AD1 17 Day Adriatic Tour

Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Adriatic Tours - Plitvice Lakes
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Guided walking tours of Ljubljana, Hvar, Dubrovnik, etc; Stunning Julian Alps; Plitvice Lakes hike; Gorgeous and historic Istrian Peninsula; Rebuilt Mostar bridge

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP
  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices


Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.


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How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?

The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website.

A non-refundable $500 deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s).

Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time.

Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.

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What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?

Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing (e-mail preferred) immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated.

We may cancel departures if forced to do so by unforeseen circumstances such as war, civil unrest, disease outbreaks, catastrophic events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, etc -- things beyond our control that are commonly referred to as “force majeure.” In these instances we will offer 100% credits for all deposits if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. Such credits can be applied to any future scheduled or custom tour (time limits may apply).

If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date and your full payment on the postponed tour will remain non-refundable; or, if circumstances do not permit at that time, an alternative will be offered.

Regardless of the timing of cancellation (outside or inside 60 days), we will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline policies pertaining to cancellation/change fees, any trip component/s that may be non-refundable from our suppliers, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage for the above listed circumstances and other perils.

If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you, either the same tour on a different date or another tour of your choice. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given no later than 60 days prior to trip start date.

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Do you have a shared accommodation program?

Yes! Most tours have a single-share program in which we match you with another single traveller of the same gender. If we are unable to pair you, we will usually absorb the cost of a single room. On some tours a "forced single" will apply; please enquire at time of booking. You will normally be informed of this charge 60 days prior to departure; however, we reserve the right to charge this fee up to your departure and, in rare cases, once you have departed. Upgrading to single room once the tour has begun is subject to availability in each overnight point, and payment must be made immediately to our office or locally to the Tour Leader. If you want to guarantee your own room, a single supplement applies. Payment of single supplement does not, however, guarantee that you will receive a twin size, twin-bedded room.

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I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?

All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location.

This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement.

The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible.

On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available.

Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Fri 07 May 2021Sun 23 May 2021 $4690 USD
Fri 16 Jul 2021Sun 01 Aug 2021 $4690 USD
Fri 24 Sep 2021Sun 10 Oct 2021 $4690 USD
Fri 06 May 2022Sun 22 May 2022 $4690 USD
Fri 23 Sep 2022Sun 09 Oct 2022 $4690 USD

Optional Single Supplement: $959 USD (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


Adriatic Tours by Adventures Abroad: what do you get when you mix villages dripping in elegant, old world charm with mountains that fall straight into intensely blue coastal waters? The Adriatic.

The breakup of Yugoslavia left in its wake six countries with a distinct history and cultural make up within Europe. Known for an incredible array of nature, densely forested mountains with pristine alpine lakes, Adriatic tours beckon everyone from the adventure enthusiasts to casual countryside strollers, museum aficionados to marketplace bargain hunters and foodies who wish to indulge.

Sophisticated cities offer flavours from numerous empires, balancing an East and West feeling with noticeable impressions from older civilizations such as the Roman, Greek and Ottomans. In an area suspended between the Balkans and Central Europe, culture oozes from every town.

Nowhere does an ancient city history blend with recent history so dramatically as Mostar, a small town in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The medieval town with a famous stone bridge that arcs high above the Neretva River which needed to be completely rebuilt after the conflict in 1990. Much rebuilding has taken place to return the charm of this medieval town built in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Coastal cities such as Dubrovnik, with its marble streets, stone buildings and red tiled roofs, have seen visitors and rulers from the Ottomans, the Venetians, the Austro-Hungarians, to Napoleon's army. A walk along the city walls feels almost akin to a walk along a museum with a mass of towers and fortifications rising above the harbours and gleaming sea.

Throughout Croatia on Adriatic tours, one can find evidence of Roman inhabitants such as the beautifully tiled mosaics of the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec, massive gladiatorial amphitheatre in Pula, the Roman Forum in Zadar, to the enormous retirement Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in Split.

For nearly 3.5 centuries, the Venetian empire ruled over much of Croatia and the prosperity of the empire can be felt in photogenic harbours and towns such as Hvar.

