Croatia: "A Must See" Tour

Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.
A 10 day trip to Croatia 
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Private walking tour of Zagreb Croatia's capital, visit of Plitvice Lakes national park, visit of Zadar and a private one day tour with a sailing boat to Kornati islands, private one day tour to the island of Hvar discovering also the small settlements of the island, Dubrovnik private walking tour

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General Information

Photos
Zagreb's central railway, Croatia.
Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.
St Donatus church in Zadar, Croatia.
Arches at Rector's Palace in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Clock tower in Split, Croatia.
St Blaise's Church in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The historic center of Dubrovnik in Croatia.
The waterfront of Split city in Croatia.
The port in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
A view of the old port in Dubrovnik in Croatia.
The waterfront of Stari Grad on Hvar island in Croatia.
Looking over the rooftops of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The Kornati islands in Croatia.
Meandering path through Plitvice National Park in Croatia.
Plitvice lakes in Croatia.
A colorful street in Zagreb, Croatia.
Zadar church in Croatia.
Stari Grad on Hvar island in Croatia.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zadar, Kornati islands, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1

ARRIVAL ZAGREB

Depending on your arrival flight, you will be met by your English speaking driver at the Zagreb airport for a private transfer to hotel Dubrovnik in Zagreb.
Hotel Dubrovnik in Zagreb is a 4 star property with tradition dating since 1929. Hotels prime location at the Zagreb's main city square (Trg Ban J. Jelacic) makes it your perfect choice if wishing to be in the very heart of the City. Included Deluxe double room king size bed with breakfast.
Remaining of the evening spend free at leisure.

Day 2

ZAGREB PRIVATE WALKING TOUR

This morning, your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby at 10:00 AM to take you on an overview walking tour of Zagreb’s historic district. While it has only been the political capital of Croatia since 1991, Zagreb has long been a cultural and artistic confluence of Eastern and Western influences. In medieval times, Zagreb consisted of two separate towns, Kaptol, the religious center, and Gradec, the commercial hub. The river Medvescak in-between the two towns was often the site of fierce battles between Kaptol and Gradec. Today, Grad and Kaptol together form the Upper Town, or Gornji Grad, and is the historic Old Town of Zagreb, while the Lower Town, or Donji Grad, on the plains is more chic and contemporary.
Your guide will take you to the Upper Town of Gornji Grad where you may begin your tour of the historic heart of Zagreb (approximately a ten- minute walk from your hotel along the park and tree-lined streets of Zagreb). The best way to get around the Old Town is on foot.

As you enter the Upper Town you will be confronted by the spires of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the most prominent landmark on the city’s skyline. As you approach the front of the church don’t miss the ornate sculpted doorway. The cathedral contains the tombs of the most important personalities in the history of Croatia including Ivan Mestrovic, the Croatian sculptor. You may also visit the treasury, which houses an enormous collection of ornaments and manuscripts dating from the 11th century right up to the 20th century. As you leave St. Stephen’s Cathedral, you will find yourself next to the Archbishop’s Palace, which is notable for being the oldest surviving building in Zagreb.

Today you may enter the ancient city of Gradec through the Stone Gate, the only surviving gateway to the Old City dating back to the 13th Century. Next to this historic entry is a pharmacy which from 1399 onwards was owned by Nicolo Alighieri, the grandson of Dante, the world famous scribe!
Gradec is a district of major artistic and historical importance as all the main museums are located in this area. You may also visit the Viceroy’s Palace also known as Ban’s Palace. This neo-classical building houses the President of the Republic of Croatia’s personal residence as well as various government offices. Close by you will also see the Church of St. Mark, with its distinctive roof of colored glazed tiles bearing the coats of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia and Zagreb.
Still in companionship of your guide, you will meet your rent-a-car agent for vehicle pick up.
After this is all set, you may end today in the central Jelacic square with its colorful cafés and terraces, where you may stop and refresh yourself with a cup of coffee or a snack.
Your afternoon will be at leisure.

Day 3

SELF-DRIVE ZAGREB – PLITVICE LAKES

Today, after leisure breakfast, check-out hotel Dubrovnik and self-drive toward Plitvice Lakes National Park. After approximately 3 hours driving you will reach Plitvice Lakes, a specific geological and hydrogeological phenomenon of karst, with 16 bigger and few smaller lakes, gradually lined up, separated by travertine barriers. UNESCO has declared it with all rights as the World's natural inheritance. Use your two days ticket for independent exploring of the national park choosing a sightseeing route that best suits your interests as the tickets cover all routes including a train and boat ride in the park. Your accommodation, hotel Jezero, is a 3* property located in the very heart of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, only 300 meters from the largest lake, Kozjak.

