Food and Wine Tour of Croatia, Slovenia & Italy

A 8 day trip to Croatia, Italy & Slovenia 
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You can never have too much gourmet luxury on this eight-day journey through the flavors that take you from the Western Adriatic to the Julian Alps. Uncover the stunning gastronomic and cultural treasures of Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy where the feast never ends, bringing you that much closer to three culturally distinct but geographically close regions. From fabulous Istria, Croatia to sensational western Slovenia, and incredible northeastern Italy, you will find the endless charm and the mesmerizing flavors that will captivate your forever.  

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Grožnjan, Istria, Rovini, Škocjan Caves, Kobarid, Triglav National Park, Ljubljana, Cormons

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures. Please visit the "Price" tab of this itinerary for additional information.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Around the Bay

Welcome to the sensational sights of the Adriatic. Once you have arrive in Trieste you will make your way to the incredible site of Novigrad, Croatia, situated across the bay from Venice. The town is located along the famous azure waters that glow in the daylight like a jewel. Colorful fishing boats line the harbor that stretches the length of the stone walkway showcasing the marvelous architecture and offering a taste of the grand history. The walls that encircle the city have protected and enriched the culture and traditions that continue today. The earthen scent emanates from the large, surrounding stone walls.

With time permitting you will venture to the town of Poreč, filled with the luster of the Euphrasian Basilica. The 6th century basilica is a fine example of Byzantine art, and one of Europe’s best remnants of a bygone era. The mosaics glitter in the apse, the semicircular recess that often looms over the altar. The gilded paintings do not decorate the stunning architecture but enhances it, creating a sense of impossible majesty commemorating Jesus and the Apostles, Mary and Child, all beneath the lofted ceilings and towering pillars. As the sun begins to drift beyond the fortified walls you will make your way to Veralda, a delightful winery in Brtonigla. The grapevines blend with the olive groves creating a creamy and earthy aroma that spreads across the acreage. During dinner you can have your first taste of traditional Croatian cuisine, elevated by the elegance and the accompaniment of Veralda’s distinct rosé teran varietal. The effervescent bubbles are refreshing, combined with a velvety texture and a unique fruity quality making it magnificent from beginning to end.

What’s Included: transfer, dinner, accommodation 

Day 2: Thrill of the (Truffle) Hunt

The morning shines over the expansive greenery which spreads to the sapphire sea. After a delightful breakfast you will make your way from the seaside into the countryside where you will embark on an age-old tradition: truffle hunting. You can see the vivacious hue of the sea disappear behind the horizon as you come closer to rising oak forests. The scent of rich bark and crisp leaves surrounds you in a cool even air. The helpful hunting dogs are lively and ready. In earthen raw form the truffle is delicate, sprouting from the forest ground beneath pines and time. In food truffles are robust and flavorful, overpowering in the wrong hands but enhancing cuisine to almost ethereal proportions in the right ones.

Stepping through the brush, following your guide who is following the eager-to-please hunting dogs is a one of a kind experience, like searching for a buried treasure hidden somewhere nearby.  There is no better rush for a fan of the powerful zest than watching a truffle unearthed before your eyes. There is no better taste than digging into a hardy dish that contains the fruits of your treasured labor. Later in the afternoon you will arrive in Rovinj, a picturesque town located on the cobalt waters with a Venetian atmosphere of vibrant buildings standing just above the waterline. The city is known for its seafood, a place where you can find a restaurant like Barncin,  and is a wonderful place to sit along the cobblestone streets and enjoy the succulent taste of grilled calamari while hearing the Adriatic Sea brush against the rocks in the distance.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, dinner, accommodation

Day 3: Along the Rolling Plateau

Located in the undulating hills of Istria is the town of Grožnjan. The medieval buildings sit atop a plateau with views that marvel over the valley, out to the peninsula, and spreading to the mountains along the opposite horizon. The streets are jovial and inspiring, filled with artists and musicians in the summer months. It is easy to wind along the labyrinthine streets and lose yourself amongst the fabulous galleries and active displays.  From painters to dancers, dramatists to vocalists, the vivacious images stand out against the stone buildings that wrap around the narrow streets, while the lush trees surround the village.

The climate and terrain has accommodated winemakers and olive producers for millennia, places that you will visit along the fabulous stretch of landscape and history alike. Three different wineries will keep your palate singing with praise and anticipation; you can experience the diverse flavors that the landscape offers and the classic ingenuity that the vintners employ. From Kozlović famed Malvasia to Kabola’s classic deep reds, which offer aromas of berries and tobacco, you will have a fabulous sampling of the best of Istrian wine-making and a delicious ending to the day.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, dinner, tastings, transfer, accommodation

Day 4: Middle (of the) Earth and Above

The morning brings effervescence to the surrounding landscape, shimmering off of the water and opening the greenery. After an easy and light café breakfast you will journey to the nearby border of Slovenia, stopping at the breathtaking Škocjan Caves. The UNESCO World Heritage site is famed for its unparalleled depths, diving over 600 feet into the earth at its deepest point. The limestone cavern is a labyrinth of remarkable proportion, where the Reka River charges through the meandering gaps, carving deeper into the earth and bringing the lofted ceilings higher and extending the disparate karst. It is more than just a collection of caves but a reverberating wonderland illuminated by a string of lights that allow you to see only an inkling of its outstretched magnitude.

