15 days

Jewels of the Adriatic

Jewels of the Adriatic

Pletna boat ride to St Mary's Church on Lake Bled

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park

The walled city of Zadar

Venice - the 'City in the Sea'

Lake Bohinj and Triglav National Park

Ljubljana’s Old Town

The Adriatic island of Hvar

Roman Emperor Diocletian's former palace in Split

Cycling on Mljet Island

Ancient Roman city of Salona

Lokrum's gardens and beaches

Medieval town of Motovun

Old town centre of Rovinj

Monastery of Saint Mary on Mljet

Trip rating
  • 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.

    Why we love it

    • Discover the beauty of Bled on a boat ride on it's charming lake
    • Quaff wine in the medieval town of Motovun
    • Explore Plitvice Lakes National Park with its 16 tranquil lakes and numerous waterfalls
    • Be entranced by the history and charisma of Split
    • Visit Kastel Luksic, Trogir's 16th-century castle
    • Enjoy the cosmopolitan vibe of alluring Dubrovnik

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Venice

    • 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.
    Hotel Pausania or similar

    Day 2 - Venice - Ljubljana

    • 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.
    Hotel Cubo or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Lake Bohinj - Lake Bled - Bled

    • 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.
    Hotel Jadran or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 4 - Motovun - Rovinj

    • 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.
    • Tonight will be at your leisure in Rovinj.
    Hotel Park Rovinj or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Plitvice Lakes National Park

    • After breakfast 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.
    Hotel Jezero or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 6 - Zadar

    • 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.
    Hotel Mediteran or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 7 - Zadar - Free Day

    • 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.
    Hotel Mediteran or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 8 - Sibenik - Salona - Split

    • 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.
    • You'll then settle into your hotel, and later enjoy a group dinner together.
    Hotel Marul or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 9 - Trogir - Split

    • 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 years. Within this palace grew a city, which UNESCO has proclaimed a World Heritage Site. Today the fortified camp is an intriguing warren of narrow cobblestone streets, where pre-Romanesque churches exist alongside Gothic chapels and a multitude of historical museums.
    • You will enjoy a half-day walking tour exploring 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 10th-century bishop Grgur Ninski, who once opposed the pope and introduced the Croatian language into his services. Sculpted by another of Croatia's favourite sons, Ivan Meštroviæ, this statue is considered a symbol of Split.
    • Peristil Square is where Diocletian used to deliver his speeches and the nearby mausoleum of the Roman emperor was transformed into the Cathedral of St. Domnius, famous for its bell tower.
    • In the afternoon you will visit Kastel Luksic's 16th century castle and take a drive to the town of Trogir, where you will enjoy some sightseeing. Trogir with its condensed contours situated on a small island seems to be a castle on the water with the prisms of its towers and crystal of its bell-towers. You will visit the cathedral where you can see the famous monument, a Portal of Dalmatian masonry made in the 13th-century.
    • You will return to Split for the evening.
    Hotel Marul or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Hvar Island

    • You will have an early start this morning. After breakfast you will transfer to the port of Split for your early ferry to Stari Grad on Hvar Island.
    • Hvar is an incredibly green island, resplendent with fields of lavender, heather and rosemary.
    • Stari Grad means 'Old Town' and sometimes goes by its old Greek names, 'Pharos' or 'Faros'. You will enjoy a walking tour of Stari Grad, then transfer to the archetypical Dalmatian village of Jelsa.
    • Jelsa is surrounded by pine forest and wonderful beaches. It was once one of the most important maritime centres of the Adriatic with a large shipbuilding industry. You will walk inland from Jelsa, through a picturesque landscape of olive groves, vineyards and lavender fields to the town of Vrboska, and you will get to enjoy some wine tasting along the way.
    • From Vrboska, you will transfer by vehicle to Hvar Town where you will have some free time for lunch before embarking on a walking tour through this charming town. Hvar is a historic icon with palatial Gothic buildings and evocative marbled streets that hark back to a different age.
    • You will stay overnight on this wonderful island.
    Hotel Amfora or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Prapratno - Mljet Island

