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Croatia Istria to Veneto Hiking Tour

A Mediterranean Culinary & Cultural Adventure


Food lovers, raise your taste buds to the next level on this culinary and cultural journey that traces Croatia's Istrian Peninsula, Slovenia's Julian Alps, and Italy's Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region. Take in the best sites of this trio of countries, experiencing rich historical settings and spectacular national parks on moderate hikes. Go wine tasting, learn how to hunt truffles, taste olive oil, and sample regional delicacies in the Mediterranean as you've never seen it before, far from the crowds. Luxurious hotels awaiting at the end of each day make for a dreamy finale.

9 Days

From: $5,895

Food lovers, raise your taste buds to the next level on this culinary and cultural journey that traces Croatia's Istrian Peninsula, Slovenia's Julian Alps, and Italy's Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region. Take in the best sites of this trio of countries, experiencing rich historical settings and spectacular national parks on moderate hikes. Go wine tasting, learn how to hunt truffles, taste olive oil, and sample regional delicacies in the Mediterranean as you've never seen it before, far from the crowds. Luxurious hotels awaiting at the end of each day make for a dreamy finale.

Highlights


  • Discover an emerging gourmet destination on a trip designed to tickle picky palates

  • Experience the best, and most delicious, of three countries on one comprehensive adventure

  • Hike through orchards and vineyards by day, sampling local treats; savor sumptuous dinners each evening

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Croatia Istria to Veneto Hiking

Start: Zagreb, Croatia  End: Venice, Italy

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Meet in Zagreb, Croatia & Head to Istria

    Day 1

    Meet in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and transfer to the medieval village of Bale on the beautiful Istrian peninsula. After lunch, explore the nearby seaside town of Rovinj and its gorgeous cobblestoned alleys. Reconvene for a brief orientation, followed by the welcome dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel La Grisa-Bale, Croatia

    Transportation: 1-hour walking, 3-4 hour private van transfer from Zagreb to Bale

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Brijuni Islands & Bale

    Day 2

    A spectacular landscape of sparkling blue seas, green rolling hills and hilltop medieval towns, Istria is known for its olive groves, vineyards, and stellar restaurants. Continue along the peninsula's outer edges, reaching the coastal village of Fazana to board a ferry for a short voyage to the scenic Brijuni Islands. Collectively, the 14 islands are a Croatian National Park and were once the summer residence of Yugoslavia's President Tito. Return to Fazana in the afternoon and then drive to the historic town of Bale. In the evening take a tour of enchanting Bale and sample top-quality virgin olive oil in a local home.

    Accommodation: Hotel La Grisa-Bale, Croatia

    Activity: 2-3 hours/3-5 miles walking tour

    Transportation: 30-minute boat transfer and drive

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover Rovinj, Porec & Hilltop Motovun

    Day 3

    Awake to a hearty breakfast in Bale and then journey to Rovinj for a stroll through Golden Cape Park. Next, leave the peninsula as the Venetian traders did, by boat, enjoying a unique vantage point from the sea. Pass small inlets and secluded bays and enter the Lim Fjord, known for its extraordinary mussels. Enjoy lunch at a traditional Istrian "Konoba" before heading to the coastal town of Porec to see its UNESCO-list Euphrasian Basilica. Leave coastal Istria and head inland to explore its verdant hills, truffle-rich forests, and vineyards. Stay in the medieval hilltop town of Motovun, famed for its international summer film festival, and wrap up with a gourmet Istrian dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Kastel-Motovun, Croatia

    Activity: 2-3 hours/3-4 miles walking

    Transportation: 2-hour private boat transfer and 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hunt for Truffles & Visit Groznjan, the Town of Artists

    Day 4

    Wake up on a hilltop overlooking the kingdom of truffles and enjoy breakfast on the hotel's splendid terrace. Take a hike along the truffle route, to learn the art of 'hunting' this precious subterranean mushroom also called the 'black gold.' Enjoy a truffle tasting paired with local red wine, and continue hiking to Groznjan, a walled Renaissance town perched on another hill. Wander around this enchanting town of artists, known for its art studios, galleries, and gorgeous views. Return to Motovun to unwind at the hotel's swimming pool and spa.

    Accommodation: Hotel Kastel-Motovun, Croatia

    Activity: 3-4 hours/5-7 miles hiking

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Slovenia's Skocjan Caves & Ljubljana

    Day 5

    Leave the Adriatic today and head into the Alps, leaving Croatia behind and entering Slovenia. The first stop is in the Slovenian karst region - the Skocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you take a 2-hour underground walk. Continue to Ljubljana, Slovenia's charming capital that has recently become one of the hippest cities in Europe. Wander around the small, green city center along the banks of Ljubljanica River, exploring the highlights, and travel on to Lake Bled, a picturesque alpine lake and the location of tonight's hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel Triglav-Bled, Slovenia

    Activity: 2-hour underground walking tour, 2-hour city walking tour

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Marvel At Lake Bled & Hike By Bohinj Lake

