Croatia and Slovenia

Norma Henty, Chairman of The Odyssey Club in Chelmsford, Essex recently took 34 members away to explore the relatively new countries of Croatia and Slovenia. “I had been on a familiarisation visit to Slovenia with Uxbridge-based GN Holidays in 2006 and decided to take a group back for a nine-day holiday adding on Croatia,” Norma explains.

Enjoying a tipple at Krkin Ham Vineyard

Enjoying a tipple at Krkin Ham Vineyard

The holiday began with a four-night stay in the Four Flowers Hotel in Opatija in Croatia. Says Norma, “The hotel is four-star and is centrally located overlooking the harbour. After time spent in this area, visiting places such as Pula and Rovinj with a guide, the group moved on to Slovenia, travelling to the Dolenjska vineyard region, where they stayed at the Smarjeske Toplice Spa for two nights. “We were greeted on arrival by the manager who gave us a guided tour of the Vitarium Spa. Some members had booked treatments before we went but a number of those who hadn’t decided the reviews were so good they booked some for the following day!” She continues, “It’s not often as a GTO that you can relax on holiday with a group but you can all chill out at this hotel – my members loved it.”

Whilst in the area, the group also made a trip out to the Krkin Ham Vineyard for wine tasting and dinner. “We stopped at the idyllically situated Otocec Castle, partly underwraps due to renovation ahead of the arrival of important guests during Slovenia’s presidency of the European Union this year,” says Norma. “The vineyard we visited lies high on a hill so we wondered what was going on as we backed into a farmyard on the climb up! There we found a minibus shuttle service awaiting us to take the last part of the steep road. The views from the vineyard were magnificent and we tasted three different wines before a Slovenian dinner. It was very atmospheric and the plentiful supply of wine with the meal meant we were no longer fearful when going back down the road to meet our coach!”

The following day, the group moved on to the Lovec Hotel in the Lake Bled area for two nights. “We visited the beautiful lake at Bohinj and had a short sightseeing trip to Ljubljana. It was a superb holiday – thanks to GN Holidays.”