Experience the best of Budapest, Slovenia, and Croatia on an enchanting journey. Explore the captivating cities of Budapest and Ljubljana, and indulge in the natural beauty of Bled and Bohinj. Discover the coastal charm of Piran before venturing to Split and the idyllic island of Hvar. Conclude your adventure in the mesmerizing city of Dubrovnik. This itinerary combines history, nature, and coastal delights for an unforgettable 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: Where History and Beauty Dance on the Banks of the Danube
- From Budapest to Balaton Lake and Bled: Captivating Landscapes and Tranquil Waters
- Discover the Alpine Gems: Bled and Bohinj - Nature's Splendor in Perfect Harmony
- Ljubljana to Piran: Exploring Majestic Caves and Coastal Beauty in Slovenia
- Hvar to Dubrovnik: Island Bliss Meets Adriatic Grandeur
Private transfer from airport to Budapest hotel. Check in at the hotel and free time.
Tip of the day:
– for some relaxation: SZECHENYI SPA BUDAPEST: Szechenyi Baths (built in 1913) is the most visited and much praised attraction in Budapest: relaxing, fun, affordable and, at night, romantic. In addition to the marvelous medicinal natural hot spring waters in the 18 pools, there are 10 saunas / steam cabins, several massage therapies, facial treatments, and more.
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 enjoy this fascinating city.
Free day to explore city on your own. You can visit Dohány street Synagogue and Hungarian Jewish Museum, Great Central Market Hall, or you can take an inside walking tour of Parliament or walk to the top of Gellert Hill (with the Cave and Statue of Libery) and below the hill to the Gellert Bath Palace Spa (book tickets in advance for Spa).
Here are some suggestions for this day:
- STRUDEL HOUSE: Strudel preparation in Hungary is a tradition and art that dates back to the 15th century. This delicacy, regarded as a Hungaricum used to be a festive meal. For those wishing to indulge themselves in Hungarian traditions we offer our special Hungaricum Program: 12 minute movie about Hungary, Budapest and an authentic Strudel story and Interactive strudel stretching presentation involving guests.
- HUNGARIAN DINNER WITH FOLK SHOW: If you are in Hungary, you need to get acquainted with the country’s culture and also taste its culinary delicacies while immersing yourself in its traditional folk music. Enjoy a festive nighttime culture of the capital city, and spend an evening in a traditional restaurant in the Paris of Eastern Europe. After the delicious 3-course dinner and the live folk show, admire the breathtaking panorama from a hilltop citadel.
- ETYEK WINE TOUR AND MEAL WITH CHOCOLATE TASTINGS (5-HRS): 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.
- VISIT HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT: Did you know that the Hungarian Parliament is the 3rd biggest parliament in the World, and the biggest, most expensive building in Hungary? This is not only an architectural visit of the interior of Parliament, but you’ll be also able to see the 1000 years old Hungarian Holy Crown (worn by the very first king of Hungary: St Stephen), the splendid session room and the impressive staircase. Due to high demand tickets need to be reserved way in advance and availability depends on the date of booking!
- VISIT RUIN PUBS: Budapest is famous for its “ruin pubs”, in which shabby-chic is the order of the day. The best ruin pubs are set up in sprawling, deserted buildings, which have been filled with comfortable, but slightly worn out furniture.
- RELAX ON MARGARET ISLAND: Surely Budapest’s most impressive green space, Margaret Island is a 2.5km-long island of quiet parkland on the Danube, linked to Buda and Pest by bridges at either end. It’s tranquil, secluded and mainly free to explore. Grab a book and chill in the rose garden, or sun yourself by the waterfall in the Japanese garden. There’s also a spectacular musical fountain near Margaret Bridge, which comes alive four times a day, plus a small zoo and a few cafes.
Balaton Lake trip: Stroll by the Balaton Lake, Hungarian sea. First stop at Tihany, probably one of most unique town along shore of Balaton. The town of Tihany stands on the peak of a small hill, which provides beautiful views to Lake Balaton and the Inner Lake, 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 – the 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.
From Balaton area continue further to Slovenia to Bled, one of the pearls of Slovenian beauty. Check in at the hotel and free evening to enjoy in relaxing mountain fresh air.
After breakfast enjoy famous Bled and visit Bled Castle. The castle stands on a rock approximately 100 yards above the lake with wonderful views of the town, lake and surrounding countryside.
After castle visit, time to try worldwide known cream cake.
Drive by famous wooden pletna boat to the lake island with church on in and ring the wish-bell.
Tip of the day – optional activities in Bled Area:
– VISIT SCHNAPPS CELLAR: Schnapps cellar with plate of cold meat, dried in black kitchen with tasting of great domestic schnapps (herbal and fruity).
