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Slovenia - Istria (14 Days)
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Slovenia - Istria (14 Days)

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 6 people
Destination(s): Slovenia   Croatia  
Specialty Categories: Food & Wine   Crafts Tours  
Season: May - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 3350 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 4000 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Highlights:
- Stroll the picture-postcard old town in Ljubljana
- Descend deep into the stunning Skocjan Caves
- Taste local wines, truffles and pastas in Croatia’s Italian-flavored region of Istria
- Take a relaxing walk around fairytale Lake Bled before catching a gondola across the lake to Bled island
- Boat excursion on the Adriatic and charming towns around Cres and Losinj Island
- Get a hands-on experience with many of the region's traditional crafts and trades
- Visit the Lipica Farm, birthplace of the famous Lipizzaner horses
- Explore the cobble stone streets, artist galleries and markets of Rovinj, situated on the Adriatic
- Experience genuine Slovenia with a farmhouse stay and home-cooked meal.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Our tour begins at Slovenia’s enchanting Lake Bled region. Guests will be transferred from the airport to this small town that holds some of the country’s most scenic spots. First we’ll pay a visit to the cliff side castle, which offers great views down to this lake’s fairy-tale like setting. Then we’ll take a gondola across the lake to tiny Bled island and visit its church. Enjoy an evening stroll around the lake, a can’t miss romantic walk and an opportunity for picture postcard photos. Overnight and dinner at a farmhouse at Lake Bled. Overnight at Bled, Slovenia.

Day 2: Morning at your leisure to take in the pleasant views around the lake. Enjoy a slice of the famous local creme cake over coffee. After lunch we will see to one of Slovenia’s best preserved medieval towns, Radovljica. Guests will be treated to a fascinating and one-of-a-kind beekeeping museum. Another of Slovenia’s natural attractions awaits us at Lake Bohinj, only 20 kilometers from Bled but much less touristy. Guests will have some free time to explore this area before we head on to the picturesque Savica waterfall, a moderate walk of 25 minutes. Dinner back at the farmhouse in Bled. Overnight at Bled, Slovenia.

Day 3: In the morning guests can enjoy a refreshing easy walk along nearby Vintgar Gorge. We’ll leave the Bled area and head over a scenic mountain pass and down into the stunning Soca Valley. Along the way we will stop for some photo and magnificent views of the Julian Alps. Guests can brush up on their World War I history during a visit to the award-winning and quite sobering museum in Kobarid. It was here in this area that Hemingway documented his WWI experiences in "A Farewell To Arms". Then he head down to Slovenia's Karst region. Overnight and traditional dinner with local wine, prosciutto and other regional specialties at the Skerlj farmhouse. Make sure to save room for their honey ice-cream! Overnight: Karst region, Slovenia.

Day 4: A trio of highlights from the karst region. First, the fascinating underground world of the Skocjan caves - boasting the world’s largest subterranean canyon. The rest of the day is open to explore the Venetian town of Piran. The town is situated along the Adriatic Sea. The remains of old-town walls provide spectacular views to Trieste and Istria. Make sure to visit the chocolateria shop on Tartini Square. A late afternoon carriage ride through the karst countryside with majestic Lipizzan horses caps off our day. Dinner and overnight back at farmhouse. Overnight at Karst region, Slovenia.

Day 5: After breakfast we’ll go for a walking tour around Stanjel, the region’s most captivating hill town with many lovely old stone houses, an art gallery in a refurbished castle, pretty gardens and views over the Karst. Guests will be treated to wine tastings the rest of the day at various small towns and cellars along the Vipava Valley, one of Slovenia’s premier wine regions. Enjoy a picnic lunch atop a mountain ridge providing views of the entire wine region. Dinner, wine and overnight at Skerlj Farmhouse. Overnight at Karst region, Slovenia.

Day 6: Head down into Croatia for an outdoor excursion to Mt. Ucka. We’ll drive up to the summit that offers breath-taking view in all directions: the Istrian peninsula, the islands of the northern Adriatic, the mountains of Gorski kotar, even Venice and the Italian Alps on a clear day. Enjoy a lunch at a panoramic spot in one of the mountain villages. We’ll head to Opatija, which once served as the playground for the Austro-Hungarian elite. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Draga di Lovrana, which overlooks the Gulf of Kvarner. Overnight at Lovran, Croatia.

