Once part of Yugoslavia, Slovenia combines diverse cultural influences imported from Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy. It boasts a sunny Mediterranean climate, a stunning Adriatic coastline, and the national treasure of the Julian Alps for an intoxicating blend of natural wonders and traditional heritage. Luxury tours cite the capital of Ljubljana as a ‘must experience.’ Replete with medieval castles, dragon-adorned bridges and a labyrinth of cobbled streets it seduces travelers seeking a luxury vacation in Eastern Europe. A day-trip to the dazzling alpine city of Bled, reveals the spires of the fabled church in the middle of Lake Bled, just one of this city’s numerous attractions.
Discover medieval towns, celebrated cities, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites on your journey through these three storied countries. Local guides and historians unveil wondrous natural beauty and enriching histories. In Slovenia, tour historic Ljubljana, take a cruise on scenic Lake Bled and explore the caves of Plitvice National Park with a naturalist. Touring Croatia, see the capital city of Zagreb, the Roman ruins in Split, and Dubrovnik—crown jewel of Croatia and the Adriatic coast. Then, visit the walled city of Kotor and Budva’s medieval Citadel in Montenegro. Savor a fascinating adventure through old-world Europe.
Journey Pace: Active
- Ring the wishing bell at St. Mary’s Church on the tiny island in Lake Bled
- Exploring Postojna Caves with an expert guide
- The natural wonders of Plitvice National Park, a UNESCO Site
- Tasting the distinctive wine of the Peljesac Peninsula caves with an expert guide
- Budva’s 15th century ramparts and medieval fortifications fortresses and historic buildings at Kotor
- The hilltop fortresses & historic buildings of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 1Arrive Zagreb, Croatia
Upon arrival in Zagreb, you will be transferred to your deluxe hotel. This afternoon enjoy time at leisure to relax or explore this capital city.
- Esplanade Zagreb, Zagreb
Day 2Zagreb Sightseeing
Begin your day by exploring Gornji Grad, the historic heart of Zagreb, with a local expert. Discover the hidden wonders of Savska Street, the splendid old train station, Zrinjevac Park and the Croatian National Theatre. At St. Mark’s Cathedral, see the works of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most famous sculptor.
This afternoon, visit the Croatian Naive Art Museum, which boasts more than 1500 works of art, mainly by Croatian artists. A museum curator gives you a private tour of the most notable pieces. (B)
- Esplanade Zagreb, Zagreb
Day 3Zagreb to Ljubljana & Lake Bled, Slovenia
This morning, travel through pristine Alpine scenery to reach charming Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Enjoy a walking tour of the city and its Old Town. Explore the Baroque Town Hall, and the adjacent beautifully ornate Robba Fountain, the lively produce markets, and the Cathedral of St. Nicholas.
Walk across Dragon Bridge, an Art Nouveau masterpiece adorned with dragons (the symbol of Ljubljana), and meander beside the Ljubljana River to the centrally located Presernov Trg Square.
Mid-afternoon, continue on to Bled, one of Europe’s most fascinating cities.
Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy the city. (B)
- Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled
Day 4Lake Bled Sightseeing
In the morning, depart with your driver and local guide arrival for a full day of sightseeing. Visit Bled Castle. Perched on a cliff above the lake, it is the oldest castle in Slovenia, with a Romanesque tower built in the early 11th century. Take a cruise aboard a traditional “pletna” boat to St. Mary’s Island, a tiny island in the center of Lake Bled. Scale the 99 steps up to the island’s high point, or take the cable car ride up for some spectacular views. See the famous church built into a rock – ring the church’s “wishing bell” for good luck.
In the afternoon, you are driven to Bohinj Lake, nestled in a glaciated valley. Ride the cable car to the viewpoint for a stunning panoramic view of the lake and its magnificent surroundings. Visit the Alpine dairy museum and enjoy a private cheese tasting. (B)
- Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled
Day 5Lake Bled to Postojna & Rovinj, Croatia
This morning take a trip to visit the caves at Postojna. A splendid natural wonder filled with limestone stalactites and stalagmites. From the very beginning the cave was a challenge for the bold explorers of the underworld who, with patience and perseverance, penetrated ever deeper underground. A local expert leads you through the caves, discussing their geologic formation, and delving into the flora and fauna that exists here.
