13 Days

Best of the Balkans: Slovenia & Croatia

5.0 - Based on 1 travel review
From $4,995
/ Adult

    Why travel with us?


    • Private/Custom Trips - ( Private/Custom Trips )
    • Small Group Trips - ( Small Group Trips )
    • Commitment to Sustainability - ( Commitment to Sustainability )
    • Expertly Vetted Everything - ( Expertly Vetted Everything )
    • Exclusive Experiences - ( Exclusive Experiences )
    • Your Happiness, Our Priority - ( Happiness Commitment )

What's Included

  • Accommodations - Carefully chosen 4-star hotels (1 night in Ljubljana, 3 nights in Bled, 1 night in Rijeka, 1 night in Plitvice Lakes National Park, 3 nights in Zadar, 3 nights in Split)
  • Meals: 12 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
  • Airport Transfers
  • All transportation for included activities
  • Ljubljana Old Town & Castle Tour
  • Bled Castle Entrance Fees
  • Bled Castle Printing Works
  • Bled Castle Wine Experience
  • Dinner at Bled Castle
  • Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride at Lake Bled
  • Self-Guided E-Bik Tour to Vintgar Gorge
  • Predjama Castle Entrance Fees
  • Predjama Trek Through Three Caves
  • Entrance Fee at Nehaj Fortress
  • 2-Day Pass at Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Zadar Private Walking Tour
  • Entrance Fee at Paklenica National Park
  • Kornati National Park Boat Tour
  • Entrance fee at Krka National Park
  • Entrance Fee at Klis Fortress + Olive Oil Museum & Tasting
  • Private Split Walking Tour
  • Private Boat Tour to Trogir, Blue Lagoon, Hvar & Pakleni Islands
  • Snorkeling Equipment

What's Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes and excess baggage fees
  • Beverages & Meals not specified
  • Optional Activities
  • Tips for your local guides & drivers
  • COVID Tests
  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel Insurance
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Overview

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through the Balkans, where you'll uncover a tapestry of diverse landscapes and cultures over 12-nights. During this captivating expedition, you'll have the opportunity to explore Slovenia's awe-inspiring castles and Croatia's most enchanting national parks, including the otherworldly Plitvice Lakes National Park. This renowned park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not only the oldest in Croatia but also one of its most celebrated, boasting stunning waterfalls and untouched natural beauty. Throughout your adventure, your days will be filled with the exploration of charming towns, the marvel of majestic waterfalls, the grandeur of historic castles, and the tranquility of pristine national parks. Your journey commences in Slovenia, where you'll uncover the charms of Ljubljana, the picturesque capital city with a thriving cultural scene. Next, you'll venture to the enchanting Lake Bled, nestled within the Julian Alps, an absolute haven for adventure enthusiasts. Here, you can partake in exhilarating outdoor activities such as hiking, paragliding, paddleboarding, and canyoning—all against the backdrop of a crystalline glacial lake and a medieval castle dramatically perched on a cliff's edge. This Balkans adventure seamlessly blends heart-pounding activities with the serene beauty of nature and the allure of cultural treasures, promising an unforgettable and immersive experience.

Adventure Highlights

  • Watch the sunrise over the Julian Alps from a hot air balloon!
  • Discover why Lake Bled is and adventure enthusiast’s dream.
  • Explore the Predjama Castle and the cave that runs underneath.
  • Wind through the streets of Rijeka and then venture to the important pilgrimage sites of Trsat Monastery & Trsat Castle.
  • Discover the Nehaj Fortress, erected in 1558 when the Turks and Venice were at the peak of their power.
  • Explore Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Croatia’s oldest national park, renowned for its stunning natural scenery, including 16 lakes, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls.
  • Go hiking in Croatia’s second oldest national park, Paklenica National Park, and visit the Manita Pec Cave.
  • Explore the historic town of Hvar and discover why it regularly finds itself listed in the world’s top ten of the most beautiful places in the world.
  • Visit Krka National Park, with its magnificent waterfalls including the famous Skradinski Buk Falls which are one of Croatia’s most famous sights.
  • Climb the Game of Thrones Klis Fortress, a medieval fortress built into a rocky ridge with an incredible birds-eye view of the city of Split, the Adriatic Sea, and surrounding islands.
  • Enjoy swimming in peaceful bays and snorkeling in the clearest water in the Mediterranean.
  • Explore Diocletian’s Palace in Split, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Join a Small Group Tour

    TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
    May 26, 2024 - June 7, 2024 Available $4,995
    11 Available

    Traveling solo? No problem!
    On our group trips, we offer free roommate-matching and will pair you with a same-sex roommate, so you are never obligated to pay the single supplement fee. 

