A friend and I spent a week in early October 2012 travelling all over Slovenia with Gregor's company Slovenia Explorer. We also stayed in the Old Church apartment near the city-center of Ljubljana that Gregor manages, which was a great home-base and everything worked out perfectly.
We only had a half day left on the day we arrived, which we spent at Predjama Castle & Postojna Cave. Postojna Cave is without a doubt the most amazing cave experience I've ever had -- it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me! On the second day we went to Celje Castle, Ptujska Gora, Maribor, Ptuj (Celje was a personalized stop specifically for us; all the other stops are part of the regular Maribor & Ptuj day trip). I absolutely LOVED Celje but then I have a definite weakness for old castles! ;) Day three was spent sightseeing in Ljubljana on our own. The Coastbusters Tour (Seaside in 1 Day) was on the agenda for day four: Socerb Castle, Hrastovlje, Piran, Portorož, Koper. Piran was my favorite on this trip; both the city itself but also the Soline salt fields. Amazing stuff! We booked the Celtic Pathways Tour on day 5 (Krka River Valley: Žužemberk, Novo Mesto, Kostanjevica), which was a very leisurely day with not as much sightseeing of places packed in, as much as it was appreciating the beautiful scenery and lovely old castle ruins & villages. On the sixth day we went to Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled, with a small special stop (= personal request) at the Savica River to enjoy the *gorgeous* views. As part of this daytrip we visited a World War cemetery in Nova Gorica and explored Vintgar Gorge, which was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE and which I would highly recommend to anybody who enjoys nature's beauty. The Gorge was definitely another highlight of our Slovenia trip for me! The last day was spent on Slovenia Explorer's Soča Valley -- Nature & Adventure trip: visiting Kransjka Gora, Bovec, Kobarid, Vršič Pass, the Russian Chapel and Lake Jasna (= we did this trip the other way around compared to the normal routine, to accommodate our departure schedule better). We also spent a couple of hours kayaking on the Soča River as part of that day's fun, which was truly fantastic!
We had the privilege of getting to know most of Slovenia Explorer's current guides throughout these 7 days: Gregor, Ivana, Nejc and George and all of them were *exceptionally* knowledgeable, kind and fun to be with! We were impressed with how flexible they were (in terms of timing, special arrangements, etc.) and how willing to work with us in regards to special requests, etc. I must've asked hundreds and hundreds of (sometimes quirky) questions throughout that week and the answers truly reflected the love and passion all of the tour guides have for their country -- and their incredible knowledge of all things "Slovenia". None of those bored, standard or trite remarks I've experienced in other places -- more often than not, we had fantastic, in-depth conversations about the country, the history, the people, the food, politics.... you name it! This was of course only possible because we were always just a small group or even just the two of us (we shared the trips with others on a couple of days but there were never more than a total of 8 of us; on several days it was just the two of us, which was really fantastic and made for a very personalized experience). I also particularly enjoyed the food/restaurant choices: I couldn't get over how inexpensive (yet wonderfully delicious!) the meals were and I loved going to "insider" spots thanks to the local knowledge of our tour guides.
One of the major bonus points of travelling like this was that we never had to worry about anything (other than the cost of meals), everything else was sorted out for us: all the travel to and from places, entrance fees, the timing to get in to certain tours, etc. etc. It made for a very stress-free and relaxed experience, with the focus on enjoying the moment and the country vs. having to worry about "all the little details".
I have absolutely no reservations about recommending Slovenia Explorer to others; on the contrary, we wholeheartedly recommed Slovenia Explorer if you want to discover Slovenia not just as a tourist but to get a sense of the locals daily lives.
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