Discover the serene Lake Bled
Serene Lake Bled, the pretty Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, lively and historic Zagreb, the seaside city of Split, wonderful Dubrovnik, and the unspoiled beauty of Montenegro: our grand tour takes us on a voyage of discovery into this magical region.
We meet in St Pancras International at our dedicated Departure Office, travelling by Eurostar to Brussels in Standard Premier Class. We change trains and continue to Munich or Ulm for an overnight stay.
After a relaxed morning on Day 2, we continue our journey by First Class rail. Leaving Munich, we travel across beautiful Bavaria, through Austria and the mighty Austrian Alps into Slovenia. We arrive in Bled, an enchanting town set on the shimmering, turquoise waters of the glacial lake bearing the same name. Surrounded by forested slopes and the jagged summits of the Julian Alps, the lake has a majestic backdrop and is crowned by Bled Castle, which stands on a steep cliff face overlooking the lake. On arrival at Lesce Bled we transfer to our hotel, where we stay for the next three nights.
On Day 3 you are free to explore the picturesque town of Bled and the surrounding area. One of the most popular options is to take a boat to the delightful island near the lake's centre, or perhaps take the chance to visit Bled Castle? This thousand year-old building looks like it has been plucked straight from the pages of a fairy tale, and is a delight to explore and discover its many collections of weaponry and ancient jewellery.
Our excursion today takes us to Ljubljana, Slovenia's thriving capital city. Ljubljana boasts a wide range of architectural styles, from the Art Nouveau and Baroque of its older centre to the more modern architecture of the last 100 years. On arrival we enjoy a guided walking tour of its most famous sights, many of which are within its impressive pedestrianised Old Town, easily explored on foot. Afterwards, we head south by coach to the fascinating Postojna Caves. We enter the labyrinth of caverns on a small electric railway before enjoying a walk into the very heart of this underground cave system.
On Day 5 We transfer to the railway station and depart Bled by train. Travelling in Standard Class, we cross the lush undulating scenery of Slovenia to the Croatian border and our next destination, vibrant Zagreb. The city of Zagreb is wonderfully compact; the old centre is divided into the Lower Town, filled with splendid architecture and pleasant parks, and the Upper Town, a charming area of cobbled streets. The highlights of the city are easily explored on foot, and the architecture and style of the city give Zagreb the feel of an Imperial city; a clear reflection of the city's importance in the Austro-Hungarian empire. Throughout the Upper and Lower Town, dozens of museums and galleries rub shoulders with lively pavement cafés and restaurants.
On Day 6 we enjoy a guided tour of Zagreb, introducing us to sights such as the 14th century Gothic St Mark's Church and the medieval Upper Town. We also see Kaptol, an urban complex of churches, palaces, museums and galleries before you have a free afternoon to continue exploring.
Today travel by coach to Plitvice Lakes and transfer to our hotel. This evening we discover the local area with a guide, visiting a local Serbian village that saw major conflict in Yusgolavia and Bosnian wars. Return to the hotel for a cooking demonstration of Balkan cuisine, which we enjoy for dinner.
On Day 8 we visit Plitvice Lakes. The sixteen lakes are part of 116 square mile National Park and are each interconnected by a series of waterfalls and cascades, the largest of which Veliki Slap, has a drop of 200 feet. This unique region of turquoise-coloured water pools and mountains has UNESCO World Heritage status owing to its unusual karst formations and outstanding natural beauty, and offers countless photo opportunities.
After lunch in a local restaurant we travel by rail (Standard Class) to Split, during which we enjoy the passing scenery of mountains, lakes, rivers, and luscious vineyards. Split was originally built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, signs of which you will see during your free time here - from the white-walled buildings, to part of the best preserved Roman Palace complex in Europe and situated in the very heart of Split. The city's compact city centre is a maze of narrow, haphazardly winding streets, stone stairways, low arches and twisting alleyways. We stay for two nights at the Radisson Blu in Split.
On Day 9 we take to the water to view the city from a different angle, on a scenic boat cruise to the island of Brac. Your afternoon is then at leisure for you to explore more of this intriguing destination. The city's masterpiece, the Diocletian Palace, is well worth visiting, as is the National Theatre and the palace - a UNESCO World Heritage site packed with historical buildings and museums.
Our departure by coach takes us along the scenic route from Split to Dubrovnik, calling in at Makarska Old Town, nestled on the Adriatic Coast. This picturesque town and port, that sits at the foot of towering Biokovo Mountain, is home to a fantastically characteristic Mediterranean Old Town with narrow stone-paved streets, a bustling church square and a Franciscan monastery. Follow the winding paths that tumble down to delightful pebble beaches, or continue exploring the older section of the city whose history can be traced back to the 4th century BC. We continue to Dubrovnik, where we check in to our hotel ahead of an evening at leisure.
Today's sightseeing tour introduces us to the breathtaking Renaissance port and 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. We visit the stunning old city, another UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy a panoramic tour of unique Dubrovnik. Tourism in Dubrovnik has seen a resurgence in recent years, with its use as the filming location of King's Landing in HBO's Game of Thrones heightening its already alluring appeal. This afternoon is free, so you could take a walk along the city walls for a different perspective of the city's stunning mixture of Gothic and Baroque architecture.
Today we travel along the beautiful Dalmatian coastline to Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor. Often described as the Mediterranean's only fjord because of its winding, glacial appearance, here we take a boat to visit Our Lady of the Rocks, a man-made islet in the bay crowned by a small church.
According to legend, this ecclesiastical monument was created when the Virgin Mary appeared to local fishermen on this spot who then began a ritual of dropping a stone on the spot every time they sailed by. On our return to Dubrovnik, we enjoy a final farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Following breakfast, we transfer to Dubrovnik airport for our flight to London Gatwick.
Please note: your luggage will travel back to the UK on the flight with you, as opposed to being delivered back to your door.
While every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
NEW FOR 2020: Inclusive Luggage Transfer
Enhancing your tour
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 18 verified reviews
Hotels v good. Tour Manager excellent - organised, helpful, clear information,friendly.
Wonderful group of people and superb hotels and scenery
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.
A wonderful experience seeing so many countries and the beautiful scenery.
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.
The scenery, the trains, the hotels, the tour manager and the whole experience made a journey to remember and treasure.
An excellent holiday on all accounts.
Overall it was a brilliant holiday but the Hotel Aria in Dubrovnik was dreadful and the food in all the hotels was poor which was a great shame.
Very efficient. Good quality hotels.
Holiday was all we expected and more, especially as we upgraded to sea view/lake bedrooms. The only downside was a long train journey to Munich on the first day, staying in an average hotel. It would also be nice if they could swap the itinerary on the last 2 days so that we have a relaxing final day before the journey home, rather than a full day of excursions before an early departure home.
Discover the serene Lake Bled