Duration: 10 days
Location: Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro
Price: $3750
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This tour is specially created for clients and friends of Blue Danube Wines. It’s an in-depth wine and slow-food experience focusing on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast with a little exploration of Bosnia and Montenegro. Visits to many of your favorite Blue Danube wineries: Bibich, Caric, Brkic and Milos.

Our 10 day all-inclusive tour explores in-depth the wine and local food  of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, ancient Bosnia and mysterious Montenegro. But there’s more to the places than just the wine cellars and dinner tables. Guests won’t miss out on the rich culture and fascinating histories from the oriental mystique of Sarajevo and Mostar to the traces of the Venetian empire in Hvar and Montenegro and finally to the grandeur and romance of Dubrovnik.

Dalmatia and the Balkans boast a diversity of climates, landscapes, terroirs and influences from their neighbors as well as their storied past. Rich food cultures, distinct micro regions, long-standing traditions and specialty dishes make for one delicious experience!

Guests are transferred from Split airport (SPU) at the start of the tour and transferred to Dubrovnik airport (DBV) at the end of the tour.

 

 

    • • Spend a day with local vintner tasting wines, olive oils, eating at local establishments and learning the history of wine making on beautiful Hvar Island

      • Soak in the history and romance of Dubrovnik – a walled city perched along the Adriatic Sea

      • Discover the storied histories, delicious Ottoman-inspired cuisines and a true crossroads of cultures that Bosnia offers

      • Explore the 1700 year old alleyways and temples of Diocletian’s Palace in Split, built by the Roman emperor in 297 AD

      • Visit many of your favorite Blue Danube wineries: Bibich, Caric, Milos and Brkic wineries

  • Upon Request for groups of 4-10 people

  • $3750

    All Inclusive: 10 dinners (wine included at each meal), 9 lunches, 10 nights lodging at B&B and farmhouses (en-suite),  6 wine tastings, transport, private guide, transfers to/from Split and Dubrovnik airport.

  • Dubrovnik’s cable car from travel blog

    Sarajevo’s Culinary delights in-store for guests

    Vineyards of Milos winery

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Introduction to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast

Overnight: Trogir, Croatia

Transfer from Split airport to a boutique hotel tucked away amongst the maze of narrow cobblestone streets in Trogir. This wonderfully preserved town sits on a small island connected to the mainland by bridge. Guided walking tour of the town’s sights including the  11th century St. Lawrence church with its magnificent stone carved portal. Welcome dinner with numerous traditional Dalmatian dishes and a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood plus a taste of Croatian wines.

Day 2: Tasting your way through Central Dalmatia

Overnight: Trogir, Croatia

Morning at leisure to enjoy Trogir, listen to traditional a capella singing (klapa music in Croatian) in the town square. Lunch in a rural agrotourism featuring cured meats (prosciutto, panceta, salamis), home made herb schnapps, cherry liquor and specially prepared veal dish called ‘pod peka’. Tour and tasting at the Bibich winery located in the hills of Skradin, close to the port city of Šibenik and the lush Krka national park. The Bibich family was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations Croatia episode and have been making award winning wines for many generations. There wines feature the white Debit and red Zinfandel relatives Babic, Plavina and Lasin. All of these are typical of Central Dalmatian wines. We head back to Trogir for a light dinner.

Day 3: In the footprints of  Romans, Greeks and Venetians

Overnight: Hvar, Croatia

Visit to the port city of Split. In 297 AD Roman Emperor Diocletian’s had his retirement palace built here and most of it still stands. A guided tour of the palace and of other sights in Split’s old town. From here it is a two hour ferry ride to Hvar Island, Croatia’s sun-drenched island with traces of Greek, Illyrian and Venetian cultures. It’s also home to great wines, olive oils and fields of lavender. Guests are welcomed by our hosts, the Carić family, with wine tasting and dinner in their cellar in the small town of Jelsa.

Day 4: Uncovering Hvar traditions, Caric wines and local olive oils

Overnight: Hvar, Croatia

A full day excursion with Ivana Caric to learn Hvar history, meet local wine makers, enjoy easy walks through vineyards and stone villages, discover hidden spots along the island’s interior, taste local olive oils. Caric Winery has vineyards in 3 different areas, each with own micro climate. They produce Plavac Ploski, Plavac Ploski Barrique and Jubo’v (reds) and the native white Bogdanjuša plus Posip, another white. Our day will include a visit at the UNESCO protected Stari Grad Plain (also known as Chora Pharou) where they’ve been growing grapes since the Greeks founded the island in 4th century BC. Both lunch and dinner will be a simple yet delicious affair with meals at local konobas (traditional Croatian restaurants) in Svirce and other small villages on the island.

Day 5: Soak in Hvar Town and sail the Adriatic

Overnight: Hvar, Croatia

Guided tour of Hvar Town. Soak in the town’s historic Venetian past, stroll by faded palaces and mansions while visiting Europe’s oldest functioning theatre, the lace making Benedictine monastery Hvar’s hilltop fortress. Sunset sailing from Hvar town to the Pakleni islands archipelago. We will spend our afternoon sailing around this labyrinth of small islands, stopping in bays perfect for swimming, and will also take a short break on Palmizana so you can have an opportunity to walk on one of the favourite islands of the Pakleni archipelago. Dinner back in Hvar town at one of the island’s finest konobas.

