Dubrovnik to Bled Trip Notes

Dubrovnik to Bled

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2016
Dubrovnik to Bled
Trip code: ZMSUC
Validity: 01 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2017
Visit Croatia and Slovenia as you take the scenic route from lively Dubrovnik to pristine Bled. Experience both history and nature at their best - from Roman ruins and walled cities to unspoilt beaches and rugged islands just off the Adriatic coast. Quaff wine with locals in Korcula, delve into the ancient history of Split, hike through the Hvar hinterland and be swept up in the magic of Bled. Discover a wealth of European architecture and lose yourself in the serenity of this charming and picturesque region.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodationEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Accommodation NotesVisas
Why we love itMeals introductionWhat to take
MapMealsClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerMoney mattersTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderA couple of rules
Included activitiesSafetyResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Is this trip right for you?
- As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead. Please also remember that the Croatian coast is very hilly and mountainous, which means lots & lots of steps are an inherent feature of the landscape. You will have to be able to easily lift your luggage and carry it up and down stairs and inclines. Also, stone streets become very slippery when wet. Some people may find Croatia's topography very demanding.
- Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.
- As this is a combination of 2 trips, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Split.
Why we love it
- Dubrovnik's charms reach far beyond the UNESCO-listed city walls. Cruise to Lokrum Island where a botanical garden, Benedictine monastery and excellent swimming spots await
- A highlight for many travellers, Hvar Island seems to have it all: Renaissance architecture, beautiful beaches, lush green landscapes and excellent Dalmatian cuisine
- Indulge in local island specialties during a feast in one of Korcula Island's sleepy villages
- Be blown away by Zadar and its extensive Roman ruins, medieval city walls and the modern sea organ and sun dial
- Embark on a day trip to famous Plitvice National Park, and be awed by the colours of the lakes and waterfalls
- Explore ancient Split, where tradition, modernity and a variety of European influences come together. A visit to the Diocletian’s Palace reveals some of the Adriatic Coast’s most important surviving Roman buildings

