Premium Venice to Dubrovnik

Trip Type: Explorer
Italy | 16 D | 1 - 12 People
Starts From:

NZD 12,656.00 /Person

Discover a piece of paradise as you dive into the best of Slovenia and Croatia on a 16-day Premium adventure.

Premium Venice to Dubrovnik

Discover a piece of paradise as you dive into the best of Slovenia and Croatia on a 16-day Premium adventure. Explore the glittering canals of Venice, the beaming waters of Lake Bled, the underground world of the Postojna Caves and the caves and waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Go beneath the surface of Split and Dubrovnik, get away from the modern world and in with the locals on the remote island of Lastovo, and soak up ancient riches on the historical island of Korcula. From sun-soaked beaches to fantastic local wine, you’re never far from a good time on the beautiful Adriatic coast.

Your adventure begins today in the marvellous city of Venice. You will be collected from the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel by car and water taxi, where you will meet your leader and fellow travellers for a 6pm welcome meeting. This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of iconic sights. If you have time to spare before then, you may wish to take a walking tour of the highlights, including St Mark's Square and the Basilica, Doges’ Palace, Accademia Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. After the meeting tonight, join your leader and small group for a welcome dinner at a fabulous local restaurant. Venice is famous for fantastic seafood and fresh Veneto vegetables – perhaps try some fritto misto, a delicious mix of fried seafood, or risotto with asparagus.

Farewell Venice in the morning and travel to the Postojna Caves, where you will take some time out for lunch before exploring. A network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers, Postojna is the largest classic karst cave in Europe. Begin with a two-kilometre open-top train ride through narrow tunnels into the jungle of stalactites and stalagmites. In the vast chambers the electric lighting allows you to admire the size and splendour of the underground world, and the leader will explain the geology of these natural wonders. Continue to Ljubljana, a city full of style and sophistication. On arrival take a guided tour around the Old Town with your leader. Learn about the city’s history as you visit Ljubljana Castle, the Town Hall, Cathedral of St Nicholas and the Dragon Bridge. You'll also pay a visit to the open market under arcades before continuing to the lake side town of Bled.

This morning you’ll drive through the misty Sava Bohinjka Valley to beautiful Lake Bohinj, the largest permanent natural lake in Slovenia. Take a cable car to the top of Mt Vogel, where you will be greeted by simply astonishing views of evergreen woods sloping down the mountains to touch the brilliant blue waters. Take some time to enjoy this amazing area before returning to Bled, renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then embark on some sightseeing. Take a Pletna boat ride (a wooden, awning-covered boat rowed by a special oarsman) to the island on Lake Bled and climb up the 99 steps to St Mary's Church. Enjoy a free evening. Be sure to seek out the famous Bled cream cake, which isn’t hard; nearly every cafe and cake shop in town claims that theirs is the best.

Farewell Slovenia this morning and drive to Motovun, one of Croatia’s most interesting towns. Motovun sits on the top of a cone-shaped hill surrounded by the natural diversity of the bountiful Mirna River Valley, whose forests are famous for truffle hunting. The medieval charm of the town is still found in its well-preserved architecture. Today you will have the chance to sample the delectable local product during a truffle tasting combined with fritaja (Croatian omelette), a local speciality. Your sommelier will pair your tasting with suitable Istrian wines to try, such as the famous Malvazija. Continue on to the romantic Croatian town of Rovinj, one of the best-kept towns on the Adriatic Coast. Among Rovinj's qualities is the beautiful, architecturally intact old town centre, and its venetian-style St. Euphemia Church. Tonight’s accommodation is set on a private island just a short boat ride from Rovinj. Away from the pressures of the mainland, here you’ll experience total tranquillity on your own slice of paradise. The hotel makes the most of its scenic setting, with stunning views at every turn.

Spend a leisurely morning enjoying your hotel, and perhaps enjoy a swim in the sparkling ocean surrounding your island hotel. In the afternoon, head to your next destinaiton. Arrive at your accommodation, tucked away in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Enjoy an evening at leisure.

Today you will explore one of Croatia's most beautiful sites – Plitvice Lakes National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site is fairy-tale land of wooded hills, rare creatures, turquoise lakes and stunning waterfalls. Enjoy some time to discover the park’s wonderful trails. Your leader will recommend the best routes to take to suit your interests and will outline the rules of the park. After your memorable visit to the lakes, drive to the walled city of Zadar. For centuries Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia, and the city's rich heritage is visible at every step. Take an afternoon sightseeing tour of this splendid city with a local guide. Learn the ancient history of the Roman Forum built in the first-Century and St Donatus' Church. Visit the reconstructed Romanesque St Grisigono's Church, St Mary's bell tower, St Anastasia's Cathedral, and the People's Square. Lastly, you will visit the Three and Five Wells Squares. There is also an opportunity to visit the Gold and Silver Museum. In the late afternoon top off the day with a sunset drink overlooking the bay.

