Slovenia is a small country which packs a lot of punch with its rich and beautiful cities and spectacular yet romantic landscapes. Travelling here, visitors will be reminded of the country's more popular neighbours, Austria and Italy, as Slovenia's Alpine regions are equally, if not more, charming and definitely worth exploring on four wheels. The vineyards in the east, around which flow the Drava and Mura rivers, make for scenic drives.
Driving Tips for Slovenia
Slovenia has a network of excellent roads and motorways which connect all the major cities. Traffic regulations are enforced and road signage is good. Purchasing and displaying a vignette is required when driving along motorways.
Driving licences: an International Driving Licence is required for drivers which only possess a UK driving licence without a photo.
Which side does Slovenia drive on: the right.
Motorways: 80mph (130kph)
Rural areas: 56mph (90kph) or 62mph (100kph)
Built-up areas: 31mph (50kph)
Alcohol limits: 0.05 per cent; a little lower compared with the UK limit of 0.08 per cent. Driving over the limit may result in a fine or suspension of licence.
Driving age: 18 years.
Seatbelts: both front and rear seat passengers must wear seatbelts, if fitted. A child under 1.5m in height needs to use a restraint system suitable for his or her size.
Mobile phones and GPS: drivers are not allowed to use a mobile phone unless it is equipped with a hands-free set. Drivers can use GPS on Slovenian roads.
Cost of fuel in Slovenia: both diesel and unleaded are cheaper than in the UK.
Car hire and fuel payment: petrol stations accept credit card payments, as do most car rental agencies. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are the most commonly accepted.
Insurance: third-party insurance is compulsory and included with car hire. Collision damage waiver insurance is a recommended add-on.
Traffic and parking: parking can be difficult to find and expensive in the capital of Ljubljana, where traffic congestion peaks during rush hours. Drivers should look for white or blue spaces, with yellow spaces reserved for other uses. In some cases a parking card must be purchased at a meter and displayed on the dashboard.
Run by Slovenian Railways, intercity trains connect most domestic destinations and are generally inexpensive. The country is quite small, so the most popular routes are those that connect it to neighbouring countries. Generally, northbound trains to Austria and Hungary from Ljubljana are modern and clean, while those heading to the Balkan regions may not be so.
Getting around by taxi is possible but in the major tourist destinations of Ljubljana and Bled, cab drivers can be unscrupulous. Visitors are advised to use official taxi companies only, whose cab services can be ordered by phone. Otherwise, you are prone to being ripped off, with city drivers sometimes charging up to £20 for a short city hop. The most reliable companies are Laguna or Intercity.
The bus network services domestic and international destinations at reasonable fares, with single tickets between Ljubljana and Prague starting at around £50. Ljubljana Bus Station is a major hub and has detailed information on schedules. Westbound connections to Italy are popular. Buses also run daily to Nova Gorica at the border and Trieste in Italy. Trips to the Adriatic city of Piran are also popular. In Ljubljana, bus tickets valid for 90 minutes of travel are around £1.
Ferries can be used by those travelling to or from northern Italy, including Venice, which lies across the Adriatic from Slovenia's short strip of coastline. Ferries run in the summer from Venice to Izola or Piran. Trieste Lines provides fast services for those travelling along the coast, with Trieste (Italy), Piran (Slovenia) and PoreÄ and Rovinj (Croatia) as stops.
Ljubljana Airport is a 50 minute bus ride from the city, with minibuses and taxis also available. Fares run between £3.30 for the bus and around £30 for a taxi. The airport receives low-cost flights from London-Stansted as well as seasonal flights to and from London-Luton.
Slovenia offers a variety of activities to visitors. They have the option of exploring caves, mountains, alpine forests, cities and vineyards. Ljubljana is not a well-known European capital but visitors will find that it can compete with the more popular cities in Europe in terms of architecture and history.
The Julian Alps region is a favourite summer as well as winter destination. The alpine towns of Bovec and Dovje-Mojstrana attract adventure enthusiasts with their wild and beautiful parks and rivers, while Bled with its mountain lake is a highly rated romantic getaway.
In the east, visitors can drive to see vast vineyards and the Drava and Mura rivers. Slovenia's second largest city, Maribor, and its nearby wine-growing areas are major destinations in the region.
The short coastline and the surrounding southwest regions feature coastal towns which used to be part of the rich Venetian empire. The region is also home to the cathedral-like limestone formations of the Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site.