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16 Days Grand Culinary & Wine Tour Europe

  • Ljublijana - Goriska Brda - Karst region- Istria region - Sarajevo - Mostar - Podvelez - Trogir - Dubrovnik

Eastern Europe Culinary and Wine Tour

On this grand tour, you will enjoy the culture, history, food, wine, nature, and many other wonders of the best of old Yugoslavia. Savor the wines, prosciutto and traditional foods of Brda and Karst, discover the rich history of the region, from Diocletians 1700-year-old palace in Split, to the dervish houses and crumbling fortresses of Bosnias Herzegovina region, and delight in natural marvels, passing by the amazing countryside and mountains in Bosnia, or gliding on a wooden gondola across the beautiful fairy tale setting of Lake Bled.

Highlights

  • Soak in the charms of Rovinj and Trogir on the Adriatic Coast
  • Relax in the cafe culture and lively outdoor markets of Ljubljana
  • Enjoy Slovenian flavors during a five-course dinner in Goriska Brda
  • Savor the wines, prosciutto, and traditional foods of Slovenias Karst region
  • Enjoy wine tastings in Goriska Brda, Slovenias premier wine region
  • Capture superb panoramas of Lake Bled with its unique island
  • Discover the rich history of Bosnias Herzegovina region
  • 15 nights accommodation
  • 13 days with instruction
  • English
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This tour has a mix of hotels, pensions, and farmhouses that are centrally located. Some examples are a three-star hotel in Trogir, a great little pension in Sarajevo, a winery bed and breakfast in the Brda region, private apartments in Dubrovnik, and a wonderful farmhouse in Slovenias karst region. In these accommodations, you will be treated like guests, not tourists.

Day 1 - Welcome to Slovenia

Arrive to Ljubljana and be transferred to your lodging. Next, take a guided walking tour of the city and join a welcome dinner at a traditional Slovenian evening, featuring live Slovenian music, a folklore show with costumes, dances from different regions of Slovenia, and a four-course meal. Spend the night in Ljubljana.

Meal plan: dinner.

Day 2 - Ljubljana and Lake Bled, Slovenia

The first part of the day will be at your leisure to explore Ljubljana. Then, you will head to Lake Bled and visit its castle perched up on a cliff top. Bring your camera to capture superb panoramas of the lake with its island and Baroque church. Lunch will be taken at a traditional farmhouse in a small rural village where the owner makes her own Slovenian cakes, strudel, soft cheeses, herbal liqueurs, and beer. She also has a great ethnographic museum of items her family has collected from the past 100 years. After lunch, visit a local beekeeper to learn about the importance of beekeeping in Slovenia and a honey tasting. Next, take a gondola ride out to Bled Island in late afternoon before returning back to Ljubljana. Spend the night in Ljubljana.

Meal plan: breakfast.

Day 3 - Kobarid and Brda, Slovenia

Depart Ljubljana and enjoy a scenic drive up and over Slovenias Julian Alps. Delight in gorgeous and stunning views as you travel over the highest mountain pass and head down into the emerald-green Soca Valley. Brush up on your World War I history as you visit an award-winning inn in Kobarid. It was in this area that Hemingway documented his World War I experiences in A Farewell to Arms. Arrive in Slovenias most picturesque wine region of Brda and enjoy a delicious five-course dinner paired with local wines.

The variety of culinary traditions (Slovene, Friulian, Habsburg) have intertwined on this strip of land, giving Brda cuisine its special touch. After the meal, you will tour the cellar of a winery and learn about wine making traditions and methods including the use of amphorae. A unique amber wine is produced after the juice spends 11 months next to the skins inside the amphora. This winery was recently put on the list of 100 best wineries in the world by Wine and Spirits Magazine. Spend the night in Goriska Brda.

Meal plan: breakfast, dinner.

Day 4 - Karst region, Slovenia

Go on a guided tour and a delightful nature walk around Stanjel, Karst regions most captivating hill town. Then, take a carriage ride at Lipizzaner horse farm in Lipica. Today, you will have lunch in the tiny village of Hrastovlje and visit the 12th century Church of the Holy Spirit. This fortified church has wonderfully colorful frescoes depicting the Dance of Macabre.

