DAY 1: PULA ARRIVAL – ROVINJ
Welcome to Istria, “Croatian Tuscany”. Rovinj is a great place to begin the Istrian tour. Lovely Rovinj, a city port that sits on a picturesque peninsula, is considered the most romantic place in the Mediterranean. Untouched by modern times, the heart of Rovinj is a place to fully surrender to the soothing energy of an old, slow, and cozy Mediterranean.
Cobbled streets of Rovinj are lined with an old architecture that dates as far back as early 1700, while some of its remains are from the Ilyric, Roman and Venetian times. Climbing on the top of the bell tower rewards with a charming panoramic view of the town, the sea, and nearby islands. In front of the bell tower and St. Eufemija’s church is a scenic square, a great place to get rest and enjoy the authentic flair of Istria’s small town.
Without cars on its streets, the old town of Rovinj is super friendly for children and an ideal setting for a relaxed strolling across romantic streets and lovely sea promenades.
In the afternoon, Croatian gastronomy adventure starts with a mouthwatering welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Fresh, locally grown ingredients, famous Istrian wine, traditional recipes, and world-known Istrian hospitality make Istria favored foodie destination.
Overnight in Rovinj.
DAY 2: ISTRIAN EXPLORER TOUR AND TRUFFLE DINNER
Streets of Pula are lined with magnificent remains of mighty Roman and Austrian empires – stunning Amphitheater overlooking the sea, elegant city gates, a Roman temple, and a fascinating Austrian empire military heritage.
Picturesque Poreč is a place of delightful Venetian architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica of St Euphrasius.
A finale of a lovely day, full of stunning views and breathtaking ancient architecture is an exclusive truffle dinner in dreamlike acropolis city, Motovun.
Famous Arena, Roman Amphitheater in Pula, is probably one of the most beautiful stages in the world. Its mighty stones and massive arches, overlooking the sea, achieve a perfect balance of architecture and an environment. Pula is home of the most beautiful Roman temples outside Italy, as well as many magnificent Roman monuments, and the fascinating remains of the grandiose Austrian Empire.
In the mid 19th Austro-Hungarian Monarchy chosen Pula for its major naval port. Strong and ambitious Empire undertook grandiose military architecture endeavor in Pula. They built over 26 magnificent forts or fortifications, 8 artillery batteries and elaborate underground tunnels that can take in almost the entire population of Pula (50 000 people). The part of the tunnels is open for tourists, and it is totally worth the visit. Somewhere in the middle, you’ll stumble upon an exciting exhibition showcasing the life of Pula in the Austro-Hungarian era and ambitious plans the Empire had for its major naval port.
Poreč is another picturesque Istrian town situated on a peninsula, steeped in the history of the Roman Empire and Venice. Quaint narrow cobbled streets, beautiful Venetian era buildings, and the sea promenades in the shades of the pines are a perfect setting for a relaxing stroll.
Astonishing UNESCO Basilica of St Euphrasius, a masterpiece of 6th century Byzantine architecture is a must-see of Poreč and Istria. Although the whole complex is beautiful and full of interesting architectural details, its highlight is glittering 6th-century Byzantine-style mosaics in the apse of the church. Art historians agree that by its beauty and significance, Poreč mosaics can rival those in Ravenna.
After a day packed with beautiful historic towns, it is the time to escape to a scenic Istrian hinterland. The hilltop towns are spread all around Istria. Each city looks like an illustration from a fairy-tale book. Stunning view of the countryside, vineyards, olives groves green forest and quiet rivers is incredibly relaxing and tranquil.
Motovun might easily be the most beautiful hilltop town of Istria. It is an ancient Istrian acropolis city, situated on the top of a 277 meter-high hill, fortified by two medieval walls and Romanesque and Gothic core. Motovun is well-known for its truffles, gastronomy, wines and film festival. Surrounded by thick forest, rich with truffles, Motovun brings its visitor back in times when mythical creatures from Istrian legends walked around.
After a short tour, the best Motovun restaurant will serve a delicious truffle dinner paired with the best Istrian wines. Because when in Motovun…
Overnight in Rovinj.
DAY 3: ROVINJ – NP PLITVICE LAKES
Halfway between Split and Zagreb is the most sensational place of Croatian hinterland – National Park Plitvice Lake, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many visitors think that its 16 lakes interconnected with about 90 spectacular waterfalls and framed by lush greenery might be the most beautiful place in the world. And we couldn’t agree more.
