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Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro

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3.8 stars(10 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover magical Eastern Europe

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
13 days From £2,895 per person

2022 Tour code: CSG22

About the tour

This grand holiday takes us on a voyage of discovery into magical Eastern Europe as we discover the secret to beekeeping on the shores of Lake Bled and explore the pretty Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, lively and historic Zagreb, the seaside city of Split, historic Dubrovnik and the unspoiled beauty of Montenegro.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Munich or Augsburg

We take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels, continuing by rail to Munich or Augsburg for an overnight stay.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Bled

We continue through the mighty Austrian Alps to Slovenia to Bled, an enchanting town set on the turquoise waters of glacial Lake Bled and surrounded by forested slopes as well as the jagged peaks of the Julian Alps. On arrival, we check into our hotel for three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Discovering Bled

With a free day to begin exploring Bled and the surrounding area, perhaps take a boat to the delightful island near the lake's centre, home to the Church of the Assumption of Maria, or visit Bled Castle. This thousand-year-old building looks like a fairytale castle and houses historic collections of weaponry and ancient jewellery. If you feel like stretching your legs, there's a three-mile circular walk around the lake, allowing you to admire many different views across the water.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – Ljubljana

We explore Ljubljana, Slovenia's thriving capital, enjoying a guided tour around the Art Nouveau and Baroque buildings of the historic centre, seeing the remains of the Roman Emona, the medieval castle and numerous buildings with richly-decorated façades and arched entrances. We also pass by the picturesque bridges which cross the Ljubljanica River, connecting the city centre with vast Tivoli Park. Afterwards, we continue to the fascinating Postojna Caves. Entering via a small electric railway, we walk through the heart of this subterranean world.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Zagreb

Ahead of our journey to Zagreb, we visit a local beekeeper. In an area where there's a buzz about all things bee-related, we learn more about the native Carniolan bee and how its honey is used in all sorts of different ways; from insomnia cures to massage oils. We also enjoy a tasting of the sweet stuff as well as a glass of unique honey liqueur. Next, we depart Bled by train, crossing the Croatian border to reach vibrant Zagreb - our base for three nights. Wonderfully compact, the city's old centre is divided into the Lower Town, filled with splendid architecture and pleasant parks, and the Upper Town, a charming area of enticing streets.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Exploring Zagreb

We set out on a sightseeing tour with a local guide, visiting Gothic St Mark's Church and the medieval quarter of the city ahead of a free afternoon. Zagreb's attractions are easily explored on foot, and there are plenty of museums and galleries to discover as well as lively pavement cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy authentic Dalmatian cuisine. The Baroque Upper Town is where you'll find a variety of picturesque open-air markets and diverse shops selling a selection of local crafts, and you may also wish to immerse yourself in the relaxed culture with some time spent unwinding in one of the many public parks.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – Plitvice Lakes

Travelling by coach to Plitvice Lakes, we check into our hotel for the night. A collection of 16 turquoise lakes, interconnected through a series of plunging waterfalls, surrounded by 116 square miles of verdant forest - Plitvice Lakes are Croatia's answer to paradise. A national treasure, and the country's most popular tourist attraction, this national park is home to rare animals such as indigenous bears, deer, wolves and wild boar. In the evening, we discover the area with a local guide, visiting a nearby Serbian village which saw major conflict during the Yugoslavia and Bosnian wars, before returning to the hotel for a cooking demonstration of Balkan cuisine, which we enjoy as a delicious dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Plitvice Lakes National Park

We visit the famous lakes themselves today, a UNESCO World Heritage site of cascading waterfalls, the largest of which, Veliki Slap, has a drop of 200 feet, unusual karst formations and outstanding natural beauty. The delightful lakes are rich with minerals, giving them a blue-green colour, as well as rich variety of flora and fauna. Boasting 1,267 different plants, including 55 varieties of orchid and rare plants including spurge-laurel, leopard plant and heartleaf oxeye, horticultural enthusiasts will have plenty to admire. The north-western section of the park is of particular interest, containing fir and beech trees thought to be up 700 years old. In the afternoon, we join the train to Split, where we spend two nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 – Split