Continue your journey at the amazing underground world of Skocjan caves featuring the largest subterranean cavern in Europe. A traditional home-cooked karst dinner served by the Skerlj family awaits you at a pension tucked away in the village of Tomaj. The Skerlj family offers up mouth-watering prsut (smoked ham like prosciutto), pastas, and fresh vegetables with a good dose of local Teran wine. Dont forget to try their honey ice cream. Spend the night in the Karst region.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 5 - Croatias Istria region

Enjoy a full-day excursion to the Istria region of Croatia. First, visit the hill town of Groznjan, which was once nearly deserted but now its a thriving place with artists, artisans, and cafes. Next, you will have a guided tour of Porec, and its rich fifth century basilica covered in golden mosaics. Afterwards, a guided walking tour will take you around Rovinj. This seaside town with a Venetian past, is hands down Istrias most charming. Head back to Slovenia and have dinner at 20:00 at a farmhouse. Spend the night in the Karst region.

Meal plan: breakfast and dinner.

Day 6 - Sarajevo, Bosnia

On your way to the airport, you will visit the Predjama Castle, a 16th century castle that clings to limestone cliffs and has a rich history, including folklore about the Slovenian Robin Hood who once lived there. Fly to Sarajevo arriving by 15:30 and take a guided walking tour of this historic city and dinner with your local Bosnian guide. Spend the night in Sarajevo.

Meal plan: breakfast and dinner.

Day 7 - Sarajevo, Bosnia

  • Today is a free day to explore Sarajevo at your leisure. Spend the night in Sarajevo.
  • Meal plan: breakfast.

Day 8 - Highlands of Bosnia

One of the most unique excursions on the tour, is a visit to the highland village of Lukomir, the highest and most isolated village in Bosnia (1500 meters). Traditional dresses and the occasional turban and fez are still worn here. You will have the chance to meet local villagers before heading off into the amazing Rakitinca Canyon to witness the Peruc Waterfall. Lunch will be served on a high ridge with stunning views of majestic mountains. Travel on to the city of Mostar, located in the Herzegovina region. Spend the night in Mostar.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 9 - Historic Mostar, Bosnia

Today, you will go on a walking tour of Mostar, the former oriental trading center of Herzegovina, home to the famed 16th century stone bridge spanning the Neretva River. Then, you will visit Blagaj and see an Ottoman house that once functioned as a Dervish monastery. Next to this house is the source of the Buna Spring, pouring out of a cliff wall. You will enjoy a lunch at a local fish restaurant before gathering your energy and doing a one-hour hike to the top of the cliff where you can encounter grand views of Herzegovina and remains of a 13th century fort built by Duke Stjepan. Spend the night in Mostar.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 10 - Hidden treasures of Herzegovina

You will start a busy day of sightseeing at the oriental hill town and art colony of Pocitelj. Then, have some free time to enjoy the Kravica Waterfall, a wonderful, green oasis in the rocky Herzegovinian landscape. Next, go on a one-hour boat ride and have lunch at Hutovo Blato, a great place for nature and bird watching. At the end of the afternoon, you will slowly wind your way back via Radimlja, with its beautiful Christian medieval tombstones, to Podvelez village above Mostar with home cooked dinner at a guesthouse. Spend the night in Podvelez.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 11 - Croatias Dalmatian Coast

On the way to the hotel in Croatia (about a two and a half hour-drive), you will stop by for a tasty lunch and wine tasting at the Ethno Village Medjugorje, in Herzegovina. The restaurant is located in the center of the village, perfect for enjoying the uniqueness of its food and wine, and especially for its unique varieties of Zilavka and Blatina. Later, enjoy the charms of little Trogir, a small island connected to Croatias mainland by a short bridge. A local guide will show you around the town and its stunning 12th century cathedral. Enjoy your dinner at the best restaurant in town. Spend the night in Trogir.

Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 12 - Historic Diocletians palace, Croatia

Spend the first part of your day at your leisure in Trogir. Then, visit Split, Croatias second largest city and main port. A guide will show you around the old town and focus mostly on the remains of Diocletians palace. The palace was built by Roman Emperor Diocletian in the 300 AD. Much of it is still intact, and the rest of Splits center has been built around the palace. Spend the night in Trogir.

Meal plan: breakfast.

