Visiting: LJUBLJANA – BLED LAKE – POSTOJNA CAVE – LIPICA – PIRAN – ROVINJ – GROŽNJAN – MOTOVUN – PULA – RAB – ZADAR – PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK – SPLIT – TROGIR – HVAR – SPLIT – DUBROVNIK – CAVTAT – KONAVLE VALLEY – KOTOR – KORČULA – DUBROVNIK

20 Day Customizable Private Journey for 2 – 8 Persons
Available from April through October

The Best of the Balkans – Ljubljana to Dubrovnik – 20 Days

Imagine a twenty-day tour through the magnificent Balkans. Adventures Croatia offers you an amazing trip that will leave you awestruck with indelible memories forever. Soon you’ll be visiting ancient and historical cities with their delicious cuisine and heady wines and gazing on beautiful islands with a cornucopia of flora and fauna. Arrive Ljubljana where you will be met by a private driver and enjoy a walking tour of its classic architecture famous for the Three Bridges and Parliament. Visit Bled Castle with a view of the spectacular Bled Lake. Tread on cobbled streets in the small village of Lipica where for four hundred years the famous Lipizzaners have been bred. Travel to Rovinj and it’s bustling Piazza Grande, the Istrian peninsula to indulge in a private truffle hunt, then on to Pula and it’s three thousand year history that showcases Hercules Gate and a Roman amphitheater. Breathe in the pine covered forests in Rab, gaze on the medieval walled old town in Zadar and let your senses truly awaken at the sight of beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. On to Split with its remarkable ensemble of architecture and a stop in Trogir for a regional cooking class and Hvar for wine tasting and a visit to the famous cellars there. Visit Kotor in Montenegro and walk in the steps of Marco Polo in his hometown of Korcula. Marvel at gorgeous Dubrovnik of which George Bernard Shaw said, “Those seeking paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik.” This is truly an incomparable journey.

Ljubljana Slovenia - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 1

Ljubljana 

At the airport, you will be met by your chauffeur for a private transfer to Hotel 4*. Featuring contemporary design, exclusive materials, top quality suppliers, central location, friendly staff and modern furnishings this is an excellent choice for your Ljubljana (Slovenia) stay. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2

Ljubljana 

Meet your guide after breakfast for a private walking tour of Ljubljana. Ljubljana is one of those central European cities that grabs you with the eternal charm of its classic architecture, beautiful bridges, friendly locals and great food and wine! You will visit the Central open-air Market, Baroque Town Hall, Robba’s Fountain, famous the Three Bridges and the Parliament. Rest of the day at leisure, to enjoy Ljubljana on your own.

DBled Lake Slovenia - Adventures Croatia - Best of the Balkansay 3

Ljubljana – Bled Lake – Ljubljana

Meet your guide in the morning for a day trip to fabulous Bled Lake. Your sightseeing tour of Bled features this charming town with the lakeshore and imposing Bled castle perched on a cliff high above the lake. Visit its famous island and the little church—and getting there is a unique experience, you’ll arrive via Lake Bled’s famous hand- propelled pletna (boat). Then a visit to the famous Bled Castle for a spectacular view of the lake and mountains. Enjoy traditional lunch one of many taverns and restaurants around Bled Lake (on your own) before returning to Ljubljana in the late afternoon.

Lipica Slovenia - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 4

Lipica – Piran

Meet your chauffeur in the morning for a private tour of Postojna Cave to visit one of the largest caves in Europe. Tour this fantastic subterranean world by miniature electric train. Then you continue to a picturesque village of Lipica for more than 400 years beautiful, white horses called Lipizzaners have been bred. Free time for lunch (on your own) – your guide will suggest good local tavern. You will finish your tour with a visit to the town of Piran, where we have a sightseeing tour of the old town with gorgeous Tartini square, named after the most famous local composer Giuseppe Tartini. Return to Ljubljana in the afternoon. Last night in Slovenia.

