9 Day Croatia Discovery Tour
EXCLUSIVE Guaranteed Departure Small Group (6 – 12 people)
September 21 – 29, 2019
Visiting: DUBROVNIK – PELJESAC PENINSULA – STON – HVAR – STARI GRAD – SPLIT – OMIS – CETINA RIVER – PLITVICE LAKES – ZAGREB
Day 1 – September 21 Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a medieval city on the Croatian side of the Adriatic coastline and treasure trove of cultural, historical monuments that were created throughout its thousand-year existence. In the past, it was a City-Republic, and alongside Venice one of the most famous cultural-economic centers on the Mediterranean. In more recent times, it has become the center of modern cultural and tourist events: a city of summer festivals – an international parade of top musical and theatrical achievements, a city of museums and galleries. These values have turned Dubrovnik into a place that offers a rich selection of various experiences and excitement, but also a complete holiday in a quiet and calming, mild Mediterranean ambiance and wonderful seaside landscapes.
- Arrival to Dubrovnik and a private transfer to your hotel
- Time at leisure and an overnight in Dubrovnik
- Accommodation in a 5* hotel in Dubrovnik, BB Basis
Day 2 – September 22 Dubrovnik
Stradun – the main street of Dubrovnik where everyone’s walked and also the busiest street where you stroll over marble tiles. Stradun is a great place for everyone where all the shopping can be done, cafes and restaurants are on the streets and many wonderful shops.
Onofrio’s Fountain – this drinking fountain is located just at the beginning of Stradun, the main street of the old town. The structure was named after its builder, the Italian Onofrio de la Cava, dates from 1440 and includes 16 sides. The concept is part of the water supply system of the city and brings water from the well in Rijeka Dubrovacka, at more than 20 km away, to the heart of the city. Before that this interest was, therefore, more than a masterpiece of architectural sophistication. Originally the fountain was decorated with a sculpture, which was destroyed in the earthquake of 1667, the Remaining 16 stone masks from which the water flows into a lake.
The Clock Tower was built in the 15th Century right at the other end of the Placa (main thoroughfare) and represented alongside nearby buildings a free city-state. The tower is approximately 31 meters in height and built by Grubacevic, Utisenovic and Radoncic, local masters. Following an earthquake, the structure of the Clock Tower lost its structure and then started to lean. In order for it not to fall the Clock Tower was rebuilt in 1929.
Orlando’s column was Built in 1418, then it was the focal point of the city and Government ordinances and punishment carried out. A flag flies above the statue with the ‘Libertas’ motto.
The medieval cult of Orlando (Roland) started here in the 12th century based on the epic poem ‘Song of Roland’
- Breakfast at the hotel and morning at leisure
- OPTIONAL, on your own: Meeting with your instructors at Pile Gate for a half day group sea kayaking experience (starts beneath fort Lovrjenac in the small port called Pile). Explore caves and beauties of Lokrum island, where you will have a break for snorkeling and sandwiches. Upon return, discover why easy paddling in kayaks beneath the old city walls. WEATHER PERMITTING
- Private transfer from your hotel to Pile Gate meeting point where your guide awaits to take you for the private walking tour of the Old Town Dubrovnik.
- Walk to the lower station of Cable Car that will take you to Mt. Srđ
- Take the Dubrovnik Cable Car and reach a unique viewpoint above the city.
Glide through the air on a scenic adventure. The Cable Car ride offers breathtaking views of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, stunning coastal sights and magnificent sunsets. Once you reach the top, take your time and relax and enjoy the unique views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic.
Also at the top you will find the Homeland War Museum and take a short visit
- Walk down the hill to Konoba Dubrava for a farewell dinner (drinks not included)
- Private transfer back to your hotel, time at leisure and an overnight in Dubrovnik
Day 3 – September 23 Dubrovnik – Ston – Hvar
The Walls of Ston are a series of defensive stone walls, originally more than 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) long, that surrounded and protected the city of Ston, in Dalmatia, part of the Republic of Ragusa, in what is now southern Croatia. The Walls of Ston were known as the “European wall of China”.
Despite being well protected by massive city walls, the Republic of Ragusa used Pelješac to build another line of defense. At its narrowest point, just before it joins the mainland, a wall was built from Ston to Mali Ston. Throughout the era of the Republic, the walls were maintained and renovated once they meant to protect the precious salt pans that contributed to Dubrovnik’s wealth, which are still being worked today.
Demolition work began on the walls following the fall of the Republic. Later the Austrian authorities took materials away from the wall to build schools and community buildings, and also for a triumphal arch on the occasion of the visit by the Austrian Emperor in 1884. The wall around Mali Ston was demolished with the excuse that it was damaging the health of the people. The demolition was halted after World War II.
