Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Slovenia & Venice

 

Duration: 25 DAYS

1 June - 25 June 2019

This is one of the most charming and picturesque regions of Europe and a captivating holiday destination. Washed by the sapphire blue waters of the Adriatic from Istria in the north to the Dubrovnik Riveria in the south.  Old Dubrovnik City is beautiful and is an outstanding preserved ancient city.  Boat trip to Venice, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Croatia is blessed with one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world.  We have fabulous four star accommodation and great food.  We visit the incredibly beautiful Plitivice Lakes and enjoy the exquisite fairy-tale setting of Lake Bled in Slovenia, this is just 1.5 hours from the Austrian border.  (On your free day you may like to do a bus trip to Austria – at your own cost approx. EURO 45 per person). We will take a short drive to the Lipica horse stud farm, home of the famous Lipizzaner horses.  An amazing journey through stunning regions and scenery.

Highlights:

We visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites

 Old City of Dubrovnik

Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

A day trip into Venice

Plitvice Lakes National Park

 

Also included:

Lipizaner Horses

Incredible caves at Postonja with a miniature train ride

Istrian Peninsula

Enchanting Lake Bled

Fairytale Zagreb

Romantic Venice

Day 1:
New Zealand to Singapore. We depart New Zealand, arriving early evening in Singapore and check into our hotel.

 

Day 2:
Singapore, Frankfurt, Dubrovnik. Our overnight flight departs Singapore late evening; we have a short stop in Frankfurt before

continuing to Dubrovnik.

 

Day 3:  D
 On arrival in Dubrovnik, we will be taken directly to our hotel which is located in the picturesque district of Babin Kuk, right on the dazzling shores of the Adriatic!

 

Day 4:  D
This morning we will discover the heart of this World Heritage city with a walking tour of the old fortified town which dates from the 13th century. Old Dubrovnik is a mesmerizing labyrinth of steep streets, hidden squares and magnificent architecture from its Byzantine, Venetian and Hungarian past as we visit the Bell Clock Tower, the 15th century Orlando’s Column, Sponza Palace, the Rector’s Palace, the Domincan Monastery and also Franciscan Monastery with its pharmacy, one of the oldest in the world! Afternoon free for leisure then afterwards a home hosted dinner in a nearby village of Gromaca (homemade prosciutto, cheese, 3 different kinds of meat, roast potatoes, salad and dessert, unlimited wine).  

 

Day 5:  B & D
A free morning to explore Dubrovnik. Climb the old city walls or cable car to visit the museum, enjoy the view and have lunch or just relax at our hotel and enjoy the facilities. Mid afternoon we depart to Budva, Montenegro, once one of the Yugoslav republics – with beautiful national parks, UNESCO sites.  We enjoy the scenery of 
Boka Kotorska bay.

 

Day 6:
Budva, Montenegro  B & D 

After breakfast we depart for Perast, charming village, famous for its past admirals and ship building,  We have a boat ride to the Island Gospa od Skrojela (Lady of the Rocks) after which we continue to the fortified medieval town of Kotor – UNESCO site. Here we do a walking tour and visit the maritime museum with a local guide. Free time to get your own lunch and do some browsing.

Dinner in a local restaurant in Budva.

 

Day 7:  B, L & D

 We depart Montenegro and travel to Bosnia and Hercegovina, this area was severely damaged during the Balkan war. We stop for lunch in Trebinje followed by Tyrdos Monestery for wine tasting and walk though the vineyard and church.    Mid afternoon we arrive at our hotel in the very centre of the old town, Mostar. Here we have a typical dinner with Bosnian specialities.

 

Day 8:  B & L
After breakfast we start with a walking tour of Mostar we visit an old Turkish house and a Mosque. Some free time for lunch.  En route to Split, Croatia, we visit the spring of River Buna where 47,000 litres of water passes through per second and visit

a 16th Century Dervish Monastry, Tekija Blagag.  Late afternoon we arrive at our stunning hotel. 

Free time to enjoy our hotels facilities and local restaurants.

 

Day 9:  B & D
After breakfast we will do a walking tour of Split, which was chosen by Roman Emperor Diocletian to build a palace for his retirement. Within its walls are structures of many historical periods for us to visit including Roman heritage, Jupiter’s Temple. A free afternoon to relax, or take a stroll along the Esplanade. In the evening our dinner will be in a local restaurant.

 

Day 10:  B & D
 Today we travel through varied countryside, forest and wild rugged gorges until we reach the incredible World Heritage listed Plitvice Lakes – a natural phenomenon of rare and unique beauty. We walk through pathways and on wooden promenades to view the breathtaking scenery as 16 crystal blue lakes cascade into 92 plunging waterfalls! Surrounded by dense forests, the pristine lakes are home to 160 species of birds and a variety of wildlife including otters, badgers and even the occasional bear! Stop en route at Macola restaurant for lunch (own cost), after which we continue to Opatija, charming resort which was established at the end of the 19th century by the Habsburgs. Dinner in Istranka restaurant (fish and meat menu).