Rovinj - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 5

Ljubljana – Rovinj

Private transfer from Ljubljana in the morning, cross the border into Croatia and continue to Rovinj. Check into your beautiful boutique hotel 4*, located at the waterfront of Rovinj’s historic harbor, in the meticulously restored 16th century Venetian “palace of the poor”. While looking over the picturesque fishermen’s port on one side, the main entrance is just a few steps away from the bustling Piazza Grande; before the Venetian rulers decided in1763 to fill up the tiny sea canal that was separating Rovinj, then an island, from the mainland, this beautiful baroque piazza was the town’s center of village life. Private afternoon walking tour of Rovinj with a local guide. Rovinj old town is a masterpiece of urban art and architecture but its surroundings are nevertheless masterpieces of nature: the islands of Rovinj archipelago, Lim Bay, Punta Corrente Forrest, Palud bird reserve, Saline and Fantasy Quarry. The spirit of some ancient times in the labyrinth made of stone, through the narrow streets of the old town, takes you deeply back to the mystic and mysterious Middle Ages. The main Church of St. Euphemia keeps relics of the saint and presents one of the most beautiful Baroque achievements in Istria. From the church plateau spreads wonderful view of the open sea and numerous islets in the distance. Evening at leisure.

Day 6

Rovinj – Grožnjan – Motovun

Day 7

Rovinj – Pula – Rovinj

Meet your guide after breakfast for a day trip to historic Pula town. The largest town on the Istrian peninsula offers a diversity of attractions to lovers of culture. The rich itinerary of its three-thousand-year-old history, where every step you take through the old town is a landmark, begins and ends with the Roman amphitheater. While strolling through Pula you will come across numerous monuments of Roman architecture: the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi from the 1st century B.C., Hercules’ Gate and Twin Gates, the Temple of Augustus, Arena and Small Roman Theatre in the town center. A unique experience will be moments of relaxation in the main town square, which has managed to retain its role as the meeting place since the Augustan Age. Enjoy lunch at one of the small local bistros (on your own) before returning to Rovinj in the afternoon for your last night in Istria.

Day 8

Rovinj – Rab

Meet your chauffeur in the morning for a private transfer to Rab island via Jablanac ferry port. Upon arrival to Rab Town check in the Hotel 4*, in the historic town center, which used to serve as a refuge to the European aristocracy of the time. It is one of the most elite hotels on Rab Island, known for excellent quality of service. Rab island is one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic and probably one of the most magical. It is covered with pine forests and has beautiful sandy beaches, and is well known for its mild climate which differs from the mainland. The reason for this is that three ridges are present which protects the island from cold winds from the Velebit mountains.

Day 9

Rab

Enjoy and explore Rab on your own. Rab Town is a medieval wonder, rich with ancient churches and narrow, cobbled streets that seem to be vertical at points. There is also a wealth of stone buildings with red- tiled roofs, and 4 Venetian- inspired campaniles that stand sentry at the harbor. Afternoon and evening at leisure. OPTIONAL – Sea kayaking adventure. Row with your guide on a magical adventure to discover the original beauty of the flora and fauna of Rab’s fabulous coastline.

Zadar - Adriatic Sea - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 10

Rab – Zadar

After breakfast, a private morning transfer to the shores of Dalmatia. Reach Zadar in the early afternoon and check in Hotel 4*, a unique city boutique hotel located in the historic core and built on the remains of the 13-century medieval fortress “Kaštela”. In the afternoon join your guide for a private walking tour of Zadar. Beautiful historic city of Zadar was the capital of Dalmatia for many centuries. The walled Old Town is a treasure of the ancient city remains dating from Roman times, infused with ingenious adaptations of historic buildings. Fortified with medieval walls, distinguished for their impressive portals dating back to the sixteenth century, the ancient peninsula still preserves the old network of narrow and charming city streets, as well as a Roman forum dating back to the first century AD. The modern installations the “Sea organ” and the “Salute to the sun” only add to the charm of Zadar. It was Hitchcock who once said, “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world,” so be sure to catch one for yourself .

