Days
15
Price from
FR4,730CHF

Explore the glorious Adriatic coast, from Venice to Dubrovnik

Your journey down the Adriatic coast begins in Venice and finishes in Lord Byron’s ‘pearl of the Adriatic’ – Dubrovnik. In between you’ll have time to relax on the chic and ancient islands of Hvar and Mljet, while the sublime surrounds of Lake Bled are, in their way, unrivalled.


Start
Venice, Italy
Finish
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Countries
Croatia, Italy, Slovenia
Style
Peregrine
Code
PEJAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Discover the beauty of Bled on a boat ride on it's charming lake, home to an island topped with a church, and blessed with unrivalled views of the clifftop castle and the Julian Alps behind

  • Quaff wine in the medieval hilltop town of Motovun, known for it's grapes that produce the Malvazija wine.

  • Explore Plitvice Lakes National Park with its 16 tranquil lakes interconnected by numerous waterfalls

  • Be entranced by the history and charisma of the 1st century Diocletian's Palace, into which the city of Split has been built over the centuries.

  • Enjoy the cosmopolitan vibe of alluring Dubrovnik on a walk around the medieval perimeter walls, famed for the superb views across the Mediterranean and the red tiled roofs of the city.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Take a small boat across to the islet of St Mary (Sveta Marija), located in the middle of Mljet’s ‘Veliko Jezero’ (large lake). Soak up the serenity and listen to birdsong as you enjoy lunch beside the islet’s 12th-century Benedictine monastery.

  • Try local grape varietal, Plavac Mali, at a wine tasting in a cellar modelled on ancient Roman dining rooms. Located underground and carved out of stone, it’s the same method of construction as was used to create Diocletian's cellars. The award winning winemaker is widely regarded to have instigated the renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in Hvar and consequently, is known as one of Croatia’s top producers.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Summer temperatures can be extreme in this region (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 twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

  • Day 11 is a long travel day with 2 ferries and slow winding roads. Sit back and take in the stunning scenery, and relax on Pomena harbour upon our arrival in Mljet.

  • On the island of Mljet you will be embarking on a day trip through the national park by bike. A general level of fitness is required for this activity, however it is possible for you to opt out of this activity if you don't feel like partaking.

  • As this is a combination of 2 trips, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Split.

Itinerary

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)
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. For some this trip will come to an end upon arrival. As this is a combination trip there will be another group meeting this evening where you will be able to meet the new members of the group. This is followed by dinner in a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Corner or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
This morning you will embark on a sightseeing tour of Split with a local guide. The city dates back 1,800 years, to the time when the Roman emperor Diocletian built a monumental imperial residence for his retirement. Today this fortified camp is an intriguing warren of narrow cobblestone streets where pre-Romanesque churches exist alongside Gothic chapels and a multitude of museums. You will also visit Diocletian's Palace, which was built in 295 AD and constitutes the heart of the city. Very much a living monument, it is framed by four gates, the most famous of which is the Golden Gate. In front of it stands a statue of the 10th-century bishop Grgur Ninski, who once opposed the pope and introduced the Croatian language into his services. In the afternoon you will visit Kastel Luksic's 16th-century castle and take a drive to the town of Trogir. Enjoy some free time to explore this quaint seaside town. Visit the cathedral where you can see the famous monument (a 13th-century portal of Dalmatian masonry) before returning to Split in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Corner or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided Walk of Split
  • Diocletian's Palace
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After an early breakfast you will transfer to the port of Split for your ferry to Stari Grad on Hvar Island. Hvar is an incredibly green island, resplendent with fields of lavender, heather and rosemary (it sometimes goes by its old Greek names, 'Pharos' or 'Faros'). Enjoy some time for a stroll through Stari Grad, then transfer to the typically Dalmatian village of Jelsa. Try local grape varietal, Plavac Mali, at a wine tasting in a cellar modelled on ancient Roman dining rooms. Located underground and carved out of stone, it’s the same method of construction as was used to create Diocletian's cellars. The award winning winemaker is widely regarded to have instigated the renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in Hvar and consequently, is known as one of Croatia’s top producers. Jelsa is surrounded by pine forest and wonderful beaches. It was once a key maritime centre of the Adriatic with a large shipbuilding industry. From Jelsa you will transfer by vehicle back to Hvar Town. In the afternoon make the most of your time in the island’s main town by walking through this old-world city of Gothic buildings and marble streets.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Amfora or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, a ferry will take you back to the mainland. Then you will drive along the Peljesac peninsula to Prapratno and take an evening ferry to Mljet Island, the most southerly of the large Dalmatian Islands. A national park occupies half of this gorgeous island. Mljet is a modernised form of the ancient Greek word melita, which means honey. On arrival in Mljet you will be transferred to your feature-stay hotel. It is the best option on the island, and whilst it is basic the superb location in an idyllic spot make up for it – on the shores of Pomena harbour. This is your base for the next two nights.