    Day 6

    Today take in the picture-postcard tranquility of Lake Bled, with the bell tower of a medieval church rising from a tiny islet in the midst of the lake, guarded by a clifftop castle. Embark on a rewarding hike through Blejski Vintgar Gorge, walking above crystal-clear Radovna Stream on wooden planks over the whirlpools. Transfer to Bohinj Lake, Bled's wild brother, to hike on a soft forest trail by the lake. Return to Bled, known for its healing thermal waters; enjoy a spa treatment or massage before dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Triglav-Bled, Slovenia

    Activity: 3-5 hours/3-7 miles walking on flat terrain

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike into the Soca Valley for a Culinary Feast

    Day 7

    Take a ride around the Julian Alps en route to the emerald-green Soca River Valley. Pass the village of Kranjska Gora, before heading up to the Vrsic pass (5,290'), once the border line between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Take in breathtaking views and continue the winding drive to the spring of the Soca River, hike down into its magnificent valley and visit a museum dedicated to a WWI battle that took place in the valley. Finish the day with a culinary extravaganza prepared by Slovenia's best chef, Ana Ros.

    Accommodation: Hisa Franko

    Activity: 2-3 hours/4 miles hiking on flat terrain

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Montemaggiore & Explore Italy's Collio Wine Country

    Day 8

    Enjoy a delicious breakfast and a brief tour of chef Ana's herb garden. Say goodbye to Slovenia and enter the Italian province of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. Hike up to the top of the scenic Montemaggiore for its famous views; on a clear day, see the blue Adriatic, the Julian Alps, and the Dolomites in the distance. In the afternoon, take a short drive to Collio wine country, a hilly vineyard area spreading over Slovenia and Italy. Visit the local wineries to sample the 'big reds,' and Friuli's exquisite wine grape called ribolla.

    Accommodation: Hotel Gredic-Goriska Brda, Slovenia

    Activity: 3-4 hours/2-3 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Vicenza, depart from Venice

    Day 9

    Travel west to the Italian region of Veneto, along the way visiting the historical city of Vicenza and its lovely countryside, famed for the Renaissance villas built by the great architect Andrea Palladio. The tour ends at the airport in Venice in the late afternoon, where you depart on homeward-bound flights.

    Activity: 1.5-hour city walking tour

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

  • Jun 16 - 24, 2023
    $5,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,500 single supplement
    Available
  • Jun 25 - Jul 03, 2023
    $5,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,500 single supplement
    Available
  • Aug 31 - Sep 08, 2023
    $5,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,500 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 21 - 29, 2023
    $5,895 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,500 single supplement
    Available

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:


2022 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $6,195 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,895 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $5,795 per person double occupancy

2023 Pricing

7 to 8 guests from $6,095 per person double occupancy

4 to 6 guests from $6,195 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:


Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Miha Klanjscek

Miha Klanjscek

Miha is a seasoned guide with more than 15 years' experience leading groups through the Balkans-one of the most culturally, architecturally and geographically diverse regions in the world! Miha first fell in love with the nature and cuisine of the region after spending youthful summers exploring the Mediterranean. He enjoys several outdoor pursuits, including mountain biking, trail running, and trekking in the Slovenian Alps. An adventurer by heart, you can hardly find a better person to show you Istrian wine routes, Slovenian hiking trails, and lively Italian piazzas. Meet Miha on MT Sobek's adventures in the region.

Primoz Kadunc

Primoz Kadunc

Primoz is a licensed mountain guide with a degree in organizational management, which he very much puts into practice while leading trips! Primoz guides MT Sobek's Istria to Venice and Alpe Adria trips and has a passion for the whole Balkan region-with a special fondness for the Slovenia Alps. In his spare time, Primoz enjoys rock climbing, scuba diving, sailing, exploring new Alpine trails on foot. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Serbo-Croatian.

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Meet in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and transfer to the medieval village of Bale on the beautiful Istrian peninsula. After lunch, explore the nearby seaside town of Rovinj and its gorgeous cobblestoned alleys. Reconvene for a brief orientation, followed by the welcome dinner.

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Leave the Adriatic today and head into the Alps, leaving Croatia behind and entering Slovenia. The first stop is in the Slovenian karst region - the Skocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you take a 2-hour underground walk. Continue to Ljubljana, Slovenia\'s charming capital that has recently become one of the hippest cities in Europe. Wander around the small, green city center along the banks of Ljubljanica River, exploring the highlights, and travel on to Lake Bled, a picturesque alpine lake and the location of tonight\'s hotel.

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Take a ride around the Julian Alps en route to the emerald-green Soca River Valley. Pass the village of Kranjska Gora, before heading up to the Vrsic pass (5,290\'), once the border line between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Take in breathtaking views and continue the winding drive to the spring of the Soca River, hike down into its magnificent valley and visit a museum dedicated to a WWI battle that took place in the valley. Finish the day with a culinary extravaganza prepared by Slovenia\'s best chef, Ana Ros.

