Croatia&Slovenia Hidden Gems Tour

00w2

Discover the beauty of hidden treasures and let yourself enjoy the magical journey throughout Croatia’s and Slovenia’s territory. Escape to the places of pinch-me perfection and experience a genuine wonderland of amazing cultural heritage blended into a fairytale landscape.

Day 1

Arriving to Zagreb, capital of Croatia. Airport pick up and transfer to the hotel. After check in we invite you for a get2gether welcome drink. Overnight stay in Zagreb.

Day 2

You will meet with your guide after breakfast and start your day with a charming “walking and talking” tour of Zagreb. The city tour will give you an insight into the two different cities: the modern, urban and vibrant capital as well as the historic, cultural Zagreb that grew side by side with its counterpart Vienna.

Zagorje region is often called as the “land of a fairytale”

After the tour or Zagreb we shall drive towards fascinating Zagorje region, north of Zagreb. The region is often referred to as the “land of a fairytale”. While exploring the countryside of Zagorje, the first thing you will notice is its silence and peacefulness. Its landscape is interwoven with winding country roads and beautiful green hills reaching as far as your eyes can see. It was due to its rolling green hills and rich vineyards overlooking the charming houses scattered across the landscape that made this region very desirable for Croatian and Hungarian nobility to build their castles and estates there throughout history.

Trakoscan castle
Trakoscan castle

You will take a step into the royal history and visit one of the biggest castles of the area – the Trakoscan Castle – originally dating from 13 century. After visiting the Trakoščan Castle we shall have lunch in a typical Zagorje’s restaurant, called klet. There you will enjoy the stunning countryside landscape while enjoying local homemade folk-cuisine specialties and excellent local wines.

In the late afternoon we shall return to Zagreb and you will have free evening at your leisure with overnight stay in Zagreb.

Day 3

After breakfast we continue with our tour and are heading towards the Slovenian famous Lake Bled. On our way to Lake Bled we shall stop at Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for coffee and a city tour. Ljubljana is a medium sized European city that managed to retain traces from all periods of its rich history. It is a place where eastern and western cultures met and stayed.

Ljubljana
Ljubljana

Afterwards we continue with our drive to the Lake Bled – the lake that holds the single and only island in the country. The emerald-green lake in the heart of the town, the picture-postcard church on the island, a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps make the town of Bled a postcard perfect site. We shall take a pletna boat to visit the unique Slovenian Island in the middle of the lake.

Following the tour of Bled we check into a hotel overlooking the lake and you will have the time on your own to relax and enjoy the beautiful lake scenery. Overnight stay in Bled.

Bled
Lake Bled

Day 4

After breakfast we are heading towards Lake Bohinj – one of the most picturesque places in the heart of the Julian Alps. There we shall take a cable car and get up to 1537 m at Vogel mountain. The natural beauty of high mountains, green forests and beautiful mountain pastures and meadows guarantee an unforgettable experience. Afterwards we shall catch a train (by our van) and ride through the historic Transalpina Line built at the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During our train journey through the Julian Alps you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of Europe’s most unspoiled and diverse landscapes.

After the train ride we will be heading to Postojna Cave – one of the best-known cave in the world. For 140 years it has been the only cave in the world that offers a unique and adventurous ride with a special train that would take you into the cave, under spectacular underground arches embellished with chandelier look-alike stalactites, through a beautiful subterranean world full of playful limestone sculptures.

castle202

After Postojna Cave tour we shall stop for lunch and try typical Slovenian cuisine. Following the lunch we shall be travelling back to Croatia towards Istria region. Our final stop for the day will be Rovinj where you will stay in a boutique hotel located in the old town. The most photogenic Istrian coastal town known for its narrow stone paved alleyways and colorful stone houses..

Free evening at your leisure to explore the charming old town and overnight stay in Rovinj.

Day 5

After breakfast we are heading towards the Brijuni Islands National Park. We shall drive to 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 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.

brijuni201
National Park Brijuni Islands

Brijuni Islands National Park – It is a unique example of magnificent harmony between men, animal and plant life

On your tour of the island you will 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 and diverse animal brought here from the whole world.

After the tour we are going back to the mainland and continue our drive towards the Istrian inland, the Medieval town of Motovun. It is a part of Istria famous for its vast forests rich in truffles. Motovun will be an exceptional experience since the town is situated on a hilltop overlooking the vast area of forests and vineyards. The view from the old Motovun stone walls is simply magical. There you will have a traditional Istrian truffle lunch.