Day 7: A short ferry across to the islands of Cres and Losinj. Scenic ride through these islands with stops in many of the towns and villages. In Lubenice, a tiny village which hangs precariously on a cliff overlooking the sea, we’ll enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Adriatic. Lush vegetation, pine trees, crystal-clear sea and beautiful old stone houses on a narrow bay make up Veli Losinj, our home for the next few days. There are ruins of Roman villas, 13th century churches and traces of its shipbuilding glory days to take in on an easy stroll around the harbor. Overnight at local guesthouse close to the water. Overnight at Veli Losinj, Croatia.

Day 8: Today guests explore the Kvarner Bay. First a boat ride along the coves and islets of the Losinj archipelago. After excursion and lunch, we will return to our island and visit Mali Losinj, Veli’s bigger brother on the island. For dinner, guests will dig into some great Italian food at the Bora Bar Trattoria, home to one of the most celebrated chefs in the region. Along with dinner, guests can try a couple of classic Istrian wines, the bold Teran and the dry white Malvazija. Overnight at local guesthouse. Overnight at Veli Losinj, Croatia.

Day 9: Drive down to Croatia’s Istria region, known for its medieval hill-towns, wine, truffles and other gastronomic delights. All day excursion exploring its villages, vineyards and craftsmen. Enjoy delicious regional cuisine for lunch followed by opportunities to taste local truffles, olive oils and wines. Time to browse the charming hill-town of Groznjan, a bustling with artists galleries, handmade jewelry shops and gourmet food shops. Overnight and home cooked dinner at pension tucked away in the Istrian countryside. Overnight at Istria, Croatia.

Day 10: In the morning, a visit to the 6th century Basilica Of Euphrasius at Porec - lined with magnificent golden mosaics. Guided walking tour of Rovinj, Istria’s most charming seaside town. Lunch and afternoon at your leisure to explore art shops and galleries, outdoor market and labyrinth of cobblestone streets. Optional one-hour boat excursion on the Adriatic around small islands off Rovinj’s coast. Late afternoon walking tour of Pula, a city loaded with rich history that spans over two millennium, including a visit to its Roman amphitheater and ancient temples. Overnight at Istria, Croatia.

Day 11: Head back into Slovenia and take a peek inside the church at the tiny village of Hrastovlje, renowned for its vibrant and colorful Dance of the Macabre frescoes. Visit to the spectacularly located Predjama castle. After a lunch of roast pig or lamb in southern Slovenia’s Dolenjska region we will visit the Pleterje monastery and picturesque 13th century town of Kostanjevica na Krki. Guests will enjoy a home-cooked dinner at the Seruga farmhouse in Dolenjska and have a chance to try to unique regional wine called Cvicek. Overnight at Dolenjska region, Slovenia.

Day 12: Relaxing morning at the Spa Armonia. Guests will be treated to a massage using honey and herbal oils. Then we’ll check out the 16th century monastery at nearby Olimje and taste some heavenly chocolates at the sweet shop next door. We’ll spend the rest of the day exploring Slovenia’s oldest town of Ptuj. After lunch we’ll take in Ptuj’s castle, where once a Roman fort stood. The castle houses an interesting regional museum and a unique and colorful collection of pagan costumes that are still used for winter festivals. Dinner and overnight back at Seruga Farmhouse.

Day 13: Guests will arrive at their final destination, the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. We’ll take a walking tour around Ljubljana. Our guide will give an in-depth view of life and history in Slovenia and Ljubljana. After the tour, enjoy pizza along the riverside, cafes in the old town or find your lunch at the outdoor market and take the funicular up to the castle for great views. Overnight at 4-star boutique hotel located in Ljubljana’s old town.

Day 14: All day at your leisure to explore. Some of Ljubljana’s highlights include walking up to the castle overlooking the city, visits to one of the many museums and galleries , browsing the outdoor market alongside the Ljubljanica river and discovering the many splendid works of renowned architect Joze Plecnik. There are many festivals, concerts and shows going year round in Ljubljana. Ask your guide for what’s on during your stay here. Farewell dinner with guests and tour guide. Overnight at boutique hotel, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Lodging
- Local guides
- Transfers all transportation (during tour)
- 12 dinners, 2 lunches and all breakfasts
- Drinks and gratuities
- All entrance fees
- 2 wine tastings.

Notes:
- Tour is available to private parties of 4-6 persons at the 3350 USD
- Tours for parties of 2-3 persons are available for an additional cost of 650 USD p/p.

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