Duration: 11 nights / 12 days
Price: 2900€
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Our 11 night / 12 day food & wine tour runs from Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana to its beautiful hill towns and epicenter of wine making in Goriska Brda region down to Croatia’s terrific food and wine region of  Istria. Tour has many of the highlights and guests’ favorites such as Lake Bled, Skocjan caves and the charming old towns of Piran and Rovinj. I have also include some special experiences such as hunting for truffles and goat cheese tasting in Istria, lunch with a sparkling wine maker in Brda and hiking through Slovenia’s undiscovered outdoor gem in the Logar Valley.

 

      • Soak in the natural beauty and breath in the fresh air at Slovenia’s Vintgar gorge and Logar Valley
      • Savor  gourmet goat cheeses, olive oils, baked quince and more treats at Croatian goat farm
      • Discover the food, taste the wines, sense the history, smell the truffles and relax in the charms of Istria’s medieval hill towns
      • Learn all about the traditions of wine making with local vintners in diverse regions of Brda, Prekmurje and Istria
      • Sail the Adriatic, enjoy a fish picnic and learn the traditional fishing songs in Rovinj’s century old ‘batana’ boats
      • Enjoy the flavors and special recipes during a five-course dinner and wine tastings in Goriska Brda, Slovenia’s premier wine region
      • Indulge your sweet tooth with local cream cakes, sweet jellies and boutique chocolates
      • Explore the underground caverns and secret passage ways in the Skocjan caves and legendary Predjama castle
      • Hang with a local as she leads you to cool watering holes and hidden eateries of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s charming capital city
  • October 10th – October 21st, 2015

  • 2900 EURO

    11 dinners, 12 lunches, 11 nights lodging at boutique hotels and B&Bs (all rooms en-suite), 2 wine tastings, tastings of olive oil, pumpkin oil, cheeses and truffles, transport by private bus, tour leader, local guides, transfers to/from Ljubljana airport.

  • Kabaj Morel Wines ranked in Top 100 Wineries in the world

    Kumparicka goat cheese farm in Istria 

Itinerary

DAY 1: Taste your way around Slovenia’s charming capital

Overnight: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Noon arrival into Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana. After checking into your hotel, enjoy lunch outside along the town’s narrow cobble stone streets. We’ll then take a walking tour around Ljubljana to get an in-depth view of life and history in Slovenia and Ljubljana. Learn about the history, architecture and people from the city’s beginning as Roman fort 2000 years ago, to its development under under the Habsburgs and now recent independence and status as capital. Overnight at 4-star boutique hotel located in the city centre.  A  native of Ljubljana will show you around the pubs, side street cafes and jazz bars that locals eat at on a special ‘foodie’ walking tour/dinner of the capital.

Day 2: Pumpkin seed oil, honey and lunch in the vineyards of Prekmurje

Overnight: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sunday morning in Ljubljana hosts the flea market along the Ljubljanica river. Excursion to Slovenia’s eastern most region of Prekmurje. Lunch will be at a private restaurant nestled in vineyards guests will be treated to a selection of cold cuts, dried meats, tasting of local wines and innovative chocolate truffles to top it all off. Visit to Ptuj, the country’s oldest town (and one of its most charming), dating back to the Iron Age. This well preserved small city sits on the Drava river in the eastern corner of Slovenia. We will visit the town castle that houses a colorful and unique regional museum filled with a collection of pagan costumes that are still used for winter festivals. Dinner back in Ljubljana at old town restaurant featuring a dish from eastern Slovenia called Bograc (a spicier version of Hungarian goulash) and an amazing ice cream dessert topped with crushed pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil.

Day 3: Welcome to Lake Bled

Overnight: Lake Bled, Slovenia

We leave Ljubljana and head to Slovenia’s enchanting Lake Bled region. This small town that holds some of the country’s most scenic spots. Lunch at Bled castle, perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 meters above the glacial lake. This castle celebrated its 1000 anniversary in 2011 and offers great views down to this lake’s fairy-tale like setting. Then we’ll take a wooden gondola across the lake to tiny Bled island for some great photos of this picturesque place and visit its church which has a wishing bell that all guests should ring. Enjoy a stroll around the lake, a can’t miss romantic walk and an opportunity for great photos. Dinner at your 4-star hotel next to the lake.

Day 4: Nature walks and home made liqueurs around Bled

Overnight: Lake Bled, Slovenia

Morning walk through Vintgar gorge – a peaceful, easy 90 minute walk along wooden foot paths. A very special home made lunch with Monika, a Bled local who makes her own cheeses, dried meats, Slovenian’s breads and cakes, herbal & fruit liqueurs and beer!! Plus a visit to Monika’s family museum filled with lace works and historic items from this region of Slovenia. Late afternoon visit to one of Slovenia’s best preserved medieval towns, Radovljica, to visit the beekeeping museum which holds a rich collection of unique Slovenian art. Dinner at hotel in Lake Bled.

Day 5:  Beautiful outdoors in Slovenia’s Logar Valley

Overnight: Lake Bled, Slovenia

Full day excursion to stunning Logar Valley in the north-central part of Slovenia. This valley is one of the most beautiful Alpine glacial valleys in Europe. It extends into the Kamnik-Savinja Alps from the north, bordering Austria, and there are extraordinary views of the mountain walls and glacially sculpted floor with alternating forests and meadows.Tradition and nature have found harmony here, serving as a good example of sustainable development. Lunch in traditional farmhouse inside the park, featuring local trout, homemade pâtés, mushroom soup and granny’s raspberry strudel for dessert. Guided tour of the Nature Park with a walk through the natural and ethnographic paths in Logar valley and walk to the Rinka waterfall (tumbling down 90-meters). Dinner back at Bled hotel.