    • After breakfast, you will catch a ferry back to the mainland and drive along the Peljesac peninsula to Prapratno where you will take the evening ferry to Mljet Island.
    • On arrival in Mljet you will be transferred to our 'feature stay' hotel located in an idyllic location nestled on the shores of Pomena harbour. Tonight you will enjoy a late dinner together.
    • This scenic spot is your base for the next two nights.
    Hotel Odisej or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 12 - Mljet National Park

    • Mljet is one of the most beautiful and natural islands in the Adriatic. Over 72% of the island is forested and half of it has been declared a national park.
    • Today you will enjoy a day of activity including 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 of Mljet.
    • You then transfer across to the islet of St Mary (Sveta Marija) where you enjoy lunch and then have some time for your own discoveries. The island is home to a 12-century Benedictine monastery, which you may wish to explore.
    • Returning to the mainland, you will cycle to the smaller lake of the island, Majo Jezero, where you have the opportunity to canoe and swim on the lake.
    • After a full day you will walk back to your hotel on Pomena where you will have a relaxing evening and enjoy the fabulous scenic location of your hotel with perhaps a refreshing drink before dinner (Cycling: approx 15km).
    Hotel Odisej or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13 - Dubrovnik

    • You will take an early morning ferry back to Dubrovnik city and transfer to your hotel.
    • Once settled you will embark on a half-day sightseeing tour of the amazing Stari Grad (Dubrovnik's compact Old Town) with your local guide. This walled treasure is often referred to as the pearl of the Adriatic and is surprisingly tiny in size - encompassing less than 400 metres north to south and 600 metres across within its protective walls. Stari Grad dates back to the 7th Century AD when residents in the area fleeing invaders, found the rocky promontory a safe haven. At one point in time Dubrovnik became a great maritime power in the Adriatic, rivalled only by Venice. Despite some damage inflicted during the conflicts in 1991 the city has now been restored to its former glory.
    • On your tour you will visit the Franciscan monastery, the Rector's Palace and take a walk on the City Walls.
    • The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free to walk around at leisure, but there is so much to see here that it is easy to just wander around the streets at your own pace.
    • This evening why not dine alfresco at one of the enticing terrace cafes or foreshore restaurants and watch the sunset behind the old city walls.
    Hotel Ivka or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 14 - Lokrum Island - Dubrovnik

    • This morning you will travel by boat to the island of Lokrum, which is situated off the coast of Dubrovnik's old town. It is famed as a quasi 'botanical garden,' with a collection of exotic and Mediterranean plants awaiting our discovery.
    • Lokrum is also strewn with many golden sand beaches popular with the locals.
    • You will also visit the ruins of an old Benedictine monastery and enjoy great views looking back across to Dubrovnik as well as Napoleon's fortress.
    • You return by boat to Dubrovnik at around lunchtime.
    • The afternoon is at leisure and tonight you will enjoy a final night out on the town with a farewell dinner.
    Hotel Ivka or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 15 - Dubrovnik

    • Your trip ends after breakfast this morning. Those wanting to extend their stay can arrange additional nights' accommodation at the time of booking.
    • From Dubrovnik it is easy to take a bus or ferry to other Croatian cities as well as some international destinations. There are also regular domestic flights to Zagreb to link up with international connections.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
    • Visit to Old Bled Castle with a Pletna boat ride to the island on Lake Bled to see Mary's Church.
    • Sightseeing tour of Dubrovnik’s Stari Grad with a local guide.
    • Exploration of UNESCO World Heritage listed Plitvice Lakes National Park.
    • 2 nights 'Feature Stay' in a hotel on the shores of Pomena harbour on Mljet island.
    • Wine and truffle tasting in the medieval town of Motovun.
    • Walking in Mljet National Park and Hvar Island.
    • Cable car to the top of Mt Vogel.
    • Gratuities for essential services in tour package.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Travel insurance (compulsory on all trips)
    • Meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary)
    • Optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Gratuities for tour leader
    • Items of a personal nature
  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Jewels of the Adriatic

    Ian - New Zealand, 13 May, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    This was our 3rd Peregrine tour and all three have been memorable experiences. Having relatively small numbers and good tour leaders made this tour another worthwhile holiday.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PEJA
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: Venice
End City: Dubrovnik
Style: Small Group

What to know

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. You will meet your tour leader on the morning of Day 2.

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