    Want Your Own Room?
    Single Supplement is available for an additional fee (based on availability)

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    Daily Itinerary

    Upon arrival, a driver will be waiting for you at the airport to transfer you to our starting hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s vibrant capital, which exudes an enchanting blend of old-world charm and modern vitality. Nestled along the banks of the emerald-green Ljubljanica River, the city boasts a compact yet picturesque old town adorned with historic architecture, quaint cobblestone streets, and lively outdoor cafes. Ljubljana Castle, perched on a hill, offers panoramic views of the city, while the iconic Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge are iconic landmarks. With its green spaces, bustling farmers’ markets, and a thriving cultural scene, Ljubljana is a delightful European capital that effortlessly combines tradition and innovation.

    This evening, we’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for our first dinner in Slovenia where you can try some traditional Slovenian cuisine such as one of the many Slovenian soups including Jota (a hearty soup made with sauerkraut, beans, potatoes, and pork or smoked sausage), Idrija Žlikrofi (delicate dumplings filled with potato and seasoned with various herbs and spices), and of course, Gibanica (a pastry-style cake made with cottage cheese, apple, walnuts, poppy seeds and a sprinkling of powdered sugar).

    INCLUDED:
    –Airport transfer

    Overnight in Ljubljana – City Hotel Ljubljana

    This morning, in the company of a guide, you will take a walk through the historical city center of Ljubljana, and get to know the city’s history, art, architecture, and way of life in the past and present through its major sights. The tour begins in front of the Town Hall, a building with a rich history now used as the seat of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. The walk will continue across the Cobblers’ Bridge and past the National and University Library and the Križanke Summer Theatre to the Kongresni Square, from where you will continue to the Prešernov Square, dominated by the Franciscan Church and connected to the Triple Bridge, and further on to Plečnik’s Market and the Cathedral.

    Just a short walk from there is the bottom station of Ljubljana’s funicular railway, which brings you to Ljubljana Castle, the city’s most prominent sight. The castle’s Outlook Tower offers the most beautiful views of the city, while its interior houses several museum displays and other exhibitions. 

    After our tour, we’ll grab a quick bite for lunch in Ljubljana before continuing on our journey. Burek, a Balkan pastry of Turkish origin made with flaky filo dough filled with minced meat, cheese, or the classical tomato-ham-cheese-and-mushroom pizza topping, is one of the most popular fast foods in Ljubljana. Nobel Burek is one of the city’s most popular burek takeaways and also offers pizza slices and kebabs.  

    Next, we’ll continue our journey to Lake Bled, a picturesque journey that takes you through the stunning Alpine landscapes of this beautiful European country. The drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled is relatively short, taking around 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions. It’s a journey that showcases the natural beauty of Slovenia and leads you to one of the most iconic and picturesque destinations in the country. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the stunning views along the way!

    Upon reaching Lake Bled, you’ll be greeted by the stunning sight of the emerald-green lake, surrounded by a medieval castle perched on a hill and the iconic Bled Island with its church. There’s a reason Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular sites. 

    This afternoon, we’ll head to one of the oldest castles in Slovenia. The thousand-year-old Bled Castle impresses visitors with its grandeur, unique location, and view. A symbol of Bled and Slovenia, it is one of the more well-preserved and maintained castles in the region.  Take a stroll around the outside grounds, along the castle walls, through the museum, the tower gallery, the chapel, the apiary, and the printing house where you can see a display of printing on a replica of Gutenberg’s printing press and print a commemorative document with the help of a master printer. 

    This evening, enjoy wine tasting and dinner at Bled Castle, a truly enchanting experience that combines history, stunning views, and exquisite cuisine. The castle, perched on a cliff overlooking Lake Bled, provides a spectacular backdrop for this memorable evening.

    As you arrive at the castle, you’ll be greeted by the medieval atmosphere and charming architecture. The wine tasting typically begins with a selection of local wines, often featuring high-quality Slovenian wines from nearby vineyards. You’ll have the opportunity to savor different varietals, from crisp whites to robust reds, while taking in the panoramic views of Lake Bled and the surrounding Julian Alps. The knowledgeable staff or sommelier will guide you through the wine selection, offering insights into the region’s winemaking traditions. You’ll also learn about the traditional way of bottling wines and you’ll bottle one yourself!

