This two-week trip showcases the best of Croatia and Slovenia's great outdoors. Starting in Zagreb, you'll pass through Ljubljana on the way to Lake Bled, then hop over the Julian Alps to Bovec, where ziplining, paragliding, and whitewater rafting await. Continue to coastal Piran for a cycling adventure, then cross into Istria to explore an island national park and Roman ruins. Tick off a hike through the unmissable Plitvice Lakes National Park before your return to Zagreb.


  • Take a traditional wooden boat to the fabled island of Lake Bled
  • Cross the scenic Vrsic Pass over the Julian Alps
  • Go ziplining, whitewater rafting, and tandem paragliding in the Soca Valley
  • Take cycling tours around Piran and across Brijuni National Park
  • Wander amid the waterfalls and forests of Plitvice Lakes National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Zagreb (Croatia), Free Time Zagreb
Day 2 Transfer to Bled (Slovenia) via Ljubljana Walking Tour Bled
Day 3 Discover Bled Tour & Island Boat Ride, Visit Vintgar Gorge Bled
Day 4 Half-Day Trip to Bohinj Lake Bled
Day 5 Scenic Transfer to Bovec via the Vršič Pass Bovec
Day 6 Soča Valley Zipline Adventure, Soča River Rafting, Tandem Paragliding Bovec
Day 7 Transfer to Piran via Škocjan Caves Piran
Day 8 Explore Piran By Bike Piran
Day 9 Transfer to Rovinj (Croatia), Istrian Wine Tasting Tour Rovinj
Day 10 Half-Day Trip to Pula, Biking Adventure in Brijuni National Park Rovinj
Day 11 Explore Istrian Hill Towns, Transfer to Plitvice Lakes Plitvice Lakes
Day 12 Walking Tour of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Pottery Class at Family Estate Plitvice Lakes
Day 13 Transfer to Zagreb via Rastoke, Explore Tkalčićeva Street Zagreb
Day 14 Depart Zagreb  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Zagreb (Croatia), Free Time

Looking out over Zagreb, Croatia's capital
Today is yours to settle in and explore Zagreb, Croatia's capital

Start your great adventure in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. A gem of a European city, Zagreb is at once historic and new. It's filled with leafy green parks and Gothic/neo-Renaissance buildings, yet there are also modern shopping complexes, outdoor malls, and endless dining and drinking options. On arrival, a private driver will meet and transfer you to your hotel. Refresh, then venture out to explore the city at your own pace. Consider joining a guided walking tour of the city's historic heart, taking you from Zagreb's Upper Town through local markets to St. Mark's Square.

Alternatively, you could visit one of the many museums and art galleries, like the Homeland War Museum, the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, or the ever-popular Museum of Broken Hearts. Or stroll through the city center, enjoying 17th-century neo-Baroque architecture found at the Art Pavilion and Croatian National Theater. Zagreb also has several beautiful city parks, ideal for exploring and people-watching, especially in the late afternoon. Maksimir is a great option, with a variety of cafés nearby to pick up a coffee for your stroll.

Day 2: Transfer to Bled (Slovenia) via Ljubljana Walking Tour

Private Walking Tour of Ljubljana
After your private walking tour of Ljubljana, you'll have free time to explore the Slovenian capital

This morning, a private driver will collect you for the two-hour drive west into Slovenia to reach its charming capital of Ljubljana. Here, you'll meet a local guide to explore its rich history and cultural heritage. Start in the Old Town, where you'll find the Ljubljana Cathedral, Town Square, and the Triple Bridge. Pass through the central market and walk along the river toward Ljubljana Castle. The castle is protected by a dragon on top of the spire, and you'll spot other statues and imagery of this protector of the city throughout the tour.

After, enjoy time on your own to explore the capital. Stroll around and feel the relaxed atmosphere of the colorful streets and Prešern Square. Eat potica cake with a cup of coffee on the Petkovšek embankment, the most popular riverside promenade in Ljubljana. Then, you'll make the final 45-minute transfer to Lake Bled, one of Slovenia's main attractions. Located in the Julian Alps, the lake's eponymous town is jaw-droppingly beautiful, complete with a fairy tale castle on the top of the hill. Check into your hotel, then set out to stroll along the lakeside.

