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Captivating Croatia 2023 – Unique Journey by Land & Adriatic Cruise

Land Journey with Adriatic Cruise Gourmet Stars & Local Tavernas

Are you a world traveler, gourmand, and oenophile? If yes, this is the perfect one to choose! Join us on this unique and unparalleled experience in Croatia by land and by sea and take in the views from another angle! Note: The land and cruise portion of the trip can be booked separately.
Max. Travelers: 32 guests Date: Land: Aug 27 - Sept 2, Cruise: Sept 2 -Sept 9 Trip Duration: 6 + 8 days Highlights: Superb Accommodations – selected hotels, Local Experts, Amazing landscapes and Old Towns, Experience Gastronomic and Wine Adventures, Local Tavernas discoveries, Fine dining restaurants, Meeting olive oil and wine producers, Truffle hunt Experience, National Park Plitvice visit, Walk the longest stone wall in Europe - Ston, Dubrovnik Old Town and more...
  • Trip Outline
  • Trip Includes/Excludes

Itinerary planned

Itinerary

Day 1

Date : August 27, 2023

Arrival in Zagreb

Transfer from Zagreb airport to your hotel is arranged! Your driver will be waiting for you at the airport with a name board. Check in to your hotel, relax and freshen up before your welcome dinner at a renowned Zinfandel restaurant.
Overnight in Hotel Esplanade 5* in Zagreb, superior double room (breakfast and taxes included)

Day 2

Date : August 28, 2023

Explore Zagreb

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet with your guide for a private walking city tour of Zagreb. Unveil the secrets behind the old facades, discover the hidden courtyards, and revive the stories from the past. We’ll give you an entirely new perspective of Zagreb City. A short walk from the Zagreb cathedral, in a magnificent 200 y.o. brick-vaulted cellar, the first Croatian wine shop (Vinoteka) was born 30 years ago which gave birth to a renewed Croatian wine scene. The pioneers of this enological project have created a true wine temple to be enjoyed by wine enthusiasts and lovers from all over the world. The owners' passion for wine is evident as well as their extensive knowledge. After the wine tasting, we’ll head to a local restaurant where you’ll have a chance to try some traditional dishes. Dinner on your own.
Overnight in Hotel Esplanade 5* in Zagreb, superior double room (breakfast and taxes included)

Day 3

Date : August 29, 2023

Plitvice Lakes to Rovinj

Breakfast at the hotel and check out! Morning departure and meeting with our driver for a private transfer from Zagreb to Rovinj in Istria with en route stop at Plitvice Lakes NP for a guided visit. Head for a truly amazing and spectacular stop – the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Upon arrival at Entrance 1, meet your local English-speaking guide and explore the Plitvice Lakes park.
The first Croatian national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Plitvice lakes offer its visitors a blend of vivid colors, sounds, and smells that are spectacular and memorable. Its 16 cascading lakes and numerous waterfalls make up one of the greatest wonders of the world. After the tour will enjoy Lika specialties at the local restaurant. A unique place with an ambiance of a traditional house in Lika, in which authentic dishes are prepared. The final drive to Istria will follow with a stop at the Rossi Family winery for a private tasting. Final drive to Rovinj, check into the hotel, and relax. Evening at leisure.
Overnight in Grand Park Hotel 5* in Rovinj, Premium Sea view room (breakfast and taxes included)

Day 4

Date : August 30, 2023

Rovinj and Central Istria

Breakfast at the hotel. Meet in the lobby and head for a full-day excursion gastro adventure to central Istria. The Central Istria Riviera, known as Green Istria, embraces a multitude of small places with a long history and fortresses on hills with picturesque bell towers. Before you know it, you will plunge into a gorgeous atmosphere of hill towns and seaside villages, dramatic beaches and rose gardens, and delicious wine, olive oil, and truffles. Today we are visiting Kabola winery followed by a unique experience during a truffle hunt accompanied by specially trained dogs. Later in the afternoon drive back to beautiful Rovinj with some free time to relax before dinner. For the dinner, a famous gourmet gem! Restaurant Monte. Run by chef Danijel Đekić and his wife, sommelier Tjitske Đekić-Brusse, this fine-dining spot has earned itself quite some awards and honors. Monte holds a prestigious Michelin star and is yearly considered one of Croatia’s best restaurants by Gault Millau.
Overnight in Grand Park Hotel 5* in Rovinj, Premium Sea view room (breakfast and taxes included)

