This private VIP tour offers you a fabulous way to discover the imperial legacy of Central and Eastern Europe. Our suggested itinerary includes three countries starting from Hungary and its captivating Royal heritage, followed by Croatia – the country whose beauties created on the legacy of the Romans, Venetians and the Habsburgs have been famous since ancient times. The tour ends with Slovenia, the land of charming hilltop castles and captivating landscapes.
This private VIP tour offers you a fabulous way to discover the imperial legacy of Central and Eastern Europe.
Arrival to Budapest, the capital of Hungary at the Ferenc Liszt International Airport. The Ferenc Liszt Airport offers international connections primarily within Europe, but also with Africa, the Middle East and the Far East). Airport pick up and complimentary transfer to a hotel in the Budapest city center. After check in you will meet with your guide for a welcome drink and to get acquainted with each other and the tour. Overnight stay in Budapest.
After breakfast we start with the Budapest city tour. Budapest is usually cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and was put to the UNESCO World Heritage List for its cultural and architectural significance of the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.
You will experience the magic of Budapest’s exceedingly scenic setting and architecture and enjoy Her Royal Highness Budapest – the queen of the Danube
We will take a walk through the downtown Pesta, walk along the famous Andrássy Avenue, visit the oldest underground (metro) system in Europe, walk across the Heroes’ Square and see St. Stephen’s Basilica. We will go along the Budapest Danube Corso (Dunakorzó) from where you will have a beautiful view of the Castle Hill in Buda. We shall visit the terminal of the Millennium Underground, bordered from the north by the huge and beautiful Gerbeaud-House, where there is the famous Café Gerbeaud, opened in 1858. There you can try the best of Hungarian pastry such as the Dobos-cake, Somló sponge cake and plum pie.
Afterwards we go to the Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge over the Danube, built in 1849. We shall take a walk across the bridge and you will be able to capture the lovely view of both the river and the city and in no time find yourselves in Buda – the romantic upper town with many historical buildings and monuments. We shall walk the Trinity square where on its left side you will see the Old Town Hall of Buda and on its right side the dominating Mathias Church, surrounded by the turrets and walkways of the Fishermen’s Bastion -the structure that looks like it is straight out of a fairy-tale.
The Fishermen’s Bastion was built in 19th century simultaneously with the last major renovation of the Matthias Church, in an unique architectural harmony. The bastion has seven towers – each one symbolizing one of the seven Magyar tribes that, in 9th century settled in the area now known as Hungary. Its foundation is a part of the former medieval fortified defensive wall and its location gave home to a huge fish and grocery market in the Middle Ages. In the Water Town, directly below the walls, most of the population made a living from fishing. Hence the name paying a tribute to the fishermen.
Following the city tour we are going to have traditional Hungarian lunch. This is an exceptional experience and promises a lot of excitement for gastro-curious travelers. The mysterious Hungarian cuisine nowadays is a combination of ancient Asiatic components mixed with Germanic, Italian, and Slavic elements. It is considered a melting pot of the continent, with its own original cuisine from the Magyar people.Free evening at your leisure and overnight stay in Budapest.
After breakfast we are boarding our van and heading towards Croatia. On our way driving through Hungary, we shall have a stop for coffee at the biggest freshwater lake in Europe, the Balaton lake and see the Royal Country House called The Festetics Palace.
Afterwards we continue towards Croatia and stop at the old baroque town of Varaždin in northern Croatia. It is one of the country’s most picturesque and well-preserved areas.
Varaždin was once a capital of the country and is nowadays cultural and historical gem of Continental Croatia
Throughout its history, Varaždin has been developing as a residence of many central European noblemen. In late 18th century it became the capital of entire Croatia thanks to the Empress Maria Theresa. We shall have a stroll through the perfect cobblestoned town center, rich in baroque and rococo palaces and visit the Old Town keep. The medieval-renaissance-baroque historic nucleus with the Old Town keep of Varaždin has features remarkable even compared to some other sites in a greater European setting.
After the tour of Varaždin we are having a traditional local lunch in the area and afterwards continue towards Zagreb. Hotel check in, free evening at your leisure and overnight stay in Zagreb.
After breakfast you will meet with your guide to go on a Zagreb city tour. The tour of the capital will take you into the charming world of two different cities: the modern, urban and vibrant country’s capital and the historic and cultural Zagreb that grew side by side with its Austrian counterpart – Vienna.
We shall take a ride with the Zagreb’s funicular – the shortest cable car in the world, having only 66 meters in length – connecting downtown Zagreb with the upper (old) town. In the old upper town we will take a historic walk through its alleys and monuments, passing by charming palaces and famous St. Mark’s Church. We shall also visit the unique Museum of Broken Relationships.
From the upper town we shall walk to downtown, visit Zagreb’s Cathedral and pass through Croatia’s biggest Farmers Market called Dolac. Dolac is placed in the very heart of Zagreb. You will have an enchanting experience where all of your senses will be activated magically. It is a unique market where different Croatian customs and gastronomic diversity meet at one place. Unlike most markets, Dolac is a permanent installation and is open seven days a week.
Dolac is a unique market where different Croatian customs and gastronomic diversity meet at one place.
