Walking Gourmet Tour in Croatia and Slovenia
Our journey begins the World Heritage-listed city of Dubrovnik and takes us to the island of Mljet where we hike the spectacular coastline of this sun-splashed island which is almost entirely a National Park Enchanting Croatia is lapped by the crystal-clear, azure waters of the Adriatic. A wide variety of landscapes can be found in Croatia. Most people are familiar with the stunningly beautiful indented coastline and its array of amazing islands, however, over 40% of the country is mountainous.
We discover Paklenica National Park, which stretches from deep canyons, beech forests and spring fed creeks to the Adriatic coast.
We explore the aqua-coloured lakes, cascades and waterfalls of World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park. A magnificent landscape with wooded hills and 16 terraced lakes strung together by waterfalls that were simultaneously carved out and, with the help of mineral deposits created this fluid landscape. Countless cascades and strangely clear and colourful water make this park a misty natural wonderland.
After a short stay in the famous spa town of Opatija we cross the border into Slovenia, which shows off with its towering peaks of the Julian Alps. Rich spiritual traditions, charming and ancient mountain villages, spectacular granite peaks of the Julian Alps and an intact Old World culture are the treasures of tiny Slovenia.
It is only half the size of Switzerland and has fewer than 2 million inhabitants but this peaceful and spectacular corner of old Europe is a real gem. Its Renaissance-flavoured towns are unspoiled and the walking opportunities are endless. The capital Ljubljana is the country's political, economic and cultural centre. It has often been referred to as a little Prague without the crowds. It actually has more of a town feel rather than a city atmosphere. Its 56,000 students make sure that it stays young! Our journey ends in beautiful Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world!
Our walks take us through vineyard-covered hills and forested trails that lead to frescoed monasteries. We scramble up into the majestic alpine terrain in the Triglav National Park and discover isolated valleys that shelter the kind of truly bucolic villages that have largely disappeared in Western Europe.
Our Hotels and Cuisine
Our hotels on the island of Mljet and in Starigrad are directly at the seaside. Imperial charm we enjoy in our luxurious 4 star hotel in Opatijia in Croatia, complete with an in house spa centre. Our contemporary hotel in Slovenia is in the small village of Ribcev Laz. It has a large indoor pool and is very close to Lake Bohinj.
In Croatia the excellent local cuisine already has a Central European flavour. On the coast, however, where fish and seafood are widely used, the Mediterranean flavours of Italy are dominant. From the plains and coast to the mountainous areas, rich soils produce superb vegetables and fruits. Both red and white wine are produced and the standards are definitely improving.
For its size Slovenia offers an incredibly varied cuisine. Because it is surrounded by countries on all sides it is heavily influenced by their styles; Austrian sausages and strudel, Italian ravioli like dumplings and Hungarian style goulash and palacinke (pancakes with a variety of fillings). They have been making wine in Slovenia since Roman times so be prepared for some pleasant surprises!
Departure dates have been arranged to allow both the "Explore Slovenia and Croatia" and "Gastronomic Trail through hidden France" walks to be combined
Tour departure dates
Feedback from previous guests
|Thinking back, this tour was a panorama of visual experiences: walking the wall of Ston with views of the sea and countryside from its considerable heights; taking a ferry to Mijet, another to St Mary's isle through turquoise waters, walks through the National Park pine forests, lakes and water always at our side. We also had a chance to see Split, with it whitish limestone buildings, and to learn the history of Diocletian with a tour of his palace with a local guide. Wandering, mesmerised, the watery paradise of the Plitvice lakes system was amazing, a simply unforgettable scene. Our next base was Opatija, a lively town on the coast, from where we turned our attentions inland. Climbing Mount Ucka through beech forests of gold and russet autumn leaves was stunning, and I loved the warm drink at the end in an inn where the mood was 1930s chic. Through the picturesque Lubliana to the peaceful Bohinj lake, where from our hotel we followed mountain trails, the Julian Alps providing a superb backdrop. Gorges, and villages, cowbells and goats, mountain refuges stand out in my memory. To visit the romantic Lake Bled on a free day was a special experience as we were rowed across the lake in a pletna boat. The Skocjanske Caves en route to Venice were breath-taking in their size, and with the Reka River roaring through the space, it is easy to see why UNESCO has made it part of a World heritage site. I should also mention the feast for the taste buds. From fish, oysters, lobster in abundance by the sea, to more adventurous and varied dishes in the mountain areas, we were treated to fine food. Who could ever forget the raspberry crepes, cream and ice-cream, or the grilled porcini mushrooms. Thank you Gabriela and Francesco for being excellent guides, and for giving us this journey of experiences."
