Adriatic Escape Tour: Discover Northern Croatia, Slovenia & Istria
10 Day Adriatic Escape Land Tour
Visiting: ZAGREB – LJUBLJANA – BLED – POSTOJNA – ROVINJ – ISTRIA – PULA – MALI LOSINJ – PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Day 1 – ZAGREB
- Arrival to Zagreb and a meeting with your driver for a private transfer to your centrally situated hotel
- Time at leisure and overnight at the hotel
Day 2 – ZAGREB
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Meeting with your guide for a private walking city tour of Zagreb with typical food & drink moments.
- You will not only experience firsthand, how Zagreb lives and breathes, but you will also taste local produce from Dolac farmer’s market and traditional dishes & drinks linked with the season of the year.
- Specialties you must indulge during this tour include: štrukli, rakija, sir & vrhnje, kremšnita, purica with mlinci
- End your day with a stroll up and down the cobble-stoned streets of the old town full of boutiques, cafes and charming restaurants filled with local ambiance
Day 3 – ZAGREB – LJUBLJANA – BLED
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Meeting with your driver for a private transfer to Bled with an en-route stop in Ljubljana for a half-day visit
- Meeting with your guide for a walking tour of Old Town Ljubljana
- In the afternoon onward transfer to Bled, where you will be staying during your visit to Slovenia overlooking the Alpine lake with the only island in Slovenia
- Return to the hotel accompanied by your local guide for an overnight
Day 4 – BLED
- Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with your guide for a take a walking tour of Bled town with a visit to Bled Castle
- Pletna boat ride and a visit to the Church of the Assumption of Mary that you reach after 99 steps. The wishing bell is another attraction because when you ring the bell, make a wish and it will be granted Explore the beautiful Bled Castle, today preserved as a museum, where you will be able to see various exhibits depicting the history of the region.
- Your tour will continue with a drive and a visit to the Bohinj area, divided into the Upper and Lower Bohinj Valley.
- There are twenty-four typical Alpine villages in these two valleys. In the Upper Valley by the lake, you will visit the gothic St. John the Baptist Church, with well-preserved frescoes from the 15th and the 16th centuries.
- Your journey will end with the cable car ride to mountain Vogel (5000 ft), from where there is a wonderful view of the Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps.
- Return to Bled through the Lower Valley.
- Time at leisure and overnight in Bled
Day 5 – LJUBLJANA – POSTOJNA – ROVINJ
- Breakfast at the hotel and a checkout
- Meeting with your driver for a private transfer to Rovinj with an en-route stop in Postojna (a visit to Postojna Cave)
- Arrival to Rovinj and check-in your hotel
- Meeting with your guide for a walking city tour of Rovinj
- The old town of Rovinj is the protected historical center of Rovinj with Town Hall building and large square lined with renaissance houses from the 16th century, the most appealing part of the town for visitors.
- The narrow cobbled alleyways and the small squares which have witnessed the turbulent history of the town are full of medieval, gothic, renaissance, and baroque buildings and terraces.
- On the northern side, you will find the remains of the walls used to protect the town’s inhabitants from conquerors and looters as well as Balbi’s Arch from 1679.
- Walking down the old alleys is a very special experience – you will feel like time has stopped and you have returned to the ancient era. Walking in the historic old town, you will find a new surprise at every step.
- St Euphemia Parish Church, the symbol of the town of Rovinj, other small churches, monuments, old doors, and arches await behind every corner, and if you find yourself in need of a break and rest, your kind hosts will invite you into one of the numerous restaurants.
- Visit the old town of Rovinj, the keeper of history and heritage of one of the most photogenic Mediterranean towns walk Bregovita and Švalbina streets, lined with baroque buildings or the Grisia Street where Rovinj artists exhibit their pieces with a personal approach and talk to visitors
- Time at leisure and overnight at your hotel
Day 6 – ROVINJ – ISTRIA
- Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with your driver and a guide for a day in Istria inland, very different from its coast. Discover the heart of Istria while driving through its inland parts and enjoy the picturesque mosaic that will enchant you.
- Today you will enjoy a unique experience during a truffle hunt accompanied by specially trained dogs.
- After an aperitif, we will go to the forest near the Motovun woods and Buzet – home town of the truffles. The biggest truffle in the world was found in this area in 2000 (1,3 kg!) with the help of dogs, specially trained to find the underground mushroom using their sense of smell.
- The annual “Days of Truffles” are held every October, where you can sample dishes made from freshly picked truffles.
- After the activity of searching the truffles for about 45 minutes, you will learn how to prepare a meal with truffles. Our friendly hosts will serve your local wine, cheese, and truffle-flavored honey, pate and other delicacies.
