Traditional Wine and Food Tour Europe

This tour is designed to showcase the best food, wine and culinary traditions that the diverse regions of Slovenia and Croatia have to offer. Immerse in this culinary utopia at the very best time of the year, the harvest season; the leaves are turning color, vineyards are being harvested, and the smell of wood stoves and heavenly aromas float through the cool air. On this unique tour, enjoy superb culinary delicacies, explore castles, stroll through old Venetian towns, discover colorful frescoes in tiny churches, and make a personal connection between the food, the land and its people.

Highlights

  • Celebrate the start of your gastro experience with a five-course lunch
  • Indulge with local cream cakes, honey ice cream, and chocolate truffles
  • Delight in a 13th century chateau with sparkling wine tastings and dinner
  • Enjoy traditional homemade meals, prosciutto tasting and local spirits in the Karst region
  • Savor gourmet goat cheeses, olive oils, and more treats in the Istria region
  • Discover delicious pumpkin seed oil, micro brews and smoked meats
  • Learn all about the traditions of wine making with local vintners
  • 11 nights accommodation

Styles


11 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 7
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Accommodation

On this tour, you will be accommodated in bed and breakfasts and farmhouses, all with en-suite bathrooms.

Program

Day 1: Welcome to Slovenia

Overnight: Brda, Slovenia

Transfer from airport and head straight to Goriska Brda, the country’s premier wine destination. Home cooked dinner of typical Brda specialities at the home of one of Slovenia’s finest natural winemakers. Many unique cuvée blends and orange wines here. Wine will be paired with each dish served.

Day 2: Culinary Delights of Slovenia’s Goriska Brda region

Overnight: Brda, Slovenia

Breakfast out on the patio overlooking vineyards and hill towns of Brda. Today will be filled with tastings of all that Brda has to offer and visits to some of its scenic and historic villages and towns. First a trip to cellars located in Visnajvic, the birthplace of Rebula wine, the quintessential wine of this region. Of the 2000 hectares of vineyards here in Brda, 25% produce Rebula. A tour and then lunch of mouthwatering cheeses (herbal, aged and fresh cheeses) at Bio dairy in Italy’s neighbouring Collio region. Five-course ‘slow-food’ dinner paired with wines at the winery which continually ranks on the list of 100 best wineries in the world by Wine and Spirits Magazine.

Day 3: Prosciutto and red wines of the Karst

Overnight: Karst, Slovenia

Start the day with Slovenia’s best sparkling wines and a tour of the oldest cellar in Brda (dating from 13th century). Head down to Slovenia’s Karst region for a lunch featuring imaginative combinations and presentations along with iconic culinary specialities of the Karst: prosciutto and Teran wine. Then meet with one of Slovenia’s youngest and brightest winemakers in a tiny village and try his red blends and aged Teran wines. Our agriturismo (farmhouse) in the countryside serves up a mouth-watering (and home-cooked) dinner with a top fave of all our guests – honey ice cream.

Day 4: Wines of Vipava Valley

Overnight: Karst region, Slovenia

Walk off all the great food and wine with a visit to UNESCO protected Skocjan caves and see amazing underground world featuring Europe’s deepest underground canyon. We travel from the karst to Vipava Valley where strong burja winds up to 175 km/hr make winemaking a challenge. First, we learn the history of winemaking in this valley and the nitty-gritty of the wine business as we hang out with the expert winemaker and try his line of Pinto Noir and Pinot Gris. Dinner at wine maker’s house featuring Vipava’s fresh white wines of Zelen, Pinela and Malvazija plus a 10-year-old aged Cabernet.

Day 5: Olives and Chill Out

Overnight: Istria region, Croatia

Morning visit to the gorgeous little seaside town of Piran where touches of Venetian empire are all around. Special visit to the olive orchard for beautiful lunch and meet with the English-Slovenian couple who have organic/BIO olive orchard in Slovenia’s Istria region with sea views down to salt flats. Chill out with fantastic views down to the sea at our secluded hotel perched up on Mt. Ucka. Relax with your favourite wine and watch the sun go down over the Adriatic or take an easy walk to waterfalls through a quiet chestnut grove. Five-course seafood dinner in the elegant restaurant.

Day 6: Truffles and Istria Hill Towns

Overnight: Istria region, Croatia

After enjoying breakfast with a view out to Adriatic and islands of Cres and Krk, we head to the forests of Istria with a local woman and her dogs to sniff out and dig up truffles. Hopefully, we will find some truffles but regardless there will be a special truffle-themed lunch in the countryside. Then browse the charming hill town of Motovun with glorious views all around. Dinner at our hotel which sits atop the hill town of Buzet. Tuck into grilled Istrian sausages and a ragu of Istrian ox (boškarin) over melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi.

