DAY 1 ZAGREB 4*
Enjoy a welcome at the Zagreb airport and a transfer to the hotel in town where you will stay for the next two nights. Refresh and relax before your welcome meeting at the hotel at 7pm. Overnight in Zagreb.
DAY 2 ZAGREB – TRAKOSCAN CASTLE – VELIKI TABOR CASTLE – ZAGREB 4*
Start your day with a guided stroll around Croatia’s largest city, wandering its historic Upper town and the modern Lower town. Zagreb charms with green parks and open-air terraces, quiet courtyards and bustling streets, and landmarks like the Church of St. Mark with the colorful roof, the Cathedral and the National Theatre. After the walking tour, enjoy watching the dreamy rural sceneries replace the image of the bustling capital as you travel to Zagorje. This bucolic landscape of slopes dressed in vineyards is home to many castles. Trakošćan, one of the best known and most attractive ones, is an estate with roots dating back to the 13th century while your second stop, Veliki Tabor, showcases Renaissance at its best. In between, enjoy a typical lunch at a traditional restaurant. Feeing royal, return to Zagreb for an overnight stay.
DAY 3 ZAGREB – FUŽINE – OPATIJA 4*
After breakfast, head southwest from Zagreb to a Croatian gem still hidden off-the-beaten-path. Gorski Kotar, the region backing Kvarner Bay, is a pristine mountainous jewel, with evergreen woods and beautiful lakes setting scene for lovely outings in untouched nature. You will travel to Fužine, a small lakeside village where you will peek in the cave Vrelo and stretch your legs in a stroll around the lovely Lake Bajer. Delve into the local specialties like venison at the famed restaurant Bitoraj, and then continue to the seaside Opatija. The grand dame of Kvarner is your destination for the night.
DAY 4 OPATIJA – MOTOVUN – BUJE – ROVINJ – OPATIJA 4*
Sitting like a gateway to the Istrian peninsula, Opatija is an ideal starting point for a day of discovering Croatia’s largest peninsula. Sometimes referred to as the Croatian Tuscany, along with its heritage, Istria is famed for tasty bits like truffles, wines, olive oils and such. Start in Buzet with Istrian salami and homemade brandies, then make your way to Motovun, the mystic home of the truffle. In Buje, enjoy a fantastic meal accompanying the local craft beer San Servolo. For the grand finale, venture out to the colorful Rovinj and as you admire its narrow streets, romantic seaside, and sky-high tower of St. Euphemia church, walk it all off. Return to the graceful Opatija for the night.
DAY 5 OPATIJA – PAG – ZADAR 4*
After breakfast, it’s discovering one of Croatia’s most special foodie islands, Pag. Stretching parallel to the coast, Pag is a rather rocky landscape known for winds and salt which nuance its every flavor. Thanks to the combination, even the grazing grass tastes different here, translating to remarkable dairy products, and especially the cheese. Savor the best of it at Sirana Gligora, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning cheese factory. Then head back to the mainland to the town of Zadar, your final destination for the day. As the sunset colors the horizon, savor your first seafood dinner on this foodie escapade and spend overnight in Zadar.
DAY 6 ZADAR – KRKA NATIONAL PARK – SPLIT 4*
One of the most memorable moments on your journey from Zadar to Split is stopping to visit the Krka River National Park. Sometimes called ‘the little Plitvice’, Krka is nothing short of stunning. As you stroll around the forested paths, explore the history of the region dating back to the first Croatian kings. Take a boat to Skradinski Buk, a mighty waterfall which thunders so loud that for a moment, you will not hear your thoughts. Early in the afternoon, refresh with a typical local lunch in a traditional konoba restaurant and then continuing the drive. Take one more break to visit the charming Trogir. Split’s petite neighbor is also UNESCO-listed for its fortified maze of stone alleys which holds some of the most impressive Renaissance landmarks in the country. Stay overnight in the largest coastal city in Croatia, Split.
DAY 7, SPLIT 4*
All about its seafront promenades, long coffees and white stone from the neighboring island of Brač, Split’s urbanity developed from its present day historic core, the immense palace intended for the retirement of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The theatrical open-air Peristyle, the immense temple of Jupiter, the Cathedral of St. Domnius, each one of these is a chapter in the story of Split. Your guide will tell you everything about this centuries-long journey from a palace to a town, leaving you ample time to explore the vibrant café and shopping scene of Split on your own. Complete the day with an afternoon tasting of olive oils and wines, two essential ingredients of every meal on the coast. Enjoy an evening at leisure and an overnight stay in Split.