We take to the water, enjoying a cruise to the island of Brac where there's time for a walk along the breathtaking seafront and the option to swim at Zlatni Rat Beach, one of the most iconic locations in Croatia. Recognised as one of the most stunning beaches in Europe, its unique shape has earned it the nickname 'the Golden Horn'. Your afternoon is free in Split to wander the warren of walkways which make up Diocletian's Palace or sample some of the delicious local street food. The locals are particularly fond of a dish called cevapi - grilled meatballs served in a flatbread with ajvar.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – Makarska Old Town

Our day begins with an optional excursion to the waterside, where we watch local fishermen unload their night's haul and visit the nearby fish market. We continue along the Adriatic Coast to Dubrovnik for three nights, stopping on the way at Makarska Old Town, a cosmopolitan seaside town with a pretty promenade which sits at the foot of Mount Biokovo. You may like to visit the Franciscan monastery, built by Bosnian monks in the 17th-century, or stop for something to eat at one of the lovely waterfront bistros.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 11 – Dubrovnik

We set out on a guided walking tour of Dubrovnik, a breathtaking Renaissance port and the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. The city's Old Town is UNESCO protected, and you may recognise some of the terracotta streets and buildings from HBO's Game of Thrones. Charming and picturesque, there's a rich array of culturally and historically important buildings, from the world's oldest arboretum, the Aboretum Trsteno, to one of the continent's oldest pharmacies, dating back to the 14th century. The looming parapets of this historic destination have seen their fair share of hardship over the years, most recently the tragic bombardment of the city by the Yugoslav People's Army in 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence. Your afternoon is free. Perhaps take a walk along the ancient walls or step back in time with a visit to the historic Franciscan Church and Monastery complex.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 – Kotor

Travelling along the beautiful Dalmatian coastline to Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor, we board a boat to visit 'Our Lady of the Rocks', a man-made islet crowned by a small church. According to legend, this monument was created when the Virgin Mary appeared to local fishermen who then dropped a stone on the spot every time they sailed by for luck. Today, the stones support a quaint church and museum, home to a famous painting by Tripo Kokoija - The Death of the Virgin - which dates back to the 1600s.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 – Return to the UK

We transfer to the airport for our flight to London Gatwick. Alternatively, you may be travelling to elsewhere in the UK with our regional flight options to Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds or Stansted.

Your luggage will travel with you rather than via our luggage transfer service.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

While every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Rikli Balance Hotel

Rikli Balance Hotel, Bled

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Hotel Lapad, Dubrovnik

Hotel Lapad, Dubrovnik

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Hotel Lyra

Hotel Lyra, Plitvice

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Radission Blu Resort Split

Radission Blu Resort Split

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Hotel Dubrovnik

Hotel Dubrovnik, Zagreb

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Trains

Eurostar
ICE Train
InterCity

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Flight upgrades
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

3.8 stars3.8 / 5 · 10 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (3)
  2. 4 stars
    (3)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr G Lloyd

3 stars

Submitted 07 Oct 2019

We emailed a letter to GRJ outlining our comments and con

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs L Parsons

4 stars

Submitted 11 Nov 2018

Problems with first class rail on 2nd day. Train late and then stopped part way through journey. Meant connection was missed. Tour manager did a brilliant job but very tiring day.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs C Starkey

2 stars

Submitted 19 Oct 2018

Rail journeys were delayed and cancelled. Hotel in Dubrovnik was poor

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs P MacKenzie

5 stars

Submitted 08 Nov 2017

The GRJ choice of sights to visit was excellent, as were hotels. Our tour manager, Tim Neep, was THE BEST! He shepherded us professionally and cheerfully, kept personally connected to each and every one of us. He expertly handled an unforeseen train complication and a group member's serious fall. And he went beyond service in making sure we only two Americans, delayed by a long Immigration line, collected our bags at Gatwick Airport--after all the others were headed home--and got us to a taxi.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr J Mee

3 stars

Submitted 03 Nov 2017

Arrangements generally good, but disappointed with location and standard of hotel in Dubrovnik, and visit to Kotor.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs S Morton

5 stars

Submitted 03 Nov 2017

The scenery, the trains, the hotels, the tour manager and the whole experience made a journey to remember and treasure.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Show all 10 reviews
Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

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Discover magical Eastern Europe

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