DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO ROVINJ
Welcome to Istria, “Croatian Tuscany”. Rovinj is a great place to begin the Istrian tour. A city port sits on a picturesque peninsula and 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. 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: POREČ AND ROVINJ EXPLORER TOUR AND TRUFFLE DINNER
Picturesque Poreč is a place of delightful Venetian architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica of St Euphrasius.
Poreč is a 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.
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: PULA EXPLORER WITH WINE AND OLIVE OIL TASTING
Located beneath seven hills and with views of the Adriatic, Pula’s unspoiled natural surroundings are magical. Known for its mild climate and tame, beautiful sea, Pula also has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing and shipbuilding. It is also home to many ancient Roman buildings, including the well-preserved, magnificent amphitheater.
The House of Istrian Olive Oil located in the center of Pula tells the story of olive growing in Istria through history to the present day. Visiting the museum, you can discover why Istrian olive oil was highly valued by the ancient Romans; what happened to olive oil production during the Middle Ages, how oil was produced by our ancestors and how it is produced today and finally, what are the secrets of creating an extra virgin olive oil of premium quality. Every visit includes an oil tasting led by a trained person. You will learn why Istrian olive oils are considered one of the best in the world, you can try oils from different Istrian producers, taste different varietal oils and blends.
Visit the southernmost winery in Istria for a tasting session of its organic Trapan wine. You’ll meet the winemaker Bruno, and learn about his passion for organic farming and production techniques as you sip a selection of wine, specially picked for your tasting. Snacks and other local specialities from the region are provided to complement the wine.
Overnight in Rovinj.
DAY 4: 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 5: PLITVICE – PAG CHEESE AND OLIVE OIL TOUR WITH LUNCH
Island of Pag is known as distinct gastro destination. Its moonlike slopes and lack of fertile soil, have created the unique tasting foods. World class cheese, lamb, wines and salt can be found there. The tradition of producing organically still exists on the island. The lamb from Pag has a unique taste due to the aromatic herbs that the autochthonous small Pag sheep graze between rocks. Milk of those sheep is salty and makes a high quality hard cheese Paški sir that is famous in the entire world for its unique rich flavor, no salt added. Near the small village of Lun are situated olive gardens where proudly stand the oldest inhabitants of the island, 1500 years old olive trees.
Tour starts with a transfer to the island of Pag. Upon arrival in the Olive Gardens follows a sightseeing tour. Those trees are the oldest olive trees on the Mediterranean. You will get the chance to taste top quality monosort olive oil made out of it.
Then you will head towards Gligora Cheese Factory, where you will be introduced with production and process of cheese maturation. The best part of this tour is cheese sampling. You will be offered various types of hard cheeses of unique flavor, texture and aroma, fresh bread, olives and wine. Enjoy and have a lovely ride to Split.
Overnight in Split
DAY 6: 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.
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 7: SPLIT HINTERLAND COOKING CLASS
In the morning, proceed 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, vegetables 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 8: HVAR ISLAND WINE TOUR
Croatia has 24000 years of experience in winemaking. As a matter of fact, Stari Grad Plain on Hvar, 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.
Considered as one of the top 10 most beautiful islands in the World, 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.
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 indigenous 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.
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 9: PELJEŠAC WINE AND OYSTER TOUR
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.
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.
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.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 10: DUBROVNIK ON A PLATE 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. This day you will be taken through Dubrovnik to experience the different tastes through centuries.
We will start the tour in the spirit of the 10th century, a commoner at the beginning. Then we will evoke the spirit of a medieval citizen’s day life. At the end you will taste a noblemen’s plate, one of the oldest and most favorite traditional recipe. Each of the three locations we visit will offer a tasting dish and different wine, matching the story. The tour lasts three hours and combines the tale of food with the most interesting stories of our town.
Dubrovnik is one of the best kept medieval cities in the world. From today’s perspective it may seem impossible to imagine that the people back in those days had an entire civilisation organised within the old walls, including food preparation – cooking.
Overnight in Dubrovnik
DAY 11: KONAVLE GOURMET TOUR
Konavle, one of the most beautiful natural areas in Croatia, with a rich rural tradition, offers truly unique experiences, from winery tours to wine and olive oil tastings, to village crafts, trips on the Ljuta River, and delicious local specialties at traditional restaurants.
Become familiar with the traditions of this growing wine region as you delight in food and wine tastings.
Our first destination is Čilipi where you can wander through this picturesque village. Afterwards we visit a 400 years old family house in the village Poljice, where our host will explain the traditional process of making olive oil and home made brandy.
Our next stop is located by the river Ljuta, in the picturesque protected landscape, where our second host will show us his amazing estate while telling us a story of old, traditional ways of life in Konavle valley. There we will get to see how flour was once produced as well as another traditional craft – wool processing.
For tasteful and juicy meal we will visit the local tavern where our third host is waiting with a delightful, traditional “under the iron bell” lunch made with local ingredients, right next to crystal clear river.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 12: ELAPHITI ISLANDS AND LUNCH AT BOWA
The Elafiti islands is an archipelago situated close to Dubrovnik. There are actually six islands in the archipelago, not including any small islets, although the three main ones to visit and stay on are Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan.
Two of the three islands, Kolocep and Lopud, are entirely car-free, which means they’re an excellent place to base yourself on if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. (Or perhaps just the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik for one day!).
Located in an isolated idyllic bay Vrbova on the island of Šipan near Dubrovnik, BOWA does exactly what its name claims, offering the Best Of What’s Around. The menu focuses on simple, fresh, local ingredients which highlight the region. Expect a daily catch of fresh fish, hand-picked vegetables, fruit from BOWA’s own garden, and home-made Šipan island olive oil. Between courses, enjoy a dip in the Adriatic sea – the perfect palate cleanser during your slow, Mediterranean meal.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 13: KORČULA BIKE AND WINE TOUR
Korcula is one of Croatia’s most treasured islands although, perhaps, not quite as popular as some of its slightly more northern counterparts, such as Brac and Hvar. This may be because the island is a little further away to get to (both from Split or Dubrovnik). On the other, this means you have fewer crowds and can enjoy the island more! The island is filled with stunning natural beauty and postcard-perfect landscapes. From a crumbling ancient old town to sparkling ocean and sleepy bays and beaches, visitors are in for a treat.
Aside from its beauty, Korčula is best known for its mouth-watering local wines. It is home to delicious varieties that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Bike and wine is the way to go. You will visit two family-run wineries to refresh & reward yourself with delicious wine grown in the area, including two wine tastings of the unique white wine Grk, found only in Lumbarda. Accompanying your wine tasting, traditional appetisers will also be served at one winery.
At the end of the wine tasting, we will transfer back to Korcula by vehicle, so no need to worry about cycling after a few drinks.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 14: FLY OUT
Fly out of Croatia.