Croatia & Slovenia: The Old-World Adriatic

12 days
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About This Experience

Leave behind the everyday bustle of modern life and discover the Old World European romance still perfectly preserved in the pint-sized countries of Croatia and Slovenia. Swirl cocktails and sunbathe on the celebrity-laden shores of jet-set Dubrovnik. Explore the vineyards and medieval ruins of the Croatian countryside in the lush Split region. Wander among miles of emerald scenery and tranquil waterscapes in the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park. And experience “Europe in miniature” in Ljubljana, the stunningly green (and endlessly cultural) capital of Slovenia.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Split, Croatia
  • Plitvice, Croatia
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Bled, Slovenia
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
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  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Coast through the skies on your way to Croatia

Board an overnight flight to Croatia.

Dubrovnik3 nights - hotel info

Day2

Descend into Dubrovnik, otherwise known as paradise on earth

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Arrive in Dubrovnik, where a Go Ahead representative greets you after clearing customs and escorts you to your hotel. Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day3

Step behind the old town walls and discover a thoroughly modern city

Optional Excursion - Romantic Dubrovnik

Breakfast

Set on a peninsula on the Adriatic, Dubrovnik’s massive walls have served as the city’s calling card for centuries. Enter the city through one of four gates and pay a visit to its 13th-century Franciscan monastery, which sits on a rocky island and boasts the most extensive library in the region. Later, visit the impressive Rector’s Palace before entering the city’s ornate cathedral. Tonight, join our optional excursion, Romantic Dubrovnik.

Optional Excursions

Romantic Dubrovnik $69* pp

This excursion begins with a cruise along the shoreline of one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Arriving on the beach, you'll dine at a local restaurant before setting out on a stroll through Dubrovnik's medieval streets.

Day4

Bask on sunny Banje Beach or head to the hills of Montenegro

Optional Excursion - Montenegro

Breakfast

Today, revel in Dubrovnik’s coastal wonders on your own. Or, venture out on an optional excursion to the independent Republic of Montenegro, where you’ll enjoy an included lunch and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kotor and the inviting resort town of Budva, known for its beaches and medieval old town.

Optional Excursions

Montenegro $75* pp

Set out on an excursion to the small yet unbelievably stunning Republic of Montenegro, whose backdrops range from serene beaches to rugged mountain canyons. You’ll visit the town of Kotor, where you’ll view medieval walls and churches nestled between the hills and the sea. Next, you'll stop at Budva, a resort known for its beaches and a medieval Old Town section that juts dramatically out into the water. Relax and enjoy an included lunch before heading back to Dubrovnik.

Split Region3 nights - hotel info

Day5

Soak in the beauty of Croatia's countryside scenery on your way to Split

Breakfast, Dinner

Take in the Croatian countryside as you make your way to Split, stopping en route in medieval Ston to see the town’s expansive fortress walls, considered the longest city walls in Europe. Dinner is included this evening.

Day6

Gothic churches, Renaissance palaces and... an Egyptian sphinx?

Breakfast

Ivan Mestrovic Museum, Diocletian’s Palace

Today’s guided tour of Split features a visit to Diocletian’s Palace, an enormous third-century palace complex. View the monuments to the city’s varied cultural influences, including Gothic churches, Renaissance palaces, Venetian fortifications and even an Egyptian sphinx. Later, at the Ivan Mestrovic Museum, examine bronze, wood, marble and stone sculptures, as well as drawings and paintings by the Croatian-American expressionist Ivan Mestrovic.

Day7

Breathe deep atop the “lungs of Split” or breeze out of town

Optional Excursion - Mostar & Medjugorje

Breakfast

Explore Split on your own today. Or, consider joining our optional excursion to Mostar and Medjugorje, which includes guided tours of these two fascinating Bosnian towns.

Optional Excursions

Mostar & Medjugorje $85* pp

Explore Mostar, the largest city in Herzegovina. This beautiful Bosnian city is situated on the Neretva River and is often recognized for the striking Mostar Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage site that joins the river's banks. You’ll also see the Cejvan Cehaj Mosque and historic Ottoman House. Later, you'll visit the mystical site of Medjugorje, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in 1981. Please note: This excursion involves some difficult walking over uneven terrain and cobble stones.

