Lakes & Julian Alps and Across the Istrian Peninsula

A customer review

We stayed in Ljubljana three days prior to starting our InnTravel adventure. Highly recommend the restaurant BREG and VALVAS’OR for dinners. Reservations will be needed.

THE LAKES AND JULIAN ALPS was a perfect tour in Slovenia. Seamless transfers by Taxi Jager. The Hotel Milkic was super. Family run, the staff is lovely and so very helpful. Every morning we would check our route with Gregor, an outdoorsman, who provided excellent guidance and warnings, such as when the bike trails would be busy and what to watch for as we walked along. The hike to the waterfalls was wonderful and diverse through forests, streams and meadows. Notes were good and the scenery was beautiful. The small garden in Gozd-Martuljek was a perfect lunch stop.

We took a taxi to Lake Fusine (30 euros) to the starting point. Gregor recommended a slight diversion up to the high lake. We started up but the trail was blocked so we could only go along the lakeside a short way. It was no less beautiful though than the lower lake in the sunlight. We circled the lower lake and onto the bike path. It was a Saturday so a bit more crowded but people were considerate and we had no problems. Zelenci Nature Reserve is worth a stop and a climb up the tower after which a refreshment at Hotel Vitranc in Padkoren is warranted. There was a retro-bicycle competition going on in Kranjska Gora so the town was awash with cyclists in retro garb and old style bikes. It was a sight for sure and added a different energy to this lovely resort town.

As others have indicated this route was more difficult than the previous two. The large rocks, downed tree branches and debris made for a difficult and slow passage. The walking notes were not as concise in some areas so we made a wrong turn at one part necessitating going back and retracing our steps. We recommend starting this walk sooner than 1100 perhaps as early as 0900 to avoid the afternoon heat.

We loved Lake Bohinj. It is possibly one of the most beautiful lakes we’ve seen and makes for a leisurely walk along the shore and up to the waterfall. We took the scenic boat back across the lake for a different view. Our young guide had some fun tales to tell on the crossing. The Hotel Jezero was fine. Yes, it is a large hotel and unlike the more intimate and convivial ones InnTravel usually provides, but we had a large deck, big room and the front desk was always pleasant and helpful.

We started early with a ride by Taxi Jager. It was another bright and sunny day. Upon our arrival at Vila Bled we enjoyed a refreshing drink on the dock while we waited for our room. Vila Bled is well worth the upgrade and our view of the island and castle were splendid from our balcony. Would recommend an extension of a day or two. The included dinner was well prepared and presented. We stopped at the farmhouse in Milne and found they only serve cakes on the weekend.

On our final day, we chose to relax and enjoy Lake Bled and walk around the lake. Thank you InnTravel as we had a balconies at every hotel. We enjoyed them all, especially here overlooking Lake Bled. Highly recommend dinner at Ostarija Peglez’n in Lake Bled. Excellent meal, wine and service. Make a reservation though.

We returned for two more days in Ljubljana to find a food festival near the public market. We took another short break in Trieste before embarking on our next InnTravel hike, Across the Istrian Peninsula. This hike will mark our fifth InnTravel adventure.

We are now in Croatia on the ACROSS THE ISTRIAN PENINSULA walk. We arrived at Al Merlo Olivo B&B early. The owners, Franz and Antonella, were already there and we were warmly greeted, offered water and wine and our pick of rooms. We found the charm and rustic nature of the place quite comfortable—but it is rustic and as a result it is not for everyone but the owners could not do enough for us. Franz is very knowledgeable about the routes and spent time looking things over and making suggestions. Antonella invited my husband into the kitchen to make gnocchi, monitor boiling pasta and the ragú sauce. It was so spontaneous—the type of activity we enjoy and one of the reasons we book with InnTravel.

We “customized” our Day 1 walk for less walking and more relaxing and visited the town of Groznjan. Many artist cooperatives were open as well as cafes. Well worth a visit and a stop for coffee. Greeted by the Hotel Kastel staff we have a large room with a view of the plaza. Dinner here was delicious and service was fantastic. We would also recommend Pod Napun for a wine, coffee or a bite. It looks like a olive oil shop, but in the back there is a deck with a view of the entire valley.

The visit to Benvenuti Winery was a pleasant surprise. We enjoyed the wine and the walk. We must say however, that while today’s walk was well marked, the tracks are not as good as tracks in our previous three InnTravel walks in Italy and Spain. Many are tractor routes with ruts and grooves and since it rained, muddy and slick.

The walk into Lovran was a challenge. The panorama is stellar at the start but it is a down hill rocky, tedious hike. The views are pretty much ignored as you were watching your downward step almost the entire time. Also recommend using the GPX download with the routes.

The Villa Vera hotel is lovely and the staff gracious. Plenty of space, a pool, sauna, whirlpool, balcony and spare room. Very disappointing meal at the Knezgrad Restaurant. While the waiter was the master of up-sell, the whole fish was dry and unseasoned and the soup quite salty. We did have an outstanding lunch at Ganeum Wine and Food Bar and would highly recommend.

We’ve enjoyed the walking from Volosco through Opatija and on to Lovran on the lungomare. Fabulous views with clouds and blue sky! Many places to stop for a coffee, a rest and a view.

Thank you again InnTravel. With the pandemic it was a challenge to organize trips with changes from year to year and sometimes week to week. We appreciate your efforts and look forward to booking more adventures in the future.

J & H Dale, 31 August 2021

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