Day 5

Date : August 31, 2023

Rovinj - Pula - Rovinj

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure in Rovinj. After lunch, we’ll visit a family farm specializing in growing olives and producing high-quality extra virgin olive oil. We’ll enjoy a guided tasting in their olive mill located in olive groves just outside the old medieval town of Vodnjan and discover why their extra virgin olive oil is frequently proclaimed among the best olive oils in prestigious international competitions. Our next stop is Pula city – it is the largest town on the Istrian peninsula and offers a diversity of attractions to lovers of culture. Dinner is reserved at our favorite local tavern in Istria - The chef is the 4th generation fisherman, the story of this tavern began in 2000 when they opened a modest family tavern, where mother, father, and son intended to sell the fish they caught and prepared themselves in the way they prepare it at home. Given that this is a family that has relied on fishing for its income for four generations, their cuisine is largely based on family recipes and a long tradition of preparing fish that they have caught themselves. Back in Rovinj late in the evening.
Overnight in Grand Park Hotel 5* in Rovinj, Premium Sea view room (breakfast and taxes included)

Day 6

Date : September 1, 2023

Rovinj - Plastovo - Split

Breakfast at the hotel and check out!
Time to say goodbye to beautiful Istria, a long drive to Dalmatia Split will follow. We’ll make a stop before Split – to visit Bibich Estate where you’ll enjoy a unique wine-pairing lunch experience at the Bibich tasting room. This experience you will never forget. Food courses inspired by tradition and made from local groceries are perfectly paired with their wines, while the presentation is done by the winemaker himself. There are 5 wines paired with 5 food courses! All ingredients are artisanal - olive oil, cured meats, dried fruits, etc. - hand-made by their family or local producers. You will experience a presentation by a professional enologist about everything they do for heritage preservation - their products, ways of vinification, grape varieties, and vineyards, and get familiar with the influence of the microclimate and the character of the region. Bibich winery was one of the places that Anthony Bourdain visited when filming ‘’No-Reservation’’ in Croatia! Final drive to Split, check into the hotel, and relax. Meeting with other fellow travelers.
Overnight in Hotel Briig 4* in Split, superior double room city view (breakfast and taxes included)

Day 7

Date : September 2, 2023

Explore Split

Meet with your private licensed local guide and join the unique Split historical & gastro treasure tour. Make sure to have a ‘light breakfast’ as your guide will take you to different food stops so you can taste the most delicious food while you are walking along the 1700-year-old imperial palace, getting to know all of Diocletian’s Palace and the surrounding medieval highlights of Split.
You’ll start your food adventure by visiting Green market, a great traditional restaurant” konoba” known for its culinary specialties
“macaroni” – handmade pasta and fresh seafood.
During the next part of the tour, you will visit a small shop where you will taste the traditional peasant pie “soparnik” and the tour concludes in the oldest pastry shop in Split, where you will taste traditional pastries and gelato.
Enjoy the exclusive gastro & historical guided tour of Split. Locals are extremely passionate about their local gastronomy, their hometown, and its history. Learn everything about major historical sites & culture while tasting the best Dalmatian food. The second-largest city in Croatia, Split (Spalato in Italian) is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s lived.
At 2 pm we’ll be boarding the luxury mini cruise. After settling in, welcome meet & greet cocktail reception on board and your Cruise Manager will introduce you to the entire crew. Late afternoon you’ll have some free time on your own - Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance of tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants & shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split life has been going on for thousands of years. We’ll finish the day with a welcome dinner on board. Overnight on board the ship in Split.

