11 days/10 nights
Jewish Heritage of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina is a private tour filled with authentic experiences for a Jewish traveler. Jewish history is rich in heritage, deeply weaved and bounded within the Croatian cultural heritage. This private tour discovers the traces of Jewish history of the region, but it also covers all of the must see places such as Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split, Sarajevo & Mostar. Furthermore, it offers plenty of time to enjoy art, culture and local traditions.
Jewish Heritage of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina can be arranged for individuals, families, small groups or groups of any size according to the travel dates of your choice.Less
Arrival at Ljubljana airport and transfer to the hotel. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a beautiful small city situated on the river Ljubljanica that flows between the city center and the castle hill above. Its river banks are filled with great restaurants, and chic bars popular with visitors and locals alike. The town boasts the most relaxing atmosphere of all European capitals and offers endless cultural events and excellent quality of life. Overnight in Ljubljana.
After breakfast, begin a full day of sightseeing in the company of your local expert including Ljubljana and Lake Bled. Experience the charm of the vibrant Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. Explore the baroque town building, the colorful farmer’s market, and discover the cathedral of St. Nicholas. Walk across Dragon Bridge, an Art Nouveau masterpiece adorned with dragons and symbol of Ljubljana. Then stroll beside the majestic Ljubljanica River, to the centrally located Presernov Trg. Find out about the first synagogue in Ljubljana that was mentioned in 1213. Jewish people settled in the area of Ljubljana located on the left bank of the Ljubljanica River. Visit the former Ghetto area and the Židovska ulica (“Jewish Street”) and Židovska steza (“Jewish Lane”), which now occupy the area, and are still reminiscent of that period.
We continue towards beautiful Bled, superbly located in the Alps. Enjoy a “pletna” boat ride to St. Mary’s Island. And while there, we will admire the renowned church that was built into the rock of this small island. We’ll climb up ninety-nine steps to reach the lake’s highest point and to experience other spectacular views. If you still have energy remaining, do not forget to ring the church’s “wishing bell,” which is rumored to bring everyone good luck! Afterwards, we will return to our beautiful hotel for overnight stay. Overnight in Ljubljana.
Morning departure for Maribor, a cultural and economic center of north-eastern Slovenia. We will explore Maribor in the company of your local expert and its rich Jewish history, as this city housed a large Jewish Community. Historic town center of Maribor is marked by the Austrian influence. Major attractions in Maribor are grouped around its three main squares: Grajski trg (Castle square), Slomškov trg (Slomšek square) and Glavni trg (Main square), and in Lent, the old river port. Maribor’s synagogue was first mentioned in the year 1429, but for sure it was built earlier on. Occasionally it served as the seat of the supreme rabbinate for Štajerska, which concludes that there was a Jewish community here. In 1501 the synagogue was consecrated as Catholic Church and called All Saints. After 1785 it was turned into and used as warehouse. Next to the synagogue once stood the rabbi’s house, a Talmud school and a graveyard, and down by the river Drava a ceremonial bathing place. Afternoon departure to the Croatian capital Zagreb. Overnight in Zagreb.
Zagreb is a charming Central European city located on the intersection of several strategically important routes between the Adriatic Coast and Central Europe, and thus offers a perfect blend of several historical periods. Enjoy the walking tour of the elegant downtown area abundant with historical palaces, parks and fountains. From the lively Trg Jelacica Square continue to the Upper Town and the charming neighborhood of Kaptol. This medieval and bohemian part of the city is famous for its daily fresh open air market and colorful streets filled with chic boutiques and cafes. Next, see the St. Mark’s church with its characteristic multicolored roof, said to be the most photographed building in the city. Later, drive past the Parliament to the Jewish Community Center, the center of most Jewish activities in the city. Here you will find the synagogue, kindergarten and schools, nursing homes and a Holocaust research center. Later, return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight in Zagreb.
This day is reserved for experiencing something completely astonishing – a visit to one of the world’s unique sites: The Plitvice National park. Listed on the UNESCO’s Heritage List, Plitvice Lakes will amaze you with spectacular scenery of natural beauty. The protected park consists of 16 pristine crystal blue lakes, connected via waterfalls or cascades, and surrounded by lush vegetation. Enjoy the boat ride and hike in this peaceful environment and time for lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lakes. Overnight in Split.