Day 3: Discover Bled Tour & Island Boat Ride, Visit Vintgar Gorge

Discover Bled Town and Enjoy Pletna Boat Ride
Take a traditional pletna boat out to the picturesque church on Bled Island

Awake ready to explore more of Bled today with a private guide. Hear about its legends, discover hidden corners, and learn about Slovenian cuisine. Then, you'll board a pletna, a traditional wooden boat, and cross to Bled Island, where you'll visit the church in the middle of the island and hear the story about the wishing bell on its tower. After, enjoy free time to stroll by the lake or try a traditional cream cake called kremzšnta. After the two-hour tour, return to Bled town for a leisurely lunch.

In the afternoon, venture out to Vintgar Gorge. Just a 10-minute taxi ride away, this is one of Slovenia's greatest natural gems and a must-visit when in Bled. Created by the Radovna River carving through the hills, you can traverse the gorge's series of pools, rapids, and waterfalls via a winding wooden boardwalk. Return to Bled and choose a cozy spot for dinner—for a memorable experience, climb to the hilltop medieval castle and enjoy Slovenian specialties with views over the lake.

Day 4: Half-Day Trip to Bohinj Lake

Lake Bohinj might be less well-known than Bled, but it's just as beautiful

Today you'll make a special half-day trip to nearby Lake Bohinj. Set in Triglav National Park, this lake is less famous than Lake Bled and is only 18 miles (29 km) away. Meet your driver and enjoy the short, scenic transfer. Arriving at the quieter lake, you'll notice how peaceful and idyllic the nature around Bohinj is. This is the largest naturally-formed lake in Slovenia, and it's an excellent spot for watersports and activities such as kayaking or standup paddleboarding. You can also take a boat ride, go for a swim, or simply relax by the shores.

If you're more into hiking and exploring the mountain areas, take a cable car to Mount Vogel and enjoy amazing views from numerous hiking trails. Be sure to take a peek at the 700-year-old Church of St. John the Baptist, which is one of the top examples of Slovenian medieval architecture and mural painting. After exploring this gem of Alpine nature, meet your driver and transfer back to Bled for the afternoon.

Day 5: Scenic Transfer to Bovec via the Vršič Pass

Vršič Pass is Slovenia's highest pass at 5,285 feet (1,611 m)

Get ready to take the scenic route today as you cross Slovenia's highest pass, the Vršič Pass (5,285 ft/ 1,611 m) in the central Julian Alps. A driver will collect you for the two-hour private transfer to Bovec. This winding, narrow road that is often considered one of the most beautiful mountain roads in Europe, and along the drive, you'll stop at Lake Jasna near Kranjska Gora, the Russian Chapel, or for lunch at one of the local mountain huts. 

Once you reach the small mountain town of Bovec, located in the Soča Valley, check into your hotel and get ready to explore the pristine nature of the Julian Alps. Bovec is a true paradise for adventure travelers who enjoy outdoor activities, and this afternoon is yours to take your pick. You could go kayaking along the Soča River or set off on one of many hiking trails with beautiful sights and amazing falls, such as the Virje and Boka cascades. The Soča Valley was also one of the major fronts in World War I, so you can also find curious historical sights and museums to visit.

Day 6: Soča Valley Zipline Adventure, Soča River Rafting, Tandem Paragliding

Soča Valley
Soar above the Soča River and valley while paragliding
Plan your trip to Croatia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Eat a big breakfast, as you'll need the energy for today's action-packed schedule of adventure activities. First off, ziplining over the Soča Valley. Experience a rush of adrenaline while flying through the air some 655 feet (200 m) above the valley floor. This thrilling activity sees you descend from the highest peaks over the valley, giving you a bird's-eye perspective of the Julian Alps. After seeing it from above, you'll get up close with a river rafting experience. Grab a paddle and admire the beauty of the crystal-clear Soča River as you navigate rapids and soak in the epic scenery.

