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Slovenia: Villages, Castles, Vineyards, Scenic Valleys and the Julian Alps 2021

Status: open

2 Sep – 19 Sep 2021

Overview

Slovenia: Villages, Castles, Vineyards, Scenic Valleys and the Julian Alps 2021
Tour Highlights

  • Assoc. Professor Adrian Jones, OAM leads this tour of little-known, extraordinarily diverse Slovenia.
  • Enjoy 18 days travelling through Slovenia’s stunning natural landscapes including the soaring snow-capped peaks of the Julian Alps, subterranean magic of Postojna and Skocjan caves, and sparkling emerald-green lakes and rivers.
  • In Ljubljana, study the work of Joze Plecnik, Slovenia’s renowned pioneer of 20th century modern architecture. View the National and University Library, the Central Market, Krizanke Summer Theatre and the picturesque riverside with the Triple Bridge and Cobbler’s Bridge.
  • Visit Kobarid, site of the WWI Battle of Caporetto in 1917 – immortalised by Ernest Hemingway’s great novel A Call to Arms; and follow the historic trail along the emerald-green waters of the Soča river to view the Italian line of defence and the Kozjak waterfall.
  • Explore the wine towns of the Vipava Valley including the charming sandstone village of Goče; and visit Maribor, the Styrian capital of Eastern Slovenia, which boasts the oldest grapevine in the world.
  • Ramble through the Logar Valley, one of Europe’s most beautiful Alpine glacial valleys, home to rare flower species and the spectacular 90-metre Rinka Falls.
  • Explore Ptuj, Slovenia’s oldest town, featuring cobblestone alleys, ornate monasteries and a hilltop castle.
  • Discover Slovenia’s pristine lakes: Lake Bled has a tiny Baroque chapel on a picturesque island and a dramatic castle looming above; Lake Bohinj with its a forest-covered setting provides a cable car up Mount Vogel with spectacular views of the Julian Alps.
  • Spend 2 nights in Piran. One of the best-preserved historical centres on the Adriatic coast, it is encircled by 7th-century walls and is rich in Venetian architecture.

18-day Cultural Tour of Slovenia

Overnight Ljubljana (4 nights) • Bled (3 nights) • Kobarid (1 night) • Piran (2 nights) • Postojna (1 night)  • Celje (3 nights) • Zagreb (3 nights)

Itinerary

Itinerary

This draft itinerary provides an outline of the proposed daily program. The daily activities described in this itinerary may be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate changes in museum opening hours, flight schedules etc. The tour includes breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=evening meal.

Ljubljana – 4 nights

Day 1: Thursday 2 September, Arrive Ljubljana
  • Airport transfer for participants arriving on the ASA ‘designated’ flight
  • Orientation Meeting
  • Light Dinner
Day 2: Friday 3 September, Ljubljana
  • Ljubljana Castle
  • Museum of Modern Art or Afternoon at leisure
  • Welcome Dinner
Day 3: Saturday 4 September, Ljubljana
  • City Museum of Ljubljana
  • Jože Plečnik House
  • Architectural tour of buildings designed by Jože Plečnik including the National and University Library
Day 4: Sunday 5 September, Ljubljana
  • National Museum of Slovenia
  • National Gallery of Slovenia
Day 1: Thursday 2 September, Arrive Ljubljana
  • Airport transfer for participants arriving on the ASA ‘designated’ flight
  • Orientation Meeting
  • Light Dinner

Our tour commences in Ljubljana. Participants taking the ASA ‘designated’ flight are scheduled to arrive in the morning. Upon arrival we transfer by private coach to our hotel. If you are travelling independently to Ljubljana, ASA can arrange a private transfer for you, or you should take an officially marked taxi to the hotel. We will take a short orientation walk around the hotel precinct. This evening we dine together at a local restaurant. (Overnight Ljubljana) D

Day 2: Friday 3 September, Ljubljana
  • Ljubljana Castle
  • Museum of Modern Art (Moderna galerija) or Afternoon at leisure
  • Welcome Dinner

(Overnight Ljubljana) BD

Day 3: Saturday 4 September, Ljubljana
  • City Museum of Ljubljana
  • Jože Plečnik House
  • Architectural tour of buildings designed by Jože Plečnik including the National and University Library

(Overnight Ljubljana) BL

Day 4: Sunday 5 September, Ljubljana
  • National Museum of Slovenia
  • National Gallery of Slovenia

