Experience the Difference Tour

00w6

Discover some of the most beautiful natural and cultural heritage sites of the four countries; Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The tour will take you through the incredible landscapes of natural diversity and vast historical heritage. You will get inspired by the timeless stories each destination has to offer and experience its culture, traditions, and most of all its everyday life creating your experience as much local and authentic as possible.

Day 1

Pick up at the Marco Polo Airport in Venice, Italy. Transfer to the Venice Old town, check in to a hotel, welcome drink with your tour guide in order to get acquainted with the tour itinerary. Free evening and overnight stay in Venice.

Day 2

After breakfast we are going to explore this beautiful medieval Adriatic queen – Venice or Venezia in Italian. This exceptional city found its place in the Venetian lagoon along the Adriatic shoreline. Built on the group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges, the whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works of art by world’s greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and others. This quite a unique setting got the whole city and its lagoon listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You will simply enjoy the historic walking tour through Venezia’s labyrinthine calli (streets) and its marble palaces that vanish into the silent fogs.

You will experience the mystery Venice thrives on, from the secret passageways of Gothic Palazzo Ducale to the obscure powers of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

We shall walk to the Piazza San Marco and visit the St. Mark’s Basilica Cathedral that displays some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world. We shall continue with our walk and you will get a chance to see the Teatro la Fenice, Scala del Bovolo and walk to the famous Rialto Bridge – the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. The area of Rialto Bridge holds one of the most lively parts of Venice, the Rialto Market. It is the heartbeat of Venice’s everyday life. There we shall take a walk through its stalls of fruit, vegetables, fish etc. and experience the colorful and vital local life.

Free afternoon and overnight stay in Venice.

Day 3

Morning departure from Venice and heading towards Slovenia and its famous lakes; Bled and Bohinj. It will be a two hour drive across the amazing landscape interchanging between the Adriatic and the Alpine setting. Our first stop will be at the Lake Bohinj. The lake known as one of the most picturesque places located in the very heart of the Julian Alps. There we shall visit the spectacular Slovenian Waterfall Savica. After enjoying Bohinj’s landscape we are continuing with our tour and heading towards the Lake Bled.

00-slovenia-theguide

 The emerald-green lake, a picture-postcard church on the island in the middle of the lake, a medieval Bled castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps make the town Bled simply a postcard perfect

Lake Bled
Lake Bled

We will take a walk along the lakeside promenade while enjoying the scenic fairytale of reality. After the walk we will drive up to the town Bled in order to visit the Bled Castle Musem – the oldest castle in Slovenia that rises up to 130 meters above the glacial Lake Bled. Following the tour of the castle we are going to have sweat refreshment and go for Bled’s famous Cremeschnitte cake. It is simply a must once in Bled. It is a cake that is still made according to the original recipe since 1953. After our refreshment, we will check in to a hotel overlooking the lake and you will have the time on your own to relax and enjoy in the beautiful lake scenery.

Free evening and overnight stay in Bled.

Day 4

After the breakfast we are leaving Bled and heading towards Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Ljubljana has managed to preserve evidence of all the five millennia of its history, including the remains of the Roman city of Emona and the old city centre with its medieval castle and beautiful Baroque façades. We will take a walking tour across Ljubljana and you will enjoy its charms; walk the picturesque bridges across the river Ljubljanica, stroll through the amazing Tivoli park that stretches into the city centre.

Following the walk we are going to have coffee break and enjoy the everyday verve of this European city and afterwards we will continue with the trip and drive to visit the spectacular Postojna cave. You are going to have the opportunity to explore the best-known cave in the world. For over 140 years it has been the only cave in the world that offers a unique and adventurous ride with a special train which will take you into the cave, under the arches with chandelier look-alike stalactites, through a beautiful subterranean world full of playful limestone sculptures.

After the cave tour we are continuing towards the Adriatic town of Rovinj in Croatian region called Istria. You will enjoy the charms of one of the most colorful and charming Istrian coastal towns whose beauty lays in its narrow stone paved alleyways and squares rich in medieval, gothic, renaissance, and baroque buildings.