The wall, today 5.5-kilometer long wall links Ston to Mali Ston and is in the shape of an irregular pentangle. It was completed in the 15th century, along with its 40 towers (20 of which have survived) and 5 fortresses. Within, three streets were laid from north to south and three others from east to west. Thus, fifteen equal blocks were formed with 10 houses in each. Residential buildings around the edges. The Gothic Republic Chancellery and the Bishop’s Palace are outstanding among the public buildings.
The main streets are 6 m wide (except the southern street which is 8 m wide) and the side streets are 2 m wide. The town was entered by two city gates: the Field Gate (Poljska vrata) has a Latin inscription and dates from 1506. The centers of the system are the fortress Veliki kaštio in Ston, Koruna in Mali Ston and the fortress on Podzvizd hill (224 m). The noted artist who works on the walls project is Michelozzo, Bernardino Gatti of Parma and Giorgio da Sebenico (Juraj Dalmatinac). The city plan of Dubrovnik was used as a model for Ston, but since Ston was built on prepared terrain, that model was more closely followed than Dubrovnik itself. In terms of infrastructure like water mains and sewers built in 1581, Ston was remarkably unique in Europe.
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Meet your driver for a private transfer from Dubrovnik to Hvar via Pelješac peninsula with en route stop in Ston (a visit to Ston walls included)
- Stop in Mali Ston or Hodilje for oyster harvesting experience and a traditional lunch prepared with local mussels and shells
- Onward drive to Hvar and accommodation in your hotel
- Enjoy a local, traditional dinner experience at an abandoned village
- Return to the hotel for an overnight in Hvar
- Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Hvar, BB Basis
Day 4 – September 24 Hvar
The lavender island that Conde Nast’s signature travel magazine called “one of the “best 10 islands in the world”. A vacation on the lavender island of Hvar means extraordinary experiences every day – from visiting an ancient olive grove and learning about what Homer called “liquid gold”, taking a ride to discover hidden inland Hvar to exploring a castle, visiting the oldest theatre in Europe or tasting spectacular wine and local delicacies at an award-winning vineyard.
St.Stephen’s Square – The center of town is this rectangular square, which was formed by filling in an inlet that once stretched out from the bay. At 4500 sq meters, it’s one of the largest old squares in Dalmatia. The town first developed in the 13th century to the north of the square and later spread south in the 15th century. Notice the well at the square’s northern end, which was built in 1520 and has a wrought-iron grill dating from 1780.
Cathedral of St Stephen – The cathedral forms a stunning backdrop to the square. The bell tower rises four levels, each more elaborate than the last. The cathedral was built in the 16th and 17th centuries at the height of the Dalmatian Renaissance on the site of a cathedral destroyed by the Turks. Parts of the older cathedral are visible in the nave and in the carved 15thcentury choir stalls.
Renaissance Theater – Built in 1612, this theatre is reportedly the first theatre in Europe open to plebeians and aristocrats alike. It remained a regional cultural center throughout the centuries. Plays were still staged here right up until 2008. Although much of the theatre is still under renovation, you can wander around the atmospheric interior and take in the faded frescoes and baroque loggias.
Franciscan Monastery & Museum – This 15th-century monastery overlooks a shady cove. The elegant bell tower was built in the 16th century by a well-known family of stonemasons from Korčula. The Renaissance cloister leads to a refectory containing lace, coins, nautical charts and valuable documents, such as an edition of Ptolemy’s Atlas, printed in 1524.
Your eye will immediately be struck by The Last Supper, an 8m by 2.5m work by the Venetian Matteo Ingoli dating from the end of the 16th century. The cypress in the cloister garden is said to be more than 300 years old. The adjoining church, named Our Lady of Charity, contains more fine paintings such as the three polyptychs created by Francesco da Santacroce in 1583, which represent the summit of this painter’s work.
Fortica – Through the network of tiny streets northwest of St Stephen’s Square, climb up through a park to the citadel built on the site of a medieval castle to defend the town from the Turks. The Venetians strengthened it in 1557 and then the Austrians renovated it in the 19th century by adding barracks. Inside is a tiny collection of ancient amphorae recovered from the seabed. The view over the harbor is magnificent, and there’s a lovely cafe at the top.
Arsenal – On the southern side of St Stephen’s Square, the Arsenal was built in 1611 to replace a building destroyed by the Ottomans. Mentioned in Venetian documents as ‘the most beautiful and the most useful building in the whole of Dalmatia’, the Arsenal once served as a repair and refitting station for war galleons.
