Discover highlights of the Balkans as you travel from Slovenia to Montenegro through Croatia and along the Adriatic and Dalmatian coastlines
About the Tour
Serene Lake Bled, the pretty Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, lively and historic Zagreb, the seaside city of Split, wonderful Dubrovnik, and the unspoiled beauty of Montenegro: our grand tour takes us on a voyage of discovery into this magical region.
- Rail travel through Slovenia to the Croatian border, Zagreb & Split
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
- 18 meals
- Guided tours of Ljubljana, Zagreb & Dubrovnik
- Boat cruise to Brac Island
- Excursions to Postojna Caves and Plitvice Lakes
- Transportation aboard a deluxe motorcoach
- Private transfers from Ljubljana airport to Lake Bled hotel and Dubrovnik hotel to airport
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Days 1-2 – Lake Bled
Upon arrival at Ljubljana airport, meet your private transfer for the journey to Lesce Bled, where we stay for the next three nights. A welcome dinner with your fellow travelers is included this evening.
On Day 2 you are free to explore the picturesque town of Bled and the surrounding area. One of the most popular options is to take a boat to the delightful island near the lake's center, or perhaps take the chance to visit Bled Castle? This thousand-year-old building looks like it has been plucked straight from the pages of a fairy tale, and is a delight to explore and discover its many collections of weaponry and ancient jewelry. (Day 1 – D; Day 2 – B)
Days 3-5 - Ljubljana, Postojna Caves and on to Zagreb
Our excursion today takes us to Ljubljana, Slovenia's thriving capital city. Ljubljana boasts a wide range of architectural styles, from the Art Nouveau and Baroque of its older center to the more modern architecture of the last 100 years. On arrival, we enjoy a guided walking tour of its most famous sights, many of which are within its impressive pedestrianized Old Town, easily explored on foot. Afterward, we head south by coach to the fascinating Postojna Caves. We enter the labyrinth of caverns on a small electric railroad before enjoying a walk into the very heart of this underground cave system.
On Day 4 we transfer to the railroad station and depart Bled by train. Traveling in Standard Class, we cross the lush undulating scenery of Slovenia to the Croatian border and our next destination, vibrant Zagreb. The city of Zagreb is wonderfully compact; the old center is divided into the Lower Town, filled with splendid architecture and pleasant parks, and the Upper Town, a charming area of cobbled streets. The highlights of the city are easily explored on foot, and the architecture and style of the city give Zagreb the feel of an Imperial city; a clear reflection of the city's importance in the Austro-Hungarian empire. Throughout the Upper and Lower Town, dozens of museums and galleries rub shoulders with lively pavement cafés and restaurants.
On Day 5 we enjoy a guided tour of Zagreb, introducing us to sights such as the 14th century Gothic St Mark's Church and the medieval Upper Town. We also see Kaptol, an urban complex of churches, palaces, museums and galleries before you have a free afternoon to continue exploring. (Day 3 - B, D; Day 4 - B, D; Day 5 - B)
Days 6-8 - The Plitvice Lakes & Split
Today travel by coach to Plitvice Lakes and transfer to our hotel. This evening we discover the local area with a guide, visiting a local Serbian village that saw major conflict in Yugoslavia and Bosnian wars. Return to the hotel for a cooking demonstration of Balkan cuisine, which we enjoy for dinner.
On Day 7 we visit Plitvice Lakes. The sixteen lakes are part of 116 square mile National Park and are each interconnected by a series of waterfalls and cascades, the largest of which Veliki Slap, has a drop of 200 feet. This unique region of turquoise-colored water pools and mountains has UNESCO World Heritage status owing to its unusual karst formations and outstanding natural beauty and offers countless photo opportunities. After lunch in a local restaurant, we travel by rail (Standard Class) to Split, during which we enjoy the passing scenery of mountains, lakes, rivers, and luscious vineyards. Split was originally built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, signs of which you will see during your free time here - from the white-walled buildings to part of the best preserved Roman Palace complex in Europe and situated in the very heart of Split. The city's compact city center is a maze of narrow, haphazardly winding streets, stone stairways, low arches, and twisting alleyways. We stay for two nights at the Radisson Blu in Split.