Inland from the dazzling Adriatic, a diverse nature of the region really shines. From the wooded walkways that twist through the cascading waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park to the limestone plateau and cave system at Postojna Caves in Slovenia. Once submerged by the ocean, this region is now a 2 million year old network of caves characterized by subterranean rivers.

The alpine region of Slovenia contains impossibly emerald lakes such as Bled, with the town's castle perched above, Bled Otok, the small island with a church in the center of the lake. Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Karavanke Mountains and Julian Alps, the town is often considered the prize of Slovenia, along with Ljubljana.

With a fuse of influence many of Slovenia's towns feel similar to Vienna or Prague: elegant, charming and dripping in history.

Adriatic tours like no other! We travel through the magnificent scenery of Slovenia, where we spend time exploring centuries-old churches and castles, gazing at idyllic lakes and meandering down the market streets of charming towns, all set against the spectacular backdrop of the Karavanke mountains and the Julian Alps.

Crossing the border into Croatia, we head for the Istrian Peninsula, wherein ancient Roman ruins can be found in abundance, and on to the natural wonderland of the Plitvice Lakes.

After a walking tour of the beautiful island of Hvar, we enter Bosnia and Herzegovina to take in the remarkable blend of Mediterranean and Oriental architecture, ending our Adriatic tour in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a town hailed as 'The Pearl of the Mediterranean' for its astounding beauty, sophisticated history and culture, and prosperity.

Sign up for our Adriatic tours for a fantastic overview of the entire region.

Regions visited: Central And Eastern Europe
Countries visited: Slovenia; Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina


Testimonials


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(Surrey, BC., CA)

The Postojna Caves in Slovenia and the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia were highlights for us. The stay in Hvar town on Hvar Island was wonderful and in a beautiful setting. All of the local guides were very good and were able to answer all of our questions. The bus was very comfortable and roomy and the driver was very good and we felt safe in his hands. Our tour leader was was very passionate and passed along lots of interesting information. Very organized in every aspect of the tour. You could tell that she enjoyed being a tour leader and she was always in a good mood. Very good holiday.

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(Mankato, MN, US)

We enjoyed the beauty of each of the countries. Our day at Plitvice Lakes was great. The bus was very comfortable and Johnny, our driver, was superb.

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(West Vancouver, BC, CA)

The sights I liked best were Llubjiana, Bled, Hvar, Dubrovnik, and the caves at Postojska Jama were incredible. Our driver was exceptional. His driving skills and professionism were superb. I appreciated being served local food and the service was excellent. Our tour leader's local knowledge was exceptional. I learned so much. The Roman, Venetian, Ottaman, German history and Napoleans invasion for the salt fields was so interesting. So were the local alpine homes in Slovenia and the tiled roofs and white houses on the hillsides. Overall an excellent tour.

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(SAN DIEGO, CA, US)

[The Tour Leader was] organized, informed and informative, directive in keeping the stragglers in check or providing assistance when needed.

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(Sarasota, FL, US)

The entire tour was most enjoyable. Tour Director was A-One. Knowledgeable, helpful, always "there." Knowledgeable, helpful, personable. Overall a true professional and very likable. Excellent bus driver; courteous, careful, helpful. Comfortable, clean coach.

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(Chester, NS, CA)

Local guides were superb. All were extremely knowledgeable, kind and thoughtful. They all spoke good English. Certainly benefited from them all. Even bus driver was kind, knowledgeable and superb driver. Bus was as good as it gets!!! Enjoyed evening meals. All hotels were good.

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(Northridge, CA, US)

Great tour. I liked the size and I couldn't have asked for a better group or tour leader. Slovenia in general was the overall undiscovered gem for me - it was all wonderful. Also really enjoyed the palace in Split and the town of Mostar as stand outs. Overall I liked our guides, particularly in Zagreb, Split, Mostar, and Hvar. Excellent driver and beautiful bus.

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(Toronto, ON, CA)

Loved the trips to Skofja Loka and Kropa - the villages were so interesting and uncrowded. All of our guides were excellent - gave good tours and also travelling tips. wonderful personalities

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(MISSISSAUGA, ON, CA)

Great trip- nice group of people, excellent accommodation. Great meals, excellent sightseeing. Best guide ever.