DAY 8 SPLIT – STON – DUBROVNIK 4*
After breakfast, head down the coast to Croatia’s southernmost gem - Dubrovnik. Enjoy the rhythm of the Adriatic islands lining up against the horizon as you drive by. Half way, divert to Pelješac peninsula, the wine empire of the south. Delve into the essence of the region in a wine tasting in one of the small, family-run local wineries, then stop in the tiny town of Ston. At the very entrance to the peninsula, sitting beneath a dramatic curtain of very long walls, Ston is the kingdom of delights: potent wines, salt from the historical salt pans and freshly harvested oysters are everyday treats here. An ideal place for a seafood lunch, Ston is a stop foodies will long remember! Reminisce during the remaining drive to Dubrovnik and then enjoy a dinner and the evening on your own. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 9 DUBROVNIK 4*
Whether you know it as the Pearl of the Adriatic or the King’s Landing, Dubrovnik is sure to enchant as soon as you pass its immense stone gates. Between the medieval walls and baroque facades of its Old Town, turn corners to find stunning palaces, longstanding monasteries and revered churches interwoven with glorified movie sets and lively piazzas. The stories of your expert local guide will bring to life the town’s glorious history as a merchant force and an independent Republic. After the tour, head out to the Konavle region that has fed Dubrovnik throughout all these centuries. This serene fertile land surrounded in rugged hills is today a heaven of rural households which still upkeep their ancient traditions. At one such place, you will enjoy a honey tasting. Then, the grand finale: the traditional peka dinner, an ancient way of preparing meat and potatoes still favored today in many Croatian households! Dobar tek! Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 10 DUBROVNIK 4*
After breakfast at the hotel, take a transfer to Dubrovnik Airport (or another hotel/accommodation in Dubrovnik).
DAY 1 LJUBLJANA – ARRIVAL
Welcome to Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana! After arrival at Ljubljana airport, transfer to your hotel and enjoy a free evening and an overnight stay.
DAY 2 LJUBLJANA WALKING TOUR – POSTOJNA CAVE – PREDJAMA CASTLE
Following breakfast, get a head start on Slovenia by exploring its capital in a guided city tour of Ljubljana. With a distinct small-town feel to it, this city of rich history still today showcases traces of the Roman Emona, mimics baroque on its facades, but claims its fame for a thriving Art Nouveau period. Round off your Ljubljana walk with some aerial vistas from the Ljubljana castle towering above the historic center. Then head out of the city to Postojna Cave. A small train will take you around this maze of swirling rock tunnels and fascinating cave chambers, all magical of stalactites and stalagmites and centuries of Earth’s evolution dripping down cave walls. Nearby, visit to the dramatic Predjama castle, built into a hundred-meters-tall vertical rock! Sort out your impressions over an evening on your own and spend the night in Ljubljana.
DAY 3 BLED AND TRIGLAV NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, drive out to the fairy-tale like Bled. Surrounded in lushly forested Julian Alps, Bled graces the shores of the glacial lake Bled, an idyllic corner of the world accentuated by a graceful castle perched high up on the rocks and a serene island topped with a church steeple floating in the lake’s center. From sky to steeple, explore Bled with your guide, seeing both the castle and the island, and enjoying a ride on the traditional wooden gondolas locally known a pletna boats. After a piece of Bled cake called šampita continue to the larger but no less beautiful Lake Bohinj. Nestled in the Triglav National Park, this area of snow-capped mountains, alpine villages, dreamy meadows, clean-cut gorges and pure waters is completely intact by modern times. Learn of the alpine living in the Oplen House Museum and then take the cable car to the top of this world, Mount Vogel. Return to Ljubljana in the evening for an overnight stay.
DAY 4 GORIŠKA BRDA WINE COUNTRY
The amazement with the diversity of this small country is sure to set in after visiting its western bit. Goriška Brda, or the ‘Slovenian Tuscany’ as the region is affectionately referred to, is an area of rolling hills and scenic villages, orchards of apricots, peaches and cherries, and slopes covered in manicured vineyards. Throw in boutique wine production and a diverse culinary heritage, and it’s only the ambiance of undiscovered which separates Goriška Brda from its Italian counterpart. Visit the Renaissance castle Dobrovo, stroll through the medieval Šmaratno village, climb to Gonjače Tower for spectacular vistas, and taste wine and local snacks in one of the cellars. After returning to Ljubljana in the afternoon, choose an optional late night tour* instead of an evening on your own. Overnight in Ljubljana.
*late afternoon optional tours (joining small group of max 6pax)
DAY 5 LJUBLJANA – DEPARTURE
Enjoy your breakfast at hotel before a transfer to the airport. End of the tour.