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Excursions/Spouse Programme

Below are some of the excursions offered to the conference participants and their spouses by the Albatros Bled Tourist Agency. You can also visit the agency website by clicking here.

Ljubljana's city feel meets the underground magic in Postojna


source: D. Wedam (Turizem Ljubljana)

Batted around by history, Ljubljana has seen cultural influences from all sides – most notably Prague, Vienna and Venice. This has left a city with traces of all these cultures. Being the midpoint between the Slavic, Germanic and Italian worlds gives Ljubljana a special spice. It has a healthy dose of Breezy Adriatic culture, with a Slavic accent and a local architect, Jože Plečnik. Just a stone’s throw away from the capital city lies a unique underground world of Postojna, one of the most magnificent cave systems in the world that invites us for discoveries. The tour will bring us to the busy and working town of Ljubljana in the morning. We will learn about its long and interesting history, meander with the river Ljubljanica, cross bridges, visit churches, marvel at art-nouveau architecture of Jože Plečnik and feel the vibe at the riverside market. Fueling ourselves with an excellent gelato, we will head up to Ljubljana Castle for views and lunch. Lunch will be served in mixture of traditional Slovenian style with an added touch of the 21st century. With full stomachs we will head out of the city to explore the underground world of Postojna, seeing the Giant and the Brilliant, two unique columns, symbols of the cave. Waving goodbye to the indigenous human-fish we will depart from Postojna ad head back to our destination on the coastline.

1-DAY tour (weekdays).
Included: Bus transportation Portorož – Ljubljana – Portorož, tourist guide, guided walk through Ljubljana, funicular ride, gelato taste, lunch at Gostilna na Gradu, entrance fee Postojna Cave.

4 – 7150 € / person
8 – 15130 € / person
16 – 30100 € / person
30+80 € / person

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Salina nature park


A few miles south of Piran, a literal stone’s throw from the Croatian border, are enormous salt fields, used since the Middle Ages for harvesting salt – back when salt was more precious than gold. This nature park has two parts: Lera, to the north, that harvests salt using the modern techniques, while Fontanigge, to the south, are no longer in operation except to demonstrate traditional salt-harvesting methods to tourists. You will learn the way salt was harvested from medieval times up until 1960s. Main focus is describing the lifestyles of the people who eked out a hard living on these salty marshes and most likely, the show off of gathering salt from the old days will be shown. The easiest way to travel to this nature park is using the boat and this is how our tour will take you there. At the end of our visit we will splurge at the only salty-spa in Slovenia, called Lepa Vida, where we can enjoy in the healing effects of salt for the human body and mind.

HALF-DAY tour.
Included: Tourist guide, boat ride from Piran – nature park – Piran, visit of Lera, visit of Fontanigge, visit of spa Lepa Vida.

4 – 785 € / person
8 – 1565 € / person
16 – 3055 € / person
30+45 € / person

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Enchanting Julian Alps of Slovenia


The countryside in Slovenia is spectacular, with the area of the Julian Alps being the crescendo of the mountain experience. Here, the mountains are laced with hiking paths, blanketed in a deep forest and speckeld with beautiful flora and fauna. Beyond every ridge there is a peaceful alpine village nestled around the quaint steeple of a church. And in the center of it all, is Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s symbol and tallest mountain. The best option to spend time in the Julian Alps is spent by crossing over the 50 hairpin turns of the breathtaking Vršič Pass and back down via Soča River Valley. As you curl on twisty roads between the cut-glass peaks, you’ll enjoy stunning high-mountain scenery, whitewater rivers with superb fishing, rustic rest stops, thought-provoking World War I sights and charming hamlets.

2-DAY TOUR (pre- and post- congress tour)
Included: Bus transportation Portorož – Julian Alps – Portorož, tourist guide, museum entrances (Alpine museum, Kobarid museum), overnight stay, 2 lunches and 1 dinner, wine tasting, boat ride.

Our tour will start with a drive towards the Alps, starting at Portorož and changing a few landscapes all the way to Mojstrana. We will visit the Slovene Alpine museum and the magnificent Vrata Valley. Afterwards we will be treated with a traditional feast at Pr’ Katr, a local inn with local goodies. After lunch we are about to start on our fascinating drive across Vršič Pass, with scenic stops along the way, exploring the Triglav National Park beauties and finishinhg up with Trenta Valley, close to the emerald river Soča. Our day will finish in Lepena Valley, where a dinner will be served and local stories and legends will be exchanged.

