Pictures: 1) Šmartno village, Slovenia. 2) Jeruzalem hills, Slovenia. 3) Santomas winery, Istria, Slovenia, 4) Goriška Brda, Slovenia, 5) Pelješac, Croatia.
Destinations & hotels
The Alpe-Adria, Adriatic and Balkan regions are full of contrast with vastly different landscapes, climates and culture, all situated within a relatively small area of central Europe. Mountain peaks tower above foothills clothed in pine forests and the turquoise waters of alpine lakes and rivers. Rolling hills are peppered with vineyards, cypress trees and medieval villages. The azure blue Adriatic sea laps against the ancient walls of historic cities and towns.
Whatever your preference, this region offers something for everyone. If lakes and mountains are more your thing, we recommend using Lake Bled as a base for exploring the Julian Alps and the lake districts of Slovenia and Austria. If lush green vineyards and quaint hilltop villages are your idea of heaven, the regions of Goriška Brda in Slovenia and Istria in Croatia are perfect retreats.
The coastal towns of Piran in Slovenia and Rab Town, Trogir, Split, Hvar Town, Orebić, Korčula Town, Dubrovnik and Cavtat in Croatia all offer a wonderful taste of the Adriatic, each with their own individual character and charm. Likewise the Montenegro coast contains a mix of popular resorts such as Budva and Sveti Stefan, with some beautiful old towns and fishing villages such as Kotor and Perast. Nature lovers will not want to miss the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia and if history and culture are more up your street, the old towns of Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Cetinje (Montenegro), Ptuj and Idrija (Slovenia) are well worth a visit. Finally, the cosmopolitan cities of Ljubljana, Zagreb, Sarajevo and Podgorica, the respective capitals of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro, can provide an extra dimension to your experiences of the region with an interesting blend of Slavic, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman influences.
Wherever you choose to overnight, we can offer you some excellent hotel recommendations. Please be aware that our tour packages can be arranged with our hotel selections included or you can enjoy the flexibility and freedom to book your own accommodation directly. The choice is yours.
Ljubljana, Slovenia: The old town of Ljubljana is charming and there are several very good boutique hotels to choose from including the Hotel Adora, the Antiq Hotel, the Hotel Allegro and the Hotel Lesar Angel. For luxury boutique hotels in Ljubljana, the Antiq Palace & Spa and the Hotel Cubo have established very good reputations.
Lake Bled, Slovenia: The Grand Hotel Toplice and the Hotel Vila Bled are arguably the most prestigious luxury hotels in Bled. The Hotel Triglav is a lovely boutique hotel located on the other side of the lake and the Hotel Astoria offers a very good value three star plus option in the resort centre. If small and friendly alpine style hotels are more your style, the Penzion Mayer, the Garni Hotel & Penzion Berc, the Penzion Kaps and the Alp Penzion all make excellent choices.
Goriška Brda, Slovenia: The Hotel San Martin is an excellent value boutique hotel with stunning panoramic views across the wine hills, located in the quaint village of Šmartno. The Hotel Gredič, a converted castle offers another very good boutique option for those with a larger budget and the Hotel Kozana is a good choice for those who might prefer a good quality but more basic three star hotel offering friendly service and comfortable accommodation.
Piran & Portorož, Slovenia: The Hotel Piran is a lovely boutique hotel located in the old town of Piran with uninterrupted sea views. The most opulent hotel in the area is the fabulous Kempinski Palace in Portorož.
Ptuj, Slovenia: The Hotel Mitra is a lovely boutique hotel located in the heart of Ptuj, Slovenia’s much renowned oldest town. The Hotel Park provides a good three star option here.
Zagreb, Croatia: The Hotel Jagerhorn is apparently the oldest hotel in Zagreb offering boutique accommodation, located in close walking distance to the old town and main square. We also recommend the four star Hotel Dubrovnik which is more of a typical city centre hotel offering good overall quality and value for money plus an excellent central location.
Istria, Croatia: The Hotel Kaštel is a converted castle located in the idyllic hilltop village of Motovun. The boutique Hotel La Grisa set in the village of Bale has one of the best hotel and restaurant ratings in Croatia. Both of these hotels offer a perfect evening retreat with great restaurants, feeling like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby seaside resorts of Poreč and Rovinj.
