclaimed by the European institutions the »European Green Capital 2016«. Overnight stay in Ljubljana.
Day 2: Ljubljana
After breakfast, our tour guide will take you on a panoramic sightseeing tour of Ljubljana to show you its main attractions, from Prešeren Square and Tromostovje (Triple Bridge) to Town Square with its baroque fountain and Town Hall. We will climb the Ljubljana Castle Hill and admire its panoramic view of this lovely city. You will have one hour free for visiting the castle (optional) or enjoying a coffee break. Afternoon free for shopping or sightseeing. Overnight stay in Ljubljana.
Day 3: Novo Mesto, Celje, Rogaška Slatina
After breakfast, we will drive to Novo Mesto and make a short stop at the Otočec Castle. (*Optional) We will continue past Sevnica, the First Lady Melania Trump’s hometown, to Celje, an old town known already in the Roman times. We will walk through the old city centre and visit the Celje Regional Museum with the exhibition “Celeia – the Town under the Town”. The route will continue to Rogaška Slatina, known for its special mineral water, which has its sources in the depth of 280 to 600 m. “Donat source water” belongs to the mineral waters of the highest quality, as 1 litre of water contains 1000 mg of magnesium. The Rogaška Slatina spa resort is over 400 years old and the crystal glass products from Rogaška are also known all over the world. In the evening, you may have some free time to enjoy the pools, saunas and the rest of the thermal offer of the Rogaška Health Resort. Overnight stay in Rogaška Slatina.
*For private tours: If the weather is nice, we can go on a rafting trip on the Krka River and visit a vineyard cottage, where local people produce spirit from wine.
Day 4: Maribor, Jeruzalem, Ptuj
We will start our day by driving to Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia and the home of the world’s oldest grape-producing vine, which is 400 years old and located in Lent. There is also a winery with the best wines of the Štajerska (Lower Styria) Region. On the other side of the Mura River, we can see the oldest BMW advertisement, originating from the times of World War II. Our journey will continue to the Vinarium Tower in Lendava, which offers a breath-taking panoramic view of the plains and hills of Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Austria. Our next stop is Jeruzalem, the viticulture jewel of Štajerska. The wine road leads to the summit with another magnificent panorama. We will also have the chance to taste some of the delicious local dishes and visit the home of the production of the best pumpkin seed oil, typical of this part of Europe. We will go on a short sightseeing tour of Ptuj, as this town used to be an important Roman fortress. We will visit Ptuj Castle and return to Rogaška Slatina, where you will have some time to enjoy an evening swim in its thermal waters or to use other wellness facilities, and conclude the day in an especially pleasant and relaxing way. Overnight stay in Rogaška Slatina.
Day 5: Lake Bled
We will leave Rogaška Slatina and continue our way to another part of Slovenia – Gorenjska (Upper Carniola) Region – to the most renowned tourist place in Slovenia, Lake Bled. (*Optional) As Bled is a place for relaxation and enjoyment, you will hear all the relevant stories, facts and directions/tips on the way and learn more about Bled upon arriving there. You can decide how you want to spend the next few hours at leisure at the resort by yourself and choose from the possibilities you will learn about. Our guide can take you on a tour of the majestic Bled Castle, which is located on a steep 139 m high cliff overlooking the lake and offers a heavenly view of Lake Bled, as well as the surrounding alpine mountain tops and valleys. Bled Castle, first mentioned in 1011, is one of the oldest Slovenian castles. You can admire the old wooden Gutenberg printing press and the castle’s smithy, while Bled Castle is also famous for being one of the most beautiful wedding venues in Europe. Alternatively, you can take a pleasant walk around the lake or join a “pletna” boat ride to the island in the middle of the lake, which is named after the town of Bled and is, in fact, the only island in Slovenia. You can take a look at an impressive medieval church and its “wishing bell”. After that experience, you can take some time to treat yourself to a good cup of coffee, enjoying the beautiful view of the lake at the foot of Pokljuka and tasting the traditional local dessert “kremšnita” (cream cake), which has been made in Bled for over 60 years. Another possibility is visiting the magnificent Vintgar Gorge nearby (typically open April – November). Overnight stay in Bled.
*For private tours: On our way to Bled, we can visit the charming medieval town of Škofja Loka.
Day 6: Uskovnica, Pokljuka, Bohinj, Vogel
We will start our morning with an easy walk around the mountain plain of Uskovnica, situated among some of the most picturesque Slovenian summits. We will continue to Pokljuka, a mountain plain covered with beautiful pine forests, where the competitions of the World Cup in biathlon take place and where the heart of the Triglav National Park is. The beautiful mountain road will lead us to Bohinj with its glacier lake, the largest in Slovenia. If the weather allows it, we can take the cable car to Vogel (optional) and see the mountains from another point. (*Optional) Overnight stay in Bled.