Day 13 - Dubrovnik, Croatia

On your way to Dubrovnik, you will be driven down the Dalmatian Coast, and make a short stop to see the towns of Ston and Mali Ston, once important for their salt production. On the late afternoon, take a guided walking tour of Dubrovnik, a magical walled city with a rich and important history. A local guide will take you for a great dinner after the tour. Spend the night in Dubrovnik.

Meal plan: breakfast and dinner.

Day 14 - The ancient lands of Montenegro

Delight in a very scenic drive around Montenegros lovely Kotor Bay (dramatically situated below fjords), on your way to the alluring Venetian town of Perast. A short tour of the maritime museum and church will be followed by a boat ride out to Our Lady of the Rocks church, situated on the jewel-like islands in Kotor Bay. Next, you will go on a tour to the walled town of Kotor, including the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, and return to Dubrovnik in the evening. Spend the night in Dubrovnik.

Day 15 - Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Spend all day at your leisure in Dubrovnik. Spend the night in Dubrovnik.

Day 16 - Departure from Croatia

  • Today, you will be transferred to Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) for your flight home.

Boat ride in Bosnia

Drive down the Dalmatian Coast

Drive up and over Slovenias Julian Alps

Full day tour around the Istria region (Groznjan, Porec, Rovinj)

Gondola ride to Bled Island

Guided tour and nature walk around Stanjel

Guided walking tours of Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Mostar, and Dubrovnik

Hiking in Mostar

Rakitinca Canyon and the Peruc Waterfall

Short visit to Ston and Mali Ston

Sightseeing in Herzegovina (Pocitelj, Kravica Waterfall, Hutovo Blato, Podvelez village)

Sightseeing in Montenegro with guided tours of Kotor and Perast

Split old town guided tour

Tour around the Karst region

Tour of Trogir

Trip to Lake Bled

Visit Predjama Castle

Visit the emerald-green Soca Valley

Visit to a winery in Goriska Brda

Visit to Lukomir village

This tour will take place in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Montenegro.

On this tour, you will be served ten dinners, five lunches, and twelve breakfasts. Your generous hosts will provide home-cooked dinners and breakfasts including fresh cheeses and in-season vegetables, local wines, and regional specialties. Local guides will provide you with their personal and unique perspectives. You will be free to choose from the normal menu not a restrictive tourist-menu. Select group dinners are all handpicked by Savor the Experience Tours and are of good value and quality.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Take an unforgettable walk along its 80-foot high walls. Other sights include the Dominican and Franciscan monasteries, Lovrijenac Fortress, and Rectors Palace. If you take the cable car up for great views of the city, there is also an excellent photo gallery regarding the 1990s war in a nearby museum. The cable car round trip tickets are approximately 15 USD. For nature over culture, escape the crowds with a trip to nearby Lokrum Island. Short ferry rides start at the old town harbor.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • Visit a castle, browse the outdoor market along the river, explore a museum, or just watch people walking around Preseren Square.

Mali Ston, Croatia

  • Enjoy some coffee and cake in Mali Ston before heading on to Dubrovnik.

Rovinj, Slovenia

  • Leisure time to explore art shops and galleries and browse the outdoor market or get lost in a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets.

Sarajevo, Bosnia

Browse the art galleries at the old Turkish quarter or visit master craftsmen shops and outdoor cafes while soaking in the rich history and culture. You can visit the tunnel museum from the 90s war or hop on a tram in Sarajevo and head out to nearby Ilidza Park and enjoy a nice stroll or carriage ride. Ask your Bosnian guide for suggestions.

Trogir, Croatia

If you are interested in art, you should pay a visit to the Ivan Mestrovic museum / gallery, named after Croatias most famous sculptor. On day 12, an optional visit to Krka National Park is available. At this park, you may enjoy cascading waterfalls and lush scenery walking on wooden paths. The entrance fee is about 22 USD.

  • 1 honey tasting
  • 2 wine tastings
  • 5 lunches
  • 10 dinners
  • 12 breakfasts
  • 15 nights accommodation
  • Boat ride in Bosnia
  • Gondola trip to Bled Island
  • Guided excursions as per the itinerary
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Private transport
  • Transfers to and from Dubrovnik Airport (DBV)
  • Airfare
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned above
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

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