We return for our eighth year to arguably one of the most captivating regions in the world with its pristine coastlines and clear azure Adriatic waters. In Dubrovnik walk the ancient fortified city walls for stunning views over the white limestone streets and baroque architecture as it shimmers against the blue sea. Visit the quaint seaside town of Cavtat, steeped in ancient history, occupied by the Greeks in 400BC and an important Roman outpost up until the 7th century. Travelling north to the vibrant city of Split we’ll see coastal villages dotted with terracotta roofs and cathedral spires forming a striking contrast against the backdrop of blue waters. Browse the markets at Trogir and marvel at the beauty of Plitvice Lakes. Explore the medieval Trakoscan Castle fabulously furnished appropriate to the period, and feel the serenity of the fairytale setting at Lake Bled, a sight that defies description. We explore by miniature train one of Europe’s largest caves in Postojna and stroll along seaside promenades at sunset on the beautiful Istrian Peninsula. Croatia, Dalmatia and Istria will surprise you for all the right reasons, leaving you wanting for more.
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page" - ST. AUGUSTINE
7 – 28 JUNE • 22 DAYS
NEW ZEALAND – SINGAPORE – DUBROVNIK one night Singapore
Days 1-2 Today we depart New Zealand on Singapore Airlines, the start of a wonderful journey. We make a one night stopover en-route, so we arrive in Dubrovnik feeling refreshed.
SINGAPORE – DUBROVNIK three nights Dubrovnik
Day 3 On our arrival in Dubrovnik we will be met by our local guide and driver and taken directly to our hotel conveniently located in one of the most charming areas of Dubrovnik known as Lapad, with the tepid Adriatic at our feet!
Day 4 Our excursion today takes us to one of the southernmost points of Croatia, Cavtat, an important Roman colony in its time, and the second most important seaport of the empire. Today it’s a small town full of cultural and historical significance, and a fine example of the breathtaking Mediterranean beauty typical of this region.
Day 5 We begin our day exploring Dubrovnik’s old fortified town, including walking atop the towns defensive walls. Of particular note are the Bell Tower Clock, the 15th century Orlando’s Column, Sponza Palace and the Dominican and Franciscan Monastery. The afternoon is yours to do as you please. You may like to stay a while longer in the old town and soak up the atmosphere, or perhaps return to our hotel and do some ‘soaking’ of a different kind in the hotels beautiful pool or the warm clear waters of the Adriatic.
DUBROVNIK – SPLIT three nights Split
Day 6 Leaving the acclaimed Pearl of the Adriatic this morning we head north along the coastline, destined for the captivating city of Split. Stopping for photo opportunities en-route and lunch at the charming little town of Makarska, we arrive early afternoon, in plenty of time to enjoy the vibrant evening activity.
Day 7 Split was established around the remarkable palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian in his retirement. Many Roman and Gothic structures lie within the walls of the palace, including theTemple of Jupiter and the Cathedral. After a leisurely stroll viewing the highlights of Split, the afternoon is yours to do as you please. You may like to go down to the esplanade and partake in some people watching or possibly make your way up the steps at Marjun to a spectacular vista over the city from above.
Day 8 This morning we’re off to the medieval town of Trogir, its rich culture a combination of Greek, Roman and Venetian influences covering a period of more than 2,300 years. The pretty town also boasts one of the best open-air markets in Croatia.
SPLIT – PLITVICE LAKES – OPATIJA two nights Opatija
Day 9 Making our way north east today with a number of comfort stops en-route, our aim is to provide maximum time to enjoy the incredible natural beauty of World Heritage listed Plitvice Lakes, consisting of 16 lakes and numerous waterfalls connected by kilometres of paths and wooden walkways amongst breathtaking scenery. Following lunch at the lakes we continue northwest to the Istrian town of Opatija, one of the most colourfully painted towns you are ever likely to see. Our hotel is within easy reach of the waterfront, linked by a wonderful promenade that spans the length of the shoreline.
Day 10 A day at leisure to enjoy the many shops, cafes and bars along the waterfront, or perhaps take a refreshing swim in the warm waters of the Kvarmer Gulf. Opatija is the perfect place to put your feet up, relax and take it all in.
