THE ULTIMATE WINE AND DINE TOUR
19 DAYS / 18 NIGHTS (days are flexibile for private tours)
Zagreb - Pleševica - Ljubljana - Bled lake - Postojna - Brtonigla - Motovun - Buzet - Hum - Rovinj - Svetvinčenat - Brijuni national park - Pula - Plitvice lakes national park - Zadar - Krka waterfalls national park - Skradin - Pag island - Šibenik - Trogir - Split - Hvar - Korčula - Pelješac peninsula - Ston - Dubrovnik - Konavle region
Best way of getting to know country's tradition and culture is definetly by tasting its typical meals which, in Croatia, also hide a lot of history. From the shores of the Adriatic to the valleys of Slavonia each region has its own culinary personality. From proto-Slavic essences mixed with Hungarian, Viennese and Turkish influences in the meats, desserts and vegetable dishes of the continental regions, to the Greek, Roman and Illyrian Mediterranean flavors of the fish delicacies and wines of the coastal region... Let your taste travel across centuries of tradition and relish every moment. Enjoy a unique experience of truffle hunting, join a cooking class and learn to prepare your favorite Croatian meal, understand production of one of the best Mediterranean olive oils or explore beautiful vineyards where grapes of worlds best wines are grown. On this tour you'll visit not only Croatia, but also the astonishing sites of Slovenia.
o Take a tour of 2 centuries old vineyards and taste exquisite wines of PLEŠEVICA.
o Explore the capital of LJUBLJANA and enjoy in typical Slovenian dishes.
o Enjoy a romantic ride in Pletna boat only known in BLED.
o Visit a famous winery where wine is, just like in ancient times, produced in amphorae and enjoy in the gourmet delights Istrian olive oil.
o Experience truffle hunting with hunting dogs and explore historic, hilltop town MOTOVUN.
o Stroll through the cobbled streets of the most romantic Mediterranean jewel – ROVINJ.
o Participate in a cooking class at a widely-renowned cooking school located in a century old, traditional estate.
o Visit the 6th largest surviving amphitheater in the world located in PULA.
o Admire the beauty of 16 cascading lakes in PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK.
o Take a delight in wine-tasting and gourmet experience served in the cellars of a famous winery next to old SKRADIN town.
o Taste one of the ten best cheeses in the world onPAGisland and visit more than 1500 years old olive tree yard.
o Wander through historic towns ŠIBENIK and TROGIR and indulge in food and wine pairing at Croatia's best restaurant.
o Take a tour of SPLIT farmers market and join a private cooking class.
o Taste the greatest home-made wines and have a lunch with local food delicacies in the shade of the olive grove on HVAR island.
o Enjoy the picture-perfect KORČULA town, surrounded by 14th century walls, where great explorer Marco Polo was born.
o Enjoy a unique taste of the STON Oysters and hear how they are grown at the oyster farm tour.
o Hop on a cable car to Mt Srđ and admire astonishing views of the Pearl of the Adriatic – DUBROVNIK.
DAY 1 ARRIVAL ZAGREB
As you arrive to Zagreb airport, meet your driver and head for a quick and comfortable transfer to your hotel in Zagreb, check in at the hotel and have some leisure time. Overnight at the hotel in Zagreb.
DAY 2 ZAGREB
On this day, get ready to be enchanted by the medieval stories as you pass by the Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Stone gate and the Tower of Lotrščak. Be sure to visit Dolac farmers market, Zagreb’s colorful fruit and vegetable market that attracts traders from all over Croatia and enjoy the refreshing mixture of smells and colors, the Museum of Broken Relationships, a unique museum dedicated to the mementos left after the end of a relationship that struck a chord with the public and became an instant success or take a bus ride to the Mirogoj cemetery, one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe designed by Herman Bole in 1876 dominated by the majestic arcade topped by a string of cupolas that looks like a fortress from the outside, but feels calm and peaceful on the inside. While walking through Zagreb’s Upper and Lower towns, you will be amazed at it’s 900-year history peering from every corner. After the tour, meet your driver and head for Pleševica, a small place near Zagreb to visit one of the best wine producers in the region. Enjoy sampling a selection of his wines and sparkling wines while hearing all about his family run winery and the history of their wine production that goes back more than 200 years. After your visit to the winery, head back to Zagreb and relax.