Onward to Kobarid, your journey brings you to a quaint town sitting at the foothills of the Julian Alps. The narrow streets and colorful buildings are filled with charm as the grandeur of the surrounding landscape is put into focus. Limestone peaks loom over the village while greenery blankets the surrounding valley into the expanse. In the evening you will dine at the famous Hiša Franko, the location rumored to have been where Ernest Hemingway penned A Farewell to Arms. Award-winning chef, Ana Roš, has already set the tone to your luxurious evening by preparing such a delectable menu within these majestic landscapes. Follow Chef Roš through a tour of her cheese cellar and her herb and vegetable garden. The spectacular herbaceous garden and the creamy, aged aroma of the cellar are enough to make your mouth water, in fact, it already has.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, lunch, dinner, transfer, accommodation

Day 5: Continuing Pasts and Rushing Water

Slovenia is a country where, if you haven’t been a morning-person, you will become one. The ethereal light hovers over the scenery making it look more like a painting than a reality. After a visit to the Kobariški Museum to see the tremendous display of World War I artifacts, you will come to the tremendous Tolmin Gorge. Follow the circular trail downward to the connecting rivers, where the rushing water is a radiant sapphire. The limestone precipice is stunning, making you crane your neck to see the top, as the water winds around the cliffs. Nearby is a World War I Austrian cemetery nestled within the surrounding mountains.  From the rushing river to the tranquil air, the sensual aroma to the unique solitude, you can find a world untouched before making your way across the Italian border.

In the Italian city of Cividale del Friuli you will find a history dating back to Julius Cesar. Join your guide who will take you through the sensational past of Roman streets, standing churches, and even a collection of underground Celtic caverns. The varied rooms are dug into cliffs using ancient techniques. The air is damp and earthen but the history is palpable and unimaginable. Upon returning back to Slovenia you will visit Kranjc farm where a delectable dinner with the hosts awaits. Situated at the base of the Julian Alps you will taste the homegrown cuisine of this luxurious restaurant and hotel.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, dinner, transfer, accommodation

Day 6: Flavors around the Foothills

After the morning drapes over Slovenia you will begin your day with a generous breakfast beneath the Julian Alps. En route to the Italian border is the fabulous Goriška Brda, Slovenia’s grand wine region where the scent of budding vines mixes with blossoming cherries, and sultry olives. In season you can stop off and enjoy some fresh, juicy cherries beneath the sprawling canopy of the orchard. Once you cross into Italy you can enjoy the comforting flavors of the famous Collio wine-region checking into the fabulous Zoff Family Dairy Farm. The award-winning farm has rich and flavorful cheeses and yogurts that run the gambit of rustic yet comfortable flavors, which run plaintively through the surroundings. Dulce de Leche yogurt and herb-crusted Caciotta cheese can only delight you, giving you a creamy texture and herbaceous flavor rolled into a single bite. When the evening settles over the countryside you will are welcomed into Al Giardinetto in Cormons, where a five-course meal gives you another opportunity to taste the unique and endless flavors of the region before the day is through.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, dinner, tasting, transfer, accommodation

Day 7: Charming Capital Streets

After your time in Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy it may be hard to believe that Slovenia’s capital city Ljubljana is the most charming city in the region; however, once you venture onto its cobblestone streets and medieval atmosphere you will quickly be mesmerized. The city is plush with Habsburg architectural appeal and boutiques and artisan stores where hidden nooks and crannies give you plenty to explore. At Dragon Bridge, near the main square, you can see the stone dragon standing threateningly on the pillar. The domed, blue roofs of the church overlook the red roofs of the nearby buildings. The Triple-Bridge are three separate bridges side by side, crossing the calm waters of the Ljubljanica River, like an easy pathway over a Venetian canal.   The streets are lined with cafés, where locals sit and enjoy the day, watching the world pass by at their preferred pace. Sip some Rakia, the traditional Slovenian spirit, similar to a plum brandy; enjoy the pink stones and red roofs and the gentle trickle of the river before your final dinner at Na Gradu.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, dinner, accommodation

Day 8: Gourmet Endings

There is elegance to the sunrise over the Collio region, where the sunlight hits the vines that are collecting the morning dew. Your final morning brings with it a delectable breakfast, a reminder of the exquisite cuisine that has marked your entire vacation. Today you will return to Trieste and begin your journey home. Your time has been spent with stellar flavors, from seafood to truffles, and so much cuisine in between. The olive oil was creamy, the wine was diverse, and the entire journey was unforgettable. When the cravings become insatiable you can always come back for another course.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Price 

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.