Our Croatia and Slovenia tour explores 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.
12 nights in lovely, boutique style hotels with beautiful marble baths: (2) Dubrovnik; (2) Split; (1) Plitvice; (2) Zagreb; (2) Bled; Ljubljana (3)
Full time tour leader
Transportation in comfortable mini-coach or mini-van
All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 8 multi-course dinners
Guided walking tours in Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Zagreb, Ljubljana
Beautiful drives along the Dalmatian Coast
Visit to the National Park of the Lakes of Plitvice (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Excursion to Postojna Cave, Slovenia
Visit to fairytale-like Lake Bled, including a traditional Pletna boat ride and Bled Castle
Excursions to wine regions: Peljesac Peninsula, Croatia and Sava, Slovenia
All tour guides, museum and monument entrance fees, tips, and taxes
*Cost of airfare can be deducted if you wish to make your own arrangements
Tour price is per person based on double occupancy. Single supplements are available for those traveling alone who would like their own room.
Croatia-Slovenia Tour Itinerary
Depart the United States, flying overnight to Dubrovnik.
Our journey begins in Croatia at the Dubrovnik Airport where 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 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 explore this wonderful city with a local guide who shows us around the Old City and explains the history behind the City Walls. We enjoy free time this afternoon and evening. You may want to take a boat to one of the nearby islands or enjoy a local concert after dinner.
We drive along the Dalmatian Coast to the oyster capital, Ston. After tasting a few, we head to a winery on the Peljesac Peninsula for a tour and tasting. We then continue to the vibrant coastal city of Split. Our lovely hotel in the historic center is just steps from the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace. Dinner tonight is at a fine local restaurant.
Meals: B, D
Today we spend the day exploring Split with an expert local guide. We enjoy free time to wander the quaint ancient streets. We choose one of the many restaurants in town for dinner on our own.
We head north along the gorgeous Dalmation coast to visit the ancient Roman town of Zadar. After a guided tour and lunch, we drive inland to the UNESCO World Heritage National Park of the Lakes of Plitvice. The beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls were formed by thousands of years of limestone and chalk being worn by the waters. We check into our hotel just outside the park and enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner before getting a good night’s sleep.
Meals: B, D
This morning, we rise early to enter the Plitvice National Park ahead of the crowds. Plitvice is one of Europe’s most outstanding natural wonders. There are sixteen terraced lakes, connected by a series of waterfalls. The walking paths are scrupulously maintained and easy going. It is a photographer’s paradise. After exploring the park on foot and by boat, we drive an hour to Zagreb, Croatia’s beautiful capital city. Dinner tonight is a short walk from our centrally-located hotel.
Meals: B, D
Zagreb is a delightful, un-touristy city with a long, tortuous history. Our local guide takes us on a walking tour through the lower town— Donji Grad— to see the lively main square, while giving us a beginner’s lesson on the city’s stormy history. Zagreb has only been the capital of independent Croatia since 1991, so freedom is a very strong emotion for every Zagrebian. We take a funicular up the hill to the upper town, Gradec, originally an independent city. At the top is a wonderful panoramic view of the lower town. The 11th-century Gothic cathedral is beautiful, as are the many Baroque mansions in this part of town. Our tour is followed by an entertaining cooking class, followed by a great Croatian meal we have prepared.
Meals: B, D
A short drive over the Slovenian border takes us along the Sava River to one of Slovenia’s rich wine regions. Here we stop for a vineyard tour and enjoy a wine-tasting lunch. We continue to 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.” Our hotel is a beautiful old villa, built as a vacation home by Mussolini. We enjoy dinner in the excellent restaurant overlooking the lake.
Meals: B, L, D
We take the required traditional pletna boat ride to a tiny island on the lake and take turns ringing the bell of the ancient church— a tradition that brings good luck. We visit beautiful Bled Castle, high on a mountain above the lake, and at lunch we can taste the famous Kremšnita (Bled custard cream cake). In the afternoon we can take a row boat on the lake or go for a stroll around the lake.
Today we head 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 Plecnik. After a guided stroll through the old city center, we take a boat cruise on the Ljubljana River, passing under bridge after bridge crossing the river, the most famous of which is the Tromostovje (Triple Bridge). Tonight we walk through the lively streets to dinner at a local favorite restaurant.
Meals: B, D
Today we take an excursion to one of Slovenia’s most well known attractions, Postojna Cave. A train ride takes us three miles deep into this incredible work of nature with extraordinary stalagmites and stalactites. Our next stop is to see the magnificent Lipizzan horses at the Lipica Stud Farm. Our tour of the farm finishes with a grand show starring these famous dancing horses. We return to Ljubljana for a free evening.
Our local guide takes us on an entertaining foodie tour of the historic center of town. We see the market and taste some of Slovenia’s local specialties— honey, pumpkin oil, Kranjska klobasa (Carniolan sausage), tarragon, walnut, crackling and poppy seed poticas ( yeast dough cake), Kraški pršut (Kras prosciutto) (which must be served with a glass of Kras Teran red wine), and the thickest hot chocolate in the world. We then have free time to enjoy this lively town until our farewell dinner.
Meals: B, D
After breakfast we transfer to the Ljubljana Airport for the return flight.
For those who wish, you can continue your tour with an optional add-on to Venice.