Land Tours Croatia
Lakes & Mediterranean Harmony
Escorted Coach Tour - From only £1,585 per person
Seven nights and four countries; almost sounds like a mission more than a holiday….think again!
This small group escorted tour just edges into Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria, the close proximity of these four stunning countries allows for a fantastic trip that simply cannot be missed. A combination of Alpine views, vast and scenic lakes, historical towns and taste sensations all await on an incredible journey through some of Europe’s less explored land.
Using a hand-picked selection of hotels during your stay, this tour includes a mixed board basis; each day is different; this gives you the chance to sample eateries of your own choosing along the way. The journey is a wonderful mix of land and water, including drives over high mountain passes, boating in glacier made lakes, even a traditional vaporetto in Venice….there is also plenty of walking tours included so a moderate level of fitness and flat walking shoes is a must!
Highlights of The Lakes & Mediterranean Harmony tour:
Sightseeing of Venice by vaporetto boat . Boat ride to Bled Island and a visit to Bled castle . Visit to Carinthia, Austria and views of the Alps . Loibl high mountain pass . Postojna Caves one of the largest systems in Europe . Croatian family brewery sampling . Walking tours including Rovinj one of the most romantic towns in Istria, and sampling olive oil . Plitvice Lakes and UNESCO oldest protected park .
Day 1: Venice
Depart from the UK and arrive in Venice, transfer from the airport to your hotel. Afternoon and evening is free to explore Venice.
Day 2: Venice - Bled (D)
Meet your tour group at the reception in Venice at 11am followed by sightseeing of the unique Venice by a vaporetto boat. Enjoy a walking tour with an English speaking guide before returning back to land and continuing towards Slovenia. Dinner and overnight in the Bled area.
Day 3: Bled – Bohinj – Bled (B)
Enjoy a relaxing tour of glacier Lake Bled, one of the most popular destinations in Slovenia for it's picturesque setting. A boat ride to the island and a visit to Bled Castle. The terrace of the castle affords wonderful views of the lake and surrounding mountains – on a clear day you can see Slovenia’s highest mountain, Mount Triglav. Our final stop of the day will be the Lake Bohinj, one of the best kept secrets in the area, which will give you abundance of photo ops, as will the entire day. Overnight on Lake Bled.
Day 4: Bled - Klagenfurt – Wörth Lake – Bled (B,L)
Today we visit the neighbour country of Austria, which means this day will offer plenty of views of the Alps, impressive at any time of the year. We pass through the Karavanke tunnel and enter the historic county of Carinthia, to a popular vacation spot, the 20 km long Lake Wörth for a panoramic tour. We continue to the charming Klagenfurt, University town with the beautiful Lindworm fountain dominating the old city square, the Altplatz. After the visit, and before returning to Bled via the Loibl pass, a high mountain pass in the karavanke chain of the Southern Alps, we drive to a lunch on the shore of Worth Lake. Overnight Bled.
Day 5: Bled – Postojna – Rovinj (B,T)
Today we continue our trip towards Croatia and stop at the Postojna Caves. One of the largest underground caves system in Europe hides wondrous geological creations and is home of the olm. Next destination, Renaissance Predjama Castle situated on a high cliff, tells the 700 years old story of its predecessors and Postojna. After we arrive to Croatia, a visit to a family run brewery will open all your senses and the Croatian fairy tale can begin – try out the local delicacies and taste the beer made of fresh spring water, the best barley malt and hops. Arrival in Rovinj in the late afternoon. Overnight in Rovinj.
Day 6: Rovinj – Istriatour (B,T)
Our day will start with sightseeing one of the most romantic towns in Istria - Rovinj. A walk through labyrinths of cobbled streets of "Venice in a small", will lead you through some of the most picturesque streets in Istria and numerous galleries of unique art pieces. At the the hilltop, we will visit the dominating Basilica of St. Euphemia and can enjoy the stunning panorama views. The rest of the day offers a unique sensory experience - olive oil tasting rich in green scent and flavor of various sorts of extra virgin olive at one of the most renowned local producers. Overnight in Rovinj.