Day 4

SELF-DRIVE PLITVICE ZADAR

Your today's drive will take approximately 2,5 hours until you reach Zadar.
Zadar is the small capital of North Dalmatia, with its old town being a good rival to Dubrovnik. A very ancient town, standing on an almost-isle with much of the old town walls still intact. There are many remarkable quarters and monuments just waiting for you to discover. In the Roman quarter you'll find a Forum and the Church of St. Donat, an impressive building built by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine in the 9th century AD.
Sea Organ, Zadar's newest feature a place where human ideas and skills are joined with the energy of the sea, waves, high and low tide, a place of relax, thinking and conversation accompanied by the continual concert of the mystical tones of the “Orchestra of Nature”
“It must be the most beautiful sunset in the world!” mumbled Alfred Hitchcock while sitting on Zadar’s waterfront 43 years ago.
Spend the afternoon exploring charming winding streets of this ever charming city.
Your accommodation will be hotel Bastion, a small 28 luxury rooms hotel.

Day 5

SAILING TO THE KORNATI ISLANDS

KORNATI ISLANDS is a group of about 130 islands, islets and reefs sprinkled in the deep blue sea of the Adriatic covering an area of about 64 sq km, located just across the cities of Zadar and Sibenik.
The largest island, and the one that you will visit today is Kornat from which the archipelago takes its name. Other larger islands are, Piskara, Kurba Vela, Zut, Sit ,Vrgada and Levrnaka. Apart from a tiny area of cultivated land with fig trees, olives and vineyards, Kornati islands are rocky, covered with thin grass, rare trees and Mediterranean scrubs.
Over the time erosion has been caused by the sea, over grazing by sheep and fire.This erosion has deprived the islands of their primeval luxurious vegetation, and the people have moved to more hospitable islands. Some of the bigger islands were inhabited during the Neolithic age by Illyrians. A number of wealthy families from Zadar and later Venice have claimed possession of the larger islands.
The Kornati have no permanent inhabitants, although the present owners from nearby larger Dalmatian islands periodically visit Kornati to tend their vineyards and olive groves, bringing their sheep to graze.
The sea around the islands is rich with fish and a variety of marine life.... The islands have no spring water, only rainwater collected in water holes. The unique feature of the islands lies in their rugged shores with many caves and coves. The landscape of chalk limestone is covered with bushes of rosemary, juniper, lavender, thyme, myrtle and sage. Pathways leading to steep and huge cliffs facing the open sea and others gently decline towards the sea, ending in a small bay with a jetty and one or two fishermen's cottages surrounded by pine, olives and fig trees....
Enjoy the the day in this natural beauty in companionship of your licensed English speaking guide and private sailing boat.

Day 6

SELF-DRIVE ZADAR - SPLIT

Only 2,5 hours driving distance of Zadar, in the warmest region of the northern Mediterranean coast, this magnificent city of Split has found its place. Its mild climate, with 2700 sunny hours per year, makes it an oasis where, sheltered from the wind, one can enjoy the sun even in wintertime. The industrial, university, and business centre of the region nourishes its "green soul" on the hill Marjan situated in the westernmost part of the peninsula. Its forested park infringed by the city and the sea offers pleasant walks away from the city noise under the pines by the sea.

Upon you have accommodated at the Judita Palace hotel, your private guide will beet you for a private Split walking tour, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This monument complex covers a
vast area in the heart of Split- and people still live in 17 century old towers and houses.

Today you may stroll through the highlights of this magnificent complex with your
guide, including Peristil square with St. Duje’s cathedral (patron saint of Split), Diocletian’s mausoleum, The Temple of Jupiter, the Vestibul, the Golden Gate, the underground vaults, and the waterfront.

Later, you may enjoy a visit of the Mestrovic gallery in private guidance of the gallery curator, in memory of the most celebrated Croatian artist of the 20th century, sculptor Ivan Mestrovic.
Even as a youngster in rural Croatia, Mestrovic demonstrated a unique talent for molding clay. This talent was later honed in Zagreb and Vienna from which emerged an exquisite artist whose brilliant
creativity translated itself into sculpture. He was a colleague and friend of Auguste Rodin in Vienna. During World War II he was imprisoned but later freed when the Vatican intervened on his behalf and he later came to the United States to teach until his death in 1962. He is buried in Otavice in a mausoleum that he designed himself. The artist was known for immortalizing womanhood in pieces such as Maternity and The History of Croatia. The gallery in Split was the original residence of
the artist and includes Psyche.

Day 7

ISLAND HVAR EXTRAORDINARY

This morning you will catch a ferry bringing you to the island of Hvar for a one day tour.

There is not one person who hasn't at least heard of Hvar, if he wasn't that lucky to have visited Hvar already. Hvar is famous for its well indented coast, clean beaches and plenty of sunshine, untouched nature, lavender odor, olives and wine. This island is also proud to have the highest number of sun hours in Europe 2 700 hours of sunshine a year.
A short drive along a dirt road leads to Malo Grablje, a small village abandoned decades ago. Upon arrival there will be a short walk through that picturesque village founded in the 16th century.

After Malo Grablje you will proceed to Velo Grablje and the next stop is Vidikovac with such a perfect view of the deepest bay on the island.
After the short stop the drive continues to the highest peak of the island, Saint Nicholas (626 m).

