Family Fun Hiking, Canoeing, Wine Tasting and Rafting in Slovenia
I love a secret place. Where the Alps face the Pannonian Plains and the Mediterranean meets the Karst topography of a Middle Earth; in a shrouded demesne barricaded by Austria in the north, Hungary in the east, Croatia in the south and Italy setting the west, lies a hidden magical mosaic of a land called Slovenia.
I’ve had my share of extreme explorations, but have often wished for a thrilling quest that could be shared with family and friends. This is it. A trip for all ages, with Laura Hubber, Jasper Bangs and me. We have care and activities for kids throughout. I hope you can join!
Hiking, canoeing, wine tasting, rafting, optional river kayaking, special "just-for-kids" activities
- Daily activities are perfect for adults and older children, while MTS Day Camps for Kids offer plenty of fun for younger travelers
- Thrill to rafting or optional whitewater kayaking on the dazzling emerald-green Soca River
- Enjoy the fairytale setting of idyllic Lake Bled, complete with an island castle
- The kids can visit a local horse farm and ride calm, beautiful Icelandic horses
- A perfect family vacation for those who relish active adventure in the heart of one of Europe's most magical regions
Duration: 9 days Start Location: Ljubljana End Location: LjubljanaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Ljubljana
Arrive in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. The Slovenian capital has become one of the hippest cities in Europe. It is reminiscent of Prague - without the crowds. It is so small you can explore most of the town´s sights on foot and yet so cosmopolitan you can hear a variety of languages while walking along the lovely Ljubljanica River. Lively with bars, cafes and art galleries the green city of Ljubljana is a great hideout from big and crowded European capitals. Meet your guide in the afternoon for a trip overview and welcome dinner.
Day 2 : Ljubljana – Velika Planina Walk – Bohinj
Today we’ll head north to the Great Highlands, where preserved sheepherders’ wooden huts tell of highland life long ago. The special shape of the buildings with their conical roofs is unique for this area and some of them date well back in history. We’ll hike on gentle terrain through green meadows with the limestone peaks of the Kamnisko-Savinjske Alps within arms’ reach. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the valley accompanied by the sound of cowbells. We’ll also have a chance to try a bit of local fresh cheese and sour-milk. This is a gentle walk, suitable for children.
Tonight, we’ll visit “Jaka” and his restaurant called Rupa. He prepares traditional Slovenian food from organic products, all fresh and brought daily from the local farmers – wild asparagus, chanterelle mushrooms, porcinis, fresh water trout in corn flour, buckwheat dumplings with cottage cheese, and we must not forget about good “Kranjska klobasa” sausage with sauerkraut. He’ll prepare venison steaks with cranberries, and there will be freshly baked bread from the oven. Save some space for a cup of wild strawberries, blueberries and raspberries!
Day 3 : Bohinj – Pokljuka Plateau (Mt. Brdo) – Bohinj
Bohinj is a community of picturesque villages situated near Lake Bohinj, and the perfect base for activities in Triglav National Park. Today we’ll climb Brdo Mountain, which offers great views of Mt. Triglav (9,393’), Slovenia’s highest mountain. Here at the top of Mt. Brdo, with its carpets of green grass and wildflowers, is a perfect setting for a lovely picnic lunch before returning to our base in Bohinj.
MTS Day Camp for Kids: Bohinj is the perfect playground for children! We’ll take the youngsters on an orienteering walk around Lake Bohinj, made even more fun by a treasure hunt for the younger walkers. Older kids might prefer to go canoeing, mountain biking, or hiking together with a map and compass. There will also be time for swimming and relaxing on the beach.
Day 4 : Seven Triglav Lakes
We’ll get an early start today, hike high above Bohinj. An uphill walk takes us through pine forests, and brings us to the hearts of the Julian Alps, passing by shepherds’ cottages and green meadows, overlooking the Valley of the Seven Triglav Lakes, also known as the Kingdom of the Goldenhorn. Once we've reached the highest point of the day, the viewpoint of the Seven Triglav Lakes is upon us. This is a spectacular sight of dark green lakes, limestone peaks and giant boulders scattered across the landscape. After soaking in this paradise, we'll return to our base at Bohinj.
