Driving Through the Julian Alps in Slovenia

What I love about travelling by campercar is the freedom to come and go as you please.

After our first blissful few days at Lake Bled, we planned to stop at Bovec, a small town in the middle of the Julian Alps, in the northernmost part of Slovenia. We left the dinosaurs behind just before lunchtime and headed for the mountains.

There were two route options towards Bovec and both of them would see us crossing a border from Slovenia into another country. We decided to skip the expensive tunnel route into Austria and instead found ourselves, fairly unexpectedly and without even much more than a welcome sign, in Italy.

Much as I love our home on wheels, driving uphill around twisting mountain passes is not its strong suit, so with a line of cars trailing behind us and my nerves frayed to breaking point, we veered off the path and stopped for lunch at the first roadside picnic point we could find.

And what a perfect place to stop!

I have no idea what this lake in Italy is called (although I suspect it might be Lago del Predil), but it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. We made sandwiches and guzzled some blue Fanta and stared and stared and didn’t want to leave.

Eventually, we forced ourselves to get back onto the road again and soon, with just as little fanfare as before, we were back in Slovenia and on the other side of the Julian Alps. We drove through countless little towns with names we couldn’t pronounce, houses made of stone and alleys so small we had to backtrack because the campervan wouldn’t fit through them.

We made it to Bovec eventually and drove straight to the campsite we had planned to stay that night. It was 14:00 and the gate was locked! We asked a few locals standing around and managed to gather that it was siesta and that the owners would be back to open up around 16:00. To wait for them felt like a waste of a beautiful day, so we set out again – with no plan other than to head to somewhere close to the next day’s destination and hope we find a place to spend the night.

Following along the banks of the river Soča was an unexpected highlight! It wasn’t officially on our itinerary, but it was something I had wanted to see ever since I learned that this was where the river scenes in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian were filmed. And yes, it really is that shade of jade blue!

Although Gareth and I couldn’t get enough of the evergreen Slovenian countryside, the same can’t be said for Aidan. He was a trouper though, and kept himself entertained all the way.

Just as we started getting nervous about finding a campsite for the night, we found a suitable place just outside Nova Gorica where we could set up under trees and with a play area for Aidan (parents travelling with small children will know that a play area is the most important requisite when choosing accommodation!)

We splurged out on a gourmet meal at the onsite restaurant and toasted to a fantastic Slovenian adventure!

Where was your favourite road trip in a campervan?

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