Included: Breakfast | Exclusive Gastro tour | Welcome cocktail onboard | Welcome dinner

Day 8

Date : September 3, 2023

Island Brač

Breakfast on board! This morning we sail towards the island of Brač! On our way to Brač, we’ll enjoy a swim stop and lunch on board. Brač may be one of many when it comes to islands off the Croatian coast, but this Dalmatian island is unmatched when it comes to natural beauty and must-visit attractions. Once we reach the port of Pučišća, we’ll visit the Mason’s school, followed by a short drive to the oldest village on the island of Brač – Škrip. The island is also famous for its olive oil you’ll have a chance to taste it together with some other local specialties.
We’ll finish the tour in the picturesque town of Bol, enjoying a glass of wine by the sea in the most famous winery. Full of uniqueness and beauty, the island of Brač is above all an island of contrasts - at the same time scarce and rich, separate and connected, humble and defiant. Overnight in Bol - Brač Island
Included: Breakfast | Light Lunch | Olive Oil tasting | Wine Tasting

Day 9

Date : September 4, 2023

Pakleni Islands

Breakfast on board before sailing towards Pakleni islands, we’ll enjoy a swim stop at the Old Submarine tunnel on the island of Brač - there are three submarine tunnels on the island of Brač: Maslinovo, Smrka and Kručšica bays. Pakleni islands archipelago is a labyrinth of several smaller islands that offer perfect bays for swimming and snorkeling. Paklinski Islands are situated in front of Hvar town and they tend to be used like a large park and port breakwater. Today will have lunch in one of Croatia’s most exclusive holiday destinations – the restaurant is accessible only by boat on the island of St Klement. Established over 50 years ago, the restaurant has steadily grown to become one of the most prestigious stopovers for gourmet cuisine and resort holiday enthusiasts. Besides the exotic seafood on offer, it also boasts one of the most renowned lounge bars on the Mediterranean. The afternoon is for relaxing like locals, swimming, sunbathing, cocktails on the beach, and port talks on the cruise, while the evening is wrapped up with the Captain’s dinner – a combination of good food, interesting company, fascinating stories, and good music! Overnight Pakleni Islands

Included: Breakfast | Lunch | Captain’s Dinner

Day 10

Date : September 5, 2023

Explore Island Hvar

Breakfast on board while we set sail to Island Hvar. We arrive in the early hours, disembarking and meeting with our local guide for a private walking tour! Hvar is one of the most sought-after destinations, attracting the rich and famous, something that's obvious when you see its harbor in the summer, filled with mega yachts. Everyone comes for its beautiful beaches as well as its world-class dining and nightlife scene, but this sunny island has, even more, to offer travelers of all types.
After the Hvar town walking tour, we’ll explore the inland island of Hvar. The first stop is Jelsa - a small coastal town that has a very proud and long wine-making tradition. You will have a chance to taste what it’s like to try ”2718 hours in the bottle”. We will continue a drive through the green and rural island of Hvar, passing through Brusje. The old road is paved with amazing views. We will stop at Napoleon Road and have the perfect views of the island's deepest bays. Then we approach the fascinating village of Velo Grablje founded in the 14th century. Stone houses and courtyards still capture your attention with their fascinating architecture, and while walking within its narrow streets you will feel the breath of past times. Today the village is nearly abandoned having but a few permanent villagers, although it was a rich and prosperous place, famous for its good wine and olive oil production. Honey production was well known as well, together with lavender oil being the leading one in Europe at the time. As we head back will come to the enchanting abandoned village of Malo Grablje and our authentic Dalmatian lunch will be served.
Late afternoon and evening for leisure. Overnight in Hvar Island.

Included: Breakfast |Traditional Lunch | Wine tasting

Day 11

Date : September 11, 2023

Discover Korčula Island

Breakfast on board and sailing towards the island of Korčula - one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic Sea, with abundant vineyards and olive groves. The dense woods led the original Greek settlers to call the island Korkyra Melaina (Black Korčula). We’ll enjoy a swim stop before lunch at the Island of Proizd close to Vela Luka where we’ll disembark. Located in the deeply protected bay of the island of Korčula, Vela Luka is the youngest island settlement and at the same time a place of inspiration and the birthplace of many artists.
If you love olive oil, then there is no better place to be than the island of Korčula. Uljara Zlokic was founded in 1995 in Velika Luka. The Zlokic family is known for being one of the leading olive oil producers on the island. The family’s collection boasts many old-fashioned tools for olive oil making, including a 15th-century wooden olive press and an 18th-century hydraulic compression system. The family’s oil mill is 700 square meters and is in Vela Luka.
We continue to explore the inland of Korčula island -we’ll visit a couple of great viewpoints together with charming Pupnat – it is the smallest and one of the oldest places on the island of Korčula
We’ll finish the tour with an amazing Local Tavern where authentic cuisine full of flavor has been served to guests for over two decades. Homemade food, including bread, the highly recommended pasta served with various sauces, goats' cheese, olive oil, home-grown vegetables, and the traditional and more personalized desserts. Just recently they received a green Michelin star that serves as a recognition of the inspiring commitment in favor of sustainability and more responsible gastronomy. Later we are coming to Korcula where the ship will be docked. In the early evening afternoon hours, we will explore the town of Korčula Our local guide will take you on a unique tour of the old town of Korčula. Free evening in Korčula town. If you are looking for a great & unique shopping store – Korčula is the right place, with plenty of small boutiques local shops, and jewelry stores. Overnight in Korčula.