(Overnight Ljubljana) BL

Bled – 3 nights

Day 5: Monday 6 September, Ljubljana Pustal Skofja Loka Crngrob Bled
  • The Devil’s Bridge, Pustal
  • Skofja Loka Castle & Museum
  • Church of Annunciation, Crngrob
  • Fijaker (horse drawn carriage) around Lake Bled
Day 6: Tuesday 7 September, Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled
  • Pletna boat to Blejski Otok, Lake Bled
  • Cable Car to Mount Vogel, Lake Bohinj
  • Panoramic Boat along Lake Bohinj from Ukanc to Ribcev Laz, Lake Bohinj
  • Bled Castle
Day 7: Wednesday 8 September, Bled Trzic Kropa Radovljica Bled
  • Trzic Museum: Cobblery exhibition in the former dye house and tannery
  • Iron Forging Museum in Kropa
  • Medieval town of Radovljica
  • Dinner at Vila Podvin
Day 5: Monday 6 September, Ljubljana Pustal Skofja Loka Crngrob Bled
  • The Devil’s Bridge, Pustal
  • Skofja Loka Castle & Museum
  • Church of Annunciation, Crngrob
  • Fijaker (horse drawn carriage) around Lake Bled

(Overnight Bled) BL

Day 6: Tuesday 7 September, Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled
  • Pletna boat to Blejski Otok, Lake Bled
  • Cable Car to Mount Vogel, Lake Bohinj
  • Panoramic Boat along Lake Bohinj from Ukanc to Ribcev Laz, Lake Bohinj
  • Bled Castle

(Overnight Bled) B

Day 7: Wednesday 8 September, Bled Trzic Kropa Radovljica Bled
  • Trzic Museum: Cobblery exhibition in the former dye house and tannery
  • Iron Forging Museum in Kropa
  • Medieval town of Radovljica
  • Dinner at Vila Podvin

(Overnight Bled) BD

Kobarid – 1 night

Day 8: Thursday 9 September, Bled Vrsic Pass  Kobarid
  • Scenic journey across the Julian Alps through Triglav National Park via the Vrsic Pass (1611m)
  • Optional: Guided walking tour of the Soca Valley: Napoleon’s Bridge, World War I sites and the Kozjak Waterfall (3hrs)
  • Dinner at Restaurant Hiša Franko
Day 8: Thursday 9 September, Bled Vrsic Pass  Kobarid
  • Scenic journey across the Julian Alps through Triglav National Park via the Vrsic Pass (1611m)
  • Optional: Guided walking tour of the Soca Valley: Napoleon’s Bridge, World War I sites and the Kozjak Waterfall (3hrs)
  • Dinner at Restaurant Hiša Franko

Note: no porterage is available at the Kobarid hotel. The hotel has a lift.
Please note that while restaurant Hiša Franko will endeavour to cater for special dietary requests, this may not be possible in all cases. If this may be an issue for you, please speak with your ASA Travel Consultant.

(Overnight Kobarid) BLD

Piran – 2 nights

Day 9: Friday 10 September, Kobarid Tolmin Gorges Malovscevo – Skocjan – Piran
  • Guided walking tour of the Tolmin Gorges (1.5-2hrs, gravel trail and boardwalk)
  • Lunch at Milan Garbari’s farm at Malovscevo
  • UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Skocjan Caves
Day 10: Saturday 11 September, Piran – Hrastovlje – Lipica – Piran
  • Church of the Holy Trinity with the famous Dance Macabre fresco, Hrastovlje
  • Lipica Stud Farm:  View the training of Lipizzan Horses & tour the stud farm
  • Afternoon at leisure in Piran
  • Tartini Festival: Evening performance (subject to performance schedule in 2021)
Day 9: Friday 10 September, Kobarid Tolmin Gorges Malovscevo – Skocjan – Piran
  • Guided walking tour of the Tolmin Gorges (1.5-2hrs, gravel trail and boardwalk)
  • Lunch at Milan Garbari’s farm at Malovscevo
  • UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Skocjan Caves

(Overnight Piran) BL

Day 10: Saturday 11 September, Piran – Hrastovlje – Lipica – Piran
  • Church of the Holy Trinity with the famous Dance Macabre fresco, Hrastovlje
  • Lipica Stud Farm:  View the training of Lipizzan Horses & tour the stud farm
  • Afternoon at leisure in Piran
  • Tartini Festival: Evening performance (subject to performance schedule in 2021)

(Overnight Piran) B

Postojna – 1 night

Day 11: Sunday 12 September, Piran – Vipava – Goce – Predjama – Postojna
  • Vipava Wine Centre (Vinoteka Vipava)
  • Lunch in the Stone Village of Goce
  • Postojna Cave
  • Cave castle of Predjama
Day 11: Sunday 12 September, Piran – Vipava – Goce – Predjama – Postojna
  • Vipava Wine Centre (Vinoteka Vipava)
  • Lunch in the Stone Village of Goce
  • Postojna Cave
  • Cave castle of Predjama