Day 1 Dubrovnik
Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia. Dubrovnik is a beautiful white stone town surrounded entirely by city walls. Although it experienced devastation during the war in the early 1990s, the restored old town remains as charming as ever. With the sparkling water of the Adriatic in the background, Dubrovnik is picturesque, full of character and can easily be covered on foot. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm today – check with reception to confirm the time and place – and you can arrive at anytime before then. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you arrive early, why not head out to one of the Elafiti Islands. There's Lopud, a quiet island with lovely hikes, clean beaches and a ruined castle. Kolocep is a sleepy enclave that boasts walks for every fitness level, and Sipan is the most populated of the isles and reputedly has the most hospitable inhabitants. After the meeting, perhaps enjoy a meal with the group so you can get to know your fellow travellers.
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 2 Dubrovnik
Today is a free day for you to enjoy all that Dubrovnik has to offer. Maybe take a walk along the city walls of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame, enjoying views of the sparkling Adriatic Sea in this undisputed jewel of the Dalmatian Coast. Visit Big Onofrio's Fountain, built by architect Onofrio della Cava in the 15th century to supply water to the city. Perhaps check out the Franciscan monastery, home to one of the world's oldest continuously-functioning pharmacies, or the Sponza and Rector's Palaces, the only Renaissance buildings in the city to survive a devastating earthquake and fire in 1667. You can get a snapshot of Croatian history at one of many museums, take a quiet moment inside an old cathedral, or cruise out to nearby Lokrum Island. If you still feel energetic after a day exploring the city, you can take the switchbacks leading up Srd Hill behind Dubrovnik for spectacular views of the city and the Dalmatian coastline. Alternatively, the newly restored cable car can whisk you to the top in less than 10 minutes. The hill is topped by a castle from Napoleonic times, which now houses the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence.
Included Activities
  • Dubrovnik City Walls
    Optional Activities
    • Beach Chair Rental - HRK75
    • Diving Excursion - HRK550
    • Fish Picnic Cruise - HRK300
    • Lokrum Island Boat Trip - HRK75
    • War Photography Museum - HRK40
    • Franciscan Monastery - HRK30
    • Game of Thrones Tour - HRK200
    • Rector's Palace - HRK70
    • Museum of Croatian War of Independence - Mt Srd - HRK30
    • Hike up Mt Srd - Free
    • Church of St. Blaise - Free
      Hostel (1 nt)
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Korcula Island
      Journey by bus and boat to Korcula (approximately 4 hours). The time you depart and your travel time may vary depending on the transport schedule. Take in the serene forest landscape, dotted with tranquil inlets and character-filled vineyards, on an island where natives believe Marco Polo was born. Whether or not this can be proved (the Venetians have a similar claim), Korcula is steeped in a long history and the islanders are proud owners of this little gem, smaller than Dubrovnik but no less precious to its inhabitants. Greeks settled in the 6th century BC (they called the island Black Korcula), but the town was also occupied by the Romans, the Slavs, and then the longest period of rule passed to the Venetians between 1420 and 1797. Even Napoleon was ruler for a while. As a result of all these influences, Korcula has a stunning Old Town – romantic and evocative. And what's more, there are plenty of warm beaches to relax on if that's more your speed. For the next two nights, stay with generous hosts – locals who rent out their rooms in the summer season. The rooms, while simple, are the best way to put money back into the local economy.
      Private apartment (1 nt)
      1 breakfast
      Day 4 Korcula Island
      Today you might like to take a swim, walk around the bays and villages near Korcula town, pay a visit to the Marco Polo Tower, go shopping, or just soak up the ambience. If you're feeling energetic, take a snorkelling, kayaking or mountain-biking day trip. Your leader can help arrange these activities from your base in Korcula. Later in the afternoon, make the short journey by local bus (approximately 30 minutes) to the tiny village of Pupnat (population: 300) in the interior of the island. Here you’ll visit a local farm/restaurant and eat outside on the patio. Sample some of the family vineyard's wines and be treated to a meal made entirely from ingredients found on the farm. Perhaps you can drink your wine like the locals do: mixed with a bit of water. The traditional Dalmatian meat loaf, or pasticada, and fresh grilled vegetables with olive oil constitute a typical dish, all served with fresh goat and sheep cheeses, and maybe some smoked ham to tie it all together. Don't forget to have a bit of travarica (a grappa-like drink made with the herb called verbane) and some Korcula cakes for dessert before heading back to Korcula town.
      Included Activities
      • Wine Tasting and Dinner in Pupnat Village - Korcula Island
        Optional Activities
        • Local Bus to Island Villages - HRK40
        • Marco Polo Tower - HRK20
        • Snorkelling Day Trip - HRK350
        • Marco Polo Museum - HRK60
        • Traditional Moreska Dance Performance - HRK100
          Private apartment (1 nt)
          1 dinner
          Day 5 Hvar Island
          A speedboat takes you to the neighbouring island of Hvar (approximately 90 minutes). Beautiful Hvar has an air of Venice about it, and is known as the 'Queen of the Dalmatian Islands'. Wander around a town with wonderfully preserved Renaissance facades, hike past dramatic jagged limestone cliffs and slow your pace to enjoy the undulating farms, fields of lavender and rosemary, and ancient olive groves. Upon arrival, get to know the town with an orientation walk and visit the 16th century Spanjola Fortress, from where spectacular views over town and this part of the Adriatic can be had. For the next two nights, you’ll stay in private apartments that locals rent out during the summer months. They are diverse and can vary in size and most may not have air-conditioning. All are located within 15 minutes of the main square. Feel the history when wandering the backstreets of quirky galleries and unique boutiques, watch the fishermen bring the day’s catch into the quay, and chill out over a few cocktails in a waterside bar.
          Included Activities
          • Hvar Orientation Walk
          • Spanjola Fortress - Hvar Town
            Private apartment (1 nt)
            Day 6 Hvar Island
