Along the Dalmatian Coast: Croatia & Slovenia
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Depart USA / Zagreb, CroatiaMay 7 — May 9
Board your independent flight to Croatia. Arrive in Zagreb on May 8 and check in to the Esplanade Zagreb for a festive welcome dinner of regional specialties. The next day, join a city tour which includes the Croatian Naïve Art Museum, the first museum of naïve art in the world.
Zagreb / Ljubljana, Slovenia / Lake BledMay 10
A drive through pristine alpine scenery takes us into Slovenia and its charming capital, Ljubljana. Our guided tour takes us along the riverfront and through the city’s beautiful cultural monuments. After lunch, we continue to one of Europe’s most fascinating and beautiful cities, Bled, whose cleansing air and healing thermal springs have enticed visitors for centuries. Check in to the Grand Hotel Toplice for dinner and overnight.
Lake BledMay 11
Morning finds us perched high on a cliff above Lake Bled, exploring the oldest castle in Slovenia. Then board a traditional pletna boat for a cruise to the tiny island in the center of Lake Bled. A cable car carries you to the island’s highest point to rub the church’s wishing bell for good luck. Enjoy lunch in the medieval town of Radovljica, then continue to Bohinj Lake, the deepest and largest lake in Slovenia. Return to Bled in the late afternoon with time to explore at your leisure.
Lake Bled / Postojna / Motovun, CroatiaMay 12
Another day of splendid natural wonders begins with a trip to the caves at Postojna, where spectacular limestone shapes form the background for a once-in-a-lifetime event—a private choral concert within the caves. After lunch, continue to Motovun and check in to the Wine & Heritage Hotel Roxanich with the rest of the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the lovely grounds or relax by the pool.
Motonvun / Porec / Rovinj / PulaMay 13
A full-day excursion takes you to several scenic spots on the beautiful Istria peninsula. Begin in Porec, renowned for its outstanding religious architecture, then continue to the cultural mecca of Rovinj for a visit to the St. Euphemia Church. After lunch at a restaurant of your choice, visit the well-preserved Roman Amphitheater in Pula. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Motovun / Plitvice National ParkMay 14
Today, discover a land of scenic wonders—stunning Plitvice National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Park features 16 beautiful lakes connected by 32 spectacular cascades and waterfalls. After a delightful lunch, continue to the Degenija Hotel. This afternoon, take a guided walking tour of the lush national park. Our local naturalist knows all of Plitvice’s best lookouts.
Plitvice National Park / Trogir / SplitMay 15
Delight in the beauty of the Adriatic coastline as you travel south to Split, stopping in the ancient city of Trogir which boasts stunning beaches and marinas. Explore the 13th-century Venetian Cathedral of St. Lovro which towers over Trogir and is one of the most important architectural monuments in Dalmatia. Continue to Split and check in to the Hotel Park, then join a brief city tour, including Diocletian’s Palace and St. Dominus Cathedral.
Split / Ston / DubrovnikMay 16
Today, embark on one of the world’s most scenic drives along the Croatian coastline to Dubrovnik. Stop in the village of Ston on the Peljesac Peninsula, known for its storied stone houses, for wine tasting. This afternoon, arrive in Dubrovnik, the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ and find a charming city that is like a living museum. Check in to your seaview balcony room at the Hotel Excelsior. Your afternoon is free to explore a wealth of striking architecture, all built from the same stone, in this pedestrian-friendly city. This evening, attend a private concert by Dubrovnik’s renowned Sorkocevic Quartet at St. Saviour Church in the Old Town.
This morning, take a walking tour through Dubrovnik; this “town of stone and light” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and considered one of the most beautiful stone-built cities in the world. Begin with a stroll along the Stradun, a promenade that begins at the city’s gate and ends at the clock tower where mechanical knights hammer out each quarter-hour. Two 14th-century monasteries guard the corners of the city—the Franciscan in the west, and Dominican in the east. First visit the splendid cloister at the Franciscan Monastery, next view the Orlando Column and Sponza Palace, and the Church of St. Blasius, the patron saint of Dubrovnik. Delight in the artistic treasures at the Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin; the main altar features a painting of “The Assumption of the Virgin” by Titian, and its treasury is famed for a collection of some 200 reliquaries. Your last stop this morning is to visit the Rector’s Palace and the 14th-century Dominican Monastery. This Dominican Friary features a fine Gothic cloister with graceful triple arches, a working medieval well set in tranquil gardens, and a fine museum of religious art.
After time for lunch, walk along Dubrovnik’s ancient walls to savor the city’s architecture, surroundings, and the azure Adriatic Sea. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before our festive cocktail party and farewell dinner.
Dubrovnik / USAMay 18
Transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.