Experience the best of Central Europe on a remarkable journey through Budapest, Croatian Istria, and Slovenia. Explore the captivating cities of Budapest and Zagreb, then immerse yourself in the coastal beauty of Rovinj. Discover hidden gems like Vodnjan, Pula, and Kamenjak, before venturing into the vibrant capital of Ljubljana. Conclude your adventure with a visit to the awe-inspiring Postojna Cave. This unforgettable itinerary combines history, culture, and natural wonders for an exceptional travel experience.
Duration: 15 nights / 16 days
No. of persons: 1 pax.
Meals included: breakfast daily and tastings (food tours) as per itinerary
Guides, drivers: Local guides as per program; Private car with English-speaking driver throughout your trip
- Budapest: The Jewel of the Danube
- Zagreb: Unveiling the Charms of Croatia's Capital
- Discover the Istrian Gems: Rovinj, Vodnjan, Pula, Kamenjak, and Back to Rovinj
- Ljubljana: Embrace the Captivating Beauty of Slovenia's Capital
- Journey Through Wonders: Ljubljana and the Enchanting Postojna Cave
Private transfer from airport to Budapest hotel. Check in at the hotel and at leisure.
After breakfast, our guide will take you to 4-hours private guided tour of Budapest.
Visit Castle Hill, one of the undisputed must-see attraction in Budapest. This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the 700-year-old Matthias Church, houses from the Middle Ages, and the Royal Palace, Fishermen’s Bastion. Stroll along the cobblestone streets between colorful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque facades, and don’t miss the amazing views of the city from Gellért Hill (Photostop). Crossing Margaret-Bridge (Margaret-Island), then get acquainted with busy Pest: the inner city of Pest passing by St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament Building, Heroes’ Square, Opera, Central Market hall and Váci Street, a pedestrian precinct and perhaps the most famous street in Budapest.
The rest of the day free time to relax and enjoy Budapest on your own.
OPTION 1: Etyek wine tour. Departing from Budapest, you’ll be driven to the picturesque wine region of Etyek with an artisanal workshop to sample rich regional wines and learn the process behind making cheese or chocolate. You’ll then travel to three additional wine cellars to learn how the wine is cultivated, pairing the last visit with a 2-course meal.
OPTION 2: Danube bend day trip from Budapest. Discover the dreamy landscapes of the Danube Bend, the most scenic stretch of the Danube River, on this full-day tour from Budapest. Escape the capital for a scenic drive through the countryside, stopping to explore the medieval fortress of Visegrad, admire the neoclassical cathedral of Esztergom and browse the handicrafts shops of Szentendre. After tucking into a delicious 3-course lunch (included), hop aboard for a romantic cruise along the Danube River and sail back to the capital by boat.
In the morning leave Budapest and driver towards Balaton Lake, Hungarian sea. First stop at Tihany, probably one of most unique town along shore of Balaton. The town stands on the peak of a small hill, which provides beautiful views to Lake Balaton and the Inner Lake (Belső-tó), a popular fishing spot.
The best-known symbol of the town is the twin-towered Tihany Benedictine Abbey. The viewpoint next to this lovely white church is one of the best in the area. On the eastern side of the hill, you will find many charming restaurants offering tables with panoramic views, and wineries with tasty white wines from the Balaton region. Tihany is famous for its large fields of lavender, which are alive with bloom in the spring. There’s also a Lavender House Visitor Centre and of course famous Paprika House.
Continue to another fascinating spot – Tapolca Caves that you can only navigate through by boat and is strictly protected cave, which was discovered more than 100 years ago. All year round the temperature is about 18 °C in the cave.
Balaton Lake is famous for its wine, plenty of spas which you can combine with sightseeing and cruising around by boat on Balaton Lake.
Continue driving to Zagreb, capital of Croatia. Check-in at the hotel and free time.
Tip of the day on Balaton Lake:
– HORSE CSIKOS SHOW: Guests arriving at the puszta are welcome by a glass of palinka. Our csikoses perform a short, spectacular show of the classical elements of csikos virtuosity such as Koch five, carriage driving, sitting horses, laying horses, driving the stud, kerchief tearing, chair seizing, whip cracking, wife beating etc.
