For my 70th birthday celebration, my husband and I wanted to start international traveling again. I was a flight attendant in the 70s and 80s, so we used to travel constantly, but we took a long break in the 2000s. We realized we didn’t want to try traveling the way we did when we were younger, which was completely on our own with zero help. But we also knew we weren’t the “group travel type.” I knew immediately that Zicasso was worth a try!
The initial connection was very quick and easy, and our local representative was very helpful in connecting us with the right people in countries we wanted to visit. This agent was our planner for Croatia, and also for our time in Prague and Budapest. It was obvious she had experience in all three places.
Since our grown son and daughter wanted to experience Greece and then meet us in Budapest, our Zicasso rep advised that they have a planner who specialized in Greece for their trip. She was also very fun and easy to work with. When our “kids” missed their origin flight to Athens, I immediately contacted her (we had already been a week in Croatia) and she quickly made the best of a bad situation by re-scheduling their time in Athens.
There were very few missteps in the planning of our two trips. The biggest one for my husband and me would have to be that we were surprised that the first couple of days in Croatia seemed designed for much younger folks! While we are healthy and in relatively good condition for our age, many of our friends probably could not have climbed the stairs at our first hotel in Rovinj. Even the young men who worked there commented on how steep they were.....more like a 4 story ladder. Also, the room in this creatively different hotel was very confusing and really unsafe by American standards. Not a place we would recommend for “older” folks! Other things during those first few days.....climbing the hills of Motovun, followed by an exhilarating but treacherous truffle hunt on VERY slippery and steep trails during a thunderstorm, and a rigorous hike through the amazing Plitvice National Park......did much to remind us of our age! We loved all of these experiences, and would not have missed them, but we felt there should be some caution given to traveler of a certain age!
For our son and daughter, the main issue was probably the hotel in Santorini. It was on a very steep hill, and they felt rather isolated, so that they really did not experience much of the island. The set up of the room was much more for a honeymoon couple than a brother and sister traveling together. All in all, however, they felt their trip was well-planned.
There were so many memorable parts, but my favorite was the long evening spent with a Croatian family in their home, learning their history in the place, picking vegetables from their garden, helping to make the bread and enjoying an incredibly fresh and delicious meal with a small group of other travelers. It’s called “agritourism” and I want to always have it be a part of future trips!
We also very much enjoyed our visit to an oyster farm, with a delicious meal of oysters harvested before our eyes! Other highlights were our personal boat trip to the blue and green caves and a fantastic lunch of local delicacies, and two different visits to wine caves. We truly loved each and every private guide! What remarkable young people with so much knowledge to share.
I think we may do the big cities first, followed by the relative calmness of Croatia, instead of the other way around. Croatia is so lovely and clean and friendly that Pragues’ big city attitude was somewhat of a shock at first. Also, next time we will ask for a few mornings to be free. Some days it was quite a rush to get up, find our things in a new hotel, make it to a quick breakfast, and meet our new guide by 8:30 or even 9. We might prefer a 10 am start on some days. Otherwise, there isn’t much to change.....it was a nearly perfect plan for us, in the amount of time (18 days) that we had.
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