balkan private tour

THE TOP 10 PLACES&REASONS YOUR NEXT TRIP SHOULD BE THE BALKANS

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After an experienced traveler has already visited the famous cities in Europe and got the taste for Italy, France, Spain and other big tourist destinations of the old continent, the refined travelers tastebuds may be looking for more. Wanting more of the traveling thrill poses question – where to go next? If you are looking for an overload of history, culture, architecture and other thrills that you need to reveal to yourself – Western balkans is the answer! Since the most remote past the territory trapped between the Alps, Panonian plain and Adriatic Sea has been the playground of history. The clashes between different religions and civilizations, empires and religions were inevitable in this strategic area. Everyone left something behind to rediscover. Come with us and be surprised! Enjoy our trips and learn about the exciting past and present in the Balkan Peninsula.

10 sites not to be missed when traveling in the Balkans:

balkan private tour

  1. Albanian capital Tirana
  • The city that grew from 200.000 to almost a million inhabitants in only 30 years is wild, ancient and modern. Situated between the mighty Albanian mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Tirana will charm you with its dynamic life, busy traffic and excellent food. Once a hermetically closed  communist dictatorship country, it is now thriving with life and rushing towards a better future!

balkan private tour

  1. Lake Bled with Island
  • Situated under the Julian alps in Slovenia, Lake Bled looks like a picture postcard. The Glacier lake was created some 14.000 years ago during the last ice age and it will charm you with its turquoise waters. Take the boat and be rowed to the island and ring the bell of wishes. Take a deep breath of fresh alpine air and enjoy the tranquil timelessness under the mighty castle of Bled!

  1. Athens Acropolis
  • Greece is inspiring. One of the most powerful views is the Ancient Acropolis that dominates the great city of Athens! Walk the streets of Plaka, visit the sites where democracy and modern western society was born. Go where the past walks hand in hand with the present and enjoy the spirit of modern Greece!

balkan private tour

  1. Kotor Old town
  • One of the impressive Unesco World heritage sites, the Kotor bay, hosts the ancient town of Kotor. Protected by the steep Montenegrin mountains it provided the perfect hideout port to all kinds of marine powers of the Mediterranean Sea through the millenniums. Walled first by Venetians, it played one of the major roles in the southern Adriatic Sea. Its limestone streets are packed with restaurants, bars and shops.  It offers a unique experience of the ancient and contemporary!

balkan private tour

  1. Dubrovnik Old Town
  • The Pearl of the Adriatic, once the small but powerful capital of Republic of Dubrovnik – one off the most glorious and powerful Maritime republics in the Mediterranean Sea.  It is impossible to describe the view at its 16 century defense walls. Dubrovnik is a magnet for tourists from allover the world. One of the localities where “The Game of thrones” was shoot will simply overtake you with its beauty, history and hospitality!

  1. Sarajevo Baščaršija Old Bazaar
  • Did you know that Sarajevo used to be the second most important city in the old Ottoman Empire? First settled by the ancient Romans and later established by the Turks it offers a unique blend of multi ethnicity, the coexistence of different religions and architectures. Emerge yourself into delights of the original Turkish Bazaar and enjoy the European breeze brought there by the Habsburg rulers of Austria!

balkan private tour   

  1. Plitvice Lakes
  • Probably the most beautiful Croatian national Park, The Plitvice lakes attracts people from all over the world. Sixteen terraced lakes with its clean and green waters and astonishing millennial forests are UNESCO protected. Don’t miss this if you love beautiful and pristine nature, fresh air and hearty local food!

balkan private tour

  1. Durmitor National park
  • The highest mountains in Montenegro are home also to the most impressive canyon in the Balkans.  The canyon on the river Tara is by its depth second only to The Grand canyon in the USA. Its wild waters offer plenty of opportunities for one of the best rafting sites in Europe. Mighty mountain peaks covered by Black pine forests gave the name to Montenegro. Discover its wild beauty with us!   

balkan private tour

  1. Meteora
  • ‘The hanging monasteries’ of Meteora are breathtaking! During the 400 years of Ottoman occupation the Christian Orthodox Greek monks were building monasteries on high rocks to preserve their religion. The marvelous sandstone formations of Meteora and many monasteries on their tops have been an inspiration for centuries. Experience the mystic of the ancient Orthodox world and enjoy the breathtaking views of the gorgeous landscape!

