Itinerary for 3 weeks caravan trip in Slovenia with children
We are just back and we want to share our Itinerary for 3 weeks caravan trip in Slovenia with children. Three weeks with (mostly) nice weather and a couple of heavy showers. We love outdoors and hiking, and therefore we were looking for walks and natural sights. In these three weeks, we have climbed quite a lot of mountains (ok, we used 4 cable cars to skip a part of the climb), hiked a lot of gorges and visited a couple of waterfalls. For our kids, there’s no better thing than step out of bed and be outdoors. Before leaving, we had many places in mind to visit and during the trip, we have changed our plans according to the weather and our mood. Here is our itinerary:
Chiemsee & Altenmarkt im Pongau
We drove in 4 days the almost 1400km from The Netherlands to Slovenia. With a baby and a toddler, we didn’t want to have a lot of long driving days and therefore made three stops: Wertheim (almost 600km), Chiemsee (400km) and Altenmarkt im Pongau (110km). I will write a post about the places we stopped on the way because we were looking for places to enjoying the way and spots where the children could play and have fun instead of driving through.
In Austria, we visited the Eisriesenwelt: the largest ice cave in the world. In order to reach it, you need to walk 20 minutes to the cable car, and another 20 minutes from the cable car to the entrance of the cave. If you want to exercise, you can also walk the whole way up and down 🙂
But reserve some energy for the cave itself, as you will need to climb 1400steps! For the kids, it’s quite tiring, so if they are still under 5, bring a baby carrier. We weared both kids inside the cave. Bring also warm clothes, as inside the cave is really cold. Our intention was to spend 4 hours here, but we spent the whole day and therefore, we stayed in a camping in Altenmarkt im Pongau, not far away.
After Another 168 km, we arrived in Bled, where we spent three nights. I expected a very touristy and crowded place, but the first thing we saw was the little island in the middle of the lake, people swimming and little boats sailing. The first impression wasn’t a crowded place, but a great place for summer holidays. We droved around the lake in order to get to our camping and we were fascinated by the colour of the water. It was just like in the pictures you see in the advertisements: a rich emerald colour.
The four days we spent in Bled had the same structure: a hike in the morning and swimming in the lake in the afternoon. We were really lucky with the weather and it was hot during the day and rainy in the night.
Bled is a good starting point for many outings like hiking in Vintgar Gorge and/or Pokljuka Gorge, rent a boat to visit Bled Island, take the tourist train around the lake, walk up Bled’s castle, walk through dinosaurs at Dino Park, take the chair lift at Straža and enjoy tobogganing on the sledding track that is situated on the ski slope, and of course hike to Mala Osojnica to get the best picture of Bled’s lake.
If you ask me, you can spend a week or two in Bled without getting bored. We would have loved to spend more time in Bled, but we decided to camp in Bohinj for another three nights. You can also easily drive every time from Bled to Bohinj (it’s just 30km).
If Bohinj is not on your itinerary, you should add it right away. Lake Bled is beautiful, but Bohinj has a special charm. The quietness is only broken in some places by kids playing and swimming in the shore of the lake. Other than that is surrounded by nature.
In fact, one-half of the lake is only accessible by foot or bicycle and it only has 3 houses. This was also the reason to try Bohinj campsite. We wanted to experience the quietness and a more authentic “camping experience”. Also, the camping in Bled was good, there were much more tourists. At the Camp Zlatorog Bohinj, there were mostly locals and the atmosphere was really relaxed.
We had the luxury of having a place next to the lake and I have to admit that this spot was the best in our whole trip. The kids woke up, had breakfast and went straight to play on the shore of the lake. It didn’t matter if it was cold or hot, sunny or rainy, I couldn’t take them away from the lake 🙂
TIP: at the Camp Zlatorog Bohinj take a camping spot in the shore of the lake (A+ area)
The first day in Bohinj, we took the cable car to Vogel (1535m). The start of the cable car is just a 5 min walk from the camping, so you don’t need to take the car. It departs every half an hour. We were lucky because on that day there was a “family day” at Vogel (once a month on a Saturday). On the top, there were a lot of activities and entertainment for the children, plus older kids (ours are still free of charge) would have had free entrance. We took part in the treasure hunt, which led us to Orlove Glave.
