Days
8
Price from
$3,195AUD

Explore the beautiful cities, mountains and waterfalls of Slovenia and Croatia

Caves and waterfalls abound in Plitvice Lakes National Park, but it’s the 16 interlinked lakes flowing between Mala Kapela Mountain and Pljesevica Mountain that draw the crowds. Renowned for their distinctive colours, the lakes can appear azure, green, grey or blue depending on the minerals in the water and the angle of the light.


Start
Venice, Italy
Finish
Split, Croatia
Country
Croatia, Italy, Slovenia
Style
Peregrine
Code
PESL
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
(11 reviews)
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Wander the impressive Postojna Caves, one of the longest cave systems in the world and home to the weird eye-less proteus, a salamander, which lives in perpetual darkness

  • Ride the cable car up Mt Vogel for exceptional views over Lake Bled and the foothills of the mighty Alps

  • The history and culture in this part of the world is something else - it's like stepping back in time in every town and city.

  • Be blown away by Zadar and its extensive Roman ruins, medieval city walls and the modern sea organ and sun dial

Itinerary

Welcome to Venice! You may arrive at anytime today as there are no activities planned. This evening you will meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions at a welcome meeting (usually at 6pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place in a notice, located near the reception at our hotel) where your leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead on the tour.
Whilst at your discretion, we recommend arriving and departing by train where possible within Europe in order to reduce carbon emissions. We also recommend arriving early to make the most of your time here. You may choose to take a boat tour or a gondola ride on the Grand Canal, pass under the Rialto Bridge and admire some of the city's many monuments from the water.
We also recommend a walking tour to discover the highlights of the city, some of which are hidden away in the silent backstreets. The iconic Venetian experience is to walk around St. Mark's Square and visit the wonderful St Mark's Basilica, with its incredible undulating floor.
Nearby are the Doges' Palace, Accademia Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. There are numerous museums to visit such as the Accademia, which is the main repository for famous Venetian artists such as Titian and Tintoretto, and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, which houses her lifelong collection of mainly 20th Century art, which include works by Picasso, Chagall and Pollock.
You can also take an elevator to the top of the Campanile (Bell Tower), where you are greeted with panoramic views of the island and the entire Venetian Lagoon.
Venice is also all about mysterious, quiet alleys and sleepy canals, and you should not be afraid to lose yourself on your walks of discovery. With so much to do, you may even decide to arrive a few days earlier to make the most of this great city which is like no other in the world.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Kette or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you will farewell Venice and Italy and travel to Ljubljana, Slovenia's cosmopolitan capital.
On the way you will stop and visit Postojna Cave, where you will have some free time to have lunch before exploring the cave. A network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers, it is the largest classic karst cave in Europe. In 1872 railway lines were laid in the cave and electricity arrived in 1884. Today you will begin your visit aboard the cave train; the electric lighting allows you to admire the size and splendour of the underground world, where the geological past is recorded in a unique manner. Visitors to the cave are dazzled by a wealth of speleothems: calcite formations, stalactites and stalagmites abounding in a variety of shapes, colours and age. The constant temperature in the caves ranges from 8 to 10° C. Your guided visit lasts an hour and a half and in the afternoon you will continue your drive to Ljubljana.
Ljubljana is a city full of style and sophistication, a treasure-trove of history, monuments, churches, museums, and great restaurants. Ljubljana's Old Town consists of three main squares: Mestni trg, Stari trg and Gornji trg. The Town Hall is located at Mestni trg. It was built in 1584, and then rebuilt in 1718.
Ljubljana's old city centre is renowned for its unique architectural appearance and most houses in the Old Town are from the Baroque era. On a guided tour, you will visit the Ljubljana Castle, the Town Hall and Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the Dragon Bridge. You'll also pay a visit to the open market under the arcade.
This evening will be at leisure to unwind after the long and rewarding day of travel and to enjoy Ljubljana by night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Cubo or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Postojna Caves
  • Entrance to Ljubljanski grad funicular railway
  • Ljubljana half day sightseeing tour with local guide
  • Entrance to Postojna Cave
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will drive to beautiful Lake Bohinj and have some free time to enjoy the amazing area. The lake is the largest permanent and natural lake in Slovenia. It is 4350m long and 1250m (N-S) wide, the deepest part of the lake is 45m. The lake was formed by a glacier and today its main feeder is the lake of Savica. Along the northern part of the lake are several underwater springs - the most well known is the karst spring Govic.
You will take a cable car to the top of Mt Vogel where you will be greeted by magnificent views of the entire region.
It's then on to Bled. With immense natural beauty, Bled, together with its surroundings, ranks among the most beautiful alpine resorts. It is renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. On arrival you'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then embark on some sightseeing including a visit to the Old Bled Castle with a Pletna boat ride to the island on Lake Bled where you can visit St Mary's Church.
Tonight you will stay in Bled.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Kompas or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pletna Boat Ride on Lake Bled
  • Bled Castle
  • Mt Vogel Cable Car
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