Day 7: Rovinj –Lake Bajer - Plitvice Lakes (B,L,D)
Travelling from Croatia’s biggest peninsula, we pass Gorski Kotar Region and arrive to a picturesque little place Fuzine to enjoy the boat ride on Lake Bajer. With everlasting impressions from the green lungs of Croatia, lunch that is awaiting us at the heartwarming restaurant Bitoraj, will be the blend of the traditional, home made food of the region: smoked deer ham, wild boar salami, spiced cheese, breaded frog legs, mushrooms and home made bread. Through the lush green scenery the trip continues to water empire of Plitvice Lakes. Overnight in the Plitvice area.
Day 8: Plitvice Lakes - Zagreb (B, D)
After breakfast, let yourself be carried away by the fascinating labyrinth of evergreen woods and lakes interconnected with stunning waterfalls. The UNESCO protected oldest Croatian national park proudly carries the title of one of world’s most impressive national parks. Our journey continues towards Zagreb for a short evening walk through the cosmopolitan Croatian capital where past and present are still noticeable in the Donji (Lower) and Gornji (Upper) Town, and reveal the hidden secrets of this continental gem. Farewell dinner in a typical Croatian brewery. Overnight in Zagreb.
Day 9 (B)
After the breakfast, it is time to say goodbye. Transfer to Zagreb Airport accompanied by the tour leader.
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro Tour
From £759 per person
2015 Departure Dates: 10 & 24 Jun, 01 Jul, 26 Aug, 16, 23 & 30 Sept, 7 & 14 Oct
You should arrive at the airport to take your flight to Dubrovnik or Split. On arrival, you will be taken to one of our carefully chosen four-star hotels for three nights with dinner, which will vary according to the date and flight you select.
The Hotel Park is situated in Makarska, a small town nestled around two coves, with lovely stretches of beach on one of the most beautiful coastlines in Dalmatia with its glittering blue sea. The hotel is approximately ten minutes walk from the old centre with its main square and Franciscan monastery. Set directly on a shingle beach, the hotel boasts a wellness centre with an outdoor swimming pool and terrace overlooking the sea, fitness room and saunas. The good quality restaurant serves a choice of international, and typical Dalmatian cuisine. The rooms themselves are extremely tastefully appointed in a very fresh, modern style, all with private facilities, air-conditioning, safe and mini-bar.
The Hotel Plaza in located in Omis, a lovely little village, dominated by two medieval fortresses with remnants of the old city walls still intact. The hotel is shaded by aromatic pine forests and is set in a cove on a stretch of beautiful coastline. The sea is invitingly crystal-clear and there is a welcome lack of development. The hotel is approximately a ten-minute stroll from the centre, is extremely comfortable and has direct access to the beach. It has a wellness centre, restaurant and bar with a delightful terrace overlooking the beach. The modern rooms are well appointed all with private facilities, air-conditioning, mini-bar, safe and hairdryer.
North of Split, on the Sibenik Riviera in the resort of Vodice is the Hotel Olympia. This traditional coastal village is surrounded by the sea, islands and rivers. The Olympia is situated a short walk from the harbour, and has indoor and outdoor bars, restaurant, wellness centre and outdoor pool. It offers access to a pebble beach. All rooms are air-conditioned with balcony, mini-bar, safe, private facilities and hairdryer.
All hotels provide a perfect base for our programme of visits over the next few days. Swimming pools are open summer months, weather permitting.
Day 2 - Krka National Park
After breakfast we take the drive inland to the Krka Valley where the river Krka flows through a series of gorges, lakes and rapids before meeting the sea. The whole valley has been awarded national park status and today we will visit part of this stunning area. It is home to an eye-catching series of lakes where water cascades from one to the next in an extensive series of interlocking, dramatic waterfalls and cataracts. Due to minerals dissolved in the water, the colours change from turquoise to azure-blue and vibrant green to steel-like greys. With reflections of the surrounding majestic peaks and luxuriant forests dancing on the mirror-like lakes, it is impossible not to be awe-struck. We take a boat trip up to one of the most dramatic stretches of the river where several tiers of waterfall tumble magnificently into a broad, shallow pool where you may swim should you wish. We will spend some time taking in the beautiful surroundings before returning to our hotel during the afternoon.
Day 3 - Split & Trogir
Today we drive north along the stunning coastline before arriving at Split, principally famous for a single building, in fact one of the greatest structures of the Roman Empire – the huge palace of the Emperor Diocletian. No expense was spared in its construction, marble came from Italy and columns and sphinxes came from Egypt. What makes the palace so special is that during medieval times it was fully integrated into the fabric of the town with a jumble of buildings grafted onto it. This meant for example the temple of Jupiter became a baptistry. All the more fascinating is that today 3,000 people still live within its walls. You will find surprises at every turn: there are tall medieval buildings lining the streets but buttressed by unmistakable roman columns! This morning we will have a guided walking tour of this fascinating complex.
