Slovenia, located at the junction of the Alps and the Pannonian plain is a land of peaceful country sides, varied terrain, and quaint villages with pastel colored houses, valleys filled with lakes and rivers, and a small Mediterranean coastline. There are rolling hills with vineyards, Monasteries and castles, spas, and cave studded plateaus. We love Slovenia and its' friendly people. It is the only country whose name contains the word “love”. Our tour will initiate out of its capital, Ljubljana, a beautiful town full of Baroque architecture with a vibrant old town, and the entrancing town of Bled.
Arrive in Ljubljana where your English speaking guide will greet you upon your arrival at the airport and transport you to check in at your 4 star Hotel, the Antig Palace, Hotel Allegro, or comparable. After you have had time to freshen up and relax, your guide will return to take you on a sightseeing tour of the city which includes a funicular ride to the Castle.Your tour includes the main attractions of Ljubljana,The Franciscan Church and St. Nicholas Cathedral, City Hall, and the Parliament and university buildings. Along the way you will see the Dragon bridge and the fountain of three rivers, baroque buildings, and piazzas with fountains, cobblestone streets and alleys along with the many structures designed by the cities famous architect-jose Plecnic combining classic Greek and Roman styles. The west side of the river, “New Town”, contains the best museums and the cities many fine examples of “Art Nouveau” architecture.After this tour you will return to your hotel, have time to refresh and then you'll enjoy a hearty dinner at the historic restaurant Sokol.
Day 2 (BL)
Today you will visit some very special places. Your first stop will be at Postojna Cave. This cave system is the largest known cave system in Slovenia.The tour starts with a one mile underground train ride which speeds you through illuminated chambers to the starting point of your walking tour. This cave with its awesome stalagmites and stalactites has over 11 miles of tunnels but only a small portion of these are open to the public. You will walk on a lighted trail through the White passage, past the famous white diamond, across the Russian bridge and finish at the massive concert hall.
Next you will explore Predjama Castle. The main structure is dramatically carved into the face of a mountain at the mouth of a cave. There are a few finished rooms from when it was used as a residence in the 1600’s. The highest vantage point in the castle offers an expansive view of the valley below
After this stop, en route to the Lipica stud farm, we will stop for lunch at a special regional restaurant – Sajna Homestead. The Lipica Stud Farm, located near the small village of Lipica has been home for these magnificent white Lipizzaner horses for over 400 years.
You will have a guided tour of the stables and observe the training methods used in the various stages of the horses development. This training facility was established in 1580 by the Habsburg family to train these large horses as mounts for knights. Their size both protected the riders and intimidated the opponent. These horses can also be seen at the famous Spanish riding school in Vienna, and at limited special shows around the world.
Your return route to Ljubljana will take you on a drive through the Karst region of forests and green valleys. You will stop at the medieval town of Stanjel. This preserved ridge top settlement is one of the best to be found in the Vipava Valley. You will walk through narrow unpaved alleys, past original sturdy cottages, church buildings, the ruins of a castle, and end up in a garden featuring a small lake and a Venetian bridge.
Dinner tonight in Ljubljana is on your own. (BL)
Day 3 (BL)
GOLFERS: ROUND 1
Today your guide will take the golfers and non-golfers together to Golf Club octocec where the golfers will play. octocec, located beside the River Krka and medieval castle, flows on hilly terrain through the forest. This course is long and hosts many regional and country tournaments.
The non-golfers will continue on to the small village of Kostanjevica, one of Slovenia's smallest and oldest towns, lying nestled in the bend of a river, a veritable wonder of nature. You will also visit the Pieterje Carthusian Monastery, built in 1407 and the adjoining Church of the Holy Trinity and Museum of Sacral Art.
once your group is reunited you will take a short drive to visit and have lunch and a wine tasting at Istenic Wine Cellar in Stara Vas. This sparkling wine cellar is located near the Croatian border and is surrounded by hills and vineyards. As the first producer of the regions sparkling wines, this family devotes attention to the culture of the drinking of these wonderful wines.
Continuing on, there will be a tour of the unique sand cave wine cellars "Repnic". These cellars were originally used as natural refrigerators for farm crops.
