SLOVENIA AND CROATIA – ROUND TRIP

Day 1 - travel day if by bus

Departure on the agreed time and travel through the night towards Bled.
Enough stops during the trip in accordance with the law on driving times and resting periods.

Day 2

We arrive at Bled and receive breakfast at the hotel.
If possible, we try to check in already, otherwise just some time to refresh ourselves after the trip.
Welcome by our English speaking guide.
Afterwards we start our programme with a walk around the lake until we reach the Bled Castle (about 1h30) and we make a visit there.
The end of the walk is back at the lake where we take some free time for lunch.
In the afternoon we plan to board Pletna flat bottom boats to get to the lake island where we visit the famous church with its wishing bell.
The day can be completed with a free entrance to the large swimming facilites at the hotel Golf, situated in the neighbourhood of our accommodation for the night.

Day 3

Today we are heading for the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana (+/- 1 hour drive).
We explore the city on foot, passing by the main attractions (Parliament, Plecnik library, Maltese school, Ljubljanica embankments, City Hall, the cathedral, the market and the Preseren square).
Free time for lunch and in the afternoon we’ll take the special lift to ascend to the castle looking over the town. Afterwards we go back down the hill on foot towards the city center.

ALTERNATIVE
In the afternoon just a little bit of free time in town and then we drive towards the lake of Bohinj (+/- 1h45 hour drive from Ljubljana) here we’ll have the possibility to enjoy the beauty of the area but we won’t have time for a real long hike…

ALTERNATIVE
On the way back from Ljubljana towards Bled, we make a stop at Radovljica, a village and center of bee keeping in Slovenia. It’s a pleasant place with a bee keeper’s museum where you can also admire a life bee colony through a transparent hive.

This day can also be reversed, i.e. in the morning the less cultural activity and then in the afternoon visit of Ljubljana. In this way you can choose to stay in the city for an evening meal and afterwards some free time to enjoy the student pubs and terraces along the river embankments of Ljubljana.

Return to the hotel,(with or without) dinner.

Day 4   

After breakfast and check out departure to Zagreb (about 3 hours driving, including a sanitary stop).

The connection between the two parts of this Croatian capital is made by a century old funicular train or by a “café-restaurant” pedestrian street.
First a short bus tour through the spread out and more modern lower town and then we will head for the charming old upper town for a guided walk. (The Kapitol and cathedral, the Ban palace, St Marcus church, city gates and viewing terraces over the lower town and central Jelacic square of Zagreb).

Free time to have a meal and to make your own discoveries.
In the afternoon we will continue by bus towards Plitvice (+/- 2h30 drive)
At arrival here dinner in our hotel or according to the season at a nearby restaurant.
In any case we are accommodated within the natural reserve itself. It is not really recommended to make large walks in the forest after nightfall because of the many bears, therefore it’s better to organize an indoor activity such as a quiz for this evening. A public “television hall” is at your disposal for free, but if the group would prefer also a private space can be rented at your hotel or in the neighbourhood.

Day 5  

Because today the whole day is dedicated to nature, we have the unique possibility to hike through the complete system of lakes. We’ll take a packed lunch from the hotel for this.

The weather is an important factor, but when the roads are free you can start by taking an ecologic train towards the highest situated lake. From there you can hike towards the central and largest lake in the valley and when this one is not frozen, an electric boat will bring you to the other side where you can continue walking over and amongst the lower lakes. The end of the valley is marked by the biggest waterfall.
From there you can take the train again back to the hotel.
Dinner and overnight at Plitvice.

We could also arrange a movie night.

Day 6  

We leave Plitvice now to drive towards Pula and Croatian Istria (+/- 4h30 drive)
After arrival at Pula we start with a visit of the Roman amphitheater. Then we continue for a short distance on foot towards the market place and take some free time for lunch.
In the afternoon some free time and then introduction to the rest of the town: Venetian fortress, Roman time mosaics, Forum square with the temple of August.

After our visit we drive on towards the Slovenian coast. This can be done over the motorway, or if time allows over the old coastal road. In that way we would pass Rovinj, the Lim fjord and Porec where we can make photo stops.

Dinner and overnight in Slovenia (somewhere at the seaside, for instance at the village of Izola)

Day 7  

Today we go for an excursion to the Skocjan karst caves. After the unique visit there we can go to Koper for a short guided introduction to the town and to have a lunch at own leisure. In the afternoon then we continue to the picturesque old port of Piran, where we have a brief guided walk, but also free time to enjoy.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

ALTERNATIVE
instead of Piran in the afternoon you could also visit the famous Lipica stud farm
or
instead of having a meal at the coast, you could also have lunch at Postojna further land inwards and then in the afternoon visit for instance the medieval castle of Predjama.

If the dancing clubs near the hotels are opened or can be reserved, this could be an evening option during your stay here.

Day 8  

Early morning check out and departure to Venice where in this way we arrive shortly before midday at Piazzale Romana. Free time for lunch and please count (if by bus) that from this moment the bus must obligatory be parked for a period of at least 9 hours before it is allowed to drive on for the return journey.
Guided walk in Venice towards the St Marcs square passing all main monuments of the town.

If necessary or requested, we can arrange prereserved access to the Doge’s palace.
Free time and dinner at own leisure before returning by public transport (boat bus) to the bus parking and starting the journey home.

Day 9  Arrival at home according to traffic.