– BEEKEEPING AMBROZIC IN VICINITY OF BLED: One of most successful Slovenian beekeeper with many awards is also special in way that he caught a swarm of bees on snow white honey combs. Get involved in this special story and try their great honey.
– RESTAURANT AVSENIK: visit most renowned Slovenian restaurant (gostilna) named after famous accordion player Slavko Avsenik. His song Na Golici is remarkably most played song in the world – before Beatles, Elvis Presley and others.
– HIKE ABOVE BLED LAKE, easy-hiking option: Hike to the top of Ojstrica with remarkable view to Bled Lake and its surrounding (approx. 20min hike).
– VINTGAR GORGE: One of the easiest and most satisfying half-day trips from Bled is to Vintgar Gorge, some 4km to the northwest of Bled village. The highlight is a 1600m wooden walkway through the gorge, built in 1893 and continually rebuilt since. It crisscrosses the swirling Radovna River four times over rapids, waterfalls and pools before reaching 16m-high Šum Waterfall. The entire walk is spectacular. There are little snack bars at the beginning and the end of the walkway.
First stop at the heart of Triglav National Park, Bohinj Lake. Ascend with cable car to the top of Mt. Vogel with stunning view to Bohinj region, Lake and highest Slovenian mountain.
Afterwards, free time to relax by the lake. Additionally, you can do 1,5 hour walk to the peak of Mt. Vogar and feel the mountains in real. On the top take a real Alpine lunch and enjoy fascinating view point in peace.
Possible also to visit Savica Waterfall, symbol of Slovenian Nation. Return back to Bled for overnight.
Day trip to Soča Valley.
After breakfast, head to the world famous Slovenian ski centre, Kranjska Gora. Passing highest mountain pass and down to Soča Valley. On the way stop at some fabulous points while passing mountain pass.
The “Emerald” Soča is a remarkably beautiful river valley. Sightseeing of Kobarid, a small but beautiful town boasting some of Slovenia’s finest restaurants and make a visit to a first class museum of WWI.
Continue with a visit to Bovec, a charming little place with lots of good restaurants, bars and places to stay and opportunities for adventure sports.
Activity options: hiking, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, zip-line.
Tip of the day in Soca Valley: KOBARID MUSEUM OF WWI: the centre of representing the heritage of the Isonzo Front on Slovenian, European and on a global scale. Unique demonstrations of fights and the life during the war, the exhibits, the rich photo material and the multi vision projection tell the touching story of hard and bloody days next to the River Soča, which were also remembered by the famous Ernest Hemingway.
Transfer to Ljubljana. Our guide will take you to the medieval Old Town with all main attractions such as the Triple Bridge, St. Nicholas Cathedral, and more. When arrive to Dragon Bridge, we ascend to the top of the hill by cable car where mighty Ljubljana Castle stands for ideal views over the town.
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 (optionally):
– LJUBLJANICA RIVER BOAT RIDE + OPTIONALLY WINE TASTING ON THE RIVER: Enjoy in style while you drive by boat through main river of Ljubljana, passing by major attractions of Ljubljana while enjoy in wine tasting of selected top Slovenian wines.
In the morning drive to Karst region and visit Škocjan caves. Due to their exceptional significance, the Škocjan Caves were entered on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites in 1986. International scientific circles have thus acknowledged the importance of the Caves as one of the natural treasures of planet Earth. Ranking among the most important caves in the world, the Škocjan Caves represent the most significant underground phenomena in both the Karst region and Slovenia.
Private transfer further to Piran, coastal Slovenian town. Sightseeing of picturesque medieval Piran, 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.
In late afternoon return back to Ljubljana.
Tip of the day (optional wine & culinary options):
– TRUFFLE HUNTING WITH TRUFFLE TASTING: Truffle is a king in the culinary. Slovenian Istria boast with numerous spots where this precious specialty is growing. Now you have a chance to take a look in the world of professional truffle hunter and his dog. Real truffle hunting and truffle tasting at the end can be really special refreshment of your tour.
– SPECIAL DOMESTIC LUNCH/DINNER WITH WINE TASTING: Finish of the trip will be in 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.
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.
Continue to Split. Free evening.
In the morning head to Hvar with catamaran.
Meet our guide who will take you on a guided tour of Hvar Old Town, which is best known for its medieval buildings which are the legacy of four centuries of Venetian rule. The town is the site of the oldest municipal theatre in Europe which opened in 1612. Perched high on a hill overlooking the town, the gleaming white limestone walls of the medieval Spanjol Fortress afford breath- taking views for those that climb to their summit. (optional) You will also visit the Cathedral and the Arsenal followed by time at leisure to lunch and enjoy Hvar Town’s stone-paved harbour front, the Venetian piazza and yacht harbour with views across the sparkling Adriatic Sea.