 

Day 11:   B & D
A free day to soak up the relaxed resort atmosphere of Opatija! Stroll, browse, shop and eat at the waterfront cafes and boutiques, then soak up some serious relaxation in the warm waters of the Kvarmer Gulf. Set between lush green hills and the sparkling blue waters of the Adriatic, Opatija offers superb scenery, climate, parks, hotels, historic villas, beaches and a seaside promenade as well as a plethora of festivals, concerts, exhibitions and sporting events throughout the year.

 

Day 12:  B & D
Depart Opatija for the Istrian Peninsula, which is compared to Italian Tuscany, (good food, wine and hilly region) Our first stop will be in Pula, where a superbly preserved 1st century amphitheatre is adjacent to the harbour. Once the scene of Roman gladiator fights, medieval fairs and knights tournaments, it now provides an incomparable venue for Pulas Film Festival, Equestrian Festival, concert and the opera season. Tour with a local guide and some free time before we depart for Rovinj, lovely fishing village with lively farmers market. Lunch (at your own cost). In the afternoon we arrive in Porec.

 

Day 13:  B & D
Today is a day at leisure in this beautiful region.

 

Day 14:  B & D
Today we take a trip into Venice, we have basic commentary on the boat which will give some explanation about Venice. From Port San Basilio we will walk to St Marcs square, we go to a glass blowing workshop that is located in the square we will spend a total of 4 to 5 hours in Venice where you will have some free time.

 

Day 15:  B, L & D
In the morning we visit some hilly towns (Groznjan and Motovun), lunch is Bastion restaurant in Groznajan, where we will have a chance to try truffles. Wine tasting in Kozlovic winery. Early in the afternoon we return back to our hotel for a buffet dinner.

 

Day 16:  B, L & D
We depart for Slovenia. Along the way we stop to see the Lipica Horse Stud Stables (Lipizzaner horses). Then make a stop at the incredible Postonjna’s caves. The 2 million year old, 27km long subterranean system is Europe’s biggest cave and is justifiably world famous since opening 188 years ago! We begin our visit with the cave train – 2km miniature train ride and then continue on foot to see the dazzling calcite formations which are explained by a local guide. Late in the afternoon we continue to Lake Bled, our hotel is on the lake front, with wonderful views across the picturesque lake with its island and medieval cliff-top castle. (Need warm clothing for the caves)

 

Day 17:  B & D
Our day begins with a boat ride to the island in the centre of the lake. We then visit Castle Bled, which dates back to 1011AD, and is situated high above the lake. Originally designed as an impenetrable fortress against invaders, the castle now houses a modern museum. The rest of the day is free to take in the views and natural beauty of Lake Bled – fantastic photo opportunities! As one of Slovenia's most beautiful alpine resorts it is renowned for its healing climate, thermal lake water, sun, serenity and fresh mountain air.

 

Day 18:  B & D
Today is either a day of leisure or an optional tour to the Austrian lakes (EURO 25 per person). Dinner with live music at Lectar restaurant in Radovljica.

 

Day 19:  B, L & D
This morning we depart for a tour of the Julian Alps, a breath taking region in the middle of Triglav national park. The area became well known during WW1, where some to the hardest fights took place. This is the area where Ernest Hemmingway wrote the novel Farewell to the Arms. We have lots of panoramic stops today. We arrive around 1pm to Bovec, for lunch in Pri Marinu restaurant. After lunch we travel a little way through Italian territory. We will stop for Italian coffee in a charming place by Belopeska lakes, before we return back to Lake Bled

 

Day 20:  B & D
We depart for Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia). Upon arrival we take a walking tour of the old town taking in the major sights. Rest of the day free for you to peruse at your leisure. Dinner in local restaurant.

 

Day 21:  B & D
We depart the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, for the capital of Croatia, Zagreb. Where we will to a walking tour with a local guide(upper and lower town, cathedral, Bloody bridge, Mirogoj cemetery). Evening meal in local restaurant.

 

Day 22:  B, L & D
After breakfast we depart for the northern part of Croatia to Trakoscan castle, once a hunting residence, now a beautiful museum. Lunch at Gresna Gorica restaurant. After lunch we visit Kumrovec, birth place of former Yugoslav president Tito, return to Zagreb in the afternoon. Dinner in local restaurant.

 

Day 23  B

Depart Zabreg for Frankfurt/Singapore

Reluctantly, we bid farewell to Croatia and Slovenia to start our journey home.  You will be taking home wonderful memories of the stunning coastal scenery, ancient historic place, beautiful lakes, fairy-tale castle and lovely friendly people.

 

Day 24:  In transit

 

Day 25:  Arrive in New Zealand
 

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