This outstanding 11-night journey reveals the boundless treasures of Slovenia and Croatia, from humming capitals to ancient seaside towns, rolling vineyards to sundrenched coasts, and tranquil lakes to breathtaking harbors. Begin in trendy Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city, host to fabled bridges and storybook architecture. Enjoy immersive visits to charming Lake Bled, a honeybee farm and a family-owned vineyard in the heart of wine country. After crossing into Croatia, discover Zagreb’s landmarks, including the beautiful St. Mark’s church and Mirogoj Cemetery. More wonders await in Plitvice National Park and the medieval courtyards of Split’s Diocletian Palace. See the centuries-old craft of carving stone on the island of Brač; then drive along the Dalmatian Coast to Dubrovnik, the gem of the Adriatic Sea. Here, linger in the Franciscan Monastery and Sponza Palace, and spend leisure time exploring the marble-paved squares and historic walls. Along the way, expert lectures shed light on the region’s complex history and traditional dishes indulge your palate. This program features first-class hotels in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik and an extensive meal plan, featuring wine with dinner.
View details and reserve here: https://texas.ahitravel.com/destinations/1617A?schoolId=167
Day 1 | Depart gateway city
AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Ljubljana, Slovenia. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: LJU.
Day 2 | Ljubljana, Slovenia
Arrive at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.
Transfer to the InterContinental Ljubljana. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.
Gather with your fellow travelers to enjoy a Welcome Reception, followed by a Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 | Ljubljana
B | D
Enrichment: Yugoslavia and the Republic of Slovenia. Join a local expert to learn about Slovenia’s modern society and its economic future.
Discovery: Ljubljana Walking Tour and Cruise. Discover this captivating, trendy city! Witness Ljubljana’s Old Town with its baroque, Renaissance and Art Nouveau architecture. Pause to browse the bustling Central Market and visit Prešeren Square, the city’s popular gathering place. This cobblestone-paved main square, named after Slovenia’s national poet France Prešere, features the pink Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. Walk through Congress Square, see the University of Ljubljana and step inside the Ljubljana Cathedral. Discover the city from another vantage point during a cruise on Ljubljanica River, a serene waterway bordered with weeping willows, trendy outdoor cafes and pastel-hued buildings. Skim beneath legend-laden bridges, including Triple Bridge, which connects Ljubljana’s modern square with the historic neighborhood, and the striking Dragon Bridge, guarded by four mighty dragons. (Moderate)
Free Time: Your afternoon is at leisure to craft your own adventures in Ljubljana.
Gather for dinner tonight in a local establishment.
Day 4 | Lake Bled
B | L
Discovery: Alluring Lake Bled. This pristine setting of Alpine mountains, a swan-filled lake and a fairytale castle will make your heart swell. Ride aboard a pletna, a flat-bottomed boat, to Bled Island, home to the Church of the Assumption of Mary and a fabled 16th-century wishing bell. Return to shore and visit a bee farm to learn about the history and significance of Slovenia’s thriving api-tourism industry. Beekeeping has been an important agricultural activity here since the 16th century. Today, with over 10,000 beekeepers spread across the country, Slovenia is aptly referred to as the “cradle of beekeeping.” Learn about the Carniolan bee — Slovenia’s protected native species — and discover the variety of products produced with their honey. Then marvel at sweeping vistas of the electric-blue lake from above at the cliff-top Bled Castle, which features a museum with jewelry and weaponry. (Active)
Dine on regional favorites during lunch at a restaurant outside of, or near, Lake Bled.
Day 5 | Slovenske Konjice | Zagreb, Croatia
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
B | L
Discovery: Northeastern Slovenia. Journey through sunny hills and meadows bursting with color into northeastern Slovenia. This prominent wine region is steeped in centuries of viniculture and is known for producing high-quality red, white and sparkling wines. Stop at Zlati Grič Winery and settle in for a wine tasting and lunch at the property’s vineyard cottage restaurant. (Moderate)
Continue your journey through beautiful countryside and cross into Croatia. Upon arrival in Zagreb, check in to the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel.
Day 6 | Zagreb
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
B | D
Enrichment: Contemporary Croatia. Join a local expert to gain a thorough understanding of recent events that have shaped the stable, independent Croatia of today.
Discovery: Zagreb. Tucked between the sparkling Sava River and the forested slopes of Mount Medvednica, Zagreb intertwines European elegance with a delightful Balkan spirit. Following a panoramic tour of Zagreb’s modern Lower Town, drive outside the city center to visit Mirogoj Cemetery. Designed by architect Hermann Bollé, this gem is filled with tiled arcades, creeping ivy, sculptures and green copper domes. Back in Zagreb’s beautifully preserved Upper Town, admire a rich array of Austro-Hungarian architecture and see more treasures by Bollé: The Cathedral of Assumption and St. Mark’s Church. Originally erected in the 13th century, St. Mark’s Church features a brilliantly tiled mosaic roof that depicts the Croatian, Dalmatian and Slavic coats of arms as well as those representing Zagreb. (Moderate)
Free Time: Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Zagreb. The city offers many wonderful museums to fill your time, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Illusions.
