Time for our 2nd visit to 2 amazing capital cities at one of the best times to appreciate their charms.
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia has been booming since the break-up of Yugoslavia and is one of the smallest capitals in Europe, giving it a unique, intimate charm other cities lack. Whilst there are no mega, must-see sights, it's quaint old town is filled with baroque, Austrian-era architecture. The winding streets, the small river with it's famous bridges and the hilltop castle certainly leave an impression. Just chill-out and enjoy the atmosphere. Xmas here brings the streets to life, with the spectacular lights above the markets filled with mulled wine, local food and handicrafts.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia is not so well-known but definitely has plenty to offer. Apart from an array of architecture spanning centuries it has been voted THE best Xmas markets the last 2 years by various surveys and they definitely put on a show. Think Vienna but with a lot more to offer in terms of drinks, food and unusual extras and cheaper too.
Lake Bled adds an extra dimension to the trip, simply stunning and atmospheric in the winter time.
As usual the trip will be thoroughly researched and expertly organised, so you can just enjoy the holiday without having to plan a thing.
Here's our itinerary:
Friday 13 December
Fly to Ljubljana where a taxi or minibus will be waiting at the airport to take you to the hotel to check-in.
Early arrivals can leave their bags and explore the city with me on an informal tour. Highlights include the castle hill, dragon bridge, St. Nicholas Cathedral, squares and markets.
You may want to end the afternoon at the cafe on top of the Art-Deco Neboticnik building.
In the early evening we can try a restaurant or some local bars and meet the late arrivals.
Later arrivals can nip into town and explore the Xmas market where you can have a mulled wine, hot liqueurs, various grilled food and local handicrafts. The market is at it's best as it gets dark and the spectacular lights of stars, moons and planets are visible. The markets go until midnight.
Saturday 14 December
We will take the early train, just over 2 hours to the capital of Croatia, Zagreb. We will have an informal tour of the old town including the beautiful St. Mark's Church and neo-gothic cathedral, the quaint, chilled-out, people-watching Tkalciceva Street, the city gates and towers of the old town and many other sights.
The real highlight of the day will be the Xmas markets scattered about the town. Zagreb takes the advent time very seriously and they really put on a show. There's the main square, Ban Jelacic, with masses of stalls, the huge Xmas tree, mulled wine, gingerbread and the traditional Croatian pasta with cabbage.
There's the spectacular ice park in the huge King Tomislav Square, under the shadow of the art pavilion and most interestingly the advent in the tunnel, where an old WW2 tunnel connecting different parts of the city is filled with lights, music and 3D installations, a really unique experience.
We will return on the train for a well-earned rest or a few drinks in Ljubljana.
Sunday 15 December
For our final day (late flight only) we can head on our private bus to the stunning Lake Bled and take a walk all the way round this Alpine paradise. We should also have time to get some of the famous Bled cream cake or you may want to have a quick look inside the castle ( extra payment ).
We will be back in Ljubljana for taxis to the airport for the late Easyjet flight.
The total cost of the trip is £225. You’ll need to pay a £10 deposit via PayPal when you RSVP to reserve your place. After this the balance of £215 is payable within 1 week.
Please send to the following bank account, not to PayPal:
Name: Ian Moran
The deposit and balance are not refundable unless the trip is cancelled or re-scheduled.
The price includes:
• 2 nights accommodation in a 2/3 star hotel with breakfast in single-sex twin rooms or singles ( supplement payable ). The hotel is a few bus stops from the centre
• Pre-paid public transport card with 6 trips included
• Airport transfers to and from Ljubljana airport ( If arriving on the Friday and leaving on the Sunday )
• Return train ticket to Zagreb
• Return private bus ticket to Bled
• Informal tour of Ljubljana ( early arrivals ) and Zagreb
The price doesn’t include:
• Flights to Ljubljana – you’ll need to book these yourself!
Recommended outbound flights on Friday 13 December:
07:20 - 10:25 - Easyjet from Stansted ( Informal Tour )
17:10 - 20:20 - Easyjet from Gatwick
Recommended return flights on Sunday 15 December:
10:40 - 11:55 - Easyjet to Stansted
20:55 - 22:20 - Easyjet to Gatwick ( Bled trip )
Skyscanner.net is a good website to check for the best air fares.
• By signing up to this trip you agree to take out travel insurance. We are in no way responsible for any accidents, illnesses or loss of personal belongings.