Rovinj
Rovinj

We expect to arrive in the late afternoon, check in to a hotel and overnight stay in Rovinj.

Day 5

After breakfast we are heading towards the Brijuni Islands National Park. We shall drive to a the Town of Fažana and from there we shall take a boat to the Brijuni Islands National Park. It is a unique example of magnificent harmony between men, animal and plant life. It is somewhat of an oasis discovered by ancient Romans that has been treasured by all of the monarchies and political leaders since then. In the past was a fashionable European health resort until the world war I. However, the resort reached its international glory at the times of Josip Broz Tito – the president of Former Yugoslavia. Some of the famous people that visited and stayed in Brijuni were Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Gina Lollobrigida and in recent times they have welcomed Caroline, the Princess of Monaco, Naomi Cambell, John Malkovich and many other famous people.

On your tour of the island you can experience different eras: see traces of dinosaurs, traces of human inhabitation dating back to the earlier Neolithic period, remains of a typical summer residence and a temple from Roman times, the island Zoo and Safari Park with numerous diverse animals brought here from the whole world.

We are going to take a train tour across the island and visit Tito’s Museum. After the tour we are going back to the mainland and continuing towards the picturesque medieval town of Motovun. Stunning little hill top town that has escaped the modern age mostly because of its topography. The town hovers atop a hill rising high above a vast Motovun forest and hillside vineyards. It is real Istrian jewel that watches over those famous woods rich in truffles.

After exploring the old medieval fortification of Motovun, we are going to have an authentic Istrian truffle lunch and try some of the superb Istrian wines. Prepare yourself for the true taste explosion because you are going to try some of Istrian best delicacies. After our truffle refreshment we are going to drive through beautiful Istrian landscape back to Rovinj.

Free evening at your leisure and overnight stay in Rovinj.

Day 6

Morning departure to The National Park Plitvice Lakes. It is one of the most known UNESCO World heritage sites in Croatia. It is also one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. In the past it was considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and gladly visited by princess Stephanie and the Imperial family. Before we reach the Park itself we shall stop and enjoy the fairytale scenery watermill town Rastoke just 20 minutes before the Plitvice lakes. The village is rather unique, not only because it has similar natural phenomena occurring as do the Plitvice Lakes but also because it holds the 17th century mill system that still operates today. You will get to see this well preserved wooden watermills on the waterfalls of river Slunjcica.

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park

Following Rastoke we are heading to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, The tour of the National Park will take approximately 3-4 hours and will include hiking along both upper and lower lakes, a boat ride over the big lake and a train ride through park area at the end. You will be able to see 16 green and blue colored lakes arranged in cascades and connected to each other by a series of beautiful waterfalls surrounded by captivating forests and vegetation. It will be a unique experience of natural beauty and harmony.

After the tour of the park we are heading for lunch in one of the local restaurants where you are going to try and enjoy traditional local food. After the lunch we will check in to a hotel and you will have free evening at your leisure. Overnight stay in Plitvice area.

Day 7

Morning departure towards Zadar, Dalmatia. After leaving Plitvice we are going to stop in a nearby village called Smiljan – a birthplace of the great world known inventor Nikola Tesla. There we are going to visit Tesla’s birthplace interactive Museum and Tesla Memorial Center Afterwards we shall continue with our drive towards Zadar – Dalmatian city known for the world’s unique installations; Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun. Before reaching Zadar, we shall stop in a town called Nin where you will see the smallest cathedral in the world – the Holy Cross Church dating from 9th century.

Zadar
Zadar

We expect to arrive to Zadar in the afternoon. After a hotel check in, we shall take a walk along Zadar’s waterfront to visit and hear the unique sounds of the Sea Organ and experience another great installation – The Greeting to the Sun. Free evening and overnight stay in Zadar.

