Sunday, July 9, 2023


Slovenia was a country that wasn't even on our family's radar until we visited some friends who were stationed in Northern Italy, and they invited us to go on a road trip into Slovenia with them to Lake Bled.  We are so glad they did!  Slovenia is a gorgeous country covered in forests and mountains with 54% of the territory environmentally protected.  It has an incredibly reasonable cost of living and some of the lowest crime rates in the EU.  Every member of our family loved Slovenia and talks about going back!

 Video List

Slovenia is one of the most gorgeous countries I have ever been to.  Every little town we drove through or house we went by looked like it belonged on a postcard.  We were lucky enough to see some of the major sights during our three days in the country.

Dating back as far as 1274, Predjama Castle was built into one of the over 14,000 caves in Slovenia.  If you visit here, I highly recommend paying the few extra euros for the audio guide, as otherwise it is hard to know what you are looking at when you walk through the numerous rooms and chambers of the castle.

Just a few kilometers away from the castle is Postojna Cave, home to the olm and an underground train that takes you almost 4 km into the cave where you begin a tour of the enormous chambers that go back for kilometers more.  The cave is quite chilly, so don't forget to bring a jacket or coat like I did!

Lake Bled is a must-see when traveling to Slovenia.  This was the main destination of our road trip and well-worth the visit.  Bled Castle is perched above lake.  You can drive there, but we walked up a trail that goes from the church on the right up the hill - about a 15 minute walk.  Do keep in mind that they stop selling tickets to enter the castle 30 minutes before the castle actually closes.

view of Bled Lake and its island church from Bled Castle

The peacock (seen atop the pedestal) has become a symbol of Bled because of a 6th century brooch found near here that can now be seen in the castle's museum (entrance under the red awning).  There is also a working replica Gutenberg printing press where you can buy prints as souvenirs.

We also took part of a day to visit Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.  It was not crowded, and everyone was quite friendly and most spoke amazing English and helped us navigate the city.  We parked once and did all of our exploring easily on foot.  This is the Dragon Bridge, which spans the Ljubljanica River.

It had been raining the morning we left Lake Bled, but on the way back from Ljubljana it let up, so we went back to Bled and stopped by Triglav National Park to hike Vintgar Gorge.  Since it had been rainy that day, we were lucky to find a parking spot at the gorge entrance near the ticket booth, which usually fills up very fast.  The gorge itself is only about 1.8 miles long and is an amazingly beautiful and easy (though damp) walk along the Radovna River.  However, since COVID, the trail is now one-way only, and once you get to the end of the gorge you have a choice between a couple of trails.  We took the shorter one and still hiked another two miles to get home.  Our trail went sharply uphill to the town of Blejska Dobrava, and then back through the woods along the top of the gorge until you get back to the parking lot.  It took us only about an hour and a half total, but we were hustling because we had to drive back to Venice and turn in our car that evening.  But it was worth every minute!

One of the fun foods we were able to try while we were there was Bled's cream cake.  Very sweet but very tasty!

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