DAY 3 ZAGREB – LJUBLJANA – BLED LAKE
After breakfast, meet your driver and head towards the capital of Slovenia – Ljubljana. Upon arrival, meet your guide and head for a walking tour of Ljubljana. Stroll pass the Baroque Town Hall building, highlighted by its clock tower. Continue to the Town Square, where you will see the famous Fountain of the Tree Rivers. Next go to the Town Square where you will see the Cathedral of St. Nicholas – a popular landmark designed in the early 18th century. You may continue across the Dragon Bridge - an Art Nouveau masterpiece adorned with dragons and the symbol of Ljubljana, and stroll alongside the Ljubljanica River. After the tour, take a funicular ride to the top of medieval Castle Hill. The Ljubljana Castle offers some great views over the city and the surrounding countryside. There, have a great lunch at the restaurant located in the castle. Guests are offered typical Slovenian dishes prepared following modern recipes. After lunch, meet your driver and head towards Bled Lake. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and have the rest of the afternoon free to enjoy Bled. Do not miss trying the famous kremšnita cream cake, one of the symbols of Bled. Overnight in Bled.
DAY 4 BLED LAKE – BOHINJ – BLED LAKE
Today enjoy a great day touring Bled Lake with your private guide. Start by taking a pletna boat ride, one of the most recognizable Bled features and arrive to the little island in the middle of the lake. There, pay a visit to the church on the island and experience the energy that flows through it. Afterwards, head back to the mainland and pay a visit to the most famous landmark of Bled – Bled Castle. Perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 meters above the glacial Lake Bled, the image of the castle forming a dramatic backdrop to the romantic island and the church on it has earned the resort worldwide recognition. Experience amazing views of the lake and explore the medieval castle. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch at the castle’s restaurant that will round up your wonderful day of exploration of Bled. After lunch, meet your driver and head towards another popular Slovenian destination – Bohinj Lake. There, enjoy a relaxing stroll through the beautiful nature Lake Bohinj is famous for. Slovenia's largest lake is a picture of peace and serenity. It's brooding and mystical feel are encouraged by the steep mountain faces that rise out of the lake on the northern side, with mountain peaks also dominating the background to the west and south. After you have explored and enjoyed Bohinj Lake, head back to Bled Lake to spend the night.
DAY 5 BLED – POSTOJNA CAVE – BRTONIGLA
After breakfast, meet your private driver at the hotel lobby and head for a true wonder of the natural world – the Postojna cave. One of the largest underground caves system in Europe hides wondrous geological creations. More than 5 km of tunnels are arranged for tourist visits either by the electric train or by foot. Stalactites, stalagmites, underground halls and other rock formations are truly amazing and well worth a visit. After Postojna Cave, head towards a small place called Predjama and its famous castle. Predjama Castle is one of the world's most dramatic castles. Located in small village of Predjama, this amazing Renaissance fortress, built within a cave, is not at all the kind of castle we’re familiar with. After the tour of the castle, meet your driver and head towards the Istrian peninsula and Brtonigla. On our way to Brtonigla, we stop at an Istrian winery for tasting some of the best Istrian wines. Resulting from hard work and tradition of making wine that spans over a century, this family run winery represents the best in wine production both in Istria as well as in Croatia. Join your host at their tasting room and sample a selection of their exquisite wines combined with authentic Istrian delicacies such as Istrian ham, extra-virgin olive oil, truffles and more. After your winery stop, continue towards Brtonigla. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel San Rocco and explore Brtonigla on your own. Afterwards, have a special gourmet dinner at the hotel's restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Croatia. The hotel restaurant finds itself on the top of the Istrian and Croatian cuisine scene offering a vast gastronomic array based mainly on typical seasonal specialties, such as fresh locally caught fish, truffles, mushrooms, ham, game and other typical Istrian specialties. Overnight in Brtonigla.
