Marco Polo's trail

 

 DESCRIPTION
This ten-day tour transports you into the heart of Central Europe. Arriving in Venice, you will be swept away by its romantic atmosphere and magnificent architecture. Travel in a private water taxi along the “streets of water”, admiring the palaces and churches.
From Venice, we travel into Slovenia, and arrive to Portoroz, a modern resort, once an important Habsburg’s destination. Then travel to the city of Idrija, famous for exquisite lace and a fascinating mercury mine, which was once one of the largest in Europe. Visit the living history museum at Idrija’s 500 year-old mercury mine. Enjoy the cultural capital, Ljubljana and picturesque Lake Bled with Slovenia`s only island and discover the spectacular underground world of the Postojna limestone cave.
The tour proceeds to Opatija, an elegant tourist destination, lying at the centre of the Croatian Riviera with beautiful preserved beaches and warm Adriatic Sea.
We end the tour in charming Vienna and see it’s wonderful historical sights from a boat journey on the Mighty Danube River.
Along the way, enjoy sophisticated meals in distinguished European restaurants and luxuriate each night, in an elegant hotel.
 
 HIGHLIGHTS
• Venice -visit to the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello, “behind the scenes” sight seeing , exquisite restaurants and accommodation,
• Enjoy the charming Capital, Ljubljana, and head to Slovenia's gem, Lake Bled, located in the heart of the Julian Alps,
• Admire Lipica stud farm, a cradle of world famous Lipizzaner horses
• Visit Slovenia’s largest limestone Postojna cave system,
• Discover Croatia’s capital Zagreb and fly to Split with it’s remarkable UNESCO protected Diocletian Palace
• Relax and enjoy staying at Korcula island, Croatia's most greenest island and a reputed home to Marco Polo
• Conclude this extraordinary trail in the fascinating medieval Dubrovnik 
 
   
  
ITINERARY
DAY 1 -SATURDAY / VENICE
• Afternoon arrivals to Venice airport
• Private transfers by water taxis (car) to the hotel
• Accommodation at Danieli hotel, 5*
• Dinner at the hotel (optional)
DANIELI HOTEL 5*Afternoon arrivals to Venice airport 
DAY 2 / SATURDAY - VENICE
MORNING
• A full day excursion of Venice and some of it’s Islands
• Guided sight-seeing of Venice (St Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge…)
• Time for coffee
• Private water taxi ride to Murano Island
• Visit to Murano Glassworks
AFTERNOON
• Lunch on the Island (optional)
• Travel to Burano Island by water taxi
• visit to Burano Lace museum
• Time to sight-see around the island
• Boat ride to Torcello Island
• visit to Torcello Basilica
• Dinner at Locanda di Cipriani restaurant
• Depart by private water taxis to the hotel, overnight
DANIELI HOTEL 5*, (B,D)
Sightseeing of Venice includes all the important monuments from St. Mark’s Square to the Rialto Bridge. Visit St. Mark's Square and learn the history that lies behind the walls of its most famous landmarks; St Mark’s Basilica and its Byzantine heritage, the Doge's Palace and its adjoining prisons that retain true secrets. You will start to comprehend how a city built on swamps became one of the most enlightened cities in the western world.
Time for lunch at Murano island. After lunch a water taxi will take you to the islands of Murano and Burano after passing the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the Public Gardens, Sant’Elena and the Lido. Murano Island is famous worldwide for its glassblowing industry. Visit a glassworks and learn the secrets of this art. Next stop is Burano, a picturesque island famous not only for its precious laces, but also for the brightly painted fishermen’s houses.
Continuing to Torcello island, the farthest and oldest populated region of Venice. Today's main attraction is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in 639 with much eleventh and 12th century Byzantine work, including mosaics, surviving. Torcello is also home to the Devil's Bridge, known as the Ponte del Diavolo.
In the evening, enjoy a gourmet dinner at Locanda di Cipriani restaurant, which has welcomed many distinguished and famous guests over its 60 years of history: Royalty, Stars, Artists, Heads of State, and among others, the legendary Ernest Hemingway.
DAY 3 / SUNDAY - VENICE - PORTOROZ
• Free morning or visiting museums and exhibitions (optional)
AFTERNOON
• Light lunch at the hotel
• Depart by private water taxis to Tronchetto island
• Depart by private bus to Slovenia
• Arrival to Portoroz
• Accommodation in Kempinski GH Palace
• Sightseeing of the charming coastal town
• Gourmand dinner at the hotel`s restaurant
KEMPINSKI GH PALACE HOTEL 5* Superior (B,L,D)
 
