Trace the walls of ancient capitals, pretty Adriatic seaside retreats and natural icons like Plitvice and Lake Bled - an enchanting journey to Trafalgar Highlights in Croatia and Slovenia.
Embark on an off-the-beaten track discovery of Croatia. The capital city of Zagreb is your springboard to an enchanting journey through what was once a troubled region and is today a land of diverse cultures and traditions. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception and evening orientation drive.
Spend the morning exploring Zagreb with a 'Local Specialist' before travelling through romantic landscapes to the lakeside resort town of Bled, where we'll stay the next two nights.
Location: Zagreb, Bled
Enjoy some free time today to connect with this enchanting setting, but not before you sail on Lake Bled's crystal-clear waters to Bled Island to view its Church of the Assumption. Spend the rest of the day exploring on your terms, or consider joining an Optional Experience to Slovenia's largest glacial lake. This evening, savour local Slovenian flavours as you 'Connect With Locals' at a traditional 'Be My Guest' dinner with a local family.
We leave the beauty of Bled behind for one of Europe's smallest capitals. Embark on an orientation tour of Ljubljana this morning, admiring its Old Town, bridges and Castle. We continue to the seaside resort of Opatija.
Seaside splendour is on the agenda today and you'll start your day in the coastal city of Pula on Croatia's Istrian Peninsula. Visit Pula's 1st-century arena, with your 'Local Specialist', and learn about the city's role as a strategic location for the Romans, Ostrogoths, Venetians and the Allied Forces in World War II, before heading to the fishing port of Rovinj. Wander through the Old Town and witness its Mediterranean influences. We return to Opatija for some time on our own. See the statuesque nymph, her hand outstretched to cradle a seagull as a symbol of this region, and admire the belle-époque architecture.
The extraordinary natural beauty of Plitvice lakes centre stage today as we embark on a guided walking tour. Admire the cascade of spectacular waterfalls and crystal-clear waters reflecting green, grey and blue against the lush landscapes. Enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Today, we visit the walled island of Trogir with a 'Local Specialist'. The stone town is connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by bridges and will delight lovers of art, and Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque architecture. We continue our journey to Split, where we'll join a 'Local Specialist' for a sightseeing tour, which includes entry into Diocletian's Palace, built for the emperor's retirement. Spend the evening on your own, or join an Optional Experience to enjoy traditional Dalmatian flavours.
Location: Split, Trogir
Delve into centuries of heritage on this free day in Split. Consider a full-day Optional Experience to one of the Dalmatian islands. Ascend the bell tower for magnificent views of the sprawling terracotta roofs and white marble façades that edge onto the Adriatic. Or savour the city's delicious gastronomy at cafés tucked away in hidden lanes.
The terracotta rooftops of Dubrovnik beckon, but not before we stop to admire the extraordinary walled city of Ston, with its dramatic views and laid-back fishing village atmosphere. 'Dive Into Culture' and visit Europe's oldest salt pans where you'll hear how salt has been harvested here since ancient times. We continue to Dubrovnik this evening.
Tread in the footsteps of Lord Byron and George Bernard Shaw, who were intoxicated by the allure of Dubrovnik. With your 'Local Specialist', you'll embark on a sightseeing tour past the Rector's Palace, Onofrio's Fountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries, before spending time on your own. As our journey comes to an end, join your travel companions for a Farewell Dinner.
A leisurely start to your day could see you get your final fix of Dubrovnik. Then, transfer to the MV Aquamarin where you'll meet your onboard team. Set sail for Korčula, most famously the birthplace of Marco Polo and reminiscent of Dubrovnik with its medieval squares, churches and palaces. You'll discover why the locals call it 'The Black Island' and see how its towering walls have shielded its capital for centuries as it came under the rule of the Greeks, the Romans, the Venetians and even the British. After a tour through the Old Town's narrow streets, you'll have time to soak up the local atmosphere in one of the many konobas, restaurants or cocktail bars.
Location: Zagreb, Bled
Follow in the footsteps of ancient Illyrian, Greek and Roman sailors as you cruise to Metković. It's here, on the banks of the Neretva, that you'll find one of the last remaining wetland deltas in Europe. A barge ride into the groves provides the perfect opportunity to view the local flora, fauna and birdlife. Next, visit the Narona Archaeological Museum, where you'll see the remains of the Augusteum Roman temple, at the heart of what was once a major Roman stronghold. Tonight, you'll be hosted by the Captain for dinner.
Your cruise continues towards the capital of Dalmatia and the home to the UNESCO-listed Diocletian's palace. Explore Split's buzzing historical town centre on foot with your 'Local Specialist' who will share all the iconic and unexpected highlights with you as you wind your way towards Split Market at the heart of Croatia's second-largest city. Watch the animated vendors ply their fruits, fish and vegetables to locals visiting the market for their daily grocery run. You'll be tempted to stay in Split forever, but the comfort of your ship beckons and you'll return to it later this afternoon.
Arrive in Skradin and travel to Bibich winery where you'll get to sample some of the indigenous varietals produced by this boutique family-owned winery. Next up is a visit to Krka Waterfalls National Park, where you'll visit 'Skradinski Buk', a spectacular vantage point from which to view 17 separate falls cascading 45 metres to the pools below. Refreshed after taking a dip in the crystal waters, you'll have the afternoon to explore the cultural monuments and waterfront attractions of Šibenik, a historic city along the Dalmatian coast and the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the Adriatic.
Cruise to Zadar, Croatia's oldest university town. From the 1st-century Roman forum to the 9th-century St. Donat Church, there's history around every turn. After exploring the wealth of museums, churches and palaces, you'll make your way to Zadar's Riva to see (and hear) the mesmerising Sea Organ, comprising several stairs that descend into the sea.
Today you'll explore the 'island of love'. A guided tour of Rab will reveal its highlights, including its ancient walls, church bell towers and the monastery at the 16th-century Church of St. Justine. Sample Rab cake and enjoy a presentation of how this local delight is made. Rub shoulders with local artists who add a splash of colour to the streets of the town before returning to your cruise ship.
Location: Split, Trogir
Opatija was a favourite getaway of the Habsburgs and it will be for you too. Often compared to the French Riviera, the area has a colourful history which is brought to life by your 'Local Specialist'. Savour the town's café culture and stroll down Franz Joseph promenade to the fishing village of Volosko. Tonight your Farewell Dinner on board is paired with live entertainment.
Say a fond farewell to your newfound friends at the end of an unforgettable journey. Transfers are available to Zagreb airport. Conditions apply.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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