Just a generation ago, Slovenia and Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula were part of Yugoslavia. Now, they’re two of the great under-the-radar screen destinations in all of Europe. These unspoiled next-door lands sit right at the top of the Adriatic Sea just east of Venice. The scenery is so insanely perfect that you don’t want the walks to end. Think vineyards rolling into olive groves sweeping to the Adriatic and mirror calm mountain lakes reflecting snow-capped Alps. Can’t you see yourself, eating an apricot plucked from the orchard of a limestone farmhouse…chatting with a shepherd…sipping the local Malvasia wine before another forkful of truffled gnocchi? The Romans called this region Terra Magica and even now there are strong traces of Italian culture in the food, scenery and everyday life. Travel experts love to say that these lands are “like Tuscany 30 years ago.” We think Istria and Slovenia are even better…the rare kind of destination just about guaranteed to give you the unforgettable thrill of discovery.
We meet in Ljubljana. On foot, we'll enjoy a private guided exploration of the Ljubljanica River and Old Town. The next morning, you will take a scenic to drive to Lake Bled, where you'll explore 15th-century frescoes. Later this afternoon you will follow our guide along mountainside trails to the remarkable Vintgar gorge. You'll discover series of rapids and emerald green pools, and beautiful views of Šum Waterfall .
DAYS 3-4 - ROVINJ
A brief drive takes us from Slovenia to Croatia. After a coastal walk, friends treat us to an olive oil tasting at their mill. Rovinj (3 nights) is a gorgeous town on a teardrop of land. We approach it the best way—via footpath—before checking into our hotel overlooking the sea. Our friend Simona fortifies us with a cappuccino for a glorious stroll from Montizel (Monticello in Italian) past fig orchards, vineyards, and walled towns. We’ve also negotiated a visit to the Brijuni Islands, formerly the private retreat of Yugoslavia’s president. We’ll explore the Roman amphitheater at Pula and enjoy a tasting at a winery overlooking the Adriatic.
DAYS 5-7 - OPATIJA / ZAGREB
En route to our seaside villa in Opatija (2 nights), we’ll have lunch in a charming village and take a dip in waters clear to depths of 40 feet. After a ferry ride to Kosljun Island, we’ll follow scenic footpaths through lush Mediterranean vegetation to visit a 15th century monastery and a chance to meet with the monks. On our final day, we enjoy a guided visit of Zagreb before we part company in the afternoon.
Starting Point:Ljubljana – 2:00 pm – Lobby of Grand Hotel Union
Ending Point:Zagreb – 3:00 pm – Zagreb city center
Dates & Prices
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Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
- All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 5 dinners
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip, handle behind-the-scenes logistics and are there to help with anything
- Admissions to tastings, historic sites and other scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
Above & Beyond Benefits
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.
Wine on Us
- In many regions, we uncork wonderful local wines at every dinner, compliments of Classic Journeys.