Our Europe destination expert, Belinda, has curated an enriching tailor-made European tour that starts onboard the iconic Orient Express train from Paris to Venice and continues by road, east through the verdant mountains and lakes of Slovenia and down the coast of Croatia, savouring the epicurean delights of the Adriatic region.

September is the perfect time of year to embark on an adventure like this and each trip is entirely bespoke and tailored to your specific requirements. Get in touch with Belinda today to start planning your adventure through Europe.

Day 1:

An iconic train journey - from Paris to Venice

Begin your journey on the iconic Orient Express from London or Paris to Venice. Travel through Alpine passes, lush forests, and picturesque countryside, reliving the golden age of travel on the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express.

For the perfect travel companion why not tuck into one of these book recommendations by New York Times’ best-selling author Jessica Fellowes

Days 2 - 4:

Venice – ‘A fairytale city of the heart’

Arrive in Venice and spend the next two or three days exploring this fabulous city – one that everyone should visit at least once in their life. Cultural highlights include the Basilica San Marco and the Chiesa San Zaccaria. A gondola ride is of course a must as is a trip to one of the many local islands, and don’t forget to enjoy a cocktail or two at the iconic Harry’s Bar.

Stay in one of our favourite hotels in Venice, Hotel Danieli or Hotel Cipriani - each an iconic property in its own right.

Days 5 - 8:

Slovenia - the ‘Green heart of Europe’

Head east from Venice across the border into Slovenia, one of Europe’s prettiest countries and a delight to explore by road. The charming 5,000-year-old city of Ljubljana is your first stop, a three-hour drive from Venice. The cobbled streets of Slovenia’s capital city are a delight to explore with a rich history, ornate architecture and a thriving culinary scene.

From Ljubljana there are some wonderful excursions you can enjoy in the surrounding countryside, known as the ‘green heart of Europe’, including a full day of hiking around two of Slovenia’s most beautiful lakes - Bohinj and Bled, at the foot of the Julian Alps. A visit to the fairytale ‘castle in the rock’ Predjama Castle and the historic Postojna Caves is a highlight.

Days 9 - 11:

Istria – Croatia’s ‘pantry’

Leave Slovenia behind and continue your journey to the Istrian peninsula in Croatia, well-known for its olive-oil production and wineries. Explore the city of Pula with a history dating back to the Roman Empire, before exploring the local countryside around the small town of Bale. Istria is a foodie-lovers paradise where rare and highly coveted truffles grow wild. Join a truffle hunting excursion before indulging in a truffle themed lunch with paired wines.

Then it’s onto Plitvice National Park renowned for its cascading waterfalls and terraced lakes and multiple varied hiking trails. Explore on your own or with an expert local guide.

Days 12 - 15:

The glimmering Dalmatian Coast

Venture south to the heart of the Dalmatian Coast and the city of Split - once a holiday home for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, whose palace is a must-visit UNESCO-listed site. The food here is some of the best you can enjoy in Europe with succulent seafood, sun-blushed produce, and truffles featuring heavily on the menus.

From Split you can jump on a private boat to the island of Hvar which is best explored by bike (if you’re feeling energetic) or join a wine tasting tour and wander around the island’s famous lavender fields and olive farms.

Days 15 - 17:

Dubrovnik – ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic’

The final stop on this epic journey through Central and South-Eastern Europe is Dubrovnik, ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic’. Here you can take the cable car up Srdj Hill for stunning views over the town and Elaphiti Islands. For the oyster lovers amongst you, we can arrange a visit to the oyster farm at Ston for a gastronomic lunch featuring oysters of course.

Stay at Villa Dubrovnik which has sublime views over the medieval walled town, Adriatic Sea, and Lokrum Island. This contemporary five-star retreat offers luxurious accommodation, exquisite service, first-class facilities, and speedboat transfers into the Old Town.

Day 18:

Choose to fly home or extend your adventure to Montenegro and beyond.

September is out of school holidays but the weather makes it the perfect time of year to embark on a European adventure combining history, nature, and culinary delights. Each trip is entirely bespoke and tailored to your specific requirements. Get in touch with Belinda to start planning your European odyssey now.

Suggested Itineraries

Alternative Europe Adventure

Cappadocia Istanbul Montenegro Croatia Dubrovnik

  • Take in the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

  • Enjoy a private boat ride around the Bosphorus

  • Laze on the pink-sand beaches of Montenegro

  • Wander the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik

  • Cruise to the island of Mljet - one of the most beautiful in the Adriatic

When to go:

ideal length 14 nights

Autumn in Slovenia and Croatia

Croatia Slovenia

  • Explore the Old Town of Ljubljana, Europe’s greenest capital
  • Discover Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled
  • Go wine tasting and truffle hunting on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula
  • Marvel at the turquoise lakes and gushing waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes
  • Admire the museums and historical attractions of cultural Zagreb

When to go:

ideal length 11 nights

Classic Italy

Venice Florence Tuscany Rome Italy Europe

  • A tasting tour of the lagoon city of Venice

  • Italian food & wine with vineyard visits and cookery classes

  • The art and sculpture of the Italian Renaissance in Florence

  • Explore Vatican City and the archaeological sites of Rome

  • The ruins of the ancient Roman town of Pompeii

When to go:

ideal length 11 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article


With its blend of stunning natural beauty, intriguing history and culture, and plush hotels and spas, Croatia offers all the ingredients for a superb luxury holiday.

Rome, Italy. Papal Basilica Of St. Peter In The Vatican. Aelian Bridge


Lightfoot Travel brings you the finest luxury experiences from all corners of culture-rich Europe, including vineyard tours and Arctic voyages.

Venetian gondolier punting gondola through green canal waters of Venice Italy


The Romantic poet Lord Byron described Venice as “a fairytale city of the heart”. And in those few words captured what this improbably-positioned city is all about.

Bled, Slovenia - Aerial panoramic view of beautiful Bled Castle


Head to Slovenia for the greenest of green lands, natural beauty, a rustic culture and activities above and below ground with Lightfoot Travel.

Choose Lightfoot Travel
  • Knowledge
  • Expertly Crafted
  • Value
  • Peace of Mind