Sunday, 9 September 2018

Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller

Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park

From it's quaint, small city charm, to its endless miles of lush green terrain, complete with magnificent waterfalls and scenic hiking trails, Slovenia is a solid choice for those wishing for an action packed, adrenaline-fulled getaway. Yet its humble approach to tourism and wanderlust leaves it flying under the radar for many - me included. Struggling to find the perfect getaway for myself (no beaches, no lounging around etc.), I stumbled across the stunning South European country, and my streak of indecisiveness was broken, prompting me to immediately book flights and hotels. And the whim paid off. As a huge advocate of solo travel, I can't recommend Slovenia enough. You will never find yourself at a loss of things to do, and the pleasantly busy aspect to your trip, will have you not having a care in the world as you saunter into eateries for a lovely meal to collect your thoughts.

I spent five days in Slovenia and from city life to the sun-soaked, fresh air of nature, I have listed the top 5 things for you to do in Slovenia. Enjoy, and any questions, please feel free to ask!

5. Ljubljana
I would recommend easing yourself into Slovenia with a short stay in the capital city of Ljubljana, where one full day is pretty much enough (two max). As much as I'm a winter baby at heart, I found my stay in the Slovenian capital city soaked in a heatwave - yet shrouded with excitement, and curiosity, I surprisingly didn't mind too much.

With Ljubljana you can pretty much walk everywhere and I soon found myself at the famous Dragon Bridge above the glorious Ljubljanica River, before heading to the Museum of Illusions (super cool, but don't expect to spend ages there with its three small floors). There was also the incredible medieval fortress, Ljubljana Castle - which boasted spectacular city views at the top. The journey to the top for me, however, was a bit annoying, as for the life of me I couldn't find the funicular and ended up accidentally doing the sweaty hike up in a dress (I really need to get my bearings in order) But yes - so, so worth it!

Another thing to note, is that the city has one main bus stop - Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana. Getting buses from there are embarrassingly easy (there was me over-planning for potentials incidents where I would get lost or not understand things). Buses always ran on time, there was fuss-free ticket collection, my buses were usually half-empty, oh and of course, the views on all my journeys were insane. Definitely beats my usual bus route 28. 

Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National ParkTop 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Dragon Bridge above the Ljubljanica River
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Museum Of Illusions
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Ljubljana Castle - Up Close and Views From The Top
4. Lake Bohinj 

The exact moment I stepped off the bus and began my solo hike, it began pouring. Absolutely chucking it down. Thunder, lightning, the works.  I took shelter at a nearby coffee shop and attempted to see out the rain for about an hour. With no sign of the wet weather coming to an end, I gave up and took the forty minute bus back to Bled. Despite the short-lived aspect of my trip to Bohinj, it still makes an appearance on my Top 5 list. I had made a pit stop to the lake the day before for about ten minutes where I heard hear'say of a stunning local hike and a lovely cable car ride up the Vogel Ski Centre. I promised myself that experience the next day, yet it wasn't meant to me.

However, Lake Bohinj is beautiful - a bigger body of water than Lake Bled, more bluer and far less crowded, and what pleased me the most, a celebrated, normalised culture of camping. Tents were set up in the surrounding woodland, with a faint buzz of children using nature as their playground. It's what I would imagine those American summer camps to be like. In the height of summer, there's no place like Bohinj.

Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
So Blue To The Point My Eyes Hurt
3. Postojna Caves 

I got up bright and early on my first day in Slovenia and took the 8.15 am bus which drops you right outside of the caves' entrance, Postojnska Jama. These buses are limited so make sure to check the times. There are much more frequent buses to the local bus station a ten minute walk away.

 Upon arrival, I picked up my pre-booked tickets (order online and ahead of time. As the country's most visited attraction, it gets VERY busy). Soon I was escorted from the blistering sun down into the chilly underworld of never-ending natural cave formations, eerily lit up with lanterns. There was a short train ride, followed by a walk in which you get to witness the different kinds of stalagmite and stalactite formations up close.

The whole tour in itself lasts 90 minutes and you are advised to bring some warmer clothes with you. The experience is a must in my books as it's a natural wonder that you never normally get to see on an everyday basis.

Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
So Cool, So Creepy
2. Lake Bled 

The stunning Bled island in the middle of the lake is probably on every promotional poster for Slovenia. With my hotel on the lakefront, I had the 6km round hike at my fingertips. The first was in the sweltering heat - a hint of the cool water breeze making it oddly bearable. I didn't get far as I stopped pretty much every ten metres to take pictures of my jaw-dropping surroundings. I also made the small hike up to Bled Castle, where once again I was met with sensational views of the island, Trust me, it's incredible to see something in person that you're so used to seeing in pictures. 

The second time I walked around Lake Bled was the day of my flight, where I found myself having some time to kill. It had rained heavily the day before (when I was supposed to hike in Bohinj) and there were was still an ominous overcast with scatters of torrential rain here and there.

Yet nestled amongst the fog and the serene morning silence, this time around the walk proved much more like a 'pinch me' moment. Stepping on crunchy, damp leaves with an umbrella propped over my head, this time round everything was far more magical. Gone were the crowds as I spotted only a handful of people on my journey - a rogue family jumping into the lake in one corner, and during a more wooded section, saw slightly ajar tents with a glimpse of occupants sleeping in their slumber. No doubt, Lake Bled is like a fairytale.

Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park


1. Triglav National Park 

A sprawling region renowned for its hiking, water sports and scenery, I called upon 3glav Adventures' Emerald River Adventure for some help in taking it all in. The company runs fun group tours everyday (perfect for solo travellers) and goes out of its way to make it an experience you won't soon forget! Beginning with the imposing Mt.Triglav in the distance on our morning drive, we went on to walk behind breathtaking waterfalls, enjoy some short, picturesque hikes and soar across a section of the park in an epic car-train experience.

The highlight of the day most definitely was white water rafting on the Soca River. Last time I had been rafting was ten years ago, and I vividly remember sitting there frightened and insecure in the potential to make a fool of myself. This time round I was determined to let loose as we ploughed through the choppy waters. Half way through we parked our raft up against a giant rock, clambered to the top and jumped in.  Against the sunny climes, plunging into the water felt incredible against my skin, and despite the sudden frenzy of contact lenses going awry, coming up for air, I felt strangely accomplished.

If doing this trip, take into consideration it was an 8am to 8pm day - which left me exhausted. But I can't stress enough how crucial it is to book in the odd group tour while on a solo holiday as along with having fun, I met some lovely people, who went out of their way to get to know me (that hasn't happened in a while!). Plus, if anything, such a group tour will leave you with the most incredible pictures.

Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Top 5 Things To Do in Slovenia For A Solo Traveller - Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Triglav National Park
Hiking, Rafting & Views in Triglav National Park - You See What I Mean??!

Considerable Slovenia Mentions 
*I didn't actually have time to take the boat to Bled Island. Definitely do it if you have a chance. Once there you have roughly 40 minutes to visit a museum, as well as a church, where you can ring the 'wishing bell'.

 *I'm actually kind of devastated I didn't get a chance to visit Vintgar Gorge - an unreal looking 1.6 km gorge which boasts the some of freshest, greenest water ever seen. 

*Mt.Triglav is the country's highest peak at 2, 864km which takes two days to conquer. Our 3glav Adventure Tour guide told us of a popular saying within the country: 'You're not a true Slovenian until you've scaled Triglav'. He also proudly told us he had scaled it twice. 



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1 comment

  1. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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