Multi-Day Tour | Locally Hosted, Private

Essential Slovakia (9 days)

Exeter International

Bratislava, Slovakia To Kosice, Slovakia

Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Dec 2019


Day 1
Bratislava, Slovakia
Kempinski River Park None

Midday arrival into Bratislava, where you will be met by your private car, driver and guide for your transfer to the deluxe hotel in the center of the city and in the heart of the historic district.

Day 2
Bratislava, Slovakia
Kempinski River Park Breakfast

This morning, your guide will meet you for a tour of Bratislava. First you will enjoy a walk along the banks of the Danube where you will see the famous Old and New Bridges as well as fragments of the old city walls. You may step briefly inside St. Martin’s Cathedral, the site of the coronation of the Austrian emperors. You will continue past the Presidential Palace and the Squares of Peace and Freedom, until you reach the Bratislava castle, with its fantastic views over the city. Later this morning you may continue on foot through the Old Town district and the former palace of the Archbishop of Esztergom – renowned for its beautiful tapestries.  

Exeter Extraordinary Experience

This afternoon, your guide will take you on a backstage tour of the National Theater. Opera has a long tradition in Slovakia as Italian and Austrian opera companies used to come to perform in Bratislava, the “suburb” of the Imperial Capitals of Budapest and Vienna. The beautiful Neo-Classical building was designed in 1885-86 by two Austrian architects, Hermann Helner and Ferdinand Fellner that build theaters in many other European cities. Today, the theater has its own opera, drama and ballet ensembles and belongs to the top opera venues in Europe.  

Opera, Ballet or Symphony Performance at the National Theater (subject to change according to schedule. This performance may be moved to another night or venue. Theater transfers are not included.)

Day 3
Bratislava, Slovakia
Kempinski River Park Breakfast

Today in the morning your guide and driver will meet you in the lobby for a full day trip outside of the city. If weather permits you will first embark on a cruise and sail upstream to the ruins of the Devin Castle sitting imposingly on a cliff over the confluence of the Danube and the river Morava.  

Your trip will continue by car through the valleys of the Little Carpathians dotted with picturesque little villages. You will visit two villages – Pezinok and Modra that have a long tradition of wine making and ceramic production. You will be invited to an old vintner’s house to learn about the history of local viticulture and Modra Majolika manufacture where you will observe how the hand made ceramic is made. You will have a chance to create your own piece on the potter’s wheel.  

If time allows, you may wish to continue to see the impressive Cerveny Kamen castle whose history goes back to the 13th century when a gothic fortress was built here. From the 16th century Cerveny Kamen belonged to one of the wealthiest families in the region, the Palffys, who extended the existing renaissance castle and built an impressive baroque chateau. You may tour the interior of the Castle, the living quarters with historic furniture and the original castle pharmacy.  

In the evening, return to Bratislava.

Day 4
Bratislava, Slovakia
Kempinski River Park Breakfast

Today, your guide and driver will take you to explore the West of Slovakia. First you will travel 90 km to the spa town of Piestany, famous for its treatment of rheumatic conditions with sulfuric mud. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere as you walk down the beautiful Colonnade Bridge leading to the spa island. If you are interested, you may visit the Museum of Balneology where you can learn about the history of the traditional healing methods from Piestany that were first recorded in the 15th century.  

On the way back to Bratislava this afternoon, you will stop for a tour of Trnava, the oldest town of Slovakia. This town is often called the “Rome of Slovakia” due to the number of religious sites. You should not miss the University Church of St. John the Baptist, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the Synagogue built in Byzantine-Moorish style that now houses a small Museum of Jewish Culture. A visit to the Museum of West Slovakia will give you an insight into the history of this region.  The museum includes a wonderful collection of historical books, weapons from the Turkish war, examples of historical furniture and many interesting archeological items.  

Evening return to Bratislava.  

