"Slovenia, you are amazing, and I'm sad to be leaving. I'll be back soon!"
It's time to run away to Slovenia, one of the last great 'under the radar' European countries
You know where coastal Italy and Croatia almost kiss?
Slovenia's like right there. But it also stretches to meet the former lands of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It's as if Slovenia was in the center of a group hug between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.
While Slovenia was once a part of Yugoslavia, it's a very independent Balkan country.
With regions like Istria, Drava, Mura, and Carniola, Slovenia already *sounds* like a fairy tale, but wait until you *experience* it.
Influenced by its situation in the Mediterranean, Ancient Rome, and the Alps, Slovenia comprises a storied history that includes the Venetians, the Croats, the Hapsburgs, and Sleeping Beauty. Probably.
Slovenia is almost too perfect to be real
A fairy tale, a Michelin Chef, and pristine nature walk into a bar...
I’ve spent months exploring, researching, and curating under-the-radar immersion adventures for you in Slovenia.
My trips are hand-crafted to bring you the full scope of a culture, stopping places others can't or don't even know about.
"This has been the most magical week I could have imagined. Sometimes when you save and plan and sacrifice for something it’s hard for it to meet your expectations.
This was my first time to do ANYTHING like this and it blew my expectations out of the water."
— Holly King
Welcome to a slice of Paradise. Where the regional specialties are unusual experiences in unexpected places.
Like eating lunch in an abandoned village. Where the mother makes spectacular dishes, the daughter is the pastry chef, and the father makes wine AND is known to pull out his guitar to serenade you while you eat on their terrace.
Or eating gelato in Europe's second smallest medieval village, with fresh olive oil as a topping...because what else do you do when you've got an old fortress for a backdrop and olive groves dotting the valley?
Our trips are all FULLY CURATED by Juliana Dever, personally. You'll go deeper, feel a sense of place, and come away with a first-hand cultural understanding that will stay with you forever.
Go to Slovenia now, before everyone else figures it out
The days of Slovenia being an under-the-radar destination are about to end.
National Geographic just named it BEST IN THE WORLD for 2023 and avoiding the crowds in the future is going to be more of a challenge.
Slovenia is a rising star in Europe. Meaning get there immediately while it's still emerging so you can say you were there before it started changing.
Experience Slovenia like you've lived there without, y'know, having lived there:
Because one-of-a-kind experiences aren’t enough. Memories are made with people. The right people. You know what I mean.
Top-shelf people who respect your privacy and start stellar conversations. Group dynamics can make or break a trip. That's why we make sure everyone's a good fit for these types of culturally immersive experiences before we finalize the guest list.
Slow Travel Style
You're getting years of expert reconnaissance, relationship-fostering, and lowkey travel spycraft. All rolled into 1 dreamy trip. Your itinerary is designed with enough free time to absorb every nuance, dig deep into a new culture, and enjoy the heck out of it. It's also full enough that you return home with no regrets.
Authentic Meals and Time with Locals
None of this tourist restaurant crap where they're trying to make a buck by getting you in and out. No faded menus with pictures or sad iceberg lettuce lunches. It's all the real deal here baby. Your meals are made with love, very often in the homes of locals. And the restaurants? We'll never let you eat anywhere less than memorable.
When you travel with us, you're a name and a face we remember, not a booking reference. Once you're in, you're IN. You get preferential booking and first dibs on all future trips. There are plenty of perks for being part of the inner circle. If you know, you know.
High Touch Service
Remember the whole Travel Fam thing? We mean it. Need more travel info? A packing list? Flight advice? Whether or not you should bring that third suitcase (answer: probably not, unless it's just for wine). We're here for you if you need anything. (3 doors down, room #12. The password's "hotbubblingcheesybread.")
Community-Based Female First Tourism
We take you places where your dollars are invested directly into the community, not skimmed into global corporations’ coffers (looking at you, Airbnb experiences). We're always striving to DIRECTLY and positively impact the regions and people we visit.
We also have a policy to work with women-owned businesses first, and then family-owned businesses so that we can contribute to the autonomy of the individuals we visit. This means you feel good about it, locals benefit, and they love sharing the finest of their culture with us even more.
“I would 100% recommend this trip to others.
THANK YOU ALL FOR A TRIP OF A LIFETIME!”
Skip the "everyone is here from the same guidebook" sights
(and the tourist traps, the lines, the exhausting forced-marched schedule, and anything else that doesn't inspire "this is the best trip of my life" vibes.)
Don't have a travel buddy to go with? You don't need one. 95% of our guests are solo travelers.
Don't like rigid schedules? No worries. You'll have plenty of free time, plus we adjust on the fly depending on how everyone is feeling.
Unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime memories? Check.