Day 8

Morning departure towards south Dalmatia- the city of Split. First stop on our way to Split will be in the town of Šibenik – the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the Adriatic. Impressive from the outside, enchanting from the inside, the town is surrounded by the three fortresses watching over it. The St. Nicholas’, St. John’s and Šubićevac. Entering through the remains of once glorious city gates you will take a step into the old and romantic Mediterranean atmosphere. We shall take a walk through its old and narrow winding streets reaching the town square where the well known UNESCO world heritage site of the St. Jacob’s Cathedral stands.

After our Šibenik tour, we will continue towards Split. However, our next stop before Split will be in the beautiful UNESCO world heritage site of the old town of Trogir. The tour of the picturesque coastal town surrounded by the sea from all sides will make you feel like travelling through time. It is the town where every stone is a monument, where the orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period, It has beautiful Romanesque churches and outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. It is truly a remarkable example of urban continuity through historical development.

Trogir
Trogir

After the tour we are boarding our van again and going for a traditional lunch to the Dalmatian inland, to a village on the banks of the River Cetina. You are going to have lunch at local family household in Ruda village. It is a genuine dalmatian inland village on the Ruda water spring surrounded by mountainous landscape. Prepare your palate for extraordinary flavors since you will try local homemade cooking, a rare opportunity nowadays and quite different from what restaurants’ can offer you: local smoked ham (pršut) with a homemade cheese, popular Dalmatian Peka as well as some of the local specialties like frog legs or river crabs, depending upon the season.

Following the lunch we are heading to Split and expect to arrive in the late afternoon. Free evening and overnight stay in Split.

Day 9

Morning tour of the old town of Split: a stroll through charming corners of the old city center as well as a famous “ancient walk” through the Historical complex of Split with the best preserved ancient Roman palace complex in the world – Diocletian’s palace dating from 300 BC. At the end of the city tour you will be able to enjoy the popular local pastime – drinking coffee at the Split’s waterfront promenade overlooking the port and observing the city’s vibrant motion. Refreshed after coffee we are going to visit Ivan Meštrović Gallery in Split. It is an art museum dedicated to the work of the 20th century sculptor Ivan Meštrović. It was Auguste Rodin who once said that Meštrović is the greatest phenomenon among sculptors and even greater sculptor than he was. The gallery preserves and presents to the public the most significant works of Meštrović, and is in itself an art monument. After the visit to the gallery, you will have free time to explore the city and enjoy its beautiful waterfront promenade. Overnight stay in Split.

Day 10

Morning departure from the Split Harbor, with a ferry, to the Island of Hvar – the longest and sunniest of Croatian islands. It will be a two hour ride during which you will enjoy the beautiful Adriatic archipelago. The ferry will take us to Stari grad – the oldest town on the Island. We will walk around the Stari grad and then drive to UNESCO Heritage Site, The Stari Grad Plain – a valuable example of the ancient Greek system of agriculture dating from ancient Greek colonists in the 4th century BC. The ancient layout has been preserved by careful maintenance of stone walls for over 24 centuries that are astonishingly still in use today and the same crops, mainly grapes and olives, are still being grown in the fields.

Hvar
Hvar

Our final destination that day will be the Town of Hvar. A charming small town where history lurks from every corner. With its beautiful waterfront, 13th-century walls surrounding ornamented Gothic palaces and marble paved streets, the Town of Hvar gained worldwide glory. We shall have a tour of the old Town of Hvar and see the oldest municipal theatre in Europe (established in 1612), the arsenal and the Franciscan monastery, the fortress Fortica and the Cathedral of Hvar. Afterwards you will have free evening to enjoy the romantic island atmosphere of the Town of Hvar. Overnight stay in Hvar.

Day 11

Morning departure and drive across the island towards Sučuraj where we are going to catch a ferry back to mainland. Once we reach the mainland we are going to leave Croatia for a while and visit the Town of Mostar in the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. There you will see the beautiful historic Ottoman-style bridge – the symbol of the city called Stari Most (Old Bridge). It stretches 28 meters across the Neretva river connecting the two sides of the city; Croat West bank and a Bosnian/Muslim East bank.

