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Planning 2020 & Pre-Tour Ideas

Anyone else like me already thinking 2020 tours?

I'm contemplating the Adriatic tour (my top choice amongst so many others). Any ideas for pre-tour stops? Preferably in the area or short flight or train ride away, but open to even further destinations.

My current plan is about a week in Venice/Veneto wine country, and a couple nights in Bled. The shuttle bus makes the drive easily from Venice to Bled in about 5-6 hrs, and Bled to Ljublijana is a snap. But I'd love to hear more ideas.

Thanks for the tips!

Posted by
1901 posts

If the itinerary is the same I’d opt for more time in Ljubljana. We arrived a day before the tour and wished we had a few more days in this terrific city. You’ll visit Lake Bled on the tour and IMHO, that’s enough time there.

Posted by
138 posts

Alan, thank you for the advice! I've heard so many great things about Ljublijana. What other sites did you enjoy that weren't covered on the tour?

I originally considered Bled pre-tour as a way to relax, get over jetlag and enjoy the scenery, but it wouldn't make sense to do Bled, then Venice then back to Ljublijana.

Posted by
75 posts

I've given up on Venice at anytime, but winter. It is way too crowded between March and November to enjoy what is a most magnificent city.

That said if you fly into Venice the northest corner of Italy(Veneto, Friuli) is full of gems still largely off the beaten track. Trieste is a great and underrated city. The Gorizia Hills/Goriska Brda straddling the border of Italy and Slovenia is a beautiful wine country with excellent restaurants and the relics of some of the bloodiest battles of WWI nearby.

Should you want to go straight to Bled from Venice, taking the train is a much nicer experience than a cramped shuttle bus. Here is the nitty-gritty: https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/venice-and-trieste-to-lake-bled-by-train.htm

Other than northeast Italy, the other logical pre-tour stop would be Austria, with good train connections via scenic routes to Lake Blad and Ljubljana either from Salzburg(in this case flying into Munich makes most sense) or from Vienna(Graz is a great stop between Vienna and Ljubljana).

Posted by
1605 posts

I absolutely agree with Alan! I fell in love with Ljubljana while on the Adriatic tour and have returned for visits several times since. Bled is lovely but tiny and I also agree the amount of the allotted tour time there is enough for a walk around the lake and a quick visit to the island. There are several day trips available from Ljubljana, too, if you want to leave the city. Also, yes, I am thinking 2020 tour possibilities. As a matter of fact, contemplating a "family" Adriatic tour. This is an awesome tour!

Posted by
1166 posts

Justin,

We took the RS Adriatc Tour last September. Loved it!! We spent an amazing week in Venice prior. We took the GoOpti shared shuttle to Ljubljana. It was a comfortable 2.5 hr. ride. We spent two extra nights there prior to the start of the tour. Ljubljana is our newest favorite city in Europe. We spent two nights at Mescanka Apartment on the river. Enjoyed the vibe of the area- wonderful restaurants and walking distance to the sites. We booked about 8 months in advance due to popularity. We enjoyed Lake Bled as a day trip (part of the tour). We walked the lake and enjoyed lunch with a scenic view.

Posted by
138 posts

Mescanka looks amazing! Great deal and terrific location! Thank you, Janis!

Posted by
1901 posts

Post tour we rented a car in Dubrovnik, drove to Kotor where we had rented a flat through VRBO. Spent a wonderful week exploring Montenegro.

Posted by
1 posts

My husband and I are booked for the Best of Eastern Europe tour in September. The tour ends in Ljubljana on a Friday and we have 4 extra days before we fly back home from the airport in Prague. Any suggestions on what to do for those extra days!

Thanks in advance for suggestions!

Debby.

Posted by
391 posts

Hi Debby—when we finished the Eastern Europe tour we spent a half day in Ljubljana and then took the Go Opti shuttle (excellent!) to Venice, where we spent 4 days before flying out. But if you already have your return booked out of Prague, you might want to spend 1 or 2 days in Ljubljana and the remainder back in Prague. If you don’t have several days in Prague pre-tour, there will be a great deal still to see! I think the choice between Ljublijana and Prague at the end of the tour also depends on the pace you want for the end of your trip. Ljublijana is lively, with a great open market, restaurants, and lots to explore in the city center. But it’s also relaxing and (not yet overcrowded with tourists). Prague has lots of wow sights and the big city vibe. You could easily spend a week there. But it is very very crowded with tourists and definitely more chaotic.. You might want to consider staying in the Lesser Quarter to be slightly removed from the hoards of tourists in Old Town Square. Honestly, you can’t go wrong either way!

Posted by
647 posts

YES! We are already thinking 2020. Best of Turkey to be specific. I think your plan of Venice first is a good idea and something I would do because I still have yet to see in Venice some out of the way stops and so wouldn't worry too much about the usual crowded sites though it does depend on time of year.

Posted by
12 posts

Are you planning any time in the Dolomites during your week in Venice/Veneto? If not, you might consider it - it's one of my favorite places anywhere. If you are looking for a relaxing place, I really liked Piran and it's an easy bus ride to Ljubljana. Would probably suggest that over Lake Bled, since you visit there on the Adriatic itinerary. Wine country in Slovenia is another option and an area where I would like to invest more time. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/europe/slovenia/partner-content-slovenia-wine-country/

Posted by
138 posts

Heather, I had originally considered the Dolomites, but given the time and distance, I had to rule it out. Plus, the companies I looked at didn't have an itinerary as good as, say, Rick's. Next time though.

I'd probably have only a week pre-tour; I could easily fill 7 days in Venice if I wanted to, but I was able to trim it to 4-5 and 1-2 on a Prosecco tour.

So many choices, so little time! lol

Posted by
1 posts

We spent a few days in Vienna and then hired a private driver through MY DAY TRIP for the trip to Ljubiana. We had a driver who was a graduate student from Slovakia who was driving a Skoda. It was similar to hiring a Uber. He gave us a lot of information about the area and was very pleasant to talk with. The cost was around 280 Euros for two of us, door to door, no taxis to the airport or train station.

Posted by
9 posts

We just returned from the Best of the Adriatic and we did two extra days in Ljublijana. We stayed at Mescanka for two nights. The first day we did a Roundabout Full Day Karst & Mystery Coast tour (recommended in the RS guidebook). We went to Skocjan Caves, a proscuitto & wine tasting, spent some time in Piran, stopped at the Lipizzaner farm and Predjama castle. The next day we explored the city until we joined the tour at 4pm. It was a great start to our vacation.

Posted by
5 posts

I took the Adriatic tour a few years ago. I flew into Munich and enjoyed a few days there, then took the train to Salzburg and spent a few days there as well. Enjoyed Salzburg immensely. From there I took a train over the Alps and arrived in Ljubljana a day early. It was a beautiful trip!

Posted by
43 posts

I think I've decided on my 2020 tour. Was all set on Turkey, then decided that I'd better get some alpine hiking in while I still can. So, I'm off on the My Way Alpine tour. The Adriatic tour sounds really amazing as well and I am dying to visit Slovenia someday soon.