Except for problems getting there and returning home (issues with the airlines, NOT Amber Road or the tour itself), this was another Amber Road success story..the third for us! We can’t say enough about our Tour Director, Andrej who combined knowledge, flexibility, efficiency, and humor, to help make this a wonderful and memorable trip for 13 people from 3 different continents! The Fruili area of Italy, including Trieste, was lovely as expected, but we weren’t really prepared for the diversified beauty of Slovenia…changing day to day depending on what part we were traveling through…Italian, Austrian, and Hungarian influences were all in evidence at one time or another. The hotels were terrific, with very spacious rooms and often with views that were amazing. Waking up to incredible views of Lake Bled from our balcony each morning, was a wonderful way to start our day. The food in Italy and in Slovenia was delicious and VERY plentiful, and everything we saw and did was interesting, often unusual, and well worth our time. We particularly loved Aquileia with its archaeological and architectural sites, a wine tasting and incredible homemade lunch by the young owners of a vineyard, the cosmopolitan city of Ljubljana, the incredible Postojna Caves, and of course, Lake Bled! The fact that we spent 3 or 4 nights in each hotel was an enormous plus for us, as well as the free time we were given to explore and eat on own. Thank you again to Amber Road, to Andrej, and to our fellow travelers for your contributions in making this such a great/fun trip!
Friuli Venezia Giulia / Slovenia tour Comments Leave a comment
We found this to be a superb tour. The itinerary provided an excellent combination of beautiful scenery and historical and cultural fascination. The pace was just right and the tour leader, Andrej, added much value with his deep local knowledge and organising skills which made everything run smoothly.
This was our first trip to Europe and our first tour with Amber Road Tours (absolutely not our last!!!). I would not have done it any other way! AR had us staying in wonderful hotels, eating great food, and learning about the Fruili Venezia Giulia/Slovenia region. I loved visiting the smaller areas and getting to interact with the ‘real’ people of the areas we visited. Our tour manager, Andre, was exceptionally knowledgeable and entertaining and it was great having him there 24/7 to answer my endless questions. Having the small tour group to travel with, allowed us to spend time and get to know everyone. This greatly increased the enjoyment factor for us. Leaving the planning, coordinating, and driving to AR definitely made it the most relaxing vacation we have had so far in our travels. I look forward to doing more AR tours!
Our time in Fruili and Slovenia was great. Fruili is such a hidden gem and full of amazing history and wonderful things to see. We were gobsmacked by Aquileia and its history. Slovenia is a beautiful country and again full of amazing scenery and history. As well as the most tractors per capita of anywhere in the world, which entertained us all whilst driving! The wines of the regions were also wonderful and every food experience organised by AR delivered beyond our expectations. Ljubljana is a wonderful city. Lake Bled is everything the postcards promise and swimming in the lake was ‘exhilarating’. This was our fourth Amber Road tour and as always the itinerary was meticulously thought out and full of life enriching experiences. Another bonus of the trip is always the people and a testament to that is that we organised to do this tour with friends we had met on a previous AR tour. Thank you again AR team.
It is hard to think of anything that wasn’t excellent about this tour. I had never heard of Amber Road tours and as the one to suggest going to a group of friends felt uncertain of the result. However all expectations and more were met. Our guide Andrej could not have been more helpful, entertaining, and quietly working in the background to ensure all went smoothly. We had little knowledge of Slovenia and having Andrej as a guide gave great insight. Apart from that the food and accommodation was varied and excellent as were the wines. The grand finale of Lake Bled was perfect. Thanks to Lisa and Andrej and we certainly will consider Amber Road Tours again.
This is our 3rd trip with ART and we enjoyed every moment of it. Andrej was a very informative and helpful guide and kept everyone together at a good pace. We thought the local guides were also outstanding and made everything from iron forgery to war weapons very interesting. The hotels were convenient to restaurants and attractions during any free time we had. ART seems to attract the nicest people from all over the world and we enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone on this tour.
Out trip with Andrej was an outstanding cultural experience! Andrej was a calm, warm and knowledgeable host. There was a broad variety of things to see and do – we particularly enjoyed our visit to the winery that straddled the Italy/Slovenia border. The local guide, Sonia, led us throughout Friuli and brought her homeland into full meaning for us. The hotels, meals and wines were excellent throughout. We are already recommending Amber Road Tours to everyone.
