Slovenia is a tiny country , only half the size of Switzerland, known as Europe in miniature due to its magnificent and varied scenery. It has a rich and complicated history which it shares with its Italian neighbour Friuli, both of which were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until WW1. Although Slovenia and Friuli are now separated by an international border their history and culture are inextricably linked. Friuli is home to Aquileia the most important archaeological site in Northern Italy. Famous for its floor mosaic, the largest paleochristian mosaic in the west. Friuli also boasts the charming small towns of Cividale del Friuli founded by Julius Caesar in 50 BC and Cormons the wine capital of the Collio. You can follow Rommel's footsteps across the Julian Alps to the sleepy village of Kobarid immortalised by Hemingway during the First World War. Kobarid is blessed with natural wonders; limestone gorges and the aquamarine Soca river as well as a world class museum. Slovenia's most dramatic scenery is surely found in the Triglav National Park, home to Slovenia's highest peak. Here we find Lake Bohinj a pristine glacial lake surrounded by snow capped mountain tops. Surrounded by gorges, rushing rivers and dramatic waterfalls this is a unique alpine paradise.
Days 1-2: Cividale del Friuli: visit Aquileia, the ruined Roman capital with its extensive floor mosaics and Basilica dating to 313 AD; walk though a landscape of vineyards and olive groves to Medieval Cormons, lunch and wine tasting at a Friuli vineyard.
Days 3-4: Kobarid: Cross the border into Slovenia on foot via Monte Matajur; walk though the trenches and military emplacements from the First World War with a local guide, visit an award winning war museum, optional kayaking or rafting trip on Soca river.
Days 5-7: Lake Bohinj: Explore the limestone sculptures of the Tolmin Gorge; visit the historic partisan hospital at Franja; take the panoramic small gauge railway to Lake Bohinj; hike in Triglav National Park, visit the picturesque villages around Lake Bohinj and the cascading waters of Mostnica waterfall.
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