Plitvice2 nights - hotel info

Day8

Walk through a living example of Roman urban planning in seaside Zadar

Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to Plitvice Lakes National Park today. Along the way, stop in Trogir, a gem of medieval Venetian architecture set on a tiny island just off the mainland. Take in the ancient city as you wander past Radovan’s portal and the Kairos relief. Then, a local guide leads you on a sightseeing tour of Zadar, a seaside market town. You’ll see the intermingling of classical and Christian cultures in the town’s streets and churches. Dinner is included tonight.

Day9

Cuckoos to kingfishers, hundreds of birdsongs echo across the lakes

Breakfast

One of the most beautiful national parks in Europe, Plitvice Lakes offers a stunning setting of lush, forested mountains and 16 levels of lakes nestled between Mount Mala Kapela and Mount Pljesevica. A local guide and your Tour Director lead you to the upper and lower lakes, surrounded by thick forests and waterfalls. You may catch a glimpse of the 20 caves that dot the area.

Ljubljana2 nights - hotel info

Day10

Emerging street art contrasts an Old-World ambiance in cultural Zagreb

Breakfast

Croatian Museum of Naive Art

Travel to Zagreb this morning, where a local guide introduces you to the best of Croatia’s capital. Zagreb has been the capital city of Croatia since 1557, and much of its original medieval architecture still stands. Highlights include Theater Square, Mestrovic Pavilion, Zrinjevac Park, the Lotrscak Tower, the Croatian Museum of Naive Art and the lovely Mirogoj Cemetery. Then cross into Slovenia as you travel to the capital city of Ljubljana, a charming city known for its love of the arts.

Day11

Take a walk on the “Sunny Side of the Alps”

Breakfast, Dinner

Embark on a guided walking tour of Ljubljana today and visit Preseren Square, the Triple Bridge, Ljubljana’s town hall, St. Nicholas’ Cathedral, an open-air market and much more. Also, take note of the city’s numerous theaters, museums and galleries. Tonight, join your group for a farewell dinner.

Day12

Say so long to Slovenia or linger in Ljubljana

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Board your return flight home or extend your stay in Ljubljana and Lake Bled.

Extend Your Stay

Add Slovenia & Lake Bled $649*

Northwest Slovenia is home of Bled, one of Europe's most beautiful locations. Famous for its glacially formed Lake Bled and the iconic castle that overlooks it, Bled is a romantic getaway that aristocrats have been vacationing in for centuries. With its natural beauty and many outdoor attractions, this Slovenian destination has charm indeed!

Ljubljana1 night - hotel info

Day12

Ride through a labyrinth of caverns to the castle beneath the rock

Optional Excursion - Postojna Caves & Predjama Castle

Breakfast

Enjoy a free day or join an optional excursion to Predjama Castle and the Postojna Caves, an enormous subterranean labyrinth.

Optional Excursions

Postojna Caves & Predjama Castle $105* pp

Journey to two of Slovenia's most memorable sites. Your first stop is the legendary Postojna Caves, a 12.5-mile-long system of caverns. Later, you'll visit Predjama Castle, a Renaissance fort built into the mouth of a cave. A natural tunnel connects the castle to the top of the mountain, serving in the Middle Ages as a secret supply line for the castle during times of siege. While you're here, you'll learn about the legend of Erazem Lueger, a robber baron who called this castle home.

Lake Bled2 nights - hotel info

Day13

Scenic isn’t a strong enough word for the surrounds of Lake Bled

Breakfast

Bled Castle

Travel to Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj and discover why Europeans have come to this resort spot for decades. The unspoiled beauty of the mountains and valley will take your breath away. You’ll also visit Bled Castle.

Day14

Discover the Julian Alps at their peak in Triglav National Park

Breakfast

Embark on a full-day excursion with a local guide to the gorgeous alpine Triglav National Park, named after the famous Mount Triglav.

