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Premium Rome to Dubrovnik


From storied cities to glittering coastlines, uncover the best of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia on a 23-day Premium adventure. Travel through the rustic heart of Tuscany, explore the wonders of Venice, Pisa’s Leaning Tower and Rome’s Colosseum. Discover the beaming waters of Lake Bled and the underground world of the Postojna Caves and the spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park. Get away from the modern world and in with the locals on the remote island of Lastovo, take in ancient riches on Korcula island and stroll the legendary streets of Dubrovnik. Throw in expert local leaders, buckets of sunshine and some of Europe’s best food and you have an adventure to remember.

23 days, from

$12,020

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: ZMPXC
Style: Premium
Print itinerary

Details

Countries Visited:  Croatia Italy Slovenia
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel (18 nights), Feature stay (4 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , High-speed train , Ferry
Meals: 7 dinners, 22 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Experience three memorable feature stays - a converted castle hotel in the rolling vineyards of Tuscany's Chianti region, a tranquil hotel on a private island in Istria and an exquisite guesthouse on the unspoiled Lastovo Island.

  • Explore Rome’s iconic Colosseum under moonlight during an evening tour. Walk in the footsteps of gladiators without the jostling daytime crowds.

  • Delight in regional specialties during a wine-tasting at a family garden vineyard in Tuscany and a truffle and Istrian wine tasting in Motovun.

  • Uncover the natural beauty of the region during visits to Lake Bled and Plitvice Lakes National Park and ride a cable car up Mt Vogel for exceptional views over Lake Bohinj and the foothills of the mighty Alps.

  • Immerse yourself in local culture as you head out with a fisherman from Lastovo Island, helping to bring in the daily catch and enjoying an on-board lunch of the freshest seafood imaginable.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Rome

Welcome to Rome! Enjoy a complimentary transfer to your hotel and settle in. If you arrive with time to spare, the city’s magnificent buildings are best appreciated by foot, so perhaps wander in search of an espresso. Your Italian adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers joining you. Once the formalities are out of the way, get your first taste of Italy over an included dinner with your group at an excellent local restaurant. Sitting down to dinner in Rome means experiencing generations of culinary know-how and timeless traditional recipes. Once your leader introduces you to some of Italy’s best dishes, you’ll understand why this country is so renowned for great food.

Day 2: Rome

From incredible ancient monuments to glamourous restaurants and boutiques, Rome is a city of great beauty and diversity. Today your leader will take you back in time as you learn about historical monuments during an orientation walk of the city. Marvel at the Roman Forum, the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and Venezia, the Spanish Steps and Via Dei Condotti. Stop in at a local bar for a quick coffee or gelato. The afternoon free for you to explore as you please – perhaps take the chance to visit the majestic Vatican City and St Peter’s Basilica. Rome’s grandiose Colosseum is its most iconic site, and this evening you’ll have the opportunity to avoid the daytime crowds and explore the Colosseum by night. Follow the footsteps of gladiators and Roman emperors as your leader shares the unbelievable history of this great arena.

Day 3: Siena / Monteriggioni / Chianti Region

This morning take a high-speed train to Florence, your gateway to Tuscany. From here you will drive to the gorgeous city of Siena, where your leader will show you the most interesting sights on an orientation walk. At the city’s heart is the Piazza del Campo – home to the biannual Palio horse race, and nearby is the stunning Siena Cathedral. Continue on for another 30 minutes to Monteriggioni – a Tuscan walled town full of history. Over a dozen towers are spread throughout the town, once used to defend Sienese territory from the Florentines. You will have time to explore this small village before arriving at your feature stay accommodation. Tucked away among Tuscany’s famous rolling green hills you’ll find a romantic hotel converted from an 11th-century convent. With cinematic views of the surrounding vineyards and countryside, this place is what dreams are made of. Tonight, indulge in an included gourmet dinner at your hotel with your group – the food is made with ingredients grown on their on-site garden and perfectly paired with some of the region’s local wine.

Day 4: San Gimignano / Lucca / Pisa / Florence

Start the day with a visit to San Gimignano – the 'Town of Fine Towers'. Explore the medieval Old Town centre and its fine Gothic and Romanesque architecture, with your leader on hand to answer any questions inspired by your explorations. This region is also renowned for its ancient Vernaccia grapes, which are the basis for one of Tuscany's finest white wines. Your group will have the special opportunity to relax in a local family’s garden surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, tasting a variety of wines. Then continue to Lucca, a delightful city on the Serchio river, and take a walk along the city’s beautifully preserved Renaissance walls. Your next stop is Pisa. Due to the precarious state of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Torre Pendente, it is not always possible to climb it, but you will have the opportunity to photograph it from the ground as your leader shares the history of this legendary building. You may wish to visit the Cathedral, Baptistry, Museums and Camposanto, in which case your leader will help you arrange tickets. Continue to your accommodation in Florence, the jewel in the Tuscan crown.

