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In this 14 days travel package you will discover Croatia through a tour which begins in the capital Zagreb and finishes in Dubrovnik. After a day in the Zagorje region, you will head to Plitvice – the most famous national park of Croatia. Your journey will continue through Dalmatia where you will have guided tours of historical cities Šibenik, Zadar, Nin, Trogir, and Split. Visits to two other national parks, Krka and Kornati, are also scheduled. For the last six days of the journey, you will be situated in the Old City of Dubrovnik from where you will explore gems that were once under the crown of the Republic of Ragusa.
Zagreb / Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Welcome to Croatia! We will welcome you at the airport, and transfer you to your accommodation. After checking-in you will have free time for relaxation. Depending on the time of your arrival and your preferences, different activities can be organized. In the evening hours a welcome dinner will be served in a restaurant in the city center.
Your day begins with a trip to Zagorje which is less then an hour away from Zagreb. We will take you to the beautiful Trakošćan castle, the most famous castle in Croatia. Originally built in the 13th century as an observation fortress, Trakošćan was transformed into a residence castle, surrounded by a man-made lake and romantic gardens, in the 19th century. Today it is a museum with a permanent exhibition that tells the story of its 900 year old history.
There is a good reason why Varazdin is called ‘Little Vienna’. This unique 900 year old baroque town was once the capital city of Croatia, and during that time, the noble families and wealthy tradesmen of Varaždin brought in some of the country’s best architects and painters to construct their mansions and palaces. The city kept its charm during the centuries and today it represents one of the best kept secrets of Croatian tourism.
You can’t visit Croatia and not see its most popular tourist attraction – the Plitvice Lakes National Park which was one of the first natural sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage register. On your way to the Plitvice Lakes NP, you will visit Rastoke, a small historic village known for its well-preserved mills and the picturesque little waterfalls along the Slunjčica River, which flows into the river Korana at this place. The park is world famous for its 16 turquoise lakes arranged in cascades and connected with magnificent waterfalls. It also has the largest waterfall in Croatia, with a height of 78 meters. In the afternoon hours, you will continue your journey to Šibenik, where you will spend your night.
Your day will start with a guided tour of Šibenik, one of the most naturally protected harbors on the Adriatic coast. Its narrow winding streets, stone houses, ancient staircases and the remains of the city walls give Šibenik a romantic Mediterranean atmosphere. As the oldest Croatian autochthonous town, it was first mentioned in 1066 during the reign of one of the most important Croatian kings, Krešimir IV. Numerous churches, monasteries, palaces and four fortresses dote the city. Lunch will take place in the city center, after which you will have a panoramic boat ride around the city.
In the morning hours, you will meet up with your skipper and set sail for the National Park Kornati. The Kornati archipelago consists of 152 islands that are approximately 100 million years old; on their surface, you can find many fossils of ancient marine organisms which lived on this territory about 15.000 years ago, before the huge global warming that raised the water level for 100m. Due to its outstanding natural beauty, diverse coastlines, preserved nature and rich marine ecosystem, the Kornati Island archipelago were declared as a National park in 1980. While cruising around the islands you will have a few stops to explore the islands and enjoy the untouched nature. In the evening hours, you will be transferred back to Šibenik.
After breakfast in Šibenik, you will be transferred to the National Park Krka. The park boundaries stretch for 50 km along the upper and middle course of the Krka River, and the lower course of the Čikola River. With its seven travertine waterfalls and a total drop of 242m, the Krka River is a natural and karst phenomenon. The living world of Krka National Park is very rich and diverse, with numerous endemic, rare and threatened species. Visovac Island is one of the top attractions in the park and it is situated in the middle of a lake bearing the same name. A Franciscan Monastery and a Church are there since 1445. After the exploration of the National park, you will head back to Šibenik for dinner.
In the morning hours, you will head north to Zadar. The entire city of Zadar was built for centuries and preserved. Its monasteries and churches witness the artistic and material wealth of Zadar. The Symbol of the city is the church of St. Donatus dating back to the 9th century and built on the remains of an ancient Roman Forum. The city of Zadar can be found in the oldest European tourist guidebooks and has kept its status as a tourist center for centuries. You will spend your morning discovering the city through a private guided walking tour and during which you will visit two unique attractions, the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation.
After Zadar, you will head to Nin. The town of Nin is located on a small island in the middle of a shallow lagoon which is connected to the mainland by two stone bridges. Founded in the 9th century BC and partially destroyed a few times throughout history. Venice sacrificed the city in 1646 in order to protect Zadar from the Turkish invasion. A guided tour and free time for lunch are scheduled before your travel to the city of Trogir in the afternoon hours.