Day15

Peel yourself away from the shore and soar home

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Board your flight home.

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Croatia and Slovenia, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling on this tour. However, it’s always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates.

Cuisine

Croatian food is very good and very hearty. You may like to try traditional Balkan dishes, such as duvec (vegetables and meat), moussaka (eggplant and minced meat), sarma (minced meat and rice) and raznjici (grilled veal or pork). Along the Adriatic coast, you’ll find excellent seafood, especially scampi (prawns), prstaci (date mussels) and Dalmatian brodet (mixed fish stewed with rice). Away from the coast, look for specialties such as manistra od bobica (beans and fresh maize soup) or strukli (baked cheese dumpling). You’ll also find decadent apple strudel, an echo of the past Austrian influence. Virtually every region produces its own varieties of wine, which are quite delicious. Slovenian cuisine blends elements of Italian, Hungarian, Austrian and Balkan cooking. Pizzas, pastas, gnocchi and risottos are ubiquitous, as is the Austrian-inspired Shnitzel and the Balkan burek, a phyllo pastry stuffed with salty cheese or meat. Typical local dishes include krvavice (black pudding) served with zganci (polenta) or Kraski prsut (air-dried Karst ham). Another favorite is jota, a thick soup of sauerkraut, beans and smoked pork. Look for regional specialties such as zlikrofi, tiny tortellini stuffed with minced potato, onion and bacon. Along the Adriatic, look out for grilled seafood dishes with garlic and parsley. And for dessert, be sure to try prekmurska gibanica, a layered cake combining curd cheese, walnuts and poppy seeds, and potica, a rolled cake filled with either walnuts, chocolate, poppy seeds or raisins.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Dubrovnik and depart from Ljubljana. All other transportation is by private motor coach. While most destinations on your tour are accessible on foot, some cities may require some use of public transportation—which is adequate. Buses serve most cities and surroundings. Taxis are also available. Make sure the meter is running and always ask for a cab number and receipt.

Electricity

Croatia and Slovenia operate on the European standard 220 volts. An adaptor is advisable.

Time Zones

Croatia and Slovenia are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s 12pm in New York, it’s 6pm in Croatia and Slovenia. 

Currency

The Croatian kuna and the euro (in Slovenia) are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually found in Croatia and Slovenia. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

A wonderful and worthwhile experience

My spouse and I have been on 13 GoAhead tours, and we can honestly say that this tour ranks as one of best so far. Tamara, our tour director, was outstanding in every way: knowledgeable, patient, and caring. The tour itinerary struck a nice balance between "structured" and "free" time. The rugged coastal and mountain scenery was spectacular and breathtaking, while the sojourn into the "hinterland" after leaving the coastal area was a nice change of pace. Ljubljana was a highlight - another day there would have been welcome! Croatia and Slovenia are just beginning to get discovered by tourists - go there before too many more people learn about it. This whole area has a different "feel" from the rest of Europe and is definitely worth a visit if you're looking for something a bit out of the ordinary.


5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/17/2013

Number of Past Tours: 13

From: MN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

So why are you going to Croatia?

I cannot say how many times we were asked this question before our trip. This Go Ahead trip to what was once Yugoslavia is one of the best trips we have ever taken! You will see Montenegro, Bosnia, Slovenia as well as Croatia. Our guide was a woman who was a college student in Sarajevo when the Serbs started bombing Bosnia in 1991. A year later, after her father was killed, she and her mother escaped to Split, Croatia. Her story alone is worth the trip. On this tour you will take a day trip to see the only fjord in the Mediterranean. Also you will visit the village of Mostar where in 1993 their bridge which connected the Muslim quarter to the rest of the village was bombed, a clear message from the Serbs of the "ethnic cleansing" they demanded. For the nature minded you will visit 2 National Parks - Plitvice Falls in Croatia where 16 lakes cascade one onto the next, creating more water falls than I have ever seen. The second park is in Slovenia at the Italian border in the Julian Alps, the site of many WWI battles and more breathtaking sights. The tour ends in Ljubljana - our favorite city on the trip - and Lake Bled in Slovenia which continues to be influenced by the borders to the north; Italy for their pastas & risottos and Austria for their goulash and wonderful pastries! The guides were excellent, filled with knowledge of the history of the country, much of it first hand. Don't miss this one!


