Julian Alps Discovery Tour
Discover Slovenia's beautiful Alpine region on the borders of Italy and Austria
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The tiny nation of Slovenia sits at the crossroads of Europe, bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary, as well as the Adriatic Sea. As a result, this nation enjoys a wonderful mixture of its neighbouring cultures and its own proud Slovene heritage. Our base near breathtaking Lake Bled provides the perfect location from which to explore the region.
• Ljubljana, Slovenia’s compact and green capital city
• The attractive medieval town of Kamnik
• Škovja Loka, one of the oldest and most carefully preserved settlements in Slovenia
- Good quality en-suite accommodation in one of our European partner hotels
- Half Board – continental breakfast and evening meal
- The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ leader
- Full day excursions with all essential transport in resort
- ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
The Hotel Astoria is a compact and stylish 3-star hotel and offers a great location for our holidays, with Bled town centre, the lake shore and castle all within walking distance. The comfortable en-suite bedrooms are decorated in a contemporary style and offer balconies. Facilities at the hotel include a wellness centre with sauna and spa pool, as well as a gym and bar.
|All 72 en-suite bedrooms are comfortable and furnished with all the modern amenities including:
|Leading off the reception area there is a large and airy lounge and bar area with comfortable seating and tourist literature. To the other side the restaurant has fresh and modern decor, opening onto an attractive terrace area where guests can sit and enjoy the view with a coffee when the Café Astoria is open from 10am until 11pm.
Complimentary wireless internet access is available in all public areas. There is a 24-hr reception service.
The hotel has a Wellness Centre open every day from 1pm until 9pm. There is a large variety of treatments offered at an additional charge and access to the gym is free to our guests.
Holidays at Lake Bled are Half Board with a buffet breakfast and 3-course evening buffet. On one evening you can enjoy a traditional Slovenian dinner accompanied by live music.
Buffet breakfast is served from 7am and consists of a good selection of breads and pastries, fruit juices, cold hams and salami, cheeses, paté, cereals and yoghurts, as well as jams and honey, tea, coffee and cocoa. A hot selection is cooked fresh and you can enjoy eggs (including omelettes), pancakes, sausages and fried bacon. The hotel, where possible, serves local products.
|Lunch (payable locally)
Packed lunches are available to order from the hotel but you can also walk just a few minutes to some local shops and purchase the ingredients for your lunch.
The evening meal is a 4-course buffet and our guests can enjoy a special dinner on the last evening accompanied by local Slovenian music.
Each evening your walking leaders will tell you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have.
During the evening you may like to join in an optional organised evening activity, such as a quiz.
One evening, we have arranged an evening speaker to enlighten you on the interesting history and what to look out for when you walk in this region.
Our base for the week is worth exploring in its own right. We’ll take a stroll from the hotel along the lake path, visit Bled castle and take a traditional canopied rowing boat (pletna) to Bled island and the Church of the Assumption. From there, you can easily explore Bled at your own pace or visit Vintgar gorge, which is a short distance by public transport.
The Old and New Towns of Slovenia's capital city
Slovenia’s capital can easily be explored on foot and we’ll spend a full day here, visiting both the Old and New Towns and the castle. The Old Town is home to many of the city's historic sights - not least the castle and St Nicholas' Cathedral - and the area is connected to the New Town by a number of bridges, including the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge. The New Town has a number of places of interest, such as the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Univeristy Quarter and the striking art nouveau facade of the Cooperative Bank.
Triglav National Park
Radovljica and a cable car ride from Lake Bohinj to Vogel
We’ll spend some time in and around Slovenia’s National Park today. We visit Radovljica, one of the region’s best preserved old towns, where we can find out more about the Slovenian folk tradition of apiculture, or bee keeping. We journey into the National Park and to Lake Bohinj; here, we can enjoy the views from the lakeside before taking a cable car to Vogel, which at 1,992m (6,306 feet), offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valley below.
Skofka Loka, Kranj, Kamnik and Kropa
Today we’ll visit historical Slovenian towns, each with its own unique character. Skofja Loka consist of a warren of streets woven tightly around the oblong market square. Kranj is the country’s fourth largest settlement and an industrial centre but boasts a beautiful square of Gothic and Renaissance buildings. We also visit Kamnik, an old fashioned town with an attractive medieval core and call in to Kropa, a blacksmiths' village with abundant evidence of its metalworking past and which at one time had 50 forge waterwheels.
