Tour Date: 15 to 24 SeptemberLocation: Slovenia

If you have travelled to Slovenia before the chances are you stayed in the fine capital city of Ljubljana or at the wonderful Lake Bled. On this tour, we take you to an equally wonderful, and scenic area of Slovenia, but even more off the normal tourist route.

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.

From: Heathrow, Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, London St Pancras

Tour Manager: Marion  marion@ptg.co.uk 

Availability

Tour Highlights


  • Visit to Unesco world heritage site of Graz old town
  • Complete non-touristy region
  • Wine tasting
  • Cable car trip
  • Steam train trip
  • Stunning scenery
  • All four-star hotels with 6 nights in Maribor
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices & Options
  • Booking
  • Gallery
  • Transport & Accommodation

Day 1 Tuesday 15 September

Fly direct to Vienna today from Heathrow (11:35), Stansted (19:40), Birmingham (19:05), Manchester (13:00) or overland from London St Pancras. We take the train from the airport to the main railway station in Vienna. There is a short walk to our hotel for the night. Overnight in Vienna. To fly from Bristol you need to fly out a day early on Monday 14 September and have a pre-tour night in Vienna.

Day 2 Wednesday 16 September (B, L)

This morning we take the train from Vienna to Graz via the world-famous Semmering Pass. Our coach will meet us for 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 Flaschenzug – 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. He was called to diagnose diverse diseases out of urine. That is why many people travelled with the narrow-gauge railway Preding – Wieselsdorf – Stainz to Höllerhansl with a little bottle of urine in their luggage. The coach will meet us and transfer us to our 4 stars hotel in the very centre of Graz.

Day 3 Thursday 17 September (B, D)

Graz is the second largest city in Austria, situated on the River Mur just 120miles southwest of Vienna. A leisurely morning 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 headquarters of the regional government), main shopping street, the main square and town hall to an extravagant steel construction on the river Mur (Island on the Mur). We then have a free afternoon to explore, for ourselves the old centre of Graz. Perhaps visit the fairyland railway beneath the castle or a visit to the tram museum. By now we will understand all the reasons why UNESCO declared Graz old town World Cultural Heritage. Plenty of free time before we meet in the evening for our dinner in a local restaurant near the hotel.

Day 4 Friday 18 September (B)

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. Don’t be fooled by your first impression, as I once was. 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 arrival, we have a guided tour of this lovely city including the famous puppet theatre before our visit to the Vinag wine cellar. Vinag is one of the largest and oldest classic wine cellars in Europe, there we will have a wine tasting of locally produced wine before free time for the evening and dinner. Restaurants will be pointed out to you for your evening dinner.

Day 5 Saturday 19 September (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 20 September (B, L)

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 families – 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 7 Monday 21 September (B, L)

We take a morning train from Maribor to Podčetrtek; the first part of this railway track constitutes the very first constructed railway track in Slovenia. We spend the whole day in the Kozjansko region, which is an area of forests, rolling hills, vineyards and scattered farms. A road train will take us to visit a local brewery where we have a break to sample the local beer and enjoy this lovely countryside before moving onto 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. In this fairy tale-like countryside we will have lunch in one of the welcoming farmhouses. Here they breed deer so we are able to feed them, if you so wish. Tidiness and beauty of these places has convinced even the strict European commission to award village Olimje with the golden medal on Entente Florale 2009 contest. Our road train will then return us to the railway station for our train back to Maribor.

Day 8 Tuesday 22 September (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 zinc mine. With mining equipment, we will take a ride on a genuine mining train right to the heart of the mine. Driving through the 3.5 km long Glančnik tunnel lasts about 15 minutes and can truly be described as a unique experience. We will step out at the station in the heart of the mountain, 600 m 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 Wednesday 23 September (B, L)

This morning we visit Pohorje mountain range where we take a cable car to the top. We have been able to see these mountains from our hotel since we arrived now let’s see if we can see the hotel from the top of the mountains. 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. We will have time to have a light lunch here and perhaps a walk to soak in the views. We have some free time in Maribor on our return before we meet up again for a boat tour on the River Drava. This will be followed by our farewell dinner.

Day 10 Thursday 24 September (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 by rail – giving us a second chance to admire the wonderful Semmering Pass. In Vienna we catch the airport train to the airport for flight back to various UK airports.

This is a moderately active tour.  To fully enjoy this program, participants should be able to climb a flight of stairs and walk at least a half-mile on uneven ground during several of the sightseeing trips.

Place(s) available

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • From London Heathrow: £1,775
  • From London Stansted: £1,775
  • From Bristol (includes pre-tour night): £1,875
  • From Birmingham: £1,775
  • From Manchester: £1,775
  • From St Pancras: Price on application
  • Own travel to and from Vienna: £1,575

Options

  • Single room Supplement: £390
  • Fly out on 10 July: £60 (twin/double) or £105 (single)
  • With flight prices may not be available for late bookers

Deposit

  • Travelling by air: £500
  • Travelling by land: £1,000
  • Own travel: £300

Price includes

  • All travel and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Good quality en-suite accommodation
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
  • Services of our tour manager (tour is fully escorted from London)

Please note that you cannot book a flight inclusive trip on our website but if you select the flight option you prefer then we will contact you with the flight details and convert your booking into a flight inclusive package.

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