OPATIJA – PULA – ROVINJ three nights Rovinj
Day 11 With batteries fully charged we depart Opatija today, making our way first to Pula, best known for its incredibly well preserved Roman amphitheatre, occupying a prominent position near the harbour and dating back to the 1st century. Continuing around the Istrian Peninsula our next stop is the charming seaside town of Rovinj.
Days 12-13 The following two days are yours to do as you please. Rovinj’s quaint cobbled streets are lined with artist’s lairs and shops containing all manner of curios. A casual wander along the streets and alleyways will inevitably lead you up to the Cathedral which punctuates this small town and offers an impressive view over the peninsular and beyond. There will also be an opportunity for a day’s excursion to Venice!
OPTIONAL VENICE ADD ON
A Venice optional day trip includes return fast ferry transfers, a guided walking tour to Piazza San Marco, a gondola ride and some leisure time to shop or explore. A busy but exhilarating day!
ROVINJ – POSTOJNA – LAKE BLED two nights Lake Bled
Day 14 We head north again today and enter Slovenia for the first time making a stop at the incredible caves at Postojna, Europe’s biggest and one of the most spectacular caves in the world. Our tour here will include a ride in the miniature train 2 kms inside the caves before we continue by foot with a local guide telling us more of the fascinating history of the caves and pointing out the differing forms of stalactites and stalagmites. We continue later in the afternoon, to the very beautiful Lake Bled, our restful home for the next two nights. Lake Bled was formed from the recession of the Bohinj glacier. 2.1km long and up to 1.4km wide; the lake has a maximum depth of 30.6m. After the last Ice Age, the Bohinj glacier deepened the natural hollow giving shape to its present form. The basin was filled with water when the ice melted, and is punctuated by the small island toward the west side of the lake.
Day 15 We start the day with a drive up to Castle Bled, perched in a most imposing position high above the lake, seeming virtually impenetrable to a potential invading foe. The Castle is now home to a very informative, modern museum. After our visit take time to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of Lake Bled at your leisure. You can circumnavigate the lake by foot or bicycle, or maybe you’d prefer to be rowed out to the small island on a pletna, whence upon you might like to ring the bell to bestow good luck upon yourself!
LAKE BLED – LJUBLJANA – ZAGREB three nights Zagreb
Day 16 Our journey today includes some of the most picturesque scenery of our tour to date. Leaving the fairytale like Lake Bled behind us, we proceed to Ljubljana, where on arrival we will see the magnificent City Hall, Three Bridges and other local sights. Following lunch we drive to Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. On arrival we will make our way to the hotel where some may choose to relax, and others may want to take a short walk to some of the prominent and historic buildings in the general vicinity.
Day 17 We begin the day with a walking tour of Zagreb’s historic old town. Zagreb is effectively divided into three sections. The Upper Town, houses the multitude of museums, galleries and the Croatian Parliament on cobbled streets illuminated by gas lamps. Of particular note is the magnificent St Marks Church and its ornate roof resplendently covered with colourful ceramic tiles. Then there’s the Lower Town with its shops, restaurants, cafés, theatre and parks, and finally new Zagreb notable for its high rise buildings, corporate climate and not a tourist trap by any account.
Day 18 Today we take a short drive just outside of Zagreb to one of the finest examples of a restored castle at Trakoscan. Rooms have been lovingly restored and maintain the authenticity of the period. There’s an incredible room dedicated solely to weaponry, and views from the towers to the surrounding countryside are stunning.
After this we will drive on to the charming town of Varazdin, where we will have lunch in a local restaurant and a wander at your leisure before we make our way back to Zagreb.
ZAGREB – SINGAPORE – NEW ZEALAND one night Singapore
Days 19-22 A last chance for shopping or sightseeing today before we transfer to the airport in the afternoon to begin our journey to New Zealand. Our return flight includes a one night stopover en-route, allowing time to simply relax, sightsee or fit in some last minute shopping. We land in New Zealand filled with fond memories of an incredible journey together and experiences that we will treasure forever.