A 14-day exploration of the three countries that converge on the northern shores of the Adriatic Sea: Croatia, with its beautiful Dalmatian Coast and fabulous Plitvice Lakes; Slovenia, featuring superb Alpine scenery; and Italy’s historic seaport of Trieste, off-the-beaten-path province of Friuli, and ruins of the metropolis that was the terminus of Antiquity’s legendary Amber Road, Aquileia, one of the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited on this trip. This tour is offered in collaboration with Guelph Arts Council and will again combine wonderful scenery with plenty of history and culture, plus, of course, excellent hotels and fine food and wines! It will be escorted by historian Jacques Pauwels, PhD, author of books such as ‘Beneath the Dust of Time: A History of the Names of Peoples and Places’ (London, 2009), who will lecture on the sometimes tragic but rich and exciting history of this part of Europe.
Today we motor for a total distance of about 200km through Croatia’s rugged interior, stretching along the Bosnian border, via towns such as Gracac and Knin, to the beautiful Dalmatian Coast. Our destination is picturesque Sibenik, the oldest Croatian town on the Adriatic Sea, ruled for many centuries by outsiders such as the Venetians and the Austrian-Hungarians. Dinner and overnight in a 4-star beachfront hotel a few miles away from the city centre, the Amadria Park Hotel Jure.
Morning sightseeing tour of Trieste, with sights such as the old town, the Austrian Quarter, the Roman Theatre, the Lighthouse of Victory, Miramare Castle, San Giusto Cathedral and Castle, and the Mercato Coperto Market Hall. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own, shop, visit museums, etc. No group dinner this evening.
Side-trip to the archaeological area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia, terminus of Antiquity’s Amber Road, linking the Adriatic, and the Mediterranean Sea in general, to the Baltic Sea, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Roman Empire, destroyed by Attila in the 5th century, another UNESCO site. We also visit Udine, the charming capital of Italy’s Friuli Province, before returning to Trieste in late afternoon via an area where many battles were fought between Italian and Austrian troops in WW I. No group dinner this evening.
Departure from Trieste after breakfast. Today we will cover a distance of about 150km as we cross into Slovenia and ascend the limestone plateau known as the Karst (Carso in Italian). Visit to the Škocjan Caves, one of Slovenia’s UNESCO sites. Then we continue to Bled, an exquisite resort in the Alps, nestled on the shores of a lake surrounded by towering mountain peaks. After a boat tour on the lake, we check into a first-class hotel, the Best Western Premier Hotel Lovec or similar. Dinner in the hotel.
This morning we leave Bled, cross back into Croatia, and motor to Zagreb (200km), where we check into the first-class Hotel Dubrovnik, located on the main square. Afternoon sightseeing tour of the upper and lower towns of Croatia’s capital, with sights such as the imposing Cathedral, St. Mark’s Church, the Old Town Gate (now a shrine to the Virgin Mary), and Tito Square, followed by free time. Final group dinner in the fine restaurant of our hotel.
Return flight from Toronto to Zagreb, with Lufthansa, including all applicable airport taxes/security fees/fuel surcharges; Overland transportation via private coach; Accommodation based on double occupancy in first-class/4-star hotels - the single room supplement is $675; Daily breakfast, mostly buffet-style, and all but two dinners (or full lunches); All visits and sightseeing, including admission to museums and monuments, as shown in the itinerary; Gratuities for the coach driver and local guides.
Meals other than those shown above, and wine/beer/coffee etc. with dinners; All expenses of a personal nature; Travel Insurance is available, please call our office for rates.