DAY 6 BRTONIGLA – MOTOVUN – BUZET – HUM – BRTONIGLA
Today, we discover the inland of Istria, also called „the Green Istria. Our first stop is Motovun, a captivating little town perched on a 277m hill in the Mirna River Valley. Walk within the walls of Motovun, an atmospheric cluster of Romanesque and Gothic buildings that house a smattering of artist studios, galleries and shops. After Motovun, we head for Buzet to get acquainted with a true gourmet delicacy, the Istrian truffle. Meet your hosts and head for an amazing experience, truffle hunt. During your roaming for this delicacy, feel all the enchantments and beauties of the hunt, while the forest is quiet, comforting, and when adrenaline reaches its climax, due to the discovery of truffles. Friendly hosts will tell you all about truffles, the tradition of truffle hunting, and their truffle hunting dogs. Afterwards, you will join your hosts in their beautifully designed tasting room where you will have the chance to sample a variety of products made from truffles like olive oil with truffles, cheese with truffles, omelette with truffles, chocolate with truffles and many others. To round up our exploration of the inner Istria, we continue towards Hum, the smallest town in the world. Heaped up on a hill surrounded by grasslands and forest, Hum has only 14 inhabitants, but has preserved all the attributes that a town should have - walls, gate, church, campanile. Returning to Brtonigla, relax at your hotel.
DAY 7 BRTONIGLA – ROVINJ – SVETVINČENAT
After breakfast and hotel check out, meet your driver and head towards Rovinj, the most romantic town in Croatia. Described as “a bit of Venice spilled on a hill”, this stunner of pastel colored houses, polished stones and clear blue water, will make your stay in Rovinj a memorable one. As you walk through its narrow alleyways and courtyards, you will find lots of restaurants, bars and shops filled with people enjoying the charm and the hospitality of Rovinj and its local population. After Rovinj, head towards Svetvinčenat. There, check in at the estate where you will spend the night. During your stay, head for a wonderful gourmet experience organized at the estate. Widely renowned for their cooking schools and based on authentic Istrian cuisine, your hosts will teach you the fundamentals of Istrian cooking which includes home made herbal bread, handmade pasta with truffles, mushroom and various meat sauces, traditional desserts and many more. After you have mastered preparing original Istrian dishes, have the rest of the afternoon free to relax and enjoy at the estate. Overnight in Svetvinčenat.
DAY 8 SVETVINČENAT – BRIJUNI ISLANDS – PULA – SVETVINČENAT
After breakfast, meet your driver and head towards the town of Fažana where you will embark a boat that will take you to the Brijuni national park. Upon arrival to Brijuni, you will be met by a guide that will take you through all the sites on the island. This archipelago of islands has long been noted for its outstanding natural beauty and are edged with turquoise waters rich in sea life. A favorite haunt of visiting heads of state and the summer residence of Marshal Tito, from 1949 until his death in 1980. After Brijuni national park, meet your private driver at Fažana and head for the town of Pula. Your tour takes you around the ancient city where you can see and hear all about all the important monuments and the rich history of this town. Remains of the ancient Roman times, the early Christianity, the times of Venice, Napoleon, Austria and Italy. Start with the Amphitheatre, pass by the remains of the Hercules temple to the Cathedral, then to Forum Romanum with Augustus and Roma Temple and the City Hall. After your exploration of the city of Pula, meet your driver and head back to Svetvinčenat. Relax and overnight.
DAY 9 SVETVINČENAT – PLITVICE LAKES – ZADAR
After breakfast and check out, head for most beautiful destination Croatia has to offer – the Plitvice Lakes national 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. Surrounded by high wooden mountains and fed by many small rivers, the lakes are a mesmerizing view of green and blue accompanied by the thundering sounds of the many waterfalls that connect the lakes to create a true paradise on Earth. Lunch highly recommended at Lička kuća restaurant in Plitvice. A unique place with an ambience of a traditional house in Lika, in which authentic dishes are prepared. In the middle of the restaurant there is an open-hearth fireplace, where lamb is roasted on a spit, and where other food specialties from Lika are prepared “under iron cover”. Ham, “basa” cottage cheese, lamb under iron cover, grilled meats, baked potatoes, trout, sour milk, the Lika fritters, and the Lika strudels made of cheese, apple or plum, are just some of the specialties of this renowned restaurant. After Plitvice Lakes, head towards Zadar. Zadar and it’s 3000-year history has a lot to offer. Boasting a historic old town of Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and quality museums set on a small peninsula, Zadar is an intriguing city. It’s not too crowded, it’s not overrun with tourists and its two unique attractions – the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun – need to be seen and heard to be believed. Overnight in Zadar.
