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You’ll never forget the glow of endless sunsets, the shimmering waters that surround walled cities and islands and the rich history of Croatia and Slovenia influenced by the Greeks, Romans and Venetians. This epic Croatia and Slovenia tour kicks off in the political and cultural capital of Zagreb where you’ll discover the treasures of its past and the extraordinary story that led to two rival settlements, Kaptol and Gradec, forming this cathedral city. You’ll meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers later this evening for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive sharing some of the highlights you can expect tomorrow – from the city’s extraordinary Catholic heritage to heroes of a tumultuous past immortalised in the city’s imposing statues.
Zagreb’s medieval heart is the star of the show today – a charming centre that is both vibrant and historic and you’ll imagine life centuries ago as your Local Specialist reveals some of the landmarks that have lined its cobblestone streets for hundreds of years. Explore the charming upper town which spills on to St. Mark’s Square with its original Romanesque buildings and colourful St. Mark’s Church, renowned for its ornate frescoes. The beauty of Bled isn’t far off and you’ll head through Slovenia’s celebrated green landscapes for this popular lakeside resort town, a highlight on many of our Croatia and Slovenia tours. You’ll learn about the legendary fairies that created the lake to protect their moonlit dancefloor – Bled Island. Admire the surrounding Alpine landscape which is simply irresistible as you’ll come to discover over the next few days.
The warm, clear turquoise water of Lake Bled is the backdrop for today’s sightseeing and you’ll have a full day to explore its enchanting landscape. There’s plenty of time for a scenic boat ride to view the 17th century Church of Assumption up close and you’ll learn about the tragic legend that led to the installation of the wishing bell that still stands in the belfry today. Today’s exclusive Be My Guest experience with Monika, Gregor and their five children is one you’ll be talking about for years to come and you’ll visit their Slibar farm, discovering how the farm has been in their family for six generations. Connect With Locals, learning how their focus has been to live off the farm and forest sustainably and how the family has recently ventured into producing organic beer, bread and pasta. Enjoy homegrown Slovenian hospitality and all the local favourites served on sharing plates, including seasonal vegetables straight from the farm, The warming welcome drink is an added treat you’ll get to enjoy while you learn about the history of the farm and family.
Leaving Bled behind, we travel to one of Europe’s smallest capitals – the ‘Hero City’, Ljubljana. Discover its mythical dragon heritage, exploring all the highlights on foot and enjoying the benefits of walking in this car-free, charismatic university town. You’ll see the Old Town with its two medieval town squares linked by narrow lanes, the Prešeren Square (named after Slovenian’s greatest poet), the Opera House, the National Museum and Castle which has watched over the city for over nine centuries. Connecting Ljubljana’s historical medieval town with the modern capital is the extraordinary Triple Bridge and it will be one of those unusual sights you’ll be talking about for years to come. Next we stop in Postonja for a visit of the caves. After a day of city sightseeing you’ll head to Croatia’s riviera and settle into a slower pace in the resort town of Opatija.
Start your day in the coastal city of Pula on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula where your visit to the 1st-century Pula Arena with a Local Specialist will reveal the city's role as a strategic location for the Romans, Ostrogoths, Venetians and finally, many years later, the Allied Forces in World War II. A true travel highlight, this ancient amphitheatre, the sixth-largest and one of the best-preserved in the world, was built at the same time the Colosseum was constructed. Next, travel to the fishing port of Rovinj and wander through the Old Town, contemplating its Mediterranean influences and island walls. Returning to Opatija later, you’ll have time for a quiet walk along the town’s Lungomare; perhaps spending a few soul-stirring moments paying tribute to the statuesque nymph cradling a seagull in her outstretched hands.
Few experiences will match today’s guided walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Plitviče, one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, you’ll choose one of two walks revealing the cascading lake waters shifting from azure to green, grey to blue depending on how the sun hits the water. Admire sweeping views of the canyon during your short walk and, if you’re feeling a little more energetic, there’s always an opportunity to lace up for the long walk where you’ll join your Local Specialist and head into the canyon to Kozjek Lake, taking the electric boat across the lake back to your hotel. You’ll discover how these beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls have been shaped over thousands of years and remain pristine for generations to come thanks to visits like yours to the area.
Join your Local Specialist and go beyond the fortress walls of Trogir to explore its charming medieval heart connected to the mainland and island of Čiovo by bridges. Learn about its rich history which spans the Hellenistic period to a time when Venice was the ruler of the Adriatic as you admire the island’s ornate Renaissance and Baroque buildings. You’ll visit Diocletian’s Palace around which the city of Split was built and Dive Into Culture hearing about the legacy of the Roman Empire and how Emperor Diocletian settled on this stunning landscape for his retirement, building a palace fit for an emperor. Your Local Specialist will share the remnants of luxurious squares and temples that still stand many centuries later. There’s no visiting Split without enjoying a seafood dinner and you’ll have plenty of time this evening to discover the city by night along with its Dalmatian flavours.
Discover why Split has justifiably earned its nickname “the most beautiful city in the world” with a full day to explore its heart and beyond. People-watch in Pjaca Square where citizens of Split have met for centuries, then ascend the bell tower for magnificent views of the sprawling terracotta roofs and white marble façades that seem to tumble into the Adriatic. Having worked up an appetite, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the many cafés tucked away in hidden lanes – find one to enjoy a leisurely local lunch surrounded by Split’s rich history. You could choose instead a full-day Optional Experience to one of the Dalmatian Islands which will leave you with a deep appreciation for what it’s like to live in an area that is as beautiful as its history was tumultuous.