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Meet your guide in the morning to depart on a special wine tasting tour of Hvar. Taste Croatia’s first and only wines that won the Paris World Wine Contest and the Decanter World Wine Awards in London! Our Taste of Hvar, the island of wine tour introduces you to two of Croatia’s most distinguished winemakers, including wine tastings.
- Return to Hvar town for time at leisure and dinner on your own
- OPTIONAL: Taxi speed boat to Pakleni islands
- Private walking tour of Hvar town
- Overnight in Hvar
- Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Hvar, BB Basis
Day 5 – September 25 Hvar – Split
Olives, indigenous aromatic plant the brilliance of white stone against the verdant vegetation and the towering mountain massif of Biokovo whose spurs reach all the way to the sea – yes, this is indeed an exceptional part of the country, and its beauty is made all the more enchanting by numerous historic events and monuments. When, in the year 305, the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruled the entire world at that time, decided to build his leisure time abode – in which he intended to spend the rest of his life – he had no doubt as to exactly where build to it. In the very heart of Dalmatia, in the bay of Aspalathos (Split), well protected from the sea by the islands of the Split archipelago, and defended on its landward side by high mountains, Diocletian created a special point on the map of the Adriatic: the future city of Split.
There’s no doubt Diocletian’s Palace is the top must-see attraction in Croatia’s second biggest city –Split. This UNESCO protected World Heritage Site is actually the heart of the whole city – almost two thousand years old, the enormous palace exists today as a ”living monument” – meaning it’s dotted with quaint shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants and people actually live and work within its old walls. And that’s what makes it really special – it’s an ancient Roman palace absolutely integrated into the everyday life and doings of Split and its people.
The Riva, a marble-white and palm-lined connection of Split and the Adriatic is everyone’s favorite spot for socializing, coffee-drinking or just idle sitting on one of the comfy benches which face the sea. Riva is full of life throughout the day, especially during the summer, and you’ll always find people strolling along or sitting in one of the cafes. So, if you want to get a feeling of the local every day “buzz” be sure to grab your spot and you’ll soon experience first hand how important and irresistible is the coffee culture in Croatia.
Marjan hill, often referred to as the ”green lungs of the city”, is a big forest park located close to the city center and fully equipped with walking, hiking and jogging trails. It’s a great choice for everyone who prefers less-crowded, wild beaches
and thick pine tree shade. Moreover, if you’re looking for a picture-taking paradise, Marjan is your place! It offers stunning views of both Split and the surrounding islands. Marjan also hides some interesting historical sights such as old Jewish cemetery and 15th-century monasteries which are actually built into the hill.
And finally, maybe not the most important but certainly the yummiest must-do activity of all – food! 😉 Split, especially its Old Town, is literally dotted with colorful food stalls, konoba (a type of traditional Dalmatian tavern) and quaint little restaurants. Don’t miss local delicacies, such as fish prepared na gradele and pašticada. Street food culture in Split is also pretty strong and you can never go hungry since there’s always some inviting bite-sized treat waiting for you around the corner.
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Assistance with your luggage to Hvar Port and fast ferry from Hvar to Split
- Upon arrival to Split assistance with luggage and accommodation in your hotel
- Meeting with your guide for an Exclusive Adventures Croatia private walking tour of Old Town Split. This tour will highlight the local customs and traditions related to food making. This tour Split will show you places of historical importance, take you to the places of the beaten path and give you the opportunity to taste local food.
- Time at leisure and an overnight in Split
- Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Split, BB Basis
Day 6 – September 26 Split – Omis – Split
Omis is a small town and harbor in Central Dalmatian located between Split and Makarska, situated in the mouth of the Cetina river and surrounded by massive gorges. In the past, Omis was notorious because of the pirates of Omis whose ships were a centuries-long symbol of retaliation, courage, and strength. The evidence of proud and turbulent Omis history can be found on every corner of the Omis Riviera. Omis churches and Omis fortresses are silent stone reminders of the power and the might of infamous Omis pirates. Today, Omis is one of the most beautiful places of Croatia’s Adriatic Coast. Thousands of years the Cetina River has been flowing persistently through the canyon, creating magical shapes in its bed. Crystal clear and pleasant for swimming, Cetina River today represents the genuine experience of the intact nature with its 180 meters high cliffs, wild rapids, basins, lakes and subterranean tunnels.
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Meet your driver and head towards to small town of Omiš.
- Upon arrival, meet your guide and start a private guided walking tour of Omiš.
- After the tour, embark a boat and head for half an hour drive on Cetina river.
- Upon arrival to Radmanove Mlinice head for delicious lunch.