Day 5
Bratislava, Slovakia
Strbske Pleso, Slovakia
Kimpinski High Tatra Breakfast

Today, meet your guide and driver for your journey to the north of the country, the High Tatra Mountains. First you will travel via Nitra to Banska Bystrica. Thanks to the mining of gold, silver and copper, the town became the economic and cultural center of the West Slovakia. As you walk through the historic center you will see impressive burgher houses, churches and the town hall.  

In the evening, arrival into Strbske Pleso and check-in at your hotel.

Day 6
Strbske Pleso, Slovakia
Kempinski High Tatra Breakfast

The National Park of High Tatra is a beautiful preserve that makes for a perfect destination for active travelers. Many of the tourist resorts are inter-connected by light rail and the mountains offer a wide array of hiking paths of various level of difficulty.  

Today enjoy a hiking tour on your own.

Day 7
Kosice, Slovakia
Strbske Pleso, Slovakia
Hotel Bristol Breakfast

Today, check-out of your hotel and meet your driver to continue your trip. Today you will drive to Kosice, the biggest town of Eastern Slovakia.  

On the way to Kosice, you may visit the medieval Spiš settlements that are part of the UNESCO world heritage. First you will stop in Kežmarok where you can see a beautifully preserved wooden protestant church that boasts an impressive altar. Continue to Levoča that used to be the capital of this region. Here you may visit the beautiful gothic Town Hall and stroll around the charming square with beautiful Renaissance and Baroque houses. You may also enter the unique St. James Church to admire its impressive 18-piece altar.  

Last stop before your arrival to Košice will be the Spiš Castle, an impressive fortified complex that dates back to the 11th century.  

Evening arrival into Košice and check-in at your hotel in the center.

Day 8
Kosice, Slovakia
Hotel Bristol Breakfast

Today, meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel for a tour of Košice. This lively and yet laid back town is Slovakia’s second largest town. With a university, theater and philharmonic orchestra it offers plenty of cultural experiences. Enjoy a stroll through the beautifully reconstructed historic center where you can see the impressive baroque Plague Column and the Gothic St. Elizabeth’s Church dominating the Main Square. If you are interested, your guide will also show you Kosice’s Orthodox Synagogue.  

After your walk through the center, your guide will take you out of the city to visit the Slovak Karst. The highlights of this beautiful Natural Preserve are its more than 4,000 caves. The most impressive ones, listed as UNESCO natural heritage, feature amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations.  Enjoy a tour of one of the caves and dress warmly as in the summer the temperature inside are much lower than outside.

If time allows, you may wish to stop at one of the Chateaux in the area. The Betliar Manor is small but features a beautiful library. Another wonderful castle is Krasna Horka with interesting interiors and furnishings.  

Evening return to Košice.

Day 9
Kosice, Slovakia
None Breakfast

Today check-out of your hotel and meet your driver for a transfer to:

  • Airport (Sky Europe: Kosice-Bratislava, Kosice - Prague)

  • Train Station (6 hours to Bratislava on the train)

  • Bratislava (5-6 hours nonstop by car)

  • Budapest (3-4 hours nonstop by car – can be done via Eger)

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time


A sample itinerary for FIT touring in Slovakia.

About Us

For 25 years, Exeter International has built their reputation for meticulous planning, personalized service and unparalleled destination knowledge through our collaboration with fellow Virtuoso members and clients. We are the best of both worlds between a traditional tour operator and DMC. You have the convenience of working with our passionate team of U.S based travel managers, while your clients experience the best of each country in our sphere of expertise, including top guides, seamless (cross-border) operations and 24-hour support throughout your clients' trip.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Advisor for more information.

