Friuli Venezia Giulia / Slovenia

11 days/10 nights

Average number of participants on tour is 14 (max. 19)

price 20183,700 price 20193,700

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Slovenia tour

Romans, Lombards, Huns and Austrians highlight our visit to the northeast Italian region of Friuli. Four nights in Grado with lagoon view rooms. A boat trip to Isola Barbana. Visits to a small winery in the hills of the Collio, the ancient Roman city of Aquileia, charming Udine and magnificent Trieste!  In Slovenia we stay 3 nights in the capital Ljubljana, your next favorite city and the Green Capitol of Europe 2016!  We’ll visit Ptuj, the country’s oldest settlement, the small villages of Kropa and Škofja Loka and take a train ride through the Postojna Caves. Stunning views from your lakeview rooms on beautiful Lake Bled, a pletna boat ride, an optional hike through Vintgar Gorge and great food and wines complete your three night stay in Bled.

Day 1

The northeast Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia derives its long name from Julius Caesar, who founded the city of Cividale del Friuli (forum Iulii) in 53 BC, and from Venice, of whose territory it was once a part.

The Grado lagoon, part of the north Adriatic coastal floodplain, is a unique nature reserve, home to numerous species of aquatic birds and a great variety of vegetation. The island of Grado, a port during the Roman era, was settled by refugees fleeing the barbarian invasions of the 5th century, then became an important commercial and political center during medieval times. Grado has a charming historic district, wide swaths of sandy beaches and a long promenade.

Our lodging is the waterfront Laguna Palace Hotel (4 nights). Included transfers from Trieste airport and Trieste city center followed by late afternoon orientation tour of Grado, aperitifs and welcome dinner.

Slovenia Photo Tour

Grado Lagoon Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour

Day 2

The Lombards completed a centuries-long odyssey from Scandinavia to Italy, arriving opportunely just at the end of the devastating Goth-Byzantine wars in 568 A.D. Finding the peninsula exhausted and depopulated they took over most of it and ruled for two hundred years, restoring civilization and leaving behind a unique cultural heritage. Cividale del Friuli became their first capital and, this morning, their archaeological museum will recount to us the fascinating story of the Longobardi.

This afternoon we’ll explore the Collio, the predominately white winemaking region in the Gorizia Hills that extends into Slovenia. We’ll tour a cantina that sits on the border near Šmartno and have lunch with a taste of their wines which include Chardonnay and the traditional Brda vines Sivi Pinot, Tokaj, Sauvignon and Beli Pinot.

Longobard reign in Italy 7th century. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour

Day 3

Legend says that Attila watched Aquileia burn from the hilltop where now stands the castle of Udine. Certainly the castle predates its first historical mention in 983 but the town was of little significance until the beginning of its near four century domination by the Republic of Venice in 1420. Appointed to govern the province of Friuli it soon transformed itself into a splendid city of noble palaces and notable works of art still visible today.

Our local guide tour of Udine takes us through the elegant and lively historic center followed by free time to explore on your own and an included lunch at a local trattoria.

The visit continues at the marvelous Patriarch’s Palace, home of the Museo Diocesano, an enormous 15th century library and the wonderful Gallery of Giambattista Tiepolo, the foremost Venetian painter of the 18th century.

Tiepolo fresco

Day 4

Aquileia was founded as a Roman town and port in the 2nd century B.C. and over the following six centuries became the fourth largest city in Italy. Its strategic location was the terminus of the trading route that linked the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea and was the Imperial gateway to Asia Minor. With a population of 100,000 it flourished as an agricultural, crafts and cultural center for centuries until the calamity called Attila the Hun arrived in 452 A.D. Aquileia regained prominence in the medieval period through their great Patriarchs when Friuli was a part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Basilica of Aquileia has its origins in the 4th century, was rebuilt several times, but most of what you see now is Romanesque – Gothic style 11th century construction. One hundred years ago the original 4th century mosaic floor was discovered and brought to light – 760 square meters of some of the most wonderful mosaics of the ancient world!

Our local guide will take us on a walk through 1500 years of history that includes the Roman forum, the ancient port, the Basilica and the archeological museum.

Afternoon boat trip through the Grado Lagoon to the Isola di Barbana. Included dinner.

Basilica di Aquileia 4th century mosiacs. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour

Day 5

Castle Miramare, called the upper Adriatic jewel of the Habsburg Empire, was built in the 1850s as a residence for the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, later the ill-fated emperor of Mexico. The castle is a lovely period piece, highlighted by the Duke’s bedroom and office that were modeled on the cabin and stern wardroom of the warship that he commanded to circumnavigate the world.