From the highest peak of the island you will have a 360 degree unobstructed view of the island and across to islands of Brac, Korcula and Vis. Below the high point of St.Nicholas on a sloping sunny hillside lies Sveta Nedija, a village surrounded with steep vineyards which are very difficult to tend. It is famous far and wide for the high quality red wine it produces from the plavac grape.

Driving down the hill you will be surprised by the variety of the sun-soaked island paradise of Hvar, accented with vineyard-covered hills, olive groves and undulating fields of rosemary and lavender.
Your lunch will be served at a local tavern in abandoned medieval village of Humac. This Tavern with its interior in local style, organic vegetables production and food preparation sends you back to lives of people from Hvar from centuries ago.

Preparation of food in the tavern is traditional. The most interesting is under the bell shaped lid (“peka”) which is covered with live coal. For the lunch you can choose: octopus, lamb, veal or chicken with potatoes as a side dish.
After the lunch we continue along the north coast to Vrboska where we stop at Soline beach for relax and a swim.

As our Hvar Off-Road Tour comes to an end, you will be transferred back to Stari Grad where you will catch a ferry back to Split.

Day 8

SELF-DRIVE SPLIT – DUBROVNIK

Today's drive will go further south, along the beautiful coastal road all the way to Dubrovnik. On you way, you may decide to have a break in Ston, a small fisherman town known for its second largest city walls in the world (beside the China wall) as well as for mussels and oysters cultivation.

Arriving to Dubrovnik, you will check-in a small boutique hotel Kazbek 5*. It was constructed in 1573. by one of the Dubrovnik noble families Zamanja as their summer residence. Although designed as place for peace and relaxation history had other plans and the villa passed through various violent ages. Kazbek is now fully renovated to the highest standards and has regained its original beauty and function as a summer residence for guests with high demands in privacy and culture combined with modern facilities.
This impressive villa is situated directly on the coast in the bay of Gruz just 3 kilometers from the Old City of Dubrovnik.
Kazbek offers a high degree of privacy and customizable renting plans in its 12 double rooms and 1 suite.

Day 9

DUBROVNIK & KONAVLE A FULL DAY PRIVATE TOUR

This morning after leisure breakfast, meet your private guide and driver at your hotel for a full day tour of Dubrovnik & Konavle.
You will start at the Ploce Gate (East Gate) which is one of the two extremities of the walled city. As you descend down the stone steps of the fortification you will see the old Harbor Front of the city overlooking the Adriatic and the islands off the coast. As you continue, you will come to Dubrovnik’s
Main Square of the Loggia Loza. It is situated at the eastern extremity of the Stradun, which runs through the walled city from East to West. The square is located in the heart of Dubrovnik, and is surrounded by its most important buildings.

You may visit the Church of St. Blaise with its distinctive baroque façade. Next door, you may step into the Rector’s Palace. The Rector was the highest authority in the city and his palace now houses the Museum of Dubrovnik. Over 15,000 works are on display documenting the economic and cultural history of the city.

Today your guide will also take you into the Dubrovnik Cathedral and its treasury famous for its ancient relics including a fragment of the cross on which it is believed that Jesus was crucified.

As you walk down the Stradun, your guide will deviate up a long flight of stairs to take you to the Dominican museum. Housed in the Dominican monastery, this is an absolute must for those interested in the Dubrovnik and Venetian schools of art. There are several paintings dating back to the 16th century including works by Titian.

In the afternoon, accompanied by your guide, you will have the chance of exploring Croatia's most southern region Konavle.

Firstly we will have an exclusive visit of AR atelier in Gruda Konavle where Mrs. Antonia Ruskovic Radonic, an academic painter, will acquaint us with silk production and embroidery of Konavle.

Konavle has for centuries been renowned for the production of silk yarn, where it was used for the decoration of male and notably female national costumes. The production occurred in the rooms of the women every spring. Every woman of Konavle had to rear enough silkworms to produce her own yarn for her individual embroidery.

Today the national costumes are slowly being abandoned, and the embroidery that can be found in this gallery is used for the production of applied and decorative items with the purpose of conserving the tradition. Antonia produces her own silk yam from the early spring to late fall until she has enough leaves on her trees to feed her silkworms.

Next, we will continue visiting Niko Karaman’s winery – Niko Karaman is a local enologist who is quickly making a name for his tiny operation based on the sumptuous dry wines and exquisite sweet Prošek he makes from the rare and indigenous Malvazija Dubrovacka. While listening to Niko’s presentation of Prošek production you will have the opportunity to enjoy the marvelous taste of his Prošek, dessert wine that was announced to be the world’s best desert wine in 2009.

Our next stop will be Divanovic flour mill. In companionship of Mr. Ivo Divanovic you will have the unique opportunity to visit an old water-mill where you will see how flour used to be produced.

Arrival back to Dubrovnik in the late afternoon hours.

Day 10

DUBROVNIK DEPARTURE

Depending on your flight onward you will be privately transferred from hotel Kazbek to Dubrovnik airport.

Price

Starting Price 

$1,995
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.