On this fly-drive holiday discover the highlights of Slovenia along with Croatia’s stunning Istrian peninsula through a beautiful variety of landscapes – from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic coast. Explore Roman ruins, medieval castles and pretty Venetian coastal towns on this leisurely journey which allows plenty of free time for independent exploration.
This suggested tailor-made itinerary includes Group A car hire and accommodation in 3 and 4-star hotels. Ask us suggestions to adapt the itinerary to suit you.
Fly to Ljubljana, collect up the hire car and drive to Bled (34 km). On arrival check in to the hotel for two nights.
Enjoy a free day at leisure in picturesque Bled with its emerald-green lake and 11th century castle. Perhaps take a pletna boat ride to the island church or simply enjoy a relaxing lakeside stroll along one of the many walking trails. Also highly recommended is a visit to Savica Waterfall and nearby Lake Bohinj, a beautiful glacier lake. Head to the Church of St. John the Baptist, originally dating from the 13th century, for wonderful views over Slovenia’s largest lake. (B)
Depart for Piran (175 km), perhaps stopping en route at Postojna Caves, Slovenia’s largest cave complex, and the 700-year-old Predjama Castle which hangs dramatically from a sheer cliff face. Continue on to Piran, the most attractive town on Slovenia’s Adriatic coastline, with its wonderful Venetian Gothic architecture and narrow cobbled alleys. Piran is an almost car free zone with no hotel parking, therefore car parks are located outside of the town. (B)
Spend time exploring Piran’s pretty Old Town, walking the ancient city wall or perhaps enjoying the catch of the day at one of the many seafood restaurants on the waterfront. (B)
Depart Slovenia and enjoy a leisurely drive to Pula (96 km) exploring the many highlights of the Istrian peninsula en route. Stop off in Porec with its Euphrasius Basilica and remarkable 6th century Byzantine mosaics or perhaps visit Rovinj, the charming Adriatic town just a two hour ferry journey from Venice. Continue to Pula on the southern tip of the peninsula for a two night stay. (B)
Istria’s administrative centre since Roman times, Pula is best explored on foot. Discover the town’s incredible Roman ruins including one of the world’s best-preserved amphitheatres and admire the eclectic collection of architecture ranging from Venetian Gothic to Austro- Hungarian. In the evenings, enjoy the town’s café culture or perhaps do as the locals do and head to Verudela for the best restaurants. (B)
Drive to Opatija (101 km) on Istria’s north eastern coast. Perhaps stop at Labin, a charming medieval hilltop town, before continuing along the winding coastal roadto Opatija, known locally as ‘Vienna on Sea’. Packed full of Habsburg villas and palaces, Opatija was the most fashionable seaside resort of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Check in to the hotel for two nights. (B)
Enjoy ample time to explore the beautifully manicured parks and gardens, eat at one of the restaurants with a sea view terrace, or perhaps stroll along the shore to the nearby fishing village of Volosko. (B)
Drive back to Ljubljana (148 km) through inland Istria, where the rolling hills and medieval hilltop villages are reminiscent of Tuscany. An emergin gastronomic region, perhaps make time to stop at one of the many wineries or farms to try the local produce – the area is renowned for itsm truffles. Check in to the Ljubljana hotel for two nights and enjoy free time to explore Slovenia’s attractive capital. (B)
A steep walk up to the medieval castle provides panoramic views over the whole city and onwards towards the Julian and Kamniske Savinje Alps, while the pavement cafes of Preseren Square are the place to watch the world go by, surrounded by some of the city’s finest examples of Art Nouveau buildings. Why not visit Jože Plecnik’s City Market and picturesque Tromostovje triple bridge, before heading to the Architecture Museum to find out more about the contribution he made to Ljubljana’s architectural heritage. (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
*Based on two people sharing a room and flights from London