Indulge in a lazy morning with espresso, or head to exhibitions and museums. After lunch the tour continues in to Slovenia, accommodating in Portoroz, once an important retreat and relaxing place of the Habsburg elite. 
Visit the town of Piran which has preserved the medieval layout with narrow streets and compact houses, giving the area a typical Mediterranean look. It is also a hometown to Giuseppe Tartini, a violinist, composer and music pedagogue, who wrote over 300 compositions, many of which belong to the finest musical creations of the 18th Century.
DAY 4/ TUESDAY/PORTOROZ-LIPICA -(POSTOJNA) -LJUBLJANA
MORNING
• Visit to Hrastovljechurch -world’s best preserved “Dance of Death” frescoes from 16thcentury
• Visit LipicaStud farm
AFTERNOON
• Lunch in Postojna
• Enter the Postojnacaves
• Depart to Ljubljana
• Accommodation in GH Union / Antiq
• Time at leisure in Ljubljana (shopping, museums..)
• Dinner at Manna / Cuborestaurant
GH UNION 4*/ANTIQ HOTEL 4* (B,L,D)
 
In the afternoon we arrive in Ljubljana,Slovenia's capital.Ljubljana is a dynamic,central European
city lying in a broadbas in between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea.Its geographical position has governed
its colourful past;it is situated on a natural passage,known as the “Ljubljana Gate,”leading  from Central
Europe towards the Mediterranean and the East.From it’s very beginnings, Ljubljana’s culture and life style have been at tuned to contemporary trends in Europe, with its residents enjoying the influences from both Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Ljubljana is a vibrant city full of surprises,characterised by this unique fusion of contrasting but complementary influences.It has everything that other larger,contemporary European capitals boast, but,at the same time,preserves the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of a small town.
DAY 5 / WEDNESDAY / LJUBLJANA -BLED
MORNING
• Guided sightseeing of Ljubljana city
• Lunch (optional)
AFTERNOON
• Depart to Bled
• Sight-seeing of Bled (Pletnaboat ride to the island, castle and museum, horse-drawn carriage ride around the lake -optional)
• Depart to Predoslje
• Gourmand dinner at Danilorestaurant
• Depart to Ljubljana, overnight
GH UNION 4*/ANTIQ HOTEL 4* (B,D)
 
