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Travel Before and After RS Adriatic Tour

Hello! I will be on the 9/27-10/10 Best of the Adriatic Tour this year (my first RS tour!). I'm planning to arrive a few days before and stay about a week after the tour, and I'm hoping to get some feedback on my plans (I've not booked anything besides the tour yet). Before the tour, I plan to arrive in Ljubljana on 9/25. I am thinking about trying to day trip to Skocjan Caves on 9/26. Alternately, I've also thought about going to Lake Bled for my first night (and possibly arriving on 9/24 to fit it in) since the tour only stops there, and I'm not sure if there will be time to walk around the lake, see the island, and enjoy some cream cake.
After the tour, I am thinking about taking a tour to the Bay of Kotor on 10/10. I would ideally extend my stay in the tour hotel by a night so I wouldn't have to worry about getting to/from another hotel for just one extra night. I'd then bus to Sarajevo from Dubrovnik on 10/11. From there I would fly to Zagreb on 10/14, and then fly back to the US on 10/16 or 10/17. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

Posted by
31289 posts

Andreen,

I took that tour last September and it was wonderful! A few thoughts.....

  • Arriving in Ljubljana a couple of days before the tour is a good idea. I'm not too familiar with the Skocjan Caves, but there are sights you can see in Ljubljana that are not covered by the tour, so you could also do that.
  • Bled - IMO, your time would better be spent in Ljubjlana. On my tour we visited the Castle and then provided with a choice of either walking around the lake or visiting the island with the Church (I chose the latter). You should also have a bit of time to buy some Cream Cake.
  • Post tour - you shouldn't have any trouble arranging one more night at your tour hotel, but I'd suggest booking that early.
  • Trip from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo - you could use a Bus and Train combination or just stay with your plan to use the bus. Another option would be to use a flight with Croatia Airlines.

If you need any more details on the tour, post another note (or I can send a PM).

Posted by
1937 posts

I was on this tour exactly a year ago this month. It was wonderful and you will have a great time. I agree with all Ken said. I arrived in Ljubljana three days early, took a food tour (which was terrific), visited many places not included on the tour and in general, fell in love with the city and the people before we met with our group and (fabulous!) RS tour guide. During our visit to Lake Bled (as part of the tour itinerary), there was plenty of time to walk around the lake, see the island (didn't take the boat there, though) and have some creme cake (yum!). The Castle was included with our stop on the tour so I would also recommend not taking time away from Ljubljana to spend time there on your own.
Extra night in Dubrovnik-yes! Do book early! We did and were able to remain in the same hotel. Several tour members waited too long and did have to move to another hotel. So again with Ken....do book the extra nights early!
I wish I had gone on to Sarajevo......

Posted by
127 posts

I took the tour in 2013 and I agree with the other comments about Lake Bled. Not worth a "double visit" based on what you want to do/see. I would probably spend more time in Ljubljana instead.

Another suggestion. Keep in mind that all the places you go on this tour used to be one "country." Read ahead and understand why Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina devolved so differently. It helps provide context.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all for the advice and encouragement! Sounds like staying in Ljubljana before the trip begins will be the way to go. I've also contacted the Dubrovnik hotel about extending my stay there, so hopefully I'm not too late. And while I am familiar with the history of the area I will be reading much more about it in the next few months. Thank you again!

Posted by
31289 posts

Andreen,

One more comment.....

I found the visit to Mostar to be one of the most interesting parts of the trip (at least for me). Although the recent history of that part of Europe is somewhat turbulent and tragic, I really wanted to have a glimpse of that area and the walking tour with the local guide in Mostar (who live through "the troubles") was incredibly interesting. It was inspiring to see the beautiful re-constructed bridge which had been built by the Ottomans several centuries ago. I'm somewhat of an "amateur military historian" so was aware of some of the details, but getting the story and historic details from a local provided a much better history.

The staff at the hotel in Mostar were wonderful, and I really enjoyed chatting with them.

One other comment - the food on the tour was great! Lots of variety and some new items that I've never had before.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you very much for the additional information, Ken. I'm very much looking forward to learning more from the guides and other local people. I've got a stack of books to read before September too!

Posted by
925 posts

Hi Andreen.

We took this tour two years ago and absolutely loved it. You before and after plans look very reasonable and doable.

Enjoy!

Posted by
6 posts

Andreen,
How fortunate you have extra time in Ljubljana! Here's what we did with our extra time and loved both experiences. 1. We went on a bike tour for four hours. It was fabulous, flat, easy and safe. We saw and learned so much from a local young man. (We are both near 70). The company is Watermelon and we found it on Tripadvisor. 2. Another day we hired a man to take us wine tasting in the country. He was knowledgable and entertaining. His family's history in that area would make a good movie. He was recommended by the RS hotel and we arranged it before we left home. He offers private day tours of many types, if wine is not your thing. Both tours were a highlight and a good value for money.
Enjoy!

Posted by
6 posts

Here is the webpage for the wine tour: visit-Slovenia.eu. You will see his name Joze, on the upper left. I'm sure any tour with him would be enjoyable!

Posted by
31289 posts

Andreen,

Regarding going to wineries during your time in Ljubljana, you'll be visiting a couple of wineries during the tour so you may want to spend your time sightseeing in other locations. Hopefully your tour will also include THIS winery as you'll not only get to sample some great wines but also enjoy an exceptional lunch (I had about three servings of the soup - it was fantastic!). That was one of the highlights of the tour (although there were many highlights on that tour).