The day is yours to continue to get to know Zadar. Speak to your leader for advice on how to tailor a perfect day in this city – there’s so much to do, the hard part is deciding what to choose. There are a number of excellent museums to visit including the Museum of Church Art, the Archaeological Museum and the National Museum. Don't forget to visit the famous ‘Greeting to the Sun’ and the ‘Sea Organ’, two of the more modern sights of Zadar. The latter is a man-made organ on Zadar's Riva that works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. You could also visit the vibrant fish markets of this port town, take a dip in the clear coastal waters, or explore the cafe culture and do some people watching. If Plitvice whetted your appetite for waterfalls, take an optional tour to Krka National Park. Or, explore some of the 89 sun-soaked islands of Kornati National Park.

After breakfast, drive to Split, making a stop in the quaint town of Sibenik. Walk amongst the stone houses, churches, narrow alleys and lanes, where past and present sit in harmony. Visit St Jacob's Cathedral, a 15th-century jewel that’s UNESCO protected, before taking some time for lunch. Continue on to your final destination of Split. This is Croatia's second largest city, located in the heart of the Dalmatian coast and set on the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea against a backdrop of coastal mountains. Check into your Feature Stay accomodation, a charming boutique hotel with centuries of history (it started its life in the 1700's as the first cafe in Split!), situated on the most beautiful square in the city. This evening you may like to head to one of Split’s excellent restaurants with your group for dinner.

Enjoy a day at leisure in Split. You may like to visit the Mestrovic gallery, which displays the remarkable work of one of Croatia’s greatest sculptors, or head out for a stroll along the delightful seafront promenade. As this is a combination trip, a meeting will take place at your hotel at 6pm this evening to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your adventure. After the meeting tonight, get to know your fellow travellers and group leader over dinner at one of Split’s excellent restaurants. Perhaps try some brudet, a rustic seafood stew, or rozata, a creamy custard pudding.

This morning, you’ll head out on a sustainable Urban Adventure – Unveiling Split’s Living History. Led by a licensed heritage interpreter, stroll through the historic streets of Split, unveil the city's hidden gems and get a glimpse into the lives of those who call this 1700-year-old city their home. Wander through cobblestoned streets in the footsteps of past emperors and kings and learn about how Split has evolved over the centuries, now embracing eco-friendly initiatives like solar power and waste management. Explore the workshops of local artisans and witness the skill and passion of their creations. This afternoon is free to explore the seaside city at your own pace – maybe find the perfect seafood restaurant with sweeping views of the coast and tuck into some fresh cuisine over a glass of wine. Or, head back to your Feature Stay and chill on the la luce terrace or in the secret garden.

Take a morning ferry to Korcula – a paradisical island off the Dalmatian Coast. When you arrive in the afternoon, head out on a walking tour with a local guide dressed in traditional costume to the folklore treasury of Korcula Town. Here, traditional costumes and items are displayed exclusively for Intrepid tour groups (other tour groups don't have permission) and learn about the history of this island, whose population is almost entirely made up of ethnic Croats. After, maybe hit one of the hidden beaches like Vela Przina or Proizd, wander the orange-topped architecture in the Old City or soak up some of the local wine culture among the olive groves.

Get ready for an exciting, custom-made half-day tour around Korcula today. You'll explore the rich history of the island and visit places that are less impacted by tourism, supporting the local community. First, visit the Ethnographic Museum Barilo in Blato and explore the impressive collection, which includes agricultural tools, ceremonial clothes, traditional costumes, kitchen utensils and handicrafts that give a unique insight into the daily lives of the owners' ancestors. Wander the house and garden, then join your hosts for a tasting of local liqueurs, brandies, arancini, fried almonds and dried figs, prepared according to traditional recipes. After, head to Vela Luka to see the 20,000-year-old Vela Spila archaeological site and cave. Take a short walk over the cave for beautiful panoramic views of the archipelago and the bay below. Visit the archaeological museum before heading out to a local village for lunch and a wine tasting of local drops, at a small family winery among the hills. 

Today is a free day in Korcula. You might like to spend the day lazing at one of the hidden beaches and soak up the sun, taking a dfip in the glittering waters of the bay. Alternatively, maybe head to another local winery and support the local community with some delicious cuisine and a glass of wine (or three). Perhaps continue your explorations of the Old Town tonight, taking in the stocky Revelin Tower and impressive defensive walls before stopping for dinner in one of the island’s many restaurants.

