The Ways of Radogost
Arrival airport: Ljubljana (LJU)
Departure airport: Zagreb (ZAG)
No. of wineries visited:13
Ljubljana – Lake Bled – Poreč – Motovun – Hum – Pazin – Zigante – Rovinj – Pula – Zagreb
This tour is designed for those with poetry in their soul, such is the stunning countryside we see on this trip.
The only one of our tours to cover two countries, we start in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. The Ljubanica River curves lazily though the city, passing by riverside cafes and restaurants, and the lovely Tivoli Park. Wandering these ancient streets, we are introduced to Slovenian wine and culture. A day trip to the beautiful Lake Bled follows, including a boat ride on the lake and exploring its imposing castle, taking the time to dip our toes in the lake's clear waters as we lunch.
Then Croatia beckons. Slowly, we work our way south to Croatia, past tall Cyprus trees to the Istrian Peninsula, where the land and architecture takes on a more Italian feel, but the wines are decidedly Croatian. Inland, the landscape is peppered with valleys and you’ll dally in achingly beautiful hilltop villages as you sample local wines. This is also truffle country, and we will hunt for some of the world's largest and most sought after ones, before ending our days sipping delicious cocktails, watching the sun set over the crystal-clear water of the Adriatic. Some of the most complete Roman ruins outside of Italy are yours to explore in Pula, on the tip of the peninsular, where Venice is but a two hour ferry ride away.
As for the wines, being blessed with rolling hills, a temperate climate moderated by a sea breeze, and at least four different types of soil, is perfect vine growing territory. This diversity of soil and weather is reflected in the vast number of wine styles available from mostly native varietals. Young, fresh Malvazija Istarka dominates production and for good reason - its utterly delightful and incredibly food friendly. The unruly Teran, once tamed through the collective wine knowledge of generations, has an inherent charm, full of Mediterranean herbs and elegant tannins.
Finally, we head to Zagreb, the bustling medieval city that is Croatia’s capital. Ah, Zagreb. Once a stop on the Simplon Orient Express, this medieval city will charm you with its old city walls, imposing cathedral, and great restaurants. Here, in-between many samples of local cheeses and charcuterie, we will taste our way through a vertical tasing of a special, premiere wine, as well as exploring the best region for sparkling wine production.
Days 1 - 2
- Arrival in Ljubljana, collection and transfer to Hotel Cubo or similar. Welcome dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Ljubljana.
- Day trip to Lake Bled, including a boat ride, the castle and a picnic lunch on its shores. Swim in lake, weather permitting. Return to Ljubljana for dinner and an introduction to Slovenian food and wine. Overnight in Ljubljana in Hotel Cubo or similar.
Days 3 - 4
- Optional city tour of Ljubljana or have yourself a late morning. We leave for Istria after lunch. Lunch can be concierged but is not included. As we make our way to Motovun, we stop at several Slovenian wineries. Dinner, and then overnight in Motovun at Hotel Kastel or similar.
- After breakfast we tour three wineries, whilst visiting some of the gorgeous hilltop villages that pepper the area. Dinner at a local restaurant, and then overnight in Motovun at Hotel Kastel or similar.
Days 5 - 7
- Truffle hunting! Lunch in Zigante. Stop at a winery on our way to Rovinj. Quick tour of this charming little town before a free evening to explore on your own. Overnight in Rovinj at Hotel Monte Mulini or similar.
- Morning departure to Pula for a tour of the city and its amazing Roman amphitheater, stopping en route for an olive oil tasting. The trip back to Rovinj is enhanced by a prosciutto and cheese tasting before visiting a winery or two. Overnight in Rovinj at Hotel Monte Mulini or similar.
- Wine and olive oil tasting to start the day before we lunch in Bale. Another two wineries on the way back to Rovinj. Overnight in Rovinj at Hotel Mulini or similar.
Days 8 - 9
- Morning departure to Zagreb and then exploring this capitol city. Lunch and vertical tasting of a premiere label. Free time to explore before dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Zagreb at Hotel Palace or similar.
- Continue exploring the areas vineyards, culminating with a visit to sparkling wine producer, Tomac. Return to Zagreb for farewell dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Zagreb at Hotel Palace or similar.
- After breakfast, last chance to box up your wines to send home. Depart for Zagreb airport.