You will farewell Slovenia this morning and drive to Motovun, one of the most interesting towns of Croatia. Motovun is situated on the top of a cone-shaped hill, 277 metres above sea level, amidst the romantic and natural diversity of the bountiful Mirna River Valley. It is the one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Croatia's Istria region, with houses scattered all over the hill.
The town grew around a core settlement surrounded by well-fortified walls and its name, of Celtic origin, comes from the word 'Montona', which means the 'town on the hill'. The medieval charm of the town remains through its well preserved architecture.
Whilst in Motovun you will sample some local delicacies of the area by indulging in some wine and truffle tasting. After some free time for lunch in Motovun, you will travel on to the romantic Croatian town of Rovinj, one of the best kept towns on the Adriatic Coast.
Among its qualities is the beautiful, architecturally intact old town centre, with a relaxed Mediterranean feel. Jules Verne, the father of science fiction, in search of unique places for his novels, chose Rovinj as a setting for some chapters of his novel 'Mathias Sandorf'. Just as he was, many a writer has through the centuries been equally enchanted by Rovinj and its beauties. Whilst in Rovinj you will also pay a visit to St. Euphemia Church.
You will stay in Pula tonight, which is only a short drive away.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Galija or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Truffle and Wine Tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast you will visit the famous Roman Amphitheatre of Pula with a local guide.
In the late morning you will make your way inland. On your way you will stop at the town of Opatija where you will have the opportunity to walk along the century old famous Franz Joseph I Promenade, better known as the Lungomare, a coastal footpath that stretches from Volosko to Lovran. There will be time for you to explore the stretch of the promenade closest to town, and to have lunch.
Your next stop is Rastoke, the historic center of the municipality of Slunj, situated on the banks of the Slunjcica River which cascades down into the Korana River via a series of waterfalls. The river originates at Plitvice Lakes, and similar colourful natural phenomena occur here.
In the afternoon you will transfer to your hotel located in the Plitvice Lakes area.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Jezero or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided Tour of Pula Roman Amphitheatre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will visit one of Croatia's most beautiful sites - Plitvice Lakes National Park. This spectacular national park lies halfway between Zagreb and Zadar. The park was given UNESCO World Heritage status 20 years ago and comprises of 19 hectares of wood hills that surround 16 stunning turquoise lakes, all connected by a series of waterfalls.
The area is populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and some rare bird species and the thick forest vegetation of beech trees, fir spruce and white pine adds another element to the park's beauty.
You will have free time for exploration. All trails in the national park are well marked so it's difficult to get lost but please follow the national park rules, which your guide will outline to you.
After your visit to the lakes you will drive to the walled city of Zadar.
For centuries Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia and today the main city of northern Dalmatia. A city with a rich heritage of world importance, visible at every step. You will take an afternoon sightseeing tour of this splendid walled city and see the Roman Forum built in the 1st-Century and St. Donatus' Church, which dates back to the 9th century and is the most famous medieval basilica and trademark of the city.
You will also see the reconstructed Romanesque St. Grisigono's Church from the 12th century; the St. Mary's bell tower from the year 1105; the St. Anastasia's Cathedral from the 13th century; the People's Square with the City's Lodge, and Guardhouse from the 16th century, as well as the mighty fortification walls with first class Sea(farer's) and Land gates from the 16th century. Lastly, you will visit the Three and Five Wells Squares. There is also an opportunity to visit the Gold and Silver Museum.
You will then transfer to your hotel on the outskirts of Zadar and the remainder of the day will be free.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Mediteran or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day in Zadar. There is so much to see and do in this harbour city, the hard thing is deciding what to choose. There are a number of excellent museums to visit including the Museum of Church Art, the Archeological Museum and the National Museum.
Don't forget to visit the famous "Greeting to the Sun" and the "Sea Organ", two of the more modern sights of Zadar. Your tour leader will also be able to offer you suggestions.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Mediteran or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, you will drive to Split, making a few interesting stops on the way.
Your first stop is at the town of Sibenik where you'll visit the St Jacob's Cathedral. After some free time for lunch you will drive to Primošten, one of the most famous and picturesque small towns on the Adriatic. You will explore the stone houses, churches, narrow alleys and lanes around the town’s old walls representing the perfect harmony between past and present, before making your way to the city of Split, Croatia's second largest city, located in the heart of the Dalmatian coast.
Upon arrival in Split the trip will come to an end, and you will say goodbye to the group. Please do not book any onward arrangements before 8pm this evening.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (7 nights)

Included Activities

  • Postojna Caves
  • Entrance to Ljubljanski grad funicular railway
  • Ljubljana half day sightseeing tour with local guide
  • Entrance to Postojna Cave
  • Pletna Boat Ride on Lake Bled
  • Bled Castle
  • Mt Vogel Cable Car
  • Truffle and Wine Tasting
  • Guided Tour of Pula Roman Amphitheatre
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park

Reviews

Our Slovenia & Croatia trips score an average of 4.73 out of 5 based on 11 reviews in the last year.

Slovenia & Croatia, October 2015

Anne Powell

Slovenia & Croatia, September 2015

Alan Kennington

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Important notes

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

Please do not book any onward arrangements before 8pm on the evening of the last day.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.