Duration: 12 days/nights
Price: $2750 USD
Inquire
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Here is a proposed 12 day private Croatia tour of Zagreb, Plitvice LakesNorthern Dalmatian, Vis Island and  Dubrovnik . In addition to the main sights and cities, this tour offers a full day of sailing on the Adriatic, a cooking class with local chef at your home in a small fishing village, wine tasting in two different wine regions and a chance to reconnect with family heritage in the town of Stinica. I can also include other activities or historic, architecture, religious places of interest if you’d like. In the itinerary I included in an option for Day 12 for those who would like an extra day in Dubrovnik to to visit the Venetian towns and fjords in Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor. Anyone wishing to spend more time (before or after) I can arrange other optional excursions or overnights into neighboring countries (Slovenia, Italy, Montenegro). Please do let me know what you think of this itinerary as a whole.

I could run this tour either in from late April to mid May 2015, late May to mid June or between mid-September to early October 2015. You could fly into Zagreb (ZAG) and out of Dubrovnik (DBV) airport or you could fly into/out of Zagreb and purchase a cheap one-way ticket from Dubrovnik to Zagreb on Croatian Airlines ($60-75). For anyone who would like to move on to another destination in Europe after this tour ends (or perhaps before it starts), please contact me and I can arrange transportation depending upon your wishes.

Price for this tour would be $2750 per person based on a group of 8 people. The cost per-day of this tour would be less than my either of my normal cultural or food & wine tours. This price does not include airfare from North America to Croatia.

 

      • Soak in the history and romance of Dubrovnik – a walled city perched along the Adriatic Sea
      • Savor the food, taste the wines, sense the history, smell the herbs and relax in the charms on the Island of Vis
      • Discover classic Croatian dishes with a private chef at your house on Vis Island
      • Get an insight into family roots at the small town of Stinica
      • Sail the Adriatic in a traditional fishing boat called a Falkusa and visit the enchanting blue grotto in Bisevo
      • Relax in the natural beauty, cascading waterfalls and walking paths at Plitvice National Park
      • Explore the 1700 year old alleyways and temples of Diocletian’s Palace in Split, built by the Roman emperor in 297 AD
      • Peel back the layers on the under-touristed city of Zadar, where ancient history and cultures (Illyrians, Romans and Venetians) meet modern, cosmopolitan Croatia
      • Feast on home made schnapps, olives oils, prosciutto and a special veal dish cooked “pod peka” at a rustic farmhouse showcasing the best of Croatia’s hearty countryside.
  • May OR September 2015

  • $2550

    4 dinners (wine included), 4 lunches, 2 wine tastings, 1 cooking class with chef (for either lunch or dinner), 11 nights lodging at B&Bs, private homes and apartments (all rooms en-suite), transport by private car, tour leader, local guides, entrance fees, full day sailing, all excursions not listed as optional, transfers to/from airports.

  • Dubrovnik’s cable car from travel blog

    BBC spotlight on Zadar – a 6 minute video and article on Zadar and Croatia joining the EU

    The good life on Vis Island from Washington Post

    Roca Farm –  video of restaurant and vineyard tucked away in Croatia’s countryside specializing in prosciutto, wine, schnapps and olive oil

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Croatia and explore the capital city

Overnight: Zagreb, Croatia

Transfer from Zagreb airport to your hotel in the Central European city of Zagreb, Croatia’s underrated capital.We will have a local guide takes us through the upper and lower towns to learn more about the capital city’s history. Welcome dinner at local restaurant with specialties from Northern Croatia.

Day 2: Beauty of Plitvice

Overnight: Zagreb, Croatia

Full day excursion to Plitvice Park, Croatia’s most visited national park and a UNESCO world heritage site. This incredibly beautiful pocket of wooden hills  has 16 turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls, caves (typical of karst landscapes) and walking paths (across wooden footbridges) to explore. There are optional boat rides that cross some of these lakes. There are also more than 100 different species of bird such as hawks, owls, starlings, kingfishers and wild ducks. Late evening arrival back into Zagreb.

Day 3: Family roots 

Overnight: Zadar, Croatia

We will start our morning driving down the Kvarner region and northern Dalmatian coast along the Adriatic Sea. Exploration and lunch at town of Stinica, to trace the Wukusich family roots. <<if you would like to do more family tree research or have me hire a local to do so please let me know>>. Early evening arrival into the fortified coastal city of Zadar. The region’s largest city offers a mix of ancient history, medieval buildings, new art galleries and the unique sea organ art installation. Dinner in the city center.

Day 4: Rustic countryside foods and historic Zadar city

Overnight: Zadar, Croatia

A local guide will take us on a walking tour through Zadar, the once capital of Byzantine Dalmatia (7th century) that shows off its many layers of empires and cultures. We’ll then feast on a hearty lunch of prosciutto, salamis and a special dish cooked “pod peka” (veal cooked under the metal lid, similar to an outdoor dutch oven) at a charming rustic farmhouse showcasing Croatia’s countryside gastronomy. By late afternoon we’ll pop into the city of Sibenik to see the elaborate stone work of 72 faces adorning the exterior of St. Jacob’s Cathedral. Return to Zadar by the evening.