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(Silver Spring, MD, US)

Ljubljana is a beautiful city and I enjoyed the walking tour. My favorite day was the day we visited Predjama Castle and the Postojna Caves. They were both amazing! My second favorite day was visiting Plitvice Lakes. Such beautiful surroundings. Excellent hotel choices. The transportation was excellent and our driver was an asset to the tour. He was quite personable, always had a smile on his face and is an extremely skilled driver. We had a wonderful tour leader. She was outgoing, enthusiastic, adaptable and clearly enjoys her work. I enjoyed the history and geography lessons on the bus everyday. She discussed the wars in the 90s, which was very helpful in understanding the relationships between the countries and the people. This is a fabulous tour and I can understand why it is sold out every year. I've already recommended this tour and she and her husband have already signed up to go next year.

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What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?

Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.

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Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?

Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.

Full Itinerary


Day 1 Arrive in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Arrive in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

Overnight Ljubljana.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Ljubljana: City Tour
Today we enjoy a walking tour of "Bela Ljubljana". This was the nickname given to this delightful city after it was entirely rebuilt following a major earthquake in 1511. A walk through the streets of this charming city reminds one of Vienna and Prague. However, Ljubljana is tiny in comparison, and easily visited on foot. We go up to the highest point of the city to visit the 16th century castle; the castle today houses a Virtual Museum, which gives a superb overview of the city's history, and a climb up the main tower affords a wonderful panorama of the town and surrounding mountains.

We then visit the old town by foot, stopping along the way to see the Parliament building, university, beautiful squares, and unique bridges. We also see the city's Cathedral, with its modern bronze doors commemorating the history of Slovenia and its struggle towards independence. A tour of Ljubljana would not be complete without a stroll through the great outdoor markets, where locals come to buy fresh mountain herbs and flowers, wild mushrooms, and fresh fruit and vegetables from nearby farms.

Overnight Ljubljana.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Ljubljana - Skofja Loka - Kropa - Bled
Today we drive through the countryside, with small hamlets and farms scattered across the green rolling hills. This area has some of this new nation's oldest inhabited settlements, three of which we will visit today. Our first stop today is Skofja Loka, or "Bishop's Meadow," one of the most charming towns in Slovenia with its historic streets, houses and its castle perched high above. We will wander the Mestni Trg, the main street of the town, see the Granary, St. James' Church, Homan house, and visit the 13th century castle, which today houses the finest ethnographic museum in the country.

Our drive continues through small hamlets, with traditional farmhouses and steepled churches, where crops of potatoes, corn, turnips and hay are grown. Our next stop is Kropa, a tiny town on the Kroparica River which was historically famous for its iron forging industry. The forges here produced iron objects of all kinds were traded throughout Europe. From the huge spikes which were used in the construction Venice, to the tiny tacks used in Austrian mountaineering boots, Kropa produced over 130 varieties of nails.

We drive through spectacular scenery to Bled, where we will spend two nights. Bled is located on the edge of an emerald green glacial lake. The views upon approach are stupendous, with the town's castle perched above, Bled Otok, the small island with a church in the center of the lake, all set against the spectacular backdrop of the Karavanke Mountains and Julian Alps.

Overnight in Bled.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Bled & Lake Bohinj
Reflecting the high mountain peaks, Lake Bled has always been considered sacred by the locals. Our first visit is to the 11th century castle which houses a small museum and provides magnificent views of town, lake and mountains. After our visit we will catch a small traditional boat, or pletna, to visit the country's only island, Bled Otok. On the island we will visit the Church of St. Mary of the Assumption, also known as "Our Lady of the Lake". Legend has it that if you make a wish while ringing the bell your wish will come true.

This afternoon we drive through lush green valleys to Bohinj, one of the gateways to the Julian Alps. The name Bohinj refers to the entire valley and its numerous small settlements. Lake Bohinj is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia, and protected from development. It is fed by the Savica waterfall, which Slovenia's greatest poet, Francis Preseren celebrated in his poem "Baptism at the Savica Waterfall". We will visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, famous for its beautiful frescoes, located on the lake's edge in the charming town of Bohinjska Bistrica.

