Best of Slovenia and Croatia
- Pristine Lake Bled including a day trip on the Bohinj Railway
- Balkan capitals Ljubljana and Zagreb
- Stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park with its terraced lakes and waterfalls
- Unforgettable Dubrovnik, a former maritime republic on the Adriatic coast
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade hotels and rail journeys
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- 15 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Standard rail travel with seat reservations where needed
- Coach travel between Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split and Dubrovnik
- Comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Your holiday starts on Lake Bled. It’s not hard to see why the little village of Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular holiday retreats with its picture-perfect lake, complete with clear turquoise waters, hill-top medieval castle and endlessly-photogenic church on an island in the centre. You can walk all the way around the lake in about an hour and a half (depending on how many stops you make for photos) or take a boat out to the island to look around the pretty Church of the Assumption, built near the end of the 17th century.
On one of your free days, you have included a day trip on the Bohinj Railway, a TMR favourite. This train route heads through the verdant Soča river valley, winding through tunnels and over viaducts with a backdrop of the Julien Alps. On Saturdays, you can travel steam-hauled!
You have an open ticket to board any of the regular trains from Lesce Bled station to Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. The journey time is around an hour and the station is a short walk from the city’s CBD. Check in at the Cubo Hotel (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Ljubljana is a lovely capital and one of Europe’s smallest, making it very easy to walk around all the major attractions. Highly recommended is a walk up to the hilltop castle for panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. If you’re feeling less energetic, there’s also a funicular railway to take you to the top. Ljubljana as a great choice of restaurants and bars, many with outdoor terraces along the banks of the Ljubljanca River, great for people watching.
After breakfast this morning, return to the station for a direct train across the Croatian border to Zagreb. Your journey today takes you from one capital city to another and from one former Yugoslav state to another.
The railway line follows the watercourse of the Sava River, which eventually flows into the Danube at Belgrade in Serbia. When you reach Zagreb, the Dubrovnik Hotel (or similar) is located a short walk from the station. You have 2 nights here.
Zagreb is a capital city with a historic pedigree going back to Roman times. Explore the medieval Upper Town with its colourful buildings and Gothic, twin-spired cathedral or wander the pedestrianised streets and parks around Ban Jelačić Square. There are some great museums to visit including the Mimara Museum, an art gallery housed in a 19th century neo-Renaissance palace. To get your bearings, why not take up bus up to the top of the Medvednica mountain for a 13th century fortress commanding fabulous city views?
Make your way to the comprehensive Zagreb Coach Station this morning and board your comfortable air-conditioned coach for the journey south to Plitvice Lakes. Much of the journey is by motorway so you will have a smooth ride as you gear up for visiting one of the Balkans’ most treasured attractions. On arrival, check in at the Hotel Plitvice (or similar) for a 2-night stay and head out to explore this natural wonder.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia, covering just under 297 square kilometres. The 16 lakes here are all on different levels, connected by a series of waterfalls. They are set against a backdrop of deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. A series of wooden footbridges and pathways snake around and across the tumbling water.
You can choose to simply wander around the park, which you can cover in around 6 hours on foot. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the free buses and boats which take you between the upper and lower lakes. You can purchase entrance tickets to the park in advance. Please ask for details.
Board a comfortable coach for your onward journey to the Croatian coastline. You arrive at the port-city of Split where you check into the Hotel Jupiter (or similar) for a 3-night stay.
Home to the summer house of the Roman emperor Diocletian, Split is one of the jewels of the Adriatic. Its historic centre is thought to date back to the 3rd or 2nd century BC, and there are hints of medieval and Venetian influences as you wander the evocative narrow passages of the Old Town. Complement your visits to the fascinating museums and galleries with a stroll along the harbour-front, where the fresh catch of the day is being transported to some of the city’s top restaurants ready for you to sample.
Whilst there are no rail links into Dubrovnik, you can get there easily by coach. Take a late-morning air-conditioned coach along the main highway south to Dubrovnik. During the summer months, it may be possible to undertake this journey by boat – contact the team for details. When you reach the fabulous city of Dubrovnik, you have a 3-night stay at the Rixos Libertas Hotel (or similar).
Dubrovnik was at the heart of one of most prosperous Maritime Republics during the Renaissance Period, and this wealth is clear to see in the magnificent and incredibly photogenic Old Town, overlooking the Adriatic. There was a large earthquake in 1667 which destroyed much of the city, but some stunning examples of Renaissance architecture remain, such as the Sponza Palace and St Saviour Church.
The best views are to be had from the historic city walls but you can also wander along the coast and even hit the beach on the laid-back Lapad Peninsula. During the summer season, there are many boat tours available to take you out to some of the enticing islands just off the coast.
It’s time to leave Dubrovnik today for your onward journey. Please let us know where you would like to go from here, and we can help plan your perfect itinerary. Alternatively, you can choose to stay in Dubrovnik for a few extra nights or go and stay on one of the bigger islands such as Hvar and Brac.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Set in the heart of Bled, Rikli Balance Hotel enjoys an elevated position boasting panoramic views of Lake Bled, its Castle and the Julian Alps. It features a modern spa centre with indoor and outdoor pools. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas. All of the rooms are air-conditioned and have a balcony. They are equipped with satellite TV, safe and a minibar. Private bathroom includes a shower and a hairdryer.
The Cubo Hotel has a prime location in the city centre, only a few hundred yards from the old town of Ljubljana. The hotel offers modern air-conditioned bedrooms with free internet access. There is also an on-site restaurant and bar as well as a private garden and a fitness centre.
Located in a great position on Zagreb’s main square, the Hotel Dubrovnik has been offering a comfortable base to explore the city since 1929. The bedrooms are decorated in a classic style with air-conditioning, a TV and minibar. There is also a popular restaurant in the hotel as well as a café and a rooftop terrace.
The Hotel Plitvice is located next to theto Plitvice Lakes National . Today, there are 51 well-equipped bedrooms, an à-la-carte restaurant offering a variety of gastronomic specialities, a lobby with outdoor seating and a lounge.
Located inside the UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town of Split, this boutique hotel offers 40 modern bedrooms near to the Diocletian Palace. Bedrooms come with a minibar, iPad docking station, safe and LCD satellite TV. There is also an à la carte restaurant, a sauna and a rooftop terrace with a lounge bar and hot-tub.
Less than 5 minutes’ walk from the beach, this hotel offers a retreat on the Adriatic, within easy reach of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Leisure facilities include seasonal outdoor swimming pools and a year-round indoor pool, a two-storey spa centre and a casino. There are also three restaurants and two bars, one overlooking the sea.