Sorry that this took entirely too long to post, but for those who’ve been asking me about my routing and my itinerary, I finally got around to drafting a brief one with lots of useful information to help you plan your next off the beaten path road trip through Europe. So here’s a rough map of my routing, following my details for each location I travelled to! (Hint: click on the “more options” if you want to use it to draft your own itinerary). I covered everything within 9 days, and in quite some details. However, if you have more time, and don’t have a full-time job to get back to (unlike me), then ideally 2 weeks is a good amount of time for this routing without feeling too rushed, and making too many kilometres in each day.
Hotel: I stayed at Lambergh Chateau. About 15 minutes drive from downtown but it is set in a castle with an amazing wellness and spa area, which makes it definitely worth a visit.
To Do: Lake Bled is a must see, or else there isn’t really a point going to Bled. Make sure to take the wooden boat to the small island in the centre of the lake! Also, you’ll get a great view of entire Lake Bled and Bled city from Bled Grad (castle). Another lake, if you can afford the time would be Lake Bohinj, which is about 1 hour drive away from Lake Bled and double its size. It’s located in the countryside with beautiful river streams and waterfalls.
To Eat: Pension Berc is amazing if you are looking for local and hearty Slovenian food in a cozy setting. For something more upscale and modern, I would suggest the A La Cart Restaurant 1906 Bled in Hotel Triglav. Make sure to order anything related to Istrian homemade pasta.
Hotel: I stayed at Hotel Emonec, which is located right at the city centre; perfect for exploring the best that Ljubljana has to offer
To Do: Get lost in the little streets. Don’t use a map. Just trust your instinct, wander, and get lost in this amazing city with beautiful surprises at every corner. Don’t forget to enjoy the nightlife and clubbing scene, because that is what Ljubljana is known for. This city never sleeps. Go to the morning market by the river (note: store owners start to pack up atat 3pm), For a view of the city go to Lubljana Grad (Castle).
To Eat: Any tiny restaurant along the river or in the little streets that catch your eye really. There are so many options all around; you’ll never run out of food. Make sure to hunt for Strukji, a ricotta bread local dish!
Hotel: Hotel Marko, which is located directly across from the coastline between the Salt Lake and Piran
To Do: Bicycle through the Salt Lake all the way to Croatia. You may even cross the border if you like! It’s about 7 – 10 kilometers from Portoroz each way. Head to Piran, which is about 3 kilometres from Portoroz in the other direction. You can easily catch a bus or bicycle there as well! Go up the church tower for the most stunning view of Piran’s coastline and city centre.
To Eat: Seafood at Pavel’s. Order the oven-baked fish, but also bring your appetite.
Hotel: Astor, which is on the pricy side, but brand new with amazing facilities in the room. Also, the view is pretty great
To Do: Before reaching Belluno from Portoros, drive through the Processo vineyard routing (see below map), go on some Processo and white wine tastings. Here’s the routing you should take, and the places you should make pit stops at! This is doable within 3 – 4 hours, as the routing is 50km in total. The map below shows a general outline of the location (Source: Unknown).
This is what I actually ended up doing though, except I also through in Lago di Santa Maria, and ended my day in Belluno as a spur of the moment decision. To use this google map I’ve drafted, simply click “More Options”, and you can play around to modify the routing to your liking! 🙂
In Belluno, make sure to have an Aperol spritz or two or three in the sun. Don’t forget to walk through this tiny Processo town, especially through the morning markets, riverside, and shopping areas downtown if you enjoy it as a leisure activity.
To Eat: Teracotta for a different style of Italian food, quite different from your average pasta and pizza. Make sure to book in advance as this restaurant is always full!
Hotel: Hotel Foresta which is again on the slightly pricey side and on the outskirts of Bolzano (In Moena), but the sauna, wellness center, cabin style rooms, and breakfast variety make it all worthwhile.
To Do: Before reaching Bolzano from Belluno, drive through the Dolomites. Along the way, you will pass some cute smaller villages where you can enjoy some delicious Prosecco inspired cocktails. Hint: Bellinis in this region are delicious. Also, make sure you make a pitstop at Karersee, which is a gorgeous emerald green lake, that reflects a range of the Dolomites.