Day 1: Arrival Lake Bled
Day 1: Arrive – Lake Bled
Arrive to the airport of Ljubljana and transfer to the hotel in Bled.
Overnight in Bled - Hotel Park 4*
Day 2: Lake Bled - Lake Bohinj – Bled Lake
We wake this morning on the shores of this magically located glacial lake. Reflecting the high peaks of the Julian Alps, the lake has always been considered sacred to the locals. Our first visit is to the castle perched on a cliff overlooking the town. Offering stunning views over the still morning waters, the castle is also home to a small historical museum with artifacts dating back to the time of the Romans.
From here we drive towards Lake Bohinj. Our drive takes us through an unspoiled high alpine plateau called the Pokljuka Plateau. We stop here to visit a typical farm village called Stara Firzine, and later pay a visit to the local museum dedicated to shepherds. Arriving at Lake Bohinj, we will stop to visit the Church of Saint John the Baptist. At the far end of Lake Bohinj we will take the newly constructed funicular ride up 1000m (3,300 feet) to the summit of Mount Vogel. On a clear day from this height we can view the peaks of most of the Julian Alps, which include all of Slovenia's highest mountains. We will make our lunch break here at this high mountain setting where you can enjoy a refreshing meal in one of the alpine huts.
We return to Bled driving through lush green valleys. Upon arriving back to the shores of Lake Bled we embark on a boat ride to Slovenia's only island, the island on Lake Bled. According to legend this little island was originally inhabited by fairies. Today the island is home to a Baroque church dedicated to Our Lady and locally known as Our Lady of the Lake. Near the altar of the church hangs a rope attached to the bells in the tower. Legend has it that if you make a wish while ringing the bells the wish will come true. We will make time for some wish making before returning back to town. Later today you may choose to walk around the shores of Lake Bled.
An excellent walking trail takes you on this 6 km (3.75 mile) walk around the crystal clear waters of the lake.
Overnight in Bled - Hotel Park 4* (B)
Day 3: Lake Bled – Postojna Cave – Lipica Stud Farm – Piran – Ljubljana
Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of "Bela Ljubjana." This was the nickname given to this delightful city after it was entirely rebuilt in the 16th century following the great earthquake of 1511. A drive through the streets of this sunny city reminds us of the buildings in both Vienna and Prague. The difference, however, is that the Slovene capital is tiny by comparison, small enough to be easily visited on foot. We go up to the city's highest point to visit the 16th century castle, then descend to the lower city to see Trg Naradnih Herojev, the square housing one of the worlds newest parliaments. Here the Slovene flag was raised for the first time in 1991. We continue on foot to visit the old town with its large university, philharmonic hall, and beautiful square of the three bridges. Across the bridge in the old town we will see the city cathedral. Perhaps the most interesting parts of the building are the brand new bronze doors. Commemorating centuries of struggle towards independence, these doors recount major events in the history of Slovenia.
Our walking tour would not be complete without time spent wandering through the open air and indoor city market. People come here to buy fresh mountain herbs and flowers, famous forest honey, wild mushrooms, and fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms. Fresh cheeses made each morning for the market are also on display.
Our next visit will be to Postojna Cave one of the largest in the world, and among Sloveniaís most popular attractions.The Postojna Cave (Postojnska Jama) system, a series of caverns, halls and passages some 27 km (17 miles) long and 2,000,000 years old, was hollowed out by the Pivka River, which enters a subterranean tunnel near the caves’ entrance.
Our journey then continues to Lipica. The impact of Lipica on the world of sport has been far greater than its tiny size would suggest. In 1580, in what was then called Lipizza, the Austrian Archduke Charles, son of Ferdinand I, established a stud farm (kobilarna) to breed horses for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The stud farm remained the property of the court in Vienna until the end of WWI when the Italians took control of that area. Herds were moved to Hungary and then to Austria, but the change in climate took its toll on the horses. In 1943, with WWII still raging, the Germans moved more than 200 horses to the Sudetenland in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). When the area was liberated by American forces in 1945, most of the horses and the stud farms’ archives were shipped off to Italy. Sadly, only 11 horses returned to Slovenia when operations resumed in Lipica in 1947.
Today, there are 200 Lipizzaners residing at the original stud farm, while genuine Lipizzaners are bred in various locations around the world, including Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and the American state of Illinois. The stud farm at Piber, northeast of Graz in Austria, now breeds the horses for the Spanish Riding School.
A short drive will take us to the Slovenian coast to the wonderful resort of Portoroz, which is connected to the old town of Piran. We will take a walk exploring the narrow streets of this pirate town which will bring us back to Venetian times before returning back to Ljubljana.
Overnight in Ljubljana - Hotel Union 4* (B)
Day 4: Ljubljana departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight. (B)
B - Breakfast L – Lunch D – Dinner
All hotels are carefully chosen for their character or best central location or they are simply the only option at certain destinations. All of them can be changed on a request. The categories mentioned by the hotel names are according to the local standards and sometimes do not reflect to Western standards
Trip organized by: “BALKAN EXPERT” d.o.o. license no. OTP 54/2013
Tour available with general condition of travel of “BALKAN EXPERT”