Slovenia & Northern Croatia
Independent Self Drive Tours
Set off from Zagreb to discover all the beauty that Slovenia and Istria have to offer! Slovenia’s stunning mountains and charming towns offer so much to be discovered. Istria is an up and coming gem in Croatia, known for the beautiful countryside, hilltop villages, delicious food and wine, and amazing seaside towns. Discover this area at your own pace with our self drive tour!
Slovenia & Northern Croatia Tour Highlights*
*An Example of The Exciting Activities Carpe Mundo Can Arrange For You!
This is our suggested itinerary for a self-drive Slovenia and Northern Croatia trip. The itinerary can be changed and customized to suit your needs.
Welcome to the Balkans! Pick up your rental car at the Zagreb airport, or at another location in the city if requested. Zagreb is the cosmopolitan capital of Croatia, and an exciting city to start your trip. Zagreb was a stop along the Orient Express train route, so travellers have been enjoying this grand city for centuries! We will provide a wide variety of suggestions of things to do in the city- discover the old town on a walking or biking tour, visit local food markets and some of Croatia’s best museums, or wander around on your own admiring the city’s architecture.
Your trip begins with a drive through the beautiful Croatian countryside to Slovenia. On the way to Bled, you will drive through the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Spend some time exploring this charming, pedestrian-friendly city or relax at a cafe along the Ljubljanica River. Continue on to Lake Bled where you will spend the next two nights.
Awake to the serenity of stunning Lake Bled- a turquoise lake surrounding by mountains with a beautiful island in the middle. Explore the town of Bled, discovering the quaint shops and restaurants with delicious Slovenian cuisine. If you would prefer to be more active, rent a boat and paddle on the lake or go hiking to nearby Mt. Triglav National Park. In the afternoon, visit Bled Castle, an imposing fortress perched on a cliff overlooking the lake- definitely one of the most picturesque castles in the world. In the summertime, enjoy a movie under the stars in the castle courtyard!
Today, you will cross into Croatia to the Istrian Peninsula, known for its hilltop villages, wine, olive oil and truffles. On the way to Rovinj, choose from a variety of attractions to visit along the way, such as Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. You can also stop at the Lipica Stud Farm to learn about Lipizzan horses which have been bred here since 1580. When you arrive in Rovinj, you will be swept away by the gorgeous seaside setting of this medieval town where you will spend the next two nights. In the evening, wander the cobblestone streets, watch the sunset over the Adriatic, and enjoy delicious food from a seaside restaurant.
Choose your adventure today! Rovinj is an incredible city with so much to see and explore both in the old town and in the surrounding area. If you opt to stay in Rovinj, you can take a dip in the crystal clear water, take a boat tour to the surrounding islands, or enjoy a cooking class! Or you can venture inland to the towns of Buje, Motovun and Groznjan. Explore by car, or discover the area on two wheels on the car-free Parenzana Bike Trail. Head south to Pula, a city with incredibly well preserved Roman architecture, including a magnificent Roman amphitheatre. Pula is full of great restaurants, historical sites, and interesting features. Venture a bit further and you will make it to a nature park at Cape Kamenjak- a beautiful place to hang out by the sea. While visiting this part of Istria, you will have plenty of options for wine tastings, exploring small towns, or even go truffle hunting! Return to Rovinj to spend the night.
Today, you will return inland back to Zagreb to end your tour. On the way, there are several great stops including Hum (considered to be the smallest town in the world), Učka Nature Park, Opatija and Karlovac. Učka has fantastic hiking and the mountainous terrain is a fun contrast to the scenery in Istria. Nearby Opatija has been a popular vacation destination for centuries (dubbed the Opatija Riviera), giving it an “old world” feel with beautiful villas. Spend the afternoon visiting museums or people watching while enjoying lunch al fresco at one of the many fantastic restaurants. Karlovac is one of the most beautiful towns in Croatia, known for its fortified old town in the shape of a star. End your day in Zagreb, or If you would prefer to extend your trip, we can make arrangements for you to continue further south to the Dalmatian Coast or to another region.
Spend the day visiting parts of Zagreb that you may have missed before, or visit some additional sights outside the city such as wineries, castles, and small villages. Return home, or continue your trip to another destination in Europe!
This is our suggested itinerary; your trip can be customized based on your preferences.
November - April
May, September, October
June, July, August
*Prices are in US Dollars, based on two people traveling together
*Prices are in US Dollars, based on two people traveling together // Luxury car upgrade available upon request
Slovenia and Northern Croatia tripExplore truly off the beaten path gems with majestic sites galore!
Prices vary by accommodation, season and preferred itinerary.
Tours for a number other than 2 or 4 people are possible- pricing will vary depending on the number of rooms desired- contact us for pricing for tours of 1, 3 or 5+ travelers. If you have questions about the self drive tours, check out our Self Drive FAQs or contact us.
To book your trip, please pay a deposit and we will then contact you to collect additional information about your trip.
About the prices: The quoted prices are per person, based on double occupancy. On a rare occasion, the pricing may be slightly higher depending how far in advance the trip is booked, as well as availability at preferred accommodations. Lower prices are available if you are interested in staying at hostels. Any of our self-drive itineraries can be customized for you- please contact us with any requests for modifications.
About the accommodations: The standard price includes private rooms but a bathroom that is shared with other rooms. Upgraded room options include rooms with private bathrooms. Accommodations will vary but will include a mixture of guesthouses, farmhouses, bed & breakfasts, hotels, apartments, or cottages. All of the accommodations we choose are well liked by previous travelers. Further details will be given when we are provided with your trip dates and we can check availability at our preferred lodgings.