Celebrating Christmas in a different country is always fascinating, and Slovenia is full of both intrigue and beauty. Firstly there’s the mountain scenery, hopefully blanketed by the season’s first snow for classic Christmas scenes. Then there is the list of wonderful celebrations, from Christmas trees which were traditionally hung upside down from the ceiling and decorated with crops, to the wonderful twists on the traditional Christmas dinners we all know and love, and magical nativity scenes in unique settings. Based in Slovenia’s beautiful capital, this festive holiday embraces the best of Ljubljana and Slovene traditions.
5 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Stansted Airport for your direct, scheduled easyJet flight to Ljubljana. On arrival we transfer to the Grand Hotel Union (4T), where the remainder of the day is free to explore your surroundings after a refreshing welcome drink.
Christmas Eve - Ljubljana
Enjoy a morning at leisure before making your way to the Christmas Market this afternoon. The festively decorated city centre hosts an impressive Festive Fair, offering items to keep you warm through the winter days, from hats and gloves to traditional dishes for you to try, as well as tea, mulled wine and liqueurs. We return to our hotel to prepare for our Christmas gala dinner. Enjoy a wonderful feast, including a typical Slovenian dessert, before the option to make your way to the church, just metres from the hotel, to partake in Midnight Mass.
Christmas Day - Ljubljana
Enjoy a leisurely Christmas day in Ljubljana, with Christmas lunch included. This afternoon you can choose an optional excursion to Bled, for a short sightseeing walk through the festively decked old town, the park and promenade, from where you can enjoy stunning views of Lake Bled and the surrounding mountains. Taste the town’s famous cream slices in a café by the much photographed glacial lake before attending the Sinking of the Bell ceremony. Every year, after the sun has set on Christmas night, the centuries-old legend of a young widow is retold. A bell, cast in memory of her murdered husband, sunk on its journey across Lake Bled, along with the boat’s crew. This sad chain of events led to the widow fleeing to Rome where she spent the rest of her life as a nun. The Pope, on hearing this tale, then commissioned the legendary bell which now hangs in the iconic church of Bled Island. It is said you can still hear the original bell ringing at the bottom of the lake.
Boxing Day - Postojna Cave
Today we visit Postojna Cave, an incredible collection of passages and chambers covering over 20km. For a few days over Christmas, the oldest and largest living nativity scene in Slovenia takes place amongst the beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. As we walk through magnificent chambers, you will find 16 gracious scenes depicting the story of the birth of Christ, including the Assumption and the arrival of the Magi, joined by the sounds of vocal groups and solo performers from Slovenia and abroad. We may also have time to warm by the open fire and browse the Christmas fair which sits by the cave entrance.
This morning we take a guided orientation tour of our host city. Ljubljana is one of Europe’s smallest capitals and only gained its title in 1991, when Slovenia gained independence, however, with 2,000 years of history there is plenty to discover. Through struggles with larger bordering nations, Slovenia has inherited a strong culture, kept alive and fresh within Ljubljana by its large student population. Ljubljana’s vibrant spirit is at its best during the festive season, which you can appreciate further during your free afternoon. Maybe find one of the free concerts that take place at this time of year, surrounded by the wonderful lights and festivities. This evening, there will be an optional excursion available aboard a riverboat to see Ljubljana from a different perspective. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine as this romantic cruise takes you to some of the Ljubljanica River’s most iconic sights including Zmajski most (Dragon Bridge), guarded by the city’s famous dragon statues.
Day 6 Ljubljana - London
We transfer to Ljubljana Airport for a direct, scheduled easyJet flight to London Stansted Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.