Further along the lake's shores we will take a cable car which climbs 1537m / 5,072 ft up to Mt Vogel, the only mountain ski resort within Triglav National Park. On a clear day we can view the peaks of the Julian Alps, some of the highest in the country, and see Mt. Triglav, a holy mountain and national symbol of Slovenia. There is also a spectacular panorama of Lake Bohinj and basin.

Upon our return to Bled, you may choose to walk around the shores of Bled, or even swim (!); an excellent path takes you on a 6km (3.75 mi) walk around the lake.

Overnight in Bled.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Bled - Kobarid
This morning travel to Triglcav National Park. Our First stop will be at Kranjska Gora, popular winter and summer tourist resort for a short walk. Then continue via the mountain pass of Predil into the Log pod Mangrtom town -- a small town that was devastated by an avalanche in 2000. From there continue to Kluže fortress situated on the scenic gorge of Koritnica River.

We drive to the pretty town of Bovec nestled in the Soca Valley and near the Kanin ridge, the highest ski resort in the country. We finish our day just down the road at Kobarid, known for the Battle of Caporetto where the Italian retreat was documented by Ernest Hemingway in his novel 'A Farewell to Arms.'

We will go up to the Italian Charnel house and Church of St. Antony, located on a hill above Kobarid town. It houses the bones of over 7,000 Italian soldiers killed here during World War I. The church was redesigned in the 20th century by an Italian architect, when the bones were gathered from the surrounding valleys and placed here; Mussolini himself dedicated the church and Charnel house in 1938.

Overnight in Kobarid.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Kobarid - Predjama - Postojna Caves - Piran
Driving the along the banks of the Soca River, we make our way out of Alpine territory to the region and plateau of Primorska. The Soca is a valley of wonderful colours, full of waterfalls, pools, ravines and canyons, with its own distinct flora and fauna. The impossibly blue-green Soca River flows over white gravel and through a fairy-tale landscape with a stunning vista at every turn.

Our next stop is Predjama Castle, located in the middle of a 123m (403 ft) high, overhanging, limestone cliff, in the entrance of a cave. The cave was utlitised by a robber baron from centuries ago to become his stronghold. It's been described as a "masterpiece of medieval ingenuity, courage, cunning and defiance". Its white walls, roofs, turrets and chimneys jutting from the mountainside, built onto solid rock, make it the most unique and picturesque fortress you will ever come across in Europe.

We continue through the limestone plateau, or "karst" region en route to the Postojna Caves where we have a guided visit. This region was once submerged by a deep sea; today the landscape is characterized by subterranean rivers which have carved out magnificent caves, and by the rich red soil deposits in poljes, the depressions left when caverns collapse. The cave is 27 km (17 miles) long and over 2 million years old, and consists of a series of caverns, halls and passages with enormous stalactites and stalagmites. The caves also have their own unique ecosystem, flora and fauna; the most famous creature endemic to the caves is the so called Proteus Anguinus, or "human fish", a small pink, blind type of salamander equipped with both gills and rudimentary lungs.

We continue to Piran, Istria, beautifully located on the Adriatic. The town resembles a large open-air museum, with medieval architecture and a rich cultural heritage. Narrow streets and compact houses give the town its special charm.

Overnight in Piran.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Piran, Slovenia - Porec, Croatia - Pula - Opatija
We depart Piran and continue by road across the border into Croatia where our first stop is Porec, a pretty seaside town dating back to the Roman period. We will walk through the ancient narrow lanes, see the ruins of the Roman Temple of Augustus, and visit the Euphrasian Basilica. This church houses some of the finest Byzantine mosaics in the world, comparable to those in Ravenna. The Basilica is listed among many other Croatian masterpieces of art and architecture, as a protected UNESCO World Heritage site.

We also stop in Pula, called Pola by the first Illyrian settlers and Polensium by the Romans. We visit one of the most impressive sites in town, the amphitheater, located near the harbour. Built entirely of local limestone, the amphitheater was designed to host gladiatorial contests and could accommodate up to 22,000 spectators.

We finish our day in Opatija, the oldest established and still one of the most popular Croatian resorts. A Rijeka businessman built the first villa here in 1844, and after a visit by the trend-setting wife of the Austrian Emperor, the town was promoted as a handy health resort for aristocratic Austrians.

(Depending on hotel availability, we may overnight in Opatija or continue the short distance to Rijeka.)