Your third and final adventure for the day is tandem paragliding over the Soča Valley. This adrenaline-filled experience sees you leap from a mountain and fly over the valley and peaks, enjoying the dizzying view from up high. Meet your pilot, buckle up, and start your flight from a nearby mountain take-off point. After, retreat to your accommodation in Bovec and relax—you've earned it.

Day 7: Transfer to Piran via Škocjan Caves

Skocjan caves
You'll explore the many layers and spaces of the Škocjan Caves

Wave goodbye to Bovec when a private driver collects you for the 2.5-hour journey to Piran. Along the way, you'll stop at the Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO-listed underground attraction. These Slovenian caves are a classic example of the region's famous karst landscape, created by erosion of the porous limestone terrain. You'll start at the Globočak Collapse Doline and continue toward Tiha Jama (Silent Cave), pass the Great Hall, and into Šumeča Jama (Murmuring Cave), where a river passes one of the largest underground canyons in Europe.

Finally, you'll reach coastal Piran. Feel the sea breeze on the shores of the picturesque town, which sits on a small peninsula. Piran will charm you with its architecture, bright colors, and beautiful views over the Adriatic Sea. This small town is one of the best-preserved historical gems in the country, and you'll see many Venetian elements in its architecture and art. Stroll around and admire Tartini Square, visit the Cathedral, and enjoy the magnificent view from its bell tower. Check into your hotel, then seek out a seafood dinner inspired by the local Mediterranean influences. 

Day 8: Explore Piran by Bike

Explore Piran Area on Bikes
Gain a new perspective on Piran when you explore by bike

Hop on a bike and set out to explore the small seaside town of Piran and its surrounding area this morning. After breakfast, a local guide will meet you with bikes, ready to conquer the beauty of this region. As you pedal, you'll soak up views over the sea and learn about Piran and its history, following local cycling trails and passing through small villages in the area. One of the highlights is visiting the 700-year-old salt panels, which are famous for producing world-class fleur de sel (flower of salt).

Finally, enjoy a special snack at a panoramic point where you can take in the view and relax. Return to town and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. You could tackle the 146 steps to the top of the bell tower to take in panoramic views of Piran. On a good day, you can see Slovenia, Italy, and Croatia at once! Wander along the old city walls, or take your towel down to the beach for a swim. 

Day 9: Transfer to Rovinj (Croatia), Istrian Wine Tasting Tour

Cross back into Croatia today to reach the Istrian jewel of Rovinj

Today, after breakfast, a private transfer will collect you for the 90-minute drive to Rovinj. This small jewel on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula is one of the centers for good food in Croatia. The area around Rovinj is called "Croatian Tuscany" thanks to its picturesque medieval hilltop towns, forests, and vineyards. Check into your hotel, then set out for a wine tasting at a local estate that overlooks a valley. Meet the local family, who have produced wine here since 1891, and take a short tour of their estate.

You'll learn about winemaking when you visit the cellar, then sit down to taste some of the most representative Croatian wines paired with traditional Istrian snacks. After, return to Rovinj and use the afternoon to explore the small coastal city. Walk through the narrow streets and visit the Church of St. Euphemia, the defense walls, and the town clock. Wander along the colorful Grisia Street, where you might find an open exhibition of local painters.

Day 10: Half-Day Trip to Pula, Biking Adventure in Brijuni National Park

Cycle around the remains of a Roman villa in Brijuni National Park

This morning, you'll meet a private guide for a half-day adventure to Pula, the largest town in Istria. Located 45 minutes from Rovinj on the peninsula's southern tip, its strategic location means Pula has been occupied throughout the centuries by everyone from the Romans to the Allied Forces in World War II. Beyond its beautiful beaches and harbor, it's most famous for its Roman amphitheater, the Pula Arena, dating from the first century. Make a beeline for the arena, which is one of the 10 largest colosseums the Romans ever built.

After, a guide will collect you for a biking adventure across nearby Brijuni National Park, an archipelago of 14 islands and islets of exceptional beauty. Venture to Fažana, a small coastal town near Pula, where you'll catch a boat to Veliki Brijun, the main island in the park. Cycle past a Byzantine castrum (fort) from the second century BCE and a first-century Roman residential villa. Bring swimwear to enjoy the remote beaches and seek out dinosaur footprints that date back 100 to 125 million years. When it's time to return to the mainland, your driver will return you to Rovinj. 