Kranjska Gora and the Sava valley
Russian Chapel and the Vrsic Pass, Jasna Lake and Pericnik Waterfall
Today we head to the Sava valley in the Upper Carniola region of Slovenia and is the area which forms a geographical border between the Julian Alps and the Karavanke Alps. We head to the Russian Chapel on the Vrsic Pass to learn more about the sad history of the road and the chapel before returning to spend time in the winter sports town of Kranjska Gora, stopping at the stunning Jasna Lake on the way. Later we'll visit a beautiful waterfall and the Solvenian Alpine Museum near Mojstrana.
All transport relevant to the itinerary is included in the price of your holiday, but for flexibility we do not include entrances. Please allow around €60 per person for entrance fees.
Discovery holidays involve active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet. Optional short walks of approximately 2½ miles allow you to stretch your legs and see the best of the local scenery.
Free day – on our 7 night holidays we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore independently.
This small nation certainly packs a big punch. Slovenia offers its visitors a forward-thinking, modern nation combined with incredibly varied history and truly outstanding natural beauty. From Romans, Slavs, Franks, Habsburgs and Napoleon’s army, Slovenia’s central position has made it an attractive place throughout its history and this diversity is showcased in the architecture, particularly in the capital city, Ljubljana, and culture. Since detaching itself from Yugoslavia in 1991, modern Slovenia has since joined the European Union and continued to demonstrate the industrious and hard-working nature of its people, yet visitors will find that this is an incredibly welcoming and easygoing country.
Despite having swathes of green forest further south, the Triglav National Park is certainly the country’s crowning glory when it comes to natural beauty and the Julian Alps are an outdoor enthusiasts paradise. From mountains towering above 2,000 metres to lakeside wanders, there are walks for all to enjoy. Owing to the prominence of limestone, you’ll find a host of beautiful waterfalls, as well as pretty Lakes Bled and Bohinj to accompany your walks. However, one of the most enjoyable features of your walks will undoubtedly be watching traditional rural life from traditional farming villages to the still-popular practice of bee-keeping.
Bled was a great location as were the hotel's facilities and staff. It was unusually hot that September week and we swam in Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj which was more than welcome after very hot walks. The gorgeous Vintgar Gorge was dramatic and a lovely contrast compared to our other walks. The walk around Lake Bohinj also stood out and it was well worth the climb to the top of Ostrijca Mount to get perhaps highest viewpoint overlooking Lake Bled itself and inspire one to visit the iconic Bled castle on our free day. I had a day off to myself during the week to rest and it was a wonderful bonus to have the sauna and jacuzzi facilities to enhance my well being. (Sharon, Melton Mowbray)
Lake Bled: The town of Bled sits on the shores of the lake itself and offers a mesmerising setting. The turquoise waters are framed by snow-capped mountains and are watched over by a precariously placed, fairytale castle. Rarely do photos do it justice and visitors are sure of a treat. Due to this setting, the town is popular all year round, yet loses none of its charm. Any visitor should endeavour to enjoy two things: the town’s famous Bled Cake, which is similar to a vanilla slice, and a journey across the lake on a ‘pletna’ boat to Bled Island, with its tiny church and staircase down to the lakeshore.
Shops & facilities: There are a number of local shops in Bled where you can obtain the basic necessities, as well as a small supermarket a short walk from the hotel. When shopping for gifts, traditional Slovenian crafts can be found in a number of shops in the town.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Stanstead and Manchester flights to Ljubljana airport.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel.
The short coach transfer takes approx 30 minutes to the Hotel Astoria Bled.
For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach under any circumstance.
Alan has been leading for HF Holidays since 1988. He has travelled and led holidays all over the world. Alan's other interests are musical theatre, where he can be found on stage acting, singing and dancing; voluntary work teaching adults with disabilities; and lecturing in environmental chemistry.
Francis has been involved with the teaching of European foreign languages (he speaks seven) and group overseas travel all over Europe throughout his working career. He believes that the perfect recipe for instilling pleasure in travelling combined with an appreciation and understanding of a different culture is through a mixture of visiting cultural and historical sites, enjoying the lifestyle and cuisine of the host destination. This is his aim for the groups he leads and he will do his utmost to ensure this happens.
Dates & Prices
|12 May 2019||LJLEL - Discovery Tour Lake Bled - Without Flights||7||£999.00||Book Now|
|6 Oct 2019||LJLEL - Discovery Tour Lake Bled - Without Flights||7||£999.00||Book Now|
|6 Oct 2019||
LJLEL - Discovery Tour - Lake Bled
(Travel included - Departs from: Manchester International)
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|6 Oct 2019||
LJLEL - Discovery Tour - Lake Bled
(Travel included - Departs from: London Stansted)
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £17.50 per night
- Allow €60 for entrances
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person