Over the week, we journeyed from the western edge to the eastern coast of Slovenia by rail, taking in its backcountry from the comfort of the train windows. Train travel has always held the romance of travel to us and we savored it even more so here in the compact but nature-rich Slovenia. Despite its small size, Slovenia packs a punch with its impressive landscapes and dramatic alpine terrain. The minute we crossed from the Italian border into the Slovenian town of Nova Gorica, we found mammoth granite mountains flanking both sides of the train tracks and hundreds of emerald rivers running through acres upon acres of pine forests.
Sprawled all over the hilly terrain of Slovenia were verdant summer vegetation with sprinklings of autumn leaves and highland pines and the smell of rosemary wafting through its air. The views around the area of Bled were particularly stunning as our train headed up into the highlands and we watched stunning gorges and towering mountains plunge alongside the tracks. As we inched closer and closer to the eastern part of the country and into Croatia, the terrain slowly became flatter and greener. Vast pastureland ran for miles without anything in sight except for a smattering of wooden cottages and herds of cows roaming on the meadows.
As our journey in Slovenia comes to an end, I leave you with some of Alberto’s snapshots taken during the lazy, scenic train rides in Slovenia and hope you enjoy feasting on the backcountry of this beautiful nation. This is just the beginning of the Med Run, our epic train journey through the Balkans, so be sure to stay with us for more stories and photos!
The beautiful valley in the Bled area is a hot spot for adventure sports enthusiasts
The castle overlooking Lake Bled is a must see in the area
Impressive mountains overlook the valley on the distance
Despite the extreme heat, is not difficult to find runners and cyclists enjoying the countless trails
Facade of Nova Gorica train station
Classic clocks and garments decorate train stations
Most trains in Slovenia are “pimped” with colorful graffiti
Sign on Lesce Bled station
It was easy to spot kayaks and rowers on every river pass
Train operators make sure everything’s in order on every station
The closer we got to Croatia, the more plain and open the fields got
Typical Croatian countryside farm
As Slovenia is a small country, train journeys are short and you can usually get from one major town/city to another in under two hours. Most popular routes include Bled-Ljubljana that takes only an hour and Ljubljana-Bohinj in two hours. From Ljubljana to Zagreb, there are four trains a day and the journey only takes two hours.
Our Eurail passes took us through the country without any extra fee. Some train journeys such as the Venice-Ljubljana route have to be reserved in advance (for a fee), but there are usually other alternative routes that are free with the pass and take the same amount of time. For this route in particular, we took the trains from Venice to Gorizia then onwards to Ljubljana via Jesenice, without any advance reservation.
Disclaimer: Our trip was made possible by Eurail.Com and several other sponsors mentioned above, but all opinions expressed are our own.