            Today is a free day. There are plenty of options for exciting activities in town, or take a short hike on the nearby Pakleni islands – largely uninhabited and often described as being among the most beautiful in the world. Depending on the weather, there is the option to join a four-hour walk through the lavender fields (they are blooming in June) and olive groves that are abundant on this pearl in the Adriatic. If you don’t feel energetic today, spend the day lounging at one of the island's many quiet beaches and enjoy a sunset stroll along the harbour promenade. Alternatively, why not visit the island of Brac, with its famed white pebble beach, Zlatni Rat. Villagers have farmed wine, olive oil, figs and almonds in the difficult interior of this rock-strewn island for centuries, but it's the small, beach-side towns that draw the crowds. The island is famous for milk-white marble, which was used for the construction of the White House in Washington DC and Diocletian's Palace in Split. Tonight, be sure to sample the some of the best seafood around, caught fresh that day.
            Optional Activities
            • Pakleni Island Half Day Trip - HRK250
            • Full Day Boat Cruise to Blue Cave, Green Cave and Vis Island - HRK500
            • St. Stephen’s Cathedral - HRK10
              Private apartment (1 nt)
              Day 7 Split
              Catch a boat to Split (approximately 2 hours). If Dubrovnik is considered the heart of Dalmatia, Split is certainly its soul. Situated on a small peninsula on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, it's the second largest city in Croatia. This stunning seaside town is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the coast. Join a local guide for a walking tour of Split and get to know its history. See the original and fantastically preserved basements under the city, as well as the Cathedral in Diocletian's Peristyle and Jupiter's Temple. Explore the impressive ruins of Diocletian's Palace, Split's most imposing structure and some of the most interesting ruins on the Adriatic coast. Portions of the Palace are over 1,700 years old and there’s ample time to experience this time-defying structure. Split grew out from Diocletian's Palace and you can almost see it evolving in a multitude of different ways right before your eyes. Some cultures might have made the palace a museum, but Split is a dynamic and vibrant place, and the palace houses many businesses and homes. If your feet get tired, why not grab a drink at a cafe on the Riva Promenade and people watch for a while.
              Included Activities
              • Diocletian's Palace - Split
              • Split Cathedral & Tower
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Day 8 Split
                Today you'll have more time to explore Split. You might like to take a day trip to the surrounding area and visit the ancient Roman city of Salona, or the sleepy towns of Trogir or Sibenik. As this is a combination trip, your leader and the composition of your group may change at this point. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. You're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers. In the evening after the meeting, why not head out for some fresh seafood with your new friends?
                Optional Activities
                • Ivan Mestrovic Museum - HRK40
                • Archaeological Museum - HRK20
                • Art Gallery - HRK20
                • City Museum - HRK10
                • Ethnographic Museum - HRK15
                • Marjan Hill Hike - Free
                • Fish Market - Free
                • Hiking in Mosor with Traditional Dinner - EUR64
                • Sea Kayaking - EUR36
                • Cooking Class including Lunch/Dinner - EUR80
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Day 9 Zadar
                  Travel by local bus northwest to Zadar (approximately 4 hours), taking in vistas over vineyards, olive groves, bays, beaches, steep cliffs and islands along the way. For centuries Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia, and the city's rich heritage is visible at every step. An important coastal town, the musical steps of the ‘Sea Organ’ on Zadar's waterfront express its important relationship with the sea. Trace marble streets through the Old Town and discover Roman ruins in amongst medieval churches. Enjoy some local food and drinks in a city that’s home to a vibrant café culture. Ozjusko pivo is a light beer with a very pleasant taste, just a little bit bitter, with a rich flavour. Afterwards, perhaps treat yourself to a gourmet meal at a contemporary Croatian restaurant. Try lamb in red wine, 'njoki' with Dalmatian ham and rocket salad, or opt for the popular choice of fresh fish: tuna carpaccio or a fillet in scampi sauce. Also try the famous liqueur, Maraskino, made from locally-grown maraschino cherries according to a centuries' old secret recipe. This unique drink was a favourite at European imperial and royal courts and has been produced in Zadar since 1821.
                  Optional Activities
                  • St. Donat`s Church - HRK20
                  • St. Anastasia’s Cathedral - Free
                  • Roman Forum - Free
                  • Cathedral Tower - HRK15
                  • Archaeological Museum - HRK30
                    Hostel (1 nt)
                    Day 10 Pag Island / Zadar
                    Today embark on a full day trip to Pag Island by bus (approximately 1.5 hours). The karst island of Pag is home to sheep, an intricate lace, and a determined group of islanders who wring themselves a living from the barren, rocky landscape. Settled in pre-Roman times, the island has been at the mercy of the shifting fortunes of various Dalmatian rulers, and today reminders of its prosperous salt-mining past lie in the main town. Meet a producer of the island's renowned ‘paski sir’ – Pag cheese. Eaten sliced with black olives, or grated and used instead of Parmesan, paški sir is salty with a sharp tangy flavour. This distinctive cheese comes from Pag Island's sheep, who roam the rocky island eating aromatic herbs and grass on slopes coated in salt deposits by strong sea winds. The milk is collected in May, left unpasteurised during fermentation, then rubbed with sea salt and olive oil and left to age anywhere from six months to a year. There may also be time for a swim in the shallow coves that make Pag Island a popular destination for beachgoers. Return to Zadar by late afternoon. Perhaps visit the famous modern ‘Greeting to the Sun’ and the more ancient St. Donat`s Church and St. Anastasia’s Cathedral.
                    Included Activities
                    • Pag Island with visit to cheese makers
                      Optional Activities
                      • Lace Museum in Pag Town - HRK10
                      • Museum of Salt in Pag Town - HRK10
                        Hostel (1 nt)
