Slovenia, Italy and the Dolomites Steam Express

Friday 22nd September to Monday 2nd October 2017
11 - Days


Prices from: £2760


A magical adventure in a land of contrasts awaits on this special tour of Slovenia and North-eastern Italy.


Departure Date: 22-Sep-2017
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Traverse the Julian Alps on the Transalpina Railway before experiencing vintage steam in the timeless city of Bled, and marvel at the locomotives in the Slovenian Railway Museum in Ljubljana. Further travel across Slovenia takes you by steam charter to Trebnje via ‘Presidential’ Sevnica. Then, in magical Trieste, you get to visit the local railway museum and sightsee, before riding Europe’s most interesting funicular tramway.
The ‘Land of Contrasts’ then awaits as you spend a few days on a special steam charter in North-eastern Italy, through a richly contrasting region replete with mountains, vineyards, surging rivers and emerald-green lakes. Your final destination is Venice, and a free day to discover its rich historical, musical and cultural heritage, rounding off your awesome tour in real style!

Friday 22nd September
Direct flight to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia
You fly direct from London at around midday to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Upon arrival you transfer from Ljubljana to a hotel in Kranjska Gora for dinner and overnight accommodation. Kranjska Gora is a renowned winter ski resort on the Sava Dolinka River in the Upper Carniola region of north western Slovenia, close to the Austrian and Italian borders. (D)

Saturday 23rd September
Transalpina Railway across the Julian Alps to Nova Gorica
This morning you transfer east by road coach to Jesenice, a steel-producing town in the Upper Sava Valley, close to the Austrian border. Here you board a vintage steam hauled train operated by Slovenian railway and hauled by a class 33 2-10-0, for a scenic trip on the ‘Transalpina’ Railway, connecting Jesenice with Gorizia in Italy. The route passes through the Julian Alps, chasing rivers and skirting lakes en route to Nova Gorica. The countryside around here boasts some awe-inspiring natural gems, including Trnovo Forest and the emerald green river Soča. Arriving in the vibrant city of Nova Gorica at lunchtime you’ll enjoy lunch and free time to relax before your steam hauled departure late afternoon to Jesenice. You return to Kranjska Gora where you’ll enjoy dinner in the evening at your hotel. (B L D)

Sunday 24th September
Lake Bled and the National Railway Museum in Ljubljana
Following breakfast in your hotel this morning you take the short journey by road coach to Bled. You’ll then enjoy a road tour round the spectacular Lake Bled and a visit to picturesque Bled Castle before savouring lunch at the local Mayer Restaurant. With its picture-postcard church on an islet, a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps and the Karavanke as backdrops, Bled is justifiably Slovenia’s most popular resort. After lunch, you’ll transfer south by coach to Ljubljana. Here you’ll visit the National Railway Museum, one of the best in Europe, and discover the extensive collection of steam locomotives displayed in the restored roundhouse. You’ll also be able to photograph the working narrow gauge locomotives there specially steamed for our group. After your visit, you transfer to your hotel where the evening is free for you to relax and enjoy this wonderful city, with its eclectic mix of restaurants and bars. (B L)

Monday 25th September
Across Slovenia by steam charter to Trebnje via ‘Presidential’ Sevnica: on to Trieste
Today you transfer by coach to Ljubljana railway station and join your private charter steam consist. It will be hauled by the last remaining operational 06 class locomotive in the world, travelling the scenic route from Ljubljana through to Sevnica, via Zidani Most and on to Trebnje. Sevnica is nestled in the foothills of the Alps and was once best-known for its clothing factories and 900-year-old hilltop castle, until it recently became famous as the birthplace of America’s new First Lady, Melania Trump! A tourist boom awaits. In Trebnje you’ll enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before rejoining your train for the return journey back to Ljubljana via Grosuplje. In early evening, you transfer just over the Italian border by coach to Trieste, where you check into your comfortable hotel and enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant. (B L D)

