I'm trying to decide where my husband and I should spend 3 to 4 days on our own prior to the Best of the Adriatic tour, which we've booked for fall of 2020. Venice is under consideration. We love Italy and have spent a lot of time there but have only been to Venice once and it was only for 2 days, ten years ago. I've always wanted to return. Would anyone who's done Venice prior to Best of the Adriatic care to comment on whether this was a good choice for your pre-tour days, and then how did you get to Ljubliana? Or what are some other good suggestions for a few independent days prior to the start of the tour?
I haven’t gone yet, but my plan includes 2 nights in Venice and an extra two nights in Ljubljana. I read about the Go-Opti shuttle on this forum and plan to use it between Venice and Ljubljana.
I think Venice and extra time in Ljubljana are both excellent ideas. If you haven't been to Padua, it is also worth considering. It's an extremely short train trip from Venice, and Padua has more than a full day's worth of sights by my calculation, because it has a large historic district to wander around. For the Scrovegni Chapel you absolutely must buy a ticket in advance--not necessarily way in advance, but before the day of your visit; they do not sell same-day tickets. The smaller city of Vicenza (west of Padua) is also interesting, especially for its Palladian architecture.
I spent 3 nights in Venice and one in Lubljiana before the Best of the Adriatic tour.
If you want to escape the day crowds in Venice both Padua and Verona are very nice small cities.
I took the Flixbus to Lubljiana but it was difficult to find the "bus stop" location in Venice. The website didn't give a good description and if there hadn't been some Eastern European workers on the Vaporetto with similar tickets to mine I would have gotten off at the wrong stop and been in trouble! However the bus was comfortable and the ride itself was uneventful and a bit scenic in places.
Enjoy the tour -- it's a good one!
We took the Best of the Adriatic in the fall of 2018. As mentioned up thread, we also stayed in Venice for a week prior to the tour. We took the shared GoOpti Shuttle. It was comfortable, & affordable. (Great customer service!) We met our driver at Piazzale Roma. Your other pick up option is the airport. The driver picked us up on time and it was a about 2.5 hr journey. You are dropped off across from the main train station. It was an easy 6 min. walk to town. We arrived in Ljubljana 2 days before the tour. We stayed 2 nights at Meščanka Apartment on the river. We enjoyed the vibe and charm by the river. Nice way to relax before this amazing tour. Happy planning! www.GoOpti.com
GoOpti provides convenient shuttles between Ljublijana and Venice.
In my research of this tour, I came across https://www.travelroundabout.com/en/.
They have half-day and full-day tours around Ljublijana, including the wine country, Venice, caves, and Bled. Looks like fun. I've also heard that Ljublijana warrants a few extra days pre-tour too. There's also the Veneto wine region outside Venice.
We flew to Munich, then train to Salzburg for a few days. Then a gorgeous train ride to Ljubljana. When in Ljubljana we took a day trip to the caves by train. We did this by train, but if I did it again I’d do a tour or rent a car.
The tour is fabulous.
I just did this. I suggest 3 days max in Venice and then GoOpti to Ljubljana. I could spend a week in Ljubljana and it still wouldnt be enough! Take the four hour Watermelon Bike Tour, it's awesome!