You will then return to your hotel. Tonight dinner is on your own. (BL)
Day 4 (B)
After breakfast at the hotel you will depart on a trip to the picturesque Slovenian coast. our first stop today will be at Hrastovlje Church, which is one of Slovenian's outstanding medieval treasures. This Romanesque 12th Century structure contains amazing floor to ceiling frescoes including one titled the Dance of Death. You then will travel on to the Adriatic coast.
Piran, with its narrow streets and pastel colored houses is a walled town on a peninsula, containing a colorful working waterfront, statues, squares, museums and cathedrals. You will have a guided walking tour of the city and will be given time for lunch at one of its' fabulous seafood restaurants.
After lunch there will be a visit to the Santomas Wine Cellars for a wine tasting. The clay/sandy soils of this region have grown wines since Pre-Roman times. The Santomas estate bottles and sells both “fresh” wines without aging in oak, and splendid aged vintage wines, both are the result of hard work, rigorous selection and generations of know-how
Slovenian olive oil is famous for its aroma and spicy taste. You will be taken to Torka to an olive press for a tour and the tasting of olive oil. Slovenian olive oil has won many international medals and is considered among the worlds best along with Italian and Greek olive oils.
After returning to Ljabljona you will be free to walk the old town and have dinner on your own. (b, wine and olive oil tastings)
Day 5 (BD)
GOLFERS: ROUND 2
After breakfast a driver will transport the golfers to play at the Diners Golf and Country Club. The design of this new course is modern, diverse and dramatic. With manicured fairways and fast greens, a log structure clubhouse and large golf academy, it has already been chosen to host several European tournaments. www.golf-ljubljana.si
Your guide will take the non-golfers to nearby Kamnik where you will board a cable car to the Velka Planina Plateau. You will take a short walk to the herdsmen’s settlement. The unique architecture and panoramic views will transport you into another world. You will have a chance to view their simple way of life and taste their dairy products.
once the group is reunited you will travel north to bled and check in at your new hotel five star Grand Hotel Toplice, (or comparable) on the shore of Lake bled.
You will soon find yourselves gazing across shimmering water, past the island with its’ church spire and the sheer cliff showcasing Slovenia’s oldest castle, to the snow capped Karavanke Alps.
Tonight your group will be picked up at the hotel and taken to bled Castle for dinner. (BD)
Day 6 (BD)
Breakfast at the hotel.
GOLFERS: ROUND 3
The golfers will be dropped off at bled Golf Club for a round of golf. “The Kings Course”, first opened in 1937,is the oldest Slovenian course and one of the most beautiful in Central Europe. The backdrop for the course is the magnificent julian Alps.
The non-golfers will travel higher into the mountains to the picturesque tiny village of Vintar and the Vintar Gorge carved by the Radovna River. You will take a leisurely walk through the forest along the rapids to view the waterfalls. This is an easy walk and there will be plenty of time for picture taking.
After the walk you will continue on to Kralov to visit a beekeepers farm. Slovenia is noted for this industry and the farms each have distinctive paintings on their hives,ach painted with a distinctive picture. behind the protection of a glass barrier you will observe the beekeepers at work and have a chance to taste the honey and honey cookies.Slovenian honey has won the gold medal at many International competitions.
upon returning to bled you will be reunited with the Golfers. After lunch there will be a guided tour of bled which will include a ride in a “Plenta” boat to the Lake bled Island and the Church of the Assumption of Mary.” You will be treated to a short “a-capella” performance by a renowned opera singer. This tour will be followed by a tour of bled Castle, and later in town, a tasting of the symbol of bled “Kremsnita”-cream cake. bled and Lake bled is entrancing and spectacular. Lake bled, has been called “Paradise on Earth".
After your tour of the castle, you will continue on to the village of Radovljica for a typical Slovenian dinner at the Letar Inn and a visit to their Gingerbread Museum before returning to your hotel. (BD)
Day 7 (BL)
Breakfast at the hotel
After checkout you will be transported back to the Ljubljana airport to return home or continue your vacation.END of Tour