Day 1 - Bled - Arrival Day
Zivjo! Welcome to Slovenia. Known as ‘Europe in Miniature’, tiny Slovenia has a huge heart and a wealth of diversity. The soaring Julian Alps capture a touch of Switzerland, the radiating coastline oozes Mediterranean charm, and Bled’s island church appears to have come straight out of a fairytale. The mountainous backdrop, stunning lake, and impressive cliff-top fortress all combine to make Bled a wonderful place to visit and a delight of Slovenia. Importantly for us there's also plenty of action for adrenaline junkies, from cycling, hiking and skiing, to canyoning, caving and boating. Ease into things with a welcome meeting (usually taking place at 6pm – please look out for a message near reception), where you’ll get acquainted with the rest of the group. The evening is spent at leisure exploring the streets of Bled. Sit back and take in the postcard-perfect views before you get active all this week. Tonight perhaps head out as a group for a meal at a traditional restaurant.
Day 2 - Hiking on Mt Vogel
After a hearty breakfast, join the group for an orientation walk through the picturesque town of Bled. With dense green mountains and rocky cliff tops, and an emerald-coloured lake with a church on an island smack bang in the middle of it, it’s hard to take a bad photo here. In the late morning take a short bus journey to Lake Bohinj (approximately 30 minutes), the largest permanent glacial lake in the country. Here you’ll take the cable car to the top of Mt Vogel, located within Triglav National Park. The upper station lies above 1,500 metres, from where you'll enjoy a hike along lush trails, looking down to the valley where deep green meets endless blue. Depending on weather conditions you will head south towards the peak of Šija. After a rest stop at Suha hut, continue through this incredible Alpine scenery along the Bukovska Valley towards the final destination of Ribčev Laz. This is a quaint little village dominated by a 17th century church with a fresco of St. Christopher on the outside wall. The church, the mountains, a little bridge over Lake Bohinj – it all looks like a wonderful film set. Return to Bled for the evening.
Notes: The actual walking trail today will be chosen according to weather conditions and the ability of the group.
Day 3 - Rafting on Sava Dolinka River
Pack your swimming gear and towel for a rafting trip on the Sava Dolinka River. After a short drive from Bled you will enter the river at Piskovca. A professional river guide will lead the group through rapids, gates and pools. You’ll spend around 1.5 hours on the beautiful water of the river that diagonally crosses the whole country. You’ll pass alpine scenery, cypress trees, and navigate giant moss-covered boulders and fun rapids graded 2 to 3, all the way down river to Lancovo. No doubt you’ll want to jump into the fresh water. From Lancovo it’s a short drive back to Bled. After your active morning, maybe reward yourself with another cream cake. Invented in the kitchens of Hotel Park in 1953 by Ištvan Lukačevič, chef of the hotel's confectionery store, more than 10 million kremsnita have been baked at the hotel's patisserie since its invention. Later, maybe dine on sausages or fresh fish with a side of the local vino. Luckily for you, Slovenia only exports a small amount of their wine, keeping the best local. Grajska Plaža (Castle Beach) is found directly underneath the castle, and provides an excellent starting point for evening festivities.
Day 4 - Free Day
Today is a free day for you to explore all that Bled and the surrounding area has to offer. Still want to be active? Perhaps cycle the 6-kilometre bike path that circles the lake. This scenic ride passes some impressive villas, mostly from the beginning of the 19th century, including the former residence of ‘soft dictator’ Josip Tito. Perhaps enjoy an Emerald River Adventure within Triglav National Park, or try your hand at canyoning. Or simply wander around Bled at your own pace and take a dip in the lake. Maybe head to the 100 metre high cliff-top Old Bled Castle, dating from the 11th century – the views from up here are nothing short of spectacular, taking in the lake with the island and the southern foothills of the Alps. Even better views are to be had from Little Osojnica Hill. Or take a Pletna boat ride (a wooden, awning-covered boat rowed by a special oarsman) to the island on Lake Bled – climb up the 99 steps to St Mary's Church and ring the wishing bell. Be sure to seek out the famous Bled cream cake, which isn’t hard; nearly every cafe and cake shop in town claims that theirs is the best.
Day 5 - Daytrip to Nova Gorica & Piran
Travel by train to the university town of Nova Gorica (approximately 2 hours). The train ride is incredibly scenic and is ranks as one of the most spectacular train rides in Europe. Nova Gorica sits right next to the Italian city of Gorizia, with the border barely separating the two. From here take a private transfer to Piran (approximately 1.5 hours). There’s the option to take a guided walk through the underground canyon at the enchanting Škocjan Caves along the way. The Reka River carved out chambers and passageways, with water also drawing down innumerable stalactites from the ceilings. Medieval Piran, one of three seaside towns on the Slovenian Adriatic Sea, was once known as a pirate stronghold, and is now one of the most photogenic cities in the area. In a terracotta roofed old town crammed into a little spit of land in the Gulf of Trieste, alleys, palaces, and historic houses circle Italianate squares. In Piran there’s also the possibility to go sea kayaking on the Adriatic around the city. Alternatively, just walk the famous promenade backed by Venetian architecture, and soak up the atmosphere in one of the squares. Return to Bled in the evening.
Day 6 - Free Day
Spend the day at your leisure. Vintgar Gorge is an easy daytrip from Bled and features a spectacular walk across rapids, waterfalls and pools via an elevated boardwalk that clings to the craggy rock face. The gorge is less than a kilometre in length so doesn’t take long to hike, but the iridescent water has an almost ethereal quality and clearly you’ll spend a while in this amazing spot taking photos. Otherwise, hire a boat and row around Bled Island or enjoy a picnic lunch on the shores of the lake. You might instead want to take a day trip to cosmopolitan Ljubljana (pronounced 'Lyub-Li-Yana'), the capital of Slovenia. Ljubljana is a city full of style and sophistication, history, monuments, churches, museums and great restaurants. The Old Town consists of three main squares and Baroque houses, and you can visit the Ljubljana Castle, the Town Hall and Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the Triple Bridge, and the open market under the arcade. In the city centre's Prešeren Square you’ll feel like you’ve just walked right into a scene from a beautiful postcard.
Day 7 - Mountain Biking in Triglav National Park
Head out for a morning of mountain biking. There are two routes that might be taken. The first is along the scenic Radovna River as it meanders its way through a wilderness valley between two plateaus. This tranquil route is about 16 kilometres to the village of Zgornja Radovna, following the gravel road through the valley, with only a slightly difficult ascent just before the end. You’ll pass old buildings, ancient trees, and traditional farms. Alternatively, there’s a route with more elevation gain to the villages of Srednja Vas, Leše, and Lipnica. Whichever one you ride, you’ll enjoy forests, mountain pastures, and outstanding viewpoints of this beautiful national park. In the afternoon, soothe weary bones at the Živa Wellness Centre for three hours of divine bliss, soaking in the thermal pools. Back in Bled, soak up the lovely lake views at night. Make the most of your last night together as a group and celebrate the end of this active adventure.
Notes: The route chosen depends on the weather this morning, and the ability of the group.
Day 8 - Bled - Departure Day
This trip comes to an end after breakfast with an optional transfer to the airport for your onward flight. If you would like to extend your stay in Bled we are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your booking agent.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money