Vienna to Venice - Charmnig Grand Tour

VIENNA (AUSTRIA), LJUBLJANA (SLOVENIA), AND VENICE (ITALY)
A creative and welcoming old style vintage heaven.
Inspiring creativity rooted in an electric culture, an old style feel, classical architecture with a colorful twist, and a vibrant music scene with first-rate dancing (it is a real treat to see the national ballet).

AN INVITATION TO THE TOUR

In the style of a 17th and 18th century Grand Tour conducted by aristocrats, we have prepared an experience that combines the finest art and culture in the two leading centres of the whole region of south central Europe, Vienna and Venice, and the country nestled in between, Slovenia.

The tour is made of many successive experiences that connect the three cities (Vienna, Ljubljana, and Venice) into one story. We do not only visit three different countries, but actually three different worlds – the Germanic, the Slavic and the Italic. This trip is a charming immersive encounter with art, art history, museums, galleries, classical music, interesting cultural (and historical) expert talks, creative hands-on workshops, and experiencing soulful insights of the past and present lives of the old European cities.

If you like our passion for Vienna, Venice, and Slovenia, and you wonder about the program we have prepared and will lead with all our love, feel free to:

- call us (via Skype or IMO, with prior arrangement only- INQUIRY FORM),
- or send us any other question via our inquiry form CONTACT FORM.

We would be happy to hear from you, to present our program to you in a live call, to reply to your questions, to send you the brochure of our Vienna to Venice Grand Tour, and maybe also to proudly take you on a tour to places filled with history and beauty, where people deeply appreciate art and culture – welcome to our South-East Europe!

Basic  information on a tour

TOUR DIRECTOR AND GUIDES
Alja, (about her expertise) accompanied by local tour guides, experts, and artists
GROUP SIZE
10 to 18 guests
ACCOMODATIONS
4- or 5-star design and elegant hotels, on a Bed and Breakfast basis in the center of the cities (Vienna, Ljubljana, and Venice), and a 4-star hotel in a SPA resort on
a Half Board basis.
TRANSPORTATION
a fully air-conditioned luxury coach, a boat, a horse carriage, an electric train, a gondola, and more . . . all of which are luxury and the highest quality.
DINING
in elegant and sophisticated restaurants with delicious Central European cuisine
LEVEL OF FITNESS
moderate (some walking on uneven pavements in the old towns and on and off the ship, it is also great to have some energy for dancing a few steps of the Viennese waltz).
BEST TIMES TO VISIT
September till beginning of July (more in the section Tips at the end)
ARRIVAL
VIENNA, International airport - VIE (or else close by, according to the group's arrangments)
AND DEPARTURE
VENICE, Marco Polo International Airport - VCE (or Treviso, or Trieste airports)
VARIATIONS AND EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES
Please, read more below, or contact us if you wish to recieve our Brochure of the Charming Grand Tour where we explain the Variations and Exceptional Experiences more in depth.
VISA REQUIREMENTS
We travel through three countries (Austria, Slovenia, and Italy) that are all a part of Europeian Union. Guests should check for travel documents they need and obtain them from local authorities in the country or their residence. In the case that they should have a visa for travel to EU, they should arrange it before entereing into the EU. We are always happy to assist with any inquiries.
MEDICAL INSURANCE
must be obtrained by the guests before their arrival to the first city of our tour.
LAND ONLY
Elegant Cultural Tours organises group programmes on the basis of Land Only
(no flights).

THE TOUR

We start our Grand Tour in Vienna, a rich cultural capital of the once vast empire of the Habsburgs. Days in Vienna give us the best it has to offer (a classical music concert, a workshop of calligraphy, an expert insight into the most significent historical time of the city, a lesson of a step or two of a Viennese waltz, an immersive guided visit to an art collection, and more).

