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Botanica

Gardens of the Italian Lakes, Slovenia & Croatian Islands Cruise

Milan to Dubrovnik

Trip Code: BTILC15
15 Days
10 June 2024

Trip Highlights

Gardens of the Italian Lakes

The alluring gardens of the Italian Lakes are complemented by exquisite architecture.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Soak in the beauty of the park’s many lakes and waterfalls as you traverse the course of wooden bridges linking them.

Lady Eleganza

Cruise the Adriatic Coast over eight nights aboard the Lady Eleganza.

  • Trip Inclusions
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • Escorted by an expert Botanical Guide and Cruise Director
  • Privately chartered eight-night cruise aboard the MV Lady Eleganza, with a maximum of 36 guests, and six nights’ accommodation in centrally located four- to five-star hotels 
  • Return private transfers from door to door, tipping and porterage, port taxes, plus 30 meals and select beverages 
  • All sightseeing, shore excursions and entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Spend three nights in the beautiful lakes district of Italy, including visits to Isola Bella and Isola Madre
  • Eplore the gardens of Villa Carlotta and Villa Melzi with your Botanical Guide
  • Marvel at the Giardino Giusti Garden and Romeo and Juliet’s Verona
  • Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park and the pristine islands of Croatia, including Hvar, Korcula, Mljet and Lokrum

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Fitness Rating: Medium - involves walking on uneven surfaces and stairs, and being able to stand for up to one hour, while keeping up with the pace of the group
  • Exclusive charter of the MV Lady Eleganza for up to 36 guests. To view deck plans, visit www.botanica.travel/cruise-fleet
  • Our experience of gardens, their flora, and other aspects of nature, is subject to weather conditions and seasonality, which may vary
Map
Milan to Dubrovnik

Depart the pre-tour hotel at 10.00am and enjoy a city sightseeing tour of Milan, before continuing to the magnificent Italian Lakes District. This magical region is graced with natural beauty and incredible diversity. Explore the serene beauty of Italy’s sparkling lakes, set within beautiful valleys. Dotted along the lakes are seasonal flowers set among the cypress, chestnut, sycamore and palm trees. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner.

Stay: Two Nights, Stresa, Regina Palace Hotel or similar

Daily :
  • Dinner

Travel by ferry to Isola Bella, an exquisite island situated on the Borromean Gulf. The island is entirely occupied by its palace, and features one of the most celebrated privately owned Baroque gardens of Italy. The gardens form an extraordinary flowered monument, laid out over a series of ornate and overlapping terraces. Discover the many rare and exotic plants here, and spectacular blossom with marvelous colours and scents. Afterwards, visit Isola Madre, the largest island of the Isole Borromee archipelago. Transformed in the early 19th century, this English-style park is a direct contrast to Isola Bella and is often referred to as a botanical garden on water.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

At Villa Carlotta, we see a succession of plants, staircases, ponds and fountains. Taking centre stage is the villa itself, which dates back to the 17th century. Afterwards, take a ferry to Bellagio, one of Italy’s most romantic towns. Often referred to as ‘The Jewel of Lake Como’, this picturesque town sits at the foot of the Italian Alps, which surround Lake Como. Explore the Villa Melzi Gardens, with its exotic trees, Egyptian sculptures and Roman statues, all adding to the garden’s romantic atmosphere.

Stay: Como, Hotel Metropole Suisse in Lake View Rooms or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Today we will travel to Verona. The city was made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and still retains its old-fashioned charm. While here, we will visit the beautiful garden of Giardino Giusti. The garden is maintained “all’antica”, adhering to stylistic principles of the ancient past. This committed preservation lends the garden a restrained and classic quality.

Stay: Verona, Due Torri Hotel or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

This morning, cross the border into Slovenia. From here, we make our way to the beautiful town of Bled, set upon the banks of a stunning turquoise lake. Take an afternoon tour of Bled, which includes visits to the castle and church on the idyllic Bled Island.