If you plan to do a lot of activities around Bohinj, you can better buy an activity package in order to save money. We bought one which also included a meal on the top of Vogel.
From the campsite, we also took the boat (it departs every 1 – 1,5 hours) around the lake. You can step out on the other side of the lake, cross the famous stone bridge and visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, which is famous for its fresco paintings. Another great hike is Savica Waterfall. It’s about 20minutes walk (or better said stair climbing). It’s an easy one for the kids.
We wanted to hike Mostnica Gorge as well, but the weather didn’t allow it (it started raining and lightning as soon as we parked), plus I had twisted my foot and I had a bit of pain. Next time!
Our next adventure was the train ride from Bohinj to Most na Soči. Why? Because we took our car and caravan on it!! This motorail train can carry cars, vans, pickups, and camper vans which don’t exceed 3m in height and 2,4m in width. Our caravan is just 2.35m and Paul put to practice his driving skills during the uploading and downloading of the caravan. The space to turn in the platform, as well as space on the sides of the train, is limited.
We stayed in Kobarid for two nights and hiked to Slap Kozjak. The hike is easy and the waterfall is spectacular. Really worth the walk. Just look at the colour of the water!! If your kids are older, you can do a lot of water activities here.
We also wanted to visit the cheese museum, but Liam fell asleep in the car 🙁
Our next stop was Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. From Kobarid is 2 hours drive even though is only 115km. You can read our review of Postojna and Predjama Castle here.
Our visit to Postojna Cave was at 11 and lasted 1,5 hours. For our kids, there were two highlights: the train that rides 3,5km into the cave, and the human fishes (Proteus anguinus) that are at the end of the 1,5km walk. The whole path is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, so not an issue with young children. Well, you need to bring a jacket as the temperature inside the cave is just 10 degrees.
From Postojna Cave, it’s only a 9km drive to Predjama Castle. In July and August, there’s a shuttle bus between both locations, in all other months you need to drive yourself. At the Predjama Castle, you get an audio guide and then you can explore the castle at your own path.
If you are travelling with a camper (or a caravan), you can also stay the night in a designated parking at the Postjona Cave. The price per night is 20€ and it includes electricity. As the kids were still happy, we preferred to drive to Ljubljana (a 58km drive).
There’s only one camping close to the city centre, Ljubljana Resort Hotel & Camp. It’s well located as you can catch a bus to the city centre just across the street, but the maintenance could it be better (warm water doesn’t work often, swimming pool is closed and showers could be cleaner). The weather in Ljubljana wasn’t so great and this was the reason to stay just two nights.
In the city, we took the funicular to Ljubljana’s Castle, enjoyed the vegetable market and walked around the city. We also took a rest at Mala Ulica, a great spot for children and the perfect playground for rainy days.
The day we left Ljubljana, we drove first to Velika Planina. In the summer, the cows are in the higher meadows. These meadows are called “planina” in Slovenia and you can find many of them. If your children, like ours, love nature and cows, visit one. Velika Planina is not far from Ljubljana and really worth it!.
Depending on how long you want to hike, you can take the cable car and the chair lift up to the top or walk all the way up. When we were there, the chair lift from the cable car to the top of the mountain was closed because of the wind and we had to walk an extra hour (I really recommend to take the chair lift if you go with children). We first had traditional lunch in a mountain lodge and then walked around Velika Planina and its cows. We bought cheese and fresh milk (I mean really fresh milk, I had to cook it before we could drink it).
Ptuj & Maribor
Our last stop in Slovenia was Ptuj, where we spent three nights at Terme Ptuj. Here, we took it easy and enjoyed spending a day in the swimming pool, an afternoon in Ptuj, another day in Maribor and the last morning in the swimming pool.