Day 11: Explore Istrian Hill Towns, Transfer to Plitvice Lakes

The idyllic medieval town of Motovun, Istria
See why Istria is called the "Croatian Tuscany" as you explore medieval hill towns like Motovun

Today you'll venture inland to Plitvice Lakes National Park, turning a three-hour drive into a full day of adventure and fun across the Istrian countryside. Your first stop is Motovun, an ancient sleepy town located atop a 909-foot (277 m) hill. Within the medieval city walls, you'll find buildings of Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance style, all in a beautiful location with views over the Mirna Valley. Use your time here to sample truffles sourced from the nearby forests. There are also numerous shops selling local handicraft products as well as gastronomic delicacies.

Next is Grožnjan, another medieval hilltop town surrounded by terraced olive groves and vineyards. Once an important stronghold for the Venetians, the town's importance declined with the 18th-century collapse of the empire. It wasn't until the sixties that Grožnjan became what it is today: the town of artists. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow and cobblestoned lanes, stopping to pop into one of the numerous art studios and galleries. Finally, continue on the road to Plitvice Lakes.

Day 12: Walking Tour of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Pottery Class at Family Estate

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Soak up the surreal beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park with the help of a local guide

Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia's natural masterpiece, gorgeous at any time of year. A must-visit for any traveler to Croatia, the UNESCO-protected park is comprised of an exquisite collection of 16 glassy emerald green and blue travertine lakes, more than 90 cascading waterfalls that seemingly cover every corner of the park, and numerous caves. The terraced lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife. This morning, you'll explore the park with a local guide, wandering along wooden boardwalks as they explain the significance of its history and natural features.

After, venture out to the remote village of Plaški, where you'll join a pottery class and enjoy a delicious traditional Croatian lunch with a local family. Meet your friendly hosts at their estate in the Lika mountains, where you'll learn how traditional pottery is made and make a small souvenir using the local clay. They'll show you a few simple techniques on how to work with clay and guide you in your artistic creativity. Before or after the pottery class, you'll sit down for a traditional lunch together, with Croatian dishes made using local ingredients. 

Day 13: Transfer to Zagreb via Rastoke, Explore Tkalčićeva Street

Old watermills in the village of Rastoke
Old watermills on the edge of the fairy-tale village of Rastoke

Get back on the road today for the return trip to Zagreb, stopping at the picturesque watermill village of Rastoke en route. A private driver will collect you for the two-hour drive. Rastoke is found along the small river of Slunčica near Plitvice Lakes. Here, you'll feel as if you've stepped into a fairy tale as you explore its small wooden houses with colorful facades with the sound of cascading waterfalls in the background. Wander the town and visit the small waterfall called Fairy's Hair, after a local legend about silver-haired fairies who play near the waterfalls.

Once back in Zagreb, check into your hotel, then set out to explore the lively Tkalčićeva Street. Zagreb's café culture and streetside pub scene center around this famous vibrant strip. Located north of the city's main square, you'll find small boutiques, traditional stores, and places to eat and drink, making it the perfect day-to-night destination. Settle in here for a laid-back Croatian dinner and reflect on the beauty of the city and your two weeks exploring Croatia and Slovenia.

Day 14: Depart Zagreb

Wander around the Upper Town and past St. Mark's Church one last time

If you have a free morning before departing, make like a local and visit one of the many café-bars in central Zagreb. Try the pedestrianized section around Bogovićeva and Preradovićeva for a morning coffee and pastry and to people-watch before you say farewell to Zagreb and head to the airport.

When the time is right, a private transfer will collect you for the 30-minute drive to the airport with enough time to check into your departing flight home or onward. This concludes your grand Croatian adventure. Safe travels!

More Great Croatia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Croatia? Check out these other Croatia itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in the Balkans, or discover the best time to visit Croatia.


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Map of Nature & Outdoor Adventure in Croatia & Slovenia - 14 Days
Map of Nature & Outdoor Adventure in Croatia & Slovenia - 14 Days