Situated along the exquisite Adriatic Sea and at the crossroads of Europe and the Balkans, Croatia and Slovenia showcase charming towns that reflect a blend of cultures, plus pristine parklands and coastlines, and many World Heritage sites. 

Starting at: $5,184 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Waterfall in Croatia's Plitvice Park  Lively street in Dubrovnik  The captivating setting of Hvar  Split harbor  Aerial view of Split, with the remains of Diocletian's Palace  The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia's capital  The spectacular scenery of Lake Bled, Slovenia

Pearls of Croatia and Slovenia

15 days from $5,184 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Situated along the exquisite Adriatic Sea and at the crossroads of Europe and the Balkans, Croatia and Slovenia showcase charming towns that reflect a blend of cultures, plus pristine parklands and coastlines, and many World Heritage sites. 

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL VALUE

This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.

Overview

Situated along the exquisite Adriatic Sea and at the crossroads of Europe and the Balkans, Croatia and Slovenia showcase charming towns that reflect a blend of cultures, plus pristine parklands and coastlines, and many World Heritage sites.

Highlights Include

  • Lake Bled and Ljubljana: Discover the fairy-tale setting of Slovenia’s Lake Bled as you tour the castle and take a cruise on the pristine lake. Then spend a day strolling the charming heart of Ljubljana, the nation’s capital.
  • Zagreb and Environs: Your visit to Croatia’s capital features the Old Town, Art Nouveau architecture from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Later, explore Plitvice Lakes National Park with its string of 16 turquoise-colored lakes and dazzling waterfalls.
  • Istrian Peninsula: Highlights of this spit of land include Opatija, once the seaside resort of Habsburg princes; Pula, with its Roman amphitheater; and Rovinj, a charming Venetian port.
  • Dalmatian Coast: Delight in the many treasures along this legendary coastline. In seaside Split, explore the city’s core, comprised of the massive remains of Roman emperor Diocletian’s palace. On the island of Hvar, seethe lingering influence of the Venetians in its 17th-century squares. Walk along the medieval city walls of Dubrovnik, then continue through the Old City to visit many of its treasures. Plus, you’ll enjoy time at leisure in the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S, Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia

Depart the U.S. and after a connecting flight in Europe arrive in Zagreb and transfer to your hotel. Tonight meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and fellow travelers and learn about the journey ahead as you gather for a briefing and welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 — Zagreb

This morning’s tour of the Croatian capital, by coach and on foot, reveals a gracious city of culture and hospitality. Tour the city's Old Town, stopping off to see St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the colorful Dolac open-air market. You'll also visit Mirogoj Park Cemetery, known for its arcades and suculpture. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure, then dine at a local restaurant this evening. (B,D)

Day 4 — Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Travel northwest this morning to the town of Bled, whose namesake lake is the stuff of fairytales. Surrounded by the Julian Alps and deep forests, and with a medieval castle perched on its shore, the almost mile-wide lake ranks as a popular destination. After touring the castle enjoy a boat ride around the scenic lake. Late this afternoon depart for the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, arriving in time for dinner at your hotel. (B,D)

Day 5 — Ljubljana

This morning’s walking tour reveals the charming heart of Ljubljana, a friendly, mid-sized European capital with a historic city center, ornate building façades, romantic bridges, and abundant parkland. Then the remainder of the day is at leisure for independent exploration, perhaps to visit some of the city's museums, galleries, or historic houses. (B)

Day 6 — Ljubljana, Postojna, Slovenia / Opatija, Croatia

En route to Opatija, stop to explore Postojna Cave, the almost 13-mile-long karst cave system, where an electric train takes you deeper than is possible in any other cave in the world. After free time here for lunch on your own, continue to Opatija, the seaside resort where Habsburg princes once vacationed. (B,D)

Day 7 — Opatija and Istrian Peninsula

Today’s tour of the Istrian Peninsula reveals the multicultural roots of this alluring spit of land jutting into the Adriatic. At various times a vassal of Venice, the first Austro-Hungarian Empire, Fascist Italy, the Yugoslav Federation, and finally, Croatia, Istra, as it is known, boasts an interesting history, mild Mediterranean climate, lovely scenery, and good wines. Your first stop is in the port of Pula, where you visit the well-preserved remains of a Roman amphitheater (c. 177 ce). Next is Rovinj, a charming old Venetian port where you are free to explore on your own and perhaps enjoy lunch at an outdoor café. After returning to Opatija late this afternoon, dine together tonight at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 8 — Opatija

Explore the “Opatija Riviera” this morning, beginning with a walking tour in the former Habsburg vacation retreat – and modern-day resort town – nestled between green forested hills and the cobalt Adriatic. Then continue to nearby Moscenicka, a one-time fishing village that now draws visitors to its tranquil port and beautiful pebble beaches. After lunch together, return to Opatija where the remainder of the day is at leisure amid the Belle-Epoque architecture and atmosphere. (B,L)

Day 9 — Opatija, Plitvice Lakes, Trogir

Travel south this morning for an excursion to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Famed for its string of 16 turquoise-colored lakes connected by a series of waterfalls and cascades, separated by distinctive travertine deposits, and surrounded by dense forests, Plitvice counts as one of UNESCO’s first natural sites and Croatia’s largest national park. Late afternoon depart for Trogir, arriving early this evening in time for dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Trogir, Split, Hvar

This morning travel to Split, the main city of the central Dalmatian Coast and home of 3rd-century Diocletian’s Palace. As you see on your guided tour, the palace, and eventually its ruins, formed the historic heart of picturesque Split. After time for lunch on your own, board a ferry for the two-hour cruise to Hvar, “queen” of the Dalmatian islands. Upon arrival, travel by coach to lively Hvar town, where you spend the next two nights. Dine tonight at a local restaurant just a short walk from the hotel. (B,D)

Day 11 — Hvar

With captivating natural beauty and a strategic Adriatic location, Hvar has prospered since antiquity. Discover some of its charms this morning, first with a walking tour of Venetian-tinged Hvar town then with a walking tour of nearby Stari Grad, one of Croatia’s oldest cities and where you also have time to explore on your own. Return to your hotel for lunch and an afternoon and evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 12 — Hvar and Dubrovnik

Continue your journey south today, leaving Hvar for the mainland then traveling along the scenic Dalmatian Coast to popular and beloved Dubrovnik, reaching your hotel late afternoon. This evening is at leisure for you to get your first look at this medieval gem and to enjoy dinner on your own. (B,L)

Day 13 — Dubrovnik

Today discover Dubrovnik's ancient walls, which have withstood both time and tide for hundreds of years. Begin with a walking tour around the city walls, whose original ramparts and bastions date to the 12th and 13th centuries. (Dubrovnik itself was founded in the 7th century.) Then continue through the Old City, paying a visit to the stately baroque cathedral (c. 1672). You also see the Treasury, whose gilded shelves and historic relics sit behind locked wooden doors, and the Franciscan monastery with its 14th-century pharmacy. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure or time for independent exploration. (B)

Day 14 — Dubrovnik

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the "Pearl of the Adriatic" according to your own interests. From the medieval Old Town to the contemporary city with its Mediterranean accent, Dubrovnik offers discoveries aplenty. Then set out late this afternoon for a special highlight – a farewell dinner with a local family whose home overlooks Dubrovnik. You'll be treated to a menu that features produce from their garden, homemade olive oil, and local wine. (B,D)

Day 15 — Depart for the U.S.

This morning transfer to the airport for your return flights to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)