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Has anyone done both Best of E Europe and Best of the Adriatic?

Hello, I took the Best of E Europe tour last year and loved it; I loved Slovenia so much that I want to see more of it. The Adriatic Tour does repeat Ljubljana and Lake Bled and the Croatia part will repeat Rovinj and Plivitce Lakes National Park. I have also been to Split, Korkula and Dubrovnik but only on a cruise so I have never seen these places at night. I have never been to Bosnia.

That said, I wonder if it would be a mistake to take the Adriatic tour and see some of the same places again. I called RS Tours and I can switch to a different tour this year without a penalty. For the record I have been on the Best of Bulgaria tour and the Istanbul tour (which I understand is no longer offered).

I would appreciate any input you may have for me. Thank you very much!

Posted by
775 posts

Although we have not taken The Best of of Eastern Europe Tour, we just returned from the RS Adriatic Tour last month. That said, one of our tour members had just done the Eastern Tour before joining us. He was perfectly happy to repeat some of the areas you mentioned. He even gave us some tips that were very helpful. Have to say we enjoyed Split-- the Mestrovic Museum was a WOW moment! Korcula was our favorite island. Ljubljana was our favorite new city. Lake Bled & Plivitce Nat. Park are worth repeating! Dubrovnik is doable because you stay outside of Old Town. The local tour is scheduled in the morning before the cruise ship crowd arrives! And Bosnia was one of our top reasons to take this tour. Unforgettable. Highly recommend this tour.

Posted by
48 posts

Jlschandler, thank you for your reply. Your comments are what I needed to hear. I am glad your fellow traveler had such a good time seeing some of the same sites again. I have always thought Dubrovnik would be so beautiful at night, when the cruise ships have left. What were your impressions of Dubrovnik at night? How did you get to Ljubljana? How did you leave Dubrovnik? Thank you again for your thoughtful response!

Posted by
12036 posts

Jaime, some people get to Ljubljana after flying into northern italy. Others will be able to provide some specifics about routes by train or shuttle. Another option is to fly into Zagreb if you can get a good connection into that city. Zagreb and Ljubljana are about 2-1/2 hours apart by bus or train.

Posted by
775 posts

jaimemayo, Dubrovnik at night is absolutely exquisite! At the end of our tour we had an early departure @ 0600 and were able to view the old city before the sunrise as well. Our first connecting flight was on Croatia Air to Zagreb>Amsterdam>Delta to Seattle. If you want to experience more time after Dubrovnik consider Montenegro... We were limited on time, but other tour members were headed there. We had spent a week in Venice prior to the Adriatic Tour and took the convenient GoOpti shuttle. GoOpti.com. It was a 2.5 hr trip, on time, comfortable, great customer service, and reasonable. We shared a ride with a delightful Slovenian family. It was a 10 min. easy walk to our accommodations. If you want to avoid walking, Ljubljana provides a free ride service called Kavalir. What a progressive city!! Mostly a pedestrian zone. We arrived 2 days prior and stayed in a charming Apartment on the river. We were SO happy to have 2 extra days in Ljubljana!! Our guide Marijan and the local guides were amazing. Please feel free to pm me with any further questions or recommendations. ~Janis

Posted by
208 posts

Hi! I also used the GoOpti shuttle from Venice to Ljubljana. It was great and very reasonable, especially if you book early and then choose a pickup time where you get the cheapest rate. When our Adriatic Tour stayed in Dubrovnik, it was not in the old city, but easy to take a bus into the old city from where we were staying. If I did it again, I'd stay in Dubrovnik another night because there is so much I didn't get to do while there (like kayaking in that beautiful blue water!). I've done both tours, and if you loved the E E Tour, you'll love this one too.

Posted by
1471 posts

I don't think it would be a mistake at all! I have taken both tours, the Adriatic first and a couple of years later the Eastern Europe tour and they were both memorable! I was thrilled to revisit Ljubljana (also my newest favorite city!) and the other places the tours have in common, too; totally different experiences the second time around. Mostar and Bosnia-Herzegovina (only Adriatic) were hugely emotional experiences for me as our local guides both had first hand experiences of a war we Americans (or at least this American) know little about. We spent several days in Ljubljana before joining the Adriatic tour and loved it so much, we spent several more days at the end of our Eastern Europe tour! I am sorry to hear the Best of Istanbul is no longer offered. What a wonderful tour that was!

Posted by
775 posts

Just to add to Andi's take on her Bosnia experience. We researched prior to taking the tour, read several books and recalled the atrocities during the early nineties. Never did we expect to hear first hand from those who lived through those unbelievable times. Through the eyes of our local guides we gained insight, resilience and compassion. Their work continues to bring the meaning of going forward, but never forgetting. Yes, emotional, but everlasting memories. It's journeys like these that make a difference in how we see the world.