In the morning guided tour of Zagreb: Visit the main square Trg bana Josipa Jelacica that lies at the city’s heart and divides the old town from the new. Take the funicular railway built in 1889 to connect the Upper and Lower towns. The Upper Town of Zagreb is a unique place for many reasons: the colorful rooftop of St. Marks Church, Lotršcak Tower, Stone Gate and gas street lamps that have to be lit by hand. Visit Kaptol, the ecclesiastical district that is largely dominated by the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. End your walking tour having a deserved treat in the oldest pastry shop of Zagreb – Vincek, or having coffee on the one of terraces in bustling Tkalciceva Street.
In the afternoon, wine tasting in Tomac winery: Half-hour drive to Tomac winery, where wine-making methods date back 5,000 years.
Day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes.
Sightseeing of Plitvice Lakes, the oldest and the biggest national park in Croatia, under the UNESCO protection since the 1979. You will stroll along the sixteen beautiful and crystal clear lakes with numerous cascades and waterfalls.
Return back to Zagreb and at leisure.
Tip of the day – OPTIONALLY in Plitvice:
LARGEST ZIPLINE IN EUROPE: Have you ever dreamed of Flying? Some says that when they dream of flying they feel they are on top of things in their life and have a special sense of power and control…We can make you feel as if you were flying. Imagine being 80 meters above the ground and flying 120 km/h for 2 km with magnificent scenery of Lika below you.
Morning private transfer from Zagreb to Opatija.
By highway from Zagreb, through mountains of Gorski Kotar, down to the coast right to the city of Rijeka, the country’s largest port, to Opatija where one can feel and see the unforgotten glory of the imperial times when “the Queen of the Adriatic” was a famous meeting place of European nobility. A trip to enjoy the view, walk by the sea, swim or just feel the Adriatic atmosphere.
Some free time to relax and continue driving towards Rovinj. After arrival to Rovinj, check in at the hotel and at leisure.
Pula and Vodnjan Tour: First drive to Vodnjan, famous for its Vodnjan mummies. 18th-century St. Blaise Church in the heart of Vodnjan’s old town is the largest church in Istria and its bell tower is said to be the tallest. After visit famous House of prosciutto, where you will taste this delicious proud of Istria.
Continue to Pula, the largest Istrian city which has been its administrative center since ancient Roman times. The history will reveal itself during a privately guided walking tour of Pula including its most famous landmark; the Pula amphitheatre. One of six of the largest surviving Roman amphitheatres in the world, it was once the scene of bloody gladiator fights. Today it is Pula’s main cultural venue and is known for its music and film festivals.
Optionally: SEA KAYAKING THROUGH SEAGULL’S ROCKS: Seagull’s Rocks beach – “Galebove stijene” Pula. Seagull’s Rocks is located in Stoja, one of Pula’s neighborhoods, and is the most western beach in the city.
For more active day (instead of Vodnjan and Pula): DAY IN KAPE KAMENJAK NATIONAL PARK | HIKING & KAYAKING: Enjoy kayaking and hiking in the beautiful Kamenjak National Park, about an hour outside Rovinj. Cape Kamenjak is a beautiful nature park located on the Premantura peninsula on the southern tip of Istria. The pretty landscape, rolling hills, miles of rugged coastline, beaches, coves & caves make kayaking in the area a lovely experience. Rent a kayak and do investigating on your own or join to the group and for for Kayak safari tour around Kamenjak. During the kayak tour you will experience natural areas, bays and cliffs that you can just admire, or even try cliff jumping. We will enter in the seaside cave and snorkel in it. It’s always so much fun to take photos in the crystal clear water, among the rays of sunshine coming from the hole situated on the top of the cave, playing the game of light under the water.
Visit Motovun: Istria is famous for its unique combination of blue sea and green hinterland. Drive through vineyards, fields and hills to Motovun, picturesque medieval city fenced with walls and renowned for its movie festival. Take a walk through it’s narrow and steep streets to gain a magnificant view from the city walls.
Continue to Karlic truffle hunting and tasting: Start 2-hours adventure with Karlić family, whose third generation is now hunting for truffles. Friendly hosts will tell you all about truffles, the tradition of truffle hunting, and their truffle hunting dogs. Tasting of truffle products will be prepared for you in beautiful surroundings, and you will have the opportunity to buy truffle products in their shop.
