Highlights of Austria, Slovenia and Croatia

The Cape Maidens – our group of three sisters from Cape Town, South Africa – were on our glorious At Leisure trip, Highlights of Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. First evening, we had our meet and greet with our fellow travellers and our Travel Director, Jasmina. She is Slovenian and a really lovely person, with an astonishing knowledge of the history of the area. We enjoyed our evening orientation drive around Vienna and the Welcome Reception in a revolving restaurant.

Next morning we saw the major sights on an orientation tour and later revisited the areas around Hofburg Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral during our free time. We got back to the hotel in time to dress up and join the optional Viennese Concert. We enjoyed every moment of that!

From Vienna we headed to Lake Bled, our home for the next two nights. We walked along the lakeside and drank in the beautiful views. We loved all of Slovenia – it really was beautiful beyond our expectations. And the Bled Cream Cake is just divine!

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Crossing into Croatia, we picked up our guide on the way into Plitvice and had a beautiful tour through the lakes. Stunning! Next day it was on to Split – this was where we belong! This was our kinda weather too! What a beautiful promenade. It reminded us of being in Capri, all the beautiful people.

We opted out of the Diocletian Palace tour, although we did pass through it several times, doing alleys and markets, and bumping into our fellow travellers a few times. We enjoyed a beer on the prom and at 5pm we all sailed away on the ferry to the Island of Hvar.

We loved every single thing about Hvar. We are water babies and if I had one euro for every boat, ferry, cruise liner, yacht and canoe that we photographed, we would all be able to go right back and do the holiday all over again!

Swimming in Hvar

Swimming in Hvar

Today was our Be My Guest dinner. The meal was exceptional, and yes, it is the first time we’ve seen octopus prepared like that, but no, we didn’t try it. Then surprise, surprise, when the ginger biscuits came out, so did the birthday candles and the birthday hats too! We each received a lavender gift pack from Trafalgar and everyone joined in singing and wishing us! When we made our wish, it was to return here one day. Another absolute highlight of our trip. Thank you Trafalgar!

Off to Dubrovnik on a spectacular coach drive along the coastline – and we were lucky enough to be in the front seat! We thought the rest had been beautiful, but they saved the best for last. Dubrovnik is enchanting. The hotel was gorgeous and we immediately had a swim in the sea below it.

The hotel pool area in Dubrovnik

The hotel pool area in Dubrovnik

Next morning we walked the city walls and then really enjoyed a swim in the hot weather. The water was so incredibly blue and clear and so refreshing. Later, we went up Mt Srd by cable car, with its stunning views of the walled city. Tonight was the Highlight Dinner, which was delicious with panna cotta and berry coulis for dessert. Yum!

On the drive to Zagreb, Jasmina sent around a list and we could ask any question about anything and she would try to answer it. Very interesting. Her general knowledge is astounding. Next day, our local guide joined the coach at the hotel and took us on an interesting orientation, including St. Michael’s Church and past the Museum of Broken Relationships, and back down to the Cathedral.

That night at our Farewell Dinner speeches were made and thank-yous were offered to our fantastic driver, Dalibor, and our wonderful Travel Director, who distributed group photographs and presents. So, our advice for this trip is ‘JUST DO IT!’ If you’ve enjoyed Italy, then you will simply love Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, welcoming you with open arms to enjoy their simple life and natural beauty.

The Cape Maidens, South Africa

Read the original Travel Tale here: Cape Maidens Travel Tale

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  1. Bev Gribble

    Well done ladies for getting on Facebook! Lovely tale. If you liked this tale also read the same trip a week earlier by Chech – to get even more detail. Great trip – I did the one after Chech and it was awesome. Bev

  2. Lynda Milina

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! Next time be sure to stop on Korčula and instead of staying in Dubrovnik, stay in Cavtat just outside of Dubrovnik. Happy Travelling!

  3. V W

    Ive just come back from Lake Bled, Slovenia. Oh its so STUNNING. I love it. Been 16 times now.

    • Bev Gribble

      Can I ask where you stay when you go to Lake Bled? I agree it is stunning!

      • V W

        I stay at the Astoria usually but had to stay at Park due to Astoria being renevated. I prefer the Astoria ,its gr8

  4. Philip Summers

    Just finished the same trip (Sept. 2012) with the same TD.
    Shame I am a married man otherwise the beautiful, intelligent, knowledgeable Jasmina would have a new suitor or two or three !!!!!!
    The whole tour was just one fantastic adventure, made even more memorable by the group of people who soon became a family & the adorable Jasmina with her wit & intelligence.
    Do yourselves a favour – do this tour, and hope you get the same TD.
    Thanks a million.
    P.S. Too many wonders to select a highlight – but Lake Bled is right up there.

  5. Bev Gribble

    Slovenia must produce fabulous TD’s. Our TD was Gasper, also nice looking, knowledgeable and charming – all the women were trying to set him up with daughters and cousins. I agree this tour was a delight with Lake Bled and the coast of Croatia being highlights for me. Do the tour and if you get either Slovenian TD, you will love it!

  6. Philip Summers

    I am trying to upload some photos – but it keeps saying my pictures are too big (obviously over the 700kb) – but how do I make them smaller ? – I have them downloaded on Picasssa as well as my hard drive & on my camera sd card – oh also in my dropbox. Any advice on what I should do

  7. Devika

    Hi Guys..I am all set to do this tour next month with my husband.This info is for you Phillip Summers. You need to reduce the size of the size of the photos. This is what you have to do. Open the image with Paint. by right clicking the mouse. You will come to images on the left hand corner. Click on that and it will give you the option stretch/skew. Go to it and reduce the size to as less as you want in %. I notice your comment id dated Sept 2012. That was considerable time ago. Hope this helps unless you already know it by now


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