    Following the wine tasting, you’ll be ushered to a cozy dining area within the castle, where a sumptuous dinner awaits. The menu often showcases a combination of traditional Slovenian dishes and international flavors, prepared with a modern twist. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are frequently featured, creating a gastronomic journey that complements the wine-tasting experience.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Dinner + Wine Tasting
    — Entrance fee at Bled Castle

    Estimated Travel Time Ljubljana to Bled: 45 min driving
    Overnight at Lake Bled – Hotel Lovec

    Breakfast, Dinner

    This morning, watch the sunrise over the Julian Alps from a hot air balloon! Imagine floating peacefully close to a beautiful deep green Lake Bled and the mighty Julian Alps, as the sun rises slowly above the distant Karavanke mountain range. A magical hot air balloon flight is certain to be an unforgettable experience for everyone!

    This afternoon, we will embark on a 4-hour self-guided e-bike tour from Lake Bled to Vintgar Gorge. Sitting just over two miles north of Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge is a wild natural monument located in the heart of the Julian Alps (it’s part of Triglave National Park). Over 5,000 feet of wooden walkways wind through the gorge, taking you over rapids, pools, and rivers before reaching the spectacular Sum Waterfall. 

    An e-bike is a fantastic way to explore the scenic beauty of the Slovenian countryside at your own pace. After a brief orientation session for the e-bike, take off to explore the stunning landscape, avoiding traffic and annoying parking. From Lake Bled, follow the signs and directions to Vintgar Gorge. The route is well-marked, and you’ll be cycling through picturesque countryside, passing by lush green meadows, quaint villages, and dense forests. The e-bike’s motor assistance will make pedaling effortless, even when encountering uphill sections.

    Along the way, take the opportunity to stop at various scenic spots and viewpoints. You might come across small chapels, traditional Slovenian farmhouses, and serene spots by the Radovna River. Don’t forget to capture these moments with your camera.

    After a pleasant ride of approximately 3.5 km (2.2 miles), you’ll arrive at the entrance to Vintgar Gorge. Park your e-bike at the designated area, present your entrance ticket, and explore this natural wonder on foot. The wooden walkways within the gorge will lead you alongside the crystal-clear Radovna River, offering breathtaking views of waterfalls, rapids, and the gorge’s dramatic rock formations.

    Take your time to stroll through Vintgar Gorge, listening to the soothing sounds of the rushing water and enjoying the cool, shaded atmosphere within the canyon. The gorge is a haven for nature lovers and photographers.

    When you’re ready to head back to Lake Bled, simply retrace your route. The e-bike’s electric motor will assist you as you pedal uphill if necessary, making the return trip just as enjoyable as the ride to Vintgar Gorge.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Hot Air Balloon Flight & Champagne Ceremony
    — E-Bike Rental for Self-Guided Tour
    — Entrance at Vintgar Gorge

    Bike Ride from Bled to Vintgar Gorge: 3.5 km (2.2 miles) Easy
    Hiking at Vintgar Gorge: 3.4-mile loop; 675 ft elevation gain; Est Hiking Time 2 hrs
    Overnight at Lake Bled – Hotel Lovec

    Breakfast

    Lake Bled is one of the most picturesque spots to visit in Slovenia. The combination of natural beauty and a wide range of adventure activities make it a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering something for everyone, from thrill-seekers to those seeking a serene escape amid stunning landscapes. Today, you’ll have the day free to choose your own adventure. 

    For water sports enthusiasts, you can rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or rowboat to explore the tranquil waters of the lake. There are several shops in which you can rent equipment. You can paddle around Bled Island and explore the coastline of the lake. Bled Island is the centerpiece of Lake Bled. 

    The surrounding Julian Alps offers numerous hiking trails for all levels of hikers. The most famous is the trail up to Bled Castle, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the lake and the town. For more adventurous treks, head into the Triglav National Park, where you can explore alpine landscapes and waterfalls.

    After a day of adventure, relax in one of the area’s spas or thermal springs, offering rejuvenating treatments and warm, soothing pools.