Wendy from Sydney, NSW, Australia 
| This was a great holiday. There was plenty of physical activity but availability to opt out. The food experience was a perfect mix of authentic local and fine dining. Linen tablecloths and seafood in Opatija to sauerkraut soup in Slovenia. A knowledgeable guide and generous extras provided. It was about having fun."
Kylie from Newcastle, NSW, Australia 
|A most enjoyable trip, combining beautiful and diverse scenery, knowledgeable and delightful guides (Gabriela and Sabine), good company, great accommodation and delicious food. It was a well planned trip, which ran smoothly, due to the excellent organisation. Looking forward to our next trip in 2017."
Kris from Melbourne, VIC, Australia 
|A really great trip! Magnificent scenery, good walking among wonderful scenery, excellent hotels - and I really appreciated the water views from all rooms - comfortable travel, small group very much appreciated. The variety of scenery - sea / mountain / rural / village - was appreciated. Also enjoyed the swimming in the lakes as well the heated hotel pool in Bohinge (to relieve the aching legs!). I really appreciated Gabriella as guide who made sure everyone was comfortable, considered everyone's needs and went out of her way to accommodate peoples' wishes and needs. It was great to be able to visit Diocletian's palace. I appreciated the days of leisure too. Thank you so much. I still feel radiant from the experiences!"
Sheila from Adelaide, SA, Australia 
|It just went so well. I think that behind the scenes WGA, were adapting and fine tuning to make the most of the group, the Wx and the available facilities. Gabriella and Sabeena seemed to sense our needs better than we knew ourselves, right up to the tour of the caves before lunch on the last day. Add all that to the usual WGA eclectic choice of food and accommodation. Where-to next?"
Roger from Yarra Glen, VIC, Australia 
|What a delightful 2 weeks it was in beautiful Croatia and Slovenia. The walks were so lovely and we were lucky enough with the weather to have a few swims which was a highlight for me. The walks in the mountains in Slovenia rejuvenated my spirit and I would love to return one day. In the end it is the people you share the trip with who make it such a memorable experience, a great group and with Gabriela and Sabine as the guides we couldn't go wrong . Thank you both.
Sandy from, Melbourne, VIC, Australia 
|We set off from Venice in two 8-seater minibuses for a wonderful adventure which involved staying in great hotels close to national parks in Slovenia and Croatia. Each day we had different experiences of the attractive countryside seeing caves, lakes, streams, waterfalls (a great many of them in one part of Croatia - so spectacular) and the Adriatic Sea in various coastal locations. We gained great views from mountains (up much of which we travelled by minibus) and we watched rock climbers in a spectacular gorge. The gourmet part of the trip was also excellent. We enjoyed fresh local food (served with flourish and white-gloved hands on one occasion) and had no complaints whatsoever about our accommodation, transport and meals. Our company was also excellent and this included our guides Gabriella and Helmut who, as well as paying close attention to any needs of each group member, shared their enthusiasm for outdoor adventures and good food as well as their admirable general philosophy of life. The three cities in which we had free time available, Lubliana, Opatija and Dubrovnik gave us a further understanding of the history of the areas we visited and even gave us an opportunity for shopping! This is a tour I would definitely recommend.
Christine from Adelaide, SA, Australia 
|As usual the organisation went like clockwork, the food and accommodation was the best, which allowed us to concentrate on the magnificence of the Julian Alps through to the wonders of Mljet and Dubrovnik. Some of the walks were testing but only increased the satisfaction of having accomplished something out of the box with a great group of new friends.
Don from Bribie Island, QLD, Australia 
|Gabriela, I can't thank you enough for the wonderful experience I had on the walking tour through Croatia and Slovenia. It was my first trip with the company and it was superb. The scenery every single day was beautiful and both countries proved to be full of many pleasant surprises for me. The walking trails were the best, some more challenging than others, but I made it! I came to appreciate how much organisation goes on behind the scenes and even on a daily basis if plans had to be changed slightly, it was always done with seemingly little effort. The accommodation was first-rate and it was obvious that they looked forward to seeing groups from Walkabout Gourmet Adventures. It was especially good to be able to eat at village restaurants and be introduced to the local food, and each venue was excellent. I was always impressed by the enthusiasm of the people putting forward the local food and the very good local wine. I also liked that we could be in one village/city for several days and then do day walks. I have made some lasting friends from the group, which was just the right size to be able to get to know the other travellers quite well during the 2 week walk. I am very keen to experience other walks with you and look forward to the planning. Thanks for the experience!
