Insider Secrets – A Small Group Journey

Adventures Croatia EXCLUSIVE

May 17 – 25, 2019

9-Day Privately Escorted, Small Group (6 – 12 People)

Visiting the best of the region, with a local expert: ZAGREB – TRAKOŠĆAN CASTLE – VARAŽDIN – LJUBLJANA – BLED LAKE – RADOVLJICA – BOHINJ LAKE – POSTOJNA CAVE – POREČ – ROVINJ – GROŽNJAN – BUZET – ROČ – HUM – NATIONAL PARK BRIJUNI – BALE – FAŽANA – PLITVICE LAKES – SPLIT


Day 1 –  May 17     Zagreb

Zagreb is an old Central European city. For centuries it has been a focal point of culture and science, and now of commerce and industry as well. It lies on the intersection of important routes between the Adriatic coast and Central Europe. Zagreb is also the hub of the business, academic, cultural, artistic and sporting worlds in Croatia. Zagreb can offer its visitors the Baroque atmosphere of the Upper Town, picturesque open-air markets, diverse shopping facili¬ties, an abundant selection of crafts and a choice of vernacular cuisine. Zagreb is a city of green parks and walks, with many places to visit in the beautiful surroundings. In spite of the rapid development of the economy and transportation, it has retained its charm and a relaxed feeling that makes it a genuinely human city. Unveil the secrets behind the old facades, discover the hidden courtyards and revive the stories from the past.

Itinerary:

  • Arrival to Zagreb
  • Meet your driver at the gate and transfer to the hotel
  • Check in at the hotel and spend the evening at leisure
  • Head to a nearby restaurant for a welcome dinner
  • After dinner, time at leisure
  • Accommodation at a 4* hotel in Zagreb, double rooms, BB basis
  • Overnight

 

Day 2 MAY 18                     ZAGREB

Zagreb as you have never experienced it before. Enjoy a romantic scenic drive through the center of Zagreb in an electric replica of legendary Ford model T experience as you view the city’s offerings in the relaxed style. With a professional driver guide at the helm, you’re free to enjoy many sights, including the Upper and Lower town main sights. We will take you back to a completely different era –  to the beginning of 20th century when ladies walked with parasols, gentlemen didn’t leave their houses without a hat and life was not as stressful as it is today. Our mission is to present you unique moments that make you forget about every day and to take you on a journey you will never forget. Cars are fully electric so you will also save the environment by choosing this type of sightseeing tour.

Itinerary:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Meet your guide and head for unforgettable Zagreb Upper and Lower town sightseeing tour with an electric replica of legendary Ford model T. Experience Zagreb in a totally different way and go back to the beginning of 20th century.  Your driver is also a guide and he will, while driving, tell you everything you need to know about history and legends of Zagreb Upper Town. You will get an overview of the Upper and Lower Town’s landmarks, and other key sights. As you speed along, your guide will tell you stories and provide historical context for the city’s landmarks.
  • After the tour, meet your driver and head for a great half-day tour of Zagorje on the northern part of Croatia.
  • In the valleys and tame hills of Zagorje many a farmer sweated, plowing, digging, and scything… while their womenfolk prepared for them tasty meals from home-grown foodstuffs. Some of those indigenous gastronomical pleasures are prepared in this restaurant. On their lawn, you can see young goats happily running around, as well as roosters, chickens, and ducks…
  • After lunch, continue to Trakošćan Castle. Upon arrival, explore Trakošćan Castle on your own.
  • Trakošćan castle is one of Croatia’s most popular day trip destinations. Its jaunty turrets and custard-colored battlements are one of the most celebrated sights in the Zagorje region. With a well-organized museum inside and a landscaped park with boating lake outside, you could easily spend a good half day here or more.
  • Continue to Varaždin, the former capital of Croatia, 1 h ride away. Upon arrival, meet your guide and explore Varaždin in private guided walking tour.
  • Varaždin is one of the best-preserved Baroque towns you are likely to find anywhere in Central Europe. It boasts a lot of Baroque palaces, many of which remain resplendent in their original cream, ochre, pink and pale-blue colors. The preserved baroque historic City core is rich in monuments and art heritage and a walk down the City’s streets reveals numerous palaces, villas and the oldest city hall in Europe. Familiarize yourself with the guild signs (‘cimeri’) that once marked the specific trade of individual shops or tradesmen and speak of their legends…
  • After the tour, head for wine tasting in the delightful ambiance of a local winery.
  • Afterward, meet your driver and head back to Zagreb.
  • Upon arrival, time at leisure and overnight
  • Accommodation at a 4* hotel in Zagreb, double rooms, BB basis

 

Day 3 MAY 19                     ZAGREB – LJUBLJANA    

croatia tours

Ljubljana is the capital of a state, but it is small and pretty, easy to get around, and full of surprises. While during winter it is its dreamy central European character that prevails, during summer it has a relaxed Mediterranean feel to it. It is remarkable for its rich tradition, youthful vibrancy, cultural creativity, feel for entertainment, and numerous green spaces. Ljubljana has preserved evidence of all the five millennia of its history, including, among others, the remains of the Roman city of Emona and the old city center with its medieval castle and beautiful buildings with Baroque façades, decorative portals, and uneven roofs. Other significant bits in the mosaic of Ljubljana are its picturesque bridges across the river Ljubljanica and its vast Tivoli park, stretching into the very city center. Ljubljana is a vibrant center of creativity where cultural activity has become a way of life. It boasts one of the world’s oldest philharmonics.

Itinerary:

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Meet your private driver and head towards Ljubljana.
  • Upon arrival, check in at your hotel, time at leisure.
  • Meet your English speaking guide and enjoy a private guided walking tour of Ljubljana.
  • Stroll past the Baroque Town Hall building, highlighted by its clock tower and the inner courtyard surrounded by pillars and arcades. Continue to the Town Square, where you will see the famous Fountain of the Tree Rivers, which was originally designed in the second half of the 18th Century by the Italian Baroque sculptor Francesco Robba who was inspired by Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers on Piazza Navona in Rome. Next, go to the Town Square where you will see the Cathedral of St. Nicholas – a popular landmark designed in the early 18th century.
  • Afterward, take the funicular which will take you to the top of medieval Castle Hill. The Ljubljana Castle offers some great views over the city and the surrounding countryside.
  • After the tour, time at leisure to explore further Ljubljana on your own.
  • Overnight.
  • Accommodation at a 4* hotel in Ljubljana, double rooms, BB basis

 

Day 4 MAY 20                     LJUBLJANA – BLED LAKE – LJUBLJANA

Slovenia has only one island but its uniqueness makes it more attractive than many an archipelago. Sheltered by picturesque mountains, the island reigns in the middle of an Alpine lake. Its charm has made it a symbol for centuries of a town to which guests from all over the world love to return. This town, which has already existed for a thousand years, is Bled. The town, already famous at the beginning of the 20th century as the most beautiful health spa of the then Austrian Empire, attracted the European aristocratic elite. And now, for decades already, the pilgrims of the new age have been discovering this town. Cosmopolitan seekers of diversity and beauty, of relaxation and inspiration, tranquility and the challenges of the sport will find here a multitude of opportunities.

Itinerary:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Meet your driver and transfer to the Bled lake.
  • Upon arrival, meet your guide and explore Bled lake in private guided tour. Walk along the Bled Lake and enjoy a romantic traditional Pletna boat ride only known in Bled. The Pletna boat is operated by the Pletna oarsman. This profession is very respected as it cannot be performed just by anyone. Arrive to the small island in the middle of the lake and enjoy special energy flowing the island.
  • The original Bled cream cake, which is only made according to the original recipe in our pastry kitchen, is now accompanied by chocolate and fruit versions of the cake, while the menu is rounded off with modern cake creations and homemade ice cream made with fresh ingredients. While enjoying the most magnificent view of the Bled scenery, flip through our wine list and select a snack from among the crispy sandwiches that we prepare using local ingredients. Would you prefer a small salad or something hot? We offer these as well. And we would not be surprised if your main course at our café is a dessert!
  • Perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 meters above the glacial Lake, Bled Castle is a symbol of Bled and Slovenia. The image of the castle forming a dramatic backdrop to the romantic island and the church on it has earned the resort worldwide recognition through the centuries. Castle terraces offer spectacular views of the lake and the island.
  • After the tour, head for Radovljica village where you will have lunch.
  • The restaurant is located in the Upper Carniola region, in the very heart of Linhart’s city Radovljica. Aside from good food, the inn offers an excursion into the past, since it is surrounded by numerous historical sights, the 700-year-old church of St. Peter and the Šivec House art gallery. Once more, after two centuries, Lectar’s in Radovljica has a functioning lect workshop, where products of an old Slovenian craft called lectarija are produced. The workshop also functions as a Gingerbread Museum, where visitors can see the process of lect making in person.
  • After lunch, meet your driver and return to Ljubljana.
  • Free time at leisure and overnight.
  • Accommodation at a 4* hotel in Ljubljana, double rooms, BB basis

 

Day 5 MAY 21                     LJUBLJANA – POSTOJNA – PREDJAMA – POREČ – ROVINJ

travel croatia

Predjama Castle with its location and mysterious tunnels is truly something special. It impresses visitors with how well the natural cave and the man-made castle walls are interwoven, sometimes making it difficult to see where the former ends and the latter begin.

croatia national park

Postojna Cave has been attracting visitors into its subterranean passages with their breathtaking rock formations for over a hundred years. A special electric train carries visitors on a tour of around five of the cave’s total 21 kilometers of passages. The cave is home to the only cave-dwelling vertebrate in Europe, a pale-skinned amphibian popularly known as the ‘human fish’.

Itinerary:

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Meet your driver and transfer to Postojna cave and Predjama castle.
  • The karst cave at Postojna, one of the largest in the world, is among Slovenia’s most popular attractions and its stalagmite and stalactite formations are unequalled anywhere. The vast and fantastic jungles of rock formations are breathtaking and Bring a jacket and appropriate footwear; the air inside the caves is decidedly chilly.
  • Next is Predjama Castle, just 20min drive away.
  • Predjama Castle is one of the world’s most dramatic castles. Picturesque, magnificent, defiant, mysterious and impregnable, it has been dominating the surrounding area and it teaches a clear lesson: if you want to build an impregnable fortification, put it in the gaping mouth of a cavern halfway up a 123m cliff.
  • Afterward, meet your driver and head towards Poreč.
  • Upon arrival, explore Poreč on your own.
  • The most important cultural monument of Porec is the complex of Euphrasian Basilica dating from the 5th century. The original church was extended in the 6th century under Byzantine Empire and bishop Euphrasius. The interior of the basilica is ornamented with unique mosaics. From 1997 Eufrasius basilica is protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
  • Meet your driver and continue to Rovinj. Upon arrival, check in at hotel and time at leisure.
  • Later, head for delicious dinner at the restaurant located in the heart of the old city. Their vision is embracing the character of the picturesque scene with local and fresh products served just a few meters away from the water. The concept of the restaurant is based on the innovative and fine local cuisine in a familiar and comfortable environment.
  • Overnight.
  • Accommodation at Hotel 5* in Rovinj, double rooms, BB basis


Day 6 MAY 22                     ROVINJ – ISTRA TOUR – ROVINJ

As the largest Croatian peninsula, Istria has been delighting many visitors from all over the world for decades. Apart from the popular tourist destinations on the coast, more and more people also discover the hidden beauties of the hinterland, which complete the image of Istria as an equally green and blue destination. Experience the tour of magical scenes of the Istrian hinterland. Green hills, vineyards, and olive groves, rivers, and fields. The view from the high stone walls of the medieval towns will leave you breathless.

