Days
8
Price from
€2,365EUR

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
Countries
Croatia, Italy, Slovenia
Style
Peregrine
Code
PESL
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
21 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Arrive in style! Your airport arrival transfer in Venice is by private water taxi. Glide into the centre of Venice by boat to gain an appropriate sense of perspective of this unique city from the water… don’t forget to keep your camera handy!

  • Enter the fantastical underground world of the Postojna Caves – one of the longest karst caverns in the world – home to strange rock formations and creatures like an eye-less salamander

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

  • Soak up the vibrancy of Zadar and experience the deep Dalmatian heritage visible at every step – contrast the Roman ruins and medieval city walls with the modern sea organ and sun dial

  • Truffles are a glamourous-sounding local produce in Istria. Enjoy a truffle tasting combined with local speciality dishes such as fuži (Istrian pasta), fritaja (Croatian omelette) or our producer’s somewhat exotic truffle ice cream! Your sommelier will pair your tasting with suitable Istrian wines to try.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Summer temperatures can be very high in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement can be booked at an additional charge, subject to availability. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 09 October 2016

Arrive in style! Your airport arrival transfer is by private water taxi. Glide into the centre of Venice by boat to gain an appropriate sense of perspective of this unique city from the water… don’t forget to keep your camera handy! This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of iconic sights. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Meet your leader and group, and have your essential details ready for collection. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. As this trip leaves Venice tomorrow, it's recommended to arrive 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, passing under the Rialto Bridge and admiring some of the city's many monuments from the water. Perhaps take a walking tour of the highlights, including St. Mark's Square and the Basilica, Doges’ Palace, Accademia Bridge, and the Bridge of Sighs. There are also numerous museums to visit. After the meeting tonight, do not be afraid to lose yourself on a short walk of discovery, through mysterious, quiet alleys and sleepy canals.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Kette or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Water Taxi Arrival Transfer from Venice Marco Polo Airport
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, farewell Venice and Italy, and travel to the Postojna Caves (approximately 2 hours), where you will have some free time to have lunch before exploring the cave. A network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers, Postojna is the largest classic karst cave in Europe. In 1872, railway lines were laid in the cave and electricity arrived in 1884. Begin with a 2-kilometre open-top train ride through narrow tunnels to this jungle of stalactites and stalagmites. In the vast chambers 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. The wealth of speleothems, calcite and formations is dazzling, and they abound in a variety of shapes, colours and age. Continue on to Ljubljana (approximately 40 minutes), a city full of style and sophistication, and a treasure-trove of history, monuments, churches, museums, and great restaurants. On arrival you’ll take a guided tour around the old city centre, renowned for its unique architectural appearance. The Old Town consists of three main squares and baroque houses. Visit Ljubljana Castle, the Town Hall, Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the Dragon Bridge. You'll also pay a visit to the open market under arcades before continuing to the lake side town of Bled.