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 11 Plitvice Lakes National Park
                        Take a drive inland and travel north to your next base of Rakovica (approximately 2 hours). Here you’ll visit Plitvice Lakes National Park, a misty Eden of endless waterfalls and spectral blue lakes. Fed by the Bijela and Crna (White and Black) Rivers, the waters tumble from a high, tree-lined ridge down through the valley and skirt dense forests of beech, spruce and pine. A series of wooden walkways pass over the landscape, ensuring there’s little impact upon the park. 16 stunning turquoise lakes, fed by underground springs, are split into the upper and lower lakes. The upper are in the dolomite cliffs, where rushing water weaves in and out of the karst, dropping dramatically down to the lower lakes, with enchanting forests, grottoes and steep cliffs. This interplay of water, rock, and plant-life creates a wondrous, dynamic landscape, changing the water colour from azure to bright green, deep blue to grey. Look to the canopy for over 120 species of birds, including hawks and owls. The butterflies that hover through the trees transform the park into a riot of colour in the autumn. Even amongst this pristine natural beauty, the Plitvice Lakes are shadowed by the region's history. The 1991 civil war erupted here after rebel Serbs took control of the park's headquarters, holding the park for the duration of the war and devastating infrastructure, though thankfully leaving the natural landscape intact.
                        Included Activities
                        • Plitvice Lakes National Park - Entrance
                          Guesthouse (1 nt)
                          1 breakfast
                          Day 12 Pula
                          Take the drive to Pula, the capital of the province of Istria (approximately 4 hours). A Roman amphitheatre, a wealth of architectural sights and a hedonistic bent make Pula a great place to catch a concert or sample some Istrian cuisine. Pula has a long history as a Roman citadel, a pirate target and a naval port, and today this regional and economic centre is powered by shipbuilding, textiles, metals and glass. On a free day, a wander through Pula's Old Town is like a step back in time to its heyday as a Roman regional administrative centre. Follow the Roman walls and pass through the Triumphal Arch of Sergius from 27 BC. On the pedestrianized streets of the Old Town, see the ancient Forum, whose sole remaining structure is the Temple of Augustus, rebuilt after almost total devastation in World War II. The Roman Amphitheatre is Pula's most impressive sight. Overlooking the harbour, it was built in the 1st century and designed to hold up to 20,000 spectators, who revelled in the bloodthirsty gladiatorial contests shown there. It’s a spectacular sight as the sun sets. Tonight, stay in a boutique hostel in the city’s heart, a stone's throw from the Arch.
                          Included Activities
                          • Pula Arena
                            Optional Activities
                            • Temple of Augustus - HRK10
                            • Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria - HRK20
                            • Roman Floor Mosaics - Free
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 13 Rovinj / Bled
                              Cross the border into Slovenia and travel into the Julian Alps to Bled (approximately 3.5 hours). En route, stop in the coastal gem of Rovinj, one of the best-kept towns on the Adriatic Coast. There will be time to wander the picturesque streets this morning, taking in colourful buildings and a splendid waterfront with a relaxed Mediterranean feel. Through the centuries, Rovinj’s character has enchanted many an artist or writer, including Jules Verne. Climb the campanile of Sv Euphemia Cathedral in the middle of the old town, or browse the stands of the daily open-air market for truffles, olive oil, seafood or fruit and vegetables. Alternatively, you may just want to find a spot for a cold drink and watch the world go by. After another short drive, arrive in Bled, situated on the stunning lake of the same name. Take in the mountainous backdrop, lake, and impressive cliff-top fortress, which all combine to make this a wonderful place to visit. There are many outdoor activities to get the blood pumping in Bled: rafting, caving, canoeing and swimming, to name a few.
                              Guesthouse (1 nt)
                              Day 14 Bled
                              Today is a free day for you to explore all that Bled and the surrounding area has to offer. Perhaps hire a bike and cycle the 6 kilometre bike path that circles the lake. This scenic ride passes some impressive villas, mostly from the beginning of the 19th century, including the former residence of the 'Soft Dictator' Tito – today the Hotel Vila Bled. If you’re feeling active, continue riding out to Vintgar Gorge (4 kilometres) and walk through the natural canyon. Bled is renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. Maybe head to the 100 metre high cliff-top Old Bled Castle, dating from the 11th century and overlooking sparkling Lake Bled, then take a Pletna boat ride (a wooden, awning-covered boat rowed by a special oarsman) to the island on Lake Bled – climb up the 99 steps to St Mary's Church and ring the wishing bell. Be sure to seek out the famous Bled cream cake, which isn’t hard; nearly every cafe and cake shop in town claims that theirs is the best. You might even consider doing a day trip to nearby Ljubljana, Slovenia's compact yet cosmopolitan capital city. Then, why not celebrate the end of a remarkable journey with a final group meal.
                              Optional Activities
                              • Mountain Bike Hire - EUR15
                              • Pletna Boat Trip - EUR12
                              • Canyoning - EUR60
                              • Bled Castle - EUR10
                              • River rafting - EUR55
                              • Bus and cable car trip to Mt Vogel - EUR25
                              • Emerald River Adventure (full day) - EUR110
                              • Vintgar Gorge - EUR4
                                Guesthouse (1 nt)
                                Day 15 Bled
                                There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to see and do in Bled and the surrounding mountains you may want to consider extending your trip and stay longer in Bled. We are able to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking.
                                Itinerary disclaimer
                                ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                                OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