Overnight in Opatija or Rijecka.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Opatija - Zagreb
Today we travel inland to the capital, Zagreb.

From its intriguing architecture to nearby natural havens, this underrated European capital has something for everyone. Unlike most western European capitals, Zagreb's cityscape is a fascinating mixture of classic Austro-Hungarian architecture and gritty socialist structures. Some of the city's most emblematic buildings include the iconic, colourful roof of St Mark's Church and the twin spires of Zagreb Cathedral which tower above. With an electric mix of Italian, Turkish, and Austro-Hungarian influences, even its coffee culture here is steeped in history.

Zagreb is located on the intersection of several important routes between the Adriatic coast and Central Europe. It offers visitors the Baroque feel of the Upper Town, picturesque open-air markets, and various kinds of shops. Perched on two small hills encircled by Renaissance-era walls, Zagreb’s oldest district is home to many of the city’s main attractions. This picturesque medieval part of the Croatian capital boasts its most impressive architecture and great views over the rest of the city.

Time-permitting, we are likely to have to time to begin our city sightseeing program upon arrival.

Overnight in Zagreb.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Zagreb: City Tour
Today's city tour features Governor Jelacic Square, undoubtedly the very heart of the capital. Located in Zagreb's center, the square is dominated by the statue of Josip Jelacic who became the governor of the triple Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia on the 23rd of March, 1848. In the District of Gradec, we take a funicular from the Lower Town to the Upper, which has connected, for centuries, the old part of town with Ilica Street, the main shopping area. We will then stroll back down to Kaptol, St Catherine's Cathedral, Church of St Mark, St. Stephen's Church, and Lotrscak Tower.

After our tour you will have time at leisure to explore, shop, relax, visit museums etc. Your Tour Leader can help plan your afternoon.

Overnight in Zagreb.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Zagreb - Plitvice Lakes
This morning we depart for Plitvice, where 16 lakes, each at a different level, join each other in a series of cascading waterfalls. Surrounded by dense woods, this is a region of unique beauty. The travertine terraces have been continuously reforming themselves over 10,000 years as calcium carbonate dissolves and settles, forming barriers and cascades. The lakes are also home to a huge variety of flora and fauna including 120 species of birds and a variety of mammals and fish species. The entire area is protected as one of UNESCO's Natural World Heritage Sites.

Wooded paths at the edge of pine, beech and fir forests follow the successions of lakes and waterfalls which we will follow on our walk* around the Lower and Upper Lakes, ending with a short boat ride across the largest lake.

* Good walkers will have no trouble with the well-maintained trails. If you have concerns about your suitability, please have a word with your Tour Leader.

Overnight in Plitvice.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Plitvice Lakes - Zadar - Split
Today we travel to the coast via Zadar, the ancient capital of Byzantine Dalmatia.

This large city has its historic center crowded on a small piece of land jutting into the Adriatic When it was occupied by the Germans in 1943, Allied bombings destroyed about 60% of the city. Zadar was rebuilt one more time, as it had been many times over its tumultuous history; it is for this reason that one can find a variety of architectural styles, from Roman Corinthian columns to Romanesque churches. We enter the city through one of the Venetian gates and proceed to the Roman Forum, the Church of St. Donatus and Cathedral of Anastasius, and visit the Archaeological Museum, with a fine collection of artifacts dating from Roman and medieval times. NOTE: In the event that the Archaeological Museum is closed, due to erratic opening hours, the Museum will be replaced with a visit of the Treasury, a collection of relics attended to by the order of Benedictine nuns in the Church and Nunnery of St. Mary.

We continue on to the 13th century Saint Lawrence Gothic cathedral in Trogir, esteemed as a masterpiece. Then it's on to Split (ancient Spalato), the second largest city of Croatia. The historic city center actually lies in the walls of the enormous retirement Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, built between 295-305 AD. The palace served as a palace, military fortress, and later, a fortified town. The city is enclosed by huge walls, pierced by 4 main gates, one on each side of the rectangular plan. Later you may wish to walk the promenade along the harbour when it comes alive with locals taking an evening stroll or relaxing in the seaside cafes outside the ancient palace walls.