Stay: Two Nights, Bled, Grand Hotel Toplice or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

This morning, travel to Triglav National Park in Bohinj. Enjoy a cable car journey from Lake Bohinj to Vogel. From here you can enjoy an unforgettable view of the Bohinj Basin with Lake Bohinj. While here, catch sight of wildflowers and also admire the Julian Alps, including its highest peak, Triglav. 

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Depart Bled and journey through the scenic European countryside to Slovenia’s most visited botanic garden, Arboretum Volcji Potok. Join your Botanical Guide, as you see more than 3,000 roses here in bloom. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to explore Slovenia’s charming capital, Ljubljana. You might choose to spend time in the botanical garden; visit the Museum of Modern Art (at own expense); or simply stroll the beautiful canal, which is lined with many cafes, restaurants and shops. This afternoon we continue to the town of Opatija, in Croatia, where we will board the Lady Eleganza, our home for the next eight nights.

Stay: Eight Nights, Lady Eleganza

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Enjoy breakfast as we sail to the small coastal town of Senj. Arriving late morning, we disembark for our excursion to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Set within forested hills, this is an area of extraordinary natural beauty where sixteen lakes are connected by a series of waterfalls and reached by a course of wooden bridges. Enjoy the stunning views while wandering these pathways around the lakes this afternoon. Return to the ship for dinner as we moor overnight.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

This afternoon arrive in the city of Zadar. During a walking tour, we see the Sea Organ architectural sound-art piece; the Greeting to the Sun monument; and the Church and Monastery of St. Mary, where we see its permanent exhibition of religious art. The Benedictine nuns who lived here kept Zadar’s most precious relics safe for centuries. At this exhibition, you will see relics that range from the seventh to the 18th century. Visit the People’s Square, Zadar’s centre of urban life, as well as the Land Gate, once the main entrance to the city.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Sit back, relax and enjoy the Mediterranean's beautiful waters. Arrive in Sibenik this afternoon for a visit to Convent Garden of St. Lawrence which was featured on Monty Don’s Adriatic Gardens series. After dinner enjoy an evening historic walking tour of Sibenik.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

On arrival onto the island of Hvar, visit the island's lavender fields to learn about lavender culture and the oil production process from the creators of the best lavender essential oil in the world. We then explore Hvar’s Old Town, starting in the main square which is the largest piazza in Dalmatia. You will also see St Stephen's Cathedral and the palatial quarter of Grad, as well as the more modest residential area of Burg. This evening, choose from the many restaurants ashore for tonight's dinner.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

This morning, arrive in Korcula, said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. The island possesses medieval streets, elegant squares and its fair share of palaces. This afternoon, arrive on the island of Mljet, almost all of which is still draped in ancient Adriatic forest. Visit Mljet National Park and see the Great Lake and the Monastery of St Mary situated on a central islet. We moor overnight in Mljet.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

This morning, we travel to Trsteno Arboretum, the 15th-century Renaissance summer residence of the Gučetić-Gozze family. The garden here has been continually cultivated since that time, up until the present day. We then travel to the historic town of Metkovic, which was established as a Roman trading post. Following lunch here, we board a wooden boat for a guided tour along the Delta River to Neretva, where we have a tasting of the local grappa, before returning to the Lady Eleganza.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Arrive on Lokrum Island and visit its botanical garden. The garden has around 800 species of plant, many collected from around the world in order to research their ability to adapt to Lokrum’s climate. This afternoon, arrive in Dubrovnik and enjoy a guided walk through this astonishing city. The many historic and cultural treasures here have earned it the status of World Heritage-listed site. See the Rector’s Palace, the Romanesque-Gothic Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries, and the Sponza Palace.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Disembark this morning and be transferred to Dubrovnik Airport, where our journey concludes.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Everything was wonderful. There were great sightseeing trips and the guides were very knowledgeable.

Brochure