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Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Sydney, Australia
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Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Hi, we are a family of four travelling to Slovenia in mid April for one week. I am looking at hiring a car from Trieste (preferably near the station) in Italy and then driving into Slovenia. Can anyone suggest any car hire companies where we can pick up our car from the station? Or would public transport be a better option?

Also, how safe is it to travel in Slovenia during this time. Will we encounter a lot of snow on the roads? We will be travelling to Bled from Ljubljana and onto Bovec through Vrisc pass if this is open. We hope to do day trips from Bled to Logar Valley.. Any other suggestions for day trips?

We are interested in some small day hikes.

Also, what sort of weather can we expect during mid April?

Thanks

Sue

Slovenia
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1. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Hi

It is highly unlikely that the Vrsic pass will be open in April. Last year it didn't open well into May due to snow. However, you can still reach Bovec by going via Italy and taking the Predel Pass, as that one is usually cleared of snow throughout the winter.

It's difficult to say whether there will be snow in April, last year there was, the previous year not, but if there is, it will probably only be snowing at higher altitudes and raining in the valley. Anyway, the main roads are all kept well clear of snow so you don't need to worry about that.

As for hiking, again you will be somewhat limited by the snow but you could do some lower level hikes and also drive from Bled up to the Pokljuka plateau, where there are lots of places to walk.

You might be interested in reading my blog. I live in Radovljica, near Bled, and since my main passion is hiking, you might find some interesting posts and ideas so here's the link. You can also do a search on the blog for Pokljuka, the Julian Alps etc. - http://adeleinslovenia.wordpress.com/

Hope this helps!

Adele

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Thank you so much for your reply Adele. I had a quick look at your blog and was very impressed with all the exciting activities to do near Radovlija. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed in trying to make the most of our limited time in Slovenia. We are only there for one week and there seems so much to see and explore!

We are interested both in nature and exploring castles. We were thinking of going to SKocjan caves, Predjama castle and then to Ljulbjana.. . Not sure whether to base ourselves in Ljulbjana and explore surrounding areas like Kamnik, Celje or just to head for Bled and visit Skofja Loka, Radovlija, Trzic. You mentioned that Vrsic pass is most likely to be closed during April just wondering whether to stay in Kranska Gora or Bovec. Is it worth driving to the Soca Valley and exploring this area? or heading towards Velenje?

Sorry so many questions! But would greatly appreciate your opinion.

Sue

Slovenia
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3. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Yes, so much to see and do and so little time! But actually, a week should be ample since Slovenia is so small that everything is within a couple of hours drive - somewhat different to where you live!

I would suggest perhaps that you stay a night or two in Ljubljana and use that as a base, a day to explore the city and another day to visit the caves, either Postojna or Skocjan. If you want to save time, Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle are within a few kms of each other and you can get a multi-entry ticket, to save money, and then you wouldn't need to drive to Skocjan. But the Skocjan Caves are worth seeing too - but just choose one or the other, you don't need to do both.

Kamnik is only small so you wouldn't need much time there, perhaps you could stop there on the day you travel from Ljubljana, first stopping in Kamnik then Skofja Loka then come to Radovljica and on to Bled.

Is there something you particularly want to see in Celje? If you're short of time I don't think it needs to be high on your list of places to go, ditto for Trzic. You could see them but if you are pressed for time, they could easily be omitted from your schedule.

The Soca Valley is beautiful however it isn't a great place to be out of season as its pretty dead. In the summer, it's wonderful, when it's warm and when everything is open but April is really a dead season and you might be a little disappointed as a lot of places will be closed. But the Soca river is nice to see so you could take a day trip - maybe best to wait and see what the weather is like once you are here before committing to that as it will mean going over the Predel Pass.

You haven't mentioned Bohinj lake, you must see that!

Perhaps you could stay in Bled, or Radovljica, and make day trips to Bohinj, Kranjska Gora, Pokljuka etc.

Just some more food for thought!

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Hi Adele,

Thank you once again for your suggestions.

Could you tell me if it would be possible to drive from Trieste (arriving from Venice and picking car up from station app 11am ) then heading towards Skocjan caves (prefer these to Postojna Caves) , not sure whether to stop at Piran or Lipica before seeing the caves. We are then planning to overnight in a B&B in Postojna. The next morning viewing Predjama Castle and spending one or two nights in Ljubljana before heading towards Lake Bled and exploring the surrounding areas.