Notes: Today is a long travel day with 2 ferries and slow winding roads. Sit back and take in the stunning scenery, and relax on Pomena harbour upon our arrival in Mljet.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Odisej or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a day of activities in Mljet, such as cycling, walking and canoeing. In the morning you will take a short walk to the spot where you pick up your bikes for a ride around the natural salt water lake of Veliko Jezero, the bigger of the two lakes on Mljet (approx 12 km). Take a small boat across to the islet of St Mary (Sveta Marija), located in the middle of the lake. Soak up the serenity and listen to birdsong as you enjoy lunch. Enjoy some free time to make your own discoveries. Make sure you explore the islet’s 12th-century Benedictine monastery. Return to the mainland and continue to the smaller lake of the island, Malo Jezero, where you have the opportunity to canoe and swim in the lake, or alternatively walk through the untouched beauty of the national park. After a full day you will walk back to your hotel in Pomena for a relaxing evening and dinner with peaceful views.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Odisej or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cycling Tour in Mljet National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Take an early-morning ferry to Dubrovnik where you'll be transferred to your hotel. Once settled in, you will embark on a half-day sightseeing tour of the amazing Stari Grad (Dubrovnik's compact Old Town) with your leader. This walled treasure is often referred to as the 'pearl of the Adriatic' and is surprisingly tiny (400 m by 600 m within its protective walls). It's a lovely city to walk around, as it's been restored to its former glory since the damages of the 1991 conflicts. On your tour you will visit the Franciscan monastery, the Rector's Palace and take a walk along the City Walls. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free for you to walk around at leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ivka or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dubrovnik City Walls
  • Guided Walk of Dubrovnik
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel by boat to the island of Lokrum. It's located off the coast of Dubrovnik's old town. In this quasi 'botanical garden' you'll encounter a collection of exotic Mediterranean plants. Lokrum is also strewn with many golden sandy beaches that are popular with the locals. You will visit the ruins of an old Benedictine monastery and enjoy great views back across to Dubrovnik as well as Napoleon's fortress. Return by boat to Dubrovnik at around lunchtime. At this point the afternoon is yours to spend as you please. In the evening you will enjoy dinner with your group to bid them farewell.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ivka or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Boat Tour to Lokrum Island
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your trip ends after breakfast this morning. If you're looking to extend your stay, additional accommodation can be arranged when you book this trip (subject to availability). If you'd like to continue travelling, it's easy to take a bus or ferry from Dubrovnik to other Croatian cities and islands, and some international destinations. There are also regular domestic flights to Zagreb where you can link up with international flights. Alternatively why not join our connecting ‘Highlights of the Western Balkans’ trip exploring the region further inland.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Bicycle, Boat, Ferry, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (12 nights), Feature stay (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • 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
  • Guided Walk of Split
  • Diocletian's Palace
  • Cycling Tour in Mljet National Park
  • Dubrovnik City Walls
  • Guided Walk of Dubrovnik
  • Boat Tour to Lokrum Island

Dates & availability

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Important notes

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

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.