5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/1/2012

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tamara made it great!

This was my first Go Ahead tour and my first trip as a solo traveler. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. What made it extra special was the tour director, Tamara. She added so much with her personal insights and experiences and went out of her way to schedule a few side trips that were not on the itinerary that added so much to the overall experience. I went on all the optional tours and felt that they were all worth the added expense with the exception of Montenegro. That was a loooong bus ride without much added information and a so-so included lunch. The Lake Bled extension was amazing!

review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/26/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful scenery

Wonderful scenery and everywhere we were it was clean, clean, clean. The little towns as well as the big squares. Everyone, hotel staff, waiters and city tour guides all friendly and helpful.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour Director

Our trip to Croatia & Slovenia was exceptional. Masa was an outstanding Tour Director. We did not just take a tour. We feel like we took a course in the geography and politics of the area. All the pieces of the puzzle connected and I now have a better and complete picture of exYugoslavia and the existing newer countries. Seasoned travelers need to take a break from Western Europe and discover the beauty and the wonderful people of Eastern Europe.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/22/2014

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Have already recommended to friends!

This tour was two weeks of "fabulous!" People asked beforehand, "Why Croatia and Slovenia?!" and upon return new inquiries ask the same thing. If not for a friend having gone before me I might have asked the same. However, now my husband and I are 'cheerleading' for the destination, the sights, the people of Croatia and Slovenia who we met and especially for our tour director, Tamara, who is an absolute gem! I loved her thoughtful discourse about the history, the sights, the people, the landscape. It could not have been a better trip in any way! We're already sending others to the website to investigate our trip. We felt we had very nice hotels and especially enjoyed the use of the Vox devices for city tours and others. Thanks a bunch for a wonderful two weeks of travel and education.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: IA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Second Time Around to This Area is Even Better

The tour guide, Tamara, made the tour an exceptional experience. I highly recommend taking the Montenegro optional. Beautiful scenery and quaint towns and villages. Mostar is well worth the time to see diverse cultures and people. The Mestrovic Museum in the seaside town of Split should not be missed. Inspiring sculptures and pleasant grounds with a magnificent view of the sea. Medjugorje was a waste of time for me. If you a devout Catholic and worshiper of The Virgin Mary it would be worth you time. Plitvice Lakes is an exceptional excursion into the forests and waters of the area. It is an easy and relaxing walk for anyone. Ljubljana is a city where walking, eating, and sipping coffee outside is most pleasant.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 16

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fascinating tour

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour of Croatia & Slovenia. It offered just the right amount of structured touring with guides along with free time on our own to explore. Tamara was an excellent guide, extremely knowledgeable of the history, culture, and social aspects of these very interesting countries. All 3 optional excursions were very worthwhile, and offered an opportunity to visit countries which were not on my list, but now I can recommend visiting them. Plitvice Lakes Nat'l Park was beautiful with it's many waterfalls, though the boardwalk through the park was somewhat challenging at times. Still, one of the highlights of the trip! I thought the tour overall was well-planned, and we moved at a fast enough pace. I thought the trip was fabulous.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/17/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great in Every way!

A VERY interesting part of the world. The Dalmatian Coast is spectacular; Dubrovnik and Split are fascinating cities, each in its own way. But to my mind, Slovenia was the jewel in the crown: Ljubljana an interesting mix of the very old with the ultra modern. The Slovenian alps a real gem. Tour Director Tamyra was knowledgeable, amiable, patient and flexible. The tour was wonderful experience in every way.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/17/2013

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NM

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Group Tour I've Taken!

I'm late with this review as I traveled in Fall of 2012. Just wanted to say that this trip ranks up there with the best ever. If you haven't taken this trip - do it!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/20/2012

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

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