balkan private tour

  1. Ohrid Lake
  • The oldest lake in Europe has more than one million years under its belt. Lying between Northern Macedonia and Albania, Lake Ohrid has witnessed rich history since prehistoric times. The timelessness of the town of Ohrid will impress you with its churches, monasteries and incredible rich history. Did you know that the two Slavic saints – St. Cyril and St. Methodius made foundations for the Cyrillic handwriting in Ohrid? Discover the magic of Ohrid lake and its people, it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the Balkans!

We are passionate about Balkans and have been fascinated by its hungry soul over and over again! That is why we have prepared ‘The Balkan delight’ tour to share with you. Join us and widen your horizons on one of the best trips of your lifetime! We have selected a great route and you will be assisted by experienced tour managers and best local guides.

Join the adventure.

istra tours

HIDDEN GEMS OF ISTRIAN PENINSULA

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The fact that Istrian Peninsula stretches over 3 countries – Croatia, Slovenia and Italy – is giving the area magnificent cultural, geographical and historical diversity. It would be hard to put all the reasons of why to visit Istria in one blog, but here are some of our favourite ones.

Istra tours

Old medieval hilltop towns are one of the main reasons why Istria is being renowned as a new Tuscany. Charming and historically rich settlements offer a unique opportunity for an escape from bustling tourist towns located on the coast. Most of the towns are located alongside Mirna river (meaning ‘quiet river’), with Motovun being the most popular among foreign travellers. On the north shore of Mirna river you can visit two of the ‘’Motovun’s small brothers’’. A tiny settlement of Oprtalj and bohemian town of Grožnjan, locals favourite with numerous art studios, tiny galleries and summer homes owned.

Gastronomy is one of the things that will stay in your memory long time after visiting Istria. Area around Livade and Motovun is renowned as world capital of truffle hunting. You would be surprised to learn that the world’s biggest truffle was found here and is also home to a month long truffle festival held every fall. The taste of fresh truffles is best experienced in a pasta (Croatian: ‘fuži sa tartufima’), and Istrians are master chefs when it comes to the preparation of this traditional dish. There are various types of pasta and gnocchi changing from town to town. Pljukanci, Fuži and Njoki are just some of the most popular ones. If you feel like learning more about traditional Istrian food, try some of the cooking classes at rural farm-to-table agritourismo. In addition to truffles, don’t forget to sample some of the world’s best olive oil.

istra tours

Since the meal without the wine can only be called breakfast, it means that you will have the opportunity to complement your gastro experience with some amazing local Istrian wines. Istrian Malvazija is the best choice for white wine lovers. This most famous and popular regional wine is with its fruitiness and freshness perfectly matched with fresh seafood and other light meals including pasta and vegetables. Red wine lovers will enjoy Istrian Teran, made from an indigenous grape to this peninsula. Area also offers great conditions for production of sparkling wine, and although not traditional to this region, it is becoming increasingly ubiquitous nowadays. Wine production in Istria is boutique and family oriented, so do not expect that you will find these wines overseas. Best way to enjoy some of them back home is to visit local wineries for wine tasting and buy the bottle you like the most.

istra tours

If food and wine are not the centre of your interest, Istria offers plenty of other things that you can indulge. Peninsula is filled with historical and archaeological sites, the most famous one being the Roman amphitheatre in Pula. One of best preserved roman coliseums is still frequently used for the events, from concerts to ice hockey matches. Nearby Brijuni Islands National Park offers great journey from the times of dinosaurs to the post World War II socialist times of Tito. Coastal towns of Rovinj, Poreč and Piran will take you back to the Venetian times and make you feel like you are in smaller and more charming version of Venice.