We will catch a glimpse of paradise as our boat approaches the amazing island of Hvar. This sunniest place in Europe has the largest island town square on both sides of the Adriatic, and one of the first communal theaters in Europe, built in 1612, called the Arsenal. There is also the famous “Tvrdalj” Palace of Petar Hektorovic, not to be missed. Here the only question to be answered is whether Hvar captivates you more with its indelible history and art or grabs you with the indelible beauty of nature that imbues the island and is enhanced with the pure fragrance of lavender. Our local expert will guide you along your tour of both the town of Hvar and around the entire island. And to complete your stunning island experience, we will subject you to sampling some of Hvar’s delicious island cuisine. In late afternoon we board the boat and head back to Split. Overnight in Split.
In the morning, enjoy a walking tour of the historic town of Split which is the largest city along the Adriatic coast. Its beauty captivated 4th Century Roman Emperor Diocletian, who built his palace here. So we begin our sightseeing tour of Split with a visit to this lofty palace. First, we walk the well-preserved ancient cellars; for here is where one can truly experience this magnificent palace. During the tour you will get acquainted with the restored Split Synagogue in the Jewish passage former Ghetto, and the Morpugo Jewish Library. The Jewish community and the old Jewish cemetery on Marjan hill testify to the rich Jewish culture in Split. Here we labout the eaerly presence of Jewish people in Split which is evident by the menora motifs featured at the Diocletian Palace, and about the promintent role Jewish people had in building the port of Split. After the tour, we continue to Sarajevo. Overnight in Sarajevo.
We start the sightseeing tour of the beautiful Sarajevo with the Baščaršija square itself, famous fountain called Sebilj, and a whole story behind. Later we move on towards Kazandžiluk street (Coppersmith’s street), burned library – Vijećnica, and thorough explanation regarding the two distanced fortresses, Yellow and White bastion. Imperial mosque, Gazi Husref beys mosque complex, Gazi Husref beys bezistan, Clock tower, Madrassa, and few other spots around are places we do not miss. Just a few steps outside of Old Town we go and see Cathedral of Sacred Jesus Hearth, Jewish museum and gallery, being followed with Morića Han (only surviving Ottoman time Han – hostel in Sarajevo). Old Orthodox Church, one most uncommon in its design by being wider than longer, and built in some interesting manner, is also one of our goals. The tour continues with a short ride to the War tunnel where during the car ride you will be introduced to the origins of the Balkans conflict, for gaining the better understanding of the Aggression of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sarajevo Siege. Overnight in Sarajevo.
En route to Dubrovnik, we take you to Mostar, a city of poetry and of stone and narrow streets. This is the city where a traveler from the north feels the first breeze of Mediterranean air, which is imbued with scents of citrus and sea. It is unlike the traveler from the south who is destined to reach and experience his first glimpse of the continent beyond. No matter, the town is exceptional for its unique dwellings and proud monuments. They have been harmoniously assembled over many centuries, thanks mainly to favorable geographical conditions and sound economic climate. Here, you will visit uncommon city sights, including the Old Bazaar, the Turkish House, and any of the many old Mosques. After this guided tour of Mostar and lunch, you will have some free time for a long pleasant stroll. It will be among the many old craft shops, choice boutiques and antique stores. And then time out for lunch in any of the many picturesque local restaurants. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik will mesmerize you on every step of your walking tour! Visit and adore its medieval and renaissance streets and squares. Start your explorations at the Onofrio’s Fountain, which once upon a time served as the main water supply for the town. Continue with a Dubrovnik Jewish Tour in the former Ghetto and visit one of the oldest synagogues in Europe. From there, continue via Palaces and mediaeval house to the port. Afternoon at leisure for you to relish the pearl of the Adriatic on your own. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Transfer to the airport for the return flights to the USA.
Ljubljana, Hotel Lev, 2 nights, breakfast
Zagreb, Hotel Esplanade, 2 nights, breakfast
Split, Hotel Atrium, 2 nights, breakfast
Sarajevo, Hotel Bristol, 2 nights, breakfast
Dubrovnik, Hotel Rixos, 2 nights, breakfast