Plitvice offers a delightful walk along 18 km of beautiful wooden footbridges and pathways. Walking along the crystalline lakes and besides magical waterfalls detoxes from any kind of restlessness or stress. The tranquility of the perfectly turquoise water, misty waterfalls, and bountiful shades of green are a mother’s nature’s finest wellness treatment. Locals believe that wishes made under the biggest Plitvice waterfall always come true. And we think it is worth a try.
The National Park goes beyond beautiful cascading lakes. It occupies an area of 30,000 hectares, covered by beech, fir, and spruce forest. Deers, bears, wolves, boars and numerous rare bird species live in this well-preserved piece of biodiversity heaven.
Rustic restaurants of National Park offer fresh and hearty traditional food.
Refreshed and renewed by the ravishing nature of the Plitvice Lakes enjoy the area in one of the local restaurants. We will take you to try some of the local specialties which are river fish, lamp on the spit, various cheeses and frog legs for those like to go little adventurous on their plate.
Overnight near Plitvice Lakes.
DAY 4: SPLIT AND TROGIR CITY TOURS & WINE TASTING
After waking up in beautiful Split, and tasty breakfast, it is time for an exciting time travel tour across the streets of Split. Split is the second biggest city in Croatia and often referred to as “The most beautiful city in the world” and “Mediterranean flower.” It doesn’t take long to find out how and why Split got its nicknames.
The heart of Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian palace. Although it was built in Roman times, it is still a place where people live, do business and hang around. Narrow streets of the castle are filled with unsurpassable charm and beauty. Diocletian Palace is an ancient yet vivacious and pulsating heart of the city, which is not very common.
Below the palace is Riva, palm-lined seafront promenade, world-famous for its beauty, lovely historic buildings and zen-inducing overlook at the Adriatic sea.
Croatia has 24000 years of experience in winemaking. As a matter of fact, Stari Grad Plain on Hvar, an island near Split, is the oldest continuously planted a vineyard in the world. Its beauty and cultural significance were recognized by UNESCO, who added it to the World Heritage list in 2008.
Dalmatia might know a thing or two about wine. But, why take that for granted? The best way to test that assumption is to undertake a Dalmatian wine tasting tour.
After sightseeing of Split, the early afternoon is reserved for a pleasant wine tasting and 7-course food and wine pairing. The local winemaker will show a barrel room, share some expert tips & tricks with and offer wine directly from fermentation tanks. The owner’s wife will prepare a 7-course meal pairing it with best local wines served in a private set up overlooking the whole Split area.
After tasting continue to Trogir, a very colorful city with a historic past and city under UNESCO protection. Trogir is a “city-museum” in every sense of the word. More than 2300 years in existence, the city provides lovers of cultural and historical monuments, art, original architecture and cozy alleyway streets and unforgettable setting. The old core of Trogir is an island surrounded by city walls which has been influenced by the Romans, Greeks and Venetians. Explore Trogir with our local guide.
Overnight in Split.
DAY 5: TROGIR COOKING CLASS
In the morning, tproceed to “City Museum” – Trogir where the culinary workshop will be organized. But first stop on food market and buy all ingredients for your cooking class. Dalmatian food markets are famous for its fresh, organic fish, vegatables and fruits.
Full hands-on cooking class in Trogir will offer a captivating intro into the magic of the Mediterranean diet. UNESCO recognized the Mediterranean diet as a World Intangible Heritage. Mediterranean diet is not only about specific recipes and ingredients of rich nutritional value. It is also a set of valuable social customs that promote human connection, well being, and heartwarming rituals of food consumption. It supports the preservation of biodiversity and traditional ways of growing food. And last but not least – a nutritional model of the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest and most sustainable.
So, why not experience the best of it through the interactive and engaging workshop, with fresh, locally grown ingredients, full of Dalmatian sun and aroma?
Overnight in Split.
DAY 6: HVAR ISLAND
After another morning in vibrant Split, it is the time to embark on a private boat for an adventurous boat ride to Hvar, the sunniest island in Croatia.
With its beautiful renaissance architecture, inspiring cultural heritage and vitalizing Mediterranean nature, Hvar pretty much has everything. For everyone. To begin with, Hvar looks like “an open-air gallery,” an exhilarating visual feast.
Hvar is considered as one of the top 10 beautiful islands in the world that has more Intangible UNESCO Heritage than any other island in the world. Its the sunniest place in Europe. In short, a place that everybody should visit. At least once in a lifetime.