istra tours

Active travel is becoming a popular way to see the world, so let’s mention a few activities that will get your blood pumping while discovering Istrian hidden corners. Peninsula’s landscape is perfectly shaped for cycling lovers. Mountain bikers can enjoy the peacefulness of Parenzana bike paths or trigger their adrenaline rush at Grožnjan enduro trails. Road cyclists can challenge themselves on numerous kilometres of quiet roads and climbs in peninsula’s inland. Hikers can enjoy spectacular views from the highest Istrian Mountain ‘Učka’ and if you are up for some water activities, sea kayaking around Rovinj or Kamenjak is the best choice for you.    

istra tours

If this part of the world is in your trip planner, our agency Slovenia4Seasons is a right place for the start of your Istrian adventure. Whether you are travelling on your own and looking for daily activities or you are interested in an all-inclusive service, we are here to help. We can provide guided tailor-made tours or put you in contact with best vendors in the region.     

istra tours   To find out more, contact us on info@slovenia4seasons.com

 

BALKAN PRIVATE TOUR

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Why The Balkans?

Traveling to destinations that are culturally, religiously and geographically so very different is usually expensive and time consuming.  It may be so, of course, if you have never visited the Balkans. 

BALKAN PRIVATE TOUR

The concentration of historical events, breathtaking nature and the mixture of religions along with different nationalities and languages is amazing due to the geographical position between the east and west.  The millenary clash of different empires, religions and peoples involving the Illyrians, Romans, Slavs, Venetians, Turks, Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Italians, French, Yugoslavians and others have added to the rich cocktail of the Balkan Peninsula. Winston Churchill used to say that the Balkans produce far more history than it needs! The strategic position between Central Europe, the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea was the site of many wars fought for domination over it.  The nations involved left their footprint in the rich fusion of cultures, languages and religions.

BALKAN PRIVATE TOUR
MOSTAR OLD BAZAR

Where can you travel by land and within a few hours of each other reach the remains of the Roman Empire, Venetian walled cities, Turkish fortresses, mosques and Austrian Neoclassical architecture?  Where in the world can you enjoy the breeze from the Julian Alps in Slovenia as you try the Kranjska sausage with cabbage while just a couple of hours away you can find yourself in Istria by The Arena of Pula, (a Roman amphitheater from the 1st century) eating fuži with local truffles before heading off to the Plitvice Lakes to see one of the natural wonders of the world?

 

BALKAN PRIVATE TOUR
BERAT ALBANIA

Mountainous Bosnia and Herzegovina is the ethnic and religious emulsion of the Balkans. Orthodox christians, Catholics and Muslims have shared everyday life there for centuries. Sarajevo, the Olympic city and the tourist magnet town of Mostar, with its elegant Ottoman bridge over the turquoise Neretva River will leave you speechless with its heritage and architecture.

BALKAN PRIVATE TOUR
DUBROVNIK OLD PORT

Visit Dalmatia, the Croatian coastline on the deep blue Adriatic Sea.  Dalmatia has stunning views and its gem cities and towns are full of Mediterranean flair as you enjoy the excellent seafood and full-bodied wines. The Dalmatian road will eventually bring you to the Pearl of Adriatic, the famous city of Dubrovnik.  Dubrovnik has had diplomatic skills and for centuries dominated the Mediterranean Sea second only to mighty Venice.

BALKAN PRIVATE TOUR
ATHENS PARTHENON GUIDED TOUR

Through the mighty Montenegrin mountains and canyons that reflect over the glorious past of this little brave nation, the road will bring you to the mysterious Albania, or “Land of the Eagles”, its Illyrian and Hellenistic culture opens the gate to ancient and modern Greece and Northern Macedonia.  All of these countries are so different from each other yet share the monuments of the ancient world as well as great culinary pleasures and delicious wines.

BALKAN PRIVATE TOUR
STON QYSTER FARM VISIT

Treat yourself with a rich cultural experience at a great value while viewing astonishing nature. Enjoy local foods and wines. Learn about the history, religions and art like nowhere else. Get to know the hungry soul of the Balkans.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Read more about our small group BALKAN TOUR 13D/12N ….here

ljubljana day trips

LJUBLJANA-THE GREEN CAPITAL

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Ljubljana is the Slovenian economic, political and cultural capital as well as one of the smallest
European capitals. The dazzling hilltop castle dominates the green river Ljubljanica and its
historical old town. Visitors can establish an instant intimate relationship with the city. The
wealth of historical sights, theaters, museums, excellent restaurants and bars and street
musicians make a visitors stay very pleasant. The traffic free streets of the Old town and banks
of Ljubljanica river are full of life. And life indeed started there long time ago.