- Enjoy traditional food from the Cetina River (frogs, eels…) and traditional Croatian meat dish “peka” (meal baked under iron bell for several hours before served). Homemade bread is offered daily.
- After lunch, meet your driver and head back to Split.
- Upon arrival, time at leisure.
- Overnight in Split.
Day 7 – September 27 Split – Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia’s best known national park and the only one of eight that is listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. The main attractions of this park, are the 16 small lakes joined by waterfalls created by the sedimentation of travertine, a special type of limestone. This national park encompasses the source of the river Korana, located in the area surrounded by dense forests of beech, fir, and spruce. There are also several caves in the park, as well as springs and flowering meadows. The brown bear stands out as one of many protected animal species. The popularity of this park is also boosted by the special means of transport used to ferry visitors around: the panoramic electric trains and the noiseless electro-powered boats. Through a network of paths, visitors can get around and access the numerous waterfalls and the rocky lake shores easily.
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Meeting with your driver for a private transfer from Split to Plitvice Lakes
- for a guided visit to the national park
- The oldest (since 1949) and largest (294,82 km2) National park in Croatia. The only National park in Croatia on the UNESCO’s list of protected natural and cultural heritage (for almost 30 years). The riches of sixteen wonderful interlinked azure-green colored crystalline lakes. The constant formation of the barrier modeled the appearance of the lakes today, and is the main feature of the National park. The water of Plitvice Lakes is prime category drinking water (a rarity in Croatia).
- Walking along the forest trails, across the wooden bridges; ride on the electric boat and the panoramic tour bus
- Final transfer to your accommodation, time at leisure (dinner on your own) and an overnight in Plitvice Lakes area
- Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Plitvice Lakes area, BB Basis
Day 8 – September 28 Plitvice Lakes National Park – Zagreb
Unveil the secrets behind the old facades, discover the hidden courtyards and revive the stories from the past. We’ll give you a completely new perspective of the Zagreb City. Walking tour of Zagreb starts with the main square Ban Jelačić, Cathedral, Tkalčićeva street, the Stone Gate, Upper Town, the historical center of the city, St. Mark’s Church with the famed multi-colored roof. Using funicular, close to the Lotrščak Tower, you can go down to the Lower town to see a part of famous Ilica street, the Croatian National Theatre, University and more
The Cathedral of the Assumption dominates Kaptol, its glowing towers you see off in the distance is the most immediately recognizable and commanding feature in town. It is an ornate and impressive wonder of neo-Gothic artistry. The cathedral was founded in 1093, heavily damaged in 1242 after various sieges by the Tartars, then again in 1625 after a wave of fires. But the bad luck goes on, in 1880 it was seriously damaged during an earthquake. In 1990 exterior renovations set in motion to battle against the wearing effects of time. Just up from the main square (Trg bana J. Jelacica) by the stairs, you will find the colorful Dolac market. To the back of the market square, there are the touristy stalls which sell souvenirs. But actually, the market itself is for the locals to buy fresh produce. Downstairs you will find the meat etc. sections.
St.Mark’s Church – In the highest area of historic Zagreb this church is characterized by its roof with red, blue and white representing the coat of arms of Zagreb. The building was constructed by Venetian masters, even the baroque bell tower is an addition to the seventeenth century. Inside there are Gothic vaults and a choir designed by Ivan Mestrovic. The square where it is situated is a symbol of political life because here are the locations of the Sabor (Parliament), neoclassical building, and the Croatian government.
Stone Gate – Only one of the city’s four gates, the eastern one, has been preserved and this leads to the Gradec neighborhood. Apart from being practical, it’s also surrounded by a legend which is very important to Zagreb’s citizens who are very devout. According to this legend, the great fire of 1731 destroyed nearly all of the wooden door except for a painting of the Virgin and Child by an unknown 17th-century artist. People thought that it was a magical or a miraculous painting and since then, they have come to the site to pray and make offerings. On the inside of the doors on the wall, they have used the space as a chapel with benches for the people to pray before the image locked behind iron bars and surrounded by candles and flowers.
Lower Town -Parks – Maksimir Park & Zagreb Zoo – the biggest park in Zagreb. Great place to chill out, drink coffee, eat lunch (picnic or at the park’s restaurant) or take nice long walks through the forest or by the small lakes. Good for joggers, cyclists, also child and dog-friendly. Offers lake rowing. The 85-year old Zoo now also has red pandas and a variety of animals.
Other city parks are connected in the “Lenuci Horseshoe”, an unfinished project of combining small green squares and parks at the core of the center of the town.