Day 7: Goat Cheese Crazy

Overnight: Istria region, Croatia

Morning visit to historic Venetian town of Rovinj, Croatia’s most beautiful seaside town. Visit to olive oil maker to see the family’s old olive oil equipment (from 1930’s) along with tastings and a demonstration of modern oil making techniques. Epic goat cheese feast at a goat farm far off the tourist grid with home cooked stews, sausages and tasty surprises, not to mention about a dozen types of soft and semi-hard goat cheeses. Consistently one of our guests’ favourite experiences on any of tours!

Day 8: Wines of Istria

Overnight: Kvarner region, Croatia Slovenia

Visits and tastings at two wineries in Istria. The first specializes in Istrian Teran (red) and a rose also made with Teran plus they have their own olive oils for us to taste. The second winery is quite unique as it has Istria’s flagship white wine, Malvazija, grown on four different soils (white, grey, red and black) all within 1 kilometre of each other. It’s amazing to taste the difference in only the soil. Then enjoy a dinner of succulent lamb or veal cooked under a metal lid covered in embers known as ispod peka by locals.

Day 9: Southern Slovenia’s Wine Roads Less Traveled

Overnight: Eastern Slovenia

Sparkling wine tour and tasting in Slovenia bucolic southern region often missed by visitors. Picnic lunch amongst picturesque vineyards and wine cottages. A visit to underground cellars called repnica which are carved out of sand that used to store vegetables but now hide wines. Homemade cognac, indigenous white wine of Šipon and dinner at rustic farmhouse set amongst the vineyards

Day 10: Idyllic Charms and Flavors of Eastern Slovenia

Overnight: Eastern Slovenia

Guided walking tour around Ptuj, Slovenia’s oldest town situated on the Drava river. Learn how farmers make the delicious nutty and smokey taste of pumpkin seed oil, the ubiquitous speciality of the region. Chocolate tastings featuring local products in innovative and unusual combinations at a family run shop. Visit to the top restaurant in the region for dinner of quintessential Prekmurje dishes of bograc (spicy stew with 3 types of meat) and gibanica (a complex multi-layered cake).

Day 11: Honey, schnapps and glacial lakes

Overnight: Bled, Slovenia

Morning wine tasting with 360-degree views of hilltop churches and rolling hills of Austria at the Doppler Winery, where it’s the women who’ve made wines for the past two generations. Lite homemade lunch with Monika, a Bled local who makes her own cheeses, dried meats, traditional cakes, herbal liqueurs. Learn the history, importance and secrets of bees with a local Slovenian beekeeper followed by a tasting of his honey. Farewell dinner at Bled castle overlooking gorgeous Lake Bled down below

Day 12: Transfer to airport / End of Tour

Included excursions

  • Prosciutto and cheese tasting in Collio
  • Tour around Istria region (Groznjan, Motovun, Rovinj)
  • Tours in Slovenia (Prekmurje, Ptuj, Prlekija, Radovljica, and Lake Bled)
  • Trip around Karst region (wineries, prosciutto factory)
  • Visit to a fantastic micro-brewery in Austria
  • Visit to Pula in Kvarner region
  • Visit to wineries and Smartno in the Brda region
  • Wine tasting in Vipava Valley

Location

This culinary tour will take place in Slovenia, Croatia and Italy.

Food

On this tour, you will be served eleven dinners accompanied by local wines and eleven lunches. Select group dinners are all handpicked by Savor the Experience Tours and are of good value and quality.

Cuisine from Brda

The cuisine you will experience in the region of Brda is influenced by a variety of culinary traditions (Slovene, Friulian, Habsburg) that have intertwined in this region, giving Brda cuisine a very special touch.

Draga di Lovrana hotel and restaurant in Croatia

The property stands at a surreal location on the very top of a mountain crest, with a magnificent view of the Kvarner Bay. The regular menu consists of 20 dishes, with extra 15 dishes dictated by the local market offer. Try the marinated shrimps with crud cheese, the frog fish fillet with olive oil and white wine emulsion, or the smoked gilthead sea bream fillet.

Groznjans fritule

Besides being a bohemian vibrant area, Groznjan is also a good place to find some fresh hot fritule which are Istrias delicious version of a doughnut.

Vipava Valley wines

The native varietals of this small region include Zelen and Pinela along with other whites and a few reds including Barbera and Merlot.

Things to do (optional)

Kvarner region

On day 8, you can choose to lounge around the hotel or taking beautiful views of Cres Island and Kvarner Bay on the Adriatic. You can also take easy walks to waterfalls or longer hikes of two or three hours around Mt. Ucka, visit the historic Habsburg spa towns of Lovran and Opatija, where, besides enjoying the spas, you can explore a grand old coffee house, or walk along the boardwalk.

Rovinji

In Rovinji you can explore art shops, galleries, browse the outdoor market, or get lost in a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets.

What's included

  • 10 wine tastings
  • 11 dinners accompanied by wine
  • 11 lunches
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • Ground transportation
  • Private guide
  • Tastings of olive oil, honey, pumpkin oil, and chocolate truffles
  • Transfers to and from Ljubljana Joe Punik airport (LJU)

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport (LJU). Savor the Experience will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 15% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.
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