MTS Day Camp for Kids: Today we’ll spend a day on the farm. We’ll visit a group of enthusiastic horse lovers, riders and instructors who are specialists in breeding Icelandic horses. Icelandic horses have calm nature. Together with our specially equipped saddles, even very young riders are able to have a walk around our training ring on a horse, or be taken out into the surrounding nature.
Day 5 : Lake Bled – Bled Vintgar Gorge
Due to its postcard-perfect scenery, Bled is inevitably a place for the inquisitive eye. The bell tower of a medieval church rises proudly from a tiny islet in the midst of Lake Bled, guarded by a castle on the cliffs. Bled gained world recognition in the 19th century when Swiss Doctor, Arnold Rikli, introduced the healing thermal waters of Bled´s idyllic landscape. We’ll set out to hike through the astonishing Blejski Vintgar Canyon, where it is possible to walk on wooden planks constructed over swirling pools, and cut into the sheer rock cliff. We’ll eventually come full circle out of the canyon with views of the surrounding villages and meadows.
We’ll then ascend to Bled’s castle which dates back from the 11th century. We’ll then board canoes and paddle to the island set beautifully in the middle of the lake.
MTS Day Camp for Kids: Today’s walk is suitable for all ages, and the canoe ride will be a popular choice for kids. However, those who prefer can stay back along the lakeshore and swim under the watchful eye of our guide.
Day 6 : Bohinj – Vrsic Pass – Sleme – Kobarid
Today we’ll transfer around the Julian Alps en route to the Valley of the Soca River. We’ll cross the Vrsic Pass (5,330’), the highest pass in Slovenia which was built by the Austrian empire and served as an important supply route for the Isonzo front in the WWI. Among other interests, this area offers world history told in a breathtaking mountain coulisse. We’ll hike to Sleme where we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch beside a charming little glacial lake. Italy and Austria are only a short sight away. After traveling further down into the valley, we’ll stay the night at the delightful villa, Casa Franko, where we will indulge ourselves in a gourmet extravaganza – all under the watchful eye of one of the best Slovenian Chefs, Ana Ros. Local cheeses, homemade butter, meadow-fed lamb, freshwater trout, wild herbs, local apples and chestnuts, and all kinds of mushrooms, collected only at their peak, are among the specialties served in Ana’s dishes. Guests experience the emotion of the season and of the territory with fresh local ingredients selected on the same day they are served.
Day 7 : Soca River – Rafting (or Optional White Water Kayaking)
We’ll spend the morning rafting on the rapids of the bright emerald Soca River. The emerald color of the Soca River attracts whitewater enthusiasts from all over the world. Soca is still claimed as one of the cleanest rivers in Europe. Before setting off south, we’ll have a short walk to the hidden waterfall of Kozjek. In the afternoon we can visit a WWI war museum, which was also awarded for its great presentation on WWI events.
Day 8 : Kobarid – Goriska Brda Wine Region – Piran
After breakfast, a picturesque route across Goriska Brda to Karst brings us through the hilly area bordering Italy, a region justly famous for producing the country’s best fruit and wine. We’ll visit local vintners and sample fine Slovenian wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Afterward, we’ll head to the charming coastal city of Piran, situated on a narrow piece of land bordering the Adriatic Sea. Here, we’ll explore the tangled cobblestone streets of this red-roofed medieval town. If the kids prefer, they are welcome to swim and kayak along the water’s edge with our guide.
Day 9 : Piran – Skocjan Caves – Departure Ljubljana
In the morning, we’ll head to the underground world of the Skocjan Caves (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). We take a leisurely two hour walk through 3 miles of underground passages, carved out by the Reka River. Afterwards we’ll return to Ljubljana for the culmination of our adventure.
DATES: Departures: Jul 12 - 20, 2014
2014 Land Cost
$6,995 per person (5-25 members)
$800 single supplement
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.