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Enjoy a delicious breakfast and a brief tour of chef Ana\'s herb garden. Say goodbye to Slovenia and enter the Italian province of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. Hike up to the top of the scenic Montemaggiore for its famous views; on a clear day, see the blue Adriatic, the Julian Alps, and the Dolomites in the distance. In the afternoon, take a short drive to Collio wine country, a hilly vineyard area spreading over Slovenia and Italy. Visit the local wineries to sample the \'big reds,\' and Friuli\'s exquisite wine grape called ribolla.

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Travel west to the Italian region of Veneto, along the way visiting the historical city of Vicenza and its lovely countryside, famed for the Renaissance villas built by the great architect Andrea Palladio. The tour ends at the airport in Venice in the late afternoon, where you depart on homeward-bound flights.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 2. This is an easy to moderate hike, with minimal elevation gain each day. Terrain is a mix of established walking paths, dirt roads and cobblestone village streets. The mileage averages 4-6 miles per day.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 2

2-3 hours/3-5 miles walking tour

Day 3

2-3 hours/3-4 miles walking

Day 4

3-4 hours/5-7 miles hiking

Day 5

2-hour underground walking tour, 2-hour city walking tour

Day 6

3-5 hours/3-7 miles walking on flat terrain

Day 7

2-3 hours/4 miles hiking on flat terrain

Day 8

3-4 hours/2-3 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain

Day 9

1.5-hour city walking tour

Accommodations


Charming family-run hotels, historic countryside estates and hotels inside medieval castles, all surrounded by spectacular scenery.

Hisa Franko
Hisa Franko

Once a roadside inn and a village mill, Hisa Franko is now home to a three-generation family who run this historic countryside estate famed for its restaurant headed up by Slovenia's star chef Ana Ros. The beautifully appointed rooms are spacious and light; some have terraces with hammocks. Guests can enjoy in-room massages, the lovely grounds, and myriad activities in the surrounding valley.

Hotel Gredic-Goriska Brda, Slovenia
Hotel Gredic-Goriska Brda, Slovenia

Set in a 16th-century castle, the luxury Hotel Gredic sits in the heart of Slovenia's Brda wine country. The individually decorated guest rooms feature a range of amenities like Wi-Fi, A/C, and private bathrooms with heated floors. The on-site restaurant serves local specialties, the bar offers drinks and snacks, and there's a terrace with views of the surrounding vineyards.

Hotel La Grisa-Bale, Croatia
Hotel La Grisa-Bale, Croatia

Located in a charming medieval town of Bale in southwestern Istrian peninsula, Hotel La Grisa is a delightful hideaway. Guest rooms come equipped with a seating area as well as A/C, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TV. Some rooms have a free-standing bathtub, while others come with a walk-in shower or corner bath.

Hotel Kastel-Motovun, Croatia
Hotel Kastel-Motovun, Croatia

The family-run Hotel Kastel sits at the heart of the medieval hilltop town of Motovun. The spa area with a sauna, an indoor pool and relaxing grounds has lovely views of the surrounding landscapes. Comfortable rooms come with satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms; many offer delightful views of the valley and vineyards. The on-site restaurant serves stellar regional cuisine.

Hotel Triglav-Bled, Slovenia
Hotel Triglav-Bled, Slovenia

A stroll away from the lake and the town center, the recently renovated Hotel Triglav has well-equipped guest rooms with the full range of amenities and beautiful lake views. Guests enjoy the many on-site facilities, including a piano bar, wine cellar, a fireplace lounge, and a modern spa center.

Weather


Weather can be variable, from 82°F by the sea to 59°F in the mountains, so we suggest bringing layers and rain gear.

 
Jun
Aug
Sep
Ljubljana 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Ljubljana
76
56
80
59
71
52
Venice 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Venice
81
61
85
64
77
57
Zagreb 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Zagreb
78
60
80
63
71
56

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

We meet on Day 1 at 9AM, in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel, Zagreb. Many people doing this tour will arrive a day or two early.

Is there a dress code for the dinners on this trip?

No, there is not a particular dress code. There are no jackets and ties required at any of the restaurants. Shorts are not recommended for dinners.

Are there pools at any of the hotels?

Yes. All of the hotels but one on this trip have swimming pools.

Can I wear trail shoes/cross training shoes on this trip?

Yes, on this trip, running shoes/cross training shoes are acceptable.

If I want to extend my stay in Venice or Zagreb, can you help me make hotel reservations?

We do not offer a hotel reservation service, but we will provide you with a list of recommended hotels in each city.

I would like to fly into and out of Venice. Can you arrange for me to get to Zagreb for the start of the tour?

Unfortunately there are no great transportation options for travelling between Venice and Zagreb. We recommend flying into Zagreb and flying out of Venice.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Guest Reviews


"The trip was exceptional. We saw a part of the world we had never experienced. The accommodations were wonderful and the food fantastic. Perfection!"

Robert B.
MT Sobek Guest, Croatia Istria to Veneto Hiking

"Amazing trip of a lifetime! Would recommend to anyone who loves to hike, eat, drink wine and enjoy a good laugh."

Tyler A.
MT Sobek Guest, Croatia Istria to Veneto Hiking