After time for lunch in Postojna, depart Slovenia on a scenic drive to the charming Mediterranean town of Rovinj, Istria’s cultural mecca. Spend the evening at your leisure here in Croatia. (B)
- Hotel Monte Mulini, Rovinj
Day 6Bale, Vodnjan, Pula & Rovinj
Today is a full day excursion to the Istria peninsula, the “Croatian Tuscany.”
The first stop is to visit Bale – a hidden pearl of Istria inland. A magical town of exquisite beauty, it is made all of stone, and is said to be the home of the famed great 18th century lover, Casanova. The agricultural land around the town of Bale, called “stancije”, is known for the good quality olive oil and wine.
Next, continue towards the small town of Sisan to visit the Trapan Family Winery. The Trapan family has been running ecologically clean vineyards for over ten years. Here you will enjoy a private wine tasting followed by a homemade snack.
After this light lunch, you continue towards the town of Pula for a private walking tour of this beautiful, 3000 year old Roman town. Pula is the largest town on the Istrian peninsula and steeped in history and culture. Every step you take through the old town presents another landmark. The highlight is the Roman amphitheater, popularly called the Arena of Pula. Built in the 1st century A.D., at the same time as the magnificent Coliseum in Rome, it was once the site of gladiator fights. In the Middle Ages, it was the site of knights tournaments and fairs, and today it is the venue for summer performances. Strolling through Pula, view numerous other monuments of Roman architecture such as the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi from the 1st century B.C., the Temple of Augustus, and the Small Roman Theatre in the town center.
Next, return to Rovinj, for a tour through this charming town. Admire the centuries-old red-roofed houses clustered around the hill of a former island, and visit the Church of St. Euphemia. The Old Town of Rovinj rises up on a peninsula; experience the sights and sounds of history as you stroll with your guide down narrow streets to the magnificent baroque Church of St. Euphemia, the town’s most important monument. The town was declared a cultural monument in 1963. Arrive back at your hotel by late afternoon. (B)
- Hotel Monte Mulini, Rovinj
Day 7Rovinj to Plitvice National Park
This morning drive to Plitvice National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More than 4,000 years old, the park features 16 beautiful lakes connected by 32 spectacular cascades and waterfalls flowing over limestone and chalk, creating natural dams. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves and many rare bird species. Your local naturalist guide leads you on a walking tour along the system of wooden walkways to the park’s best lookouts and hidden wonders. Enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the grand collection of waterfalls, lakes, forests and animal life. And relish the mesmerizing ever-changing landscape of this unique park.
Arrive at your hotel in Plitvice by late afternoon. (B)
- Hotel Jezero, Plitvice National Park
Day 8Plitvice to Trogir & Split
This morning drive south, back to the coast and the ancient city of Trogir. Explore Trogir’s 13th century Cathedral of St. Lovro (St. Lawrence Cathedral) – it towers over the city and is one of the most important architectural monuments in Dalmatia. Visit the Romanesque style 15th century Ćipiko Palace. Its facade has two rows of decorated Venetian Gothic three-light windows, and in the atrium is a large carved wooden rooster, the figurehead of a Turkish navy ship taken after the Turks were defeated in the battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Mid-afternoon continue the drive south to Split, the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast. Upon arrival, enjoy a brief tour through the remains of the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s spectacular palace, and its famed Cathedral of St. Domnius, a Baptistery and cellars. (B)
- Marmont Hotel, Split
Day 9Split to Mostar & Tivat, Montenegro
This morning, begin with a drive inland to Mostar, the unofficial capital of the Herzegovina region. It is believed that before Herzegovina fell to the Ottomans, the settlement of Mostar had only 19 houses with a small suspension bridge that united both banks. The men that guarded the bridge were called “mostari“ (bridge keepers) and it is presumed that the town is named after them.
Enjoy a private walking tour of the Old Town of Mostar. Walk along the Old Bridge to Mostar’s cobbled Ottoman Quarter, which houses the city’s artists and craftsmen, as well as beautiful 16th century mosques, museums and cafes. The old town that developed around the new stone bridge was completed by Dalmatian craftsmen in 1566. This oriental part of the city still preserves its old tradition of highly skilled craftsmen in metal engraving, painting and rug-weaving. Also visit the 17th century Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque, and the Turkish House, a representative monument of Ottoman residential architecture.
