With its grand architecture and thriving café culture, Ljubljana is Slovenia’s answer to Prague. On this tour, we’ll whisk you over the Italian border and take you on a two-hour walking tour through this charm-packed city. Ljubljana’s origins are as ancient as they come – it’s said that the mythical Greek hero, Jason, founded the place after stealing the Golden Fleece. These days, it’s the Baroque Old Town that gets all the attention. It’s nestled on the right bank of the Ljubljanica River, at the foot of forested Castle Hill. You’ll have a chance to duck inside Ljubljana Cathedral, with its peaches and cream exterior, before having a look at the burnished insides of the Church of the Annunciation. You’ll also wander past a dragon-topped bridge and the fruit stalls of the Central Market. Afterwards, you’ll have plenty of free time to dig around the Old Town or kick back in one of the city’s ubiquitous coffee shops.
This tour matchmakes a city drive with a trip to the fairytale Miramare Castle. First off, you’ll explore the palace-peppered streets and canals of Trieste from the comfort of the coach. At Trieste Cathedral, you’ll get the chance to hop out and have a peek inside. Byzantine mosaics glitter on its domes and iron chandeliers dangle from the cavernous ceiling. After a half-hour or so, we’ll drive on to Miramare Castle. Overlooking the sea, it was once the 19th-century home of Archduke Maximilian of Hasburg, who later became Emperor of Mexico. Highlights include Maximilian’s chambers, the throne room and the music room, plus the surrounding flower-filled gardens.
This day out pairs a sightseeing tour of Trieste with a taste of the olive oil and wine produced in the area. From the port, you’ll take a short stroll into the heart of Trieste, through the cobbled, café-lined squares this part of Italy does best. After you’ve got a feel for the city’s piazzas and cathedrals, you’ll hop onboard a bus for a drive through the Carso district. This region of picturesque highland extends across the border into Slovenia, and is separated from the sea by huge white cliffs. Thanks to its position on the globe, the area has a microclimate that lets plant and animal life thrive, creating a lovely contrast to the ruggedness of its coastline. Later on, you’ll visit a nearby factory that uses locally-sourced produce to bottle their own wines and olive oils, which you’ll get to sample alongside some tasty breads and cheeses.
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