DAY 1: VENICE ARRIVAL
Build on 118 islands and 150 canals with 400 bridges, Venice is one of the most beautiful and unique cities of the world. At the same time, Venice is an engineering marvel and architectural masterpiece, which made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once a refuge from a barbarian invasion, Venice eventually became leading world maritime power. The riches of the medieval and renaissance Venice are represented by the unimaginable concentration of work by the greatest artist in the world, such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, and others.
Everything in Venice is magical. Canals and gondolas, sophisticated architecture, romantic bridges, the views, and the art that captures the eye each step of the way.
Sophisticated Venetian architecture, the light, and the water merge into timeless magic that romanced millions of people over the centuries.
Venice is definitely one of the places that should be on everybody’s bucket list.
Private transfer to your hotel. Hotel amenities will help you to relax and rejuvenate.
DAY 2: VENICE EXPLORER TOUR
After breakfast, guided Venice sightseeing tour starts on the magnificent St. Mark’s Square, goes on with the indescribable splendor of St. Basil’s Basilica, and turns just around the corner towards one of Europe’s most beautiful buildings, the Dodge Palace, a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic architecture.
Along the way towards the Castello area, the guide will unravel famous historical places, hidden symbols, and iconic motifs of Venetia featured in arts and connect the heritage with the contemporary life of this stunning city.
The tour starts with a historical introduction of St. Mark’s Square, and its architectural delights, starting with majestic St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. Enjoy more than 8,000 square meters of mosaics, stunning arts, and captivating byzantine cupolas and architecture.
Find out why are only two columns on the Dodge Palace pink, what old and young man on the top of the fascinating clock tower symbolize, and why there are three flagpoles in front of the basilica.
Dodge palace might easily be the most beautiful building you will ever see. It was founded in 1340 as the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic. A masterpiece of Venetian Gothic architecture impreses by the harmonious balance between massive upper parts floating on two rows of lacelike colonnades and by the magnificent artwork glorifying the Republic of Venetia in the inside of the palace.
To get away from the most touristy (and most crowded) attractions, the tour continues to less popular – Castello area, packed with a valuable and beautiful heritage. This is a place to visit Bienalle, stroll around lovely narrow streets, near winding canals and full picturesque squares -“campi,” visit San Pietro di Castello church, amazingly beautiful Scuola Grande di San Marco and Ospedale and experience the vibrant life of contemporary Venice.
Overnight in Venice.
DAY 3: VENICE – BOLOGNA
After breakfast, the tour continues to Bologna by private transfer. Bologna is known as ‘la dotta, la rossa e la grassa’ – “educated, red and fat.” “Educated” since it has the oldest university of Europe that still shapes smart, educated, and progressive people, “red” – due to its red bricks buildings, but also the city’s historic leftish ideology. And “fat” – since Bologna is considered the cooking hub of Italy.
Its terracotta-hued medieval buildings with a 38 km of impressive porticoes are a UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Bologna is a lovely place for a day visit; with a lot of beautiful architecture, arts, smart vibe, and top food.
Piazza Maggiore is the main square of the city, surrounded by the most important buildings of the medieval town, including the Basilica of San Petronio, Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo dei Notai, and Palazzo dei Banchi. Adjoining square Piazza del Nettuno is famous by the magnificent 16th Neptune Fountain, one of the most elegant fountains of its period.
Pretty porticoes protected Bolognesi from the elements for 1000 years. Colonnades and pillars interact with the sunlight, creating beautiful shifting shadows across the marble walkways. Shielded from the sun and the rain, merchant of Bologne used to set up stalls to sell their wares under the porticoes. The longest stretch of porticoes of 3.8 km leads to the beautiful Sanctuary of the Madonna San Luca overlooking the city.
During the Middle Ages, Bologna had close to 180 towers dotting the city’s skyline. Unfortunately, fires, wars, and lightning strikes destroyed the majority of them. Only 20 of them are still standing today. The most famous of the remaining towers are the twin towers of Bologna, Le Due Torri. Smaller one, the Garisenda Tower, its leaning tower, and although Pisa tower is bigger and more elaborate, Garisenda tower leans significantly more.
In Bologne, food is not taken lightly, as you will see on the medieval market of Bologna, famous Quadrilatero, foodie’s paradise. Local cuisine, restaurants with delicious meals, the smells, the colors, and the authentic medieval ambiance is worthwhile your visit.
Overnight in Bologna.