Mostar
Mostar

It will be a unique experience of symbiotic existence of the two cultures and religions. We shall walk the cobbled streets of Kujundžiluk, an old bazaar with local artists sell traditional handcrafts where you will enjoy the colorful and lively atmosphere of the Orient. After the tour we are going to have lunch in one of the local restaurants and you will try the traditional Bosnian cuisine. After lunch we shall continue with our tour and drive along the banks of River Neretva back to Croatia.

Our final destination that day will be The Pearl of the Adriatic – the famous Dubrovnik. Free evening and overnight stay in Dubrovnik.

Day 12

Morning tour of Croatian pride and joy – the unique Old City of Dubrovnik and its walls. You will be walking through streets, fortresses and squares of more than a thousand-year old history which made Dubrovnik a cultural center of Europe. History is present in the entire city which is a museum itself. All houses and monuments have a unique value. The Old City is encompassed by medieval walls and fortresses which have been preserved in their original form and opened for visitors as Dubrovnik’s major attraction.

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

In 1979, the Old City was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. However, Dubrovnik reached its world glory for second time quite recently. It happened by being the prime filming location of the globally popular series called Game of Thrones in which Dubrovnik took the main lead by providing a shooting site for the famous Kings Landing. You will be able to see and compare the popular actual scenes with real life sites. After the tour we will have lunch and afterwards you will have free time to explore the city on your own. You can enjoy the popular and unique Buža café bar located within the old city walls. There you have a unique experience and go sunbathing and swim in the old city walls beach. Overnight stay in Dubrovnik.

Day 13

Morning departure to the Pelješac Peninsula and the Island of Korčula. We will drive across the Peninsula in order to catch a ferry to the Town of Korčula. It will be a 15 minute ferry ride from the Town of Orebić. It will be a scenic drive across the Pelješac Peninsula known for its beautiful slopes of vineyards and fabulous wines. It is this area that is often referred to as the Croatian Wine Empire. Wine cultivation on Pelješac has continued since ancient Roman times. Nowadays Pelješac has reached worldwide fame for its excellent sorts of wine called “Dingač” and “Postup”. We will visit one of the wineries where you will be able to taste and buy those famous Croatian wines as well as other authentic local products. We are expected to arrive to the Old Town of Korčula before noon.

Korčula
Korčula

The Old Town Korčula is one of the best preserved medieval fortified towns in the Mediterranean. You will enter the world of medieval buildings, Venetian palaces and charming little squares where you can relax and enjoy its unique atmosphere. After the tour we will have ice cream break at the oldest ice cream shop in Korčula. Afterwards we shall return to the Peninsula and go to lunch to one of the local households. There you will be able to enjoy local food and wine. On the way back to Dubrovnik we shall have one more stop at the Medieval town of Ston famous for the longest stone wall in Europe (5.5 km), salt cultivation farming and oyster beds.

Did you know that the Croats claim that their oysters are the most delicious in the world? Therefore, a visit to Croatia implies that oyster tasting is simply a must. That is why Ston is nowadays most famous for its oyster farming and there you will experience local tradition by visiting one of the farms and tasting fresh oysters opened right before you. We expect to arrive to Dubrovnik in the late afternoon and you will have free evening to enjoy the Old City. Overnight stay in Dubrovnik.

Day 14

Morning departure to Montenegro. The drive from Dubrovnik to Kotor will take around two hours. During our day visit to Montenegro you will see the town of Perast, Bay of Boka Kotorska (UNESCO World Heritage site) and the city of Kotor. Wedged between striking mountains and a moody corner of the bay of Boka Kotorska, this dramatically beautiful town is perfectly at one with its setting. On your tour of Kotor you will enjoy its natural and culture-historical sites as well as its large number of the monuments like four of Romanesque churches and 9th century town walls. Within those walls lie labyrinthine marbled lanes where churches, shops, bars and restaurants surprise you on every corner.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

After our Montenegro sightseeing we will return to Dubrovnik in the late afternoon. Free evening and overnight stay in Dubrovnik.

Day 15

This is the end of your tour. Departure from Dubrovnik Airport with a complimentary transfer.