Our next stop is spectacular Trieste, one of Italy’s most impressive cities. After warring with the Republic of Venice for two centuries, Trieste, in 1382, petitioned the Habsburgs to become part of Austria, of which it remained until annexed by the Kingdom of Italy following the end of World War I, but, in a long and contorted history, did not officially and finally become a part of the Republic of Italy until 1954. Our local guide will illuminate all this and more.

Slovenia is a small, scenic country of less than 2 million inhabitants bordering Friuli. It has a dynamic culture, welcoming people and a wonderful geographical diversity. Slovenians descend from the Slav tribes that migrated to the region after the fall of the Roman Empire, passed centuries under the rule of various counts and then the Habsburgs and, finally, broke away from the former Yugoslav Federation in 1991 to form their own nation.

This afternoon we’ll visit the Lipica Stud Farm, home to the famous Lipizzaner horses since the 16th century. After a walk through the estate we’ll be treated to a performance of the Classical Riding School.

Late afternoon transfer to Ljubljana, the sparkling capital city of Slovenia. We’ll be staying three nights at Hotel Cubo located just a short walk off the main square.

Castello Miramare, residence of Archduke Maximilian at Trieste. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour Lipizzaner horses Slovenia

Day 6

Ljubljana has the most beautiful historic center, contained within a sprawling pedestrian zone that flanks both sides of the willow-lined Ljubljanica River, with animated cafés and restaurants, magnificent Baroque buildings and bridges. This morning our local guide will proudly walk us through the old town, highlighted by the works of Slovenia’s greatest architect, Joze Plecnik, the outdoor markets, and loomed over by the Ljubljana Castle which houses a fine multi-media historical museum.

This afternoon you’ll be free to explore the winding streets and quaint shops, walk through the immense Tivoli Park, take a boat ride or just park yourself at a riverside café and watch a different version of life pass by.

Included dinner.

 

The triple bridge of Ljubljana constructed by architect Jože Plečnik. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour

Day 7

Morning in beautiful Ptuj, the oldest city in Slovenia and once an important Imperial Roman commercial and administrative center.

Hermann Potočnik Noordung (1892-1929) was a rocket scientist and space pioneer architect who first conceived and designed the orbital wheel-shaped space station in 1928. This afternoon we’ll visit the fascinating Space Technologies Museum in Vitanje dedicated to Potočnik’s work and furthering progress in space colonization.

Evening free.

Ptuj Slovenia. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour

Day 8

Morning departure for the picturesque, magnificent, defiant, mysterious, and impregnable Predjama Castle. Built into the side of a vertical 123-metre high cliff 700 years ago, it entered into history under control of the Patriarch of Aquileia and later passed to the dukes of Austria. Our local expert will take us through the fascinating history of the castle, tell stories of its colorful inhabitants and describe how people once lived and worked there. Included lunch.

Just a few kilometers away from the castle is the world famous Postojna Caves where we’ll be taken a kilometer and a half deep into the earth by electric cave train. The length of the entire two-track circle line is 3.2 km. The cave train, with a top speed of 13/km per hour, has been taking visitors around the caves for 140 years. At the Great Mountain you will continue the tour on foot through awe-inspiring passages, tunnels and spectacular halls. After viewing the human fish in the aquarium we’ll re-board the train for our return to the surface.

Transfer to enchanting Bled where we’ll spend three nights at the truly Grand Hotel Toplice.

Evening free.

Train cave ride Postojna Slovenia. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour

Day 9

Some 14,000 years ago a receding glacier left in its wake the beauty now called Lake Bled. Surrounded by high mountains, a dramatically placed 11th century cliffside castle and its tiny island with 99 steps leading up to the exquisite Church of the Assumption, the lake presents a fairy tale setting like no other.

Optional early morning hike through the spectacular Vintgar Gorge, a narrow wooden path overlooking the rapids and waterfalls of the emerald green Radovna River.

Mid morning walk to Vila Bled (Tito’s Villa) to ponder Socialist realism murals and mosaics and to taste the excellent kremšnita cake. We’ll take a pletna boat ride to Bled Island where you’ll discover to what purpose men attempt to carry their brides up the daunting steps. In the church you can ring the wishing bells to bid someone good health or fortune.

Late afternoon visit to Bled Castle and its fine museum.

Radovljica is an attractive town perched defensively 250 feet above the Sava River Valley. At its center is the medieval Linhartov Square showing off both Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Gostilna Lectar, a 180 year old family-run inn and restaurant will host us for a very entertaining evening.