Irene and I feel that our Amber Road tour to Friuli/Venezia/Giulia and Slovenia was wonderful and highly rewarding. The planning and exceptional personal efforts of our tour manager, Andrej Vatovec played a key role in our feeling this way. The selected geographic sites we visited were very interesting and rich in cultural and historical significance, all of which were well presented by local guides with Andrej preparing us in advance on background for what to expect. His proud Slovenian heritage was clear and transparent, and yet, he was also not reluctant to make critical observations when relevant and appropriate. Landscapes in Slovenia were often impressive and a remarkable highlight was the visit to the underground Postojna caves. The three highly rated hotels we stayed at were excellent in offering good accommodations, food and service. Restaurants and local trattoria had good wines and foods that were appetizing, and, in our particular circumstance in having gluten free preferences, we were especially appreciative to Andrej for having insured in advance that our preferences were honored. Finally, our stay in Bled on the lake and our farewell dinner topped to all off. All in all, it was a most gratifying and memorable experience we’ll be talking about for awhile to come!
We traveled to Trieste to meet our Friuli/Slovenia Amber Road Tour with some degree of apprehension. We knew nothing, first hand, of ART and no one who had even heard of the group. Our fears quickly disappeared when we met Andrej, our guide, and the other members of our small friendly group. Andrej was excellent- knowledgeable, organized, calm, helpful and a proud Slovenian. Igor, our driver, was skilled and obliging. We found the itinerary each day very interesting and full of enjoyable surprises. Our hotel rooms were outstanding and we appreciated staying 3 or 4 nights in each hotel. Our meals, highlighting local cuisine were delicious (and enormous!). Thank you Amber Road Tours – we are spreading the word!
This was my second Amber Roads tour, and another wonderful trip. Our tour leader was delightful and the local guides were very knowledgeable. Everything was well-organized. We saw standard sites, but also visited special places and had unique experiences that I would not have encountered on my own or with another company. The tour had a good pace, more full at the beginning and slower as we ended in the enchanting Lake Bled. Andrej was a great guide. His pride in Slovenia was excellent. He had a gentle manner but always kept us on schedule. Wonderful manner. Igor, our driver, was skillful, pleasant, always on time and went out of his way to be helpful. I enjoyed all hotels.The visit to the small winery in Slovenia was a highlight, as was the boat ride to Bled Island.
It was another remarkable tour and even better than “as advertised”. Both Friuli and Slovenia were filled to the brim with history and other pleasant discoveries. I enjoyed each day’s adventures enormously and found the activities so well researched and appropriate. Each of our guides contributed to our appreciation and learning. But truthfully it was Andrej ‘s enthusiasm and caring that was the essential ingredient to make this a truly unique experience for each one of us. It was an especially congenial and considerate group of travel companions. I could go on for several more sentences but they would simply reiterate the aforementioned.
Please note that these comments are for both the Croatia/Bosnia and Slovenia tours. We took these two tours back to back.
My husband and I have been on five tours with Amber Road Tours . We have traveled to the Amalfi Coast and Apulia, Sicily and Tuscany/Umbria (back to back), and Friuli &Slovenia and Croatia (back to back). It is therefore very obvious that we totally enjoy traveling with them. Our latest trips with them were Slovenia and Croatia/Bosnia. Both of these tours were fantastic!. Our guide for both was Andrej who was outstanding. It was like living a history lesson and living in the present as well. This was Amber Road Tours’ first tour to Croatia which is absolutely beautiful. We swam in the Adriatic. We did walks to see wonderful waterfalls. We chose our fish to eat at a fish market.
We had a lovely day on a small boat at an oyster farm, where we ate raw oysters while sipping wine. We had dinner overlooking the Adriatic.
We had a great wine and food tasting experience at a small family run winery. We went to some very interesting museums –such as a beekeeping museum.
We had dinner with a family who told us about living through the “Homeland War.” We saw the bullet holes in the buildings which were made in the 1990s.
I can go on and on. These two back to back tours were exceptional in that they had such a variety of activities. We had history. We had nature. We ate delicious food.
The real story is that Jonathan of Amber Road Tours goes out of his way to make certain that his tours are enjoyable. One example of this was in Slovenia.
We were staying at a very picturesque hotel in Lake Bled. I had read about Vintgar Gorge which was close to our hotel. It was not on our agenda. I mentioned it to Andrej. He contacted Jonathan who agreed to include the visit to the Gorge. Andrej told our group that if we were willing to leave the hotel at 7:45 AM we could take our bus to the Gorge. However, we would need to have packed and be ready to leave Lake Bled for Ljubljana when we returned to the hotel. Six of our twelve
managed to be on the bus. It was so worth it!!
We have traveled through out the world. However, we feel that Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia–part of what was Yugoslavia–is a must to see. Especially with Amber Road Tours.
We, of course, will be traveling with Amber Road Tours again. We really enjoy their small groups, their hotels, their food, their variety of activities. We highly recommend that you also travel with them.