Plitvice Lakes - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 11

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Private tour of Plitvice National Park. Our guide will pick you up at your hotel for a 1.5-hour drive to Plitvice lakes. Private walking tour of the area with your guide (entrance tickets included) and lunch on your own. According to legend, the Plitvice lakes were created after a long drought. The “Black Queen” took pity on the people and animals that cried for water. Heavy rain began to fall and continued until they formed the lakes we see today. The natural attributes of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, uniqueness and sensibility of the phenomenon, deserve a full attention of our visitors. Plitvice National Park is Croatia’s natural masterpiece. Even for seasoned world travelers, the overpowering beauty and grandeur of Plitvice National Park is simply astounding. With waterfalls spilling over impossible hills, sixteen different lakes and fascinating flora and fauna, Plitvice is the most visited place in the entire country! Since 1979, it has been under the protection of UNESCO as a rare World Heritage Site. And as a part of your experience, you’ll enjoy a cool, serene boat ride across one of the pristine lakes. Return to Zadar in the afternoon.

Day 12

Zadar – Split

Meet your chauffeur after breakfast for a private transfer to Split. Check into charming hotel  3*, situated in the historic core of Split. In the afternoon meet your guide for a private walking tour of Split. Originally the palatial walled summer residence of Emperor Diocletian, Split became a city after Salona, the Roman capital of Dalmatia just 6km north, was sacked in 7thC. Fleeing refugees were given asylum inside the two meter thick walls of the palace and over the next 1000 years, the “city” of Split was such a safe haven, it never grew beyond the same walls that exist today! As a result, the remarkable ensemble of Roman, Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance and other architectural remains are all still here—and so are more than 3,000 people still living inside these ancient walls. And after the Split portion of the tour, you will head to a nearby ancient city of Salona, once one of the most important Roman cities with over 60 000 inhabitants and the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, and today one of the most important archeological sites in Croatia abundant in extremely valuable Roman ruins.

Trogir - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 13

Split – Trogir – Split

Meet your driver/ guide in the morning for private transfer to Trogir for a unique and immersive cooking class! Enjoy exploring local ingredients and Adriatic delicacies through this creative cooking class. Lunch with wine follows. Return to Split in the afternoon.

Diocletian Palace - Split - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 14

Split – Hvar

After your morning at leisure, leave Split with afternoon fast ferry to Hvar island. You will be assisted with tickets and luggage. Upon arrival check in hotel 4*, a new hotel located in the very heart of Hvar old town. The ancient Palace, built in the 14th century, once the rich and magnificent residence of the aristocratic family, the Gazzari, is now completely restored as the elegant and refined, providing the authentic feeling of Renaissance Dalmatia. Blessed with 2724 hours of sunshine every year, the lavender island of Hvar is a 50-minute jet- powered fast ferry sail from Split’s bustling town harbor. And what a glorious arrival! A storybook bay filled with gleaming yachts, sailing gullets and simple working skiffs and crowned with a cliff top Venetian fortress surrounded by lush pines. And what a glorious arrival it is! A storybook bay filled with gleaming yachts, sailing gulets and simple working skiffs and crowned with a cliff top Venetian fortress surrounded by lush pines. Medieval Hvar town exudes all that is Venice, so it’s no wonder the citizen’s of Hvar became such superlative stone carvers and created such a profusion of beautifully ornamented buildings. But local heritage goes way beyond the Venetian. Hvar, not Stratford- on- Avon, is the home of the world’s oldest public theater as well as the oldest continuously farmed agricultural plain anywhere on earth!

Hvar - Spanish Fort - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 15

Hvar

Meet your guide in the early afternoon to depart on a wine tasting tour of Hvar. Taste Croatia’s first and only wines that won the Paris World Wine Contest and the Decanter World Wine Awards in London! Our wine tasting tour of Hvar, the island of wine, introduces you to two of Croatia’s most distinguished winemakers, including wine tastings and a unique culinary late lunch in an olive grove with views of historic UNESCO listed fields of Stari Grad. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Dubrovnik - Banje Beach - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 16