 

Bled Island Slovenia

Day 10

For hundreds of years the small village of Kropa was a major producer of nails and railroad spikes for southern Europe. This morning we’ll have a guided visit to the Iron Forging Museum & Vice Forge where the history of metalworking and local life and customs will come alive.

After time on your own to explore Kropa and lunch on traditional Slovenian dishes we’ll go to Škofja Loka for a guided visit to a typical 15th century Slovene home.

Late afternoon free to explore the 1000 year old town of Bled, take the two hour walk around the lake or go by horse-drawn carriage or tourist train.

Included farewell dinner.

Kropa iron works Slovenia. Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia tour

Day 11

Morning transfers to Ljubljana airport and train station.

Linhartov Square in Radovljica, Slovenia

2019 Single supplements price € 3,700

September 23 - October 3Available

Principal towns & villages

Days
1-5 FriuliGrado, Cividale del Friuli, Udine, Aquileia, Trieste, Lipica
6-10 SloveniaLjubljana, Ptuj, Vitanje, Postojna, Bled, Radovljica, Kropa, Škofja Loka

Included

  • Transfers from Trieste airport and city center at scheduled times
  • 10 nights' 4 & 5 star hotel accommodation
  • Tourist accommodation tax
  • All ground transportation and porterage Days 2-10
  • All breakfasts, 5 dinners and 2 lunches, beverages included
  • All activities and admissions listed in Highlights
  • Full time professional tour manager
  • Drop off at Ljubljana airport or train station
  • All activities and admissions listed under Highlights

Highlights

  • City walking tours in Udine, Cividale, Trieste, Ljubljana and Ptuj
  • Museo archeologico at Cividale del Friuli
  • Patriarch's Palace Udine
  • Collio cantina visit and wine tasting
  • Aquileia archeological park, museum and basilica tour
  • Grado lagoon boat trip to Isola Barbana
  • Miramare Castle at Trieste
  • Lipizzaner Classical Riding Presentation at Lipica
  • Ljubljana Castle + museum
  • Noordung Space Technologies Museum at Vitanje
  • Predjama Castle tour
  • Postojna caves and cave train
  • Kropa Iron Forging Museum
  • Guided visit to the 15th century Nace house in Škofja Loka
  • Tito's Villa on Lake Bled
  • Bled Lake pletna boat ride to Bled Island
  • Bled castle visit

Getting there

Tour begins: Trieste

Transfer from Trieste city center (13:30) and Trieste airport (14:15)


Tour ends: Ljubljana

Morning transfers to Ljubljana airport


How to get there: Book a multicity ticket into Trieste and out from Ljubljana.

If you are wishing to return to Italy there are no flights but there are daily shuttles to Trieste and Venice, www.goopti.com


Pre tour: We recommend arriving to Trieste a day or more prior to tour start.

Post tour:  This tour can be done back to back with the Croatia and Bosnia tour via a one hour flight from Ljubljana to Sarajevo.

 

Day 1 — Grado, GO, Italia

Day 2 — Cividale del Friuli, Udine, Italy

Day 2 — Šmartno, Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Day 3 — Udine, UD, Italia

Day 4 — Aquileia, UD, Italia

Day 5 — Trieste, TS, Italia

Day 5 — Lipica, Sežana, Slovenia

Day 6 — Ljubljana, Slovenia

Day 7 — Ptuj, Slovenia

Day 7 — Vitanje, Slovenske Konjice, Slovenia

Day 8 — Postojna, Slovenia

Day 8 — Bled, Radovljica, Slovenia

Day 9 — Lake Bled, Bled, Radovljica, Slovenia

Day 10 — Kropa, Radovljica, Slovenia

Day 10 — Škofja Loka, Slovenia

Activity level

Most of the walking on this tour is not difficult but you will find some of it to be uphill. Be prepared to spend a few hours a day on your feet. Age is not important as long as you are reasonably fit and a good walker. Our tours are not suited for anyone who has problems with knees, back, heart or obesity.

1. PRICES, DEPOSITS, PAYMENTS, REFUNDS

  • Prices shown are per person, double occupancy, in euro.
  • The deposit is 400 euro per person.
  • Balance payments are due 70 days prior to tour start.
  • Deposits and balance payments are accepted by Visa and Master Card or by bank wire. After your deposit has been accredited we will send you an invoice with the due date and amount for the balance of payment. Should you fail to make final payment by the date specified on your invoice, we reserve the right to cancel your booking without refund.
  • Cancellations and refunds: in the unlikely event that we would cancel your tour, you would be entitled to a 100% refund within 2 weeks after the tour’s cancellation.