(Overnight Postojna) BLD

Celje – 3 nights

Day 12: Monday 13 September, Postojna – Logar Valley – Celje
  • Guided walking tour of Logar Valley (Logarska dolina), one of the most beautiful alpine glacial valleys in Europe
Day 13: Tuesday 14 September, Celje
  • Regional Museum of Celje: ‘Princely Palace’. Guided tour with Curator, Dr Jure Krajšek: in situ remains of antique Celeia; Guided tour with Curator, Mr Damir Žerič: Counts of Celje exhibition
  • Celje Castle & Old Town: Guided tour with Mr Damir Žerič
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Regional Museum of Celje: ‘Old Counts’ Mansion’. Guided tour with Curator, Dr Jure Krajšek: in situ remains of antique Celeia; Guided tour with Curator, Ms Gabrijela Kovačič: Cultural History Collection and the Celje Ceiling
Day 14: Wednesday 15 September, Celje – Ptuj – Maribor – Celje
  • Ptuj Castle & Old Town
  • Walking tour of Maribor including wine-tasting and visit to the oldest vine house
Day 12: Monday 13 September, Postojna – Logar Valley – Celje
  • Guided walking tour of Logar Valley (Logarska dolina), one of the most beautiful alpine glacial valleys in Europe

(Overnight Celje) BL

Day 13: Tuesday 14 September, Celje
  • Regional Museum of Celje: ‘Princely Palace’. Guided tour with Curator, Dr Jure Krajšek: in situ remains of antique Celeia; Guided tour with Curator, Mr Damir Žerič: Counts of Celje exhibition
  • Celje Castle & Old Town: Guided tour with Mr Damir Žerič
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Regional Museum of Celje: ‘Old Counts’ Mansion’. Guided tour with Curator, Dr Jure Krajšek: in situ remains of antique Celeia; Guided tour with Curator, Ms Gabrijela Kovačič: Cultural History Collection and the Celje Ceiling

(Overnight Celje) BL

Day 14: Wednesday 15 September, Celje – Ptuj – Maribor – Celje
  • Ptuj Castle & Old Town
  • Walking tour of Maribor including wine-tasting and visit to the oldest vine house

(Overnight Celje) BL

Zagreb – 3 nights

Day 15: Thursday 16 September, Celje – Kostanevica na Krki – Otocec – Zagreb
  • Kostanevica na Krki, a small settlement on an island in the Krka river
  • Bozidar Jakac Art Museum, Cistercian Monastery Samostan Kostanjevica na Krki
  • Lunch at the 16th-century castle of Otocec
Day 16: Friday 17 September, Zagreb
  • Introductory walking tour of Zagreb
  • Croatian Museum of Naïve Art (to be confirmed in mid-2020)
  • Mestrovic Atelier
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Evening performance (subject to performance schedule in 2021)
Day 17: Saturday 18 September, Zagreb
  • Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters, Croatian Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Gallery of Modern Art
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Farewell Dinner at Dubravkin Put restaurant
Day 18: Sunday 19 September, Depart Zagreb
  • Airport transfer for participants departing on the ASA ‘designated’ flight
Day 15: Thursday 16 September, Celje – Kostanevica na Krki – Otocec – Zagreb
  • Kostanevica na Krki, a small settlement on an island in the Krka river
  • Bozidar Jakac Art Museum, Cistercian Monastery Samostan Kostanjevica na Krki
  • Lunch at the 16th-century castle of Otocec

(Overnight Zabreb) BL

Day 16: Friday 17 September, Zagreb
  • Introductory walking tour of Zagreb
  • Croatian Museum of Naïve Art (to be confirmed in mid-2020)
  • Mestrovic Atelier
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Evening performance (subject to performance schedule in 2021)

(Overnight Zagreb) BL

Day 17: Saturday 18 September, Zagreb
  • Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters, Croatian Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Gallery of Modern Art
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Farewell Dinner at Dubravkin Put restaurant

(Overnight Zagreb) BD

Day 18: Sunday 19 September, Depart Zagreb
  • Airport transfer for participants departing on the ASA ‘designated’ flight

Our tour ends in Zagreb. If you are travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight you will be transferred to the airport. If not, you may take a taxi or arrange a transfer with ASA, or stay on to see more of this fascinating country. Please contact ASA if you require further assistance. B

Accommodation

Accommodation

18-day Cultural Tour of Slovenia

Accommodation is in 4-star hotels, in twin-share rooms with en suite bathroom. Each hotel is centrally located within the cities that we visit, and has been chosen as the best available. Rooms for single occupancy may be requested – and are subject to availability and payment of the Single Supplement.

  • Ljubljana (4 nights): 4-star uHotel – located in the heart of Ljubljana, with views of the medieval castle. www.uhcollection.si/uhotel
  • Bled (3 nights): 4-star Rikli Balance Hotel – Sava Hotels & Resorts – recently renovated modern hotel, located in the heart of town, offers panoramic views of Lake Bled and the Julian Alps. www.sava-hotels-resorts.com
  • Kobarid (1 night): 4-star Hotel Hvala – a family-run hotel & restaurant located in the heart of the Soca Valley. www.hotelhvala.si
  • Piran (2 nights): 4-star Hotel Piran – featuring a sea front location in the historic town centre. hotel-piran.si
  • Postojna (1 night): 4-star Hotel Jama – renovated in 2016, the hotel is located in the heart of the Postojna Cave Park. www.postojnska-jama.eu
  • Celje (3 nights): 4-star Hotel Evropa – built in 1873, this historic hotel is located in the heart of the medieval town. hotel-evropa.si
  • Zagreb, Croatia (3 nights): 4-star Palace Hotel Zagreb – built in 1891, this traditional Art Nouveau hotel overlooks one of Zagreb’s beautiful parks. It is located in the heart of the city, a 5-minute walk from the main city square. palace.hr

Note: hotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a single-occupancy room throughout the tour. In most hotels, this will be a double/twin room for single occupancy. The number of rooms available for single occupancy is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

How to book

How to Book

Making a Tentative Reservation before the tour price has been published

ASA INTENTION TO TRAVEL APPLICATION FORM

Some ASA tours fill almost immediately. Don’t miss out! You can register your ‘Intention to Travel’ by completing this application and returning this to ASA with a AUD $100.00 per person deposit. Once the tour price has been published, the itinerary and ASA Reservation Application Form will be sent to you. From the time you receive the itinerary you will have two weeks to either:

  • Send us a completed ASA Reservation Application Form together with an additional deposit of AUD $400.00 per person. On receipt of this Reservation Application and deposit, ASA will process your booking and if approved, send you a tour confirmation. At this time your deposit of AUD $500.00 is subject to the tour’s Booking Conditions.

Or

  • CANCEL your Intention to Travel in writing. ASA will refund your AUD $100.00 per person deposit, less a $33.00 service fee (including GST).

Participation Criteria

To participate in an ASA tour, you must be reasonably fit, in good health and able to participate in all activities without assistance from Tour Leaders or other tour members. If you require assistance, a fit and able travel companion must undertake to accompany and assist you with all tasks for the duration of the whole tour. ASA’s ability to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your specific needs, your health and safety and the health and safety of other tour members, is of paramount importance to us. For this reason the ASA Reservation Application includes a Medical Information section. As a general guideline, you must be able to accomplish each of these activities without assistance or support:

  • walk and stand unassisted for at least 2-3 hours a day in hot, humid conditions
  • walk confidently on and over uneven surfaces
  • climb at least 3 flights of stairs
  • embark and disembark from ferries, buses and trains
  • walk up and down steep slopes
  • walk at a steady pace and no less than 1km every 15-20 minutes
  • organise, manage and carry your own luggage
  • follow and remember tour instructions
  • meet punctually at designated times and places
  • administer your own medication

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation is for sole occupancy throughout the tour. The number of spaces available for single occupancy is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless, all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 18-day Cultural Tour of Slovenia involves:
  • Visiting some sites and towns (eg. Ptuj) that require walking up steps or uphill on uneven/cobbled streets. Cobbled streets can be very slippery during rain showers!
  • A moderate amount of walking during site visits and standing during museum and other site visits.
  • Extensive coach travel, sometimes on winding mountain roads; road conditions are variable.
  • 4-star hotels with six hotel changes.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $TBA Land Content Only – Early-Bird Special: Book before 30 September 2020

AUD $TBA Land Content Only

AUD $TBA Single Supplement

For competitive Economy, Business or First Class airfares please contact ASA for further information.

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with en suite bathroom in 4-star hotels
  • Lunches and evening meals indicated in the tour itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch & D=evening meal
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals include bottled water only.
  • Airport-hotel transfers if travelling on the ASA  ‘designated’ flights
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person at 6 of the 7 hotels (not at airports). No porterage is available at the Kobarid hotel. The hotel has a lift.
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Tour handbook
  • Local guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Use of audio headsets during site visits
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia-Ljubljana, Zagreb-Australia
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers if not travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
Tour Map

Tour Map

Gallery
Terms & Conditions
Deposits

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply. We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA. ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies. ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider. ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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