SOUTHERN ASHKENAZI FRONTIER

From: 2790 € | Duration: 14 days

The Ashkenazi history of southern Europe – from amazing Art Noveau architecture through rich history of local communities, experience the Jewish life as it once was. Gloriuos past and interesting future, it’s all here.

14 days/13 nights
4* and 5* hotels
A/C minivan or a car
English speaking tour leader
5 countries

5 countries: Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy

*Pre-trip in Belgrade on request

Day 1 Belgrade overnight Belgrade
Day 2 Belgrade on Belgrade
Day 3 Novi Sad – Subotica on Subotica
Day 4 Budapest on Budapest
Day 5 Budapest on Budapest
Day 6 Varaždin – Zagreb on Zagreb
Day 7 Zagreb on Zagreb
Day 8 Plitvice lakes on Zagreb
Day 9 Ljubljana – Bled on Lake Bled
Day 10 Vintgar – Bohinj – Vogel on lake Bled
Day 11 Postojna – Lipica – Rovinj on Rovinj
Day 12 Istrian peninsula – Poreč – Motovun – Grožnjan on Trieste
Day 13 Trieste on Venice
Day 14 Departure or post trip Venice

Travelling along former border of southern European lands, we embark on a journey that takes us through 5 countries that share a rich common history, and learn about the development of their Jewish communities. There are families that lives in the same house for generations, and yet – lived in four or five different countries. Some of the prime examples of famous Art Noveau Jewish architecture still reminds us of this areas rich Jewish past. Even today, there is lot to hear from the local Jews.

Day 1
Arrival to Belgrade. Orientation walk and free time. We will spend the evening in one of Belgrade’s famous bohemian nightspots, with a Gypsy orchestra and local delicasies, enjoying the atospehere just as it was when the famous Orient Express train stopped here on the way to Istanbul.

Stay@: Square Nine Hotel 5*; Metropol Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel 5*; Hyatt Regency 5*

Day 2
Walking tour of Belgrade, visiting Dorćol – the old Jewish quarter, the synagogue and the Jewish museum. Meet the members of the local Jewish community. Discover the metropolis of the Balkans, with it’s long history, famous restaurants and bohemian nightlife, stretching back centuries. An ecclectic mix of the Orient and Europe, beautifull views and cultural treasures. Cross the river, to Zemun, former Austrian outpost on the border with the Otoman Empire, that has it’s own fascinating Jewish history. Theodore Hertzl’s grandparents are burried here.

Day 3
Today we travel to Novi Sad, with it’s monumental synagogue and rich Jewish history, a mixture of Otoman, Austrian, Hungarian and Serbian influences. Continue to Subotica, to visit the only surviving Hungarian art nouveau Jewish place of worship in the world, built in 1902. Overnight in Subotica.

Stay@: Hotel Galleria 4*; Vila Royal Crown 4*; Hotel Patria 4*

Day 4 and 5
Today we cross the border to Hungary, reaching Budapest in the early afternoon. Today and tomorrow we will explore Budapest Jewish quarter, it’s amazing synagogue whose renovation was partially financed by one Bernard Schwartz, better known as Tony Curtis, in honour of his family’s Jewish Hungarian roots. Sunset Danube cruise just might be one of the higlights of our trip. We will visit Pest, the older part of the city, with a magnificent Castle and fantastic history museum.

Stay@: Boscolo 5*; Corinthia Hotel 5*; Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace 5*; Hilton Budapest 5*

Day 6
Departure Budapest in the morning, travelling along Balaton lake, we cross the border into Croatia, visiting the beautifull baroque city of Varaždin. Once a capital of Croatia, and a home to oldest Jewish community in Croatia, Varaždin is considered one of the hidden gems of Europe. Early evening arrival to Zagreb.

Stay@: Hotel Esplanade 5*;  Sheraton Hotel Zagreb 5*; Westin Zagreb 5*

Day 7
Zagreb – The capital of Croatia, almost 1000 years old, increasingly starring in “hidden gems” travel magazines lists, is a perfect place to start discovering Croatia. It’s parks, museums, old town on the hill, and most of all, sidewalks coffee-bar culture, will make your stay here enjoyable and pleasant – untill you come back.

During the walking tour of Zagreb, we visit the Upper town, Jewish landmarks in the lower town, Mirogoj cemetery; followed by free time and a welcome dinner in a local tavern, with home made dishes prepared “old school” style.

Day 8

A day trip to Plitvice lakes National park is usually one of the highlights on anyone’s visit to Croatia. 16 lakes, numerous waterfalls (how many will you count?), a pleasant walk along the lakes in the lush European forrest, endless “Kodak moments”, local food on the road. On the way we will stop at the village of Rastoke, another Croatia hidden gem, with houses and watermills built above the rushing water.

Day 9
Ljubljana is one of the most charming cities in Europe. The old city center, overlooked by an old castle, with the Ljubljanica river slowly flowing through it, offers it’s visitors abundance of architectural and cultural monuments and unique laid-back atmosphere. Street festivals, markets and many languages make Ljubljana a truly cosmopolitan feel throughout the year. Continue to Lake Bled, a majestic glacier lake, glisttening under the Alps, for a perfect afternoon and evening, surrounded by snow covered mountains and some of most spectacular views in Slovenia.

Stay@: Hotel Triglav 4*; Hotel Park 4*

Day 10

Today we explore the beautifull Slovenian countryside, starting at Vintgar canyon, Lake Bohinj, culminating with the breathtaking views of the Alps from the Vogel mountain, at almost 5000 ft (1537m) height. Slovenia is one of the smallest, yet one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, with some of the best ski trails in the wintertime.

Day 11

Today we visit the Postojna cave, the largest and most visited “carst” cave in Europe, for an unforgettable our an a half experience, deep underground. Timetable permitting, we will experience the Lipica stud farm, a centuries old manor where maginificent Lipizzaner horses are bred and trained. Let’s discover their connection to general George Patton, while here.
Crossing yet another border, we arrive to Rovinj, considered one of the most beautiful Venetian towns on the Croatian coast. This colorful place hosts one of the most famous artists streets with numerous galleries and stores, presenting original art by local artists. And the sunset of Rovinj is second to none…

Stay@: Monte Mulini 5*; Design Hotel Lone 5*; Villa Valdibora 4*

Day 12

Today we explore the wonderfull Istrian countryside, compared to Toscany, with it’s green landscapes, winyards, forests and little hill towns, such as Motovun and Grožnjan. We will visit Poreč, whose city plan follows the 2000 years old Roman town, with the famous, 6th century Euphrasian Basillica and it’s amazing mosaic, designated as UNESCO World Heritage site, since 1997.

The last border crossing on this trip, will take us to Trieste, Italy, a former major Austrian port, with it’s own complex Jewish past.

Stay@: Greif Maria Theresia 5*; Starhotels Savoia Excelsior Palace 4*; Victoria hotel 4*

Day 13

Today we will explore Trieste, it’s wonderfull synagogue, that serves as a witness of once grand Jewish community, Risiera di San Sabba, a former Nazi prison, ending the day at the magnificent Miramare castle at the end of the bay. The farewell dinner will be held at the Trieste Jewish old people’s home, where we share the impressions of the trip, end learn about the histories of Trieste’s oldest Jewish residents.

Day 14
Departure to Venice airport or continue to post trip in Venice.

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