|SLOVENIA June 2006 and April 2023|
On both occasions we passed through Slovenia from Austria on our way to and from Croatia. On our 2006 outward trip from Graz to Zagreb we drove straight through this small country, but on our return trip to Austria from Porec in Croatia we stopped for three nights near Bled on the shores of the lake. On our 2023 journey, we travelled from Salzburg to Bled where we again stopped by the lake for three nights before travelling on to Postojna to visit the caves and then on into Croatia. Unlike other continental countries, on both trips I had a job to identify any national features which shouted out, this is Slovenia and there was nothing note worthy on the drive through to Zagreb, but as we were to find out on these trips, this is no third world country. Slovenia is a member of the European Union and is part of the Euro zone. Further information about Slovenia is available at The Slovenian Tourist Board site.
Bled On both trips in 2006 and 2023 we stopped on the shores of Lake Bled at Camping Bled. On a fine sunny day, this is one of the most beautiful areas we have ever visited. The blue crystal clear lake, with its island church and the back drop of the Julian Alps, teams with fish. Rowing boats glide silently across the waters taking passengers to the island and horse drawn landaus trot gently round the traffic free road which circumnavigates the lake. A road train also plies for trade on this route and provides an easy way of travelling from the campsite to the town of Bled which is located at the opposite end of the lake. This train is not wheelchair friendly and the alternative is about a half hours pleasant walk along the shore. If you really feel up to it, the 6Km walk around the whole lake is well worth undertaking. We enjoyed both our visits to this superb location and can recommend a meal in the restaurant at the site entrance or just sit on the terrace and take in the views while having a drink.
Bled has an attractive waterfront, a good range of shops and cafes and it is not too difficult for a wheelchair user with a carer to get about. Ramps and dropped kerbs are provided and I cannot recall anywhere being inaccessible in spite of some areas being elevated from others. Even the lido swimming area of the lake had ramped access into the lake!
Camping Bled is an excellent site. It slopes gently upwards away from the lake side into a steeply sided wooded valley. The main site tarmac road leads to mostly level grass and hardstanding pitches. There are ramps into reception and the on site restaurant, bar and shop can be reached via a gravel path. The wheelchair accessible toilet facilities are located in block 2 and are some of the best we have used anywhere as are all the facilities. The large room is very well equipped with a wheel in hand shower with a fold down shower seat and toilet, both are of a good height of 48 cms and have well positioned hand rails. There is even a remote flush mechanism to make the task easier and the wash basin is adjustable in height and is equipped with a large tilting mirror. The site is very popular and it is advisable to book especially from mid June until end of August.
Postojna Sixty five miles south of Bled are the world famous caves of Postojna. We had read that the caves were wheelchair accessable so thought it a worthwhile stopover. We were not disappointed. Overnight parking is available here for motorhomes in a designated car park with electric hook up. We arrived before lunch and found it nearly full. Having parked up, we visited the ticket office booking for a 3 p.m. tour, the Cave Exhibition and the Vivarioum and then returned to the motorhome for lunch. It is worth visiting the Exhibition prior to the tour as it gives a lot of background about the caves and the area. The Exhibition was fully wheelchair accessible but the Vivarium was not. However, we did manage some of the latter. For the tour you board an electric train which takes you nearly 4Km into the caves to the largest of the caverns where you disembark for a guided walking tour of about 1.2Km before boarding the train back to the entrance. We could not do all of the walking tour because of the steepness of some of the slopes, but what we could do was excellent and one of the trains had a flatbed carriage on which a wheelchair could be anchored on for the trip into and out of the caves. The whole experience was excellent, including the overnight stay in the motorhome. You can view a video of this visit here. In the morning we paid the overnight fee of 25 euros to exit the parking area and headed for the the island of Krk in Croatia.