If you cancel your tour reservation:

Deposits

  • are 50% refundable up until 180 days prior to tour start date.
  • are 100 % non-refundable less than 180 days prior to tour start date.

Balance payments

  • are 98% refundable 70 days or more prior to tour start date:
  • are 48% refundable 70 to 31 days prior to tour start date:
  • 30 days or less prior to tour start date: no refund.

Physician documented emergency medical reasons or police documented cases of accident, flood, fire or crime are required for refunds.

We do not provide refunds for: non-medical personal problems; air carrier delays or cancellations; inability to obtain passports; business problems or emergencies; etc.

2. INSURANCE

We strongly recommend you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment!

http://travelexinsurance.com/

provides Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and much more.

It is not possible for Amber Road Tours, Inc. to provide protection coverage of any sort and you agree to buy insurance or travel at your own risk.

3. INCLUDED

Transfers from Trieste “Ronchi dei Legionari” airport on Day 1 to Hotel Laguna Palace in Grado at scheduled times. All ground transportation Days 2 to 10. Transfers on Day 11 to Ljubljana airport. 10 nights’ 4 and 5 star hotel accommodation with breakfast, 4 dinners and 3 lunches including beverages (wine or beer or soft drinks and water). Admissions to all sites visited as a group, as listed in bold on the tour itinerary.

4. NOT INCLUDED

Air transportation, all meals not listed above, room service, phone calls, etc.

5. ARRIVALS

If you are visiting Europe only for the 11 days of our tour you will want to purchase a multi-city flight ticket into Trieste and out from Ljubljana. The Hotel Laguna Palace in Grado is located 30 minutes from the Trieste Airport. Included transfers are: from Trieste city center at 13:30 and the airport at 14:15.   Your tour manager will be expecting you in the hotel lobby for a welcome meeting at 4pm prior to our introductory orientation tour of the city.

6. DEPARTURE

Morning maxi-van taxi transfers to Ljubljana airport.

7. LUGGAGE

You are allowed one suitcase and one carry-on bag. If you exceed this limit there may not be space in the coach to transport your excess luggage and it will be at your own expense to have it transported throughout the tour. We suggest that you bring a daypack for carrying water, guide books, jacket, rain gear, etc.

8. WALKING ON TOUR

Most of the walking on this tour is not difficult but you will find some of it to be uphill. Be prepared to spend a few hours a day on your feet. Age is not important as long as you are reasonably fit and a good walker. Our tours are not suited for anyone who has problems with knees, back, heart or obesity.

9. TRANSPORTATION

Days 1 – 10 is by air-conditioned coach.

Day 11 transfers will be by maxi van taxi.

10. HOTELS

Are located in quiet locations within historic districts. Rooms have one queen or king bed or two twin beds, with private bath.

11. SINGLE TRAVELERS

We have space available for one or two singles on each of our tours. They are provided with single-use double rooms. The additional single supplement cost is 600 euro. Please contact us for availability prior to booking.

12. PRICES

For our recommended tours and dates, as listed in our web site, are guaranteed. We do not sell optional excursions or take you on shopping expeditions. Your additional expenses will be for non-included meals, moderate tipping where appropriate, and personal sightseeing or shopping.

13. NO SMOKING / NO CELL PHONES

We have a no smoking policy on all tour buses, at group meals and at all sites visited. The same policy applies to the use of cellular phones.

14. LIMIT OF LIABILITY

No responsibility is accepted for any loss, expense, accident, injury, or damage to any person or property due to the actions or omissions of any person, or any cause, including but not limited to acts of God, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, defects in machinery, breakdown of equipment, weather, quarantine, negligence, loss of baggage, or other causes beyond our control, such losses being the responsibility of the guest.

15. MEMBERSHIP ON TOUR

Amber Road Tours reserves the right to accept, reject, or not retain any person as a tour participant whose condition or general deportment impedes the operation of the tour or, in the opinion of the tour manager, affects the rights and enjoyment of other guests. A guest not retained on tour shall have no cause for complaint or refund, and shall bear any and all extra expenses that ensue.

16. TOUR CHANGES

All information on this website is, to the best of our knowledge, correct. However, we reserve the right to make changes in accommodations, visits, and itineraries at any time should it become necessary or desirable. Delays or itinerary changes caused by strikes, bad weather, traffic, or other unforeseen circumstances are beyond our control and we are not obliged to pay guests compensation.