DAY 10 ZADAR – KRKA NATIONAL PARK – SKRADIN – ZADAR
After breakfast, head for Krka National Park and enjoy your day in untouched nature. Named after the Krka River, the Park covers an area of just over 142 square km and includes two thirds of the river itself. Krka River has seven impressive waterfalls along its course but the two most famous are Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap. Both cascading waterfalls are composed of travertine barriers and are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Eastern Europe – comparable only to those that grace Plitvice Lakes. The shine of the sun on the crystal-clear water, the lush green vegetation and the sight of the waterfalls will make your stroll through the park a memorable one. And the best part is – you can swim in the lake next to the waterfalls (something you can’t do in Plitvice Lakes). All this will make you fall in love with this paradise on Earth. While strolling through the park, make sure you hop on a boat and glide your way on the clear water to Skradin, a beautiful and charming little town on the shores of Krka river. Afterwards, your journey takes you for a wine-tasting and gourmet experience served in the cellars of the Bibic Winery, a signature event for lovers of fine wine and food in Croatia. Alen Bibic and his wife Vesna deliver a Michelin star grade food and wine paring experience. Each dish is a visual masterpiece and paired with best wines Bibic winery can offer, this gourmet treat won’t leave anyone wanting. After this memorable gourmet experience, travel back to Zadar and overnight.
DAY 11 ZADAR – PAG ISLAND – ZADAR
Today, head for a full day private tour of the island of Pag including a visit to the local cheese factory, a fabulous lunch at one of the best restaurants on the island and Croatia and a visit to the ancient olive groves at Lun. First our trip takes us to Kolan and a cheese factory where the world famous Pag cheese is made. You will visit Gligora family-run company who has been producing Paski sir (Pag Cheese) since 1918.
The Gligora family share their passion and artisan cheese-making by opening the doors so you can see first-hand how the cheese is made. After Gligora factory, head towards Boškinac Wine hotel for a gourmet lunch prepared by one of the best chefs in Croatia. The restaurant respects the culinary heritage of the island, with a wide selection of fish and lamb dishes, cheeses, prosciutto and other fresh, seasonal ingredients, with olive oil, herbs and honey. However, these ingredients are served in a special way, with a pronounced artistic approach. After your memorable lunch at Boškinac restaurant, head towards Lun, a small village at the tip of the island, but home to the ancient, thousand-year-old olive groves. The Lun olive groves represent a true oasis and one of the most scenic and beautiful corners of the island. Among the countless olive trees, there are about 1500 wild olive trees. This area of wild olives, which covers 24 hectares of space, is the only one of its kind in the Adriatic Sea region and it has great botanical value. Due to its special characteristics, it was protected and proclaimed a botanical preserve in 1963. After Lun, drive back to Zadar and overnight.
DAY 12 ZADAR – ŠIBENIK – TROGIR – SPLIT
After breakfast and check out, meet your driver and head towards Šibenik. Head for a stroll through its maze like medieval centre. Walk on its stone cobbled streets, have some coffee or visit sights like the Šibenik Cathedral, one of the finest architectural monuments in south-eastern Europe and a UNESCO heritage site. After your exploration of Šibenik, head towards Trogir and its old town core, another UNESCO site. Called “the town museum”, its entire old town core has been protected by UNESCO and you will immediately see why. Trogir is one of the most seductive towns on the Dalmatian coast with its old-town cluster of palaces, belfries and cobbled alleys. Gorgeous and tiny Trogir is beautifully set within medieval walls, its narrow streets knotted and mazelike. After exploration of Trogir, our trip takes us to Split where we will spend the night. After Trogir, head towards Split where you will spend the night.
DAY 13 SPLIT
After breakfast, enjoy a great day in Split coupled with great food and wine. Today, go for a cooking class event that will introduce you to Dalmatian cuisine. The tour starts by visiting the farmers market and fish market where you will be introduced to the local products and the history of Dalmatian cuisine. While strolling through the markets, enjoy some sampling of products made by local artisans. After your tour of the market, transfer to the site of your cooking class, a local winery, and begin your hands-on cooking class where you will be introduced to the fundamentals of Dalmatian and Mediterranean cuisine. After your cooking class, enjoy lunch at the winery followed by some barrel wine tasting to finish this great gourmet half day program. Transfer back to Split and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Overnight in Split.
