Van Life Slovenia: Farm Stay, White Water Rafting & Lake Bled
Once we had finished a wonderful 8 days in Croatia and when we finally made it across the border into Slovenia, we were super keen to see what van life Slovenia in Dolosko, Ljubljana and Lake Bled had in store for us.
After a long and very hot day of driving, we found a farm stay. Farm stays allow people to free camp on their land in exchange for purchasing some of their produce (like eggs, bread, cheese and beer). They had a whole set up, including a now luxury item for us, a toilet and shower!! We parked the van on the grass, weaving between the chickens, horses and goats that were wandering around the farm for a relaxing night spent under the trees.
We were woken before sunrise by loud thuds on the roof, which absolutely scared the shit out of me. Upon sending Tom out to check, we realised that we had parked up an apple tree and the apples were falling onto the roof. We dozed off but not long after were woken up by the roosters, letting everyone know the sun was up. We walked up to the farmhouse to collect our warm freshly baked bread and fresh eggs to cook breakfast.
A little while later and full of the farmer’s fresh produce, we decided to leave the van and get the train from the farm in Dolosko to the capital city Ljubljana. The train cost us €7 each, which was way more than we were expecting. It would have been cheaper to drive, even if we had to pay for parking. Plus the city was very quiet so parking and driving wouldn’t have been stressful like some other big cities.
After 30 minutes on the train, we arrived at the capital and headed into the old town. We started walking around the shops, admiring the pretty bridges, rivers and markets but we found it fairly boring and lacking any sort of vibe. So, after just a few hours, we headed back to Betty, where even just sitting on the farm, enjoying a beer at their farmhouse bar was way more exciting than the city of Ljubljana. If you’re planning a visit to Slovenia, I probably wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to visit Ljubljana. Or if you do, a few hours for a look around would be more than enough.
Van Life Slovenia: Lake Bled
The next day and another early start, all roads lead to Lake Bled. We arrived just after 10am and the traffic was terrible. Lots of the roads were blocked off, allowing locals only, so we spent a while driving around looking for parking. When we finally found some it cost us €1 per hour. We had a relaxed afternoon swimming in the lake, then had ice coffee and the town’s famous Bled cream cake. It’s a delicious treat to add to your list of things to do when visiting Lake Bled. We got ours from Zima Cafe but you can pick it up most cafes in town.
When I had finished stuffing my face with cake and iced coffee, I was ready for a lay down in the van. Tom decided that he wanted to go hiking to a viewpoint 700 metres above the lake. So, that’s exactly what we did, in our Birkenstocks, full of coffee and cake. Everyone was wearing joggers and active wear, and I didn’t even have a bra on! I was one sweaty mess but we made it to that top and the view was breathtaking, totally worth it.
After we finished our hike, we went swimming, to wash off. This would be our bath for the night. We drove around for ages trying to find somewhere suitable to sleep the night. There was nothing around, they’ve done a bloody good job of campervan-proofing the area from free campers. We ended up parked in a car park, across the road from a cemetery. I would normally find that very weird and a little scary but once we were in our van, our little oasis, anything could have been outside the doors… and we would have felt safe and at home inside.
White Water Rafting
After spending a night in that car park, next to the cemetery, we went into town for coffee and more Bled cream cake for breakfast. Calories don’t count on holidays, right? Then, we headed across to Mamut Rafting Centre to collect our €46 tickets for our 1pm white water rafting session. Over the next 2 hours we swam, cliff jumped and rafted our way down the rapids of the icy cold but crystal clear waters of the incredible Soca River. We had to drive 2 hours from Bled to the Soca River, so if you have a car, I would recommend doing this tour. The same company does rafting closer to Bled which includes a bus transfer to and from Bled for €50pp.
Once we finished rafting we pointed Betty in the direction of Austria but before crossing the border, we had to purchase a motorway vignette toll sticker to be able to drive legally throughout the roads of Austria. The sticker can be purchased from most petrol stations near the border, or newsagents and post offices within Austria. The vignette sticker cost us €9.20 for ten days. You can get some that will last longer, but this of course increases the cost.
Slovenia is a fairly small country. Other than Lake Bled and the rafting, there wasn’t much that interested us, so we only stayed for four days. However, the scenery was breathtaking and it was cheap compared to a lot of other parts of Europe. Lake Bled was the best part about our trip and if you were just going to Slovenia for a visit to Lake Bled, I would definitely say it’s worth the trip.
Until the next adventure…
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