Wanna go somewhere different but don't know where to start? This behind-the-scenes access tour is already curated. Just waiting for you to join us.
"Juliana and Tina made this trip amazing from start to finish. The other travelers are amazing women and so fun to travel with. We were able to have time to get to know each other and become more than acquaintances, we became friends!!!"
Do Slovenia the way locals prefer travelers do it:
With a CERTIFIED TOP EXPERT who's been there.
Like, a LOT
Certified by the Slovenian Board of Tourism as one of the TOP experts on Slovenian Travel
I've traveled the world avidly for 20 years
Journeyed through more than 60 countries
Lived in France, Greece, the USA, and Russia
...and I've been to Slovenia so many times it's like I live there.
During my travels throughout this Balkan oasis, I've made close friends with a sommelier and restaurant insider, a winemaking family on the Italian border, and Slovenians who've dedicated their lives to welcoming guests to their home country.
All of whom you'll meet on this 'castles to coasts' caper!
Tina, your guide, is a born and bred Slovenian. For the last 25 years she's guided privately, for Rick Steves, and now also with CleverDever Adventures. What was once a hobby has become her life's work and she loves every bit of it.
We met during my first visit to Slovenia and spent an entire day laugh-crying through the Julian Alps. That's when I knew we had to collaborate on a cultural deep dive to share with you.
Together our knowledge and experience mean we create trips to the country of Slovenia like no one else.
Tina's deep knowledge of her country, and close personal relationships with her hospitality-school classmates (who now own hotels, are Michelin-star chefs, and run agritourism experiences), means she brings lots of secret nooks and locals-only gems to our itinerary.
With a master's degree in tourism management, Tina occasionally teaches at the University. She speaks Slovenian, English, Italian, German, and Croatian fluently and can come by with some French, Czech, and Slovak.
She cannot wait to welcome you to her beautiful homeland, Slovenia.
Because of these relationships, I'm able to create experiences and introduce you to people you wouldn't have access to if you traveled here on your own.
You'll only get that kind of authentic adventure by traveling with locals, not by spending 17 hours reading reviews of the same 10 things on TripAdvisor.
"Tina was amazing!! She made me feel so welcome. I never once felt like she was our "tour guide" but rather a friend showing me around her beautiful country."
Your Slovenia Trip At-a-Glance:
ONLY 12 people max + your host, Juliana Dever!
Culturally Immersive, Local Experiences, Guided, Fully Curated
And the Pillows?
Mix of 3* and 4* Boutique Hotels and Traditional Guest Houses
How Active Will it Be?
Moderate - Intermediate: Walking for 1-2 hours at a time, some hiking, you must be able to carry your own bags on cobblestone and up stairs
My guides are local Slovenes who are also fluent in English (among other languages)
Independent, kind, respectful, curious, absolutely inclusive, and a bit silly.
Do I Get Free Time?
Oh yeah! While we have a plan every day, you'll have plenty of time to explore on your (Or lazy gazing at the gawk-worthy scenery)
Slovenia is a foodie's dream! We can accommodate almost any restriction - please enquire.
What's Included in the Cultural Immersion Tour to Slovenia?
Your inclusive tour price covers all of this:
All hotel accommodations - 10 nights in 3* and 4* hotels
Local and regional transportation via private van
Lunch or dinner daily - including wine and beer. Fair warning that it will probably be more food than you can humanly eat because Slovenians are just like that
Wine and craft beer tastings
Entry fee to all planned activities
Private guided tours
Gratuities at all restaurants
High-touch guest services - we're always accessible if you have questions or concerns
Intimate group tour - There are ONLY 12 spots total!
Does not include: Air travel, airport transfers, your meals during free time, gratuities for your guide, drivers and porters
Plus These EARLY BIRD Bonuses!!
$200 USD OFF during the Early Bird Booking period (through December 15th)!
Access to our Slovenia Adventure Private Group - Make friends in advance!
Exclusive Pre-Tour Group Planning Session. Virtual travel jam, just for trip members. Get your individual questions answered by the trip leaders.
Natural Fiber Tote Bag - Say No to Plastic Bags and Stay Sustainable!
Slovenia Packing List - Must have!
Before Your Trip Countdown Checklist - Don't forget a thing!
Slovenia is truly the rising star of the foodie world. With 12 Michelin stars handed out this year, we're going to taste why this little country why this perfect little country is getting so much attention.
Combined with a city walk that gives you the local perspective of this gorgeous town, you'll try dishes from some of Ljubljana's top chefs.
CleverDever Exclusive: Meet some of Slovenia's most creative female entrepreneurs at their shops hidden among the jeweled cobblestone streets of the city.
Day 2: Lake Bled
You can't visit Slovenia and NOT go to Lake Bled. But you don't have to get stuck in the tourist throngs.