To start the sight-seeing tour, ride the funicular up to LjubljanaCastle, which offers sweeping views over the city. There are many other sights to explore in the city; foremost are the stunning buildings designed by the internationally famed architect Joze Plecnik, himself a native of Ljubljana.Plecnik (1872-1957) is considered to be one of the world's most important pioneers of contemporary architecture; his oeuvre left a distinct mark on three central European cities: Vienna, Prague and Ljubljana. His creations dating from the period after 1921, so called "Plecnik's Ljubljana" are considered one of the 20th century's most prominent total works of art.
A short afternoon bus drive transports you to Bled, a picturesque town on the banks of a glacial lake that has drawn pilgrims since ancient times. Enjoy a boat ride on an original historic gondola-like Pletna to Slovenia's only island and ring the wishing bell in St Mary's church. Visit Bled’s historic castle, perched high above the lakeshore, where you can take in the magnificent views and witness the display of medieval printing techniques.
Conclude the day with a dinner at Danilo restaurant, serving exquisite local food and wine.
DAY 6 /THURSDAY / LJUBLJANA -ZAGREB
MORNING
• Depart to Zagreb by car/van (aprox. 2 hours)
• Accommodation in Regent Esplanade hotel
AFTERNOON
• Lunch
• Sightseeing tour of Zagreb
• Time at leisure
• Dinner at own
REGENT ESPLANADE HOTEL 5* (B,L)
After a 2 hour car drive explore the city of Zagreb, which has grown out of two medieval settlements that for centuries developed on neighbouring hills. The first written mention of the city dates from 1094, when a diocese was founded on Kaptol, while in 1242, neighbouring Gradec was proclaimed a free and royal city. Both the settlements were surrounded by high walls and towers, remains of which are still preserved. During the Turkish onslaughts on Europe, between the 14th and 18th centuries, Zagreb was an important border fortress. The Baroque reconstruction of the city in the 17th and 18th centuries changed the appearance of the city. The city outgrew its medieval borders and spread to the lowlands. The first parks and country houses were built. Zagreb confirmed its position as the administrative, cultural and economic centre of Croatia.
In the 19th century the population increased tenfold. The twentieth century brought the Secession style to Zagreb. The city lived in the plenty of a civil society, with firm links with all the central European centres. With an increase in wealth and industry from the 1960s on, the city spread out over the wide plains alongside the Sava River, where a new, contemporary business city has developed, ready for the challenges of the third millennium.
DAY 7/ FRIDAY/ZAGREB -SPLIT (by air)-KORCULA (by speedboat)*
MORNING
• Flight to Split/Trogir
• Private transfer to Split
• Sightseeing of Trogir(OPTIONAL -on the way to Split)
AFTERNOON
• Lunch (OPTIONAL)
• Sightseeing of Split’s downtown
• Speedboat transfer to Korculaisland
• Dinner at the hotel
LESIC DIMITRI PALACE 5* (B,D)
* *NOTE: alternative itineraries are available upon request:
1. FLY: Half a day prolonged stay in Zagreb and afternoon flight to Split. Accommodation in Marmonthotel 5* or VestibulPalace 4*. Morning sightseeing tour of the city and afternoon time at leisure. Late afternoon departure to Korculaisland by speedboat. Accommodation at LesicDimitriPalace 5*.
2. DRIVE: Morning car / ride toward Split. On the way stop to tour Plitvicewaterfalls (2-3 hours). Late afternoon arrival to Split. Accommodation in Marmonthotel 5* or VestibulPalace 4*. Morning sightseeing tour of the city and afternoon time at leisure. Late afternoon departure to Korculaisland by speedboat. Accommodation at LesicDimitriPalace 5*.
After a short flight, a sightseeing tour takes you to historical Trogir. It is a town-museum in the very meaning of the word. Lovers of cultural and historical monuments, art, original architecture and nice alleys are given the opportunity in Trogir to learn about the manifold and complex heritage -from the Romanesque yard to the modern interiors. The unique historical core, Radovan's portal, the art collections which have been arousing excitement among visitors and travellers for centuries offer a tourist beauty, personified in the relief of Kairos as an appropriate souvenir.
Continue to the final stop for the day,the city ofSplit.The second largest city in Croatia is an economic, administrative, educational, sport and tourist center of Split Dalmatia county traffic connection to Croatia islands, pearls of Adritic like Hvar, Vis, Brac , Korcula and Solta
Within area of Split and Solin the oldest findings are from the time of Neolithic and Eneolithic. In late ancient period during the Roman administration Diocletian Palace was built. It was around 298. year after Christ when the Roman imperator Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus decided to start the construction in the bay of Split on the Dalmatian coast nearby his birth place. Split's growth became particularly rapid in the 7th century, when the inhabitants of the destroyed Greek and Roman metropolis Salonae (present-day Solin) took refuge within its walls. The lovely ruins of Solin outside the city can still be explored today. In the Middle Ages, Split was an autonomous commune.
DAY 8 (9)** / SATURDAY/KORCULA ISLAND
MORNING
• Boat excursion around small islands/ optional car excursion around the island
AFTERNOON
• Lunch at the island or a private picknik(optional)