Istrian truffle
Istrian truffle

With Motovun lunch we are ending our visit to Istria and driving south towards the Kvarner region. Our destination is Opatija, the town with the oldest tourism tradition, of more than 170 years. Opatija with its 12 kilometer coastal promenade was often called the Austrian Nice since it has been an exclusive coastal destination for nobility and aristocracy during the Austrian Hungarian Empire.

Day 6

After breakfast we are continuing with the tour and travel to the Dalmatia region, our final destination being Zadar. However, on our way to Zadar we shall alter our course for a short while and leave the coastal region towards the central Croatia mountains area in order to visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park – It is one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia and the oldest national park in Southeast Europe

plitvice203
Plitvice Lakes National Park

There you will enjoy the wonders of nature itself; 16 green and blue colored lakes arranged in cascades and connected to each other by a series of beautiful waterfalls and surrounded by captivating forests and vegetation. It is truly a unique experience of natural beauty.

After the tour of the National Park we are going to try local cuisine and have a traditional lunch in one of the local restaurants. Afterwards we shall continue our journey towards Zadar.

Arriving to Zadar in the late afternoon, check into the hotel free evening and overnight stay in Zadar.

Day 7

After breakfast we are going to take a short walk along the Zadar’s waterfront where you shall see and listen to unique sounds of Sea organ. Afterwards we shall go to the Island of Pag famous for its long tradition of the production of cheese, salt and lace. We shall visit the old town Pag, the lace museum, salt pools and of course the Pag Cheese factory where you will try the famous Pag Cheese. It is produced from a unique breed of small sheep – Paška Ovca – known for their intensely salty and limited milk output. Since Croatia does not allow the production of animal rennet, the Pag Cheese is made with the help of microbial rennet, thus making it a vegetarian cheese.

cheese_factory_201
Pag cheese factory

After this unique gastronomic experience we shall travel back to Zadar and on the way we shall stop at the oldest Croatian royal town called Nin. There you will see the smallest cathedral in the world – The Church of the Holy Cross dating from 9th century.

Arriving to Zadar in the late afternoon, free evening at your leisure and overnight stay in Zadar.

Zadar
Zadar

Day 8

We are leaving Zadar and driving south along the coast towards Split. Our first stop will be incredible nature and ornithological Park Lake Vrana the Croatian largest fresh water lake. There you will also see the remains of the 12th century templar town (Vrana was once owned by the Templers and the mystical stories of hidden treasures are still present today…) and Maskovica Han – a newly restored 17th century most western Ottoman monument in Europe.

Šibenik – the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the Adriatic

Šibenik
Šibenik

Our next stop will be the town of Šibenik – the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the Adriatic. Unlike other cities along the Adriatic coast which were founded by Greeks, Illyrians and Romans, Šibenik was founded by Croats. There we shall visit a well known St James Cathedral in the very heart of the old city. An important architectural monument of the Renaissance period added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Šibenik
Šibenik

After Šibenik we are going for an authentic Dalmatian lunch at the farmhouse called Jurlinovi Dvori – the old stone farmhouse built in the 16th 17th century, nowadays protected as an architectural heritage. It holds a collection of art, tools and other artifacts that represent the old way of local living. The compound is run by the local priest Don Stipe who has kept this important heritage alive till today.

We are to reach Split in the afternoon. Free evening and overnight stay in Split.

Day 9

After breakfast we are going for a morning city tour of Split. You will enjoy the vibrant alleys and streets of the old town where history is simply lurking from every corner you pass. Of course the most captivating of it all is Split’s pride and joy – the Diocletian Palace. Spanning more than 30,000 square meters, this extraordinary complex of beautiful white limestone was built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., as a retirement home for the Roman emperor Diocletian. The ruins of Diocletian’s Palace can be found throughout the city. The complex consists of some of the most valuable buildings survived from the Roman era and it ranks among the most magnificent architecture on the Adriatic coast.

Following the history lane, you will experience the favorite local pastime – drinking coffee at the beautiful Split waterfront promenade. It is simply a must in order to get a grasp of local lifestyle.

Cetina River
Cetina River

Refreshed after coffee we are boarding our van again and going for an excursion to Dalmatian inland – the banks of the River Cetina where we are to have lunch in one of the rustic and authentic inland villages. First we shall visit the old town Sinj, a boundary between the coastal and inland Dalmatia known as the town of Croatian Medieval knights called the Alkars.