Ljubljana day tours
In the Roman times the Roman city of Emona was founded. First mentioned in remote 1144 as
Luwigana, the city developed between the castle hill and the Ljubljanica River. First it
developed into a thriving medieval trading and military centre and later into an elegant baroque
and secession capital of the Slovenes.

Ljubljana day trips
As Ljubljana is in the centre of Slovenia, so the Castle hill is in the centre of Ljubljana. The
funicular takes visitors to the castle and from its Tower you can enjoy breathtaking views of the
whole city as well as the mighty Julian Alps in the distance.

ljubljana day tours
Ljubljana has won the title of The European Green Capital in 2016. The city is breathing through
many parks and trees. Three quarters of the entire territory of Ljubljana are green areas that
can be visited also with the bicycle sharing system that allows you to enjoy and discover
Ljubljana in a very sustainable and fun manner.

ljubljana day trips
Many consider the real heart of the city as the open air farmer’s market of Ljubljana. Placed
between the river and the castle hill, crowned by the architectural jewel of covered market by
greatest Slovenian architect Dr. Jože Plečnik, its lively and colorful atmosphere and
colorfulness will enchant you and make you feel at home.

Ljubljana day trips
Ljubljana will grow into you and compared with almost city it will surely become one of your
favorites. Let it share its magic with you!

day trips ljubljana

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK SLOVENIA

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It takes about one hour from Ljubljana to reach the region of Slovenia called Bela Krajina (The South mark). Crossing the Gorjanci mountains that separate it from the Dolenjska region is one of the most spectacular views that opens up to the visitor,  The view of the ‘sleeping beauty’at the southernmost region of Slovenia. Widely undiscovered by the tourists it fascinates the traveler with its unspoiled nature and welcoming smiling people.  Villages and towns alternate with forrest areas, white birch and juniper.

day trips ljubljana

The rolling hills are covered with vineyards centered by ‘zidanice’ or so called wine houses, where the locals store and enjoy their wine. ‘Zidanice’ also host many agritourisms that welcome you with sounds of accordion and very typical and hearty local food, such as “pogača’, home made meat products, roasted lamb and pastries – of course all accompanied by excellent white and red local wines and homemade juices. The nature is very giving because of the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea exerting the influence.

day trips ljubljana

 

Bela Krajina has a rich cultural heritage with many folk dances and typical white linen folklore dresses that add to the diversity and distinguish the region.

day trips ljubljana

Towns like Metlika, Semič and Črnomelj are inviting the travelers to experience a unique experience of little communities with beautiful medieval town squares and rich history that dates back to the  Medieval and Roman times and beyond, such as Mitraheum in a small village of Rožanc dating from 2nd Century, where the image of god Mitra was carved in the stone by Roman settlers.  Churches, castles and their ruins can be seen in towns of Metlika, Gradac, Črnomelj and elsewhere in the region. They testify of the rich history of human presence through the ages.

day trips ljubljana

Rivers Kolpa, Krupa and Lahinja with their green waters are mysteriously spectacular on their way through the green landscapes. The Carsic source of river Krupa is under a 30 meters high rock wall and it is also the habitat of the ‘Human fish” or Proteus and its surroundings represent one of educational paths of Bela Krajina. Kolpa river is probably the most important landmark that is also the natural border that divides Slovenija and Croatia. The southernmost Slovenian river is also called “The longest Slovenian coastline’ and is one of the purest and warmest rivers in the country. The temperature of the water in the summer reaches 28 degrees Centigrade which makes it perfect for swimming and it is extremely rich with fish. 

day trips ljubljana

Bela Krajina is the ultimate ‘off the beaten path’ experience that will warm your heart with unspoiled nature, hearty food and excellent wines. And people of Bela Krajina with their smiles and natural kindness and generosity will make your memories lasting and heartwarming.