Notes: The constant temperature in the cave ranges from 8 to 10° C, so be sure to pack a jacket.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Kompas or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Postojna Caves
  • Ljubljanski Grad Funicular Railway
  • Ljubljana Sightseeing with Local Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you’ll drive through the misty Sava Bohinjka Valley to beautiful Lake Bohinj (approximately 30 minutes). The lake is the largest permanent natural lake in Slovenia, formed by a glacier and fed by several underwater springs – the most well known is the karst spring Govic. Take a cable car to the top of Mt Vogel, where you will be greeted by simply astonishing views of this incredibly stunning region – evergreen woods sloping down the mountains to touch the brilliant blue waters. You’ll then have free time to enjoy this amazing area. Back down in the valley it's then back to Bled. With immense natural beauty, Bled, together with its surroundings, ranks among the most beautiful of alpine resorts. It's renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then embark on some sightseeing. Head to the cliff-top Old Bled Castle, dating from the 15th century and overlooking sparkling Lake Bled, then take a Pletna boat ride (a wooden, awning-covered boat rowed by a special oarsman) to the island on Lake Bled – climb up the 99 steps to St Mary's Church. Enjoy a free evening – be sure to seek out the famous Bled cream cake, which isn’t hard; nearly every cafe and cake shop in town claims that theirs is the best.
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
Farewell Slovenia this morning and drive to Motovun, one of the most interesting towns in Croatia (approximately 2 hours). Motovun sits on the top of a cone-shaped hill, 277 metres above sea level, surrounded by the romantic and natural diversity of the bountiful Mirna River Valley, whose forests are famous for truffle hunting. Motovun 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 Celtic origin name comes from the word 'Montona', which means the 'town on the hill'. The medieval charm of the town is still found in its well-preserved architecture. Truffles are a glamourous-sounding local produce in this region. Enjoy a truffle tasting combined with local speciality dishes such as fuži (Istrian pasta), fritaja (Croatian omelette) or our producer’s somewhat exotic truffle ice cream! Your sommelier will pair your tasting with suitable Istrian wines to try. Continue on to the romantic Croatian town of Rovinj, one of the best-kept towns on the Adriatic Coast (approximately 1 hour). Among Rovinj's qualities is the beautiful, architecturally intact old town centre, with a relaxed Mediterranean feel. Through the centuries, Rovinj’s character has enchanted many an artist or writer, including Jules Verne. Whilst in Rovinj you will also pay a visit to the venetian-style St. Euphemia Church, dedicated to the early Christian martyr whose marble coffin is said to have floated to the Rovinj shoreline. Continue on to Pula, only a short drive and tonight’s destination (approximately 40 minutes).
Accommodation
  • Hotel Galija or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Truffle and Wine Tasting in Motovun
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning, explore the famous Roman Amphitheatre of Pula with a local guide, and step back in time to the town’s heyday as a Roman regional administrative centre. Overlooking the harbour, the arena is the 6th largest surviving amphitheatre in the world. Built in the 1st century, it was designed to hold up to 20,000 spectators, who revelled in the bloodthirsty gladiatorial contests shown there. The 30 metre-high wall, inset with two rows of arches, is made entirely of local limestone, with gutters on top for collecting water and slabs that were used to hold a shady fabric canopy in place. In the late morning you will make your way inland with a stop at the town of Opatija (approximately 1.5 hours), a former resort town for wealthy Austro-Hungarian families. Here you’ll have the opportunity to walk along the famed centuries-old 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. In the afternoon, you will transfer to your hotel (approximately 2,5 hours), 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. The park was given World Heritage status 20 years ago and comprises 19 hectares of wooded 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, primeval forest vegetation of beech trees, fir spruce and white pine adds another element to the park's beauty. You’ll have free time to explore here – 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 leader will outline to you. After your memorable visit to the lakes, drive to the walled city of Zadar (approximately 1.5 hours). For centuries Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia, and the city's rich heritage is visible at every step. Take an afternoon sightseeing tour of this splendid city – 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’ll also see numerous other fascinating constructions from between the 12th and 16th centuries, like the reconstructed Romanesque St. Grisigono's Church, St. Mary's bell tower, St. Anastasia's Cathedral, and the People's Square. Lastly, you will visit the Three and Five Wells Squares. There is also an opportunity to visit the Gold and Silver Museum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Kolovare 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. The latter is a man-made organ on Zadar's Riva that works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. You could also visit the vibrant fish markets of this port town, take a dip in the clear coastal waters, or explore the café culture and do some people watching. Your leader will also be able to offer you suggestions. As it’s your last night together as a group, why not get together and try some Dalmatian food specialties at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Kolovare 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 (approximately 1 hour), where you'll visit the St Jacob's Cathedral, a 15th century jewel that’s UNESCO protected. After some free time for lunch you will drive to Primošten (approximately 30 minutes), one of the most famous and picturesque small towns on the Adriatic. Explore the stone houses, churches, narrow alleys and lanes around the town’s old walls, where past and present sit in harmony. Continue on to your final destination of Split (approximately 1 hour). This is Croatia's second largest city, located in the heart of the Dalmatian coast and set on the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea against a backdrop of coastal mountains. Upon arrival in Split, this journey through Slovenia and Croatia will come to an end, and you will say goodbye to the group. If it is all ending too soon you can extend your trip further along the coastline by joining our 'Croatia's Dalmatian Coast' trip, taking in some of the islands and ending in Dubrovnik. Please speak to your travel agent for more details.

Notes: Please do not book any onward arrangements before 8pm this evening.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (7 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Water Taxi Arrival Transfer from Venice Marco Polo Airport
  • Postojna Caves
  • Ljubljanski Grad Funicular Railway
  • Ljubljana Sightseeing with Local Guide
  • Pletna Boat Ride on Lake Bled
  • Bled Castle
  • Mt Vogel Cable Car
  • Truffle and Wine Tasting in Motovun
  • Guided Tour of Pula Roman Amphitheatre
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park

Reviews

Our Slovenia & Croatia trips score an average of 4.76 out of 5 based on 21 reviews in the last year.

Slovenia & Croatia, July 2016

Roslyn Jenner

Slovenia & Croatia, July 2016

Clare Rock

Dates & availability

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Important notes

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.