Day 5: Florence

Today you will discover one of the world’s most beautiful city’s during an orientation walk with your leader. Marvel at the at the Duomo cathedral, visit the St. John's Baptistery and hear the stories of the Medici family who ruled over the city during the Renaissance. Cross the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge and peruse the ancient shops that huddle on its edges. Stop by the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy. Established in 1221, this is believed to be the oldest operating pharmacy in the world. Still in its original building and using 800-year-old recipes and preparation methods, this is truly like taking a step back in time. Enjoy a free afternoon – perhaps pay a visit to Galleria dell'Accademia, the home of Michelangelo's world-famous statue of David, or kick up your heels and watch the world go by with an excellent local coffee in hand. Florence boasts a delectable array of restaurants so be sure to ask your leader for recommendations.

Day 6: Florence

Enjoy a free day in Florence to explore the city and its museums and galleries – ask your leader for some local tips on the best way to spend the day. Visiting the Uffizi while you are here is highly recommended – it is one of the oldest galleries in the world, and a building of great beauty. Sample some of the culinary delicacies on offer from across Tuscany, with dishes known for their freshness, simplicity and quality. Olive oil, beans and herbs are a feature here. Two standout dishes of the region are bistecca alla fiorentina – a large steak sliced on the bone and shared between multiple diners, and ribollita – a simple, hearty soup of bread, vegetables and beans. Panforte is the signature sweet treat.

Day 7: Venice

In the morning, head to the railway station and take a high-speed train to Venice. Upon arrival your leader will take you on an orientation walk so you can get acquainted with the city’s maze of canals and learn about its unique history. Lunch today is a tasting of cicchetti – Venice’s version of tapas. Enjoy a delicious array of small dishes such as black ink calamari, polenta with seafood and seasonal vegetables. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore. The Grand Canal, the quaint shopfronts that line the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco are all worthy sights to visit, or simply meander around the tiny cobbled streets and discover the beautiful markets, cafes, galleries and churches. A Venetian gondola ride down the canals is a must, as is a taste of the region’s dessert speciality, tiramisu.

Day 8: Venice

The day is yours to explore more of marvellous Venice. You may like to catch a ferry to the island of Murano to tour its glass blowing factories, or to the nearby Burano to learn about its famous lace production. A meeting will take place at your hotel at 6pm this evening to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your adventure. After the meeting tonight, join your leader and small group for dinner at a fabulous local restaurant. Venice is famous for fantastic seafood and fresh Veneto vegetables – perhaps try some fritto misto, a delicious mix of fried seafood, or risotto with asparagus.

Day 9: Postojna Caves / Ljubljana / Bled

Farewell Venice in the morning and travel to the Postojna Caves, where you will take some time out for lunch before exploring. A network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers, Postojna is the largest classic karst cave in Europe. Begin with a two-kilometre open-top train ride through narrow tunnels into the jungle of stalactites and stalagmites. In the vast chambers the electric lighting allows you to admire the size and splendour of the underground world, and the leader will explain the geology of these natural wonders. Continue to Ljubljana, a city full of style and sophistication. On arrival take a guided tour around the Old Town with your leader. Learn about the city’s history as you visit Ljubljana Castle, the Town Hall, Cathedral of St Nicholas and the Dragon Bridge. You'll also pay a visit to the open market under arcades before continuing to the lake side town of Bled.

Day 10: Lake Bohinj / Bled

This morning you’ll drive through the misty Sava Bohinjka Valley to beautiful Lake Bohinj, the largest permanent natural lake in Slovenia. Take a cable car to the top of Mt Vogel, where you will be greeted by simply astonishing views of evergreen woods sloping down the mountains to touch the brilliant blue waters. Take some time to enjoy this amazing area before returning to Bled, renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then embark on some sightseeing. Take a Pletna boat ride (a wooden, awning-covered boat rowed by a special oarsman) to the island on Lake Bled and climb up the 99 steps to St Mary's Church. Enjoy a free evening. Be sure to seek out the famous Bled cream cake, which isn’t hard; nearly every cafe and cake shop in town claims that theirs is the best.

