Croatia Tours: Croatia, Slovenia & Venice Snapshot
Our Croatia tours explore a magnificent part of old, unspoiled Europe: the scenery is gorgeous; the outdoor cafés are enticing; the people are unbelievably friendly; the villages are picturesque and inviting; there are wonderful castles, palaces, and fascinating ancient ruins.
Tour Price: $6,599
Tour price includes:
- Round-trip airfare from Boston or New York
- 12 nights in lovely, boutique style hotels with private baths: (2) Dubrovnik; (2) Split; (2) Zagreb; (2) Ljubljana; (2) Bled; and (2) Venice
- All (12) breakfasts, 2 lunches, 10 dinners
- Fully Escorted
- Transportation in private, air-conditioned minibus
- Guided walking tours in Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Venice
- Beautiful drives along the Dalmatian Coast
- Visit to the National Park of the lakes of Plitvice (a UNESCO site)
- Excursion to Lipica Stud Farm and Škocjan Caves (a UNESCO site)
- Visit to fairytale-like Lake Bled, including a traditional Pletna boat ride
- Excursion to Goriška Brda wine region
- All tour guides, museum and monument entrance fees, tips, and taxes
Our journey begins in Croatia at the Dubrovnik Airport from which we take a shuttle to our beautiful hotel on the cliffs above Dubrovnik’s prestigious St. Jacob precinct. Dubrovnik, the “pearl of the Adriatic,” is built on a rock overlooking the sea. Narrow streets, beautiful small squares, and countless monuments and historical sites await us. We will take a guided walking tour of Dubrovnik and have a little time to explore before our first gourmet dinner in Croatia.
After a delicious breakfast at our hotel, we will have time to explore this wonderful city on our own. Whether you head straight for more historical sites, indulge in a little shopping, or relax at an open-air cafe watching the hustle-and-bustle of city life, you will be sure to enjoy yourself today. We come back together this evening for dinner on the town featuring more delicious Croatian cuisine.
We begin the day with a drive along the Dalmatian Coast to the vibrant coastal city of Split. Upon arriving in Split we enjoy lunch and check in to our marvelous hotel located in the Pavlović Palace on the historic Pjaca (Piazza) just steps from the Diocletian Palace. We will have time to explore this fascinating city before dinner at fine local restaurant.
Today we spend the day touring Split and Trogir with an expert guide. We begin in Split where the 4th century Roman Emperor Diocletian, intending to retire here, built a spectacular palace. After weaving our way through narrow streets and small squares we enjoy lunch before heading to our next destination. The enchanting medieval city of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts one of the most famous pieces of Croatian religious art, the Romanesque Cathedral of Saint Lawrence. When our guided tour comes to an end, we return to our hotel for our last evening in Split.
Today we depart Split for the capital city of Zagreb. On the way we stop at the National Park of the lakes of Plitvice, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the “series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls” created by “waters flowing over the limestone and chalk” over thousands of years. After exploring the park on foot and by boat, we continue to Zagreb. Dinner tonight is at our centrally located hotel.
Zagreb, the largest city in Croatia, is a lively city situated along the Sava river. In the morning we have a guided walking tour of the city. Then, the afternoon is free to explore Zagreb on your own. Tonight we dine at a wonderful local restaurant.
A short drive over the Slovenian border takes us to the magical city of Ljubljana. The old city center of Ljubljana is remarkable for its unique Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. Many buildings bear the mark of the master architect Jože Plečnik. After a guided stroll through the old city center we take a boat cruise on the Ljubljana River, passing under bridge after bridge that cross the river, the most famous of which is the Tromostovje (Triple Bridge). Tonight we eat at our hotel’s lovely restaurant.
Two of Slovenia’s most famous attractions are the Lipica (or Lipizzaner) horses and Škocjan Caves. We begin the day with an excursion to the Lipica Stud Farm. Charles II, Archduke of Austria, trying to leverage the strategic advantage of finely bred Andalusian horses, built a royal stud farm in 1578 in the Karst, a region of similar soil and climate as that of Spain. After our visit to the Stud Farm we drive to the village of Lokev for lunch, before continuing on to the Škocjan Caves. This “exceptional system of limestone caves comprises collapsed dolines, some 6 km of underground passages with a total depth of more than 200 m, many waterfalls and one of the largest known underground chambers,” and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. If there’s time after our visit, we can stop in Škofja Loka or Kranj, both of which have excellently preserved medieval architecture and a quaint city center. We return to our hotel for our last night in Ljubljana.
In the morning we depart for our last stop in Slovenia, the fairy-tale town of Bled. Situated at the foot of Mt Triglav, Lake Bled is “as romantic and magical as they come and without a doubt the most beautiful lake in the Alps.” On the lake we take a traditional pletna boat to the island and also visit Bled Castle. We lunch at the restaurant famed for having the absolute best Kremšnita (Bled Custard Cream Cake). Tasting is believing! We might be content to enjoy the beautiful surroundings this afternoon. We could also take an trip to the Vintgar Gorge for an enjoyable walk.
In Bled we will be very close to the renowned Goriška Brda, a hilly wine region comprising over 2,000 hectares of vineyards between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. Today we explore this region, enjoying lunch and a winery visit along the way. We return to Bled for our last evening in Slovenia.
Though we depart for Venice this morning, we have one more stop in Slovenia, at the coastal town of Piran, before arriving at the Queen of the Adriatic. We spend the day exploring the stunning medieval town of Piran. The center of the town is the Piazza Tartini, surrounded by picturesque houses and historical buildings. The town hall is even decorated with the lion of St Mark – a fitting transition to the next destination on our tour. Continuing on to Venice, we arrive at our hotel in time for a lovely dinner.
After a guided walking tour in the morning, we are free to explore this magical city for the rest of the day. Our hotel is just steps from St. Mark’s Square. With over 200 palaces on the Grand Canal alone, 107 churches, and an unparalleled number of celebrated works of art, Venice is a truly indescribable city.
After breakfast we transfer to the Venice Airport for the return flight.