Posted by
48 posts

Thank you all for your amazing answers. So helpful!

acraven, What a great idea to fly into Venice. I have only been to Venice (on a cruise) so of course never got to spend a night there. This sounds like a perfect opportunity to do that.

jlschandler and Barbara, thanks for the information on the GoOpti Shuttle. I will check that out. Flying out of Dubrovnik and into Zagreb to connect in Amsterdam and back to the US sounds like the best plan for leaving. May I ask.....did you stay overnight in Zagreb? I am always leery of connecting on two different airlines (unless Croatian is a SkyTeam member, which I don't think it is).

Barbara, I am so glad you enjoyed both tours. I can see where you would get more out of a place the second time around. I love RS Tours but sometimes things go really, really fast.

Andi and jlschandler, Bosnia was one of the places that drew me to this tour. I was a high school teacher when of this stuff was going on and I did talk to my students about the war so I know a little bit but it would be nothing like experiencing this amazing place (Mostar) in person! I read somewhere in the forum that someone said it was "just a bridge" but I am sure it is so much more than that.

Unfortunately I won't have much time after the tour is finished because I am leaving for China two weeks after this tour ends. I have been to Montenegro and loved it. Again, this was a cruise and sailing into the fjord (well, not officially a fjord but it sure looked like one to me) was a sight I don't think I will ever forget. Cruising into Kotor, Venice and Sydney, well, those are truly into iconic moments that can only be experienced from the sea.

Posted by
775 posts

Great plan to fly into Venice & spend some time before heading to Ljubljana. We met the GoOpti shuttle at Roma Piazelle. Our route home from Dubrovnik>Zagreb>Amsterdam>
Seattle was perfect. We did not stay overnight in Zagreb. We were able to check our baggage straight through to Seattle.

We felt the reconstructed Mostar bridge was "a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and the coexistence of diverse culture, ethnic and religious communities." It was an honor and a privilege to be there. So much more than "just a bridge."

Hope you will report back with your wonderful experiences!

Posted by
48 posts

Jlschandler, Barbara, and others, may I ask what hotel you used in Venice? Thank you!

Posted by
775 posts

We stayed at the charming Hotel Flora. It was recommended by friends, and a number of folks on the forum. We loved the location, especially due to 5 min. walk from the Giglio water stop. It was close to San Marco but tucked away and very quiet at night. It even has a lovely garden to enjoy the delicious buffet breakfast. All their pastries are made in house. The hotel was immaculate. Our room overlooked the garden. The 24 hour staff were always accommodating. Although Venice is busy with cruise ship crowds, we were able to avoid this by visiting sites in early or late afternoon hours. We enjoyed walking off the beaten path or taking a Vaporetto to islands. We had an amazing week!

Posted by
1610 posts

I’ll second the Flora. But do request a room overlooking the courtyard as it eliminates any noise. And the room we had was very small even by European standards, some are larger.

Posted by
48 posts

jlschandler and Alan, many thanks for the hotel information. It looks like I will staying at the Flora :) ! It has wonderful reviews on TripAdvisor too.

Posted by
94 posts

How long (and how much) is the shuttle from Ljublijana to Venice? Does it go both ways?

Also, on the Adriatic tour, how many minutes walk was it from the hotel to the old city and other sites, in Dubrovnik?

Posted by
775 posts

@Justin, Go Opti takes 2.5 hrs. It does transfers to and from (Ljubljana/Venice). Pricing depends on time of day, private ride vs. shared ride, ticketing in advance, & nominal fee for luggage. We purchased our tickets for a shared ride 9 months in advance and paid a total of €52. This included 2 suitcases. We highly recommend this company. Great customer service. www.goopti.com.

Our RS hotel was outside the old city. We took a bus to the old city in Dubrovnik. Our hotel was a 10 min. walk to the beach & restaurants. Great location.

Posted by
94 posts

^Thank you for that information! That's a lot closer than in distance than I thought.

What would be a better choice for a solo traveller -- a 2-3 days in Lake Bled (and maybe 1 extra in Ljublijana) or 3-4 days in Venice?

I'd ideally love to spend longer in Venice (on a different trip), but since it's so close, why not? Then again, I'm wondering if it would be fun solo.

Posted by
1471 posts

Jaimemayo, here is my own personal take on your question just above: I would spend those extra days in Ljubljana because as I said earlier, it has become my newest favorite European city in Europe and there is plenty to do there (plus day trips-caves, mountains, etc.) to keep you busy for at least few days solo. I also love Venice and have spent quite a bit of time there. I could say the same for Venice as I did for Ljubljana-plenty to do there plus possible excellent day trips. In my opinion, Venice warrants a trip just for itself. I am sure whatever you decide, your trip will be fabulous and memorable.

Posted by
775 posts

@ Justin, i have to agree with Andi's take on spending those extra days in Ljubljana. It too is our newest favorite European city in Europe! Yes, Venice is close, but I personally agree to save it when you have more time. We spent a week there prior to the Adriatic Tour. Plenty to enjoy in and around Ljubljana. We had numerous solo traveler's on our tour and they loved every part of the surrounding area.