    If you’re looking to spice up your adventure a bit, choose from one of the below optional activities:

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    — Climb the Mangart Via Ferrata in the Julian Alps – Join Blaz, your IFMGA-certified guide, as he leads you on this epic and adventurous climb on the Mangart Via Ferrata in the Julian Alps, a thrilling route that entails climbing on huge sheer rock faces that also provide sensational views out over the lovely Slovenian countryside. (Includes Pickup at the hotel)

    — Canyoning Adventure – Canyoning is great fun! It’s like a natural water park where you have lots of slides, jumps, and abseiling. Join the legendary, Canyoning Bob, and his team. Bob is a licensed mountain guide, Triglav National Park ranger, a member of the national mountain rescue team, and one of a few professional guides in Slovenia that has all international Canyoning licenses by CIC. On this adventure, you’ll visit a moderate canyon on the edge of the Triglav National Park which is considered one of the most scenic and dynamic canyons in Slovenia. The whole experience takes around 3.5 hours from Bled and back and you’ll spend around 2 hours in the canyon. 

    — Emerald River + Whitewater Rafting on the Soca River – Start your day exploring the most beautiful places around the Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps including approximately 3.5 hrs of scenic drive with stops every 20-45 minutes for points of interest and activities such as hiking & swimming. There are 3 very scenic and rewarding hikes of moderate grade involved throughout the day, around 30-45 minutes each. In the afternoon, you’ll have the option to go Whitewater rafting on the river Soča offers a scenic and fun river experience with some moderate II, III & III+ class rapids. River Soča has a very special and emerald crystal clear color and is considered one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. The river trip takes around 2.5 hours and you spend approximately 1.5 hours on the river.

    — Tandem Paragliding – Have you ever stood on the top of a hill overlooking the valley below and wondered what would it be like to fly as a bird? Experience a paragliding flight above Lake Bohinj, in the heart of the Triglav National Park, which offers amazing panoramas of the Julian Alps.

    — Mountain Bike Tour – There are no donkeys in Slovenia, but plenty of donkey trails! The area around Bled, Jelovica, and Karavanke mountains is a perfect playground for all bike lovers – from easy countryside sightseeing to riding diverse forest trails as well as challenging alpine climbs & descents.

    — Skydiving & 007 Flight – Experiencing the highest tandem skydiving in Slovenia from 4000 meters (13,200 ft) is the thrill of a lifetime, especially from an actual 007 James Bond plane! The alpine landscape of Slovenia with its blue skies and green countryside is the perfect spot to experience skydiving for the first time.

    — Rock Climbing – The natural walls between Bled and the Bohinj area offer multi-pitch routes for beginners and more demanding lines for advanced climbers. You will smell alpine limestone rocks while hearing your breath! Your experienced climbing guides will teach you about proper gear and security guidelines, and they’ll practice lead climbing, belaying, clipping, threading rope through the anchor, and other techniques with you.

    — Summer Toboggan at Straza Bled – From spring to autumn you can go for a ride on the Straza Bled toboggan track. Summer tobogganing is a fantastic experience for young and old alike. You ride up to the top of the hill in a chair lift and speed down the hill on the toboggan. The track length is 520 m (1,706 ft), the elevation difference is 131 m (430 ft), top speed can reach up to 40 km/h (25 mph). The average incline is 25%. The track offers great views of Lake Bled, Bled Castle, and the mountains of the Slovenian Alps. If you would like to spice up your visit to Lake Bled with a touch of adrenaline, then summer tobogganing is a must!

    Note: Please be advised that for optional activities, you may need to take a taxi or walk to get yourself to the starting point.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight at Lake Bled – Hotel Lovec

    Breakfast

    After breakfast, we’ll depart Lake Bled for our drive to Rijeka, a Croatian port city on Kvarner Bay in the Northern Adriatic Sea, known as the gateway to Croatia’s islands. First, we’ll visit the Predjama Castle, ranked as one of the ten most fascinating castles in the world! Predjama Castle, often referred to as Predjamski Grad in Slovenian, is a remarkable medieval fortress dramatically perched within the mouth of a cave in the picturesque karst landscape of southwestern Slovenia. This unique castle is renowned for its breathtaking setting and intriguing history, making it one of the most iconic attractions in the country. Predjama Castle is not only an architectural marvel but also a testament to human ingenuity and the harmonious integration of a fortress within nature’s stunning backdrop. A visit to this historic site offers a glimpse into medieval life, legends of chivalry, and the natural wonders of Slovenia’s karst region.