Hvar is a calming place of sophisticated hedonism, shaped by the cultural influence of Venice, the Austrian Empire, and authentic Dalmatia.
The guided tour starts in town Hvar, continues with a Stari Grad Plain – Agera (Hora), UNESCO World Heritage vineyard sightseeing and ends in picturesque Jelsa with a wine tasting in two famous Hvar wineries.
The first one is fancy, modern winery Tomić, famous for its red wine Plavac. Tomić Plavac is rich with aromas of earth, plum and dark berries, but it also contains subtle notes of wood, coffee, and spices. Although Plavac is a strong and robust variety, Tomić winery manages to reveal its other side of softness and elegance. This contrast engages all senses with refined and exciting wine experience paired with prosciutto, cheese, chocolate, and finally with a specially chosen gastronomic surprise.
After modern Tomić’s winery, Duboković’s winery offers to travel back in the time of traditional winemaking. Simple, but the delightful pairing of homemade bread, rich cheese with indigeneus wine provides a truly holistic wine tasting experience.
Besides wine, the Duboković family produces olive oils, enriched with basil and sage. As if olive oil itself is not enough, they combined the magic of the olives with rich aromatic Mediterranean spices. The smell and the taste of Duboković oils are almost too much to handle.
After wine tasting we’ll head to an old, abandoned village Malo Grablje for a fabulous traditional 3 course lunch or dinner (depending on the time of day) paired with Mr. Berti’s wine, a real treat. We recommend Peka – traditional way of preparing dishes (choose between veal, lamb or octopus) under the iron bell.
Overnight in Split.
DAY 7: MALI STON – DUBROVNIK
On the way to Dubrovnik is Mali Ston, well-known for its oysters and mussels cultivation. Since Roman times oysters from this region were in high regard and even considered aphrodisiac. Short boat trip to oyster beds through the tranquil beauty of the Stone bay culminates in oyster tasting accompanied by delicious Dalmatian wine.
By the end of the day, the tour will arrive at Dubrovnik, “The Pearl of the Adriatic” the most beautiful Croatian town and one of the most famous tourist sites in Europe.
Mali Ston is a breathtakingly beautiful, serene bay, a pure jewel of the Adriatic sea. A wooden boat will take you for a pleasant ride in the peaceful bay of Mali Ston to visit the oyster beds and taste them paired with local wine. Mouthwatering texture and superior taste of Ston oysters are a result of an ideal mix of the seawater, rich with salt and phytoplankton, and the mineral-packed fresh water from the river Neretva.
A local guide will share his rich knowledge about the history of Ston, oyster cultivation, and the best ways to enjoy this precious see food.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 8: DUBROVNIK EXPLORER
Just a simple walk on the streets of Dubrovnik or along the city walls awakens the sense of awe and exhilaration. Stunning views of the Old Town and the shimmering blue Adriatic Sea are genuinely marvelous and breathtaking.
Dubrovnik is overflowing with historical places, unique buildings, and cultural heritage. A guided tour will offer an opportunity to discover a fantastic Dubrovnik history, the historic beauty of Old Town, renaissance harmony of the main street – Stradun and sophisticated elegance of the Rector’s Palace. The architecture of Old Town bears witness of the glory days of Dubrovnik when the city became one of the most prosperous all the historic maritime republics.
The second part of the tour unravels the grandeur and beauty of City Walls, UNESCO World Heritage Site, overlooking the shimmering blue Adriatic Sea.
Overnight in Dubrovnik
DAY 9: BIKE & WINE IN KONAVLE
After clamor and grandiosity of Dubrovnik, the tranquility of the ravishing nature of Dubrovnik countryside might be an excellent add-on for the Dubrovnik experience. Bike tour through incredibly scenic landscape ends with a wine-tasting in an award-winning local winery.
Biking and Wine Tasting Tour starts in Gruda, a picturesque village near Dubrovnik. It goes through lovely vineyards, olive groves, along the river with waterfalls and next to the medieval watermills. The first sightseeing stop is a 600-year old Franciscan monastery, followed by a visit to a mountain stream for a relaxing swim in crystal clear waters.
The final stop of the cycling route is an award-winning local winery where an indulgent wine tasting will be organized. The last destination for the day is a mouthwatering dinner in an authentic Dalmatian local restaurant.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 10: FLY OUT
Fly out of Croatia.