Rail Journeys

Vintage Slovenia (and Lake Bled)

Tour Date: 15 to 22 September 2024
Location: Slovenia

If you’ve ever wanted to visit a place that few people even know exists (and fewer still can point out on a map), then come with us to Slovenia; it won’t be long before this smart central European country is setting the tone for fashionable travel.

With less than two million inhabitants, and a few tourists attracted by tales of its idyllic beauty, Slovenia is very tranquil and sophisticated. Its beauty has drawn comparisons with Switzerland, a country twice its size but with some similarities. Slovenia is blessed with fantastic, jagged mountains, turquoise rivers and silver lakes, vast subterranean caves and just enough medieval castles to conjure up a fairytale or two!

To top all of this it has some of the most stunningly scenic rail journeys in the whole of Europe with many comfortable locomotive hauled trains, quaint stations and welcoming staff.

This is now one of our most popular and longest running tours.

Tour Highlights

  • Spectacular scenery in an unspoilt country
  • Castle and funicular in Ljubljana
  • Lake Bled
  • Postojna caves and underground railway
  • Scenic rail journeys
  • Services of our tour manager
  • Just two hotels Ljubljana (3 nights), Lake Bled (4 nights)

Tour Itinerary

Today we will explore Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with a local guide. It is a fascinating little city, we meet in reception at 09.30 for a guided walk. First, we will visit the castle, via the funicular, that overlooks Ljubljana and the River Ljubljanica which flows through this picturesque city of beautiful bridges and Baroque townhouses. Our tour will end at the quayside where we join our boat for a river cruise on the Ljubljanica. We will have “welcome” lunch on board. The rest of the day is free for your own relaxation or perhaps a visit to the railway museum.


A superb scenic railway journey today as we head east along the Sava river valley to Dobova, which is near the border with Croatia. We alight here and take our road coach to the nearby wine cellars of Najger’s Repnice. Repnice are caves, dug in the flint-stone which was washed up by the Pannonian Sea millions of years ago. They got their name after turnips, because the locals stored turnips and other vegetable produce in them. At the top of the Graben valley Jozica and Martin Najger open for us their remarkable Repnice, dug by Martin’s great-grandfather in the 19th century. We have a wine tasting and some savoury specialties in the main room of the cave and see one of the other dug out rooms where the wine is aged. After this we go for a very special late lunch served in a nearby farm. We then return by rail to Ljubljana.

A short walk to the main railway station where we catch our train through the mountains to Postojna. On arrival, we have a short road transfer to Predjama Castle, just 10 kilometres from the Postojna Cave. For more than 700 years it has perched proudly on its 123-metre high cliff: powerful, defiant and impregnable. After our visit we will break for lunch before our visit of Postojna Cave. The caves are a network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers. It is Slovenia’s largest cave in the “classic karst” and the most visited show cave in Slovenia. In 1872 railway lines were laid in the cave; electricity arrived in 1884. We begin our visit aboard the cave train; the electric lighting allows you to admire the size and splendour of the underground world on an amazing 4 km ride. We will also see a collection of different cave dwelling creatures including the “Human Fish”, a kind of Salamander. Later we return by train to Ljubljana and onward to Lake Bled (arriving 7:30pm) for our first of 4 nights in this stunning location.

Postojna Cave train

Today we take the train to Bohinjska Bistrica where we will be met by our coach for our visit of Lake Bohinj and the Vogel cable car. The cable car travels 1,535m above sea level to a winter ski resort where you will have the most spectacular views (weather permitting). As we travel in the cable car you can see Lake Bohinj and surrounding mountains. There will be time for a light lunch here before we return to our coach for our transfer to Lake Bled. Lake Bled is over a thousand years old and is by far the country’s most popular tourist destination because of the fairytale lake and island, dramatically sited castle and high mountains. Lake Bled is extremely picturesque with its small island in the middle of the lake where many people travel by boat to get married.

Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj from the cable car
Lake Bled, one of the most beautiful places on the planet

The whole day is yours to explore, our programme so far has given us little time to walk around the lake, visit the castle, ride the ski lift, take a horse drawn coach or just relax and enjoy our visit of Lake Bled.