Zrinjevac Park, (just south-east of the main square). the park of the Academy (connecting the Zrinjevac and Tomislav parks). King Tomislav square, (south of Zrinjevac, just outside the main Train Station). Botanical Gardens, (south of the K. Tomislav Square, near the Hotel Esplanade). Mažuranić square. Square of Maršal Tito, (the green square surrounding the National Theatre).
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Private transfer from Plitvice Lakes NP to Zagreb and accommodation in your centrally situated hotel
- Meeting with your guide for a private walking tour of Zagreb with a visit to Museum of Broken Relationships
- Time at leisure to explore the city on your own, enjoy a drink or dinner in one of the many restaurants (on your own)
- Overnight in Zagreb
- Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Zagreb, BB Basis
Day 9 – September 29 Zagreb
- Breakfast at the hotel and check out
- Meeting with your driver for a private transfer from to Zagreb Airport
- Departure flight
END Autumn in Croatia, and a safe journey home!
Autumn in Croatia, September 21 – 29, 2019, based on 6- 12 people, package includes:
- • VAT TAX INCLUDED
• 24hr concierge and in Croatia assistance
• Private transfer from Dubrovnik airport to Dubrovnik hotel in a modern air-conditioned minibus
• English speaking tour leader throughout
• Sep 21 – Sep 23, 2 nights’ accommodation at Hotel 5* in Dubrovnik, double/twin room with sea view balcony, BB basis
• Private transfer from Dubrovnik hotel to Pile gate (Old Town) in a modern air-conditioned minibus
• Private English speaking guide in Dubrovnik (tickets to the sights not included)
• The cable car ride to Mt Srđ
• Private transfer from Pile gate (Old Town) – Local restaurant – Hotel in a modern air-conditioned minibus
• Dinner at traditional “konoba” restaurant
• Private transfer Dubrovnik – Pelješac peninsula – Ston – Drvenik – Sućuraj – Hvar in a modern, air-conditioned minibus
• Ston walls
• Ston oysters experience (NOTE: Possibility of the boat ride depends on the weather condition)
• Seafood lunch
• Ferry Drvenik – Sućuraj
• Private transfer Hvat – Malo Grablje – Hvar
• Dinner at traditional “konoba” restaurant in a modern, air-conditioned minibus
• Sep 23 – Sep 25, 2 nights accommodation at Hotel 4* in Hvar, double/twin superior sea view balcony room, BB basis
• Private guided walking tour of Hvar (tickets to the sites not included)
• Private transfer and wine tasting at two local wineries
• Private transfer Hvar hotel – Stari grad pier in a modern, air-conditioned minibus
• Ferry tickets Stari grad – Split
• Adventures Croatia EXCLUSIVE foodie and cultural walking tour of Split (tickets to the sites not included) – approx. 5 hours
Included: English speaking tour guide, 5 stops (1st stop – prosciutto & cheese and bread, 2nd stop – olive oil tasting, 3rd stop – a starter dish, 4th stop – entrée dish, rakija tasting – 3 different rakija)
• Sep 25 – Sep 27, 2 nights accommodation at Hotel 4* in Hvar, double/twin superior room, BB basis
• Private transfer Split – Omiš – Split in a modern, air-conditioned minibus
• Omiš guide (up to 1 hours) – tickets to the sites not included
• Panoramic boat ride
• Lunch at local restaurant Radmanove Mlinice
• Private transfer Split – Plitvice lakes in a modern, air-conditioned minibus
• Private English speaking guide in National Park Plitvice lakes
• Plitvice lakes National Park entrance tickets
• Sep 27 – Sep 28, 1 night accommodation at Hotel Degenija 4* in Rakovica, double/twin rooms, BB basis
• Private transfer Plitvice lakes – Zagreb in a modern, air-conditioned mini bus
• Private English speaking guide in Zagreb
• Entrance tickets for Museum of Broken Relationships
• Sep 28 – Sep 29, 1 night accommodation at Hotel 4* in Zagreb, double/twin room, BB basis
• Private transfer to Zagreb airport in a modern, air-conditioned minibus
- Group sea kayaking tour (kayaking & snorkeling gear, waterproof barrels for personal things, instructors/guides, sandwiches & water, insurance)
- Taxi speed boat to Pakleni islands from Hvar
- Private walking tour of Hvar town
- • VAT TAX INCLUDED
Program does not include:
- Meals and drinks not mentioned above
- Airfare, Travel Insurance
- Additional excursions and/or services not mentioned in the program
- Personal expenses (internet, telephone, mini bar etc.)
- Tips and porterage services
Dates and Details:
- Prices are based on the number of passengers traveling and dates of travel
- Hotels and services as listed are not guaranteed until confirmed