On Day 8 we take to the water to view the city from a different angle, on a scenic boat cruise to the island of Brac. Your afternoon is then at leisure for you to explore more of this intriguing destination. The city's masterpiece, the Diocletian Palace, is well worth visiting, as is the National Theater and the palace - a UNESCO World Heritage site packed with historical buildings and museums. (Day 6 - B, D; Day 7 - B, L, D; Day 8 - B)
Day 9 - To Dubrovnik
Our departure by coach takes us along the scenic route from Split to Dubrovnik, calling in at Makarska Old Town, nestled on the Adriatic Coast. This picturesque town and port, that sits at the foot of towering Biokovo Mountain, is home to a fantastically characteristic Mediterranean Old Town with narrow stone-paved streets, a bustling church square, and a Franciscan monastery. Follow the winding paths that tumble down to delightful pebble beaches, or continue exploring the older section of the city whose history can be traced back to the 4th century BC. We continue to Dubrovnik, where we check in to our hotel ahead of an evening at leisure. (B)
Day 10 - Discovering Dubrovnik
Today's sightseeing tour introduces us to the breathtaking Renaissance port and 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. We visit the stunning old city, another UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy a panoramic tour of unique Dubrovnik. Tourism in Dubrovnik has seen a resurgence in recent years, with its use as the filming location of King's Landing in HBO's Game of Thrones heightening its already alluring appeal. This afternoon is free, so you could take a walk along the city walls for a different perspective of the city's stunning mixture of Gothic and Baroque architecture. (B)
Day 11 – To Kotor
Today we travel along the beautiful Dalmatian coastline to Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor. Often described as the Mediterranean's only fjord because of its winding, glacial appearance, here we take a boat to visit Our Lady of the Rocks, a man-made islet in the bay crowned by a small church.
According to legend, this ecclesiastical monument was created when the Virgin Mary appeared to local fishermen on this spot who then began a ritual of dropping a stone on the spot every time they sailed by. On our return to Dubrovnik, we enjoy a final farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 12 – Return Home
Following breakfast, you are free to depart Dubrovnik at your leisure. A private transfer to te Dubrovnik airport is included. (B)
Rail transportation is in Standard class aboard the Austrian InterCity train between Bled and Zagreb, the Croatian service between Lisco Leske and Split, and between Zagreb and Split. Each rail segment includes a comfortable seat with armrest.
Hotel Rikli Balance, Bled
Our hotel in Bled is the 4-Star Rikli Balance Hotel. Just a short distance away from the shores of the gorgeous Lake Bled and across the bay from the stunning Villa Rikli. The hotel is newly renovated and therefore boasts some wonderful amenities, such as a thermal pool complex, a spa (payable locally) a restaurant, a bar, and a lounge. The rooms are all en-suite and come well equipped with a television and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Hotel Dubrovnik, Zagreb
Hotel Dubrovnik is a hotel located in the city center of Zagreb, right on the ban Jelacic square. With its perfect location in downtown Zagreb, most of the main city points are only minutes away from the hotel. Hotel Zagreb offers a perfect balance of tradition, classic beauty, excellent service and modern facilities in the heart of Zagreb.
Hotel Lyra, Plitvice
Situated near the stunning Plitvice Lakes, Hotel Lyra boasts of its 4-Star rating and offers perfect getaway location: Una National Park. Amenities include air-conditioned rooms and free Wi-Fi. You will feel at one with nature with Hotel Lyra's unique location which means that it has the smallest amount of light pollution in Europe. With newly-installed telescopes, you view the night sky in all its glory!
Radisson Blu Resort, Split
The 4-Star Radisson Blu Resort in Split is situated on the waterfront of the beautiful Adriatic. In addition to a beautiful pebble beach and two pools, including a Japanese Onsen pool and spa, the hotel offers the convenience of three on-site restaurants as well as three stylish bars. All rooms feature a small table with a chair as well as amenities such as a minibar, an LCD television, an in-room safe and free, high-speed, wireless Internet.
Hotel Lapad, Dubrovnik
Across the street from the waterfront, this upscale hotel occupies an ornate Victorian building with a colorful modern annex. It's 4 km from both Dubrovnik's ancient city walls and Dubrovnik Cathedral. Polished rooms and suites rooms offer Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars, plus tea and coffeemaking facilities. Amenities include a restaurant and an outdoor pool, plus a lush garden and regular evening entertainment.
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