When two separate parties called us to do a lengthy combination of our two main Balkans destinations, Slovenia and Croatia, I suggested they join forces and travel as one group in order to lower costs and share the fun. They were all so good-hearted and fun spirited, I knew they would have a good time traveling together. And that was exactly how it unfolded over the course of their two week journey through Slovenia's Julian Alps, continuing to Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. Through rainfall that actually forced closures in some parks, these 6 people became close friends while running after rambunctious truffle-hunting hounds and sipping wine in ancient cellars, and late evening meals in cozy neighborhood bistros. Along the way, they shared in learning more about the Balkans' history and meeting the people who are building its future.
"We went to Turkey with Wildland several years ago and had a wonderful experience. We chose this trip because we'd heard only good things about Croatia and our son-in-laws family is from Slovenia. We loved the high alpine hike in the Julian Alps along the Soca River. The trail gave us a sense of how small country villages live, along with beautiful scenery and turquoise river water. Unfortunately it rained so we didn't get to see Hvar as we'd have liked but the winery experience there was lovely and educational. Instead of a hike that day, due to rain, our guide took the car on a train ride through an old stone tunnel; it was a fascinating experience. We found the truffle hunt eye opening with regards to the family business, international merchandising, and the truffle growth process and hunting. The fresh quality of the food, portion sizes and service was excellent everywhere we went and the arrival and departure dinners were abundant and wonderful. Our guide Primoz, in Slovenia, was superb. He was solicitous, informative, funny, kind and safety conscious. We prefer the boutique settings over big hotels, with walking distance to interesting things to see and do and we especially loved Dobra Vila hotel." - The Iversons (Below are photos from their trip)
"I chose this trip for the outdoor activity, beautiful scenery and history of the area. The biggest highlight was Slovenia and Plitvice Lakes National Park was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed our traveling companions and found the dinners/evenings on our own to be some of the most fun. Slovenia's guide was outstanding. He seemed to really want us to love his country. Several of the lunches were very special, at the winery in Slovenia and at the truffle hunters facility. I definitely felt a real difference between the Slovenian and Croatian people, more than I expected. The history of the area is amazingly interesting and it has inspired me to do more reading. I thought I'd better understand the Homeland War, but I have come to see it as even more complex than I originally thought. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed being out hiking in the beauty of both countries, despite the less than desirable weather." - Ann G. (See a slideshow of her photos below)