Terms & Conditions

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The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Exeter International


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Highly recomended

By: KandeeB

Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2013

Exeter International was staffed with first class personnel from the drivers to the EXTRAORDINARY guides through out the trip. The vehicles used to transport us were luxurious. The hotels were commensurate with the level of quality expected by the cost and located in the most advantageous sites. Totally organized and stress free experience.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg
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Great high-end travel company

By: Not provided

Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2013

Does superb job for demanding high-end travel Customized travel with excellent guides and programs. You pay but you get what you pay for.
Travel Advisor:  Leah Bergner
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Highly recommend

By: Jean

Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2013

Exeter was very well organised with very good guides and drivers. Our requests were responded to with professional speed. Some of our hotels could have been better. But we understand that they were the best available. We would have no hesitation using this agency again and recommending them to others.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale
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Pampered Travel

By: KandeeB

Reviewed on: 07 Nov 2013

Exeter provides luxury travel with all the hassles and worries removed. The quality of their drivers and guides is first rate. From the minute you arrive until your final departure you are in excellent hands. The itinerary is well thought out and provides many special visitations not offered to other tourists. I have heartily recommended Exeter to several people without any reservation.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg


By: Jean

Reviewed on: 13 Jun 2014

We have used Exeter on a prior trip and were equally happy with them this time. We did have a Russian Visa situation which could have been serious, but was resolved quickly.The guide spoke very good English and was knowledgable in history and art along with the local architecture. The driver was also very safe in a chaotic traffic system.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

highly recommend

By: BB

Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2014

Travel Advisor:  Rochelle Lieberman

Highly recommended

By: Mkt123

Reviewed on: 11 Jul 2014

We were connected with local English speaking guides and drivers that gave us an inside view of each country we traveled to. The experience was priceless.
Travel Advisor:  Martha Rhodes

Oustanding Guides

By: J & W

Reviewed on: 15 Oct 2014

All of the services provided by Exeter were truly outstanding. The hotel accommodations were excellent. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and well organized. The drivers were prompt and courteous. The suggestions for restaurants and additional things to do and see were very good. The printed booklet of helpful hints and language support was a nice bit of support for travelers who are visiting countries for the first time.
Travel Advisor:  Sara Krutsinger

Across the Russian Far East

By: Judee 544

Reviewed on: 30 Aug 2015

Everything was perfectly planned and resulted in a wonderfully exciting trip with all of our interests and needs taken into account. going on such an adventurous and challenging trip, so far away when one is no longer young could have been quite difficult, but instead was nothing but a fabulous experience. Wonderful guides and wonderful experiences on the Trans-Siberian Express and the cities of the Russian Far East, and a lovely hotel at the end in Moscow.
Travel Advisor:  Vivian Rubenstein

Excellent Russian Trip

By: Roger

Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2016

Exeter provided all of our guides and support for a 9 day family trip to Russia - very well informed, personable guides and smooth transportation. We were a bit hesitant to go to Russia but highly recommend - the trip of a lifetime !
Travel Advisor:  Tony Huffman
Not Recommended


By: TheGrapevine

Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2017

Take out trip insurance - not going to bash - but you get the idea.....
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1st Class

By: Carlos Gavidia

Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2017

From the beginning to the end this organization really surprised me! From getting our travel visas for Moscow to every detail of the tour pick up transfers and tours through the city were perfectly executed
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale



Reviewed on: 14 May 2017

Exeter was excellent with tour logistics and great guide. Seamless trip.
Travel Advisor:  Britt Gerber

Great planning and service

By: WWII And Cold War History

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2017

Exeter planned an excellent two week trip for me and my three teenagers. We went to Poland, Germany and Amsterdam. We focused on WWII and Cold War history. The plan was thoughtful and well paced. When I had questions Exeter staff responded promptly. A very good experience.
Travel Advisor:  Josh Friedman

St. Petersburg Tour

By: B Snead

Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2017

Our driver and guide could not have been better. Polite and accommodating for the three days we were in St. Petersburg. We saw a lot of attractions, got some behind the scenes tours and were able to access some sights prior to the general public. I would use Exeter again without hesitation!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth


By: Hodges

Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2017

Exceeded all expectation. Super cost effective to compared to Oceania.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Germany & Russia

By: Oz

Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2017

I strongley reccomend Exeter for shore excursions. Their staff and vehicles were first class, and the value was tremendous. We never felt uncomfortable or worried about being back to the ship on time. True professionals.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great tour

By: mt

Reviewed on: 25 Aug 2017

Knowledgable, efficient and friendly tour operators!

