Day 1 : Welcome to Zagreb
You’ll never forget the glow of endless sunsets, the shimmering waters that surround walled cities and islands and the rich history of Croatia and Slovenia influenced by the Greeks, Romans and Venetians. This epic Croatia and Slovenia tour kicks off in the political and cultural capital of Zagreb where you’ll discover the treasures of its past and the extraordinary story that led to two rival settlements, Kaptol and Gradec, forming this cathedral city.
You’ll meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers later this evening for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive sharing some of the highlights you can expect tomorrow – from the city’s extraordinary Catholic heritage to heroes of a tumultuous past immortalized in the city’s imposing statues.
Accommodation : Canopy by Hilton
Day 2 : Sightseeing in Zagreb
Zagreb’s medieval heart is the star of the show today – a charming center that is both vibrant and historic and you’ll imagine life centuries ago as your Local Specialist reveals some of the landmarks that have lined its cobblestone streets for hundreds of years. Explore the charming upper town which spills on to St. Mark’s Square with its original Romanesque buildings and colorful St. Mark’s Church, renowned for its ornate frescoes.
The beauty of Bled isn’t far off and you’ll head through Slovenia’s celebrated green landscapes for this popular lakeside resort town, a highlight on many of our Croatia and Slovenia tours. You’ll learn about the legendary fairies that created the lake to protect their moonlit dancefloor – Bled Island. Learn about the historic characters, such as Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, who frequented the lake for its relaxing vistas and reputed medicinal benefits. Admire the surrounding Alpine landscape which is simply irresistible as you’ll come to discover over the next few days.
Accommodation : Park
Day 3 : Explore the beauty of lakeside Bled Connect with Locals
The warm, clear turquoise water of Lake Bled is the backdrop for today’s sightseeing and you’ll have a full day to explore its enchanting landscape. There’s plenty of time for a scenic boat ride to view the 17th century Church of Assumption up close and you’ll learn about the tragic legend that led to the installation of the wishing bell that still stands in the belfry today.
Today’s exclusive Be My Guest experience with Monika, Gregor and their five children is one you’ll be talking about for years to come and you’ll visit their Slibar farm, discovering how the farm has been in their family for six generations. Connect With Locals, learning how their focus has been to live off the farm and forest sustainably and how the family has recently ventured into producing organic beer, bread and pasta. Enjoy homegrown Slovenian hospitality and all the local favorites served on sharing plates, including seasonal vegetables straight from the farm, The warming welcome drink is an added treat you’ll get to enjoy while you learn about the history of the farm and family.
Accommodation : Park
Day 4 : Onwards to Ljubljana and Opatija
Leaving Bled behind, we travel to one of Europe’s smallest capitals – the ‘Hero City’, Ljubljana. Discover its mythical dragon heritage, exploring all the highlights on foot and enjoying the benefits of walking in this car-free, charismatic university town. You’ll see the Old Town with its two medieval town squares linked by narrow lanes, the Prešeren Square (named after Slovenian’s greatest poet) and Castle which has watched over the city for over nine centuries. Connecting Ljubljana’s historical medieval town with the modern capital is the extraordinary Triple Bridge. Next we stop in Postonja for a visit of the caves. After a day of city sightseeing you’ll head to Croatia’s riviera and settle into a slower pace in the resort town of Opatija.
Accommodation : Paris
Day 5 : Enjoy a Day in Pula and Rovinj
Start your day in the coastal city of Pula on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula where your visit to the 1st-century Pula Arena with a Local Specialist will reveal the city's role as a strategic location for the Romans, Ostrogoths, Venetians and finally, many years later, the Allied Forces in World War II. A true travel highlight, this ancient amphitheater, the sixth-largest and one of the best-preserved in the world, was built at the same time the Colosseum was constructed. Next, travel to the fishing port of Rovinj and wander through the Old Town, contemplating its Mediterranean influences and island walls.
Returning to Opatija later, you’ll have time for a quiet walk along the town’s Lungomare; perhaps spending a few soul-stirring moments paying tribute to the statuesque nymph cradling a seagull in her outstretched hands.
Accommodation : Paris
Day 6 : Off to Stunning Plitvice Make Travel Matter
Few experiences will match today’s guided walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Plitvice, one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, you’ll choose one of two walks revealing the cascading lake waters shifting from azure to green, grey to blue depending on how the sun hits the water. Admire sweeping views of the canyon during your short walk and, if you’re feeling a little more energetic, there’s always an opportunity to lace up for the long walk where you’ll join your Local Specialist and head into the canyon to Kozjek Lake, taking the electric boat across the lake back to your hotel. You’ll discover how these beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls have been shaped over thousands of years and remain pristine for generations to come thanks to visits like yours to the area.
Accommodation : Hotel Mirjana
Day 7 : Admire Historic Trogir and on to Split Dive Into Culture
Join your Local Specialist and go beyond the fortress walls of Trogir to explore its charming medieval heart connected to the mainland and island of Ciovo by bridges. Learn about its rich history which spans the Hellenistic period to a time when Venice was the ruler of the Adriatic as you admire the island’s ornate Renaissance and Baroque buildings. You’ll visit Diocletian’s Palace around which the city of Split was built and Dive Into Culture hearing about the legacy of the Roman Empire and how Emperor Diocletian settled on this stunning landscape for his retirement, building a palace fit for an emperor. Your Local Specialist will share the remnants of luxurious squares and temples that still stand many centuries later. There’s no visiting Split without enjoying a seafood dinner and you’ll have plenty of time over the next two days to discover the city by night along with its Dalmatian flavors.
Accommodation : Atrium
Day 8 : Split Your Way
Discover why Split has justifiably earned its nickname “the most beautiful city in the world” with a full day to explore its heart and beyond. People-watch in Pjaca Square where citizens of Split have met for centuries, then ascend the bell tower for magnificent views of the sprawling terracotta roofs and white marble façades that seem to tumble into the Adriatic. Having worked up an appetite, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the many cafés tucked away in hidden lanes – find one to enjoy a leisurely local lunch surrounded by Split’s rich history. You could choose instead a full-day Optional Experience to one of the Dalmatian Islands which will leave you with a deep appreciation for what it’s like to live in an area that is as beautiful as its history was tumultuous.
Accommodation : Atrium
Day 9 : From lunch in Ston to the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'
The impressive walls of Dubrovnik beckon, but not before we stop to admire the extraordinary walled city of Ston, with its dramatic views and laid-back fishing village atmosphere. Continue on to Dubrovnik, it won’t take long for you to understand why famous poets, playwrights and painters adored this walled city and you’ll be as inspired as they were by its backstreet charm as you wander up and down its cobbled staircases to go behind the scenes. Lovers of history will also delight in its rich history as the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Remnants of its wealth and stature remain today, confined within its centuries-old walls which staved off attacks from enemies, including the Ottoman Turks.
Accommodation : Grand Park
Day 10 : Explore Iconic Dubrovnik
All the highlights of Dubrovnik and some local favorites are revealed on your Sightseeing tour of the city this morning and you’ll join your Local Specialist who’ll share the stories behind the Rector's Palace, Onofrio's Fountain, and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. There’s some time to get your final fix of Dubrovnik before your Croatia and Slovenia tour comes to an end. You could choose to explore many of its backstreets ducking beneath stone arches and admiring the historic architecture or walk the fine city walls for epic views of the sprawling city that edge onto the vivid-blue Adriatic. On our last evening, we’ll come together for a memorable Farewell Dinner toasting to the beauty of the Adriatic and new friendships forged.
Accommodation : Grand Park
Day 11 : Farewell Dubrovnik
Our time together comes to an end this morning after breakfast.