Barbara from Kiama, NSW, Australia 
|Great trip, excellent companions, good tucker, and lots of fun. Particularly Slovenia that was not on our radar. Beautiful; mountains, valleys and rivers and charming people. Looks prosperous; I think the time was right with fewer people and lovely weather for walking up and down. As always our guides, Milo and Gabriella, were always helpful and particularly so for those with old knees. Hotels were all comfortable and staff were more than helpful. The donkey in the churchyard... reminded me of schoolboy poems. "Fools! For I also had my hour; one far fierce hour and sweet, there was a shout about my ears and palms before my feet" - GK Chesterton.
David from Lindfield, NSW, Australia 
|My holiday to Croatia & Slovenia was extraordinary, It was more than I expected, I heard Walkabout was a good company but they excelled my expectations. Our guides had so much insight into these 2 beautiful countries, and we saw and did things that I would never have done if I had gone on my own. The fellow hikers were great and we all had so much fun together. I am looking forward to doing other walks with them.
Gail from Kiama, NSW, Australia 
|I enjoyed the tour. Stunning scenery, great walks and good company. Excellent guides!
Jill from Avalon, NSW, Australia 
|We found the scenery was just great. A lot of the trip was by the water which was so crystal clear. The lake system in Croatia was spectacular. And the thousands of local visiting with young children was an eye opener. The food was something very special better than we had expected. I have fond memories of the BBQ squid and octopus. The company on the trip was great and everyone fitted in well. It was a nice touch having Gabriela's French friends along. All in all a great trip.
Graham & Liz from Sydney, NSW, Australia 
|This was our third Walkabout experience and our fist with Gabriela. We had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to explore unfamiliar parts of Europe with excellent guides taking all the stress out of the holiday. Clearly this is a trip that Walkabout has had many years to refine and it showed. The attention to detail was amazing. In any trip like this the unknown factors are the guides and the other guests. I feel that we were blessed with a lovely group to travel with and the guides went out of their way to ensure that we enjoyed the entire holiday. This really was a Walkabout and Gourmet experience. Thank you very much.
Geoff & Barbara from Brisbane, QLD, Australia 
|Thank you Gabriela and Olivier for an experience of a life time. What a treat it was to be taken to beautiful places we never knew existed. Wonderful mountain top experiences with views of valleys lakes and the Alps as a backdrop! Walking through delightful rural landscapes in the company of new friends. How about those alfresco lunches by the water, where the food and wine just keeps coming as we indulge ourselves! There were a few sensational evening meals too. All in all the right mix, with challenging walking, but do-able for the average person, with the odd relaxed day in between. We are now hooked and hoping to join another tour soon.
Janet & Chris from Plenty, VIC, Australia 
|A great way to appreciate the beauty of Slovenia and Croatia with some good walks interspersed with nice regional food and good accommodation. As ever, we had a congenial group of like minded souls who appreciated the national parks, absorbing some of the culture and interacting with the locals."
Keith fromACT, Australia 
|Had a wonderful 2 weeks exploring the beautiful countries of Slovenia and Croatia. We loved the walks. They were invigorating, sometimes quite challenging and always rewarding. The whole trip had been so well planned. There was always plenty of variety. Some days we walked up rugged mountains, others around picturesque lakes, walks through the local countryside were quite special and hopping in that bus for the return trip back to our hotel, always... fabulous! The dinners organised every night were a treat. Experiencing the local produce and famous dishes from each country in local restaurants was great fun. We had a lovely group which included our very knowledgeable and terrific guides / drivers (Graeme and Olivier). Our first walking tour (definitely not our last!) will be remembered as one of our best holidays.
Jane from Brisbane, QLD, Australia 
|What a wonderful way to visit the Eastern European countries of Slovenia and Croatia - two countries that we probably would not have visited on our own and certainly would not have explored the countryside and coastal areas the way we did with Walkabout...”
Judie, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia