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Adriatic Tour

Hello all! I'm considering the Adriatic as my next tour, possibly summer 2020. Just had a few questions for those who have taken it:

-General thoughts on the tour? (Particularly for a solo traveler)
-How were the group hotels and restaurants?
-Ease of transportation to/from airports to Ljublijana and Dubrovnik? Also, is it an easy side trip from the airport to Lake Bled if I wanted to spend a few days there pre-tour?
-Any recommendations for free-day or pre/post-tour side trips, local guides, tours/excursions, etc?
-For the whole tour, is it recommended to learn a decent amount of the new language, or did you get by fine on English and key phrases?

Thanks!

Posted by
257 posts

It’s a wonderful tour and we had a great group of people as part of the tour. People mixed it up with seating with each other at dinner and also during free time. This inclusiveness may not hold true for all tours but on my five tours it’s been easy for solos to join others.

Many people on the tour either flew in, took the train or even had a driver from another European city. From the US, we flew to Munich and spent time there and in Salzburg before taking the train to Ljubljana.

Our tour guide arranged for taxis to the airport in Dubrovnik. I don’t recall the cost but it was not expensive.

The food was very good. Along the coast calamari and seafood are prevalent. In Ljubljana we had the best pizza right around the corner from our hotel. Some pizzas had boar, venison and egg on them. The lunch we had in Bosnia was some of the best food on our numerous tours. The cevapcici was delicious.

Our hotels were fine. English is spoken in Slovenia and Croatia. I tried asking a shopkeeper something in Croatian. She asked what in English. I guess I did not pick up enough Croatian from my grandparents. We struck up a conversation with a man in a park and there was no language barrier. We were told English is taught in school and there are English shows on television.

We spent time after the tour in Zagreb, the capital. There are many museums to explore. Lake Bled is lovely but it may be a bit quiet to stay there a few days. Another potential excursion after the tour may be Zadar which is on the coast north of Split.

Enjoy the tour!

Posted by
94 posts

@jvb -- Thank you for the advice!

How much time did you get in the little day-trip cities like Rovinij, Pula and Opatija?
Also, did you find the tour very museum-heavy?

Thank you also for the tip on Lake Bled. I'll have to look more into it. I'm very much into nature and scenery so I thought 2-3 days might be enough to tide me over, especially if weather isn't good there on the tour visit. However, someone in another thread also said that Venice is only 2.5 hrs away on a cost-efficient shuttle service, so there's that! I'd ideally love more time in Venice (but 3-4 may be a start), but is it as enjoyable for a solo traveller?

Posted by
257 posts

In Pula we toured the amphitheater and had some time to walk around. If I remember correctly, we had a lunch stop in Opatija. Rovinj we had sufficient time to explore, but since it’s so beautiful I wanted a little more time. Our vacation from the vacation was on Korcula. It was great to have quiet time to explore the island on our own.

I was not a solo traveler in Venice. We spent five days there and I can go back. One day was spent going to the other nearby islands just walking and soaking in the beauty. It was away from the crowds and very enjoyable.

I don’t recall the trip being heavy on museums. There was a WWI museum, churches, Diocletian’s Palace, Plitvitce National Park which is spectacular, a mosque, winery, and the beautiful Julian Alps. I think it was a good mix.

Another idea for a few extra days post tour would be to go to Kotor, Montenegro. It is a coastal town and looks beautiful. We only had one extra day in Dubrovnik before we flew to Zagreb and I thought a day trip would be too long a day.

Posted by
94 posts

@jvb - Korcula sounds lovely! Was it pretty crowded/touristy, or more laid back?

I also noticed a little change in the tour for 2019; in addition to Mostar being flip-flopped one day with another stop, 2019 seems to have eliminated the "island-hopping" part of the day (including Hvar) before docking at Korcula. Seems like a bummer to me.. I wonder why they cut it?

Were there any photo stops along the long drive through the Julian Alps?

Posted by
257 posts

Hvar was busier than Korcula. Korcula was charming with its stone buildings. It was the end of the season so it was not busy. Our guide made different stops in the Julian Alps for photo opportunities and a special toast at the summit.

Posted by
775 posts

Justin, another vote for Korcula! It was our favorite island on the RS Adriatic Tour. We were there this past September. Korcula has a laid back atmosphere, unpretentious, walkable and gorgeous. Wish we could have stayed longer.

To your question why Hvar is being eliminated in 2019? Our guide reported it is a logistics issue. He mentioned due to occasional rough water they may have to cancel. We liked Hvar, but loved Korcula!

Our tour had about 6 solo traveler's. Like any RS Tours we find that they are conducive to both the solo's and couples.

Always a great idea to learn the key language basics found in the RS Guidebook. Our guide helped us with pronounciations.

We shared a taxi to the airport on our last day in Dubrovnik.

Posted by
153 posts

I took this tour as a solo traveler in June of this year. It was amazing! I found that there was a good mix of planned group activities and free time, which is important to me as I travel solo almost exclusively and value my time on my own. The other tour members were really great about including me if I wanted to join them as well.

The hotels were mostly great, except the one in Mostar. That one was fine, but had zero character and my room had a leaky tub. That was only for one night though, so not a big deal.

I can't speak to getting from the airport in Ljubljana as I came by train. I took an Uber to the airport in Dubrovnik at the end of the tour and it was super easy. I shared with one of the other tour members who was leaving around the same time.

I had a free day in Ljubljana prior to the tour and I used the time to wander the city and visit the castle and the Ethnographic museum. Both were enjoyable experiences. You could also visit some of the nearby caves. Other tour members did this and reported back great things.

I learned only basic phrases in the local languages prior to the tour and found it sufficient. I never encountered any language issues.

The tour is definitely not museum heavy, which was one of my reasons for choosing it. I am usually a great lover of museums, but was looking for a different pace for this particular trip and this tour fit the bill perfectly. I am dreaming of the time I can return to Split as I fell in love with the city very quickly. If you choose to take this tour you certainly would not regret it.

Feel free to PM me if you would like more details.