*For private tours: We can visit the magnificent Savica Waterfall near Lake Bohinj.
Day 7: Planica, Vršič Pass, Goriška Brda
After breakfast, we will head towards the Primorska Region, another wine region. On our way there, we will stop at the world famous Nordic Centre Planica, which boasts 8 ski jumping hills and a large flying one, where the final of the World Cup in ski jumping is held each year. We will continue our tour by crossing the Vršič Pass, Slovenia’s highest mountain pass, which joins two Slovenian regions – Gorenjska and Primorska, and offers a stunning view of the Julian Alps. The road over the pass was built during World War I by over 1000 Russian prisoners. To those who died there, the Russian Chapel was raised. The road descends to the Trenta Valley with the prominent Soča River, known as “the emerald beauty” because of its turquoise colour. Passing by Kobarid and Most na Soči, we will make our way to Goriška Brda, to the village of Šmartno with its old walls and an abundance of stories about the wars between Venice and Habsburg dynasty in the 16th and 17th centuries. Due to its great heritage, Šmartno was proclaimed the monument of highest importance, while the beautiful nature of Goriška Brda earned it a flattering nickname “Slovenian Tuscany”. We will stay at one of the tourist farms in the area, which also produces excellent wines that you can taste. Overnight stay in Goriška Brda.
Day 8: Štanjel, Trieste, Piran, Portorož
Before continuing our trip to Trieste, we will make a short stop in Štanjel, one of the oldest towns in the Karst Region. This small but lovely town will charm you with its beautiful Ferrari Garden and the castle it belongs to. Next on our route is sightseeing in Trieste, a city of great importance for the Habsburg dynasty and ruled by many more throughout history, with the second largest port in Italy. We will visit the city centre and the mesmerising Miramare Castle (entrance optional), built by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian I for himself and his wife Charlotte of Belgium. It shows its visitors an example of a luxurious aristocratic residence, which has preserved its original furnishings. The Slovenian coastal road will lead us to the lovely town of Piran, also called “little Venice”. We will walk through its narrow streets and beautiful squares up to the church of St. George to see the view of three countries – Slovenia, Italy and Croatia, as well as nearby salt fields. The salt there is acquired from the sea in a unique, traditional and natural way: with the help of the sun, petola mud and wind. Afterwards, we will head to Portorož, the modern capital of Slovenian tourism. With its Mediterranean climate, unforgettable sunsets over the Adriatic Sea, spa and wellness centres, this is the place to visit when you want to relax and be pampered. Overnight stay near Portorož.
Day 9: Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle
After breakfast, we will head in the direction of the Notranjsko-Kraška region (SE Slovenia) and stop by Lipica Stud Farm, home of the Lipizzaner horse, and the largest Karst cave – Postojna Cave. The electric train will take us through the tunnels of the cave, which is with its 20 km long cave system the most impressive and the most visited cave in Europe. We will be able to spot human fish, the most famous cave animals in the world that used to be believed to be dragon offspring. We will continue with a tour of the mighty Predjama Castle from the 12th century, mounted on a 123 m high cliff above the Lokva River. There are many mysterious tales and legends about the castle and its knights. The most famous of them all is the story of Knight Erazem of Predjama, who rebelled in the 15th century against the emperor and became the first Slovenian Robin Hood. Today’s castle is from the Renaissance period and incorporates a museum. Our trip will come to an end in Ljubljana, where the remaining afternoon is free for exploring Ljubljana on your own. Overnight stay in Ljubljana.
Day 10: Departure
Check-out, transfer to Jože Pučnik Airport Ljubljana.
In the case of unexpected events (traffic conditions, weather conditions or other inconveniences that we cannot influence), we can change the order of trips and sometimes the contents to make the tour as logistically convenient as possible.
What to see in Slovenia
With its breathtaking landscapes, green forests, emerald rivers, deep blue Alpine lakes, exciting mountain tops, scenic historical towns and castles, Slovenia is like a real size postcard! It also boasts three UNESCO World Heritage sites: Škocjan Caves, Idrija and the Ljubljana Marshes, where great mysteries unravel.
What to do in Slovenia
Take time to enjoy a city tour of Ljubljana, discover Slovenia’s natural treasures, listen to our tour guide’s interesting stories about Slovenia’s historical and cultural heritage, taste the local cuisine and exquisite wine, relax in thermal spa resorts or try some exciting activities, such as rafting, kayaking, hiking, biking and SUP-ing.
Where to go in Slovenia
Since Ljubljana can be used as a hub to explore other exciting locations around Slovenia, major Slovenian tourist attractions, cities, castles and famous landmarks can be included in our day trips from Ljubljana. Discover Lake Bled, Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, Piran and Portorož, Trieste, Venice, Zagreb, Klagenfurt and more!