Our private guide grew up here and knows everyone in town. She'll take us to visit local artisans that are behind the scenes. We'll also relax and try the famous Bled cream cake at the former mansion of the President of Yugoslavia, Tito Broz.
CleverDever Exclusive: Visit the home of a woman who has captured the feel of the Yugoslavian countryside over the last 100 years, and snack on her handmade products.
Meals: B, L
Day 3: Kranjska Gora
Take in the unbelievable beauty of the Kranjska Gora region. With water so green you'll think it's a filter, you'll have the opportunity to hike along a gorge deep into the forest, where gorgeous waterfalls await.
Today you'll be immersed in nature from breathtaking mountain views to icy streams you can wade through to wake up your circulation.
CleverDever Exclusive: Feast at the home of locals. You'll get the opportunity to visit different families in small groups and feel like you're having a night in with friends.
Meals: B, D
Day 4: Radovljica
Today you'll have the opportunity to revel in the "sweetest town in the world," Radovljica.
Historically known for its gingerbread arts, this picture-perfect medieval village is obsessed with chocolate. It's also low-key home to one of the best restaurants in Slovenia where you'll have another opportunity to have your mind blown by the flavors and textures of this alpine country.
Meals: B, L
CleverDever Exclusive:Learn how to make herbal remedies from mountain flowers, get a firsthand look into the daily lives of the people of the Carniola region, or take a hike into the serene forests.
Day 5: Prekmurje
Heading up into the "chicken beak" of Slovenia we'll visit several artisans and get a taste of the region's special dark green pumpkin oil at a local mill.
CleverDever Exclusive: Lunch at an agri-tourism farmstead in the east of Slovenia
After lingering with Grega the potter to watch him handmake traditional baking dishes on his wheel, we'll collect ourselves and check into the old Roman city of Ptuj.
You'll have a free night to wander the cobblestones, checking out bistros, cafes, live music, or wine tasting.
Meals: B, L
Day 6: Ptuj
Learn about the pagan ritual of the Kurenti, a terrifying group that assemble every February to scare away winter. We'll go behind the scenes to one of their workshops and have the opportunity to see the costumes up close.
Enjoy more free time in the city to explore the castle, stroll the riverfront or take an old roman ruin tour.
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Karst
We'll drive from the Austro-Hungarian side of the country clear down to Istria on the coast of the Adriatic. Good thing Slovenia's not that big!
Our marvelous migration will be interspersed with stops in the Karst region. We'll grab some insta-shots at one of the most photogenic castles in a cave, and refresh ourselves at the home of a winemaking family that is now seven generations strong.
Meals: B, L
Day 8: Piran
Part of Istria, Piran was once a part of the Republic of Venice. This medieval town is sandwiched between Italy and Croatia and shares a fair bit of cuisine with its neighbors.
Today you'll have the chance to get out onto the Adriatic sea, visit working salt pans, and spend your free time climbing the church's hilltop clocktower, getting lost in the laneways, or hiking a seaside cliff.
CleverDever Exclusive:Dinner is at a true farm-to-table kitchen. We'll take you on a culinary journey of Istria, a sea-faring peninsula filled with fish, olives, and pasta.
Meals: B, D
Day 9: Goriška Brda
On the border of Italian wine country sits this terraced terroir, filled with vineyards and hilltop towns.
We'll take time out to meander through another medieval village filled with artisans and a natural cosmetics shop that just this year was featured in Vanity Fair.
CleverDever Exclusive: Lunch in an abandoned village with a family affair making everything from the wine to the desserts.
Meals: B, L
Day 10: Lipica to Ljubljana
Another day, another gorgeous view of Slovenia's non-stop landscape. This morning visit 300 white stallions at the birthplace of the famous horses of Austria's Spanish Riding School.
We return to Ljubljana for a farewell dinner fit for a Queen. This swoon-worthy sunset meal is prepared just for you by one of the city's famed Michelin-star chefs.
CleverDever Exclusive: We'll tuck into our guide Tina's favorite little town to visit a friend and set out on an epic adventure throughout the walls of this medieval charmer.
“I loved every minute. It was so well organized, planned, and we had such great guides - it made this the best holiday of my life. I would definitely go on another CleverDever Adventure, it is worth every penny.”
Want Your Own Space?
Upgrade to a private room for the entire trip for only $650USD.
Just check the "private room" option.
You must be of legal drinking age in your country of residence and at least 21 years of age by the start of the tour.
Want a Roommate?
Traveling Solo but want to take advantage of the double occupancy rate?
We recommend this ONLY if you already have a friend or relative traveling with you as some of our small European hotels do not offer twin beds. You may find yourself sharing a queen bed, so make sure you are cool with that.