Hvar – Split – Dubrovnik

Leave Hvar to Split with morning fast ferry. You will be assisted with luggage and tickets. In Split port, meet your chauffeur for direct private transfer to Dubrovnik. As the coach heads to the highway, you will have a great opportunity to enjoy the picturesque hillside of Dalmatia’s magical interior: a unique blend of high mountains and small patches of fertile fields. It is part of the country that is losing it’s battle with the modern day of life looking as it has stopped in time. Back to the coastal route, you will enjoy the views of Fertile Neretva valley and oyster beds of Mali Ston Bay. Upon arrival to Dubrovnik, check in hotel  4*. Situated on the   peninsula this hotel is a combination of the traditional values of the past and the best that modern service has to offer. Surrounded by ancient gardens with rich Mediterranean vegetation the elegant building stands proudly on the coastline. In the late afternoon join your guide for a private walking tour of Dubrovnik Old Town. George Bernard Shaw was enchanted by this beautiful city, about which he said “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and see Dubrovnik”, as well as, famously, describing it as “the pearl of the Adriatic”. Dubrovnik truly is a stunning city with its amazing Old Town, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. A magnificent curtain of walls surrounds marble streets and baroque buildings that exude a pearly light in the Adriatic sun. The main pedestrian thoroughfare, Placa, is a melange of cafés and shops with outstanding monuments at either end. Churches, monasteries, and museums ornamented with finely carved stone recall an eventful history and a vibrant artistic tradition.

Day 17

Dubrovnik – Cavtat – Konavle Valley

Enjoy Dubrovnik on your own and find your special spot in this magnificent city. Afternoon departure to picturesque Konavle and charming Cavtat town ending with a peka meal in a tavern deep in the hillside. Only minutes south of majestic Dubrovnik is the ancient Roman settlement of Cavtat and the rolling Konavle valley – the very southernmost parts of Croatia before it meets the rugged coastline and mountainous terrain of Montenegro. Combining Cavtat and Konavle makes for a wonderful day tour that takes you from a historic seaside village into the hidden interior of southernmost Croatia. Cavtat’s past, present, and future are very closely tied to Dubrovnik’s and this historically rich area is a delight – its Old Town is a warren of narrow streets and cobbled alleys and it’s serpentine waterfront promenade that frames a picturesque harbor is simply charming. After visiting Cavtat, you continue into the beautiful interior of the area known as the Konavle. Framed by the southern mountains of Herzegovina and Montenegro, its small population lives in some 32 picturesque villages scattered across this south-easterly tip of Croatia. Afterward, experience a Konavle signature culinary dish in an authentic village konoba deep in the hillside – the finest lamb slowly roasted under a thick iron pan covered in hot coals. Yours to savor with a glass of delicious local wine for a farewell dinner! Return to Dubrovnik late evening. Last night in Dubrovnik.

Kotor Bay - Montenegro - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 18

Dubrovnik – Kotor

Meet your chauffeur in the morning for a private day tour to Kotor in Montenegro. Montenegro is a secret gem in the very south of the Adriatic coast. Nestled against a backdrop of ancient walls and fortifications is Kotor, a Venetian city of traders and famous sailors, with many stories to tell. The Old City is a well- preserved walled structure, typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th century. All of this wonderful medieval architecture and the city’s cultural heritage have made Kotor a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site. Among the many treasures, we’ll explore is Kotor;s 12th-century cathedral, the symbol of the city, and an unusually fine Maritime Museum. Next, we will continue to the beautiful Bay of Kotor and enjoy a boat ride to the tiny Church of Our Lady of the Rocks. Take time to enjoy your lunch break (on your own) and explore the streets of this enchanting little town. Return to Dubrovnik in the late afternoon.

Korcula - Adventures Croatia - Best of the BalkansDay 19

Korčula

Meet your guide in the morning for a departure to Korčula island via Pelješac peninsula. Upon arrival, private walking tour of Korčula Old Town. The Old Town of Korčula still has its city walls and although the moat around the town is now dry, you still have to enter the town over a drawbridge! Our private morning walking tour takes a leisurely look at what makes the Old Town so special. Although very compact, the art and architecture, Korčulan culture, traditional crafts, and unsurpassed skills in stone masonry and shipbuilding are almost as legendary as its most famous son, Marco Polo. Even today, but only at very special events, the Moreska sword dancers (real swords, real blood when you make a mistake!) are still practicing their centuries-old tradition. Enjoy lunch (on your own) in one of the waterfront bistros before returning to Dubrovnik in the late afternoon to enjoy your last night in Croatia.

Day 20

Dubrovnik – Departure day!

Private transfer from your hotel to the airport

 

The Best of the Balkans – Ljubljana to Dubrovnik – 20 Days

  • Available from April through October
  • Private Journey for 2 – 8 Persons
  • Prices are based on number of passengers traveling and dates of travel
  • Hotels are not guaranteed until confirmed

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