This morning we will have a transfer to the Vintgar Gorge, where we take a walk and feel as if we are in another world. We see crystal clear waters, lots of different river fish, a waterfall and for some of us the most important, we will walk under the stone railway bridge that we travelled along only yesterday. Don’t forget your cameras and comfortable shoes. After our walk we transfer to the little town of Radovljica. Built upon a seventy five metre high outcrop above the River Sava. Here we have time for lunch, a visit to a most unusual museum (of gingerbread) and a guided (short walk) through the streets of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.

We then return to Lake Bled for a short visit, via a boat called a Pletna to the little island in the lake.

Vintgar Gorge

Today we take the local train to Most na Soci. Located on a rocky crest above the confluence of the Soca (once again you will be amazed by the beautiful colour of the river) and Idrijca rivers. Due to the nearby Doblar Hydro Plant, the basins of the rivers were entirely inundated and below the settlement a vast lake was formed which now attracts both fishermen and visitors. We will go on a two hour cruise on the river. Time to relax, have lunch and enjoy the views from the boat. Mid-afternoon return by rail to Bled.

Most na Soci
Cruise on the lake at Most na Soci

Heathrow and Gatwick Departures

The morning and early afternoon are free before our coach takes us back to Ljubljana airport for our evening flights back to the UK.

Return by Rail or Flights from Munich – London St Pancras, Birmingham, Manchester or Edinburgh

Take the morning train from Bled to Munich for overnight stay before flights back to Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh on Monday 23 September. If returning all the way to London by rail, departure from Munich is at 10:46 travelling via Mannheim and Paris to arrive into London at 19:39. If enough people choose the rail to London option then Marion will escort the group through to London.

This is a moderately active tour.  To fully enjoy this program, participants should be able to climb a flight of stairs and walk at least a half-mile on uneven ground during several of the sightseeing trips (or be happy to opt out).

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • From London Heathrow: £1,895
  • From London Gatwick: £1,895
  • From Luton (fly out on 9th for pre-tour night in Ljubljana: £1,955
  • From Birmingham (with night in Munich in each direction): £1,955
  • From Manchester (with night in Munich in each direction): £1,955
  • From Edinburgh (with night in Munich in each direction): £1,955
  • From St Pancras: £2,195*
  • From Ljubljana: £1,675

* Overland price includes a first class Interrail pass (over 65s) which gives you free travel from you home station to London and back. Book early to get upgrade to Standard Premier on Eurostar as Interrail seats are very limited. It is also possible to go one way by rail and one way by plane – price on request.


  • Single room Supplement: £350 (7 nights), £480 (9 nights MAN/BHX/EDI)
  • Upgrade to Hotel Bled Rose – £200 (in double), £300 (in single)


  • Travelling by air: £600
  • Travelling by rail: £1,000
  • Joining in Ljubljana: £300

Price includes

  • All travel and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Good quality en-suite accommodation
  • Five nights in Ljubljana, four nights at Lake Bled,
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
  • Services of our tour manager

Transport & Accommodation

Direct Flights from UK to Ljubljana

BA690 17:20 London Heathrow to Ljubljana (arr 20:40)
BA691 21:30 Ljubljana to London Heathrow (arr 22:45)

EZ8841 18:10 London Gatwick to Ljubljana (arr 21:20)
EZ8842 21:55 Ljubljana to London Gatwick (arr 23:20)

Direct Flights from UK to Munich

LH2511 17:40 Birmingham to Munich (arr 20:30)
LH2510 15:55 Munich to Birmingham (arr 15:55)

LH2501 10:40 Manchester to Munich (arr 13:40) or LH2503 17:45 Manchester to Munich (arr 20:40)
LH2502 15:55 Munich to Manchester (arr 17:00)

LH2525 10:50 Edinburgh to Munich (arr 14:00)
LH2524 08:50 Munich to Edinburgh (arr 10:10)

Overland from St Pancras

Eurostar 09:31 London St Pancras to Paris Nord
TGV 13:53 Paris Est to Stuttgart (arriving 17:04)
TGV 17:15 Stuttgart to Munich (arriving 19:13)
(overnight stay in Munich)
12:17 from Munich arriving into Ljubljana at 18:32

Return by Rail to St Pancras

Train at 10:03 Lesce-Bled to Munich arriving 15:41
(Overnight stay in Munich)
10:30 from Munich to Mannheim (arriving 13:18)
13:42 Mannheim to Paris L’Est (arriving 16:52)
18:13 Paris Nord to London St Pancras (arriving 19:30)


  • Grand Plaza Hotel in Ljubljana (3 nights)
  • Old Parish House Hotel in Bled (4 nights)