After Dolac we continue with our walk and experience vibrant streets, parks and squares of the Zagreb city center. You will have the opportunity to tryout locals’ favorite activity – drinking coffee at one of numerous street cafés in the city center.
The tour ends with a lunch in one of Zagreb’s traditional restaurants. After lunch you will have time of your own to explore the lure of the capital. Overnight stay in Zagreb.
After breakfast we are going for a day trip to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. 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. You will experience the royal attraction firsthand and enjoy the most unbelievable sights of untouched nature. Remarkable 16 lakes and waterfalls with its intense colors will leave you breathless with a lifetime memory to take with you.
Plitvice Lakes National Park 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 of the 17th century watermill town Rastoke. It was founded at the foot of the 19th century Napoleon’s Army storage. Actually at that time, the area of Rastoke was the eastern border part of Napoleon’s Empire.
Following Rastoke we are heading on a tour of the Plitvice Lakes National Park and afterwards we will be having lunch at one of the restaurants serving local specialties.
Return to Zagreb in the late afternoon. Free evening and overnight stay in Zagreb.
After breakfast we are leaving towards the beautiful coastal region of Kvarner. Our first stop will be the Island of Krk, the biggest island in the Adriatic and a home of the oldest and most famous Croatian noble family – The House of Frankopan. You will have the opportunity to see their 13th century stone castle and enjoy amazing island scenery, beautiful nature in combination with a thousand years old stone towns. To reach the island we shall drive across the Krk Bridge that connects the island to the mainland. The bridge is considered to be one of the most beautiful bridges in Croatia.
Since Krk is an island well known for its wine production and excellent food you will have lunch in one of traditional rustic restaurants called Konoba – the best place to experience Croatian Mediterranean atmosphere
Afterwards we continue towards the town of Opatija known as the Queen of the Adriatic. It is an amazing holiday destination with the longest wellness and tourism tradition in Croatia, more than 170 years long. It was due to remarkable presence of natural remedies within the soil, water and climate that in the late 19th century Opatija officially gained the status of Royal health resort within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
You will be able to take pleasure in a beautiful and romantic walk along Opatija’s famous Franz Joseph’s seaside promenade enjoying incredible views. Free evening and overnight stay in Opatija.
After breakfast we are continuing our trip and heading towards Istria region – the region of the royal mushroom – the truffle. The truffle has been considered a delicacy for millenniums. It was food in which Mesopotamian rulers enjoyed 4000 years ago and it is still a delicacy nowadays. This royal mushroom was of course known to the ancient Greeks and Roman emperors and it was served at the French court and the tables of Austro-Hungarian aristocracy. This mushroom is very rare since it grows only in several locations in Europe – in some parts of France, Italy and of course in Istria where you will be able to taste this Royal delicacy.
Our first stop in Istria will be the Medieval town of Motovun located in the part famous for its vast forests rich in truffles
Motovun is an exceptional experience since the town is situated on a hilltop overlooking the large Motovun forests and vineyards. After the walk along the old medieval town we are going to relax and enjoy in delicious Istrian truffle and wine tasting.
After indulging our taste buds with Royal tastes, we are off to the city of Pula – the capital of the Istrian region and the home of the famous Roman amphitheater – the Arena. The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre that has four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. It is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the World representing a rare example among the 200 Roman survived amphitheatres. We shall have a tour of this coastal city and take a walk through the ancient Arena.
Following the city walk we are going to stop for lunch in one of the local restaurants where you will try traditional Istrian cuisine, relax and enjoy the coastal Adriatic ambiance.
After lunch we are boarding our van and going for a short but beautiful coastal drive towards the town of Rovinj. The town of Rovinj is known as the most colorful and photogenic coastal town in the Adriatic. It takes its pride in narrow stone paved alleyways, squares and colorful stone houses which you will be able to explore while spending the night in a charming boutique hotel located in the old town of Rovinj. Free evening at your leisure and overnight stay in Rovinj.
After breakfast we are leaving Croatia and heading to Slovenia. You will enjoy the scenic coastal drive through Istria and beautiful green and mountainous backdrop of Slovenia’s landscape while driving towards the Julian Alps. Our first stop in Slovenia will be the Postojna Cave where you are going to have the opportunity to explore 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 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.
Following the Postojna Cave we are heading to the picturesque Lake Bled – the lake that holds the only island in the country. The emerald-green lake, picture-postcard church on the island, a medieval Bled castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps make the town of Bled a postcard perfect. You will take a walk along the lakeside promenade enjoying the scenic fairytale of reality. There is even a legend saying that it was the fairies who summoned all the waters from the surrounding mountains to flood the valley and this is how the lake and the island came to be. After the tour of Lake Bled we are to have lunch in one of local restaurants.
Following the lunch we are continuing the trip and heading to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, to some known by its roman name Emona. The charm of the city lays in 900 years of architectural history and its medieval castle overlooking the city rooftops. Free evening at your leisure and overnight stay in Ljubljana.
Departure day. You have a complimentary transfer to the airport of your choice; Ljubljana Brnik Airport is 30 minutes drive, Zagreb Pleso Airport is 1,5 hour drive and Venice (Italy) Marco Polo Airport is 1,45 hour drive from Ljubljana.