Discovery: Peka Dinner. Experience an authentic Croatian dinner tonight! Peka is a traditional meal prepared using a unique cooking method. A combination of meat — usually veal, lamb and chicken — and vegetables is mixed with a tasty array of spices, oils, honey, herbs and cognac. The feast is then roasted under a bell-like lid on hot coals. (Mild)
Day 7 | Plitvice Lakes National Park | Split
B | L | D
Discovery: Plitvice Lakes National Park. Enjoy a refreshing escape to one of Croatia’s most spectacular natural wonders. This UNESCO World Heritage site flaunts sixteen crystal lakes that are laced together in a series of awe-inspiring waterfalls and cascades. The vibrant landscape is a vision of unsurpassed beauty where the waters shimmer and constantly change color, a result of the karst terrain. Wander planked walkways and trails amid a fragrant forest of beech and pine. The park is also home to nearly 160 species of birds as well as many rare, endemic species, including the endangered European brown bear. Enjoy lunch during the outing. (Active)
Depart the national park and enjoy a scenic drive to Split. Upon arrival, check in to the Cornaro Hotel.
Gather for dinner at the hotel this evening. Influenced by the culinary traditions of Italy, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and other Central and Eastern European neighbors, Croatian food truly represents the country’s rich, varied heritage. While food along the Dalmatian Coast leans toward lighter Mediterranean ingredients, such as seafood, olive oil and simple spices, the cuisine of the central region is often based on heartier meat dishes cooked with onions, beans and potatoes.
Day 8 | Split
B | L
Enrichment: Croatia’s Seafaring History. Discover the significant role Croatia’s Adriatic coastline has played throughout centuries of nautical history due to its strategic location and abundant bays and inlets.
Discovery: Exploring Split. Enjoy a walking tour of Split and delight in the city’s historical wonders. Visit the incredible living ruin of Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been continuously inhabited since the Roman emperor abdicated his throne in A.D. 305. See the cellars, temple ruins, the elaborate Cathedral of St. Domnius and the Golden Gate, and witness the Peristyle, a rectangular open court that was the heart of the palace. Roaming this complex’s tangle of passageways, courtyards and underground chambers is one of Croatia’s most enchanting experiences. Conclude your excursion over lunch at a local fish market. (Moderate)
Free Time: Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Split.
Day 9 | Split | Brač
B | L
Discovery: Brač. The Dalmatian Coast boasts 1,186 islands, 60 of which are inhabited. Visit Dalmatia’s largest island today and board a ferry for a cruise to Brač. During your cruise across the Brač Channel, absorb the Mediterranean scenery, a captivating visual treat of karst limestone cliffs, cypress trees and palm-shaded coves. Upon arrival at Supetar, Brač’s largest settlement, disembark and drive to Pučišća, a settlement recognized worldwide for its stone quarries. The stone, which was used to build the White House, Budapest’s Parliament House, Split’s Diocletian’s Palace and many other iconic buildings, has been quarried from the island since Roman times! See the centuries-old craft of carving stone by hand at Pučišća Stonemasonry School. The school is still in use today and has an average enrollment of over 100 students each year. (Moderate)
Discovery: Winery Tour. From Pučišća, travel to the southern part of the island to Bol. After a group lunch, visit Brač’s oldest winery, and tour its wine making facilities and cellar. Croatia offers a diverse selection of local wines and this region is recognized for the outstanding grape varieties of Posip, Vugava, Plavac Mali and Merlot. Learn how the winery cultivates grapes in Brač’s untamed landscape and rocky soil, and enjoy a wine tasting during your visit. (Moderate)
Return to Supetar and enjoy a ferry ride back to Split.
Free Time: The evening is at leisure in Split.
Day 10 | Split | Dubrovnik
Grand Villa Argentina
B | L
Discovery: The Dalmatian Coast. Your journey this morning takes you on a scenic drive along the Southern Dalmatian Coast to Dubrovnik. While driving along one of Europe’s most picturesque stretches of coastline, you’ll see tiny villages nestled in coves, bright turquoise bays and rolling hills peppered with fig, orange and apple trees. Stop for lunch at leisure along the way. (Moderate)
Upon arrival in Dubrovnik, check in to the Grand Villa Argentina.
Day 11 | Dubrovnik
Grand Villa Argentina
Discovery: Dubrovnik. This beautiful city was relentlessly shelled during Croatia’s Homeland War in the early 1990s, but the medieval churches, graceful fountains and squares have been restored to their former glory. Visit the baroque cathedral and admire the loggia and ornamentation inside of the Rector’s Palace. Explore the medieval Sponza Palace, which houses priceless ancient manuscripts, and visit the 14th-century Franciscan Monastery’s Romanesque cloister. Its small apothecary is the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. (Moderate)
Free time: You may wish to walk around the old walls of the city, an experience that offers splendid views of Dubrovnik’s distinctive orange rooftops, the harbor and the vast stretch of blue sea. For dinner at leisure, consider trying manestra, a typical bean soup found along coastal Croatia, or brudet, a fish stew simmered with chili pepper and polenta. Finish off your meal with rozata, a sweet pudding with a flan-like texture.
Day 12 | Dubrovnik
Grand Villa Argentina
B | D
Free Time: Spend the day exploring Dubrovnik’s trove of architectural, cultural and artistic gems. Discover for yourself what writers throughout time have struggled to convey about this city’s inimitable allure.
This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Dinner.
Day 13 | Depart for gateway city
After breakfast, bid farewell to this beautiful region of Europe. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Dubrovnik Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.