The tradition of the knights’ tournament called Alka dating from 18th century is kept until today and held every year in August celebrating the anniversary of Sinj’s victory over Turkish invaders. It happened that 600 Alkars managed to conquer 60,000 Turkish soldiers. The tournament itself was put on the UNESCO Nonmaterial World Heritage List.

alka201
Alka

After seeing the legacy of the knights of Sinj, we shall have a traditional lunch at a local family farm in a village situated around the water spring Ruda. There you will get in touch with the local way of living and try local homemade cooking which is nowadays quite rare to experience. So please prepare your palate for something extraordinary.

On our way back to Split we shall visit the medieval Klis Fortress situated on the cliff overlooking the bay of Kaštel. It is a stunning site that was used in the popular TV series Game of Thrones as a filming location for the city state of Meereen.

Arriving to a Split hotel in the late afternoon, free evening and overnight stay in Split.

Day 10

After breakfast we are boarding the ferry at the Split harbor and going for a day trip to the Island of Brač – the largest island of the central Dalmatian group of islands and the highest among Adriatic islands. Besides the beautiful nature and unique beaches, Brač is widely known for its masonary tradition. The unique white stone of Brač has been used in constructing of many famous buildings such as Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Šibenik’s Cathedral but also the Vienna and Budapest Parliament houses and the most famous one – the Whitehouse in Washington.

Zlatni rat – the most beautiful and uniquely shaped beach on the Adriatic.

Zlatni rat
Zlatni rat

During our stay on the Island we shall visit the old stone masonry school, the local organic soap producer where you will have the chance to see soap making and last, but not the least, the famous beach Zlatni rat – the most beautiful and uniquely shaped beach on the Adriatic.

Return to Split in the late afternoon, free evening and overnight stay in Split.

Day 11

Continuing our trip from Split towards the Island of Korčula, town of Korčula – the birth place of Marco Polo. First we will be driving along the coast giving you a chance to capture mesmerizing landscapes and beautiful views of Adriatic archipelago. Afterwards we are taking a short ferry ride to the Pelješac Peninsula from which we continue our trip to the Korčula Island. You will see beautiful Adriatic scenery, both coastal and marine. On our way to reach the Island of Korčula you will see beautiful slopes of the Pelješac vineyards and try some of the world’s most appreciated wine sort. We are going to stop for lunch at the local Pelješac household where you will get to see a true Dalmatian animal – the Dalmatian Donkey. Unfortunately quite rare to see nowadays.

Korčula – It is one of the best preserved Medieval fortified towns in the Mediterranean

Korčula
Korčula

We are expected to arrive to the old town of Korčula in the afternoon. The medieval town of Korčula simply enchants the senses with its timeless beauty and casts an everlasting spell of wonder on those who visit it. It 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 this special atmosphere.

Overnight stay in the old town Korčula.

Day 12

After breakfast we are leaving Korčula and for a short while returning to the Pelješac Peninsula in order to catch a ferry to one of the most breathtaking islands in the Mediterranean – the Island and the National Park Mljet. There are some interpretations that it was the Island of Mljet on Homer’s mind when he was describing the captivating island of Ogigia in his Ulysses. Whether or not so, the fact is that its untouched nature, rich forests, crystal clear sea, lakes and islands within the island itself make it truly a paradise on earth. The must see is The National Park Mljet covering the area of two incredible lakes: the Great Lake and the Small Lake.

Mljet
Mljet

After those mesmerizing views, we shall have lunch at one of the local restaurants and afterwards we board a ferry back heading to the beautiful Dubrovnik – The pearl of the Adriatic.

Reaching Dubrovnik in the late afternoon, free evening and overnight stay in Dubrovnik.

Day 13

Morning tour of the Dubrovnik old town and stone walls. You will walk through streets, fortresses and squares of more than a thousand-year old history which made Dubrovnik a cultural center of Europe. Dubrovnik was the seat of the independent Dubrovnik Republic. The Republic mastered the art of seafaring and created its own fleet on the South Adriatic which could be compared to the one owned by Venice in the North.

History is present on every step you take, making the old town of Dubrovnik a museum itself. All houses and monuments have a unique value. The Old town is encompassed by medieval walls and fortresses which have been preserved in their original form and opened for visitors as Dubrovnik’s major attraction. In 1979 the Old Town was included on to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

However, Dubrovnik reached its international glory for a second time quite recently. It has served as a prime filming location for the globally popular series of Game of Thrones in which Dubrovnik took the main lead by being a shooting site for the famous Kings Landing. You will be able to see and compare the popular scenes with real life sites.

After the tour you will have a free afternoon to enjoy and explore the charms of the Dubrovnik old town. Overnight stay in Dubrovnik.

Day 14

Departure from Dubrovnik airport with the complementary transfer.