9 days/8 nights
Croatia’s Heart and Soul is a private tour that visits the highlights of Croatia’s inland and the fascinating Dalmatian coast. Start this tour in the charming capital of Zagreb, continue to the Dalmatian capital of Split with a stop for sightseeing and hiking tour of the amazing Plitvice Lakes National Park. Explore the roman ruins in Solin and Split, then take a boat ride to the island of Hvar and take a private sailing trip to the small island of Vis. End your tour in Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic.
We can further customize this tour with the accommodations and activities of your choice. You can also extend your tour at the beginning and/or the end and you can certainly add excursions such as a day trip to the Island of Mljet National Park, island of Korčula, Montenegro, Mostar or any other of your interest.Less
After arriving at Zagreb Airport, transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Springing up from two medieval settlements – Kaptol and Gradec, which form the core of the old Upper Town, it is a true Central European city and with the surrounding settlements it has about one million inhabitants. The old Baroque nucleus is woven from old stone streets and buildings, many churches, a magnificent cathedral with modern shops, cosy cafes and restaurants. Day at leisure. Overnight in Zagreb.
This morning, Zagreb will charm you with its abundance of rich cultural heritage that dates back to the medieval days. We will stroll past baroque-style mansions and baronial residences, and admire the beautifully crafted facades. In the company of your local expert, we will visit the symbol of Zagreb, St. Mark’s church in the Upper Town, which houses the remarkable works of Ivan Meštrović, its most famous sculptor. Come to the Lotrščak Tower and inhale this most beautiful view of the city. The attractions here are plentiful, the culture, quite mesmerizing. There will be enough time for a delicious fresh baked pastry and a cup of excellent coffee in one of the side walk cafes in Gornji Grad. Or dine on some great home-made cheese and wine as you chat with friendly locals at Dolac, the lively open air market. Overnight in Zagreb.
A very special experience awaits you in Gorski Kotar and Lika. Lovely green landscapes of exceptional ecological value reside in a number of nature parks, which rise a mere dozen feet above the sea. Discover Plitvice Lakes National Park – the unique oasis of rare natural beauty. It is one of Europe’s most dazzling nature reserve parks, and was truly created by nature. The park consists of 16 connecting lakes and sport unique cascades of murmuring waterfalls. Plitvice Lakes National Park was recognized and protected by UNESCO as part of the world’s natural heritage in 1979. We will take a lively walk along the lakes and breathe the fresh mountain air while listening to the captivating sounds of nature. Next, a boat ride across the largest of the lakes, we will experience an unique perspective of nature: the lake is rife with crystal clear emerald water and fringed with bubbly white waterfalls! (self-guided) Overnight in Split.
Experience the charm of the southern Mediterranean as we explore Split, the largest city along the Adriatic coast. Its beauty captivated IV Century Roman Emperor Diocletian, who built his palace here. So we begin our sightseeing tour of Split with a visit to this lofty palace. First, we walk the well-preserved ancient cellars; for here is where one can truly experience this magnificent palace. The Cathedral was built on the remains of an ancient shrine. And across the Cathedral is the Temple of Jupiter, which today is used as a baptistery. Afterwards visit Trogir, where you can explore on your own. Overnight in Split.
This morning we will ferry over to the island of Hvar. We arrive to Stari Grad, one of the oldest settlements on our coast. It was founded already by the Greeks in the IV century BC and named Pharos. We continue through the well-known vineyards of Hvar before reaching the small town of Vrboska where we will visit the church of St. Lawrence with one of the finest collections of Renaissance art on the island. Continuing through Hvar’s lavender fields soon we arrive to one of the many typical villages where you will have the opportunity to taste some of the excellent local wine. Upon the wine tasting we’ll continue to Hvar town. Overnight in Hvar.
Today we take a sailing trip to the unspoiled island of Vis. This island was an army base in former Yugoslavia, and it was not opened for tourism until 1989 when visitors came for the first time to discover that its natural beauty remained intact. Admire the lush vegetation of Vis Island with pine trees and citrus orchards as well as exotic species such as palm trees, cacti and a particularly rare silver palm tree. Much of the island is devoted to vineyards that produce the famous white wine, “Vugava” and the red wine “Plavac”. Explore Vis town on your own an find out about interesting ruins from the Greek and Roman period, as well as villas and churches dating from the XVI and XVII centuries. Overnight in Hvar.
Ferry transfer to Dubrovnik. The over a thousand year old history of Dubrovnik is visible in every part of this city. The city is a living museum and a live stage, and has an ideal connection between its historical past and the modern day. It is surrounded by medieval walls that are 1940 meters long and are preserved in their original form. They are open to visitors and are the city’s greatest attraction. Since 1979 the town has been under UNSECO protection. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Drenched in sparkling sunshine and rife with mild Mediterranean breezes, Dubrovnik is a lush region of mysterious coves, forested islands and idyllic beaches. You will marvel at the limestone bricks of the walled Old City which gleam like marble in the moonlight. With it’s sharp detailing and unique architecture, its many quaint buildings showcase an artistic heritage depicting a vast landscape of lovely sea, sky and hills. In Dubrovnik you will visit the extraordinarily beautiful cloister at the Franciscan Monastery, home to one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, having remained open since the time of 1317. In addition to this, you will enjoy the artistic treasures of the Assumption of the Virgin, and also explore the Rector’s Palace and XIV century Dominican Monastery. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Tour ends with a transfer to the airport/port.
Hotel Dubrovnik, ****, Zagreb
Hotel Atrium, *****, Split
Hotel Amfora, ****, Hvar
Hotel Rixos, *****, Dubrovnik