The next day we will follow the beautiful river Soča, visit the WW I museum in Kobarid and explore some parts of the Peace Walk. Lunch will be a gastronomic delight of the region, served in the Hiša kulinarike Franko. After lunch the drive will take us to Most na Soči, where a boat ride will show us the beauties of the river and local customs. Early afternoon we will depart for Goriška Brda, where a wine tasting will be waiting for us, before returning back to the coastline.

4 – 7380 € / person
8 – 15330 € / person
16 – 30300 € / person
30+260 € / person

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Salty Piran


The Slovenian Coastline only has a handful of towns and the gem of this part is surely Piran, who has kept itself charming and in remarkably good repair. Piran is small, everything is within a few minutes walk. Crowded onto the tip of the peninsula, the town can’t grow. It clusters itself around a small harbor and main square, Tartini Square. Up the hill behind the square is the landmark bell tower of the Cathedral of St. George, meandering down the streets a concrete promenade with forma viva invites you for strolls and breath-taking views of the sea. Our walking tour will introduce to you the fame and the glory Piran once have, we will get to know the stories behind the famous campanila of the Cathedral, get to know the famous composer Giuseppe Tartini and discover a love story between a Venetian merchant and a local girl. Our visit will be topped up with salt and chocolate, so join us in the town stroll.

Included: Guided walk through Piran , salt and chocolate tasting.

4 – 730 € / person
8 – 1525 € / person
16 – 3020 € / person
30+15 € / person

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Timeless Venice

Engineers love Venice – a completely man-made environment rising from the sea, with no visible means of support. Romantics revel in its atmosphere of elegant decay, seeing the peeling plaster and seaweed-covered stairs as a metaphor of beauty and decline. And first-time visitors are often stirred deeply, awaking their ordinary lives to a fantasy world unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. Venice is unique. Built on hundred islands with wealth from trade with the East, its exotic-looking palaces are laced together by sun-speckled canals. The car-free streets suddenly make walkers feel big, important and liberated. By day it’s a city of museums and churches, packed with great art. Cruise the canals, climb towers for stunning seascape views, shop for local crafts such as glass or lace, high fashions or tacky souvenirs, linger over lunch and sip some wine. At night, another Venice appears. Dance across the streets, glide in a gondola through quiet canals while music echoes across the water, soak on the stories this marvellous city is telling you.

1-DAY TOUR (Thursday, Saturday)
Included: boat ride Piran – Venice – Piran, tourist guide, local guide through Venice, Murano glass factory visit, lunch-crawl.

4 – 7220 € / person
8 – 15160 € / person
16 – 30130 € / person
30+110 € / person

2-DAY TOUR (pre- and post- congress tour)
Included: Bus transportation Portorož – Venice – Portorož, overnight stay, tourist guide, local guide through Venice, Museum Pass, private boat ride through city and Venice lagoon, visit of Murano, Burano and Torcello, gondola ride, lunch, giro d’ombra (pub crawl).

4 – 7570 € / person
8 – 15450 € / person
16 – 30350 € / person
30+300 € / person

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Natural beauties of Bled meet old crafts


Lake Bled comes complete with a sweeping alpine panorama, a fairy-tale island, a cliff-hanging medieval castle, a lazy lakeside promenade with its typical desserts. Since the Habsburg days, lake Bled has been the place where Slovenes wow visiting diplomats, Tito had one of his vacation homes here and more recent visitors have included Prince Charles and many others. We will start our day with a traditional cream cake and coffee, and wander part of the dreamy path by the lake and feed some of the lake’s resident swans, taking in the view of Triglav, Slovenia’s favourite mountain, after we will hike up to Bled Castle for amazing vistas, ride the pletna boat to the Bled Island and make a wish and ring the bell at the island church. A short drive will bring us to Radovljica, first stop will be at a newly opened Vila Podvin restaurant where we will spoil our taste buds with some traditional taste’s of Radovljica and then head for exploration through its medieval old part, with St. Peter’s church, beekeeping museum and ginger-bread making factory. Our next stop will be a quaint little hamlet of Kropa, known for its blacksmithing tradition, that brought the fame and fortune in the old days and made a big impact on this little village history. After visiting the museum and an old forge, we will slowly start returning back to Portorož.

1-DAY TOUR (Sunday)
Included: Bus transportation Portorož – Bled – Portorož, tourist guide, cream cake and coffee, entrance fee Bled Castle, entrance fee Bled Island, boat ride, lunch “Taste of Radol’ca”, entrance fee Beekeeping Museum, entrance fee Ginger-bread making factory, entrance fee Musuem of Blacksmithing and an old forge.