We will do our best to fulfill all share requests, however, we cannot guarantee a roommate. If we cannot pair you, the private room rate will apply.
Health and safety is our first priority. If we must reschedule this trip due to COVID-19, we will reschedule you onto the future trip of your choice with *no* penalty or fees. More info here.
You MUST be fully vaccinated no less than two weeks prior to departure and provide valid proof of vaccination.
You must also adhere to all mask and social distancing requirements as required by law.
Covid-19 Safety Guarantee
If the tour needs to be postponed due to covid, your paid-up funds are transferrable to any trip through 2024!
"I would recommend this tour absolutely - this tour was well planned out. It was so nice not to have to worry about details. And so much was included. You won't go hungry or want for great wine or beer!"
Is it safe to travel to Slovenia?
Yes. Slovenia is actually one of the safest countries in the world. It's in the top 5 and rates higher in the Gallup Law and Order report than the United States. The capitol city of Ljubljana is very safe and while of course one should always exercise normal precautions, I walk alone at night there and have never felt unsafe at all.
What city do you fly into?
The main capital city of Ljubljana is accessible to fly into from most European gateway cities. It’s also where we’ll start our tour. You can also fly into other cities like Trieste Italy, Zagreb Croatia, and Vienna Austria and come by land into the city.
What is the currency? What is the best way to get it?
Slovenia uses the Euro, which is very easy to get at any ATM or bank.
Is the tour open to everyone globally?
Yes! Everyone’s invited! CDA tours tend to be all women, but you're definitely invited if you're great in groups.
What language do they speak in Slovenia?
Many people in cities and towns speak English. Slovene, a Slavic language, is the nation's first language and you will hear it spoken amongst locals. We’ll also have a native Slovenian guide with us to help prevent anything getting lost in translation!
What's the climate like?
Rain can show up at any time, it's a bit fickle there. The sun also breaks out just as quickly, so it's rarely one type of weather for long.
On the coast near Italy, it can be mild, rainy and sunny all in one day. For the most part, the areas that we will be visiting will be sunny, nice and warm. Expect highs up to 85°F/ 30°C and lows of 60°F/15°C everywhere but in the mountains where it is typically about 5-10 degrees cooler.
How should I dress?
Slovenia is very western with respect to dress, so you don’t have to make any special considerations when visiting other than dressing for the weather. Because we will be going up in the mountains, you'll need light layers and a rain jacket. We’ll also be doing some hiking, so you’ll want some hiking clothes and appropriate footwear for both terrain and comfy shoes for city walking. We'll also have a few nice dinners, but Slovenia tends to be casual, so no formal wear necessary. ;)
Don’t worry, I’ll send everyone who’s going with me a suggested packing list. 😉
What's the food like? How can food restrictions be accommodated?
Depending on where we are, Slovenian food changes. Expect hardy Central European dishes like potato dumplings with sour cream, fresh farmer's cheese croquettes, and pumpkin oils near the border of Hungary.
When we are closer to Italy you'll find more fish, olives, and pasta. In the regions near the Julian Alps you'll find dishes with buckwheat dumplings (you will see these in a lot of area), meats, and soups. Slovenians love soups and often have them every day.
Slovenia is also going through a bit of a food revolution, so you'll find a lot of elevated modern dining as chefs try new things and push boundaries. This is prevalent throughout the country so expect really delicious small plates of things like beetroot pancakes with sage sauce or a delicate ravioli with roasted mushrooms.
We can accommodate for celiac, vegan, vegetarian, kosher and other food restrictions. There'll be an opportunity to let us know about any allergies or dietary needs after you book the tour.
What is the wine like?
It's not NOT a wine tour. But seriously it's not the main event - the culture and meeting locals is.
Slovenia has some unique wines and we will be visiting several winemakers during this trip. The reds can be rustic and earthy, the whites crisp and fragrant, and the ORANGE wine…oh it’s my favorite by far. It might take a few tastings to appreciate it, but it just might become your all-time favorite!
What kind of adapters will I need?
Slovenian power sockets are type C and F, which are standard euro round prong plugs. The voltage is 230, so plan to have dual-currency electronics or bring a voltage converter to prevent burnouts.
How much hiking will we be doing?
The Julian Alps soar across Slovenia's northwest border and there's no way we're going all the way to Slovenia and not spending time in nature - it's one of the countries' favorite pastimes.
We'll be spending a morning doing some easy hiking the Soča valley near Triglav. It's a fairly easy trek, but you can also opt to stay back at the guest house or explore the town. There will be several other opportunities to hike, how much or how little is up to you.
What nearby countries should I visit before or after our Slovenian adventure?If you're looking to visit neighboring countries or cities, look to Croatia, Italy, Austria, or Hungary. I've been to all of them and you won't go wrong no matter what you choose.