    Under the castle, the Karst world formed the Cave under Predjama Castle, which spans four floors and is the second-longest Slovenian cave. In the period between World War I and II, when the territory of Postojna was part of Italy, three caves of the Postojna Cave system, namely Postojna, Black, and Pivka Caves, were connected by means of man-made passages. The construction of these man-made passages was a military project and, according to a plan that eventually fell through, the tunnel leading from the Pivka Cave was supposed to continue to the Planina Cave, whose exit was located on the Italian-Yugoslav border. The man-made passage makes it easy to move from one cave to another, which gives you an excellent opportunity to learn about the vast size and grandeur of the Postojna Cave system.

    The trek takes two to three hours following an easy trail, and starts with a cave train ride, followed by a walk through the Black and Pivka Caves, all the way to Postojna Cave, where visitors get to see the famous stalagmite called Brilliant and an aquarium inhabited by the olms. The trek comes to a close with another ride on board the legendary cave train. 

    Upon arrival in Rijeka, enjoy some free time and head to Rijeka’s waterfront promenade, known as Korzo. As the sun begins to set, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Adriatic Sea, taking in the breathtaking views of the coastline. The play of colors in the sky during sunset can be particularly enchanting. Another pleasant way to spend your evening is to sit by Rijeka’s harbor and watch the ships come and go. The harbor area is beautifully lit at night, creating a serene and romantic ambiance.

    Rijeka boasts a variety of restaurants and cafes where you can savor Croatian cuisine. Seafood is a specialty here, so consider trying fresh Adriatic seafood dishes. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating with views of the sea, creating a lovely atmosphere for dinner.

    After your meal, take some time to explore Korzo, the main pedestrian street in Rijeka. This lively street is lined with shops, boutiques, and historic buildings, making it a great place for a leisurely walk. You might stumble upon street performers or musicians adding to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

    Rijeka comes alive after dark with its nightlife options. You can head to one of the city’s bars, pubs, or clubs to enjoy live music, DJ sets, or simply socialize with locals and fellow travelers. Trsat, a neighborhood perched on a hill overlooking the city, has some popular nightlife spots with panoramic views of Rijeka.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
    — Entrance Fee at Predjama Castle
    — Three Caves Tour

    Estimated Travel Time Bled to Predjama: 1.5 hours driving
    Estimated Travel Time Predjama to Rijeka: 1.5 hours driving
    Overnight in Rijeka – Old Town Inn

    Breakfast, Lunch

    After breakfast, we’ll depart Rijeka for our journey inland to Plitvice Lakes National Park. But first, we’ll make a stop at Nehaj Fortress, also known as the Nehaj Castle (Nehaj meaning “I don’t care” in Croatian), which is a historic fortress located near the town of Senj on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It is one of the most iconic and well-preserved fortresses in the region, with a rich history dating back to the 16th century. 

    From here, we’ll continue our journey to Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its stunning natural scenery, including 16 lakes connected with beautiful cascading waterfalls. Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia’s largest national park covering almost 30,000 hectares. Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes. The latter is the site of Veliki Slap, a 78-meter-high waterfall. The lush forests in the park are home to bears, wolves, and many rare bird species.

    Our accommodation this evening is located within the park, only 300 m from the largest lake, Kozjak, and its lush greenery, giving you time to explore the park in the afternoon as well as early in the morning before the crowds. The unbridled beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park enchants every visitor. Its crystal-clear lakes, the murmur of water, and the sound of waterfalls echoing through the forest are the reason why Plitvice Lakes is by far the most visited national park in Croatia. This afternoon, follow the Lower Lakes trails from Lake Kozjak and return via the Supljara Cave trail, which leads to a panoramic viewpoint of the Lower Lakes region. 

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Entrance fee at Nehaj Fortress (1 hr)
    — Entrance fee at Plitvice Lakes National Park

    Estimated Travel Time Rijeka to Nehaj Fortress: 1 hour driving
    Estimated Travel Time Nehaj Fortress to Plitvice Lakes National Park: 1 hour driving
    Overnight in Plitvice Lakes National Park – Hotel Jezero

    Breakfast

    Starting at 7 am, spend the morning exploring the trails in the Upper Lakes section of Plitvice Lakes National Park before the crowds arrive. The Upper Lakes consist of 12 lakes that sit on a waterproof dolomite substrate formed in the late Triassic Period. This group of Lakes begins with Proscansko Lake which has the highest altitude and ends with Lake Kozjak which has the lowest one.

    Around mid-morning, we’ll make our way south to the city of Zadar, the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city situated on the Adriatic Sea. Zadar is a historic destination that combines an abundance of Roman and medieval remains with innovative modern architectural projects. 

    This afternoon we’ll have a guided walking tour through Zadar’s old town and discover the city’s rich history, well-known for its Roman ruins, medieval churches, museums, and the most beautiful sunsets in the world. An intriguing city with exceptional history and rich cultural heritage is famous for its unique attractions. The sound-and-light impact of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation is an incredible thing to experience. Discover the Venetian walls of the city which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hear the engaging stories from our local guide. Tick off a range of highlights—such as the Sea Organ, the Church of St. Donat, and Zadar Cathedral—our guide also reveals pivotal moments in the city’s history, such as World War I and II, and when Croatia was still part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Entrance fee at Plitvice Lakes National Park
    — Zadar Half-Day Walking Tour + Entrance Fees (4pm-6pm)

    Estimated Travel Time Plitvice Lakes National Park to Zadar: 1.5 hours driving
    Overnight in Zadar – Hotel A’mare

    Breakfast

    Around mid-morning, we’ll hit the road to Paklenica National Park, established in 1949, it is Croatia’s second oldest national park behind Plitvice Lakes. Paklenica National Park covers an area of just under 100 square km and consists of two dolomite limestone canyons called Velika (big) Paklenica and Mala (small) Paklenica in the Velebit Mountain range. It is a mixture of high peaks with stunning views and deep gorges, covered in beech and pine forests.

    We’ll be hiking the Velika Paklenica to Manita Pec trail in Paklenica National Park. This 4.6-mile out-and-back trail is generally considered a challenging route. This is a very popular area for birding and hiking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. 

    If we reach the cave before 1 pm, enjoy a half-hour tour with a National Park Guide (not included) who will take you on a 30-minute tour through the cave rich in underground fauna and abundant with cave formations or speleothems. Among 115 speleological objects so far known in the Paklenica National Park, Manita peć is the most famous among the visitors, as it is the only show cave made accessible to the public through guided visits. The cave’s broad chambers and the beauty of its speleothems have been enchanting visitors since 1937 when the trail inside the cave was set up and visits began. 

    This evening, dive into Zadar’s vibrant food scene and discover a mouthwatering blend of Croatian tradition and Mediterranean influence. Whether you’re an adventurous foodie or a comfort-food aficionado, your palate will dance with delight here.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Entrance Fee at Paklenica National Park

    Estimated Travel Time Zadar to Paklenica National Park: 45 minutes driving
    Overnight in Zadar – Hotel A’mare

    Breakfast

    Today we’ll take a boat tour to Kornati National Park to spend the day in the pristine waters of the Adriatic Sea. We’ll swim, snorkel, and stop by the shores along the way for sightseeing, hiking, and relaxing on the beach. 

    According to the writer George Bernard Shaw, “God crowned his work by creating the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars, and breath on the last day of creation.” The archipelago consists of roughly 140 to 150 unforgettable islands, islets, and reefs. It’s a national park like no other, with its rugged landscape and breezy beaches with sparkling waters, natural caves, grottoes, and cliffs that have been formed over the ages due to the karstic terrain. They are mostly uninhabited due to the lack of fresh water. The tranquil island waters have created a micro-climate underwater, as Adriatic marine life yields rare species of algae, coral, and mollusks that make for a unique swimming or snorkeling adventure. 

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Full Day Boat Tour to Kornati National Park & Telascica
    — Snorkeling Gear
    — Entrance Fees at Kornati National Park

    Overnight in Zadar – Hotel A’mare

    Breakfast

    Today, we’ll visit several of the filming locations for the television series, Game of Thrones. Our first stop will be at Krka National Park, named after the Krka River. The biggest attraction to the park is its magnificent waterfalls including the famous Skradinski Buk Falls which is one of Croatia’s most famous sights. Other highlights include the small island of Visovac and Roski Slap waterfall. A boat trip through the park is also a great way of seeing much of the park. Upon arrival, you’ll have the next four hours to explore the park at your leisure.

    Start your adventure at the Skradin entrance to Krka National Park, where you can present your entrance ticket. Follow the well-marked walking paths and wooden boardwalks that lead to Skradinski Buk, one of the park’s most famous and photogenic waterfalls. Take your time to explore the series of cascading waterfalls and emerald pools. There are several viewpoints and bridges along the way, allowing you to capture breathtaking photos of the falls and the surrounding lush vegetation.

    After enjoying Skradinski Buk, continue your adventure by heading towards Roški Slap, another beautiful section of the park. You can take a shuttle bus or hike to reach this area (the hike takes longer but offers more opportunities for exploration). Along the way, you’ll encounter serene lakes, charming wooden watermills, and the intriguing Krka Monastery. Explore Roški Slap, a series of cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery. There are more walking paths and viewpoints to explore here. Take the opportunity to enjoy a picnic or rest by the water to soak in the natural beauty of the park.

    The next stop is the Klis Fortress, a historical medieval fortress built into a rocky ridge giving visitors an incredible birds-eye view of the city of Split, the Adriatic Sea, and surrounding islands. The Fortress of Klis has a history of more than 2,000 years, beginning with the Illyrian tribe called Dalmatae that used it as a stronghold before it was taken by the Romans. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the site became a seat for several Croatian Kings. Because of its importance, Klis was often referred to as the key to Dalmatia and the heart of the medieval Croatian kingdom.

    Afterward, enjoy an educational tour at the Olive Oil Museum that takes visitors through the process of olive oil production, from the cultivation of olive trees to the pressing and bottling of the oil. You can learn about the history, traditions, and techniques associated with olive oil. After the informative tour, visitors are treated to a tasting session. This is a unique opportunity to sample various olive oils, each with its own flavor profile and characteristics. You’ll learn to distinguish between different grades and types of olive oil and appreciate the nuances in taste.

    This evening, we’ll arrive in Split, the second-largest city in Croatia and the largest city on the Adriatic coast. Split is known for its beaches and the fortress-like complex at its center, Diocletian’s Palace. After dropping off our bags and checking into the hotel, we’ll walk up the stone steps leading up to the hill from the Varos neighborhood to find a lovely viewpoint to watch the sunset, and then we’ll find a place for dinner.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Entrance fee at Krka National Park (4 hrs)
    — Entrance fee at Klis Fortress + Olive Oil Museum & Tasting (3 hrs)

    Estimated Travel Time Zadar to Krka National Park: 1 hour driving
    Estimated Travel Time from Krka National Park to Klis Fortress: 1 hour driving
    Estimated Travel Time from Klis Fortress to Split: 20 minutes driving
    Overnight in Split – Hotel Luxe 

    Breakfast

    This morning, we’ll meet our guide who will take you through 1,700 years of history within the walls of the UNESCO-listed historical cities of Split. This promises to be a captivating journey through history, culture, and architectural beauty. 

    Begin your walking tour in Split at the heart of the city, where you’ll find Diocletian’s Palace, a massive Roman ruin complex and arguably the most important historical site in Split. This sprawling palace complex, built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century, is a stunning blend of Roman and medieval architecture. Explore its maze-like alleys, admire the Peristyle square, and visit the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which was originally Diocletian’s mausoleum.

    After exploring the palace, take a leisurely stroll along the Riva Promenade. This lively waterfront promenade is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it an ideal place to find a lunch spot while soaking up the Mediterranean atmosphere.

    This afternoon, enjoy some free time in Split. Take some extra time to wander through the ancient Diocletian Palace. Explore its narrow streets, courtyards, and hidden corners. You might stumble upon small art galleries, boutiques, and charming cafes tucked away within the palace walls.

    If you’re interested in local cuisine, visit the lively fish market and the adjacent Green Market. Here, you can witness the daily hustle and bustle of locals shopping for fresh produce, seafood, and other Croatian delicacies. You’ll also find traditional Croatian souvenirs here.

    Hike or bike to Marjan Hill, a lush park forest situated on a hill near the city center. It offers hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

    Relax on Bacvice Beach, the closest sandy beach to the city center. It’s a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying beachside cafes. You can also try the local sport of picigin, a water ball game.

    Go shopping on Marmontova Street, Split’s main shopping street, lined with both international and boutique stores. It’s a great place to shop for fashion, jewelry, and more.

    If you’re interested in art and history, consider visiting museums like the Split City Museum or the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery to appreciate local culture and art.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Half-Day Walking Tour of Split (9am-1pm)

    Overnight in Split – Hotel Luxe

    Breakfast

    This morning we’ll embark on a private yacht and spend our day exploring several amazing locations, all of them just a short boat ride away from Split. Discover the town of Trogir, explore the beautiful turquoise water of the Blue Lagoon, visit the famous town Hvar and the collection of fourteen untouched Pakleni islands, and let the tranquility of Milna on island Brac calm your mind and soothe your soul.

    The first stop is Trogir, built on a small island, this charming little coastal town has been enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage List as an exquisite example of urban continuity. Get lost exploring its narrow streets that will lead you from one side of the island to another like a small labyrinth. Discover its historical buildings, churches, palaces, climb the cathedral’s bell tower and enjoy the fantastic view from above.

    Located in a nearby area, the Blue Lagoon with its crystal-clear water is the perfect destination for everyone in search of a small piece of paradise close to Trogir. The bright blue shades of the sea in the lagoon are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Relax on the beach, enjoy your time away from the city noise, and relax to the sound of waves washing the shore and seagulls singing in the clear blue sky above.

    Next, discover Hvar and explore this favorite holiday destination for celebrities and yachties, also famous for its eight centuries-old architecture and the first public theater in Europe ever built in the center of the city. Locals also pride themselves on the consistently favorable weather and the fact that Hvar has been statistically the sunniest spot in Europe for quite a while now, which is why it is often visited by everyone in search of a good suntanning and swimming spot.

    The Pakleni Islands is an amazing chain of fourteen untouched islands that attract with their hidden beaches, deserted lagoons, and bays are the loveliest part of the whole Croatian Riviera. Dense pine tree forests emerging from the deep blues of the Adriatic Sea are just the perfect setting for turning your vacation mode “on”. Relax and explore the famous Palmižana Bay. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling or just lounging in the sun. Possibilities are limitless.

    If you leave Hvar by boat towards St. Nedjelja, after the coves Dubovica and Pišćena you will find Crvene stijene (Red rocks) a natural phenomenon of vertically disintegrated reddish cliffs which steeply drop into the sea. The unusual play of the natural force of the sea and rain has left its mark in the layers of limestone creating an impressive masterpiece of nature.

    Some 8 km east of the city of Hvar, on the south shore of the island, is the picturesque cove, Dubovica, a well-known picnic area with a spacious pebble beach and interesting underwater landscape. Renowned for its long countryside tradition it offers a vacation far away from the city noise with a view of the countryside house of the Kasandrić family from the 18th/19th century. While visiting Dubovica you can enjoy what the restaurant has to offer that is located right on the beach.

    Lastly, discover Milna on Brac Island, or as Venetians called it “valle di mille navi” (the bay of thousand ships), a true heaven for all sea lovers. It’s the biggest natural harbor on Brac Island and the perfect place to feel and taste true local living. Here you’ll find several historical sights, impressive works of Venetian masters, as well as cozy inviting taverns and restaurants that will seduce you with their charm.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Full Day Tour to Trogir, Blue Lagoon, Hvar & Pakleni Islands Private Tour (9am-6pm)

    Overnight in Split – Hotel Luxe

    Breakfast

    Today is departure day and time to say goodbye to your new friends until the next adventure. There are no planned activities today and at the appropriate time, a driver will pick you up and take you to the airport. 

    INCLUDED:
    –Meals: Breakfast
    –Airport Transfer

    Breakfast

    FAQs

    When is the best time to visit?

    May to June and September to October

    What is the currencty in Slovenia and Croatia?

    The official currency in Slovenia is the Euro (EUR) and in Zagreb, it's the Croatian Kuna (HRK). It's advisable to use local currency for transactions.

    Do I need a visa to visit Slovenia and Croatia?

    Slovenia is part of the Schengen Area and Croatia is part of the European Union. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European countries, do not need a visa for short stays of up to 90 days. Check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality.

    Is English widely spoken in Slovenia and Croatia?

    Yes, English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, learning a few basic Hungarian and Croatian phrases can be appreciated by locals.

    How safe is Slovenia and Croatia for tourists?

    Slovenia and Croatia are generally safe for tourists. However, like in any major city, it's important to stay vigilant against petty crimes and be cautious in crowded areas.

    Is the tap water safe to drink in Slovenia and Croatia?

    Tap water in Croatia is generally safe to drink. It's safe to use for cooking and brushing teeth as well.

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