We continue to the homey capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. The city is a charming mixture of cultures and architectures, and it comprises an old medieval town, guarded by a fortress on the hill and a slow river in front of it. We spend a few nights enjoying the hospitality and friendliness of Slovenians, visit the world famous Lake Bled with a church on an island and a medieval castle on the cliffs. After an inspiring hands-on creative workshop and a beautiful evening of old Slovenian tales, we leave Slovenia.

Why we add slovenia and Ljubljana to our Grand Tour? Read here

We then continue toward the West with a short suprise private visit en route before reaching Venice. Our last few days are spent in the city in the lagoon. Venice has always been a luxurious beauty at the intersection of the East and the West. Here, lavish materials have always been in abundance and the wealth was unimaginable. Old noble families still live in their palaces on the Canals, and people still travel around in boats and gondolas. Venice is unlike any other city in this world, still deeply-rooted in its past and with a fragile dependence on its sea. Here we experience how the past is still closely interwined with the present. We visit some of the art works of high renaissance in situ (in the churches), we take a ride with the gondola after learning how it is made, we enjoy a private visit to St. Markʼs Basilica to humbly enjoy the reflections of the golden mosaics in their full splendour, we discover the lives of the noble people on the Grand canal and more . . .

Sometimes we also add two nights relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, in a SPA center where the healing water brings relaxation and peace to our bodies, and puts us back on track in no time.

This is a basic description of the program. Our tours are prepared with love for the beautiful details, small suprises, and elegance. Should you wish to receive the full program in our Brochure of Grand Tour from Vienna to Venice, please send us an inquiry.

Variations and exceptional experiences

CHRISTMAS MARKETS and ART OF VIENNA

(December)

Adding three days to the Elegant Grand Tour enables us to visit the blue city of the North. Nestled in the Rif Mountains, the town of Chefchauen is world famous for its blue washed appearance. The facades of the old Medina (old town), and its tiny narrow streets are all blue. The colourful background makes for a charming photograph (and so do many fluffy iconic cats that reside in the city). Time spent in Chefchauen is always beautiful and somehow magical.

THE MYSTERT AND MAGIC of CARNIVAL IN VENICE

(Normaly in February)

Adding three days to the Elegant Grand Tour gives us time to visit this authentic port city on the Atlantic coast. There is no better place in Morocco to relax, breathe in the fresh Atlantic air and soak in the warm sun on the terrace of a beautiful Riad. Essaouirra is well-known for being a bustling fishermanʼs port (with blue washed boats and colonies of seagulls), imposing ramparts (featured in many movies), blue and white houses, workshops of woodcarvers, and the tradition of making the precious argane oil. It is also home to a festival of black African, Gnawa music, and the legendary visiting place of famous musicians such as Jimmy Hendrix, Cat Stavens, and Frank Zappa . . . unless that is nothing but a myth?

VIENNESE FAIRYTALE:

Once in a Lifetime Ballroom Dancing

(December - February)

Adding three days to the Elegant Grand Tour enables us to visit the blue city of the North. Nestled in the Rif Mountains, the town of Chefchauen is world famous for its blue washed appearance. The facades of the old Medina (old town), and its tiny narrow streets are all blue. The colourful background makes for a charming photograph (and so do many fluffy iconic cats that reside in the city). Time spent in Chefchauen is always beautiful and somehow magical.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR

DISCOVERING AND NEW INSIGHTS

• An elegant private Viennese waltz lesson with a live concert

• How about controversial Vienna at the turn of the century?