Day 5: Leisure in Zadar or sail the Kornati archipelago

Overnight: Zadar, Croatia

Spend the entire day enjoying the culture, art and museums that Zadar has to offer. The city is also home to the famous Maraschino cherry brandy and there are numerous stylish spots to do brandy tastings here. You could also choose to take an optional sailing trip through the Kornati archipelago, a collection of over 120 small islands that make up one of the country’s most breathtaking national parks. FYI – Sailing excursions would normally depart around 8:30-9:30am and return to Zadar by 5-6pm. Cost is between $75-$100 per person.

Day 6: From the palace of a Roman Emperor to the secretive island of Vis

Overnight: Vis Island, Croatia

Scenic drive down the Dalmatian coast to visit small medieval town of Trogir and 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. Hop on a catamaran to Vis Island, Croatia’s secret island that is furthest from the mainland and also closed to foreigners during the Yugoslavia days making it less touristy than Croatia’s other big islands. Your hosts Pino and Petra will meet you and give a guided tour of Vis Town (founded by the Greeks and named Issa) with  history and insight into what makes Vis so special. The Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Venetians, Austrians, French and British have all controlled Vis at different times. Dinner and overnight in the fisherman’s village of Komiza on the other side of the island.

Day 7:  History, nature, food and wine of Vis Island

Overnight: Vis Island, Croatia

A full day to eat, drink and soak in the sights and stories of Vis. Tour of the island begins with historical explanations reaching back to ancient times until the present. Visit Tito’s cave, Hum peak (587m), former RAF airport in the Second World War (now a vineyard), cricket field in Plisko poje, George III fort, former military base Parja, submarine tunnel and the town of Vis (with Greek cemetery and Roman baths). You will take in picturesque little villages, vineyards and olive groves, visit the most important cultural and history sites, hear the most important history facts from ancient Issa to the present. A wine tasting at local vintner and a lunch of roast lamb, fresh vegetables and some strong distilled spirits at a rustic restaurant known in Croatia as a ‘konoba’ will round out this afternoon of sights, stories and great food!

Day 8:  Sailing the Adriatic on ‘Gajeta Falkusa’

Overnight: Vis Island, Croatia

A unique opportunity awaits guests as our host Pino will take us for a full day of sailing, swimming and island hopping onboard a 9m long traditional wooden fishing vessel called the Gajeta Falkusa. Discover Bisevo island with its Blue cave (similar to Capri in Italy), visit bays and secluded beaches, enjoy a picnic lunch and hear sailing and fishermen stories and traditions from Vis’ rich past.

Day 9: Relax, swim and secrets of a Croatian kitchen

Overnight: Vis Island, Croatia

One half of the day will be at leisure to swim, walk on the beach, visit local maritime museums or take an easy stroll around neighboring villages. The other part of the day we will enjoy the company of a local chef at our house to learn traditional Dalmatian recipes as we cook our own lunch or dinner (you’ll decide which). What we cook is TBD [I would like some input from everyone and I will also get some suggestions from our hosts on Vis].

DAY 10: Welcome to the Pearl of the Adriatic!

Overnight: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Ferry back to the mainland and head down the southern strip of the Dalmatia coast. Arrival into Dubrovnik and to your apartments located within the walled old town, close to all the sights, restaurants and cafes. Our local guide will give you a walking tour of Dubrovnik, a magical walled city situated right on the Adriatic with a rich and important history. Though heavily touristed with day trippers from cruise ships, the city clears out in late afternoon. Dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants with your guide – a perfect opportunity to find out what events/concerts are going on during your stay and learn more about how locals live.

Day 11: Dubrovnik for your exploration

Overnight: Dubrovnik, Croatia

All day at your leisure to see Dubrovnik. Not to miss sights include the Dominican and Franciscan monasteries, Lovrijenac Fortress, Rector’s Palace, an excellent photo gallery regarding the 1990’s war, and cafes & gelaterias at nearly every turn. In late afternoon we will walk around the 80 foot high walls of the city and then take a cable car to the mountain overlooking the city for spectacular panoramic views and drinks. For a nearby nature escape, bail on the crowds with a trip to nearby Lokrum island with lovely botanical gardens. Short ferry rides start at the old town harbor and take 10-15 minutes.

Day 12: Wines of the Peljesac Peninsula

Overnight: Dubrovnik, Croatia

We will head to the gorgeous Peljesac peninsula (about an hour north of Dubrovnik) for a day of tastings. First a stop in the ancient walled town of Ston, one of the wealthiest towns in medieval times due to the salt (white gold of the day). Tour of salt pans and then a visit to an olive oil maker to see their traditional press and have a tasting of oils. Enjoy lunch and wine tasting at the Batulovic family winery. Learn about the Batulovic family history, grafting and wine growing on Peljesac’s steep and rocky terroir. You will try many varieties of Plavac Mali, the region’s most famous wine (a cousin of Zinfandel), along with other wines including a white called Rukatac. Transfer back to Dubrovnik by early evening.

The following morning you will be transferred to the airport. End of Tour