Highlights of Croatia Tour: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik & Plitvice

A 8 day trip to Croatia 
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Travel from city to sea to ethereal forest on this deeply luxurious and ever-enthralling week-long trip through Croatia. From the innovative cuisine and galleries of Zagreb to the historically steeped Roman and Baroque walls of Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik, you will experience the culture, history, beauty and utter elegance of an emergent and truly re-invented eastern European country. After days amidst architectural wonders and the alluring Adriatic Sea, reflect on the wonder of Croatia as you unwind, wandering throughout the enchanted forests, fields and terraced lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park before returning once more to the cafes of Zagreb. 

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Zagreb, Rijeka, Zadar, Trogir, Split, Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes National Park

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Welcome to Zagreb, Croatia

Today, as your plane descends over Croatia, you will catch your first glimpse of the quintessentially Croatian orange and red roofs. Zagreb, the country’s capital, has found itself a place in the hearts of travelers in recent years, through its historically saturated architecture and ever-welcoming cafes. In the arrivals hall, you will meet your private chauffer who will drive you out into the city towards your first luxury hotel. Passing by galleries, museums and cinemas, take note of the socialist roots that course through a rapidly modernizing city.  

Depending on your time of arrival, you may have time to seek out your first street-side café, where you can adjust to your new environment as the city swirls around you. Otherwise, after some relaxation at your exclusive hotel, this evening will be your first opportunity to venture out into the distinct, intriguing, and blossoming Croatian culinary scene. In Zagreb, local chefs are famously re-inventing classic dishes like a meat or cheese-filled phyllo pastry, and an infinite number of sweets. Indulge and enjoy, before sleepily returning to your hotel under the light of the moon.

Day 2: Tour the Historic and Cultural Sights of Zagreb, Before Departing by Road to Rijeka

This morning your day will begin with a tour of the city. Located where the East contentiously meets the West, Zagreb has had a long history of foreign rule and external influences. However, as the city finds its own footing in the present day, a distinct culture is emerging that enthralls those who spend time here.

Spend your morning exploring this ultra-walkable city, wandering from Jelačić Square towards the bronze statue of Marija Juric Zagorka, the country’s first female journalist. From there, you might head over to Lenuci’s Horseshoe, a lush promenade filled with flowerbeds and fountains. Here you will find the Croatian National Theatre, a masterpiece of neo-Baroque architecture, and the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy lunch at a sidewalk café in town before beginning your journey to Rijeka. On this two-hour drive you will move through the Croatian countryside, eventually arriving on the edge of the Adriatic Sea in the Kvarner Bay.

Day 3: Travel through Ancient Roman History, Stopping in the Towns of Zadar and Trogir on Route to Split

This morning, you will begin a winding drive down the Dalmatia Coast. Arriving in Zadar just in time for lunch, you will spend the early afternoon exploring the history-filled walls of the city. Beginning at the Roman Forum which dates back to the second century; you can slowly walk through the centuries as you pass the ninth century pre-Romanesque church of St. Donatus. Moving into modern day, look for remnants of the Second World War and the Soviet reconstruction efforts, before eventually searching out signs of the Serbian occupation. As history comes alive, marvel at the city’s perseverance and patriotism, before you continue on down the Dalmatia Coast.

Prior to arriving in Split, you will make one more detour to the medieval town of Trogir. Founded by the Greeks and occupied by the Romans, this 17-century old town is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Centuries-old stonework adorns the facades of local homes, while street performers liven the alleyways with melodic tunes and flaming batons. Drift briefly back in time before returning to present day for the final 16 kilometers of your journey. In the late afternoon, you will finally arrive in the seaside town of Split, where a fresh seafood feast will undoubtedly await you.