Trogir & Split, Croatia: Trogir, just along the coast from Split, is often described as the most attractive town on the Croatian coast. We particularly recommend the Hotel Monika which offers high quality boutique accommodation within the old city walls. A good alternative is the Hotel Trogir Palace located on the harbour front. In Split old town, within close proximity of the Diocletian’s Palace, are the highly rated Hotel Marul and Hotel Luxe which offer contrasting styles of the traditional versus modern/chic boutique.
Orebić , Croatia: Orebić is located at the top of the Peljesac peninsula in the heart of Dalamatia, facing towards the nearby island of Korčula. Here we recommend the Hotel Indijan which offers modern boutique accommodation and a beach front location.
Cavtat & Dubrovnik, Croatia: Cavtat, located a short distance along the coast from Dubrovnik, offers a more gentile alternative to its ever more popular neighbour. We recommend the boutique Hotel Villa Pattiera and the Hotel Cavtat which faces the waterfront and offers stunning views across the bay. In Dubrovnik itself, we recommend two hotels which are both located on the Lapad peninisula. The Hotel Kazbek and the Hotel Lapad benefit from a relatively quiet location, 3km away from the centre of Dubrovnik but just a short bus ride away. Both hotels offer stylish and attractive boutique accommodation with great views across the harbour. For a hotel located within walking distance of Dubrovnik old town and with fabulous open sea views, we recommend the Hotel Rixos Libertas.
Rab Town and Hvar Town, Croatia: The islands of Rab and Hvar are two of the most picturesque and popular of Croatia’s many island retreats. Benefiting from regular ferry connections, accessibility is good, especially between the May and September. In Rab Town we recommend the boutique Hotel Arbiana and in Hvar Town we recommend the Hotel Park and the Hotel Nora, both offering high quality accommodation.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia: We recommend the Hotel Degenija which is a good quality, small and friendly hotel located just a few minutes’ drive from the entrance to the Plitvice National Park. Alternatively, if you would prefer to be in walking distance of the park entrance, the Hotel Jezero offers a more convenient location and reasonable quality.
Budva, Montenegro: Budva is Montenegro’s most popular seaside resort known for its extensive beaches and its attractive walled old town. Budva is also conveniently situated to use a base for exploring the rest of the coastal region including nearby Sveti Stefan and the Bay of Kotor. We recommend the Hotel Avala and the Hotel Astoria, both located in the heart of Budva with easy access to the nearby beaches, harbour front and numerous restaurants.
Žabljak, Montenegro: Žabljak is Montenegro’s best known alpine resort, located in the heart of the Durmitor National Park and within close walking distance to the Black Lake. Here our preferred choice of hotel is the Hotel Soa which offers boutique quality accommodation and a very friendly atmosphere.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo is without doubt one of the most colourful and fascinating capital cities in Europe, where its history has left its mark on the present mix of Slavic, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian influenced culture and architecture. The Hotel Villa Melody is a modern and comfortable boutique hotel located within a short walk of the old town sights, including “Baščaršija”.
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Hotel Villa Milas is an attractive boutique hotel located in easy walking distance of the main sights including the old town and the famous Mostar bridge, a UNESCO world heritage site. We particularly recommend this family run hotel for its friendly service, convenient location and good quality.
Belgrade, Serbia: We recommend the Hotel Belgrade Inn which is a good quality, small and friendly boutique hotel located in the heart of the city centre, nearby to Republic Square and the Skadarlija quarter with its numerous bars and restaurants. Alternatively, if you would prefer an extra touch of grandeur, the Hotel Moskva is one of the most attractive and authentic luxury hotels in the centre of old Belgrade.
Zlatibor, Serbia: Zlatibor is one of Serbia’s most attractive alpine resorts and is also located conveniently for tours connecting with both Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Here our preferred choice of hotel is the boutique Hotel Mons Zlatibor which is renowned for its relaxing and friendly ambience.
For more information about our custom made wine & sightseeing tours, please refer to the main menu above.