SLOVENIA AND THE NORTHERN ADRIATIC COAST

Day 1

journey day, if you decide to travel during the day, an overnight will already be needed for this evening.

Day 2

arrival in the morning at Saint-Lucia (Portoroz) with breakfast at the hotel
If possible we already check in at the hotel, if not we leave some time to refresh yourselves and change clothes. As today the bus driver will have to rest in accordance with the law, we propose the following programme:

Walk from Portoroz towards the salt pans of Secovlje. It’s possible to visit the local museum with a guide and we can say that it’s really interesting. This excursion on foot is a total walk of about 2 hours on flat terrain. Return to Portoroz and a bit of free time for lunch, in the afternoon we board a boat for a cruise along the Slovenian coast, duration about 2 hours… (out of season these cruise boats are quite expensive so as an alternative, and if the group doesn’t have a problem with walking a bit more, the nice ancient harbour town of Piran is also easily reachable on foot…) At Piran you start with a short guided tour and then some free time to spend at own leisure until the bus can pick the group up again after the obligatory resting period has been respected. Return at the hotel in Portoroz.

Dinner (buffet) and overnight

Day 3

PULA and Croatian Istria (about 2 hours drive, the longest stage in the programme, but the return journey is interrupted by several stops…)
Arrival at Pula and first f all visit at the Roman amphitheater or ARENA. After that it’s a short walk to the market place, passing other attractions of the town (Venetian fortress, roman mosaics, the Forum with temple of August, etc…), some free time for lunch (there are many restaurants and snack possibilities).

After lunch, we set off for the return journey over the “old” coastal road passing Rovinj, then the Lim Fjord (photo stops) to end up in POREC where we can visit the St Eufrasius Basilica protected by UNESCO.

Back at Portoroz for dinner and overnight

Day 4

Bled and LJUBLJANA (from Portoroz about 2 hours drive to Bled, about 1h15 to return from Ljubljana)
It’s easiest to go first by bus to the Castle of Bled and visit there (if the weather allows you’ll have a great view on the Triglav or highest mountain peak of Slovenia from the castle terrace). After that we continue on foot towards the level of the lake and the town of Bled.

OPTIONALY we can arrange flat bottom Pletna boats to take us to the island in the middle of the lake with the church and its wishing bell. With large groups it is really necessary to reserve the boats in advance, this will not make any difference what the price is concerned. With students we sometimes leave these boats and the island excursion out of the programme because it’s quite expensive (the boats have fixed prices…), but it is a real fun thing to do. Free time for lunch at Bled.
In the afternoon departure towards LJUBLJANA, (about 45min drive)

At arrival a guided walk along the main monuments of the city (Parliament, Plecnik library, Maltese school, Ljubljanica river embankments, city hall, the cathedral, the market, the Preseren square, etc…) OPTIONALY you can take a lift up and down towards the castle for the panoramic view, but this is not absolutely necessary.

If you want, the group can also decide to stay in the capital for the evening and have a meal at own leisure and have a drink in one of the many student pubs (however please do not forget about the legal driving times for the bus – staying really late is only possible if there are two drivers on board). The evening dinner can also be reserved (in any case BB reduction is applied).

Return to Portoroz and overnight

Day 5

Departure from Portoroz to Skocjan, about 1 hour drive, which is a natural reserve under protection of UNESCO and without a doubt the most spectacular Karst or Lime cave system in Europe including a unique underground canyon (2h visit). Lunch can be in the form of a lunch packet at the Skocjan info center or can be reserved at Lipica or free at Koper or even reserved at Postojna, depending on the activity you choose for the afternoon…
This can be an afternoon visit at Lipica, world famous for its Lipizzaner stud farm and about 30 minutes drive from Skocjan. The guided tour here lasts about 1h30.

If horses are not really your interest, you can also decide to visit the medieval castle of Predjama near Postojna. (It’s very close to the Postojna caves, but Skocjan is much more beautiful…)

Or what we can really recommend is the small Tito partisan’s hospital from WWII at Cerkno (about 1 hour drive from Skocjan). This unique field hospital lays hidden away in the landscape and can only be reached by a beautiful walk (30 min) through a narrow mountain river gorge. A local guide explains along the way about events and fates of the inhabitants during the Second World War and by this you’ll learn how TITO came to absolute power in former Yougoslavia.

Or as a last possibility, you can visit the SOCA valley and pay attention rather to the First World War and the famous battles of the Soca front (the southern counterpart so to say of the Yzer front in Belgium) with vestiges of the “mountain” trenches and maybe also a guided tour in the war museum at Kobarid.

Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6

DEPARTURE FOR VENICE about 3 hours driving
Arrival et Venice just before midday and after parking the bus near the Piazzale Romana, we board immediately a taxi boat which will bring us to the St Marc square … this is obligatory !!

After free time for a lunch at own leisure, guided tour passing all the main sites of Venice with possible entrance to the Doge’s palace. Some free time for strolling and dinner or we can also arrange a reserved pizza meal once you returned at Piazzale Romana (or still at San Marco), Return journey from San Marco to the bus parking again by taxi boat (or on foot this would take about 45 minutes) and departure for home.

Alternatively we could also add an extra overnight here at the hotel in Slovenia and extend the programme with a visit to the Miramare château (about 45min drive) just passed the city of Trieste. Beautiful interiors and a nice sea front garden park …

After this visit it’s a short distance to reach Trieste itself for a small guided tour and free time for lunch and enjoying the town. On the way back to the hotel we can also make an extra stop at Koper, the largest harbour of Slovenia, but with a pleasant historical center. Also possible is a small wine degustation or a bit of shopping.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel

Day 7

travel day – if you decided for the extra night, you can still enjoy the above described day at Venice.