Baltic Cruise

By: Roger

Reviewed on: 17 Sep 2017

Fantastic tour service. Their guides and drivers were outstanding. Guides all had an excellent knowledge of the city and the history. We are very pleased that Ralph recommended Exeter. When comparing notes with others that had used the tours supplied by the ship, we learned that we had seen and accomplished much more than they had. Our guides were able to make special arrangements that others could not. Will always use Exeter when it is available
Travel Advisor:  Ralph Iantosca

Great tour

By: Ann

Reviewed on: 26 Sep 2017

Everything was wonderful. Very nice guide and well informed about the places we visited.

Exeter International

By: Goodwitch

Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2017

All guides were great and expedited airport service was fantastic
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Smith

St Petersburg

By: Swan

Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2017

Absolutely fabulous
Travel Advisor:  Sherrie Coffey

Custom Guided Tour

By: JJ

Reviewed on: 18 Dec 2017

The tour guides and drivers were outstanding plus. They were very personable, always early, and their local knowledge was excellent. All of them were eager to please and all adapted to the changing crowd situation caused by weather, national holiday, or political meeting.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Well run independent travel to Russia

By: Susan and Murray Morrison

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2018

From getting visas for us to planning a private visit to Russia for us, Exeter International was top notch. No detail was overlooked. The guides that Exeter provided were outstanding, spoke fluent English, had a good grasp of Russian history and were willing to accommodate our every interest. The guides were truly experts about their cities: museums, palaces, and surroundings. In addition, the guides were friendly and helpful. Exeter ran a well organized, well thought-out tour of Russia for the two of us.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

Family time and fun

By: Jane

Reviewed on: 27 Jul 2018

My experience with Exeter was positive. The drivers were on time and very courteous. There was water in the cars for us. They had information to offer as we drove to destinations. They were accommodating to our schedules and were very helpful if we had questions. We missed walking around the interior of a famous church due to the day the tour was scheduled. There were services going on and we could not enter. Another tour was partly taken up by a long walking tour to get to a castle. I would have rather spent time inside the castle. We had to exit with the guide and missed a lot of interesting things. Too bad we were not allowed to stay inside on our own to see more.
Travel Advisor:  Stephanie Miller Murphy

less common places tour

By: ssunsfanatic

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2018

good tour to less visited places in Bergen. We had been to the more common tourist sites.
Travel Advisor:  Leah Bergner

Central Europe

By: Tour of Central Europe and QM2 to NYC

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2018

Vienna, Prague, Krakow, Berlin, Hamburg. Wonderful hotels, wonderful guides, wonderful restaurants. Not one single mistake or hiccup. Exeter does an outstanding job.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg

St. Petersburg

By: SandStar

Reviewed on: 06 Aug 2018

We had a wonderful trip. Hotel was excellent. They were able to accommodate our special requests and schedule. We highly recommend the local guide, Anya, who was extremely knowledgeable about local and Russian history.
Travel Advisor:  Linda Zelisko

Exeter tour guides

By: smcknight

Reviewed on: 06 Aug 2018

We had basically positive experiences both days we toured with Exeter guides. The first day there was a little too much emphasis placed on taking us to "gift shops" and expecting us to buy tourist trinkets. The heat and the crowds may have been easier to bare if we had gone to the Hermitage in the early morning instead of wasting 45-50 minutes in a trinket shop. The second guide was very professional and led us seamlessly through Catherine's palace and the palaces on the canal in St. Petersburg.
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Meyer

Every detail was perfect!

