You will be seduced by Split, dazzled by Dubrovnik, and heart-warmed by the island of Hvar. This is the best of Croatia’s Adriatic coast in a week with highlights like Trogir, the Blue Cave, Cavtat and a day trip to Montenegro. Soak up the island life, visit vineyards and olive farms, lounge on the coast and immerse yourself in the terracotta charm of the historical destinations.
Split – Wandering Through the Iconic Dalmatian City
Split has always basked in its unrivaled location. Rolling mountains provide a backdrop as they wrap themselves around a soft blue bay. Diocletian’s Palace has the prime location, a 4th-century retreat for Emperor Diocletian. The old city extends around the palace with walls that shimmer white in the sun and roof tiles a faded terracotta color. There is a harmony to the architecture, and you can easily get lost in the mazy knot of central lanes. Do not worry, as getting lost is part of the allure here. Being lost is the best way to explore, as you will find charming streets and small boutiques. You are never really lost, though, as Split is easy to navigate on foot and you will have the afternoon to explore.
Earlier in the morning, you will be greeted at the city’s airport for a short transfer to your hotel. Just a few steps from Diocletian’s Palace, the boutique four-star property has one foot in the past and the other embracing contemporary styles. It will be comfortable while still giving you a keen sense of how the city’s medieval buildings look on the inside. For the evening, it is recommended that you head down the promenade to Riva Harbor, where you can watch the boats coming and going from a cafe terrace.
Split – Seduced by Trogir and Diocletian’s Palace
Hvar – Wine Tasting, Medieval Bliss, and Unique Island Flavors
Hvar – Highlights of the Archipelago Small-Group Boat Tour
Dubrovnik – The Epic Historical City on the Coast
Dubrovnik – A Day Trip Exploring the Mystery of Montenegro
Dubrovnik – Exploring Cavtat and Rural Croatian Life
Dubrovnik – Departure
- Celebrate the atmosphere of Dubrovnik, a marble city with a treasure chest of cultural and historical monuments
- Be seduced by Split, a surprising old city that has much more to offer than world-famous Diocletian’s Palace
- Soak up the Adriatic island life with a couple of nights on Havar to explore the vineyards, villages, pebbled beaches and UNESCO World Heritage Stari Grad
- Uncover alternative impressions as you spend a day in neighboring Montenegro, including the grand village of Perast and Kotor’s mystical old town
- Discover a living history by spending a morning in the walled village of Trogir, where Romanesque and Renaissance architecture stands side by side
- Get a sense of rural Croatian life with a day in the Konavle region, which includes a cooking class at an old olive oil estate
- Watch the water shimmer as you explore a remote Adriatic coastline on a boat tour from Hvar
Croatia always feels like a summer love story, even if you visit in the winter and especially if you only visit for a week. Fortified coastal towns provide a seductive introduction as the architecture tempts you with Renaissance flourishes, Romanesque roots, and Venetian details. Expressive landscapes will be fascinating as vineyards stretch through the hills and waters that may be blue or green dependent on your angle. You will be won over at first glance and soon be immersed in the country’s charm from daily excursions to quiet evenings walking along the lantern-lit streets.
Perhaps what will seduce you most is the harmony of contrasting influences. Croatia has been fought over for 2,000 years with every competing kingdom or empire leaving something behind. Take Diocletian’s Palace as an example, a 4th-century retreat that is now the centerpiece of Split. You could also consider Trogir’s Gothic Cathedral that was built by the Venetians, or perhaps a Napoleon Fortress on the island of Hvar that was built some 21 centuries after Stari Grad was founded. With good local guides, you will find evidence of the Ottomans with some superb Renaissance architecture with stories and styles brought from Venice as the civilizations manifest themselves in neighboring Montenegro as well.
This handcrafted luxury tour spends a week on the coast with overnight stays in the three most iconic of Croatia’s destinations. While there is a huge amount of detail to uncover, there is no need to rush head over heels. Croatia will reveal more when you move slowly, such are the niches and subtleties. Authentic and atmospheric, Split always provides a loveable introduction to the country. Hvar is the most sublime of the islands, mixing a stunning seascape with old stone towns. Dubrovnik is the city republic preserved, taking you on a journey that is every bit as inspiring as the city’s fame.
Your first day in Split will be relaxed, and you will find it a great city to walk around without a guide. Your initial impressions are followed by a morning excursion to Trogir, where a knot of narrow lanes will lead you through a Venetian-inspired town. Your guide will also help you to uncover the secrets of Diocletian’s Palace the next day, and there are some superb places found along the harbor for an evening meal. The Split Promenade has a sultry evening atmosphere for most of the year, something that always helps in Croatia’s love story.
Take the fast catamaran from Split to Hvar, and then spend day three discovering the full range of highlights. You will travel to the green interior where the wild olive groves extend past vineyards. Follow the lavender roads to Napoleon Fortress and keep it low key in the village of Jelsa before you marvel at every square inch of Stari Grad. Dinner is at a family estate and your accommodation is nestled amongst a UNESCO World Heritage pedestrianized old town. After the highlights of the area, you will spend the next day on the water with a small-group boat tour taking you along a dazzling cliff-lined coastline. Explore the Blue and Green caves, bask on a hidden beach, and finish the day with a traditional konoba dinner.
There will be a direct catamaran from Hvar to Dubrovnik, and you will arrive like the travelers of old and into Dubrovnik’s pier. While the city has been made even more famous as a set for Star Wars and Game of Thrones, it will still feel as though you are wandering around a medieval era. Authenticity has been retained and tradition never seems to die here. Spend most of the day on a guided walking tour, and then gaze down on the city from Mt Srd. Your five-star hotel is inside the city gates, and the marble streets will keep you company on three separate evenings. Spend the next day in the Konavle region, a different kind of local experience to Dubrovnik. For further contrast, you can visit Montenegro on a day tour, where they have their own cities from past republics.
$2,075 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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