4 – 7175 € / person
8 – 15155 € / person
16 – 30115 € / person
30+95 € / person

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Windy Karst


In Slovenia’s Karst region, you will find some of the most impressive cave systems on the planet, a chance to see the famous Lipizzaner stallions and taste some local delicacies, from olive oil to prosciutto and full bodied Teran wine. The term “karst” is used worldwide to refer to an arid limestone plateau, but Slovenia’s is the original. Since this limestone terrain is easily dissolved by water, karstic regions are punctuated by remarkable networks of caves and underground rivers. The best one by far is the spectacular Škocjan Caves, one of the largest underground river canyons that we will visit on our tour. Afterwards a typical Karst lunch will be offered to us at a nearby conference center, from where we will depart to our second stop – the fascinating world of the most spectacular horses in the world, the famous Lipizzaners. After lunch we will explore a nearby hill town and finish up with a delicious wine and prosciutto tasting at a local winery in Dutovlje.

1-DAY TOUR (Tuesday, Friday, Sunday)
Included: Bus transportation Portorož – Karst – Portorož, tourist guide, entrance fee to Škocjan caves, entrance fee for Lipica, guided walk through Štanjel, local-style lunch, wine and prosciutto tasting.

4 – 7150 € / person
8 – 15130 € / person
16 – 30110 € / person
30+95 € / person

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Idyllic Istria


Idyllic Istria at Croatia’s northwest corner reveals itself to you gradually and seductively. Pungent truffles, Roman ruins, striking hill towns, quaint coastal villages, carefully cultivated food and wine and breezy Italian culture all compete for your attention. The wedge- shape Istrian Peninsula has a lot to offer. Its coastline with gentle green slopes is more serene than sensational. It’s lined with pretty resort towns of which one reached the rank of greatness – Rovinj. Down on the tip of Istria is big industrial Pula, offering a bustling urban contrast to the rest of the time-passed coastline and impressive Roman ruins, including an amphitheater so remarkably intact, you will marvel that you haven’t heard of it before? But Istria is more than the sea and diverse Istria offers some of the country’s most appealing reasons to head inland. In the Istrian interior you will find vintners reviving a delicate winemaking tradition, farmers pressing the last drop of oil out of their olives, trained dogs sniffling out truffles in primeval forests and fortified medieval hill towns with sweeping views over the surrounding terrain.

Included: Bus transportation Portorož – Istria – Portorož, tourist guide, local guide through Pula, entrance for the Amphitheater in Pula, local guide through Rovinj, lunch at a local tourist farm, wine and truffle tasting in Motovun.

Our tour will take you through the heart of the roman Pula, meandering in the colorful streets of Rovinj, visiting an agriturismo and enjoying in their foods. The tour will conclude in indulging all your senses on a top of a hill town Motovun, where we will see the sun set just before departing back to Portorož.

4 – 7210 € / person
8 – 15170 € / person
16 – 30120 € / person
30+100 € / person

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Taste of Italy


Trieste was one of the oldest ports of the Habsburg Monarchy. In the 19th Century it was the most important port of one of the great Powers of Europe. But the collapse of the Empire led to decline of its cultural and commercial importance. Today the city lies in one of the richest regions of Italy and has been a great centre for shipping, shipbuilding and financial services. Trieste is a lively and cosmopolitan city and on a fast track is rebuiliding some of its former cultural, economic and political influence. On our tour we will stroll through the old part of Trieste, enjoy meandring through streets and back alleys and sip a cappucino on one of the numerous squares. Close by, on the waterfront near Trieste, is the Castle Miramar, one of the local beauties. The Castle gardens provide a setting of beauty with a variety of trees, chosen by and planted on the orders of Maximilian, that today make a remarkable collection.. After soaking all the natural beauty and eating lunch, we will head to stretch our legs on the Rilke trail, connecting the villages of Sistiana and Duino, providing a scenic view of a gulf of Trieste, named after the Prague poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who lived nearby. At the beginning of the path, the gulf of Sistiana may be observed, and more of the local flora and fauna may be seen at the end, near the Castle of Duino, our ending destination. This is a 14th century fortification on the cliffs overlooking the Gulf of Trieste and has been opened to the public as a museum and park, that we will visit, just before returning back to Portorož.

Included: Bus transportation Portorož – Trieste – Portorož, tourist guide, local guide through Trieste, entrance fee Castle Miramar, entrance fee Castle Duino, lunch.

4 – 7160 € / person
8 – 15115 € / person
16 – 3080 € / person
30+60 € / person

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