Compact, clean and mountainous, the third most wooded country in Europe - Slovenia is often compared with Switzerland, (and rightly so, minus the yodelling). This small country comes with a big heart and has been touted as one of the friendliest in Europe. For emphasis, the capital of Ljubljana even comes with the amiable nickname of “beloved” (the origins of which are disputed, other than the two words are almost indistinguishable when spoken with a mouth full of marbles.) And if the love-fest with Ljubljana ever lapses, the unique Karst region, the Adriatic coast, the mountains, the hilly wine-growing regions, the spas, and many historic towns are all within a couple of hours drive.
This multi-layered journey takes you from the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna to the mighty Parthenon in Athens and on to the shimmering Greek isles with a stopover in Corfu.
An all-encompassing journey of magnificent menus, outstanding scenery and incredible cultural heritage, this itinerary brings you face-to-face with Europe’s finest attractions. Celebrate Catalonia with a small-group pintxo (tapas) tasting, enjoy a tasting of robust Tuscan reds and ascend to the top of Europe on Mount Stanserhorn to learn about regional fauna and flora from a Swiss Ranger. You will meet passionate locals along the way who will share insider knowledge and enrich your experience.
Just as Rome was the foundation for modern civilisation, so too is it the ideal start for this superb journey. Spend three days in this ancient city, visiting the Vatican Museums before they are opened to the public. Then follow in the footsteps of Julius Caesar, venturing north to the Rhine Valley, where he built the first bridge to cross the Rhine River. Splendid Europe is packed with fascinating experiences and thrilling interactions with passionate locals.
Ljubljana is a charming mix of old and new, managing to retain traces from all periods of its rich history. Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau periods are represented in ornate doorways, romantic bridges and lopsided rooftops. The afternoon sun gleams off the hilltop castle, the cobbled streets and old churches shaded by spreading trees. Postojna Cave is an underground labyrinth of stalagmites and stalactites where visitors can admire the craggy surroundings aboard a cave train. Lake Bled is an idyllic paradise at the foot of the Julian Alps that deserves a visit in its own right. The noble Lipizzaner horse originated in Lipica, where the stud farm was established in 1580 by the Austrian archduke Karl von Habsburg, and its riding school is a popular visit.
Ljubljana is a city of culture. It is home to numerous theatres, museums and galleries, and boasts one of the oldest philharmonic orchestras in the world. During the summer festival there are jazz bands on street corners and jugglers dotted liberally around.
Make a wish at Lake Bled! Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and mountain views as an oarsman steers his traditional pletna boat to the island in the middle of the lake. Visit the pilgrimage church and ring the famous “wishing bell” for your personal wish. For another adventure, ride on an electric train through the mysterious underground corridors and spectacular caverns of the Postojna Caves.