Overnight in Split.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Split - Hvar
This morning we have a walking tour through the heart of ancient Split. We will visit the cryptoporticus (underground vaults) of the Palace, the Mausoleum and Church of St. Donatus, the Peristyle court, and explore the ancient narrow streets still paved with the lustrous white stone of Brac Island. We will also exit the Golden Gate of the palace to see the huge bronze statue of St. Gregory of Nin made by Ivan Mestrovic, the most celebrated sculptor of modern Croatia.

Later we take a short ferry ride to the island of Hvar. En route we will pass the island of Brac, which provided the lustrous white stone for the construction of the Cathedral of Sibenik, Diocletian's Palace at Split, the Cathedral of Liverpool, and the White House in Washington, DC.

The island of Hvar receives 2,724 hours of sunshine per year, more than anywhere else in Croatia, and is thus called the "Island of the Sun". Greeks from Paros first settled on the island in the 4th century BC in Pharos, the modern town of Stari Grad. In the 13th century, the capital of the island was transferred to the town of Hvar (a mutation of Pharos in Slavic) and prospered during the 3.5 centuries of Venetian rule. This picturesque town and marina is alive with the constant hum of activity.

Overnight in Hvar.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Hvar: Walking Tour
This morning we have a walking tour through narrow streets to the 15th century Franciscan Monastery, visit the Renaissance cloister, the old rectory that today houses a collection of lace, manuscripts and books; and the church with its remarkable collection of paintings. We also visit St Stephen's Cathedral.

The afternoon is free for independent exploration on this beautiful island. For those interested, there is an excellent hike up to the Venetian castle above town.

Overnight in Hvar.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Hvar, Croatia - Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Today we depart Hvar by ferry to Drvenik from where we drive along the coast to Opuzen where we turn inland to the border crossing at Metkovic. After crossing into Bosnia, we drive to Pocitelj where we have a chance to stop and discover the exquisite blend of Mediterranean and Oriental architecture. From Pocitelj we will continue our drive to Mostar arriving in the afternoon.

Despite great damages suffered in the last war, the city on the emerald green River Neretva has preserved a great part of its authentic Oriental architecture and the way of life conceived on the boundaries of civilizations.

Overnight in Mostar.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina: Walking Tour - Dubrovnik, Croatia
We begin our day with a walking tour of Mostar. Our tour will include a visit to the ancient city dating to the 16th/17th centuries, a visit inside a traditional house dating to this period, and a visit to the recently rebuilt Mostar Bridge, the emblem of the city. After our tour of Mostar, we will begin our journey to Dubrovnik. En route we will stop at the historic, fortified town of Ston. We arrive into Dubrovnik in the late afternoon.

The history of Dubrovnik, or ancient Ragusa, begins in the 7th century, when it was under the protection of the Byzantine Empire. In the 12th century Ragusa, formerly an island, merged with mainland settlements and the channel between was filled in with carted-in material. Today this area is the main street of the old city named the Placa or Stradun. After shaking off the yoke of Venice in 1385, Ragusa became an independent republic. It remained one of the most powerful maritime powers in the Mediterranean for over four centuries (until 1808). Ragusa was the link between the Mediterranean and the Balkans and hence developed into an important centre of trade and shipping. Dairy products, wax, honey, timber, coals, salt, silver, lead, copper, wine, oil, fish and slaves were all traded. During the "Golden Age" of Ragusa in the 16th century, she had the 3rd largest merchant fleet in the world and consulates in over 50 countries. After changing hands a number of times, the city was finally ceded to Croatia (former Yugoslavia) and in 1918 the Slavic name of Dubrovnik was officially adopted.

Overnight in Dubrovnik (just outside Old Town).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Dubrovnik: Walking Tour
This morning features a walking tour of Dubrovnik's historic center. Dubrovnik has been called "Croatian Athens" and the "Pearl of the Mediterranean" for its astounding beauty, sophisticated history and culture, and prosperity.

Over the course of its tumultuous history, the city had to be extensively reconstructed; the earthquake of 1667 destroyed much of the city; and in recent memory, the town was bombarded by over 2,000 shells in 1991-2. After great international efforts, the city has been restored to its former glory, with its towering fortifications, magnificent medieval architecture, red tiled roofs, winding paved streets and picturesque harbours.