- Your trip takes you further through the rugged and hilly terrain as far as Motovun, the medieval, captivating hilltop town as one of the characteristic symbols of the Istrian interior. It’s an ancient Istrian town-monument, located atop a 277m high hill that dates back to the Middle Ages. The position and views of Motovun make it one of the most beautiful towns in Istrian inland.
- Finally, you’ll visit Grožnjan, the hilltop town of great cultural significance not only in Croatia but also internationally, that lives its summer months very intensely.
- Every year at the beginning of May, the little streets and squares of Grožnjan-Grisignana metamorphose and turn into a truly artistic beehive: it opens its summer music academies for young people, its artistic, dance and drama workshops and its peace activism workshops under the leadership of well-known experts and teachers and famous names from music, art, and drama.
- During those few summer months, Grožnjan-Grisignana lives and breathes art and the labyrinth of its little streets become one great stage on which are constantly interchanging the sounds of jazz and classical music, guitar and piano, violin and cello, drum and vibraphone…
- We will end our day with dinner at a famous Istrian restaurant. The elegant restaurant drawn by the spaces where once the good family’s Malvasia and Terran wines were produced offers a vast gastronomic array-based mainly on typical seasonal specialties, such as fresh locally caught fish, truffles, mushrooms, ham, game, and other typical Istrian specialties.
- The cuisine is the result of endless research based on tradition.
- The delicacies are combined with a rich wine list with over 200 labels as well as with a vast choice of Istrian olive oils.
- Each seasonal menu has recommendations on which olive oil to use with the chosen dish.
- Return to Rovinj, time at leisure and an overnight
Day 7 – ROVINJ – PULA – LOŠINJ
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Meeting with your driver for a private transfer to Lošinj island with a stop in the ancient city of Pula, first inhabited 3000 years ago.
- Your journey will take you down the western Istrian coast to the southernmost part of this peninsula where you’ll enjoy the views of the Lim channel, followed with private walking tour of Pula (the Arena, the Forum, Triumphal arch, the Temple of Augustus, a Castle from the 17th century features Istrian history museum etc.)
- Private taxi flight (15 minutes from Pula Airport to Lošinj Airport followed by a private transfer to your hotel
- Afternoon city tour of Lošinj followed by time at leisure and overnight in Lošinj
Day 8 – MALI LOŠINJ
- Breakfast at the hotel and time at leisure to relax, opt for wellness & spa treatments or explore the island on your own
- Čikat forest park is a man-made ecosystem that has resulted from deliberate efforts to shape the landscape and act in harmony with nature. Several attractive marked walking paths pass through the forest park.
- The origins of Čikat forest park date back to the year 1886 when the Society for Afforestation and Embellishment of Mali Lošinj was established.
- Special sites of interest: The lush forest of Aleppo pine was planted on barren land at the end of the 19th century as a result of the endeavors of the Society for Afforestation and Embellishment of Mali Lošinj under the guidance of Ambroz Haračić, a renowned naturalist and patriot from Lošinj. The promontory of Anuncijata hosts the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was built in 1858. This is the traditional votive church of Lošinj’s seafarers.
- The Lošinj Aromatic Garden – a nursery of the island medicinal herbs in Mali Lošinj.
- Enjoy the fragrance and perfumes of Scented gardens and confirm the eternal tale about Lošinj – a place renowned for cherishing the healthy life and unharmed nature.
- The historical underwater park project is unique in this part of Europe, and, in Croatia, located within the Losinj diving center in Cikat Cove, which is situated 1 km from the Center of Mali Losinj.
- The setup of the park consists of a total of 11 different exponents, which have been placed between 5 and 15 meters deep in the water and testify about the rich history of the island and its region.
- Among the exhibited items, there are replicas of cannons from the 16th century, replicas of ancient amphoras, anchors from the 4th and 5th centuries, Venetian cannons, machine guns from World War II, while the greatest attraction of the underwater park is the replica of the ancient bronze athlete statue “Apoxyomenos” from the 2nd-1st century B.C., which is also a sort of symbol of Mali Losinj. The replica of Apoxyomenos has been placed in the upright position in its natural size, while the entire trail tour of the park is roughly 300 meters long.
- All licensed divers can visit the park, and due to the relatively shallow waters in which the exhibit items are placed, persons without any diving experience can dive into the park in the company of a diving instructor from the Losinj diving center through the so-called “Discovery Dive” program.
- There are only seven surviving statues of the ancient Greek athlete Apoxyomenos in the world, one of which was found right here in Croatia. More than two thousand years old ancient bronze statue of an unknown author was found in 1999 in the sea near the island of Lošinj, wedged between two rocks at a depth of 45 meters. This more than two-thousand-year-old athlete was lifted from the depths of the sea and after almost seven years of restoration returned to its former glory.
