The Slovenia Grand Circle Tour is a fairy tale in eleven chapters. It will take you on a journey through five regions of Slovenia – five entirely different worlds, reflecting their diverse characters through their landscapes, climate, local spirits, cuisine and traditions. On this quest for inner peace, you will paddle through the veins of nature, discover the treasures of old cities, deceive the witches of Cerknica and slay the dragon of Ljubljana. Beware: fairy tale creatures are on the loose and miracles can happen.
Paddling time per day: 1.5-2 hours / with extra time upon demand
- Ljubljana’s Old Town
- Lake Bled: the island and Bled castle
- Bled’s World Famous Cream Cake
- Bohinj Lake
- The Savica River and the Savica Waterfall
- The Alpine Dairy Farming Museum
- The Soča River
- The Tolmin Gorges
- The Kobarid World War I Museum
- The Sečovlje Salt Pans
- Lake Cerknica
- The Kolpa River
- Kostanjevica on The Krka River
- The Ljubljanica River
- Ljubljana Night Paddle
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Day 1: Arrival in Ljubljana
We organize your transfer from the airport to your hotel in Ljubljana. After your check-in, you have time to relax or take a walk in the Old Town. We meet for a welcome dinner in order to introduce ourselves and discuss the tour over some good food.
Day 2: Lake Bled
After breakfast, we drive to the Alps to Lake Bled. The paddle takes us around the lake with a sight-seeing stop at the idyllic island complete with a church at its heart. We have lunch at one of the best restaurants on the lake. In the afternoon, we visit Bled Castle, the oldest castle in Slovenia, perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 metres above the lake and offering a spectacular view of the lake and the island. It is a sin to leave Bled without tasting the original Bled Cream Cake and we have already made reservations, so we will just have to in to temptation.
Day 3: Lake Bohinj
In the morning, we take a short drive to nearby Lake Bohinj located in Triglav National Park (named after Mount Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia). We take a paddle across Lake Bohinj to the mouth of the emerald-green Savica River, the water source of the lake. After lunch, we take a short hike up the mountain path climbing the 557 stairs to the Savica Waterfall. In the afternoon, we visit the Alpine Dairy Farming Museum to take a look back into the past through the history of herding and alpine dairy farming in Bohinj as a way of life and coexistence with nature in an alpine environment. There is still time left to relax at the beaches of the lake before we return to Bled for the night.
Day 4: The Soča River
In the morning, we head from the Alps to the coast. On the way, we make a stop for a paddle on the emerald-green waters of the Soča River and then visit the Tolmin Gorges – an emerald-green canyon about two hundred meters long and only a few meters wide. After lunch, we visit the Kobarid Museum which displays exhibits on the events that occurred during World War One on the Soška fronta (Isonzo Front) where one of the major battles in hilly terrain in the history of mankind took place. Ernest Hemingway served there as an ambulance driver and depicted the softer side of the battle in his famous work A Farewell To Arms. We arrive at the coastal city of Piran in the late afternoon.
Day 5: Piran Coast & Salt Pans
We take a morning paddle from Piran to the Salt Pans of Sečovlje where the symbiosis between man and nature is marked with the centuries-old tradition of salt-making. If we are lucky we will be able to catch a glimpse of some of the 272 bird species nesting in the surrounding wetlands. We have lunch at the best fish restaurant around. In the afternoon, we relax in Piran.
Day 6: Piran (rest day)
You have the day off. You’ve got time to take it easy and enjoy the views, tastes and sounds of Piran or take a panoramic walk along the cliffs. In the late afternoon, we head to Cerknica Lake.
Day 7: Lake Cerknica
We get up early and take a paddle through the morning mist on this spectacular Karstic lake which is the largest intermittent lake in Europe and, when full of water, also the largest Slovenian lake. It is an important wildlife reserve, most importantly serving as a nesting place for many bird species, and a part of Natura 2000 – an ecological network of protected areas in the territory of the European Union. After lunch, we head to Metlika, a small town at the Slovenian-Croatian border to settle in for the night. Nearby, we discover fern areas – overgrown with birch trees and an undergrowth of eagle fern – which gives name to this region of Slovenia (Bela Krajina – the White Land).
Day 8: The Kolpa River
After breakfast, we take an epic paddle through the Kolpa Canyon. Slow river waters and untouched surroundings provide a sense of tranquillity in its purest form. Half way through, we stop for lunch and a swim, leaving the second part of the paddle for the afternoon.
Day 9: Kostanjevica on the Krka River
In the morning, we drive north towards Kostanjevica and enjoy the downstream paddle on the Krka Rriver finishing at the fairy-tale like miniature town of Kostanjevica located on the island on the Krka River, also known as the “Venice of Lower Carniola”. We visit Božidar Jakac’s Gallery – to see the work of one of the most recognized Slovene impressionists. In the late afternoon, we head on to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
Day 10: Ljubljana
In the morning, your private tourist guide meets you at your hotel and takes you for a sight-seeing walk from the Roman Emona to the Laibach of the middle ages, all the way to present day Ljubljana. The city’s vibrant 2000-year history can be felt with every step. In the afternoon, we take a paddle on the Ljubljanica River from the outskirts of Ljubljana to the Old Town to rediscover it from a whole new perspective. After a farewell dinner, we indulge in a night SUP under the bridges and magical lights of Ljubljana.
Day 11: Flight home
After breakfast, we organize the transfer from your hotel to the airport.