Tuesday 26th September
Historical trams and Trieste Railway Museum
This morning you’ll experience the unique pleasure of a vintage tram ride on the historic route from Piazza Oberdan to Villa Opicina. The tramway of Opicina is a hybrid–one part of the track is an electrified tramway, while at the steepest incline at Škorklja it conquers the incline as a funicular: two pulling wagons are connected to a wire, one going up, the other going down. The line is 5 km long, the difference in height 340 m. There are eleven intermediate stops and four passing loops, with magnificent views to be had all the way up to the summit and Villa Opicina. Your lunch today will be served in a local restaurant in Opicina. Your afternoon is free to relax and explore the wonderful port city of Trieste, and to visit the local Railway Museum, housed in the once splendid but now roofless Campo Marzio, former station of the Parenzana narrow-gauge railway. Run by volunteers, the museum contains documents, photographs, models, locomotives and railway carriages that narrate the evolution of rail transport, especially in the local area. Other local sights include the Roman theatre and Arco of Riccardo, and the impressive central Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia. (B L)

Wednesday 27th September
Steam charter in North-eastern Italy
This morning you board your exclusive vintage steam charter at Trieste Central hauled by Austrian built Italian steam locomotive 2-8-0 728-022, on a day dedicated to a vintage steam train trip from Trieste to Udine, via Montalcone and Gorizia Central. The great variety of landscapes traversed today and on subsequent days is the backdrop to a region rich in cultural heritage, and a complex history forged during the confluence of different civilizations over many centuries. For this reason, the Friuli Venezia Giulia region has many different traditions; no wonder it is often called the ‘Land of Contrasts’. Your overnight accommodation will be at a hotel in Udine where dinner will also be served. (B D)

Thursday 28th September
Further steam exploration of the ‘Land of Contrasts’
Today you rejoin your private charter and travel to Treviso, a quiet and prosperous town near Venice with picturesque canals of its own. Along the way, you’ll pass mediaeval Gemona.  We pass through Pinzano and Maniago then fortified Sacile, whose heart is located on two islands of the river Livenza. On arrival in Treviso you’ll check into your hotel, dinner will be at your hotel this evening. (B L D)

Friday 29th September
Steam hauled on a trip from Treviso to Venice
Your journey today takes you through more outstanding Italian scenery, travelling steam hauled from Treviso. Your locomotive will be a Italian built 740 Class 2-8-0 No. 740-38 steam locomotive. You travel from Treviso through to Conegliano Veneto, nestled in the foothills of the Alps and noted for its wine, especially the dry white local Prosecco, before travelling up to Calalzo on this spectacular steeply graded line . The very name Calalzo derives from the Latin altus callis, meaning ‘high place’, no doubt in reference to the nearby Dolomite mountains. Continuing your journey, you travel through Montebelluna and then on through to Treviso before arriving at Venice. Dinner will be served in your hotel restaurant this evening. (B D)

Saturday 30th September
Free day for sightseeing in Venice
Today is a free day to discover the rich historical, musical and cultural heritage of Venice. In Venice, you are never more than a bridge and an alley away from hidden campi (squares), handsome Gothic palazzi and lively neighbourhood wine bars. Today is your free day to discover these riches and many more as you explore at your leisure. From the days of the Grand Tour, and with its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage, Venice has been a fashionable centre for the rich and famous. At peak season, it attracts 60,000 tourists a day, who come to see such spectacular historical sites as St Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. Or indeed those hidden areas where you can dine and relax at your leisure. (B)

Sunday 1st October
Depart Treviso steam-hauled to Verona
Today you rejoin your private charter from Treviso. Steam hauled again by the 740 class you travel through the outstanding landscape of Italy passing Castelfranco Veneto and Trento before joining the non-electrified secondary line to Verona, where this evening you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant. (B L D)

Monday 2nd October
Return flight to London
This morning you transfer from your hotel to Verona airport for your return flight home to London.


Details

Price

  • Tour Price £2865
  • Single supplement £245
  • Ground only £2760

All prices shown are per person

Price Includes

  • Flights London to Ljubljana and return from Verona
  • 10 nights accommodation in 3 and 4-star hotels
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • All train travel and transfers
  • All charter steam trains as detailed in the itinerary
  • Road coach at our disposal for the whole tour to effect luggage transfers etc
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!