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Ljubljana to Split Real Food Adventure


On this eight-day journey through Slovenia and Croatia, you’ll dine on delicious local delicacies in some of the most beautiful places in eastern Europe. Make your way through the Slovenian countryside, stopping along the way to learn the local tips and tricks for perfecting their most famous and beloved dishes. Travel south into Istria, tasting local wines, fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables. Meet Benedictine nuns who make jams and preserves out of the produce they grow in the nunnery and explore the olive groves of an organic farm that preserves the traditional production methods. End it all over breakfast, overlooking the landscape that connects these two incredible countries, and leave this gorgeous part of the world full, happy and with memories (and recipes) to take home with you.

8 days, from

$2,486

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: ZMZJ
Style: Original
Theme: Food

Details

Countries Visited:  Croatia Slovenia
Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Apartment (1 night)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Public bus
Included Meals:

  • 5 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 2 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Dine with a local family in the village of Rakovica, experiencing a slice of life in Croatia and enjoying a home-cooked local dish.

  • Learn how to make traditional soparnik, a popular Croatian dish, prepared by a local family who regularly supplies the dish for events and festivals in town.

  • Meet the people who create and produce regional delicacies across Slovenia and Croatia, from truffle farmers to Benedictine nuns who grow fresh fruits and vegetables in their nunnery.

  • Explore stunning landscapes, villages, towns and cities, immersing yourself in the culture of Split, Bled, Zadar, Rovinj and Motovun.

  • Eat regional delicacies in the places they’re produced. Hunt for your own truffles, sip on glasses of local wine, taste the cured meats and cheeses iconic to the region and savour local deserts that will set your tastebuds alight.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Humana Zagreb. Donations help provide job opportunities and education programs in sustainable fashion and textiles for people with disabilities.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Ljubljana

Zivjo! Welcome to Slovenia. Known as ‘Europe in Miniature’, Slovenia has a huge heart and a wealth of diversity. Best known for hearty, alpine stews, goulash and sauerkraut, Slovenia also boasts wonderful cakes and strudels, not to mention the culinary treasures found in the coastal Karst region, including teran (wine), prsut (air-dried ham) and sensational olive oils. Picturesque Ljubljana is the perfect spot to start your food-based odyssey, as it’s home to a surprisingly diverse food scene – think great local eateries, modern restaurants, street food, cafes and cake shops. Your adventure officially kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. After, your leader can suggest a great place in the heart of the city to sample some delicious traditional dishes.

Day 2: Bled - Smartno

This morning, jump in your private transport and head off to the city of Bled. Tucked in the foothills of the Julian Alps, this resort town is home to the glacial Lake Bled, known for its picture-perfect landscape. When you arrive, hike up to the 11th-century Bled Castle, perched high on the edge of a cliff, and admire the 17th-century Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria, which sits on the island in the centre of the lake. There’s another drawcard that brings people from around the world to beautiful Bled – and that’s kremna rezina. Known as kremsnita by the locals, this dessert is a regional favourite, said to have been invented in Bled’s own Hotel Park in 1953 by Istvan Lukacevic, the in-house pastry chef. Traditionally presented in a perfect cube, this dessert is made up of two-thirds vanilla cream and one-third chantilly cream, sandwiched between layers of filo pastry. Sample some and see for yourself why this has become such an inherent part of the town’s experience. Hit the road again this afternoon, taking the scenic route to Smartno. In the west of Slovenia, and right on the Italian border, this spot is the perfect setting for an afternoon wine tasting. After indulging in some local drops with the group, you’ll have a free evening to explore the town.

Day 3: Motovun

Today you’ll take a tour of an organic farm and orchard for an olive oil and dried fruit tasting. In the heart of the countryside of Slovenian Istria, you’ll learn the traditional methods of organic farming and low temperature drying, which helps preserve the unique flavours of the fruit that is grown on-site. Enjoy a range of hand-picked and dried fruits, including persimmons, figs, pears, plums and apricots. Leaving the farm, you’ll begin your journey south into Croatia, where your leader will pick the perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch. Enjoy local produce, including meats, cheeses, bread, jams and seasonal fruits and vegetables, while looking out over the landscape of the Istrian Peninsula that joins Slovenia and Croatia. After lunch, continue to Motovun in Croatia. Take the evening to explore and find the best spots to enjoy more local cuisine – your leader will always have the best recommendations.