Today we visit the Cathedral and Sponza Palace; en route we will see many famous landmarks including Onofrio's fountain, the Clock Tower, Roland's Column and the Church of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik.

We also walk the walls of Dubrovnik, considered by many to be a highlight of our visit. The total circuit is nearly 2km / 1.25 mi, and from the bastions you will have magnificent views of the city's monuments, including the Minceta Tower, Revelin Tower, and the mighty fortress of St. Lawrence, with walls 12m / 40 feet thick!

Your afternoon is free to enjoy this memorable place.

Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Departure
Departure from Dubrovnik.

SRETAN PUT!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Slon

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Ljubljana
Country: Slovenia

Best Western Premier Hotel Slon is located in the heart of Ljubljana just steps away from all major historical and
... sights. SAT TV, mini bar, safe, ISDN telephone, WLAN wireless internet connection, air-conditioning, hair-dryer, in-room coffee / tea maker.


Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Kanin

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Bovec
Country: Slovenia

Hotel Kanin is located near Bovec centre in a quiet location, surrounded by a large garden. The hotel has 125
... and some triple rooms, most of them with balcony on the south side with nice mountain and valley view. All the rooms have private bathroom, cable TV and telephone.


Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Piran

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Piran
Country: Slovenia

Hotel Piran is situated next to the beach and at the same time only 150 m from the centre of
... The hotel was built in 1964 and almost entirely refurbished in 2002. It is a 4-star hotel with modern furnishings. Standard rooms have a shower, WC, telephone, satellite TV and hair dryer.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel International

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Zagreb
Country: Croatia

The newly refurbished Hotel International is located in the heart of the Zagreb, just minutes away from the main square,
... and other cultural sites. The hotel offers spacious rooms, completely renovated, air conditioned, with wireless internet access.


Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Jezero

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Plitvice
Country: Croatia

Jezero Hotel offers a relaxing and active holiday in a wonderful natural environment. The hotel interior is modern, and its
... contours are perfectly integrated with the surrounding nature. It is located in the central zone of the National Park, approx. 300 m from the vastest lake, Kozjak.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

The Palace

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Hvar
Country: Croatia

As the oldest hotel in Hvar, The Palace is a grand dame framed by Gothic and renaissance architecture. History lovers
... particularly enjoy its central location, which provides romantic views of the ancient piazza and neighboring buildings. The rooms at The Palace have been equipped with modern fixtures and furnishings that provide comfort and convenience while allowing guests to thoroughly enjoy all the natural charm and beauty of this historic hotel.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information


Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner (mostly local restaurants) daily. All sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Lunches, Tour Leader gratuities, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), air taxes (if applicable), and excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in spring, summer, and late summer/fall, the most popular being spring and late/summer fall when temperatures are milder and air fares lower. The region has a mild Mediterranean climate with early springs, long hot and dry summers, and autumns that are bright and warm into late October. Showers are possible in spring, rare in summer, and possible in fall. Spring is popular with visitors who enjoy green landscapes and wildflowers. Spring is also not as busy in coastal towns that can see a great deal of cruise ship traffic in early September.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Though we will have some full bus days, road travel is not particularly arduous as there are plenty of stops and beautiful scenery along the way. Roads are in good condition, though a little winding and slow on some stretches. We also have some short ferry crossings.

This trip is typical of most of our European tours, which are ambitious and involve full days of travel and sightseeing. While we don't have any actual strenuous activity (ie hiking) built into the program, you will do a lot of walking on this trip. These walks will mostly be in the form of walking tours of towns and cities and short walks to dinner. Being Europe, and a hilly/mountainous area, cobbles, uneven surfaces, and slopes/stairs are common. If you are accustomed to typical "bus tours" which heavily rely on vehicular transport for all sightseeing activities, you should be aware that this tour is considerably more active.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Accommodation

Well-located, air- conditioned, mid-range hotels and inns (3-star) used throughout. Some hotels are smaller properties (3-4 story) that may not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though some may have shower only. Porter service is usually available (see 'inclusions') though you should be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, driver (s), local step-on guides in various locales.

Group Size

Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

AD1 TRIP DETAILS

DURATION17 days

TOUR STARTLjubljana

TOUR ENDDubrovnik

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