Greek colonists from the island of Vis founded Trogir in the 3rd century BC. Since 1997 the historic city center is under UNESCO protection. The whole town is made out of stone and is situated on a small island that is connected by bridges to the mainland and the island of Čiovo. Your evening hours will be free of activities.
In the morning hours, you will have a guided tour of Trogir and then you will head to Split. On the streets of Split, you can still feel the Dalmatian way of life as it once was. The story of the city is already 17 centuries old, dating back to the time when Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to build his own palace in which he would retire after stepping down from the imperial throne. During these 1700 years, the Palace slowly turned into a city that nowadays still holds the natural beauty and its cultural heritage from the Roman ages. In the evening hours, you will head to Dubrovnik where you will stay for the next 6 days.
The undeniable charm and beauty, that the city of Dubrovnik offers, resides in its long and rich history. The city achieved a high level of development and wealth, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries in which many beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains were built, and preserved until today. From 1979 the Old City of Dubrovnik is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have a guided tour of the city and the rest of the day will be free of activities.
In the morning hours, you will head to the Vjetrenica cave which is located on the way to the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vjetrenica is one of the most important caves in the Dinaric alps mountain range, famous worldwide for its karstic and speleological riches. After the guided tour of the cave, you will head to the cultural capital of Herzegovina region, the city of Mostar. There you will have a guided tour and lunch in one of the local restaurants near the famous Old Bridge. In the afternoon hours, you will visit the natural reserve and bird reserve “Hutovo Blato” where you will have a guided boat tour through the marshlands. It is the largest reserve of its kind in the region, in terms of both size and diversity. Dinner can be organized on the tour or back in the city of Dubrovnik.
After breakfast, you will head to the ACI marina Dubrovnik. Your skipper will meet you there and will be accompanying you for the next three days along the Dalmatian coast. The cruise will start with the exploration of the Lokrum Island, also called the “Haunted Island”. From there you will set sail to the arboretum Trsteno, officially founded in 1498, which makes it the oldest arboretum in this part of the world. The noble family Gučetić-Gozze took the initiative to ask captains to bring back seeds and plants when returning from their journeys. The arboretum reserves a very special place among the old Dalmatian and Mediterranean parks due to its five-century continuous development.
In the afternoon hours, you will cruise around the Elaphite islands. The archipelago is composed of 13 islands, however, only 3 of them are inhabited: Koločep, Šipan, and Lopud. On Koločep you will find several churches dating back to the 9th century, as well as the famous Blue Cave located in the south of the island. After lunch on Koločep, you will be transferred to the Šipan Island. Because of its quiet bays, beaches, and groves of orange and lemon trees, the island used to be a gateway for wealthy families from Dubrovnik. The cruise will end in the evening hours on the Lopud Island. In the past, the island was famous for its captains; it provided most of the sailors for the Dubrovnik Republic navy. Nowadays cars are banned on the island and it represents one of the biggest attractions in the region of Dubrovnik.
You will have a day free of activities, so you can have time to explore the area on your own or just relax and enjoy.
In the morrning you will head to one of the oldest arboretums in the world. Noble family Gutecic-Gozze took the initiative to ask the sailors to bring back seeds and plants when they were coming home from their travels. The arboretum was officially founded in 1498, and it reserves a very special place among the old Dalmatian and Mediterranean parks due to its five century continuous development from Gothic Renaissance, Renaissance Baroque and Romantic forms to the present.
Your second stop in a small bay on Peljesac peninsula, Blazevo. There, you will find one of the tastiest oyster in the world, first class fish, bottarga (also called “Caviar of the South”) and a seabed sparkling wine cellar. Your host will be awaiting you with seafood specialties and a glass of wine. After a few words about the fish farm, the tour will move on to the boat. You will have the chance to pick your own oysters and learn about seafood and fish species living in the area. Just before heading back to the shore, you will stop above the underwater wine cellar from where you can choose some of the best Croatian sparkling wines, stored under the Adriatic Sea.
In the afternoon hours you will be transferred to “Grgurević“ vineyards. Centuries of winemaking on the peninsula resulted in some of the best wines in the world. You will enjoy a wine tasting with local delicacies served by the owner himself. He will give you an insight on his way of life and explain his winemaking philosophy.
Depending on the time of your flight, you will be leaving directly for the airport or take a stop to take part in an activity of your choice.