The impressive walls of Dubrovnik beckon, but not before we stop to admire the extraordinary walled city of Ston, with its dramatic views and laid-back fishing village atmosphere. Continue on to Dubrovnik, it won’t take long for you to understand why famous poets, playwrights and painters adored this walled city and you’ll be as inspired as they were by its backstreet charm as you wander up and down its cobbled staircases to go behind the scenes. Lovers of history will also delight in its rich history as the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Remnants of its wealth and stature remain today, confined within its centuries-old walls which staved off attacks from enemies, including the Ottoman Turks.
All the highlights of Dubrovnik and some local favourites are revealed on your Sightseeing tour of the city this morning and you’ll join your Local Specialist who’ll share the stories behind the Rector's Palace, Onofrio's Fountain, and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. There’s some time to get your final fix of Dubrovnik before your Croatia and Slovenia tour comes to an end. You could choose to explore many of its backstreets ducking beneath stone arches and admiring the historic architecture or walk the fine city walls for epic views of the sprawling city that edge onto the vivid-blue Adriatic. On our last evening, we’ll come together for a memorable Farewell Dinner toasting to the beauty of the Adriatic and new friendships forged.
Our time together comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Find out more about available airport transfers at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Available on Day 2
Come with us on a journey to Radovljica, a well-preserved medieval alpine village with houses dating from the 15th and 16th century. Enjoy a meal at a traditional Slovenian Inn, where you'll be entertained by local musicians and see the famous living gingerbread museum, where you can admire staff producing traditional red hearts.
Adult Price: € 59
Available on Day 3
Join our Local Specialist to Slovenia's largest glacier lake. We'll see mountain villages and photo-worthy vistas along the way, before continuing along the stunning shores of Lake Bohinj. Admire the 13th-century frescoes of St John's Church and indulge in one of Slovenia's famous desserts.
Adult Price: € 43
Available on Day 4
Discover Rijeka, the famous port where Central Europe meets the Mediterranean. With our Local Specialist, we'll explore the Old Town, with its Baroque clock tower, and St. Vitus cathedral. Join the local "Fiumans" along the vibrant Korzo district, decorated with Italianate Hapsburg grandeur. The real highlight will be the visit to the City Museum with its impressive interactive exhibits, located in an amazingly-restored Sugar Refinery palace.
Adult Price: € 38
Available on Day 7
If you want to truly experience Dalmatian cuisine, a dinner in a traditional stone basement 'konoba' is the best choice. You'll select from a variety of seafood or meats accompanied by Dalmatian wines and typical live music, which will add a local touch to your journey on the Croatian Adriatic coastline.
Adult Price: € 55
Available on Day 8
A memorable day trip to Hvar, one of the most beautiful islands in the Croatian archipelago. Embarking on a boat ride from Split harbour, we'll explore the historic Hvar Old Town on foot with our Local Specialist. You'll spend free time relaxing at one of the seafront restaurants or soaking up the stunning views from the Venetian hilltop fortress. We then sail back over the Adriatic on our return to Split.
Adult Price: € 89
Note: Hvar may be substituted for Brac or an alternative optional to Sibenik and Krka, due to ferry timetables and in the case of inclement weather.
Available on Day 8
We'll discover UNESCO-listed treasures, including St Jacob’s Cathedral in the historic town of Šibenik, before travelling into the Croatian countryside to gaze over the Krka River as it tumbles 242 metres seaward. Our Local Specialist will bring this postcard-like scenery to life, as flourishing native flora and fauna surround seven tranquil and pristine waterfalls on this visit to one of Croatia's most popular national parks.
Adult Price: € 58
Available on Day 9
A short drive outside Dubrovnik lies the quaint village of Orašac, where we'll visit an ancient olive oil mill to learn how olive oil was produced for centuries. Afterwards, we'll take a walk around the grounds, sample homemade grappa and enjoy a meal back at the olive mill.
Adult Price: € 59
Available on Day 9
Our sunset cruise takes us along the spectacular Dalmatian coast to one of the secluded bays where we'll enjoy a delicious local dinner with drinks. To complete the evening, we'll cruise outside the old city walls and explore the beautiful illuminated city of Dubrovnik, before returning by coach to our hotel.
Adult Price: € 62
Note: This optional is weather dependent and may not be available on all departures. On occasion the cruise may sail in the bay only and/or operate during the day with lunch.
Available on Day 10
Journey along the coast for a relaxing trip to the picturesque village of Cavtat, arriving at the harbour on our own chartered boat. Enjoy a leisurely stroll with our Local Specialist in the quaint old town and take the opportunity to admire the yachts in the marina, visit the beach or walk up to the Racic Mausoleum.
Adult Price: € 35
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Email Sign-up Travel Credit: Receive a $125 per person ($250 per couple) discount toward your first tour (operated by Trafalgar or Insight Vacations) when you sign up for GET emails; valid for each full-paying adult who signs up with a unique email address. Valid for new bookings only made through December 31, 2023 for travel through December 31, 2023; full payment is due within three days of booking. Discount is not combinable with any other discount or offer, including our GETAWAY Deals, Limited Time Offers, AARP member discount, Past Traveler discount or Multiple Trip discounts. Offer cannot be booked online. Savings not valid on all itineraries and/or departure dates, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Offer excludes Edinburgh Tattoo and Floriade departures. GET reserves the right to validate bookings and will remove any additional offers added online that are not combinable. Other conditions may apply.