day trips ljubljana

bike tours

Cycling Slovenia

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Slovenia is one of the  smallest  european countries, but offers the vast variety of landscapes. It´s diverse landscapes are calling for to explore it from a saddle of your bike.

cycling slovenia

 

Gentle hills of northern Istria peninsula and its salt pans, Karst plateau with over 11.000 caves,Julian and Kamnik alps including remarkable emerald Soča river valley, hilly wine growing area of Goriska Brda, flatlands around the capital city of Ljubljana, hilly central part with lots of hot water springs and spa resorts and more flatlands in the north east.Beeing a country that promotes itself, and declared the first  Green Destination based on The Green Destinations Criteria, it is clear, our diverse country has a impresive network of bike trails, on road and off road for demanding mountain bikers, recreational cyclists or family biking adventures.

 

 

slovenia cycling

Furtermore, the variety of Slovenian landscapes offers other activities to be combined with biking, such as paragliding, trekking, fishing, canyoning, white water cayaking, rafting or hiking. You will always have the oportunity to sample great homemade delicacys along the way, accompanied with various wines from our wine growing regions.All our bike tours are taylor designed, based on the slovenian region you are visiting and staying at. We are going to find trails suitable for you and your friends and family, provide a back up van if needed, arange the accommodation in hotels or tourist farms.

 

 

 

 

slovenia cyclingWe will provide bikes  according to the type of biking trail you will choose. Yes, we´ll get you an electric one , as well.It doesn´t stop here, though. In the past, we have designed,organised and lead  biking tours outside Slovenia, as well. On the coast and in the hinterlands of neighbouring Italy, in the southern, Croatian part of Istrian peninsula and in Bavaria in southern Germany.

 

Slovenia4seasons is a right partner to organize a private taylor made bike tour for you.

day trips ljubljana

Lake Bled and Bohinj

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Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, Slovenia are two of the many gems of Slovenia. Lake Bled is a popular tourist “must see” and Lake Bohinj is more of a hidden gem that is gaining popularity. Driving from the highway, you come along Lake Bled first and are entranced by this alpine village situated in the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia. In the middle of the village is the emerald colored, glacier lake demanding the center of attention. The water is pristine and the swans gliding in the lake bring to memory stories of magical settings in children’s books.

In the middle of the lake is an island with a church with roots going back to 745 AD. Since the 17th century, the church is of Baroque appearance. Getting to the island is a romantic, relaxing ride in a Pletna boat operated oarsman. They do the work for you as you soak in the tranquility. If you are more of the active type, you can rent the boat and do the rowing yourself.

Surrounding the lake are charming hotels and restaurants that resemble Swiss chateaus or villas. It is a complete escape to sit and enjoy the famous cream cake of Lake Bled or a glass of wine while cherishing the ambiance and beholding all the beauty around you. Also looking down on the lake, on a cliff, is the statuesque castle that adds the perfect touch to this enchanting atmosphere.

As if Lake Bled were not enough, there is the undisclosed and often eclipsed Lake Bohinj. Driving past Lake Bled, you follow the road all the way to Lake Bohinj. Many people do not discover this hidden belle of the ball. She is an unexpected stunner despite any loyalty that lingers for Lake Bled. It is difficult to chose a favorite. Luckily, it is not needed. One does not need to choose because they can both be enjoyed in the same day.

Arriving to the lake itself, it takes your breath away looking at the reflections of the mountains in the crystal clear lake. At the entrance of the lake stands the Church of St. John The Baptist. The church is over 700 years old and parades the beautiful architecture and fresco paintings from this time in Slovenia’s history.

Leaving the church, you cross over a beautiful bridge that looks out towards the lake with people swimming (depending on the season) or enjoying other water sports. The air of contentment fills the air. You can lay in the sun or enjoy the water as you like. If it is not warm, there may be snow to appreciate as it transforms Lake Bohinj from a fairy tale into your reality. You can also keep driving around the huge lake and discover more stops for picture taking.

Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, Slovenia are two of the most gorgeous lakes not only for Slovenia, but for all of Europe. Both lakes free you of this world’s worries and show you that there are places on our earth that are still pure and unsaturated with long lines and overpriced tags attached to them. Welcome the novel concept that sometimes people and places really can delightfully surprise you.