Istria to Veneto: A Culinary Route

Overview

Food lovers, raise your taste buds to the next level on this culinary and cultural voyage that traces Croatia's Istrian Peninsula, Slovenia's Julian Alps, and Italy's Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region. Take in the best sites in this trio of countries, experiencing rich historical sites 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.

  • 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

  • Arrive: Zagreb, Croatia
  • Depart: Venice, Italy
  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Group Size: 4-16 Guests
  • Minimum Age: 15 Years Old

Itinerary

  • Day01

    Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia & Head to Istria

    Arrive 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
    • Transportation: 1-hour walking, 3-4 hour private van transfer from Zagreb to Bale
    • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Day02

    Explore Bale, Brijuni Islands & Rovinj

    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. Take a tour of enchanting Bale and sample top-quality virgin olive oil in a local home. Continue along the peninsula's outer edges, reaching the coastal village of Fazana to board a ferry for a short voyage to Brijuni Islands. Explore this former summer residence of Yugoslavia's President Tito and return to Rovinj for a stroll through this sweet seaside town.

    • Accommodation: Hotel La Grisa
    • Activity: Two 1-hour walking tours of Bale and Rovinj
    • Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer & two 20-minute ferry rides
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day03

    Boat Tour to Porec & Head to Hilltop Motovun

    Depart Rovinj by private boat, enjoying a unique vantage point from the sea. Pass small islets and secluded bays and enter the Lim fjord known for its extraordinary mussels. Stop at the coastal town of Porec to see the pre-Byzantine basilica of Bishop Euphrasus and enjoy lunch at a traditional Istrian restaurant. 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 Kaštel
    • Activity: 2 hours/3-4 miles walking
    • Transportation: 2-hour private boat transfer and 1.5-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day04

    Hunt for Truffles & Visit Groznjan, the Town of Artists

    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 Kaštel
    • Activity: 3-4 hours/5-7 miles hiking
    • Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day05

    Explore Slovenia's Skocjan Caves & Ljubljana

    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
    • Activity: 2-hour underground walking tour, 2-hour city walking tour
    • Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day06

    Marvel At Lake Bled & Hike By Bohinj Lake

    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
    • Activity: 3-5 hours/3-7 miles walking on flat terrain
    • Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day07

    Hike into the Soca Valley for a Culinary Feast

    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: Hiša Franko
    • Activity: 2-3 hours/4 miles hiking on flat terrain
    • Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day08

    Hike to Montemaggiore & Explore Italy's Collio Wine Country

    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
    • Activity: 3-4 hours/2-3 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain
    • Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day09

    Visit Vicenza, depart from Venice

    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
Want to extend your adventure?
Contact our Regional Specialists for more travel ideas!

Upcoming Departures

  • AvailableMay 30 - Jun 07, 2019
  • AvailableJun 27 - Jul 05, 2019
  • AvailableSep 13 - 21, 2019
View More Departure Dates
From: $5,295.00 What's Included?
9 Days
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Got Questions?
Speak with an expert.

Samantha Bromberg

MT Sobek Regional Specialist

1.888.831.7526CallEmail

Istria to Veneto: A Culinary Route Map

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Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

Easy to moderate walking tours take travelers through hard to find orchards, vineyards, hillsides, and medieval villages across 3 countries in 9 days.

Reason #02

Enjoy Tuscan-style landscapes and culinary specialties of Croatia's up-and-coming gastronomical region, Istria, with far less tourists than in neighboring Italy.

Reason #03

This custom designed MT Sobek trip allows plenty of leisure time to swim in the Adriatic Sea and visit artisan shops and galleries.

Meet Our Guides

Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.

What To Expect

  • Activities

    Tasting local wines, olive oil and truffles, touring medieval towns and famed cities, scenic drives, and hikes through stunning landscapes.

  • Lodging

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

  • Climate

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

FAQ

  • 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.

Dates & Pricing

Pricing Dates

Scheduled Dates

  • Available
    May 30 - Jun 07, 2019
    Confirmed Departure
  • Available
    Jun 27 - Jul 05, 2019
  • Available
    Sep 13 - 21, 2019
    Confirmed Departure
  • Available
    Sep 23 - Oct 01, 2019

Customize Your Trip

Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!

Book This Trip Customize A Trip
2019
$5,295.00 Price per person

Additional Cost

  • $1,400.00 Single Supplement

Special Offer

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner (hotels only)
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day group airport transfers

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving or departing outside of the group transfers
  • Optional travel protection

Testimonials

  • "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, Istria to Veneto: A Culinary Route

  • "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, Istria to Veneto: A Culinary Route

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