Itinerary:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • This morning head to explore the Istrian peninsula with a guide, truffle tasting experience in Buzet and visits to Hum and Groznjan.
  • Head for the city of Groznjan, an ancient city on a hill 748 feet above the sea level. Groznjan is known as a local haven for artists and other creative types. Though it was nearly abandoned by the 1950s, this medieval town gained a new lease on life when painters, musicians, and other artists began to flock here. You can wander its cobbled alleys and discover numerous galleries and art studios — and even pick up some unique souvenirs.
  • Stop for a coffee break at a local coffee shop and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Istrian hills.
  • Continue to the town of Buzet known as the truffle center and have a truffle hunt experience. Friendly hosts will tell you all about truffles, the tradition of truffle hunting, and their truffle hunting dogs. Tasting of truffle products will be prepared for you in beautiful surroundings, the products you can buy in their shop.
  • Continue to Roč, a small village in heart of Istria where you will learn about fresco painting.
  • The artist dressed as a medieval painter takes you several centuries back in time and get you acquainted with Istrian frescoes. The Romanesque small church of St. Roch in Roč has an apse painted with two layers of frescoes: the older layer dates from the 14th century whereas the younger one is from the second half of the 15th century. The older layer with hagiographic scenes belongs to the Italian Trecento, and the younger layer is the work of an unknown Friulian master of the Renaissance presenting Christ in Glory and the Twelve Apostles.
  • Afterward, head back for Rovinj. 
  • Enjoy the evening at leisure and overnight.
  • Accommodation at a 5* hotel in Rovinj, double rooms, BB basis

 

Day 7 MAY 23                     ROVINJ – BRIJUNI NATIONAL PARK – ROVINJ

croatia beaches

A short trip out of Pula takes you to the acclaimed Brijuni National Park. This archipelago of islands has long been noted for its outstanding natural beauty and are edged with turquoise waters rich in sea life. A favorite haunt of visiting heads of state and the summer residence of Marshal Tito, from 1949 until his death in 1980, the islands can be reached by boat from Fažana, a village 5km from Pula.

Itinerary:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Meet your guide and driver and head towards the town of Fažana where you will embark on a boat that will take you to the Brijuni national park.
  • Upon arrival to Brijuni, walk through all the sites on the island and explore the National park with your guide.
  • This archipelago of islands has long been noted for its outstanding natural beauty and are edged with turquoise waters rich in sea life. A favorite haunt of visiting heads of state and the summer residence of Marshal Tito, from 1949 until his death in 1980.
  • After the Brijuni national park, head back to Fažana where you will have seafood lunch. Freshly caught, still hot, taken right off the grill, pilchard in Fažana is the fish with a special taste and smell of the Adriatic Sea. As the finest breakfast, main meal, any meal at all…
    Pilchard is included in nearly every catering offer of Fažana and Valbandon. Along the Pilchard road, which you can easily pass on foot, over a hundred different ways of preparing pilchard in restaurants and inns will surely please every guest. The possibility of tasting pilchard, together with instructions explaining the preparation are all part of the tour.
  • After your exploration of the village of Fažana, meet your driver and continue to Bale, where you will have an opportunity to taste olive oil and hear the story of how it is made. The whole story about the production of the famous extra virgin olive oil in this region can be experienced in one of the oil mills. A number of oil mills keep museum pieces as well, thus preserving the tradition and culture of olive processing, although today you will mostly encounter modern methods of olive processing.
  • After visiting the olive oil museum, meet your driver and transfer back to Rovinj.
  • Upon arrival, time at leisure and overnight.
  • Accommodation at a 5* hotel in Rovinj, double rooms, BB basis

 

Day 8 MAY 24                     ROVINJ – PLITVICE LAKES – SPLIT

Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia’s best known national park and the only one of eight that is listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. The main attractions of this park, are the 16 small lakes joined by waterfalls created by the sedimentation of travertine, a special type of limestone. This national park encompasses the source of the river Korana, located in the area surrounded by dense forests of beech, fir and spruce. There are also several caves in the park, as well as springs and flowering meadows. The brown bear stands out as one of many protected animal species. The popularity of this park is also boosted by the special means of transport used to ferry visitors around: the panoramic electric trains and the noiseless electro-powered boats. By a network of paths, visitors can get around and access the numerous waterfalls and the rocky lake shores easily.