- The statue represents an athlete, a young sportsman at the moment of cleaning oil, dust, and sweat from his body with a scraping tool, after a competition. During the restoration, which lasted almost seven years, while researching the material and style of workmanship, it was determined that the statue dates from 2nd-1st century BC, while the prototype which it was based on is considerably older, from the middle of the 4th century BC.
- From the eight known variations of the Apoxyomenos prototype, the Lošinj statue is the most complete and best-preserved. The statue of Apoxyomenos, which was extracted from Lošinj`s seabed on 27 April 1999 will be permanently exhibited in Mali Lošinj, at the Kvarner Palace from 2016.
- Apoxyomenos is not the only gem in Losinj’s cultural heritage.
- Austro-Hungarian villas and captain’s houses, monasteries, a fort, a basilica, ancient remains, museums, churches, and chapels are all to be found.
- Visit the Town Museum in the Fritzy Palace, or the chapel Annunziata in Cikat Bay and learn more about the island’s rich maritime history, its glorious captains and their fleets. Mali Losinj is also known for its gastronomic delicacies, as well as a plethora of classical music, sporting, and cultural events.
- Lošinj is covered with hiking trails along the coast which pass through numerous bays and old pine forests. Along with the many churches on the island, there is also a tower, erected in the 15th century for defense from pirate attacks from the sea.
- Also situated on the island is Rovenska, a small fishing port with beautiful beaches, a pier and a fishing tradition atmosphere, as well as the Park Forest and the famous climate health resort ‘Podjavori’.
- Due to the Mediterranean climate, clean air, preserved nature, and environment, Lošinj was recognized as the island ideal for resting and health treatments in as early as the 19th century and was therefore named the island of vitality.
- There’s no better way to explore the secluded coves and inlets of the Lošinj archipelago than by boat.
- A private motorboat rental can be arranged, so you can go off the beaten track for a family adventure or a romantic day out.
- Whether you’d like to see the island on foot, by car, jeep safari, on a boat, from the air, or a combination of all four, you can have a personal guide available throughout the island archipelago.
- Overnight in Lošinj
Day 9 – MALI LOŠINJ – PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK – ZAGREB
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Meeting your driver & and a pilot for a private taxi flight from Lošinj to Pula Airport followed by a drive with en-route stop and visit Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Your guide will meet you upon arrival and will guide you through the national park after lunch at a local, traditional restaurant
- After the visit an onward drive to Zagreb for the last overnight
Day 10 – ZAGREB
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Meeting with your driver for the private transfer to the airport
- Departure flight
- ALL PRIVATE and ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDES AND DRIVERS
- VAT TAX INCLUDED
- 24hr concierge and in Croatia assistance
- Private transfer upon arrival to Zagreb accompanied by an English speaking driver
- 3 nights in 5* hotel in Zagreb, deluxe double room, BB basis
- English speaking guide for a private walking city tour of Zagreb with tastings and lunch
- Private transfer from Zagreb to Bled with en-route visit to Ljubljana accompanied by an English speaking driver
- English speaking guide for a private walking tour of Ljubljana with a funicular ride to Ljubljana Castle
- 2 nights in 5* hotel in Bled, deluxe double room, lake view, BB basis
- Private tour of Bled and Bohinj area (English speaking driver & guide and entrance fees)
- Private transfer from Ljubljana to Rovinj with en-route stop in Postojna (entrance fees included) accompanied by an English speaking driver
- English speaking guide for a walking city tour of Old Town Rovinj
- 2 nights in 5* hotel in Rovinj, deluxe double room, BB basis
- Private excursion to Istria inland accompanied by an English speaking guide and a driver
- Tasting session of truffle products and an unforgettable truffle hunting adventure with guides.
- Wine pairing dinner at the Istrian gourmet restaurant
- Private transfer to Pula with a walking city tour accompanied by an English speaking driver and a guide
- Private taxi flight in a Beechcraft King Air c90B airplane from Pula to Lošinj (luggage, private transfer to the hotel included)
- English speaking guide for a private walking tour of Mali Lošinj with transfers
- 2 nights in 5* hotel in Mali Lošinj, deluxe double room, sea view, BB basis
- Private taxi flight from Lošinj to Pula
- Private transfer from Pula Airport to Zagreb with en-route stop at Plitvice lakes National Park accompanied by an English speaking driver
- A visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park accompanied by a local, English speaking guide (entrance fees included)
- Private transfer from your hotel to Zagreb Airport upon departure
- Welcome bottle of wine and farewell chocolate box
- 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