In Maribor, we took the tourist train around the city (almost 1 hour) and also the cable car up to Pohorje. Next to the cable car, you can take a chair lift for also tobogganing, but as it was almost rainy, we didn’t want to risk.
On our way back home, w stopped again 3 nights in Austria, at Putterersee. We loved this kind of campings: next to the mountains and with a lake/river. Here the temperature went up again and we were able to swim in the lake.
Not far from the camping, we hiked Wörschachklamm and visited the Wolkenstein Castle ruins.
The last stop for the kids and I was Nürnberg, where we also visited Playmobil. From here, the kids and I flew to Madrid, and Paul drove home with the caravan.
Have you ever been to Slovenia? What would add as a must see /do to our itinerary for 3 weeks caravan trip in Slovenia with children?
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Ruth | Tanama Tales
Oh my! This is excellent. I went to Germany on May and saw tons of caravans (we call them RVs) on the banks of the Rhine. Now, I would love to discover Europe in one. You guys went to so may great places. #TheWeeklyPostcard
I though RV are “campers” and caravan the trailers behind the car. Anyway, it’s a great way to discover Europe. Campings are affordable and also well located.
It looks like a great destination. Makes me think of Norway. I’ll keep it in mind for one of my next holidays.
we were last year in Norway and Julian Alps have some similarities with Norway. The big difference is the size of the countries 🙂
Corey at fifi + hop
I’m so impressed with how much territory you covered with a baby and toddler in tow! I need to get my girls more into hiking – used to do it all the time but being in the NYC suburbs we don’t have as much opportunity here. #theweeklypostcard
Our kids love being outdoors and are also used to be carried (in a baby carrier), this allows us to spend a whole day hiking without complaints 🙂 You can look for easy hikes for them or prepare fun facts about things you will see along the way, or prepare a treasure hunt. In this way, they will be motivated to continue walking.
Oh, what a beautiful trip, Shere! I remember you were saying that Slovenia was in your plans for this summer. I can only imagine hot difficult it must be for you to be on the road with two small children, and yet you manage to visit all these beautiful sites like the rest of us (adults only, I mean). I knew Slovenia is beautiful, but unfortunately had only 2 days for it. I’m planning to return perhaps next year and explore more. I particularly want to visit Skokjan Caves. #TheWeeklyPostcard
I was worried about the long drive from The Netherlands to Slovenia (1400km), but with patience and lots of stops, it wasn’t so bad. We missed the Skokjan caves, I thought they were only open during the weekends. I will keep them in my mind for a next trip, we see a lot but there was still much more to see 🙂
Your trip looks like an epic adventure. All that hiking would make for very restful nights. Good idea to fly back to Spain (and leave hubby to drive back 🙂 )
Amazingly they weren’t that tired because they also had siesta. The kids went to sleep not earlier than 21. I was happy to exchange the 10+ hours driving with 2 times 2,5h flying 🙂
Your trip looks lovely! I fell in love with Slovenia this year and need to go back and spend more time. Your tips are perfect even for someone not traveling with kids. I can recommend the Lipica Horse Farm as well. The horses are stunning!
I saw pictures of the lipica horses and they are really beautiful, but he had to make choices and leave them for a next trip (together with coast).
Those are all great stops for breaking up a road trip! Did you stop by the Upside down house in Wertheim? Your kids would have loved that! (https://www.caliglobetrotter.com/cafe-uber-kopf-the-best-road-trip-pit-stop-ever/). We also rowed our own boats at Lake Bled and I thought that was much more enjoyable than taking a Plenta boat! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!
We visited the upside down house and the path above the trees in St. Englmar on the way back.
I’ll have a look at the one in Wertheim. I’m writing a post with cool places to stop with the children.
Oh, lately I keep hearing such good stories about visiting Slovenia. A friend of mine simply adored it, and your photos simply confirm it. Beautiful.
I was in a presentation from the Slovenian tourist office and I was so impressed by the pictures that we decided to go to Slovenia. Really worth it!