Itinerary:

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Meet your driver and head for a truly amazing and spectacular stop – the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
  • Upon arrival, head for lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Lunch highly recommended at Lička kuća restaurant. A unique place with an ambiance of a traditional house in Lika, in which authentic dishes are prepared. In the middle of the restaurant, there is an open-hearth fireplace, where lamb is roasted on a spit, and where other food specialties from Lika are prepared “under iron cover”. Ham, “basa” cottage cheese, lamb under iron cover, grilled meats, baked potatoes, trout, sour milk, the Lika fritters, and the Lika strudels made of cheese, apple or plum, are just some of the specialties of this renowned restaurant.
  • After lunch, meet your guide and explore Plitvice Lakes in private guided walking tour.
  • The first Croatian national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Plitvice lakes offer its visitors a blend of vivid colors, sounds and smells that are spectacular and memorable. Its 16 cascading lakes and numerous waterfalls make up one of the greatest wonders of the world. Embraced by high wooden mountains and fed by many small rivers, the lakes are a mesmerizing view of green and blue accompanied by the thundering sounds of the many waterfalls that connect the lakes to create a true paradise on Earth.
  • After Plitvice Lakes, continue towards Split.
  • Upon arrival, check in at the hotel, relax and overnight.
  • Accommodation at a 4* hotel in Split, double rooms, BB basis

 

Day 9 MAY 25                     SPLIT

The second-largest city in Croatia, Split (Spalato in Italian) is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance of tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split life has been going on for thousands of years. To top it off, Split has a unique setting. Its dramatic coastal mountains act as the perfect backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic.

Itinerary

  • Breakfast at hotel and check out.
  • Meet your driver for a private transfer to the airport.
  • End of Insider Secrets Tour

 


Insider Secrets Small Group Tour, May 17 – 25, 2019 package includes:

  • ALL PRIVATE and ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDES AND DRIVERS
  • VAT TAX INCLUDED
  • 24hr concierge and in Croatia assistance
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Zagreb, Hotel 4*, double rooms, BB basis
  • Private transfer Zagreb airport – hotel in a modern, air-conditioned minivan (one transfer per couple)
  • Welcome dinner
  • Private guided tour of Zagreb in old-timer cars
  • Private transfer Zagreb – Zagorje region – Trakošćan Castle – Varaždin – Zagreb in a modern, air-conditioned minivan / minibus
  • Lunch at local restaurant
  • Trakošćan Castle entrance tickets
  • Private guided walking tour of Varaždin
  • Wine tasting at a local winery
  • 3 nights’ accommodation in Ljubljana, Grand Hotel 4*, double rooms, BB basis
  • Private transfer Zagreb – Ljubljana in a modern, air-conditioned minivan / minibus
  • Private guided walking tour of Ljubljana
  • Funicular tickets
  • Castle entrance tickets
  • Private transfer Ljubljana – Bled – Radovljica – Ljubljana in a modern, air-conditioned minivan / minibus
  • Full day guide
  • Pletna boat ride to Bled island
  • Entrance tickets to the church on Bled Island
  • Bled cream cake tasting
  • Entrance tickets to Bled Castle
  • Visit the Lectar museum and lunch
  • 3 nights’ accommodation in Rovinj, Hotel 4*, double rooms, BB basis
  • Private transfer Ljubljana – Postojna – Predjama – Poreč – Rovinj in a modern, air-conditioned minivan / minibus
  • Postojna cave group tour
  • Predjama castle tickets
  • Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Private transfer Rovinj – Grožnjan – Buzet – Roč – Hum – Rovinj in a modern, air-conditioned minivan / minibus
  • Full day guide
  • Truffle product tasting in Buzet
  • Coffee and sweets at the local coffee shop
  • Fresco painting presentation
  • Private transfer Rovinj – Fazana – Bale – Rovinj in a modern, air-conditioned minivan / minibus
  • Full day guide
  • Brijuni national park entrance tickets (including boat transfer and transfers in National Park)
  • Seafood lunch at a local restaurant
  • Short salting pilchard presentation
  • Olive oil tasting
  • 1 night accommodation in Split, Hotel 4*, double rooms, BB basis
  • Private transfer Rovinj – Plitvice Lakes – Split in a modern, air-conditioned minivan / minibus
  • Lunch at local restaurantEntrance tickets to Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Private guided tour of Plitvice lakes
  • Private transfer Split hotel – Split pier in a modern, air-conditioned minivan ( 1 transfer for the entire group)

 

Program does not include:  

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned above 
  • Airfare, Travel Insurance 
  • Additional excursions and / or services not mentioned in the program
  • Personal expenses (internet, telephone, mini bar etc.)
  • Tips and porterage services

Dates and Details:

  • Prices are based on a number of passengers traveling and dates of travel
  • Hotels are not guaranteed until confirmed