Continue to Grožnjan and short stop for sightseeing. Located in the undulating hills of Istria is the town of Grožnjan. The medieval buildings sit atop a plateau with views that marvel over the valley, out to the peninsula, and spreading to the mountains along the opposite horizon. The streets are jovial and inspiring, filled with artists and musicians in the summer months. It is easy to wind along the labyrinthine streets and lose yourself amongst the fabulous galleries and active displays.
Return to Rovinj in the late afternoon.
Private transfer to Poreč.
Guided tour of Poreč: Former town of rich noblemen and Roman aristocracy, Poreč is now a popular tourist destination in Istria, known for its many sights that alternate in its streets the same way as rulers did during its turbulent history. In the company of a guide, you will see the palaces, squares, galleries and museums. The old town core has a special place, with its various monuments and cultural and historical attractions, some of which date back to the period of the Roman Empire. In Porec visit beautiful Basilica of Euphrasius under UNESCO.
In the afternoon visit two different wineries in the area, where you can experience the diverse flavors that the landscape offers and the classic ingenuity that the vintners employ.
– MATOSEVIC WINERY: Experience great wine tasting at renowned Croatian wine producer with a little bit “rock” presentation of Matosevic Family.
– DAMJANIĆ WINERY: small Croatian wine producer Damjanić, with incredible sense for esthetics, elegance and art. Wine tasting includes 5 different wines and plate of cold meats and cheese.
Private transfer to Piran.
First, visit Sečovlje salt pans, one of biggest salt pans on Adriatic coast, visit salt museum and see traditional way of salt production.
Continue to Piran and guided sightseeing of picturesque medieval town, the pearl of the Slovenian Adriatic Sea, with strong Venetian influence and unusually open square to the sea. Here, we can visit the Maritime museum or ascend on the top of the hill where St. George’s cathedral overlooks Piran with one of the best panoramic views to all Slovenian coast.
Head towards Ljubljana. En-route stop for slow food experience with wine pairing at Cejkotova home: Visit fantastic village Goče, known as the most basement village in the world. Slow food menu at Cejkotova home which is hidden in the narrow streets of the village, which is protected as a monument of the cultural heritage. Here, Davorin and his wife Jelka will prepare you delicious meal and take you to a wine cellar with such mystic atmosphere will be just perfect conclusion of a day.
Arrival to Ljubljana in late afternoon, check in at the hotel and at leisure.
Walk through the medieval Old Town and see the main attractions such as the Triple Bridge, St. Nicholas Cathedral, and more.
Rest of the day explore the medieval Old Town on the banks of Ljubljanica River, visit the city’s bustling central market and discover boutique shops and charming restaurants.
Tip of the day:
– BOAT RIDE + WINE TASTING ON THE RIVER: Enjoy in style while you drive by boat through main river of Ljubljana while enjoy in wine tasting of selected top Slovenian wines.
Private transfer to Bled and Bohinj.
First stop in Bled, pearl of the Julian Alps. Guided tour of Bled: Bled is famous for its blue-green alpine lake, picture-postcard church on an island, a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps and the Karavanke as backdrops – Bled is deinitely a must visit place while in Slovenia. After the tour, its time to try worldwide known cream cake!
Continue to Bohinj and glacier lake: Lake Bohinj is one of the top natural pearls of Slovenia. It lies within Triglav National Park enclosed by the beautiful Julian Alps. Crystal clear water offers bathing between June and September, but the area around the lake draws fans of various sport activities and pristine nature environment throughout the year. While in Bohinj ascend to the top of Mt. Vogel with stunning view to Bohinj region, Lake and highest Slovenian mountain.
After breakfast, drive towards Postojna Caves & Predjama Castle: Head towards Karst region, the land of numerous natural phenomena and limestone. Visit world-famous attraction, biggest and most beautiful cave in the world, the Postojna caves, and fascinating attraction of Slovenia – Predjama Castle, the castle which is literally built into the rock.
Return back to Ljubljana. Rest of the day at leisure.
Private transfer to Ljubljana Airport and flight back home.