DAY 4: MOTOR VALLEY TOUR
Motor Valley in Emilia Romagna between Rimini and Parma is the Silicon Valley of luxury car production. Motor Valley tour opens the door into a fascinating world of Italian cars, history, development of their technical superiority, and fashionable and sophisticated design.
Ferrari Museums guides through each step of the development of what we now know as the Ferrari legacy; the history of races, famous drivers, and of course – the life and vision of Enzo Ferrari. Enzo’s dream, successes, perfectionism, and numerous mistakes the team made along the way – everything is there.
Lamborghini Museum features another’s car maker dream – Ferruccio Lamborghini, and the development of his iconic cars. There is also a big part of a museum dedicated to Ayerto Senna.
The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Bologna
DAY 5: BOLOGNA – ROVINJ
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 Clinic, Roman and Venetian times. Take time to climb to the top of the bell tower, and it will reward you with a charming panoramic view of the town, the sea, and nearby islands. In front of the bell tower and St. Eufemija’s church, find 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 relaxed strolling across romantic streets and lovely sea promenades.
In the afternoon, delicious dinner made of fresh, locally grown ingredients paired with famous Istrian wine will be served in a local restaurant.
Overnight in Rovinj
DAY 6: PULA EXPLORER TOUR & 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.
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.
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 fairytale 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 7: ROVINJ – PLITVICE LAKES – SPLIT
Halfway between Split and Zagreb is the most interesting 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.
After a romantic sightseeing tour, the tour heads towards Split.
Overnight in Split.
DAY 8: SPLIT EXPLORER TOUR
The first stop of a Split walking tour is an ancient Diocletian palace, the surreally beautiful UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Diocletian palace was built in Roman times, but even today 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.
In the Palace, your will see (and the smallest) catholic Cathedral in the world, Cathedral of Saint Domnius on Peristil, built in the 4th century as the Imperial Roman mausoleum. From the top of the iconic bell tower near the Cathedral, you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the palace and the sea. Peristil square, formerly a Roman court, echoes the glory of the Roman empire.
Charming and Split-ish place worth a visit is Pjaca square with Split’s old town hall and a shiny marble tiles paved plaza, lined with pleasant cafes. Below the palace is Riva, palm-lined seafront promenade, famous for its beauty, lovely historic buildings, and zen-inducing overlook at the Adriatic sea.
Overnight in Split.
DAY 9: ISLAND HOPPING HVAR & PAKLENI ISLANDS
You can’t say you were in Croatia if you did not visit an island. Croatia has over 1200 islands and Hvar is definitely one of the most visited ones – and for a good reason. Over 300 hundred days of pure sunshine, amazing wines and the most vibrant island in Croatia. One the way to Hvar pass next to island Brac and make sure you find a beach and bay for yourself for a morning swim as you will be witnessing one of the clearest waters you have ever seen.
Upon arrival in Hvar, take an island tour with wine tasting and lunch. The best part begins in Jelsa, where one specially chosen winery is waiting for you. Try basil or sage flavored olive oil and decide to move to Hvar permanently. After wine tasting head to an old, abandoned village Malo Grablje for a fabulous traditional 3 course lunch paired with Mr. Berti’s (owner) wine. We recommend Peka – traditional way of preparing dishes (choose between veal, lamb or octopus) under the iron bell.
After lunch, don’t miss Pakleni islands before returning back to Split.
Overnight in Split.
DAY 10: SPLIT – MALI STON – DUBROVNIK
On the way to Dubrovnik is a 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.
The Old City of Dubrovnik is considered the most beautiful Croatian town and is among the most famous tourist sites in Europe. Its nickname – The Pearl of the Adriatic – is total to the point.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 11: DUBROVNIK EXPLORER TOUR
Dubrovnik fascinates its visitors by its fairytale ambiance of the breathtaking fortress, Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance churches, aristocratic palaces, red-roofed townhouses, magnificent monasteries… For centuries, Dubrovnik was micro-republic that protected its independence by unprecedented diplomatic skills and riches, earned in adventurous nautical trade endeavors of Dubrovnik merchants. During times when practically the whole Mediterranean was under the devastating reign of the Turkish Empire, Dubrovnik was flourishing with power and bursting with culture, art, and literature. The flair of a strong, independent, and the incredibly rich town still attracts people from all over the world.
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 11: FLY OUT
Private transfer to Dubrovnik airport. Fly out of Croatia.