Elegant Opatija's great hotels and casinos once welcomed visitors to the Austro-Hungarian equivalent of the Cote d'Azur. Today its elegant shores boast a charming marina, shore-side promenade and jetties (ideal for swimming), plus a wide range of shops, bars and restaurants. Other highlights include the 14th-century Benedictine Abbey of Saint Jacob from which the town takes its name ('opatija' means abbey in Croatian).
Your Base: A Four-Star Hotel In Opatija, Croatia
Croatia's Istrian Riviera and Lake Bled Tour Itinerary
Fly to Pula or Venice and transfer by coach to your hotel on the Adriatic's Croatian coast.
Day One: Fly to Croatia or Italy
Today, you're free to relax, unwind and enjoy the hotel facilities, or head out to explore Opatija's attractive town centre.
Day Two: Leisure day in Opatija
On today's full-day excursion, you'll see the very best of Istria. Explore the provincial capital, Pula, famed for its vast Roman amphitheatre. See Lim Fjord, a wooded gash in the coastline that, according to local legend, once served as a hiding place for Welsh pirate (and later governor of Jamaica) Captain Henry Morgan. And visit Rovinj, which rises Venice-like out of the water, its narrow streets and pastel-painted buildings leading ever upwards to the Baroque church of St Euphemia.
Day Three: Included Istrian Peninsula excursion
Today's long but memorable excursion takes us north and across the Slovenian border, to Bled. Slovenia's most visited resort, Bled sits on the forested shores of beautiful Lake Bled amid the high peaks of the Julian Alps. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere over lunch (payable locally), and perhaps ride a gondola-like pletna to Bled Island, which sits in the middle of the lake crowned by a pretty Baroque church.
Day Four: Included Slovenia and Lake Bled excursion
Spend your day relaxing in and around Opatija, or join our optional boat trip into the Kvarner Gulf. Your first stop will be Krk - a former Roman and Venetian outpost, and the largest island in the Gulf (and indeed the entire Adriatic). From here you'll cross to the less populated - but almost identically sized - island of Cres to explore historic Beli town, charmingly set on a hilltop overlooking its picturesque harbour.
Day Five: Optional Krk and Cres islands excursion
During the day, you'll also have the chance to enjoy the simple but delicious flavours of a traditional Croatian 'fish picnic' prepared by the crew of your boat.
The last of our included excursions takes you inland to stunning Plitvice National Park, Croatia's most celebrated natural attraction. The park's greatest treasure is a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls and rapids that cascade into a limestone canyon. Explore the park by foot, joining the walkways and hiking trails that wind around and across the water, or take the Lake Kozjak ferry that links the upper and lower lakes.
Day Six: Included Tour of Plitvice National Park
On today's optional excursion we'll journey into neighbouring Slovenia one last time, to visit one of the world's most famous caves - the giant cavern at Postojna. Travel two miles underground by train, then let a personal 'audio-guide' lead you through the illuminated world of stalagmites and stalactites.
Day Seven: Optional Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle excursion
During the day, you'll also visit Predjama Castle, a remarkable Renaissance castle that clings to a sheer cliff face a the mouth of another of the region's immense caves.
Transfer to the airport to board your flight home.
Day Eight: Fly back to the UK