Continue your scenic drive south along the coast, arriving at a luxurious marina property in Montenegro. (B)
- Regent Porto Montenegro, Tivat
Day 10Kotor & Budva
Today is a full day excursion through Montenegro, a small country with a rich cultural legacy, incredible scenery and tempting local delicacies.
Drive through Boka Kotorska Bay, the only fiord in Mediterranean, to Perast, a sleepy baroque place on the seashore. The most beautiful buildings of this small town were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, when seafaring was growing and captains built magnificent villas. Perast abounds in sacred monuments, such as the Church Sveti Nikola and Our Lady of the Rocks, built on the artificial island just opposite of Perast.
Next stop is the city of Kotor, positioned at the bottom of the sharp cliffs of the Lovcen Mountain. Kotor is a city of winding streets, hilltop fortresses and wonderful courtyards hidden between alleyways and historic buildings. Explore this walled city on a walking tour, reveling in its cobblestone streets and ancient churches including the Cathedral of Sveti Tripun, a monument of Roman culture and the symbol of Kotor. Visit the Maritime Museum, the custodian of Boka navy fame to admire the portraits of the famous captains, and models of old galleys and sail boats.
The last stop of the day is the coastal town of Budva, which dates back to 5th century B.C. and considered to be one of the oldest settlements in the Balkans. A walking tour leads you around the 15th century ramparts and medieval fortifications. Inside the defense walls, meander the narrow streets and cozy squares, filled with superb monuments of the different Mediterranean cultures that resided here.(B)
- Regent Porto Montenegro, Tivat
Day 11Tivat to Dubrovnik
This morning is at leisure to walk around the marina and enjoy the ground. In the afternoon, you will be driven north along the coast to Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic.”
Arrive at your cliff-top hotel by late afternoon for an evening at leisure.(B)
- Hotel Bellevue, Dubrovnik
This morning is a highlight of your trip – a walking tour through Dubrovnik. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an iconic city with ancient walls that has protected the city’s medieval churches, palaces and monasteries for more than seven centuries. Considered one of the most beautiful stone-built cities in the world, it is still an important maritime port.
Stroll along the Stradun, the main promenade that begins at the city’s gate and ends at the clock tower where mechanical knights hammer out the quarter hour. Visit the splendid cloister at the Franciscan Monastery, which houses one of the world’s oldest operating pharmacies, open since 1391. See the Orlando Column and Sponza Palace, and visit the Church of St. Blasius, the patron-saint of the Dubrovnik. Delight in the artistic treasures at the Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, and visit Rector’s Palace and the 14th century Dominican Monastery.
The afternoon and evening are at your leisure to enjoy this fascinating city, and your last day along the Adriatic.(B)
- Hotel Bellevue, Dubrovnik
Day 13Depart Dubrovnik
Today you are taken to the airport for your departing flight home or on to your next destination.(B)
Meeting PointZagreb, CroatiaDeparture PointDubrovnik, CroatiaTour Includes
- Accommodations as indicated in the itinerary
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- All transfers and sightseeing provided in a private deluxe vehicle when possible
- Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing
- Entrance fees per final scheduled itinerary
- Airport porterage, where available (2 bags per person)
- Local taxes
- Travel Guard Medical Emergency and Assistance Plan
Package price is per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies. Land, air, and governmental/park taxes are subject to change based on date of departure. International airfare is additional. Other restrictions may apply. Contact us for complete journey details.
Esplanade Zagreb, Zagreb
Dating back to 1925, the Esplanade Zagreb combines art nouveau architecture, 21st century comforts and highly personalized service. It is one of the most famous buildings in Zagreb with a long and distinguished history and impeccably high standards of service. You can enjoy the fitness center and spa, along with other features including a casino. Dine in one of the hotel’s three fine restaurants, including Zinfandels with its Mediterranean, Californian and Asian influences; Esplanade 1925 Lounge and Cocktail Bars’ intimate space; or Le Bistro for more informal, authentic regional fare. The Esplanade Zagreb offers 209 spacious rooms and suites, each designed to preserve the hotel’s heritage. Room features include satellite cable TV, complimentary internet access, in-room safe, hair dyer and bathrobe & slippers.