Day 11: Motovun / Rovinj

Farewell Slovenia this morning and drive to Motovun, one of Croatia’s most interesting towns. Motovun sits on the top of a cone-shaped hill surrounded by the natural diversity of the bountiful Mirna River Valley, whose forests are famous for truffle hunting. The medieval charm of the town is still found in its well-preserved architecture. Today you will have the chance to sample the delectable local product during a truffle tasting combined with fritaja (Croatian omelette), a local speciality. Your sommelier will pair your tasting with suitable Istrian wines to try, such as the famous Malvazija. Continue on to the romantic Croatian town of Rovinj, one of the best-kept towns on the Adriatic Coast. Among Rovinj's qualities is the beautiful, architecturally intact old town centre, and its venetian-style St. Euphemia Church. Tonight’s feature stay accommodation is the spectacular Hotel Istra, set on a private island just a short boat ride from Rovinj. Away from the pressures of the mainland, here you’ll experience total tranquillity on your own slice of paradise. The hotel makes the most of its scenic setting, with stunning views at every turn. Combine that with fantastic facilities, gorgeous rooms and polished service and you’ve got an experience to remember.

Day 12: Opatija / Plitvice

This morning you will make your way inland with a stop at the town of Opatija, a former resort town for wealthy Austro-Hungarian families. Here you’ll have the opportunity to walk along the famed centuries-old Franz Joseph I Promenade, better known as the Lungomare – a coastal footpath that stretches from Volosko to Lovran. There will be time for you to explore the stretch of the promenade closest to town, and to have lunch. In the afternoon your will arrive at your accommodation, tucked away in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Enjoy an evening at leisure.

Day 13: Plitvice Lakes National Park / Zadar

Today you will explore one of Croatia's most beautiful sites – Plitvice Lakes National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site is fairy-tale land of wooded hills, rare creatures, turquoise lakes and stunning waterfalls. Enjoy some time to discover the park’s wonderful trails. Your leader will recommend the best routes to take to suit your interests and will outline the rules of the park. After your memorable visit to the lakes, drive to the walled city of Zadar. For centuries Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia, and the city's rich heritage is visible at every step. Take an afternoon sightseeing tour of this splendid city with a local guide. Learn the ancient history of the Roman Forum built in the first-Century and St Donatus' Church. Visit the reconstructed Romanesque St Grisigono's Church, St Mary's bell tower, St Anastasia's Cathedral, and the People's Square. Lastly, you will visit the Three and Five Wells Squares. There is also an opportunity to visit the Gold and Silver Museum.

Day 14: Zadar

The day is yours to continue to get to know Zadar. Speak to your leader for advice on how to tailor a perfect day in this city – there’s so much to do, the hard part is deciding what to choose. There are a number of excellent museums to visit including the Museum of Church Art, the Archaeological Museum and the National Museum. Don't forget to visit the famous ‘Greeting to the Sun’ and the ‘Sea Organ’, two of the more modern sights of Zadar. The latter is a man-made organ on Zadar's Riva that works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. You could also visit the vibrant fish markets of this port town, take a dip in the clear coastal waters, or explore the cafe culture and do some people watching. In the late afternoon meet up again with your leader. Do as the locals do and cross the bay in a barkajoli, a type of traditional rowboat that has been commonplace in Zadar since the 14th century. Top off the day with a sunset drink overlooking the bay.

Day 15: Sibenik / Primosten / Split

After breakfast, drive to Split, making a few interesting stops on the way. Your first stop is at the town of Sibenik, where you have the option to visit St Jacob's Cathedral, a 15th-century jewel that’s UNESCO protected. After some time out for lunch you will drive to Primosten, one of the most famous and picturesque small towns on the Adriatic. Explore the stone houses, churches, narrow alleys and lanes around the town’s old walls, where past and present sit in harmony. Continue on to your final destination of Split. This is Croatia's second largest city, located in the heart of the Dalmatian coast and set on the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea against a backdrop of coastal mountains. This evening you may like to head to one of Split’s excellent restaurants with your group for dinner.

Day 16: Split

Enjoy a day at leisure in Split. You may like to visit the Mestrovic gallery, which displays the remarkable work of one of Croatia’s greatest sculptors, or head out for a stroll along the delightful seafront promenade. As this is a combination trip, a meeting will take place at your hotel at 6pm this evening to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your adventure. After the meeting tonight, get to know your fellow travellers and group leader over dinner at one of Split’s excellent restaurants. Perhaps try some brudet, a rustic seafood stew, or rozata, a creamy custard pudding.

Day 17: Split

This morning meet with a local guide who is an expert on the area and embark on a sightseeing tour of Split. Your guide will provide profound insight as you discover a living textbook on history and architecture. Dating back 1800 years, the city began as a monumental imperial residence for the retirement of the Roman emperor Diocletian. This ancient fortress still makes up half of Split’s old town, and today is an intriguing warren of narrow cobblestone streets where pre-Romanesque churches exist alongside Gothic chapels and a multitude of museums. Stop by the statue of Grgur Ninski and learn how this tenth-century bishop once opposed the pope and introduced the Croatian language into his services. The evening is free for further explorations. Perhaps dive deeper into Split’s booming gastronomy scene - your leader will know some great spots to grab a bite to eat.