DAY 14 SPLIT – HVAR
Today head towards the sunniest island of Croatia, the lavender island of Hvar. Board a catamaran at Split pier and embark towards Hvar. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and meet your guide to start your tour of the town of Hvar. Discover the legacy of Hvar town as you walk on its cobbled streets and listen to the stories behind its most recognizable features like the cathedral, its medieval walls, monasteries and palaces. Strolling through its narrow streets in the company of your private guide you will get to know centuries of Hvar history and architecture. After the tour, have an unforgettable dinner at a traditional „konoba“ in the abandoned medieval village, two miles inland from the town Milna. Very peaceful and quaint, this restaurant offers the experience of Dalmatian cuisine as it once was. Hear the story of the village, its history and why it got abandoned while eating some of the best local dishes on the island. After dinner, head back to the hotel and have some free time to enjoy the rest of the evening. Overnight in Hvar.
DAY 15 HVAR
In the morning, we suggest you take a water taxi to the nearby Pakleni Islands, lying just minutes offshore from fashionable Hvar Island. There, enjoy your morning spending it on the beach or in one of their popular clubs and restaurants. In the early afternoon, head for an amazing tour of the island of Hvar and experience amazing nature and views accompanied by tasting some of the best wines you can find on the island and enjoying great food. Visit numerous places and experience the island with all your senses. During the tour, you will have a chance to taste some of the best wines Hvar has to offer by visiting a local winery. Your tour includes a visit to Stari Grad, a smaller and quitter sibling of Hvar town, but non-the less charming and picturesque. After the tour, head for dinner at a family estate of one of the best olive oil producers in Croatia in a small village of Vrisnik. After dinner, head back to Hvar town to enjoy the rest of your evening. Overnight in Hvar.
DAY 16 HVAR – KORČULA
Today head for another charming island and the medieval town of Korčula. After a comfortable one hour catamaran ride to Korčula, check in at your hotel, meet your guide and head for your private guided tour of the town of Korčula. During the 15th century, people from Korčula were renowned for their stone carving skills and most of Korčula old city core is built from stone. The center of the town is dominated by the splendid St Mark's Cathedral. Walk along the ancient walls that surround the city and pay a visit to to the birthplace of the famed traveller Marco Polo. After the tour, have some leisure time to further explore Korčula on your own. If you have the opportunity, don't miss the famous Moreška Sword Dance, a colorful spectacle of clashing swords and choreographed traditional dance. Overnight in Korčula.
DAY 17 KORČULA – PELJEŠAC PENINSULA – STON – DUBROVNIK
Today, board a boat that will take you to the mainland, Pelješac peninsula to be exact. Pelješac peninsula is our most dedicated region when it comes to wine production. After you have met your driver at the pier, head to the local winery to sample some great local wines. The tour and tasting will be held at one of the best and oldest wineries in Croatia. After you have tasted some excellent wines, head for a truly spectacular gourmet tour. You will be participating in a boat tour to the farm where the famous Ston oysters are produced. Your host will tell you all about Ston oysters, its production and history. During the boat tour, you will have the opportunity to taste the freshest oysters in your life – picked right from the sea. After the boat tour, head for a private island where your host will make you traditional mussels buzzara style with nothing but the best ingredients – fresh mussels, home made wine and local herbs. After this spectacular gourmet tour, meet your driver and head towards Dubrovnik. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and have some leisure time to relax. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 18 DUBROVNIK
Get ready to discover Dubrovnik on your private walking tour. Regardless of whether you are visiting Dubrovnik for the first time or the hundredth, the sense of awe never fails to descend when you set eyes on the beauty of the old town. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anyone becoming jaded by the city’s marble streets, baroque buildings and the endless shimmer of the Adriatic. Named “the pearl of the Adriatic” by lord Byron, Dubrovnik hides a treasure trove of old houses, spectacular monuments, churches, museums, bars and restaurants all defended by its massive old walls fortification system, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Afterwards, meet your driver and head towards the Konavle region, just kilometers from Dubrovnik, to attend a great cooking class at an agritourism estate. You will spend the day with the family and assist them in creating the meal from plucking the vegetables from their gardens to assisting them in the preparation of the meal. After your cooking class, enjoy your meal that you have prepared and taste a slightly different meal, but still inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. After your delightful day with the family at the estate, head back to Dubrovnik and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 19 DUBROVNIK DEPARTURE
After breakfast, meet your driver and head towards Dubrovnik airport for your flight out.
This is just a suggested daily touring schedule.
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