• Sunset sailing and dinner on board
LESIC DIMITRI PALACE 5* (B,L,D)
**Additional day extension upon request for an alternative itinerary.
The greenest, most independent and most interesting of Croatia's 1,000 or so islands, Korculawas a favorite Greek holiday spot over 2,000 years ago. Very much a law unto itself -as you might expect from a community that resisted the sieges of centuries -Korcula town is a mini-fortress enclosed with honey-coloured stone walls that contain hidden treasures, from icons to Tiepolos, as well as architectural delights in every narrow, cobbled street. Marco Polo was amongst the first Europeans to travel the famous Silk Road trade route, stretching from the Middle East to China.Significantly, Polo is reputed to have been born in Korcula itself, although evidence to support this thesis is at best sketchy.
Spend a day hopping around the small islands (Skoji) around Korcula.
A local boat will take you around the bays, where you will find sun-baked rocks and crystal clear sea. Enjoy a seaside lunch at a little island restaurant or a private picnic provided by Lesic Dimitri. Why not try sea urchins, freshly collected from the seabed -slathered onto bread and washed down with a glug of local wine.
Sunset sailing on Vipera, the most elegant sailing boat in the Adriatic! To be determined!!!
Lešić Dimitri’s skipper will take you out for a private sail around the islands and then up the Peljesac channel. As the champagne is popped enjoy the spectacular sunset before you are dropped off at the little seaside restaurant of More. Enjoy the sweetest lobster and homemade macaroni as a guitarist lightly strums in the background.
DAY 9 (10)** / SUNDAY / KORCULA-DUBROVNIK (by minivan)
MORNING
• Departureto Dubrovnik witha localguide(at 10 a.m. embarkationon ferryto Orebic)
• Winetastingon Peljesacpeninsula
AFTERNOON
• Gourmandlunchin restaurantVila Koruna in Mali Ston(at 1 p.m.)
• Late afternoonarrivalto Dubrovnik
• Accomodationanddinnerat htl
KAZBEK HOTEL 5* (B,L,D)
**Additional day extension upon request for an alternative itinerary
Start the morning with a drive along the Peljesacpeninsula known for its gorgeous red wines, growing sites for shells and salt flats. Stop at a local wine-cellar in order to taste some of the reknowned wine (at family Matusko in Potomje or f.Antunovic in Kuna or f.Milos in Ponikve). Continue to the historical Mali Ston, the small village, where the narrow lagoon dividing Peljesac from the mainland is rich in premium quality oysters and local restaurants offer one of the best cuisine in the country. Let's pamper you in a first class restaurant that awaits you for a gastronomic haven.
Late afternoon arrival to Dubrovnik and acommodation in a boutique Kazbek hotel. Welcome reception and dinner.
DAY 10 (11)**/ MONDAY / DUBROVNIK
MORNING
• Speedboat / car transfer from the hotel to Dubrovnik city
• Sightseeing tour of the old city with a local guide (museums of interest are payable on spot)
AFTERNOON
• Departure to Konavle area by car/van.
• Visit & presentation of former mill with home made brandy and snack tasting
• Proceed to Cavtat, short visit, return to Dubrovnik to htl.
• Gourmand dinner at local restaurant Nautica or Proto
• Visit of folklore performance at 9:30 p.m. (optional)
**Additional day extension upon request for an alternative itinerary.
And finally the 'dessert' -the Pearl of Adriatic! Allways fascinating Dubrovnik, the city that dates from 7th century and which stormy history is reflected in every part of the city. Encompassed by the city walls, as the major attraction, offers also other historic monuments (Fanciscan monastery, Onofrio's fountain, Sponza Palace, St.Blaise church, Rector's Palace, Dominican monastery, Cathedral, ect.), as well as large number of cultural events and festivals. A museum-city and living stage, listed on UNESCO's World Heritage Site since 1979 will definitly provide you an Unique experiences.
A full day guided sightseeing programme of the city and surrounding area starting at 9 a.m. from the hotel by driving to the old city (car/van). Walking sightseeing tour will explain the history of Dubrovnik Republic and its fascinating Dubrovnik. After the tour, optional free time for refreshing or shopping.
At 12:30 p.m. meeting at Pile western gate for departure to country side of Konavle region (cca. 30 min of driving). Visit of former mill, including its presentation of use, few home made brandy tasting and having snack of home made bread covered with smoked ham & cheese, glass of wine, water. After continue to picturesque Cavtat, the southernmost town of Croatia, situated in a bay encircled by two peninsulas making it a safe harbour frequented by numerous sailors and yacht enthusiasts. Short walking along palmed-lined sea promenade, enjoy in the spectacular scenery. Drive back to Dubrovnik, retuning to hotel at aprx. 4 p.m., rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Drive to a cosiest local restaurant (Nautica or Proto) for having a gourmand dinner at 7 p.m.
An optional folklore performance is available after dinner (only every Mon or Fri).
DAY 11 (12)** / TUESDAY / DUBROVNIK
Departure back home from Cilipiaptor extend the stay for a day or two.
**Additional day extension upon request for an alternative itinerary.
For additional information and price please contact us at info@unique-slovenia.si.
* Please note that this program is property of Unique Slovenia / Custom Tour Designer. It shall neither be copied nor used without permission.