Day 18: Split / Lastovo Island

Enjoy a relaxing morning in Split before boarding an afternoon catamaran to Croatia’s most remote island - Lastovo. This little piece of paradise is home to your feature stay accommodation for the next two nights. The protected island nature park remains free from the effects of mainstream tourism and has retained its local flair. Without the infrastructure that caters to mass tourism, and with a dwindling population for the same reason, your leader will introduce you to scenes of traditional Adriatic island life as it once was. As a bonus, our sustainable tourism here supports the locals who have decided to remain. Arrive at your guesthouse and let the peaceful nature of Lastovo Island wash over you as the Adriatic Sea gently laps at your doorstep. Views from your spacious room look like they’re straight off a postcard, with charming houses fringing the glittering turquoise bay. This evening, take in the view over a wonderful included dinner with your group.

Day 19: Lastovo Island

Today you will immerse yourself in island life and learn an important local trade as you rise early and take to the seas with a local fisherman, his wife and his crew. Help them to bring in the day’s catch, usually a selection of scorpion fish, mackerel, sardine and bream, then enjoy the fruits of your labour with a delicious seafood lunch prepared on board - it doesn’t get more fresh than that! The captain will discuss their self-sustaining lifestyle and provide unrivalled insight into daily rituals, leaving you with an unforgettable impression of life on this remote island. Return to land and enjoy the rest of the day as you see fit. Perhaps unroll your beach towel and enjoy a few horizontal hours, or explore the peace and quiet of the stone waterfront and tiny port of this slice of heaven lost in time.

Day 20: Pupnat / Korcula Island

It’s time to bid farewell to Lastovo, but keep your watch set to island time. Transfer back to the port of Ubli, where you will board the mid-morning ferry bound for the delightful island of Korcula. Disembark and transfer to Korcula Town, stopping en route at Pupnat, a lovely and little-known village on the island. Take some time to explore a town few tourists see and enjoy an optional lunch before continuing. Arrive in Korcula Town for an orientation walk and wind through endearing red-roofed houses huddled closely on marble streets. Your leader will give you a glimpse into the past as you stroll streets lined with Renaissance and Gothic architecture. Enjoy a free evening in this stunning seaside town. Perhaps continue your explorations of the Old Town, taking in the stocky Revelin Tower and impressive defensive walls before stopping for dinner in one of the island’s many restaurants.

Day 21: Peljesac Peninsula / Dubrovnik

Today begin the journey to Dubrovnik, making some interesting stops along the way. Take a short ferry ride from Korcula to the Peljesac Peninsula. The star of this region is its wine, which you’ll experience first-hand during a visit to a lovely family winery. Sample some of the local drops, along with light cheese and smoked ham. Next, visit the town of Ston, known for some of the world’s most delectable oysters, and enjoy time to explore or partake in an optional lunch. Continue on to Dubrovnik where your leader will explain the city’s history as you explore Stari Grad, the tightly packed Old Town. Restored to its former glory since the damages of the 1991 conflicts, Dubrovnik surprises at every turn, and the best way to experience the city’s soul it is to walk its streets. Stop in time to enjoy the sunset views from the famous city walls.

Day 22: Dubrovnik

The day is free for you to explore at leisure. Dubrovnik offers a wealth of experiences to cater to every taste, so be sure to ask your leader for some suggestions. Perhaps visit the historical Rector's Palace to marvel at the ornate Venetian-Gothic architecture, or sip a beer on the terrace of one of Dubrovnik’s teetering cliff bars. In the evening meet join your leader and group for a final dinner. Head to a splendid restaurant just outside the city, set in the grounds of an ancient mill on the banks of the Ljuta river. Indulge in a range of classic Croatian dishes made with generations-old recipes before raising your glass to the end of an adventure.

Day 23: Dubrovnik

Your trip ends after breakfast this morning. If you're looking to extend your stay, additional accommodation can be arranged when you book this trip (subject to availability). If you'd like to continue travelling, it's easy to take a bus or ferry from Dubrovnik to other Croatian cities and islands, and some international destinations. There are also regular domestic flights to Zagreb where you can link up with international flights.

Unscripted experiences, insider access and authentic local flavors


Our team of travel specialists and local contacts have curated some of the best, most exclusive and authentic experiences, restaurants and accommodations in Croatia to truly immerse yourself in a way that wouldn't be possible in larger groups or just on your own.

23 days, from $12,020

to book call 1-844-205-6226

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