A 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List & Condé Nast Traveler Platinum Circle Hotel
Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled
The hotel is located on the shore of picturesque Lake Bled. It features spectacular views of the island, the medieval cliff-top castle and the Julian Alps. Noted for its traditional, pleasant ambience, the hotel offers a delightful mix of elegance and comfort. Enjoy the thermal swimming pool, private lido, saunas and other services of the Wellness Center, as well as the communal areas of the hotel, including the main hotel lounge, which offers magnificent views and traditional warmth and hospitality. Dine in one of the hotel’s fine restaurants and visit the White Lounge, now known as the Presidential Lounge in honor of the ninth Summit of Presidents of Central European States in 2002, which it hosted. All of the 33 air-conditioned rooms are furnished with beautiful, finely crafted, antique furniture and all have beautiful views of the lake. All rooms are equipped with cable TV, a minibar, in-room safe, internet access and a balcony.
Hotel Monte Mulini, Rovinj
Enter the world of comfort, quality and style at Hotel Monte Mulini the beautiful and colorful Mediterranean towns of Rovinj. Exquisite natural beauty and rich cultural and historic heritage characterize Rovinj, a truly unique destination in Croatia’s tourism offer. High-end accommodation, excellent service, the best amenities and our experience and expertise create a perfect blend with the surrounding area, turning this fine hotel into an ideal choice for a weekend getaway, holiday, active or Wellness & Spa holiday or a business trip.All rooms and suites have balconies, with panoramic views of the picturesque cove and protected Zlatni rt park forest. High-tech functionality does not detract from style and intimacy, with custom-made furniture and warm colours. Bathrooms are spacious, featuring natural materials, twin basins and walk-in ‘tropical rain’ showers.
Hotel Jezero, Plitvice National Park
Plitvice National Park, Croatia
The Hotel Jezero enjoys a prime location in the midst of beautiful Plitvice National Park. Surrounding lush forests and tranquil waters are at your doorstep in this serene location. Enjoy an evening stroll in the warm Mediterranean climate or take advantage of one of the numerous water activities available. Among the hotel’s amenities are a luxurious indoor whirlpool and sauna, massage facilities, and a beauty center. Enjoy local cuisine in one of the hotel’s two main restaurants or relax with friends over cocktails in the lobby bar with a spectacular view of the National Park. The Hotel Jezero offers 229 rooms and suites. All rooms have stunning views of the lakeside or the forest and feature private bathrooms, satellite TV, direct dial telephone and a mini-bar.
Marmont Hotel, Split
The Marmont Hotel offers rooms decorated in modern and minimalist style, each with a view of authentic city locations inside the Diocletian’s Palace, with perfectly incorporated furniture and linens made from fine natural materials. The Hotel has 21 double-bed rooms with a king-size bed and an en suite bathroom, air-conditioning with the possibility of temperature adjustment according to personal preferences.The state-of-the-art technical equipment is an integral part of each room, with LCD TVs with satellite reception, free and fast Internet connection and a telephone line with external calls. Morning or evening walks on the terrace are an experience you will never forget. The terrace is bound to astonish you, particularly when it comes to the view of the bell-tower of St Duje`s Cathedral, the patron saint of Split, and the roof tops of the old city.
Regent Porto Montenegro, Tivat
Located in the heart of a luxurious super yacht marina on the Adriatic coast, Regent Porto Montenegro comprises of a five-story, terracotta-roofed building with two wings flanking a central double-height atrium, with breathtaking designs inspired by Venetian Renaissance Masters while styled to the tradition and beauty of local architecture. Every hotel room boasts an awe-inspiring view of the beautiful Boka Bay and/or the surrounding majesty of Porto Montenegro’s soaring mountain ranges. Regent’s renowned bespoke service is felt in every corner, from the lavish event facilities with a view to the gourmet cuisines and pampering spa treatments. Regent Porto Montenegro fulfills the promise of a luxury seaside escape.
Hotel Bellevue, Dubrovnik
Carved into a cliffside, the peaceful seclusion of the five-star Hotel Bellevue makes you feel as if you’re on your own private island. From the moment you arrive, you are immersed in a world of luxury, elegance and impeccable service. Yet this boutique hotel in Dubrovnik is just round the bay from the Old Town, so you have the best of both worlds: a five-star retreat with a beautiful 6th-century city on your doorstep. Each of the hotels 91 rooms has fabulous views across Miramare Bay and beyond, with mile upon mile of deep-blue sea stretching uninterrupted in front of you. Envelop yourself in the warm creams and browns and relax – every room is designed to be a luxurious sanctuary.