Another excellent Amber Road Tour. The hotels and meals provided were great. Our guide, Andres, was knowledgeable, patient, witty, helpful, and through his efforts the entire tour went smoothly and comfortably. Most enjoyable to us was the variety of experiences on this tour–from a beautiful seaside resort in Grado, to Roman ruins and an early church in Aquileia, to beautiful Tiepolo paintings, to vineyards, horse farms, ancient and more recent castles and villas, the beautiful ‘green and clean’ countryside of Slovenia, the pedestrian-oriented charming city of Ljubljana, lakes mountains and caves, and the friendly English-speaking people. We look forward to taking another Amber Road Tour. Nancy and Al Wechsler
Deborah has already left comments on our tour, and I totally agree with them. It was a fantastic tour, probably the best I’ve ever been on, and we hope to do another one someday.
Fantastic tour. Top of the line all the way with the best hotels, great restaurants, all entries paid for fabulous attractions. What I loved were the extras, for example, the lunch at a private vineyard with the wife making us a delicious lunch from all the vegetables in her own garden, and the husband putting out more than 5 bottles of wine for tasting.
Our guide, Andre, was Slovenian, and knew these people as well as other restaurant owners around the different places we visited.
Personally, I loved that the hotel stays were 4 days, 2, and then 4 again. I just can’t do the 2 nights and then pack and move, and another 2 nights and pack and move, etc. This way, we really got to relax and not worry about the constant unpacking and resettling. If you have another tour with a similar timeline, we’re there!
What can we say that hasn’t been said by others! Having just returned from our third and fourth tours with Amber Roads over the past three years, it is obvious that we wouldn’t keep returning unless we felt that this was the tour company to travel with.
This year we took the Friuli-Venezia-Guilia/Slovenia tour with the charming Katarina Klemencic who has a wicked sense of humour and who was unfailingly pleasant and helpful, and then followed this with the Tuscany/Umbria tour with the amusing and irrepressible Alex Lavagnini. Both our tour leaders were knowledgeable and delightful to travel with; they chose great restaurants at which to eat in our free time and gave generously of their own free time. Alex was witty and kept us greatly amused on our bus trips. Our driver in Tuscany/Umbria, Paolo Collotti was kind, courteous and someone whose driving ability kept us feeling safe. Once again, your choice of hotels was excellent and I particularly loved the Grand Hotel Toplice with its balcony overlooking the breathtakingly beautiful Lake Bled; the Hotel Antiq Palace in Ljubljana where I could have happily stayed longer, especially as the music school was so close; it was delightful to hear melodies from various instruments during our stay. Thanks again to you both for having such a wonderful tour company. You obviously take tremendous care in your choice of areas to visit, your tour leaders, hotels and restaurants. We will keep telling people about Amber Road Tours!
Our second tour with Amber Road and it was another winner. We were not aware of the massive history of this area in Italy and local guide, Sonia, was well informed and interesting. The concentration camp in Trieste was very interesting and has been well designed as a memorial. Accommodations were exceptional. Ljubljana is a lovely city with a very welcoming atmosphere.
This was our second Amber Road tour. Once again, we were very pleased with the accommodations, the itinerary, the tour manager, and the ideal size of the group. The hotel rooms were some of the largest we’ve had on tours (even more expensive tours) and were all well located for views or center city access.
The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy is one that is often overlooked by travelers and tour companies. This tour provides a good overview of that scenic area with its historic Roman sites. The cities of Trieste and Udine are especially of great interest. Trieste has a spectacular waterfront piazza in the center and (in our opinion) the best coffee in Italy.
There aren’t many tours that offer more than a couple of days in Slovenia, a beautiful alpine country. This tour covers the capital city of Ljubljana with its historic, pedestrian friendly center and the picture perfect Lake Bled area, as well as Maribor and the countryside. The Postojna Caves also are astounding.
Our tour manager Katarina (who is fluent in English, Italian, and Slovenian) took good care of us and the local guides were exceptional. Katarina chose uniformly excellent restaurants, assuring that we sampled many local specialties, as well as the many fine wines and liqueurs produced in these regions.
One last thing that we appreciate about Amber Road Tours is that the owners Sonya and Jonathan take the time to share a meal with the group and to get to know us.
I enjoyed the whole trip [Friuli/Slovenia], especially having 2 days in Lake Bled where the landscape was so beautiful. The autumn seasonal changes provided a very relaxing and comforting environment. I also enjoyed our visits to the historical sites and museums. The frescoes and mosaics were so incredibly beautiful. I have reserved a Sicily tour next September with your tour company.