Included: Breakfast | Lunch | Olive Oil Tasting | Local Tavern Dinner

Day 12

Date : September 7, 2023

Pelješac Peninsula

Early in the morning, while breakfast is served, we set sail for Trstenik. On our way, we will stop for a swim in one of the many picturesque bays dotting the coast. Upon arrival in Trstenik, we will embark on our gastronomic adventure! Our first stop is one of the most famous wineries - Grgich Winery - Famed for his Grgich Hills in Napa, he resorted back to his Pelješac roots in the late 1990s, opening his Croatian cellar. After a few glasses of wine and head to meet oysterman, taking a short boat ride to the oyster farm in the middle of the bay enjoying a traditional lunch with a glass of wine in hand - we'll be tasting this natural aphrodisiac straight from the sea. Talk about a gourmet's dream! Before we head back to our boat, we’ll visit Ston city - the town with the longest stone wall in Europe (5, 5 km) and the other in the world after the Chinese Wall! The walls were reinforced with 40 towers and 5 fortresses. Originally they were 7 km long but were partially destroyed in the 1667 earthquake. We return to our ship in the late afternoon and spend the night in Slano village with included dinner on board. Overnight in Slano.

Included: Breakfast | Light lunch Oyster&mussels & Wine Tasting | Dinner on board

Day 13

Date : September 8, 2023

Slano to Dubrovnik

Breakfast on board and sailing towards Dubrovnik. We’ll enjoy our last swim stop near Elaphiti islands. The Elaphiti Islands or the Elaphites is a small archipelago consisting of several islands stretching northwest of Dubrovnik, in the Adriatic Sea. The Elaphite has a total land area of around 30 square kilometers and a population of 850 inhabitants. Lunch was served on board while sailing along the Dubrovnik city walls. The last stop on our trip is Dubrovnik, a city that will welcome you with open arms, as it does for visitors from all parts of the world. Surrounded by its fabled medieval walls, Dubrovnik is widely known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic". It is a medieval city on the Croatian side of the Adriatic coastline and a treasure trove of cultural, and historical monuments that were created throughout its thousand-year existence. Upon arrival we will go on a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO-protected Old town, acquainting you with its most important monuments and hidden spots. After the walking tour, you'll get to enjoy time at leisure to explore this beautiful city further on your own. We’ll wrap up the day with an exclusive farewell dinner in one of the best restaurants in Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Included: Breakfast | Lunch | Farewell Dinner

Day 14

Date : September 9, 2023

Dubrovnik

After breakfast, sadly it will be time to check out and say goodbye. Enjoy your complimentary transfer to the airport/hotel. We hope to see you again soon! You must vacate your cabin by 9 a.m. but note that if your departure transfer is later, then you can ‘store’ your luggage onboard until it’s time for your transfer.
SRETAN PUT I HVALA! (Bon Voyage and Thank you!)

Included: Breakfast | Goodbye Hugs

Included:

  • TAXES and PORT CHARGES INCLUDED
  • All services and excursions in the itinerary 
  • Private transfers
  • Cruise Manager 
  • Local Guides 
  • Accommodation in double/twin cabin with ensuite bathroom
  • Half-board daily (breakfast every morning and lunch or dinner )
  • Captain’s Dinner on board

 

Not Included

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airfare, Travel Insurance – please do let your expert know if you’d need assistance
  • Additional sightseeing, activities, and experiences outside of your itinerary
  • Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, mini bar )
  • Gratuity for services and experiences
  • Drinks from the onboard bar

Trip inquiry

Feel free to send us a trip inquiry, we will respond in shortest time possible.