Day 4: Soak in the History of Split, Before Driving along the Makarska Riviera to Dubrovnik

Begin today with an unhurried coffee on the edge of Split’s infamous promenade: the Riva. As the pace of your surroundings liven, you will embark on a guided half-day tour of the city’s most coveted sights.  Perhaps most famous of them all is Diocletian’s Palace, the city’s historic core and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Basement corridors and oceanside promenades lead you throughout the palace, perhaps better described as a walled city, before ultimately guiding you towards the Peristil, the main courtyard. Here, you will find both the cathedral and the Temple of Jupiter, each of which is guarded by a black granite sphinx. Before exiting through the Golden Gate, the palace’s most opulent gate, you can wander through the alleyways to pursue the multitude of mementos sold by local artists and vendors. Eventually you will pry yourself away from the palace and head back towards the Riva for lunch.

Following lunch, you will continue along the Makarska Riviera, gradually winding your way between the mountains and the sea as you make your way towards the globally-coveted town of Dubrovnik. After settling into your hotel this afternoon, wander through the old city in search of the perfect table, illuminated only by candles and the moon.  

Day 5: Wander from Cobblestone Alleyways to Oceanside Cliffs, Acquainting yourself with Dubrovnik

Today, you will have an entire day to explore Dubrovnik at your own pace. Rich with historical, cultural, culinary and natural sights, the day will be entirely yours to design. For many, the morning may begin with a walk along the Adriatic Sea, stepping down to a pebble beach or out onto the rocky shelves. Energized by the morning ocean breeze, you might then venture into the old city for breakfast at one of many cafes that spill out onto the cobblestone alleyways. The remainder of the morning could be happily spent wandering in and out of the shops, museums, galleries and churches, each of which is nestled into the Baroque architecture. Of course as you wander, be sure to make space to visit some of the city’s most famous sites including the Rector’s Palace, the Cathedral, and the Franciscan Monastery, in which you’ll find Europe’s third oldest pharmacy!

As temperatures climb in the Old Town, consider stepping out through the gates to explore the seaside in the afternoon. Search out your perfect rock shelf, where you can soak in some sun before diving into the effervescent Adriatic Sea. Or perhaps consider renting a kayak to catch a glimpse of this walled-city and the surrounding islands from the Mediterranean. Return to the Old Town for the evening, perhaps staying out a little later tonight for a moonlit stroll with ice cream in hand. 

Day 6: Drive along the Adriatic Coast, Eventually Venturing Inland to Plitvice

This morning, you will drive away from the orange rooftops of Dubrovnik moving back up the Adriatic Coast. As you approach the Neretva River Delta, you will venture inland following the curves of the valley and the Cetina River. Stop en route for a countryside lunch and eventually arrive in Plitvice in the mid-afternoon. After a busy couple of days of sightseeing, spend what remains of the afternoon enjoying the deeply luxurious surroundings of your hotel.  Revel in the fresh breeze that rolls across the lakes and forests that are characteristic of  the national park before indulging in a romantic dinner.  

Day 7: Explore the Sixteen Lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Before Returning to Zagreb

Cascading waterfalls, clear turquoise lakes and cathedral-like forest canopies weave together to form Plitvice Lakes National Park. Sitting in perfect complement to the regal beauty of the Adriatic Sea, your understanding of Croatia would be incomplete without a stroll through this majestic UNESCO Natural Heritage Site. The entire park sprawls out over 12,000 acres, with walking trails leading you under spruce and fir, through delicate meadows and up onto rock cliffs perched dramatically around pristine lakes. Follow your chosen path through this surreal natural wonderland, enjoying your final full day in the country. Pause for a picnic or perhaps a glass of wine on a secluded sunny patch of moss, before wandering beneath a waterfall as you gradually make your way back.

In the afternoon, you will return by road to Zagreb. Over two hours, you will wind away from the ethereal forests, moving back towards the capital. Arriving in the late afternoon, you will have just enough time to scout out the perfect candlelit table for a final taste of Croatia. 

Day 8: Indulge in a Final Croatian Breakfast, Before Returning to the Airport for your Flight Home

This morning, following a final breakfast at your Zagreb hotel, you will return to the airport for your international flight home. Those with a later departure may have enough time to stroll the streets once more, visiting the favorite sights from your first day or a few others that remain untouched. Of course for those that crave more than a few hours, there is always the opportunity to design a few additional idyllic days in the region, be it in Croatia, or elsewhere.

Price

Price 

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.