You’ll begin the journey to Dubrovnik today, stopping at Trsteno along the way – a small village just 20 km away from Dubrovnik. Here, you’ll tuck into a delicious brunch of local products made by a local family on their farm and presented by the famous Croatian chef Katija Paseta. Soak in the garden views and morning sun and then be treated to an olive oil tasting (a bottle of this locally produced kitchen necessity makes for the perfect souvenir!). Visit the arboretum next door – this is the oldest monument of garden architecture and the only arboretum in Croatia that dates back to the 15th century. This is also a Game of Thrones filming location but is far less crowded with fans than Dubrovnik’s Old Town. As you spot filming locations you recognise from the show (well away from the tourist crowds), take in the gorgeous views of the Elaphiti Islands and the Adriatic Sea below. Continue to the medieval walls of picturesque Dubrovnik, where you’ll have a free evening to find the best spot for dinner.

The day is free to explore Dubrovnik at your leisure. This gorgeous city offers a wealth of experiences to cater to every taste, so maybe ask your leader for some suggestions. Maybe visit the historical Rector's Palace and marvel at the ornate Venetian-Gothic architecture or sip a beer on the terrace of one of Dubrovnik’s teetering cliff bars. Take a Game of Thrones walking tour to some more filming locations if you're a fan, or just people-watch over an espresso. Tonight, you'll be treated to a sunset sail on the glittering Adriatic waters. On a private boat, you'll sail to the Elafiti Islands, taking in the stunning coastal scenery during golden hour. Go for a couple of swims off the boat and then hit land and visit the picturesque fisherman's village of Lopud. Here, you'll toast to an incredible trip with the group over a farewell dinner of local cuisine. Sail back to Dubrovnik just in time to enjoy the view of Old Town from the sea during sunset and toast to an unforgettable memory with some nice local wine.

Your trip ends after breakfast this morning. If you're looking to extend your stay and soak more of Dubrovnik's unique beauty, additional accommodation can be arranged for you – just speak to your booking agent.   

14 Breakfast(s), 2 Lunch(s), 4 Dinner(s)

Public bus , Private vehicle , Ferry

Comfortable Hotel (12 nights), Feature Stay (3 nights)

Included Activities

  • Venice - Welcome Dinner at Local Restaurant
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
  • Postojna - Caves Visit
  • Ljubljana - Walking Tour
  • Ljubljana - Castle visit & funicular
  • Bled - Pletna Boat Trip on Lake Bled
  • Lake Bohinj - Cable Car to Mt Vogel
  • Lake Bohinj - Day Trip
  • Motovun - Truffle & Wine Tasting
  • Rovinj - Orientation Walk
  • Motovun - Town Walls Walk
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park - Entrance & Hike
  • Zadar - Sightseeing Tour with Local Guide
  • Zadar - Sunset Drink
  • Sibenik - Orientation Walk
  • Sibenik - St. James Cathedral
  • Split - Welcome Dinner at Local Restaurant
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
  • Split - Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Split - Diocletian's Palace Visit
  • Korcula Island - Korcula Old Town Orientation Walk
  • Korcula - Local Winery lunch and wine tasting
  • Vela Luka - Vela Spila
  • Korcula - Custom half day tour
  • Korcula – Blato Ethno House Barilo
  • Dubrovnik - City Walls
  • Trsteno - Arboretum visit
  • Trsteno - Olive Farm tasting and brunch
  • Dubrovnik - Sunset Sailing
  • pend two nights in Santa Lucia Heritage Hotel – your Feature Stay in Split –located right in the popular Pjaca (also known as the Peoples Square). This gorgeous 1776 building was recently restored and features the la luce terrace, a secret garden and private dining options.
  • Delight in a truffle tasting in Motovun during an Exclusive Experience. Truffles are combined with local speciality dishes and a sommelier will pair your tasting with suitable Istrian wines to try.
  • Travel with experienced local leaders who will share local secrets, insider knowledge and historical information and follow a local guide through Diocletian's Palace in Split.
  • Immerse yourself in local culture during an Exclusive Experience as you head out with a fisherman from Lastovo Island, helping to bring in the daily catch and enjoying an on-board lunch of the freshest seafood imaginable.
  • Explore scenic Croatian towns with glittering harbors and ancient facades, including the resort town of Opatija and seaside Sibenik, where you'll explore the 15th century stone Cathedral of St. James, decorated with 71 sculpted faces.

Croatia’s coast is very hilly and mountainous, which means lots of steps are an inherent feature of the landscape. You will have to be able to easily lift your luggage and carry it up and down stairs and inclines. Also, stone streets become very slippery when wet, so good walking shoes are recommended. Summer temperatures can be very high in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.



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Italy | 16 D | 1 - 12 People
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