• A private visit of one of the Habsburg's palaces

• A private guided visit of San Marco Basilica in Venice

ELEGANCE AND BEAUTY

• Design and luxury hotels with the feel of the Old World's past

• An optional grand evening gala in The Vienna Philharmonic (or State Opera, depending on the program), or La Fenice Opera in Venice (depending on the program of the venues)

• Elegant dining: famous Viennese, Slovenian, and Venetian cuisines - for more on cuisine in the region, please read in our Blog

• Charming secrets of the noble families living in palaces in the Grand Canal in Venice

•A ride in a horse carriage in Vienna and a gondola ride in Venice

 

 

 

CREATIVITY

Why we add creative hands-on workshops ? Please, read here

• A calligraphy (or painting on ceramics) workshop, inspired by Viennese Art Nouveau

• A Venetian Mask workshop

 

 

 

A NOTICE ABOUT OUR TRAVEL We travel elegantly and luxurious, but we do not intend to travel isolated from the country and the culture we visit. We aim at keeping our travel real. We do not avoid the hosting cultures, their traditions, and customs, but rather explain and encounter them, and accept them for what they are. If the country's standards are lower than those at home, we understand it and try to appreciate the efforts local people put into trying to meet our expectations.

ACCOMODATIONS

All of the hotels on the Charming Grand Tour are 4- or 5-star on a Bed and Breakfast basis, and located in the old towns centres. All of them feature a special, artistic or designers athmosphere… In Vienna we stay in a beautiful, authentic, 4 or 5* hotel in the Innere Stadt (old town) or just next to it, in Ljubljana we stay in an elegantly designed or old fashioned hotel with a historical atmosphere, and in Venice in a charmingly elegant hotel very close to the main square (St. Markʼs Square) with 4 or 5-stars.

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Topics we cover on this tour
We are eclectic in our ways, and love to cross the lines between different disciplines
and combine the most interesting of each of them. Some of the topics we cover in depth,
and some we take in as we go along.
ART - PAINTING
guided visits to prime exhibitions in Vienna and Venice
ART - MOSAIC
a private guided visit of San Markʼs Basilica in Venice, a treasury of Romanesque Italo-Byzantine style mosaics
ART - ARCHITECTURE
Vienna: Art Nouveau (Classic Modernism) architecture, Baroque and the 19th century, middle ages; Ljubljana: renaissance, Italian baroque, socialist architecture; Venice: middle ages, renaissance churches, and baroque masterpieces all around Venice

SOULFUL BUILDINGS
magnificent castles and elegant palaces, some of them still owned by private noble families (in Venice). A guided visit to the State Opera house in Vienna. Old book stores, cafes, and theatres

CLASSICAL MUSIC
itʼs all about the classical music in Vienna and Venice. A concert gala in the Viennese Opera or Philharmonics and/or a concert in Teatro La Fenice in Venice


DANCE
a private lession of viennese waltz followed by a live concert and dancing in Vienna
LOCAL EXPERTS and ARTISTS

talking and socializing with local experts and artists (in hands-on workshops), immersive expert talks in Vienna


STORYTELLING
a beautiful storytelling evening in an authentic environment in Ljubljana, Slovenia
MASKS AND COSTUMES
Venice and its carnival and masks,
the opulence of the past

HISTORY - HISTORICAL PERIODS:

VIENNA:
- The Romans . . . until the ruling of the House of the Habsburgs
- The ruling centuries of the Habsburgs
- Vienna around the year 1900 and in the 20th century (WWI and WWI and after)
SLOVENIA:
- The Romans, The Slavs, The middle ages under the Austrian empire
- A fluctuating 20th century: WWI and WWII, socialist Yugoslavia
- 1991 Independence of Slovenia
VENICE:
- The foundation of the city in Roman times
ï The Serenissima/ The most Serene Republic of Venice
ï Under the kingdom of Italy (since 1866) and later the Republic of Italy (since 1946)
EVERYDAY LIFE AND ECONOMY OF VIENNA, SLOVENIA, and VENICE
EXPLANATORY GEOGRAPHY
as an expalanation on why the surroundings, country, city, environment is as it is; looking at the spaces and understanding how they function, learning about the social and cultural forces that shape the life of a person (or a nation)
TASTE
apart from the excellent cuisine and wines, we also find a lot of pleasure in exploring new (and old) teas, and adding cakes, cookies, or other deserts
TOPICS WE DO NOT COVER
sports, politics.* Academism as only dry lectures and the extensive accumulation of information. Instead, we prefer useful knowledge, interesting
insights, and lovingly brought presentations.
*We include politics as much as needed to understand the environment and the visited culture and no more.