                                MUSEUM OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays.
                                Physical rating

                                Included activities
                                Dubrovnik City Walls
                                Wine Tasting and Dinner in Pupnat Village - Korcula Island
                                Hvar Orientation Walk
                                Spanjola Fortress - Hvar Town
                                Diocletian's Palace - Split
                                Split Cathedral & Tower
                                Pag Island with visit to cheese makers
                                Plitvice Lakes National Park - Entrance
                                Pula Arena
                                Important notes
                                SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
                                A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The price of the Single Supplement does not include the following nights where single rooms may not be available. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
                                - Days 7 & 8 - Split

                                Group size
                                Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                                Your fellow travellers
                                GROUP TRAVEL
                                As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                                SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                                Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                                Guesthouse (3 nights), Hostel (4 nights), Hotel (3 nights), Private apartment (4 nights)
                                OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                                The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                                TWIN SHARE BASIS
                                Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                                CHECK-IN TIME
                                Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                                PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                                If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

                                Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

                                PRIVATE APARTMENT ACCOMMODATION
                                Please note that on the islands of Korcula and Hvar we are staying in private apartments that locals rent out during the summer months. These are located in various buildings spread across town, but all are within 15 minutes walk of the main square. They differ in layout and facilities, can vary in size and most don't have air-conditioning. This is the most effective way of staying in the centre of town.
                                Meals introduction
                                While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                                Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

                                There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).
                                5 breakfasts, 1 dinner
                                Public bus, Private vehicle, Ferry, Taxi

                                TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
                                Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
                                Money matters
                                The official currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK), however Slovenia has now adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (EUR).

                                The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services.

                                SPENDING MONEY:
                                When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                                Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 550.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

                                If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                                EMERGENCY FUNDS:
                                We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
                                Group leader
                                All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                                Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                                Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                                We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                                Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                                For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:


                                FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                                Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                                TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                                Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                                PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                                While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                                SEAT BELTS:
                                Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                                Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money.
                                Joining point
                                Hostel Sol
                                Obala Ivana Pavla II 13
                                Phone: +385 20 610 300
                                Finish point
                                Vila Kolinska Bled
                                Ulica Matije Copa 2
                                Phone: +386 45741823
                                Finishing point instructions
                                If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to call a taxi or transfer for you. Please ask reception to organise this for you.

                                If you have pre booked a departure transfer, your will be collected at the hotel reception 2.5 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone numbers: +386 40887286.
                                Emergency contact
                                While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                                We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                                You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                                For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below:

                                Peak Europe: +49 8677 9186 657
                                Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                Visas for Croatia and Slovenia are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.
                                What to take
                                On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.


                                TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
                                It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

                                WATER BOTTLE
                                Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
                                Climate and seasonal information
                                Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
                                All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                                You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
                                Travel insurance
                                Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                                When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                                If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                                A couple of rules
                                Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                                Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                                Responsible Travel
                                We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.


                                DRESS CODE
                                In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

                                The Intrepid Foundation
                                Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                                The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:


                                After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.