You suggested perhaps waiting to see what the weather was like before heading towards the Soca Valley and having to go through Predel Pass. Our only problem is that we need to be back at Trieste to catch the train back to Milan, that's why I thought it would be best to head through the Soca Valley to Tolmin then Vipaya Valley to Trieste. Is this possible to do in one day from Bled or is it best to overnight in Bovec or further south.

Also, from Kranska Gora (or any other northern town in Slovenia) is it worth driving into Austria at all? Is that part of Austria scenic? Would there be snow on the roads during mid April?

We have travelled around Austria before, but basically to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and loved it!

Just looking at all possibilities...

Once again thank you so much for all your suggestions. Much appreciated.

Sue

Slovenia
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5. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Hi

You could drive from Trieste, then to see Piran and on to the caves at Skocjan. Just be aware that the tours of the caves at Skocjan aren't as frequent as at Postojna so you might want to check the website so you can time your visit to ensure you don't have too long a wait. Whether you stop at Lipnica is really dependant on whether you are interested in seeing the Lipizanner horses.

If you plan to visit the Soca valley in April, you will have to go over the Predel pass as Vrsic is very unlikely to be open, there is still a huge amount of snow. You could do the valley in a day but obviously that would mean not much time to see and do things, other than from the car in passing. The main places to stop would be at the Velika and Mala korita part of the Soca river (they are marked from the roadside), you could walk a part of the Soca path (though don't know what state it is currently in after the ice-storm), stop in Bovec (though not much to do there out of season), stop in Kobarid, these museum is very popular and definitely some, if not all, of the Historical Path and to the Kozjak waterfall, then on to Tolmin (not an awful lot to see or do there either out of season but a stopping point).

Re Austria, from KG you would go over the Korensko sedlo pass, which is open barring any more heavy snowfall, into Villach. Or you could go over the Ljubelj pass into Klagenfurt. Neither of which can rival Vienna, Innsbruck etc. so again that's a personal choice, but you might be better spending more time in Slovenia as you are limited for time.

Don't forget Bohinj, Radovljica........

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Thank you Adele.

I agree. I think we should just base our stay in Slovenia. I think including Austria would be too ambitious.

We will definitely visit Lake Bohinj and Radovljica while we are in Lake Bled. Do you recommend booking ahead for Lake Bled or the Soca Valley for mid April? Or is there likely to be plenty of accomodation(We will need accommodation for four people.)

Thanks again

Sue

Bled
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7. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Hi,

this year easter holidays are in mid of April, so for the period from 18-22.4 would be better to book in ahead.

Slovenia
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8. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Usually bookings in April wouldn't be strictly necessary but, as said above, if your visit coincides with Easter it might be wise to book ahead and also, particularly in places such as the Soca Valley, a lot of the accommodation probably won't even be open as it is out of season and not worth them opening so you'd be wise to ensure you have somewhere to stay there.

Get in touch when you come to Radovljica, would be happy to show you round :-)

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

Thanks so much Adele. Will do!

It would be lovely to have a local show us around. Slovenia looks like an amazing place to visit.

We are hoping to fit in some short hikes amongst our sight seeing.

I have already booked most of our accommodation in Slovenia. We will be there just before Easter.

Thank you once again for all your advice and suggestions.

Let's just hope for good weather up in the mountains! From what I've read Slovenia has experienced

some rather heavy snowstorms this winter, but I am hoping that wont affect our time there.

Cheers :)

Maribor, Slovenia
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10. Re: Travel to Slovenia in mid April

It will be worth while pre arranging or finding out if and how much the car hire company from Italy will charge for cross border travelling. It can vary quite a lot. A car hired in Slovenia can be charged 29 euro for whole rental period of border crossings to Italy,croatia,austria,hungary etc..but I have experienced firms charging 14 euros extra per day for travel into Slovenia from these countries. Also sort out your own excess insurance as you will only have 3rd party and a typical hire firm will charge you an extra 100 euro per week.

I use icarhireinsurance and I pay just 40 euro for the whole year for as many rentals as I like, it covers excess paid,windshield,glass & underbody and includes all drivers named on the hire agreement.

I have found the prices for rental cars the cheapest for major rental firms through vehicle-rent , in Ljubljana their choice is Sixt. I have just rented through them a 5 door family car, 28 days for just under 280 euros.

Good luck & enjoy Slovenia.

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