Day 4: Motovun

Motovun is one of the best-preserved medieval Istrian towns in Croatia, with houses scattered all over the hill and a spectacular view of Mirna River Valley. Motovun Forest is the best place for hunting the famous Istrian truffle, and the nearby village of Livade is considered the truffle capital of Istria. Take a walk through the woods with an experienced truffle hunter and learn about this intriguing job. Perhaps even sniff out a truffle of your own! Your host will then prepare a brunch of fritaja (a traditional dish of eggs and truffles). Enjoy this local favourite paired with local sausages, cheeses, spreads and a delicious honey-topped cake. When you’ve had your fill, head off for the romantic Croatian town of Rovinj on the Adriatic Coast. When you arrive, go on a leader-led orientation walk to get your bearings and explore Rovinj's beautiful, architecturally intact Old Town. Through the centuries, Rovinj has enchanted countless artists and writers, including Jules Verne. Return to Motovun tonight and spend the evening at leisure. Maybe seek out a local restaurant to taste more of the fantastic local produce.

Day 5: Plitvice National Park - Rakovica

Take a private transfer to the stunning World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park – the largest national park in Croatia and known to be one of the oldest in southeast Europe, full of waterfalls and blue lakes. The waters tumble from a high, tree-lined ridge down through the valley before skirting dense forests of beech, spruce and pine. The Upper Lakes are in the dolomite cliffs, where rushing water weaves in and out of the karst before dropping dramatically down to the forest, grottoes and steep cliffs of the Lower Lakes. Take in this lush environment on a walk and boat trip through the park. After, carry onto Rakovica village, where you’ll stay the night. Dinner includes a delicious home-cooked meal provided by your hosts – a hearty serving of traditional Croatian kotlovina. This mixed meat dish consists mainly of pork schnitzels and sausages, traditionally made in a cauldron (which translates to kotlovina) for large groups of people, feasts, holiday celebrations or parties. Watch as your hosts prepare your meal before tucking in and enjoying the robust flavours and hints of spice.

Day 6: Zadar

Farewell your hosts after breakfast, and then travel by to the walled city of Zadar. For centuries, Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia, and you can feel the city's rich heritage in every step. It’s also celebrated for many culinary treasures, including the fresh seafood, the sheep and goats in the mountains, reared for their meat and milk, and the wonderful fresh produce grown in the broad belt of land surrounding Zadar. Before exploring this incredible city, visit a Benedictine nunnery, renowned for its fresh fruit and vegetables that are turned into delicious jams, pickles and preserves. Learn about the lives and work of the residents from your host, perhaps picking up some gardening or pickling tips along the way! After, you’ll have free time to explore the city. Be sure to stop by the ‘Sea Organ’ on Zadar’s waterfront – these musical steps celebrate the city’s relationship with the sea. Enjoy strolling the marble streets of the Old Town, discovering Roman ruins and medieval churches at your own pace. Your dining options are plentiful tonight – lamb in red wine, fresh fish or njoki – just ask your leader for their recommendations.

Day 7: Split

Rise early this morning for a stroll through Zadar's vibrant fish market. The fish market is built into the city ramparts at the exact spot where the trawlers land with their catch. You’ll also get an opportunity to see some of the produce grown in the area this morning. Depending on the season, you may find citrus fruits and kiwis from the islands, fresh and dried figs and homemade olive oil. After, head southeast towards Split by public bus. After dropping your luggage at your hotel, head out of town to visit a local family who specialise in a regional delicacy – soparnik (a pastry made with a mix of silverbeet, onions and parsley). The family regularly provide these pastries for weddings and events, so you’ll be getting some of the best in the area! After your cooking demonstration, return to Split. Why not get together with your group for one last farewell drink to mark the end of your journey.

Day 8: Split

Your adventure through Slovenia and Croatia ends after breakfast this morning. As there is so much to see in Split and the surrounding area, you may want to consider extending your time in Split. Just speak to your booking agent to organise extra accommodation and feel free to ask your leader for any local tips to make the most of your extended stay.