Day 6:  Epic caves and castles with unforgettable five-course dinner paired with wines

Overnight: Brda region, Slovenia

We’ll leave the Bled area and head to Slovenia’a western Primorska region. First a visit to the fascinating underground world of the Skocjan caves – boasting the world’s largest subterranean canyon. It looks like a scene from The Lord of the Rings! Then we’ll visit the spectacularly located Predjama castle (it practically hangs from a limestone cliff) and learn the about its legendary Slovenian Robin Hood who lived here in the middle ages. Arrival into Slovenia’s most beautiful wine region known as Goriska Brda. Our B&B in the Brda countryside will serve up  a gourmet 5-course ‘slow-food’ dinner. Each dish is served one of our hosts’ wines. The variety of culinary traditions (Slovene, Friulian, Habsburg) have intertwined on this strip of land, giving Brda cuisine its special touch. After the meal we will tour the family’s wine cellar and learn about wine making traditions and methods including the use of amphoras (known as qveri in their native Georgia).

Day 7: Olive oil, sparkling wines and hill towns of Brda wine country

Overnight: Brda region, Slovenia

Start the morning with a walk through the beautiful wine country after breakfast or just relax with an espresso and enjoy the terrace with views of the surrounding vineyards. Visit to local olive oil producer for a tasting (this is the northern most point in Europe where olive oil is made). Stop at a chateau built by the Italian counts of Gorizia in the 13th century. Now it is home to Bjana Winery, one of the finest sparkling wine producers in Slovenia. We’ll tour the wine maker’s cellar, learn about the traditional method of sparkling wine, have a wine tasting accompanied by light lunch of cheese, prosciutto and white polenta (traditional for this region). Visit to tiny walled hill town of Smartno and climb nearby viewpoint with great panoramas around this wine region. Dinner back at our winemaker’s B&B.

Day 8: Venetian seaside towns of Piran and Rovinj

Overnight: Rovinj, Croatia

After breakfast we’ll drive down to Slovenia’s tiny slice of Adriatic coast to explore the Venetian town of Piran. The town is situated along the Adriatic Sea. The remains of old-town walls provide spectacular views to Trieste and Istria. Make sure to visit the chocolate shop on Tartini Square. Guided tour of the town, leisure time and lunch in Piran. We head down into Croatia’s enticing Istria region and arrive in the region’s best seaside town – Rovinj. We’ll enjoy Dinner in Rovinj’s old town, about 10-12 minute walk from our 5-star hotel.

Day 9: Gourmet goat cheeses and ruins of the Roman empire

Overnight: Rovinj, Croatia

Our local guide Vukica we’ll give us a walking tour of Rovinj in the morning. Some leisure time to explore art shops & galleries, outdoor market and labyrinth of cobblestone streets. A very special afternoon lunch awaits us in a small hamlet hidden from the tourist roads. This goat farm makes gourmet cheeses – both semihard cheeses and fresh cheeses and serves up a feast that includes stew, home cooked soup with specialty sausages and local wines – white Malvazija and robust red Teran. And there is the smorgasbord of cheeses – nearly 20 different kinds! No one will go away hungry! By late afternoon we will walk off our feast with a guided walking tour of Pula. This city is loaded with rich history that spans over two millennia, including a visit to Pula Arena, the largest Roman amphitheatre outside of Italy. Relax with a sunset drink before a light dinner at your hotel.

Day 10: Truffle hunting and traditional Istrian cuisine

Overnight: Rovinj, Croatia

The interior of the Istria region is known for its medieval hill-towns, wine, truffles and other gastronomic delights. We leave Rovinj after breakfast for Motovun. But first we stop for a peek inside the church at the tiny village of Beram to see its vibrant and colorful Dance of the Macabre frescoes. Then we will go hunting for truffles in the forests near the iconic hill town of Motovun with a local wine maker and his truffle-sniffing dogs. Hopefully we will find some truffles but regardless there will be a special truffle-themed lunch made by his wife and award winning white Malvazija wines at their konoba (traditional restaurant). Enjoy exploring Motovun after lunch. It offers great views over the Mirna valley and many little shops to browse. Cap off the day with a traditional dinner of lamb and veal cooked under a metal bell (known as ispod peka in Croatian language). Overnight back in Rovinj.

Day 11: Rovinj and Istria from the Adriatic

Overnight: Rovinj, Croatia

Massage at hotel spa in the morning. We’ll then take a boat ride out to the Limski Kanal (or Lim Channal) – a 10 kilometer long estuary from the Adriatic into interior of Istria. Enjoy a fish picnic for lunch along the way. After we disembark at our destination we’ll take a walk to the crumbling ghost town of Dvigrad – a once-important town now deserted with its stone towers and walls still intact. There’s legends of  a swashbuckling pirate, Sir Henry Morgan, that eventually led to the downfall of this town. Our bus will take us back to Rovinj – time for relaxing. A very special evening boat ride in the bay near Rovinj with traditional fishing boats called ‘Batana’ will be accompanied by evocative music of Rovinj folk group. A traditional dinner with fish specialties will be served at Spacio Matika.

Day 12: Herbal gardens, slow food and a fond farewell

No Overnight (fly back to Malaysia)

Time to browse the charming hill-town of Groznjan. Once nearly abandoned, Groznjan has now been transformed into an artists colony. It’s now bustling with artists galleries, handmade jewelry shops and gourmet food shops. As we cross back into Slovenia we’ll stop a homestead that offers a beautiful Mediterranean herbal garden, views to the Adriatic and a specially prepared lunch. The owner of this house is head of Slow Food for this region of Slovenia. Sample home made cheese, marmalades, olive oil, herbal salts and jellies made from combinations of wine and herbs.

Transfer to Ljubljana airport for your flight home.