Venture out to Slovenia and Croatia
Being encouraged to venture out by my well-travelled mother, we decided to explore Slovenia and Croatia. Because my husband and I had recently retired, we were able to expand our usual two-week European Vacation into an almost three-week trip. Since, we already had plans to spend ten days in Italy with our travel partners, it was easy to venture out from there into Slovenia and then down into Croatia.
Slovenian Wine Country
Who knew that “select wines” from Slovenia’s three wine-growing regions are ranked among the best in the world with regard their quality. After all, the Slovenian vineyards are located in the very center of the wine-growing belt in Europe. Being that, it is similar to those in areas such as Burgundy in France. Unfortunately for us, we were exhausted from the trip from the USA. And we did not get to fully experience the day we had planned. Hopefully, we can one day return and spend more time there.
Triglav National Park
The trip from the wine country through Triglav National Park was amazing to say the least. Furthermore, the hairpin curves, majestic mountain views and the cool fresh mountain air was a much-welcomed break from the heat and humidity back home. Next, we enjoyed a nice hike and a traditional hiker’s lunch at a mountain hut along the way. It was a delightful day!
Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj: From the Julian Alps, our next venture out was the enchanting and quite spectacular Lake Bled. Indeed, this is truly a sight one should not miss. They were having a festival in the town the day we arrived, so it was quite busy, but we still enjoyed our time here. After the walk around Lake Bled, we decided to move on. Because of the festival crowds, we wanted to check out Lake Bohinj. Lake Bohinj is less crowded and perhaps more beautiful than Lake Bled. Here we took in a beautiful waterfall and enjoyed a light lunch and a Slovenian Beer with some Texans.
Ljublijana: Our next venture out was to Ljublijana, which is the capital of Slovenia. Because it was on way to our next destination in Istria, we decided to have a look. By far, it was not the most charming city we have visited in Europe. But we definitely enjoyed our food and wine dinner in the Old Town. In retrospect, we would probably bypass the city if we did the trip again. In reality, we have found ourselves to enjoy the countryside and small villages more than the larger cities.
Truffle Hunting in Croatia: The next day we ventured out and down into the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia. Indeed, our first adventure here was a highlight of the trip. We arranged a trip to hunt with a truffle hunter and his dogs. This couldn’t have been more fun. And we thoroughly enjoyed the total experience. This included a delicious truffle laden dinner with local Istrian Wines! After the dinner, we drove on down to our next stop, which was our base for the rest of our time in Istria. It couldn’t have been a better spot.
Rovinj and the Istrian Peninsula :Rovinj is one of the most beautiful towns on the Adriatic and we agree. It’s pastel colored buildings, amazing hilltop views, delectable seafood add to the charm and romance. https://rovinj.croatian-adriatic.eu From our vacation rental in Rovinj we were able to venture out to Pula to visit the Pula Arena and to enjoy a kayak trip on the Adriatic. Additionally, we enjoyed biking on the trails around Rovinj. And indulging in the foods and wines from the area. It was a fantastic location and we highly recommend a trip to this lovely destination.
Trieste, Italy: We concluded this part of our vacation driving back to Venice with a stop in the Italian City of Trieste. We enjoyed our brief stay here in a charming old hotel on the waterfront on the north side of the city. The hotel was lovely, and the staff were hospitable. From Trieste we ventured back to Venice where we joined up with our friends and embarked on our next adventure in Italy.
Venture out:We totally enjoyed our 8 days in Slovenia and Croatia. And we hope to one day go back and spend more time there. In reality, we definitely needed more time in Slovenia’s wine country. And the Julian Alps. Subsequently, we would also love to see more of Croatia. Hopefully this will inspire you to venture out as well and take a look at some different countries as options in your travels!