This afternoon we visit the nearby medieval citadel of Trogir, one of the most charming little ports in Dalmatia. The old-town is actually an island and a wealth of Renaissance and Romanesque buildings line a veritable maze of delightfully chaotic lanes, nestling behind its seemingly impregnable ramparts. At the centre is the exquisitely decorated 13th century cathedral, but the real monument is the town itself. Just to wander where your feet take you, cast an eye over one of the antique shops or just enjoy a coffee in a pavement café is a real pleasure before returning to our hotel in time for dinner.
Day 4 - Mostar
This morning we head south, our journey hugging the beautiful coastline. We then traverse the river Neretva delta, a veritable haven for birdlife before arriving at the ancient town of Mostar perched on lofty cliffs overlooking the turbulent river below. Once a provincial capital of the Ottoman Empire then annexed by the Austro- Hungarians, Mostar has changed little over the years and its appearance reflects this multitude of influences. There are 16th century mosques, Turkish houses and the fine 19th century town hall which could have been transplanted from central Europe! You can still see and hear skilled artisans making all sorts of metal goods in their tiny workshops as they must have done for hundreds of years. Mostar’s principal claim to fame is its amazing bridge linking the two halves of the old town. Constructed of stone centuries ago, it was damaged during the 1990s but has been totally reconstructed as a symbol of reconciliation. We then continue to Dubrovnik staying for four nights half-board.
Our hotel is the four-star Hotel Argosy or its sister the three-star superior rated Hotel Tirena, superb contemporary hotels and exceptionally well managed. Neighbouring each other they are situated on a rocky promontory into the Adriatic and enjoy beautiful sea-views on three sides. All rooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, mini-bar, safe and hairdryer. Both hotels provide us with an excellent relaxing base for continuing our tour.
Day 5 - Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik, an independent city-state for much of its history, has evolved differently to the rest of Croatia. The city threw off its Venetian masters in medieval times and founded a commercial empire trading with the eastern Mediterranean, France, Spain and later the Ottoman Empire. As so often happens, the city started to reflect its resultant wealth. Today this wonderfully beautiful baroque city nestles behind its huge imposing ramparts in a situation of outstanding natural beauty. The main avenue, lined by unspoilt intimate cafes, is completely paved with marble, which dazzlingly reflects the midday sun, giving credence to its description ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Throughout the city you will find a wonderful array of monasteries, beautifully decorated churches and civic buildings dating from the 14th century, reflecting Dubrovnik’s outstanding artistic heritage. This morning we have a guided walking tour seeing all this and more, and during the afternoon you are free to explore at your leisure.
Day 6 - Kotor & Budva, Montenegro
Today we take the short drive south to one of Europe’s newest countries, the outstandingly beautiful Montenegro. We soon cross the border, still following the sapphire-blue coastline and prepare to be truly amazed by the views we take in en route! Our journey takes us around a huge inland sea, which resembles a lake with the topography rather reminiscent of Switzerland. Reflections of the surrounding mountains dance on the water whilst sleepy, picturesque and beautifully timeless fishing villages line the shoreline.
Our first stop is the medieval town of Kotor, nestling below a mountainside, in probably Montenegro’s most dramatic setting. Walled, with a labyrinth of cobbled streets surrounding its Orthodox Cathedral that radiate to quiet intimate squares, it really is a delight to explore. Its bustling market really is from yesteryear, with individual stalls selling local homemade cheese, cured hams, honey and Mediterranean vegetables of every colour, shape and size in a refreshingly eclectic manner! You can try some of the local wine too, which, despite its lack of international exposure, really is rather good – and exceptional value. We continue our journey visiting the medieval town of Budva and then cross the inland sea by boat returning to Dubrovnik at the end of the afternoon.
Day 7 - Free Day, Dubrovnik
Today you have a free day, so what is it to be? Enjoy a coffee on the main square, watching the world go by, take a relaxing cruise around the picturesque harbour crammed with luxurious looking yachts, take a stroll around the city walls, soak up the sunshine, enjoy a leisurely lunch or perhaps simply catch up on some reading. The choice is yours.
Today a coach will return us to the airport at the appropriate time.