Day 6: Explore Balkan vineyards and historic Mostar

Overnight: Mostar, Bosnia

Ferry back to Croatia’s mainland and journey into Bosnia’s southern region of Hercegovina. Visit and tasting at Brkić winery in the wine growing town of Citluk. More than 2,000 years ago, Illyrians cultivated grapes and cereals in the inland mountain valleys but wine making was on the decline until the Ottoman empire, who held these lands for nearly 500 years, power began to wane in the 19th century. Brkić does amazing bio-dynamic wines that are available only at his winery. Lunch followed by a guided afternoon walking tour of Mostar, the city which used to be a major trading center of the Ottoman empire. The Iconic 400 year-old Turkish bridge was destroyed in the 90’s Balkan war but has been meticulously rebuilt with original stones and materials. The bustling Bazaar quarter has an oriental feel not found elsewhere in Europe. Relax with a strong Bosnian coffee, nosh on Turkish delight and enjoy dinner along the Neretva river.

Day 7: Flavors of the Ottoman past in Sarajevo

Overnight: Mostar, Bosnia

Full day trip to Sarajevo! Up arrival, we’ll have a walking tour of Sarajevo, a unique mix of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian influences. Our tour focuses mostly on the old Turkish quarter, known as the Bascarsija. Along the way we’ll stop for a quick lunch of the ubiquitous cevapcici, grilled Balkan sausages served with onions inside a pita bread. There’s a heavy oriental feel mixed with Austro-Hungarian buildings, a few scars left from the 90’s war, vibrant cafes, delicious sweet shops and very warm people that give the city an astonishing and unique vibe. It’s a great place to watch the local coppersmiths pound out traditional coffee sets. Dinner at the city’s oldest restaurant, situated in a traditional wooden house and featuring a heavenly sirnica (baked cheese pie in phyllo dough). Return to Mostar after dinner.

Day 8: Milos Winery and Peljesac Peninsula

Overnight: Dubrovnik, Croatia

As we depart Bosnia, a short visit to the hill town of Pocitelj capped with a fortress overlooking the amazing landscape of this region. Head to the gorgeous Peljesac peninsula, where Plavac Mali is king, for a day of tastings. This peninsula stretches in the southeast – northwest direction. A short drive from the idyllic Adriatic oystering village of Mali Ston is home to the Milos winery where they’ve made wine for over 500 years. Nearby are their prized vineyards which stretch from Uvala Prapratno (Prapratno cove) overlooking the village of Ponikve. Nowhere in Europe is there such a concentration of coastal vineyards. This proximity to the sea lends the wines their distinctive note of Friškina. Early evening arrival into the walled city of Dubrovnik. Walk up the romantic baroque staircase (modeled on Rome’s Spanish Steps) to the town’s Jesuit monastery to enjoy dinner showcasing many local dishes and hard to find traditional recipes.

Day 9: Welcome to the Pearl of the Adriatic!

Overnight: Dubrovnik, Croatia

After breakfast we’ll walk the nearly 80 foot high stone walls that cover the entire town and offer great views to the Adriatic. Then we’ll engage in a foodie walking tour of old down and visit 5 wonderful culinary gems, savor the best local food, learn about rich history in a fun way, and enhance your experience of Dubrovnik. The rest of this day is at your leisure to enjoy and discover Dubrovnik. The best views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area are, without doubt , experienced from the top of the Srd Hill. Take the cable car up for great panoramic shots and an interesting history museum in the old Austrian fortress. Perhaps get away from the tourists and grab a local ferry to nearby Lokrum island for some relaxing walks amongst botanical gardens. Or just browse your way through every nook and cranny of the old town’s maze of cobble stone streets!

Day 10: In the realm of the Black Mountains

Overnight: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Cross over the border into the wild beauty of Montenegro. The country’s name translates to Black Mountains and that is quite evident. First stop is the town of Perast that sits on the Bay of Kotor and the surroundings could hardly be more stunning. Mountains practically rise up from the water and surround this picturesque spot. Boat ride out to Our Lady of the Rocks church, situated jewel-like islands in Kotor Bay. A private 3-course lunch of home made food and a tour of a boutique winery featuring local Crmnica red wine awaits us at Skadar Lake, the largest lake in the Balkans. Late afternoon guided tour around the historic walled city of Kotor, including the Cathedral of St. Tryphon which has survived many of the region’s earthquakes. Optional walk up 1300 steps to the fortress overlooking the magnificent area. Farewell dinner in Kotor before driving back to Dubrovnik.

End of Tour — transfer to airport morning of Day 11

OR extend your Dalmatian experience to explore more of Montenegro’s charms or perhaps visit to Croatia’s Plitvice national park, one of Europe’s most visited natural attractions.

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