By: Beth

Reviewed on: 31 Aug 2018

Exeter was a joy to work with. Our drivers and tour guides were helpful, friendly, and very knowledgeable. I traveled with my 13-year-old daughter, and our tours were uniquely tailored to interest her. I had heard horror stories about obtaining Russian visas. Not for us! Exeter took care of everything, and quickly. I loved the custom packet that they sent me in advance of the trip. It listed our itinerary in detail, helpful phone numbers, restaurant recommendations, and travel tips that were specific for our destinations. I would enthusiastically recommend Exeter for travel planning.
Travel Advisor:  Andre Koester

St. Petersburg tour

By: Rocky Mountain Flier

Reviewed on: 31 Aug 2018

Becky recommended Exeter International for my party of four. We all agreed after two full days of touring with our guide and driver that we would not have wanted to see St. Petersburg any other way. Our guide was excellent and very informed and we liked the driver too. We were able to avoid the long lines and were admitted to areas of the palaces that other visitors would never have the opportunity to see. We invited her to join us for lunch on both days whereby we learned even more about St. Petersburg.
Travel Advisor:  Becky Sullivan

Exeter/Norwegian Tour

By: Lien

Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2018

Exeter (Jody Ricottone) coordinated my recent sole tour of Norway. This involved guides in three cities, hotels in those cities and in two fjordside locations, trains and ferry, rental car and other transfer arrangements. I was very pleased with everything, including that Jody paid close attention to what I wanted and was responsive to my requests. Her recommendations and examples of somewhat similar sole tours really assisted me in my planning. The entire trip went off without a scheduling hitch, and introduced me, as I had wished, to Norwegian sites and experiences I never would have seen or had without Jody's good work.
Travel Advisor:  Wanda Worsley

Russia St. Petersburg

By: Jay Johnson

Reviewed on: 07 Oct 2018

The guide and driver were both wonderful and full of knowledge and professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone. They also had great suggestions for lunch venues, during our stay in and about St. Petersburg.
Travel Advisor:  Jay Johnson

Russia Private Tour

By: Susan

Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2018

We engaged Exeter to provide a private tour in St Petersburg, Russia. Exeter was outstanding!! We had a guide, Anya Smirnova, and driver for 3 days and it was a fabulous experience. Anya spoke perfect English and was able to relate the sites we saw to Russian history and culture in a fascinating manner. We asked her many, many questions that she readily answered. Her knowledge was extensive. We had special entry to the exhibits, bypassing the long normal entry lines. We had the flexibility to see what was of interest to us, and the ability to visit sites that the ship tours did not include. For lunch we stopped at wonderful restaurants that served authentic Russian food at reasonable prices, which was far better food than on the ship. The day at Peterhof Palace, with the extravagant fountains and grotto, was especially memorable. Our experience with Exeter was outstanding and I would highly recommend them for future private tours.

Great Tour Group

By: Tommy

Reviewed on: 07 Oct 2018

We had a four day touring experience with Exeter in Prague and both my wife and myself could not be happier. Peter, our driver met us for the transfer from our ship to Prague right on time and throughout our tour. He was extremely professional and made sure we were where we needed to be and was always pleasant. We felt very comfortable while being driven. Lucie, our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable in all areas that we visited and made sure we got to see everything we were supposed to see and more. She worked things out while we were with her to ensure things went like clockwork and we were not disappointed. I can't say enough how using Exexter made our time in Prague a wonderful experience and I would not hesistate using them again.
Travel Advisor:  Ourisman Travel


By: Sharon

Reviewed on: 25 Oct 2018

The quality of the tours and the guides was great. Some of the guides were exceptional. The tours were informative and we enjoyed them very much.
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Smith

russian guides

By: Toni

Reviewed on: 29 Oct 2018

Exeter was all you could ask for. We were always met on time and the guides were terrific.
Travel Advisor:  Jamo Ladd
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