TIPS BEFORE TRAVEL

Best times to visit

from mid-September till the end of June (from June till the end of August is warmer, and in the summer season in Vienna and Venice there arenʼt a lot of interesting exhibitions and concerts going on! In the summer also, the European cities are more crowded!).

CLIMATE and TEMPERATURES

the climate in Vienna and Slovenia (Ljubljana) are Continental, Venice has a Mediterranean climate.

WEATHER AND TEMPERATURES:
RAIN: in the continental climate we expect more rain during March and May periods, and in November it can turn to snow in Ljubljana and Vienna.

TEMPERATURES: December till February are winter months with colder temperatures (below zero centigrade/23°F in Vienna and Slovenia, Venice 5°C/41°F) and rain/snow, more wind (in Vienna and Venice), and foggy (in Venice) with a chance of Aqua alta (flooding in Venice – between autumn and spring).

  • TEMPERATURES OF THE SEA:
    Atlantic April cca. 14°C/ 57.2°F, May to October from 20°C/ 68°F to 25°C/ 77°F, and from October-February from c. 13°C/ 55.4°F to 14°C/ 57.2°F.

SAFETY

Tourist crimes in the visited countries (and cities of Vienna, Ljubljana, and Venice) mostly consist of petty thievery of non-attended items, so we advise our guests to always use common sense (to keep their valuables in the safety box in the room, avoid exposing expensive cameras, and in city centres always take care of personal belongings). Slovenia has been ranked among the 10 safest countries in the world for travel. Here is some info on travel to Slovenija.

HEALTH

  • there are no special health hazards for traveling to this region of Europe.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

Vienna- German; Slovenia- Slovenian (a Slavic language); and Venice- Italian.

money and creditr cards

CURRENCY: in all three countries the currency is the Euro.

CREDIT CARDS: can be used throughout the tour (better to have a paying card, though)

ATMs can be found everywhere

PRICES: vary from city to city . . . among the three (Vienna, Ljubljana, Venice) Ljubljana is the cheapest, and Vienna possibly the most expensive, but of course it depends where the purchase is made . . . coffee at Saint Mark's Square in Venice is legendarily expensive, when just 2 blocks away the cost is the same as in Ljubljana.

TIPPING

people working in tourism, culture, and hospitality are very happy to receive a tip for their good service.

INTERNET

awailable in the hotels and in some cities for free (Ljubljana has free wi-fi in the city for up to 60 minutes per day). Roaming is possible during the entire trip.

PHOTOGRAPHY

people seem to try to avoid being in photographs when they see somebody taking a photo, but they donʼt really mind it when they do end up in a photo.

DRESS CODE

Guests should wear clothes they feel comfortable in and beautiful wearing them. In Europe there is no special dress code, yet following are some guiding lines for the outfit on this tour.
Daily wear: country club casual dress is comfortable, yet chic. Or dressy resort with a beautiful long maxi-dress for ladies and smart casual for gentlemen.
Dinners: dressy resort, lounge dress code, semi-formal dress code for the ladies and Cocktail Attire or Black Tie Creative Attire for gentlemen.

DOOR TO DOOR LUGGAGE SERVICE

 our guest's luggage is always taken care of, so they do not need to worry about carrying heavy suitcases in and out of their rooms, and onto the coach.

LOCAL CUISINE

Please, read more on our Blog

BREAKFAST IN THE HOTELS: Continental, full English/Irish, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, American, or Buffet.

SOUVENIRS TO BRING HOME

Please, read on our Blog

CONTACT FORM.
or call us via Skype or IMO
If you find our philosophy resonates within, we invite you to contact us.
We will be happy to hear from you.
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