THE SLOVENIAN AND CROATIAN »DESSERTS« (SLOVENIA, CROATIA) (5 DAYS)
DAY 01: LJUBLJANA Arrival in Ljubljana in the morning. It has won the European Green Capital Award in 2016. We will have a meet & greet followed by a city tour that consists of a walk around the old city center and a tourist train ride to the castle hill. After an ascent to outlook tower at Ljubljana Castle with a beautiful panoramic view of the city, we descend the hill on foot to the old city centre. We'll pass the Town Hall and continue through the historical city centre, well known for its unique architectural beauty, which is the result of the Baroque and Art Nouveau periods and, most notably, the work of the famous 20th century architect Joze Plecnik. Why not end the tour with a boat ride on the Ljubljanica river? Free time in the afternoon. Overnight stay.
DAY 02: LJUBLJANA-BLED-PORTOROZ We will drive to the north-west. The Alpine region lies between the Julian Alps and the Karavanke high peaks. We'll make our first stop at Bled, the magnificent alpine village with a mountain lake and a tiny island in the middle, and admire the amazing view from the old castle up on the cliff. We can take special boat called »pletna« to the island. A challenge for your eyes and your body awaits you on the island where a temple of the ancient Slavic goddess of love Ziva used to stand, In its place is now a glorious Gothic church. We will continue to the breathtakingly beautiful Vintgar gorge. In the afternoon we will visit the Predjama castle with its dramatic setting in the gaping mouth of mountain. We will continue the trip to the Karst region to enjoy the spectacular karst cave of Skocjan, listed in the UNESCO list. In the late afternoon we will reach the Slovenian coast. We will be staying in Portoroz close to Piran.
DAY 03: PORTOROZ-PIRAN-CROATIAN ISTRIA OUr day will start with the cultural town of Piran. The main square is named after Giuseppe Tartini, a famous violinist and a composer who was born in Piran. On the hill above the square you can see the signature Church of Saint George, who is also the patron saint of the town. The small town is still partially surrounded by a typically Venetian wall which used to serve as protection of this marine and salt trade hub in the Bay of Piran. We will continue the tour to the most marvellous places in the Croatian Istria, the area known for the good wine and food, such as truffles, prosciutto and cheese. Following the Mirna river valley we will reach the village of Motovun, located on the peak of a hill offering a magnificent view of the valley and the surrounding hills. The road will lead us further to Porec for a walking tour where we will visit the ancient Euphrasius basilica - the sine qua non of religious architecture with outstanding Byzantine mosaics from the 5th century. Accomodation will be provided in a hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 04: POREC-ROVINJ-PLITVICE-ZAGREB We'll start in Rovinj - the Jewel of Istria. The town has a long history and was a settlement of Venetian or Illyrian tribes before being conquered by the Romans. We will stroll around the old town visiting St. Euphemia's church and some lovely narrow streets. In the afternoon we will visit a unique natural wonder – Plitvice Lakes National Park where you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery of 16 terraced lakes and spectacular waterfalls. Plitvice Lakes were declared a National Park in 1949, and since 1979 they have been on UNESCO’s list of the World's Natural Heritage. From Plitvice we will depart to Zagreb. Overnight stay.
DAY 05: ZAGREB The morning is reserved for the Lower Town guided walking tour. We will observe Zrinjevac park together with a lot of buildings representing the typical architecture of Central Europe from the 19th and 20th century, the buildings of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts and the neighbouring Art Pavilion are two of its finest examples. We will continue our way along the Botanical Gardens and Marulic Square towards the Marsal Tito Square with another three important landmarks of Zagreb: The Mimara Museum, the Croatian National Theatre and Zagreb University. The afternoon will start with a short funicular ride to the Upper Town – enchanting Zagreb returning us back to 15th and 16th century. The Lotrscak Tower signalizes the time to Zagreb citizens with a cannon shot every day. St. Catherine's Square with its baroque church, St. Mark's Square with the Houses of Parliament and the Government and St. Mark's Church with its picturesque roof, The Stone Gate, another remnant of the strong city walls, are impressive sights fit for creating your own postcard of Zagreb. Late afternoon transfer to the airport/end of services.