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July 3-12, 2018
This tour will take you to many of the wonderful scenic areas of Slovenia that are not on the normal tourist routes. Along the way we will visit World Heritage sites, vineyards and steam railways. We also spend a couple of nights in the ancient Austrian city of Graz and travel through the world famous Semmering Pass - not once, but twice!
Day 1 Tuesday July 3:
Arrive in Vienna, Austria. Overnight in Vienna.
Day 2 Wednesday July 4 : (B,D)
This morning we take the train from Vienna to Graz via the world famous Semmering Pass. The coach will meet us and transfer us to our 4 star hotel in the center of Graz. Graz is the second largest city in Austria, situated on the River Mur just 120 miles south west of Vienna. After check-in, we have time for a light lunch before our guided tour of this fascinating city. We will start with a trip up the Schlossberg (with the funicular) and literally get the best views of the city. Then we will take a walk from the stunning cathedral, through the amazing renaissance Landhaus courtyard, double spiral staircase in The Burg Graz (official headquarter of the regional government), main shopping street, main square and town hall to an extravagant steel construction on the river Mur (Island on the Mur). This evening we have our welcome dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 3 Thursday July 5: (B,L)
This morning, our coach will take us (approx. half hour drive) to south Styria Wine region, to the village of Stainz. With the local guide, we will discover the history, wine and culinary importance of the area. To verify the excellence of South Styria Culinary we will have lunch at a local restaurant. Later we will take a one-hour ride on a steam train “The Stainzer Flascherlzug – The Bottle train”, that runs on narrow gauge tracks, which first opened in 1892. Today the train is a great local attraction. The name of the train comes from the time when doctor “Höllerhansl” (1866-1935) practiced medicine. That is why many people traveled with the narrow-gauge railway Preding – Wieselsdorf – Stainz to Höllerhansl.
Day 4 Friday July 6: (B)
Today we have a free morning to explore, for ourselves the old center of Graz. Perhaps visit the fairyland railway beneath the castle or a visit to the tram museum. By now we will understand the reasons why UNESCO declared Graz old town World Cultural Heritage. In the afternoon, we will check out of our hotel and take a local train to Maribor where we start our second Slovenia Tour, here we will stay and explore many places that we have yet to enjoy to the full. Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia situated on the River Drava. The Old City has so much to offer, with beautiful buildings, little streets, the park and the riverside to explore. Our luggage will be transferred from Graz to Maribor for us. After check-in, we have a guided tour of this lovely city. Restaurants will be pointed out to you for your evening dinner.
Day 5 Saturday July 7: (B,L)
Today we will have a lovely railway journey east of Maribor. In the morning, we visit Ptuj, the oldest documented town in Slovenia.The core of the old town is protected as a cultural monument. At every step monuments, bear witness to its ancient past, with traces of Roman Poetovio and the periods that followed. At a local restaurant on the bank of the River Drava we will have time for a refreshing lunch. Then we will take the train to Ivanjkovci, from where we will discover Jeruzalem, one of the most beautiful wine regions of Slovenia, the eastern part of Slovenske Gorice, the land of many vales and low rounded hillocks and ridges, where sunny south-facing slopes are covered with vineyards and orchards. At the local winery, we will have a taste of the local produced wine before returning to Maribor.
Day 6 Sunday July 8: (B,L)
We take a morning train from Maribor to Pod etrtek; the first part of this railway track constitutes the very first constructed railway line in Slovenia. We spend the whole day in the Kozjansko region, which is an area of forests, rolling hills, vineyards and scattered farms. A train will take us to visit the renovated Minoriti monastery complex (the part of the convent is also a celebrated pharmacy, which is one of the oldest monastic pharmacies in Europe), we will taste the local produced chocolate in a Chocolate boutique, Olimje and we will visit deer breeders. In this fairy tale-like countryside we will have a local lunch in one of the welcoming farmhouses. Tidiness and beauty of these places has convinced even the European commission to award village Olimje with the golden medal on Entente Florale 2009 contest. So, after our lunch we will take the train to a local brewery where we can sit and enjoy this lovely countryside before our return to Maribor.
Day 7 Monday July 9: (B,L)
This morning we walk along the river to take a boat for a short journey on the river Drava. We then visit the beautiful renovated puppet theater before our visit to Vinag, one of the largest and oldest classic wine cellars in Europe, there we will have a wine tasting of locally produced wine followed by our coach trip to the Pohorje mountain range where we take a cable car to the top. Every winter the slalom and giant slalom races for the Golden Fox World Cup for women are held here. From the top, there are wonderful views of Maribor and the Drava Valley. Here we will have a delicious lunch at the restaurant on the top of Pohorje before our return by cable car to Maribor. Time for our second trip on the Drava River, this time by raft. You will experience an unforgettable adventure on a traditional timber raft on the river Drava. Splavarski trio (Rafter’s Trio), with Slovene music to help put us in a good Slovenian mood. The program includes a presentation of the river Drava timber rafting in the past, a rafter’s snack, drinks according to the “all you can drink” system and a tasting of traditional rafter’s coffee, which is brewed on board in the raft’s kitchen just as it was in the old days.
Day 8 Wednesday July 10: (B,L)
The scenic railway line along the Drava River will take us to Dravograd, from where we take our coach to Mežica lead and a zinc mine. With mining equipment, we will take a ride on a genuine mining train into the mine. Riding through the 2 mile long Glannik tunnel takes about 15 minutes and can truly be described as a unique experience. We will step out of this train in the heart of the mountain, 1970 feet below the surface of Veliki vrh. Accompanied by an experienced guide we find out more about the history of mining. Above all, we will have a typical local lunch underground. Later the afternoon train will take us back from Dravograd to Maribor.
Day 9 Tuesday July 11: (B)
Today we are going to visit the third largest town of Slovenia - Celje, which was an important Roman city called Celeia and in medieval times a home to the most important Slovenians (and also one of the most important European) aristocratic family – Counts of Celje. The remains of the castle owned by this aristocratic family stand on a dominant point on a hill and we will discover the castle stories with our local “medieval” guide. In a nearby local tourist farm we will have a tasting of home produced cheese and other farm products. After lunch, we meet up with our local guide for a tour of this fascinating city before our journey back to Maribor.
Day 10 Thursday July 12: (B)
Today it is time to say “Nasvidenje Maribor, Nasvidenje Slovenija” (Goodbye Maribor, Goodbye Slovenia). Our coach will transfer us to the Graz for our return journey to Vienna giving us a second chance to admire the wonderful Semmering Pass.
ALL PRICES ARE PER PERSON
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$2,195
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$395
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$800
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY APRIL 3, 2018
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT BOOK BY DECEMBER `1, 2017$-200
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2018 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.