Tip of the day:
– UNDERWATER WINE TASTING: at Plenkovic Bilo Idro (“White Sail”) restaurant and its undersea wine studio. Wine is produced under the water and enjoy special atmosphere of this unique ambience. Restaurant is located in a small village of Sveta Nedjelja, some 45 min transfer from Hvar town.
Day trip from Hvar to Vis island.
Of all the Croatian islands, Vis is the most mysterious – even to locals. The furthest of the main Central Dalmatian islands from the coast, Vis serving as a military base for the Yugoslav army, cut off from foreign visitors for 40 years. The isolation preserved the island from development and drove much of the population to move elsewhere in search of work. Vis’ lack of development has become its draw-card as a tourist destination. International and local travellers alike now flock to Vis, seeking authenticity, nature, gourmet delights and peace and quiet.
Stop by first cave – Green Cave and jump into the water and swim directly to the cave. Pay attention while swimming back out of the cave – you can observe fantastic almost fluorescently intensive blue color of the water while splashing the water. Continue to Blue Cave – stop at the cashier where you need to buy a ticket for a cave. When waiting for small boat which will take you to the Blue Cave, take some picture in the vicinity of boarding.
This is a group tour with speedboats which can also be arranged as private one upon your wish.
Return back to Hvar.
Day for snorkelling or any other activity stated below.
Tip of the day:
– SCUBA DIVING IN HVAR: There are more than 15 beautiful diving spots within only 5-60 minutes boat drive from Hvar Town. Most of them are around divine archipelago of Pakleni Islands, real Adriatic Paradise.
– CYCLING ON HVAR ISLAND: Hvar is a natural paradise. What is better way than to experience its magic close up through a challenging bike ride through its fields and picturesque inland villages, where time has stood still, and whose secrets are there to be discovered. Cycle through the inland villages of Dol, Svirce and Vrisnik, before hitting the coast through Jelsa and Vrboska, much of it the route of the 500 year-old UNESCO Easter Procession.
– HVAR BUGGY SAFARI: Quad Biking trip will give you hours of ride time and will take in more of the estate’s spectacular scenery including beautiful olive groves, pine forests, along the amazing rocky cost to the picturesque villages and beautiful fortress.
– HIKING HVAR: Pathways lead you through the olive trees and lavender fields, through vineyards, forests and inlets. A visit to the old island villages, of which some are abandoned (Humac, Malo Grablje…), will give you an insight into the past and the old way of life on the island. Hiking to the highest peak called St. Nicholas (628 m), from where you can see all islands of central Adriatic and the mountains of hinterland.
Catamaran/ferry from Korčula to Ston. After arrival to Dubrovnik, check in at the hotel.
Continue with Dubrovnik guided tour of the old town of Dubrovnik. The great George Bernard Shaw wrote: „Those who seek paradise on Earth must come to Dubrovnik” and he was as many others overjoyed by the beauty and rich history of this old town under the UNESCO protection. Its glorious walls, with their fortresses and bastions, offer a unique walk with view of the magical Elafiti islands. Guided walking tour through historical streets and sightseeing of city’s most renowned historic monuments. Each part of Dubrovnik can surprise you with some overwhelming experience. From the Onofrio fountain to the City bell tower, along its main street, Stradun, Dubrovnik’s famous street of limestone, polished by years of footfall and in many other small and quiet cobblestone streets, every step in this town will be an experience par excellence.
Tip of the day:
– enjoy evening in Dubrovnik: CAVE BAR MORE: Cave bar is a place where you can have the best morning coffee, spend the afternoon sipping cocktails, or finish the day with a glass of the finest champagne or cognac. Take beach break and enjoy light lunch from the Cave bar summer lunch menu.
Free day or choose among other activities below.
OPTION 1 – MONTENEGRO DAY TRIP: From Dubrovnik, visit Montenegro, a diminutive southeast European country that boasts big things: the UNESCO-World Heritage-listed Bay of Kotor, the walled seaside town of Budva, and the eye-pleasing city of Kotor, situated within Europe’s southernmost fjord. Have some free time to explore Kotor and Budva on your own and then enjoy a ferry ride across the Bay of Kotor on your way back to Dubrovnik.
OPTION 2 – DUBROVNIK SEA KAYAKING TO THE ISLAND OF LOVE (HALF DAY TRIP): Discover secret bays in turquoise clear water & visit Island of Love & hidden cave beach.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.